“…divide each of the difficulties under examination into as many parts as possible, and as might be necessary for its adequate solution.”
-Rene Descartes (1)
Dualsim can fight me… only if my mind could cut weight so that my body wouldn’t have to.
If any of you have read my last post you know that I just mutilated a bunch of records. Technically these were American records for the USAPL, but they haven’t been updated yet. They are probably waiting on official drug test results. If you notice the junior Texas records are actually a little higher for the squat and total and I know what you are wondering.
YES I DID THAT INTENTIONALLY
I thought it would be funny if I dropped weight and actually lifted more weight. Honestly, the goal was to bench a lot more, then come back up to 165lbs and bench less (for a joke), but I’m not that good. I could just bench less at 165, but since my meet bests are the same for both of those I don’t really see the point.
Hopefully you made it through that benign aside. I wanted to outline in this article how I cut weight without putting on a sauna suit, sweating and spitting, and really not making my life suck more than it already did. I will outline the steps that I took (in order) to more or less ensure a somewhat easy 5-10 lb. weight drop.
Generally I follow a pretty low carbohydrate diet. This is a personal preference; I’ve seen people thrive on just about any type of diet (from fruititarians to meat only eaters). However for powerlifting, I don’t see much of a point in eating carbohydrates. Now this may seem as sacrilege, but for anyone who actually understands the bioenergetic systems would make mention that when lifting a heavy weight only twice there is more or less no need for glycolysis. Either stored ATP or the Creatine Phosphate are just about as far as you NEED to go, thus I don’t see the use in eating the government mandated 300 grams, but I still get a few sometimes.
Dropping carbs two weeks out from a meet will often times be all someone needs to do to drop weight. This essentially makes you store far less glycogen, which is “quick” energy, but it is mostly water that can weigh you down, make you miss weight, and lift at the bottom end of the weight class above the one you wanted.
A lot of power athletes that take creatine either cycle it or take it regularly. I take it to supplement my vegetarian habit (promotes brain performance) and any benefit to power or strength are simply side effects. Honestly, I’d much rather have a stellar brain than a stellar squat.
One problem with creatine is that often times people gain water weight with it, which is perfectly fine, but not when you are trying to make weight and every ounce counts.
I stopped taking creatine one week out. It is very doubtful that there was any knock to my strength (I did squat the most I ever have… easily). Typically any gains in strength from creatine supplementation are kept as long as intensity in training is maintained. Thus, it probably helped to drop it.
NO CAFFEINE EITHER
Dropping this is more to let you body stabilize and reap the benefits of both the diuretic effect and the performance enhancing effect the day of the meet.
Lets be honest, going a week without caffeine will suck A LOT, but it won’t kill you.
When I talk water loading most people don’t understand what I mean. We’re talking drinking at least 3 gallons of water a day if you’re small (under 160lbs.) and more if you are larger. Starting this about 5 days out seems to work wonders.
I will say that the evening before the meet, stop drinking between noon and 3pm depending how you feel. So that means you will need to load all of your water that day much earlier. Honestly you will be super thirsty that evening because your body is used to so much water, but you’ll have to just deal with that thirst.
NO SOLID FOOD
Now I don’t recommend that you do this unless you have to. 1 week out I didn’t eat any solid food. Yeah, I know. It really sucked, but I made weight and set records, so you decide if it was worth it.
I pretty much just drank protein shakes. Without any coffee this made me want to kill the world.
CUT OUT FIBER
Oddly enough, you would think that just because I’m only drinking food that I’m not getting any fiber. However, in my case this was not true. I actually consumed tons of hemp protein powered. It kept me regular and I like it.
However, the reason that cutting out fiber 3-4 days before is because fiber will often times makes you store water in your gut and some people get some irritation (or inflammation) from eating fiber which is odd, but it happens.
The night before the meet, I went against my only liquid diet. I had a little bit of peanut butter. The reason why I did this is because I desperately needed calories (as many as possible) without the bulk or weight of food in my stomach.
I also stopped drinking all fluids at 3 pm. which was…. Fun.
Before the weigh in I loaded up on caffeine. The plan was to benefit from alteration in calcium ion release at the cellular level (2). Essentially, caffeine can make you more explosive, but you need to take 6mg/kgbw which for me was about 400mg, I didn’t think it was a ton, but for those of you who aren’t as addicted as myself maybe you want to give it a try before the competition.
After the weigh in, I consumed tons of peanut butter (to stabilize my blood sugar from the coming insulin spike) granola (insulin spike) and pedialyte (to hydrate). Then I proceeded to crush it…
References (come fight me)
- Descartes, R. (1967). Discourse on method. The philosophical works of Descartes, 1, 116.
- Astorino, T. A., & Roberson, D. W. (2010). Efficacy of acute caffeine ingestion for short-term high-intensity exercise performance: a systematic review. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 24(1), 257.