Disclaimer: This article is about WEIGHT CUTTING WHICH IS NOT THE SAME AS WEIGHT LOSS. Use of this method by non-athletes to look slimmer will endanger their life. Even athletes are not recommended to use this method without an Expert Supervision. We won’t be responsible for any misuse of this information. Also this only depicts the method used by one of PAK MMA Pro Fighter. Slight variations may exist in weight cutting methods used by other athletes.
Here is the transformation I went through during the 24 hours before my fight weigh-ins.
The first picture (left side) was taken after the two rounds of sauna in which I had cut 3.5 Kg. The second picture was taken after cutting 5.5 Kg on the night prior to weigh in day by sitting in the sauna. On the weigh in day (next morning) I cut the rest of 6 Kg and then weighed in at 52.5 Kg which is the required weight for my weight class (Straw Weight).
Everyone has been asking me how is it possible to cut all that weight in one day and here I will explain how I did it. Although you can find a lot of articles on the internet that explain these extreme weight cutting methods, but here’s my way doing it:
What I did was, I cut my ‘Water weight’ and lost as less ‘muscle weight’ as possible. The thing about dropping water weight is that you can gain most of it back in around 24 hours if you rehydrate properly after the weight cut, so this gives fighters and edge to be heavier on the fight day (the more you weigh, the more strength you have). Dropping water weight means taking out the water from your body so that the weight of water in your body is no more there.
1. Eliminate Salt from your diet
The first thing to do for this is to cut down your sodium intake at least 3 weeks before your weight cut. That means ‘No Salt!’. Whatever you eat/drink must not have any salt in it because salt has sodium and if you have sodium in your body the water will be soaked up in your muscles and your body will be retaining water (which you don’t want).
2. Increase Water intake
Secondly, at least 3-4 weeks prior to the weight cut, I increase my water intake to 5-6 liters daily. This much water intake will leave you feeling bloated and you will be going to the wash room every 30-40 min but that is exactly what we want. We want the body to get used to flushing out water and whatever we drink goes straight down the drain. What it also does is that the water will boost up your metabolism and it is always good to be drinking lot water when you’re training and sweating a lot.
3. Maintain Clean Diet and Train Regularly
I maintain a clean diet and train 2 times a day during the camp which helps me lose the extra fat in my body and get ripped. This is the routine I follow throughout the month before the fight.
4. 72 hours prior to Weigh-In; Start Water-Loading
Now when there are 2 days left for the weigh-ins, a bit of change in the water intake and diet is required. Let’s say you have to be on your required weight on Friday 7PM, and today is Tuesday; so your day will start after 7PM Tuesday (t-48hrs). What you have to do on this day is that you will be drinking up to 19 liters of distilled water and complete the water intake until 7PM Wednesday. So if you sleep for 8 hours, then you must me drinking around 1.2 liters every hour. What I eat on this day is mostly proteins and the only carbs I take are green leafy vegetables.
5. 48 hours prior to Weigh-In; Eat Low Weight and High Calories Food
The next day (starts after 7PM Wednesday) I will cut my water intake to half. This means, I drink 9 to 10 liters of water in these 24 hours. By now you will be going to the washroom every 20 to 30 minutes and your body will be flushing out all the water that you are drinking. What I eat during these 24 hours is LOW WEIGHT AND HIGH CALORIE foods like dry fruits (prunes, dried cranberry, cashew nuts, unsalted peanuts, unsalted peanut butter and of course, black coffee to start my day). How you eat today is also very important: you must eat 1-2 prune sized meals which means 12-15g of dried fruits, or one table spoon of peanut butter in the intervals of EVERY TWO HOURS. I eat nothing else, and only take this diet and eat a handful of nuts, not more, after every two hours. So if you are sleeping for 8 hours, you will be eating 8 meals during these 24 hours, along with 9-10 liters of water.
6. 24 hours before Weigh-In; Stop drinking and eating
24 HOURS BEFORE THE WEIGH IN; I stop eating and drinking and make sure I have emptied my bowels, by dumping out all the extra weight in the wash room.
7. Sweat out the Water Weight by Sauna
In these 24 hours all I do is take out the water from my body. In order to so, I will sit in the sauna for 10mins and then rest for 15 min in an air conditioned room, and then check how much weight I dropped after the first round. Let’s say you dropped 1.5 kg in the first round of sauna. Now you go another round of 10 min and then 15min rest in AC room, and check weight again. I repeated the drill 5 times and my water weight dropped from 64 kg to 58.5 kg. The process is painful and you would start feeling weak and dehydrated by now. We leave the rest of the weight cut for tomorrow morning. Now I go to my room. Take 2, 3 sips of water and get a good night’s sleep. I wake up get fresh, eat nothing, drink nothing, and go to the sauna around 3pm to start cutting the rest of the weight. The good part is, I have dropped another Kilo gram of water weight during the rest time in the night. So now I have to cut 5 Kgs instead of 6. Since I feel very weak and dehydrated, I will be doing one 10min round in sauna and the rest will be 5 min rounds with longer breaks depending upon how I’m feeling. Check your weight after every round and make sure not to push too hard. Cutting this much weight is not easy and not everyone has the will power to go through so much pain, and if you feel fainted or dizzy stop the weight cut because it will be dangerous beyond this point and could result in a cardiac arrest. Alhamdulillah I followed the right method and was able to cut the remaining 5kgs until 7 PM and weighed in at 52.5 Kg.
8. Rehydrate after the Weigh In and Recover
The MOST IMPORTANT part of the weigh cut before a fight is rehydration. When you lose all that water from your body, it is not just water that’s leaving your body; it takes all the electrolytes and minerals out of your body with it which makes you feeling extremely dull and weak. Right after recording my weight at the weigh-ins, I drank my supplements, which are: One scoop of Amino acids, and one scoop of Glutamine. This will help boost my muscle recovery and provide the necessary vitamins to my body. After that I drink coconut water and electrolytes 1.5 liter every hour for at least 3 hours. Now I can eat. What I will be eating in these 21 hours is lots and lots of carbohydrates. And will avoid all and any food that has sugar. Boiled rice, pasta, roti, bread, beans, lentils, oats, wheat, barley eat any of these and take two meals before you go to bed. What I do is, I take a big bag of oat meal cookies and keep eating after every 20 min. And keep drinking electrolytes, water and Gatorade. Then I sleep for at least 10 hours. After that I have my breakfast, still loading up on carbs, then have a high carb, and protein meal around 4pm on the fight day (I had subway sandwich). Since the event starts at 7, and I want the food to digest, I will stop eating 3 hours before the fight. Bananas are also a very good pre-fight meal.
Before the fight I checked my weight and I was 62kg which gave me an edge on strength. But cutting 11.5 Kg affected my stamina very badly and I advise all the fighters who cut weight before fights to cut maximum 4-6 Kg, anything more than that can have terrible results. Your muscles will start cramping and you will be tired as hell when you go to the 2nd round of the fight, and trust me you don’t want that.
I hope this article will help athletes who are looking to cut weight. Feel free to ask any questions if any of the instructions are not clear.