How To Cut Weight

by Caleb Lee on March 18, 2009

how-to-cut-weightIn competitive weight classes sports ALL athletes cut weight, (that is if they want to be successful long-term), so it’s important to learn how to cut weight.

The problem is there is almost NO good information out there about how to cut weight. You always learn how to do it from “other guys” who may (or more likely) may not be giving you good advice on how to safely cut weight for competitions.

Being that the effects of cutting too much weight too quickly… using the wrong methods… and not knowing how to re-hydrate are often diminished athletic performance and (unfortunately) some people even die — it’s important to learn how to do it.

So because I have no good advice for people wanting to do this except “sweat”. I figured I’d put together a “Guide” to the different guides available on the internet by people I respect and admire both for their scientific knowledge of how to cut weight… and… their practical experience of doing themselves!

“You Should Compete At Your Natural Weight”

That’s what some people think… those people are idiots. Seriously. If you’re competing in a weight-class sport, and they do weigh ins a significant time before the competition begins — your competitors are going to be cutting weight.

To the idiots who think “your natural weight is best and safer to compete at”: Do you want to be “right” or do you want to win?

Nuff said.

“Sure, I haven’t done ground work in a year or two — but it’ll be fun!”

A quick story: my friend was competing at a grappling tournament in Virginia Beach (not “VAh beach brah”). I hadn’t done ANY ground work in like a year or two (ground work being grappling, submission holds, etc)… so I said “sure! I’ll compete too–why not?”

The truth is grappling is a lot less scary to me than striking arts. When you get down to it, there’s really not THAT much that can go wrong — worse case — you might get choked out right?

So we drive down, he’s at his natural weight and competing there and I sure wasn’t preparing at all for this thing. So we go out for a couple Guinesses and food at a local pub the night before. Then we go back to the hotel room. And I decide that I want to try some tobacco dip.

Dipping = Me Getting OWNED

The two or three guinnesses barely got me buzzed… but for some reason when I put a dip pouch in my mouth I can’t stop sucking on it… and I was instantly light-headed like a mofo. I got hot, so I was laying on the air conditioner for a minute. Then I got freezing cold so I jumped under all the covers on the bed.

My friend laughed. A lot. Then I decided the steak sandwich I had ate earlier and guinness would be better in the bottom of a toilet bowel and not my stomach. So I go vomit for a good 5 minutes — draining my body of any useful nutrients.

He laughed harder.

The next morning I go to weigh in and I’m at close to 150 pounds… I don’t remember what I weighed but it was over 140. I should note, this was during my “let’s drink a gallon of guinness 4x per week!” phase of “bulking”. Come on, I had just turned 21 so I figured I could go crazy with drinking for a year… or two.

So I SHOULD be competing with the 130 lb (or even 120+lb) pip squeeks down at the other end of the mat but instead I’m in the 140+ something division.

“I Guess He Takes This Stuff Seriously?”

My first match is a guy darn near 6 feet tall… and apparently… he took this competition a lot more seriously than I did because he looks like his natural weight is 170′ ish. It doesn’t go well and I get choked out.

My next match the guy wasn’t nearly as big although still 150-160ish I’d guess, but when he shot in I caught him in a guillotine — and after going to the ground and him tapping me with an arm bar I learned the most important lesson about grappling tournaments: don’t be nice.

Try to break or immediately choke the life out of whatever you grab… because your opponent is going to do it. I tried to be “nice” and slowly choke him giving him time to tap (like you would do with a classmate while practicing) and he went to break my arm. So lesson learned.

I just thought that was a funny story about NOT cutting weight, now onto some useful stuff :)

First, Tim Ferriss Gives The Goods

ferriss-bjjI respect the hell out of Tim Ferriss. The guy is too smart for his own good and he knows a lot about a lot. He’s a jack of all trades like me and that’s cool.

He once won a Chinese kickboxing gold medal because he knew he could cut weight and throw the little asian dudes off the platform:

“I arrived the on-site at 187 lbs., weighed in at 165 lbs., and stepped on the platform to compete the next morning weighing 193 lbs.”

Pretty cool eh? Click Here to see his complete post on how to cut weight safely.

Second, Dr. Phil Stevens Shows How To Drop 20+lbs in 24 Hours


Dr. Phil Stevens is another “nerd” who has actually done the stuff he talks about in real life. In this case he wrote a great article about how to safely (not “healthy” as he points out) cut 20 pounds in a 24 hour window.

“While I feel what I documented here is the safest and most effective way to drop 20 plus pounds in a matter of hours, One must realize there is a HUGE difference between the word safe and the word healthy. There is no way I would suggest this procedure to someone to benefit them health wise. I would stress any and everyone to take something like this up with their personal physician prior to engaging in it.”

He did it for a powerlifting competition and you can click here to read it all.

Third, KrocMan Tells How To Cut Weight

The “Kroc” is a pretty badass dude. He doesn’t look like the incredible blob and he’s pretty darn strong (that’s an understatement). There’s a lot of cool youtube vids of him doing awesome stuff so look those up if you’re into that type of thing.

Here’s a great article of his on how to cut a lot of weight in a 24 hour period, from his article:

“I went from 250 lbs to 219 lbs for the 2007 Arnold in 22 hours.”

Pretty cool, and I even found two pictures of him before and after his weight cut. He says, “In the first pic I weigh 250lbs and the second one taken 12 hours later I weigh 228lbs. Pretty crazy huh?



So yeah those are the best articles I’ve found on how to cut weight — hope it helps!

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{ 1 trackback }

The Quickest Way To Lose Weight — "Double Your Gains"
March 30, 2009 at 2:45 pm

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew March 22, 2009 at 1:46 am

Great article, it helps alot,
but what the hell does the picture have to do with it?


Caleb Lee March 23, 2009 at 1:29 pm

@ Andrew:

1. She’s hot
2. She’s in a sauna where a lot of people cut weight…

… yeah, I know I was REALLY reaching for that one — but I wanted a beautiful half naked girl in the post, haha :)


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