T Nation

To Cut or Not To Cut


Hey guys Im looking for some advice. My first meet is coming up in January, Im sitting at 182 right now (morning weight). Would it be best for me to cut to 165 (and what would be the best way to do it) or should I settle for 181? Im about 5'8 5'9. Thanks fellas.


First meet? Don't cut. Go, have fun, get a total. Cutting just ads more complications you don't need at your first meet.


Thats exactly what I thought would be best, thanks for the reinforcement!


I cut to get into the 220s at my first meet and ended up 3rd when I would have won the 242s if that helps too. cutting to a lower weight class doesn't mean you're going to place better anyway. It depends on who shows up.


Very true, Im there to compete against myself for the most part anyways. I have all the commands down pat, any new guy tips?


Don't try to PR on your second lifts. Honestly, it's probably better if you don't PR at all, but if you're gonna, set yourself up with your second lift for a small PR on your third.
Competition is different to the gym, and if you get all your thirds easily then you can always do better next time. You'll enjoy yourself more, it'll give you good targets for the next comp, and it'll let you know what goes good for you in comp and what goes shit.

Aside from the commands, trying to go too big has got to be the biggest mistake I see new lifters do. Honestly, you'll be surprised at the difference it makes when you don't have to worry about a big lift or big total.


Don't bomb out.


Just work on lifts and don't even step on a scale before the meet. Or you could find out ahead of time who's going to be there and eat until your in the highest weight class by yourself and win 1st by default.


I'm going to give you my best advice from someone who has experienced both cutting and maintaing weight for a meet. In high school I always dropped weight to go to the 165's and as long as I made weight I got first place at the meet. I never hit my best numbers because I usually maintained a bodyweight about 10lbs heavier and would drop that weight in 5 days to make my weight class. I never felt like I reached my full strength potential. When I got to college I lifted for the Texas A&M powerlifting team and did the same for some meets and maintained my weight for others. I felt most satisfied with myself and my lifts when I maintained my normal bodyweight (maybe drop 1-3 lbs). I hit my best numbers and had the most energy and fun of any meets. I always was disappointed with my #'s when I dropped too much bodyweight and lost strength. I would recommend focusing on hitting some PR's on the third lift. Having the commands down helps a lot as well. If possible wherever you are squatting face out towards the gym rather than a blank wall. It is always different having a focal point a long ways away with a bunch of people staring at you. I don't know how old you are but as I got older in my lifting I gradually lost bodyfat and maintained a leaner and stronger body. I haven't competed in almost two years now but I sure am getting the itch again. Best of luck to you and I hope it all turns out well.


My advice to first time lifters is never to cut for a first meet.

I'll personally only cut if I'm attempting a record at a lower weight class, or within 10lbs of the next lowest weight class (with 2 hour weigh-ins). Not sure if you're competing in a 24 or 2hr weigh-in fed. but 16lbs is a big cut either way.


I definitely agree, 16 pounds is a big cut. Jsmiley, thanks man. Im in it for the fun and for the challenge for the most part.

Im 19 years old, 182, 5'8.5

Bench (with press command)- 285


Nice numbers.


Ive cut for every one of my meets, including my first. Honestly man... don't do it. Especially with how much you're looking at cutting compared to your bodyweight, there's a good chance you'll either lose it all too quickly and spend too long depleted or fail to make it back in time (I managed to screw both up in my most recent meet). Just lift at whatever you walk in at. First meets are nerve wracking enough, don't add the stress of making/recovering weight to it


besides, with your first meet not being until january, you could drop that weight ahead of time and still put up similar numbers to what you're doing now, if you're really stuck on lifting at 165


Cant decide if there is cybersarcasm in this or not!

I plan on rolling in at 181, I have a few buddies going with me, and a friend who regularly competes so I'm hoping that will help with the nerves.


No sarcasm there...if your gym lifts carryover to your competition, I think an 1140 total is very respectable for your age and weight class...you may even find your comp lifts are better than your gym lifts (i set new PRs for squat and DL at my first meet)....

My advice: bring some ammonia and snort the shit out of it


No sarcasm, for your weight those are respectable numbers my friend


Just to make it clear the guy ahead of me is talking about ammonia capsules. If you go to wal-mart and buy some ammonia that won't help you. In a pinch one time I tried that and it was worthless. A good hard slap to the face is also great before a deadlift.


It will definitely be nice having my training buddies there, they know how to motivate me (even the occasional slap). I will def get some ammonia caps before hand. Thanks for all the help guys!


Actually straight ammonia works for me...I put a couple cotton balls in an old medicine container and fill that up with ammonia and carry it around...it seems to work great

but now you got me really wanting to try a real cap!