Freestyle State is this weekend for Illinois. For those of you competing, and for future reference, here are some weight cutting guidelines.
First and foremost, let me address diet. Even the best weight cutters out there will benefit from a proper nutrition regimen with lean meats, green veggies, fish, eggs, and select fruits. That being said, lets gett to the fun part.
1. Be realistic. A recent JSCR article on weight cutting found that when wrestlers cut more than 5% of their bodyweight, they were mentally, but NOT physically fatigued. On average, we cut around 3-7%, with extremes of 10% but generally no more than that a week out. Obviously, those used to the cutting process have a higher tolerance.
2. Be disciplined. A little bit of salt or carbohydrates at the wrong time can completely ruin the weight cutting process. Do not let temptation get the best of you!
3. Drink water. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it is necessary. If you stop drinking water or eating salt sooner than a day out from weigh-in, your body will do all it can to hold onto water by means of hormones called ADH and Aldosterone. However, by drinking lots of water a few days out, it will prime your body to cut more water the day of weigh-ins!
4. Limit Carbs. Carbohydrates convert to glycogen, and each gram holds about 2-3 ounces of water. Make sure you limit them during your cut.
5. Eat! The worst thing you can do is starve yourself. That isn’t a license to eat whatever you want (obviously) but you do need fuel for training sessions and weight cutting. Make sure you’re eating from the above selection.
So, how do we structure our weight cuts? We start a week out, so let’s assume weigh-ins are on a Friday.
Friday-Wednesday (5-8% away from weight): Water, water, water. Depending on your size, you should be drinking 1.5-2gallons per day. Bring a gallon jug with you everywhere you go. Sodium is ok right now and make sure the majority of food you eat is eggs, lean chicken and fish, green veggies and a little fruit.
Thursday (~5% away from weight): Cut out all sodium and cut water intake in half. No sauces, salt, or dressings allowed…at all. Stop drinking around 5-7pm (usually we stop drinking right after re-hydrating from practice).
Friday (~3% away from weight): At your wake up, you should be 1-2% lighter. No water is allowed today until weigh in. If you must chew ice chips or gum, that is fine, but spit it out. You should still be sweating and urinating. Have a light workout to lose the remaining weight. A sauna can be used but should not be necessary. Congratulations, you made weight!
How do you all make your weight?