Dieting and cutting weight is a major part of all the sports in which I actively compete. There are weight classes, and it’s generally the case that fighting up a weight class is more challenging than fighting in your own. That’s why many people in judo, jiu jitsu, wrestling, mma, cut down. I would say that wrestling and mma take it to another level, cutting 20-30 lbs for important matches. Judo and jiu jitsu guys usually cut a lot less, as weight is slightly less critical in these two sports. I’m sure I’ll write many posts on this subject, as it’s probably one of the more challenging aspects of competition versus training.
What I’m writing about today is the observation that many people lie about their weight, saying they weigh less than they actually do. I’m not talking about soccer moms carrying a couple extra holiday pounds. I’m talking about wrestlers, fighters, judoka that are in good shape, great shape even. For example, I’ve been telling everyone who asks and myself in the last couple weeks that I’m 175 lbs. While I did hit 175 two weeks ago, I’m closer to 180 now from after the holidays. It may seem like it doesn’t matter, but I believe it really does. It matters not for some higher abstract reason but for the practical purpose of making weight. I’ve been thinking about it and I believe it’s important to be honest with yourself and by extension with others about exactly how much you weigh if you’re planning on competing soon.
For upcoming competitions, I have to weigh:
- 178 in one week
- 178 in two weeks
- 175 in 4 weeks
My telling people that I weigh 175 (an exaggeration of 2-4 lbs) has made me relaxed and is more likely to lead to a stressful week of dieting before the competition. For me, hands down the biggest reason for not enjoying a tournament last year was if I had to cut weight (even a little) the day before or the same day.
And if you can’t make the weight you’d like without stressful last minute cutting, I believe the right thing to do is to work on accepting it early (as in 2-3 days before), and fighting up a weight class.