Cutting weight for competition … ain’t that a pain

I have had to do it myself a number of times. As a participant in BJJ competitions, I am required to make a certain weight for a specific weight division. And as every competitor knows … “Cutting weight is a BITCH!!!

I used to compete at 175-180 lb weight divisions. I walked around at 185lb. Cutting to 175lb was not easy, especially the last few pounds.

Now I am walking around at 165 lb and compete at 163 lb. That makes it easier to make weight but sometimes I still need to lose more if I am a bit heavier. I’ve done running, cutting carbs, Epsom salt baths, wearing extra clothes while training, etc. Either way … the process is no fun and it is always nice to have an expert advice.

There are many methods out there. I found this article with videos, referred by Alan Belcher on his Facebook page. The advise is solid and sound. I like the carb friendly approach and reasonable approach to weigh cut and water cutting prior to weight-ins.

(again, this is an article I found and reposting on my blog. I am not the author)

“How to cut weight for mma: 6 Mistakes you may be making”

The first thing I need you to understand about cutting weight is the difference between dehydrating and losing fat.  There is a certain amount of fat that needs to be lost in order to reach a weight that is within range.   Range of your weight class that is.

Say for example , you are trying to make 155 lbs but you weight 185, as your trainer I would need you to be 165 lbs a week before weigh ins or even better 10-14 days.  All the weight you lose up until that point must be fat or muscle.  Sorry, yeah, you will be losing a lot of muscle mass.

The diet you use up until that point is very important.  You must lose fat, yet A. maintain as much muscle as possible B. Maintain high energy for training C. Get the right nutrients needed to recover and keep your hormones and blood sugar balanced.

After you reach your in-range weight, it’s all water weight from there.  It should be done on the last day or 2 days before weigh-in.

Let’s get to the mistakes.  I’ll break it down in two categories.  A. Total training camp fat loss diet and B. Fight week weight cut diet

A. Total camp diet mistakes

1.  Fighters are eating way to few carbs.  They are trying to go 100% paleo and there not getting enough grains after training to recover.  Carbs are not bad, get that out of your head.

2.  You’re eating too little protein.  You guys are melting your muscle away faster than your fat.

3.  You are focusing on the weight cut, (i.e. *eating very low calories), and not for performance, recovery, hormone balance.

B. Fight week mistakes

1.  You continue to deprive your self of calories the last week, and most of the time you eat even less the week of the fight.  WAKE UP, you’re not going to lose anymore weight,  you’ll just lose muscle, stored energy, VO2….. It’s fight week, what you eat this week will reflect in your fight.

2.  I see guys cutting water way too far out.  Stop weighing your self after every workout at night and going to sleep without dinner.  It’s unhealthy and embarrassing.

3.  Stop starving yourself the last couple days,  food weight is what it is, it’s not going to magically turn into more.  If you stop eating, your body will lock up and cause you more problems getting off those last couple pounds.  You can kiss those BM’s good bye too if you starve yourself.

I am a huge fan of doing research for yourself.  Get out there, google, youtube, ask experts…. Don’t take my word for it or any other one person.  I have found some really good resources and I’ve posted them below.  Enjoy! Knowledge is power!


Here’s a solid article I found over at

How To Make Weight By Shedding Pre Fight Pounds

by JimmySmith on October 11, 2010

The topic of making  or cutting weight before a mma fight or wrestling match is a important topic. I recently wrote an article about mma nutrition,which got a lot of positive feedback in the mma community. What I didn’t do was touch on how to shed pre fight weight without compromising strength and energy.

I want to cover proper techniques and methods for losing weight without stripping yourself of all your energy and your strength in the process. I’ll break this up into a multi-part article in order to focus on each area. This can drastically change how you look on the day of the fight from how you look during the weigh-in.lose weight pre fight 300x165 How To Make Weight By Shedding Pre Fight Pounds

Before I begin, remember that making weight has everything to do with your year round diet. You can’t ballon up in-between fights and expect to suck back down quickly. You want to stay within a ten pound range of your fight weight. That’s the easiest way to make your fight weight, don’t get fat!

First we’re going to talk about fluid restriction

It’s the simplest and most effective way to starting your pre fight weight loss process. Every action in your body requires fluid but when you remove the fluid, you lose water weight and that easily accounts for about 5-8 pounds of body weight.

Sadly, most fighters go to extreme and restrict water for days. This is completely backwards thinking as eliminating water causes the body to release various hormones that force your body to actually retain water! Not what you want as this stage.

This effortless process works time and time again. 3-4 days before a weigh in I advise individuals to consume upwards of 2 gallons of water a day. You also should raise your sodium at this point as well.

1-2 days before a weigh in I’ll advise you to bring your water down to a gallon. At this point, you should notice that you’re going to the bathroom often. Sodium is still high but not as high as it was the past 48 hours.

24 hours before a weigh-in is where the magic happens. Now this varies from individual to individual but I usually advise people to cut water to a “i need it” basis. That means, if you aren’t going to pass out, you’re only sipping water.

Supplements to cut weight

Some of the best supplements to cut weight work by forcing water weight out of your body in a rapid method.  Some of the better supplements are

  • Dandelion root
  • Asparagus
  • Vitamin B 6

Cutting weight is a science that needs to be monitored over a 24-48 hours period because your body will lose water fast.


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