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Using Sauna to Cut Weight


i have a grappling competition in 7 days and i am approx 6-8 pounds heavy. i have been recommended by my trainer to do two 30-miniute sauna sessions everyday untill then. i am just curious to know if cutting water weight through a sauna would be benefitial to my weight this far away from the competition.

thank you


Well, I wouldn't call myself an expert at cutting weight, but here goes:

What weight are sitting at right now? How lean are you? My suggestion, if you have enough time between weigh-ins and competition to rehydrate, is to try to diet down over the next 5-6 days, and then cut the remaining water weight immediately prior to weigh-ins.

Then rehydrate and gain all the weight back immediately. Spending time in a sauna every day up to a week out seems unnecessary, if you're using it as water weight control.


You needed to practice cutting weight way before you compete there's a science to it and everyone is unique.

Far be it from me to question your coach but two thirty min sauna sessions a day seems a little extreme. The moment you eat and drink you're going to put that water back on immediately and do NOTHING but fatigue yourself twice a day for a week.

K, first...

When are the weigh ins?

How much do you weigh now?

how much are you supposed to weigh in at?

** If the weigh in's are the day before competition then you can cut that water weight the day of weigh ins a couple hours before and then replenish yourself. Sauna, wear some trash bags, jumping jacks, and shadowboxing... have someone watch you so you don't pass out.

** try a dry cut. drink a lot of water that morning (like 2 gallons), maybe have a lil too much metamucil if you're not "regular" in your bowel movements, then don't eat the rest of the day and see what your bodyweight is like in 8hrs.

After you flush your body and shit a few times you can cut 5-6lbs often times. I dry cut before fights because I don't feel as dehydrated, that said it's only good for a small portion of weight loss. Basically emptying your stomach/intestines.

It all REALLY depends on when your weigh ins and competition are.

I hate to contradict your coach but I don't agree with the two 30min sessions a day. ask him for more details...ask him to tell you why maybe he knows something about you that we don't.


Other than the day before, it is pointless to get in the sauna all those other days. Your trainer is an idiot in regards to cutting weight.

Shit, you don't even need to worry about it until the day before if you're only 6-8lbs over. Just cut your calories a bit, do a lot more mild/moderate intensity cardio, and cut water weight the last day. 6-8lbs is nothing to lose in one day.

I lost 15lbs in 3 days for a competition not long ago, the first two consisted of just doing a boatload of cardio, the last day was just cutting my water weight.


I'm hesitant to call his trainer an idiot... but it sure as hell seems that way.

i take a shit and lose 3-4lbs... put on some thai liniment and sweat another 2... 6 lbs is nothing to lose really.

but again... i'm hesitant cause we don't even know how accurately he's weighing himself and stuff.


Well, I wouldn't call him an idiot in general, but just like you said, cutting water days ahead of time will really be doing nothing. He might know his stuff training-wise, but I doubt he is an expert on dropping weight.

I've heard trainers recommend all sorts of crazy things based off of nothing other than random ideas they came up with, or because that's what their instructors outdated theories were.

That amount of weight is nothing, just some extra cardio to drop maybe another pound or so, and then cut the water weight the last day up until the weigh in seems more than enough IMO.

In fact, I've ALWAYS strived to be heavier than my weight class up until I cut weight, and then gain as much back as I can before the match. It's always been an advantage in my eyes.


That IS the advantage of cutting weight. If by making weight you're doing things which will make you weaker on competition day (which, spending time in a sauna as much as prescribed by your trainer could well do if you're attempting to keep that water weight off for 7 days) the advantage is lost. T

he ability to drop weight quickly for weigh-ins, and then put it back on in time for competition while making sure you're rested, hydrated, fuelled up and ready to go for your competition is what gives you an advantage over someone who doesnt' cut weight.

And really, we're still all speculating here because he hasn't told us enough to really give him a good, specific recommendation as regarding his situation.


he needs this book:



That is my usual weight cut for wrestling (6-8lbs), and I generally just do it the day before/of weight ins depending on the time. Some foods that can help are negative calorie foods.

I munch on a lot of celery, and shed a little weight the week of and after that if I need to lose more then I do sprints in the wrestling room with sweats beneath trash bags. But if you can get to a sauna the day before you've got to make weight then just cut calories till then and sweat it out. Hope you do well in your tournament.


thanks for all the tips i really appreciate it.

for the record it is a grappling tournament and the weigh ins are at mat side so i will have next to no time to rehydrate. i completly agree that spending this much time in the sauna is ridiculous i did the two sessions today and i feel soooo drained. in the morning on an empty stomach i am around 157 and mid day with food in my stomach im around 163.


Something a friend pointed out to me regarding the 2x30min sessions per day in the sauna:

Trying to cut water weight over those 7 days makes no sense, I think we all agree on that. But you can use those sessions to condition your body to sweating a whole lot in that environment, so that when it comes time to actually cut the weight you can sit in the sauna for however long you need to, and your body will sweat out as much as it needs to.

The key to this, however, is to rehydrate yourself from these "practice" sauna sessions, because the goal isn't to lose water weight, it's to get used to the sauna. Just a counterpoint. Not sure if that's what your trainer was telling you, though, and that may be excessive as far as "practicing" time in the sauna.


You can rehydrate day of, no problem
that is how it works.
Is this your first time cutting?

I will guess weighins are in the AM?

you have to practice cutting long before this point.
you can dry cut like Xen said via water saturation/manipulation.

I would suggest a epsom salt bath
the night before vs a sauna
less draining.
and using some liniment like abolene
and if you have too bust out the plastics early early morning of.

you should be fine.
Its not a big cut.

to refuel/rehydrate For years I used
babyfood like peas sweet potoatoes
water a banana some protein via something like yogurt
then some real food as the day goes on.
like a big fat spinach salad with some eggs.

It really is part of the game-
and plays a bigger part then most people think
you need to see what your body can tolerate
and how long you need to recover.

The last thing I ever wanted to think about it weight.
If you are worried about making weight you
missed something in your training.



it is my first cut yes. the weigh ins for my division start at 1 p.m and the matches start right after.

so just to recap what you guys have been telling me here a good idea would be to cut whatever weight is left the night before in the sauna go to sleep dont eat or drink anything untill the weight in's then slowly refuel myself throughout the day

*he also has be drinking 7 L or water a day untill the day before which he said i should only drink around 1 L


the trainer is an expierienced fighter i dont know how much education he has on any kind of health science tho


So you have not practiced cutting?
And also how old are you
how long have you been training?

and it sounds like he is trying to prime your body to fill the water table, and
do what xen is referring to as a Dry cut.

see what you weigh the day/afternoon/night before and you need an accurate scale. like a real one.

how far away is the gig?
can you cut in the morning, if you are still heavy?
If the weigh ins are at 1pm it sounds like you have plenty of time to make it.

good luck.



how much cardio you actually did? have you lost any size then? were'nt your legs sore by the cmpetition time? i know you need to have at least 1week rest since last quads workout to fully see the details.
i also have a competition in 2,5weeks and need to lose ~6kilos to make the class. the weight-in is friday 7pm and the contest is begining 10am next day. should i do any carb load friday? or im risking not to make the class and it is better to rehydrate after the weight-in and start a carb load till the next day? how should i proceed?


wow this is quite the necro post.