Weight cutting experiment a failure by 81 grams.

When I committed to tomorrow's 100% Raw Powerlifting Toronto Open, I decided to enter the 100kg weight class thinking my bodyweight would be very close to that limit and any last minute weight cutting would be minimal.  As the date drew closer and my own dietary compliance ended up being less than optimal, I knew if I was going to make the 100kg weight class limit, I'd need to make a significant effort.

I had never before tried to do a significant weight cut on an 18 hr weigh-in.  The most I'd ever cut was 9 lbs based on a Monday morning bloat weight and my actual weigh-in weight the morning of the competition.  In actuality the amount of weight I actually cut in the last 48 hrs before the weigh-in was only 4 lbs.  In most meets that I've entered in the past three and a half years, the weigh-in period has been 2 hrs so there wasn't much sense in dramatic weight cuts since there isn't time to fully re-hydrate.  For the last competition in the 100% Raw Powerlifting federation, I didn't cut weight at all, just weighed in at my normal weight.  Since I had never before tried a significant weight cut, I foolishly thought it would be both easy and a fun experiment.

On Monday morning, after the previous night's Super Bowl indulgences, I weighed in at a bloated 239 lbs.  Going through the standard process of super-hydrating and reducing consumption of bulky foods, I started the actual cutting phase weighing 231 lbs.  At that time, Thursday morning, I didn't think 11 lbs would present that much of a challenge.  I drank about 1.5 liters of liquid Thursday with my last consumption of any liquid stopping at 1 pm.  When I weighed myself that evening, I was still 231 lbs.  I went to the gym and did some light cardio and then did 3 rounds in the steam room alternated with cold showers and a couple sessions in the whirlpool.  I went to bed that night weighing 229 lbs and was starting to worry the water wasn't leaving as quickly as I thought it would.

I woke up this morning still weighing 227.5 lbs about 10 hrs before my weigh-in.  At this point the "experiment" was no longer fun.  I did a hot bath at home and dropped 1/2 a pound.  I went back to the gym and started with three rounds in the steam room alternated with cold showers and whirlpool sessions.  My weight dropped 2.5 lbs after that.  I then dressed and did 30 minutes of easy cardio to keep up the sweating and to recover from the steam room.  That dropped another 1/2 lb.  I then did another two steam sessions and dropped 2 more pounds.  I was still about two pounds heavy by my scale so I did another hot bath, dropping another 1/2 pound.  At this point I was ready to pull the plug on my experiment since I really didn't need to be in the 100kg weight class.

Instead I hoped my scale at home was heavy and I bundled up in a few layers of clothing and drove to the weigh-in with the heater on full blast and my seat warmers on high.  Since I was driving from Oakville to Scarborough during the evening rush hour, this provided another hour to induce some sweating.  I also had a pack of gum in my pocket although I really hoped I wouldn't need it.  At the weigh-in my weight was now 100.31 kgs in my underwear.  Removing those dropped another 0.16 kgs.  I was still 0.15 kg over.  I was ready to just accept that number and lift in the 110 kg class but I still had the pack of gum so I went to the locker room and proceeded to chew and spit, my tactic of last resort.  It's also a great tactic to create an intense dislike of chewing gum.  After going through all five pieces of Hubba Bubba cherry watermelon, I re-weighed again.  100.08 kgs.  81 grams over the limit or about the weight of 14 quarters according to Wolfram Alpha.

I could've proceeded to the treadmill or the track and ran a few laps to get those final few ounces out of my pores but at that point the experiment wasn't worth it.  In hindsight, I failed to cut the required weight because I simply didn't have to do it.

I learned a lot by putting myself through the process but I'll likely never do it again.  I'm simply too fat at 230-235 lbs and if I lose the extra bodyfat that stubbornly clings, I'll actually weigh 220 lbs without having to manipulate my hydration levels.

After accepting my weigh-in weight, I proceeded to drink 1.5 litres of water and 500 ml of pedialyte.  Nearly as soon as the liquid hit my stomach, I started to sweat profusely.  I thought that reaction was interesting.  I then went to get some food.

So far I've eaten and drank the following since 6 pm:

2 Five Guys cheeseburgers with 'everything'
full regular order of Cajun fries (I needed the salt to help re-bloat for tomorrow)
3 refills of my 32 oz drink (diet coke)
order of Thai chicken bites at Boston Pizza  (I was hoping they'd be showing the Jeremy Lin game but they weren't and he ended up going off for 38 against trash-talking Kobe)
order of dry pepper rib tips at Boston Pizza
3 pints of ice water
2 pints of diet pepsi
500 ml of Pedialyte
500 ml of water

and urinated once.

Right now I weigh 235 lbs but I'm still thirsty so I'll probably drink another pint or two of water before I go to sleep.

Comments

  1. Oh man - been there!

    In my experience cutting weight, you want to avoid the sweat-phase for as long as you can. once you hit the steam room you will never piss again until you rehydrate, which makes it much much harder.

    Also, the hot bathes can be much more powerful than the 1/2 lb drops you got, but the water has to be scalding hot. (a little dangerous because you feel like you're going to pass out).

    If you fully immerse yourself in steaming water for 10-15 minutes, then cool off for 15-30, then back in a fresh tub: repeat, you can drop as much weight as you want.

    Looking forward to reading your meet report now!

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks Frank! Yeah, for some reason the water at my home isn't hot enough to get the full effect.

    ReplyDelete

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