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Case Study: Weight Cut for Path to Hex Mixed Martial Artist

In this blog ill take you through a weight cut for a mixed martial artist. If you haven't done so already, check out my blog on same day weight cuts for a general idea about weight cutting and a bunch of useful resources.

This athlete came to me weighing around 66kg and needed to weigh in for his fight at 61.5kg. He had less than 4 weeks to make this happen and 24 hours to refuel after his weigh in.

Step 1: Consultation

Every weight cut begins with a consultation to obtain fight details and a history of any past weight cuts and the strategies used to make weight if any. This information can be helpful because there are differences in how people respond to the different weight making strategies, so if we already have this information it saves some guesstimation and trial and error. We also discuss the training schedule, dietary intake, requirements, performance nutrition strategies and concerns.

Step 2: Set Targets

This athlete needed to lose ~5kg to make weight. This works out to be around 8% of his body weight. For 24hr weight cuts i set an upper limit of about 7% before implementing acute strategies. This means that the athlete needs to lose a prerequisite amount of body fat before implementing strategies such as passive/active sweating and carbohydrate/diet manipulation. Below are the thresholds for this particular athlete and we aimed to be within 3-5% of weigh in weight before beginning acute strategies.

Step 3: Select the Weight Making Tools

Next we determine which tools will be selected to make weight and how much we should expect to lose from implementing them.

Tool Number 1 will be a calorie deficit and the aim will be to lose 1.4-2.7 kg to get within 3-5% of the weigh in weight. The deficit started pretty aggressive (around -1000 calories) from our estimate of intake since we didn't have the luxury of time to get things right. Rapid weight loss is the goal. if weight is lost too fast in the first week, intake is adjusted. Then we wait...

The athlete managed to get down to 63.4kg by fight week, just over 3%, which was well within the set target of 3-5%. Now we need to select the next few tools to shave off the remaining 2.2kg. Remember, i have links to detailed resources about all of these tools in my blog Weight Cutting for Same Day Weigh Ins.

For the remaining kilos we will use the following tools:

  1. Carbohydrate manipulation

  2. Fluid Restriction

  3. Sodium Restriction

  4. Diet Manipulation (Low Residue Diet and Food Elimination)

After implementing all 4 of these tools, the athlete didn't lose all the weight expected. So this meant we needed to use a 5th tool. For this 5th tool we used a warm bath the night before and morning of the weigh in to cut the remaining 800g. Below is a timeline and description of how each of these tools were implemented and when.

Here is the final weight loss trend over the 3-4 week period. Great adherence and discipline from the client which is difficult to come by!

Hope you enjoyed the blog... if you have any questions hit me up on the gram @walidhouli

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