Cutting Weight: Why Getting It Wrong Can Cost You the Match
If you've clicked on this article, chances are you're either a combat athlete or you're closely connected to one. Over the years in the gym, I've seen a thing or two—especially when it comes to weight cutting. I've seen fighters soar to victories with smart strategies and, unfortunately, others who faltered because they cut weight the wrong way.
Let's deep dive into why some traditional weight cutting methods might not be your best bet and how they can hamper your performance when you need to be at your peak.
The Myths & Missteps of Weight Cutting
1. Starving Yourself: Oh, the allure of skipping meals to shed those extra pounds! But here’s the catch: * Nutrition Depletion: Denying your body essential nutrients means you're also denying it energy. Lack of energy translates to less power and endurance during your fight. * Slower Recovery: Protein isn't just for building muscles; it's vital for repairing them. Starving means slower recovery and more susceptibility to injuries.
2. Extreme Dehydration: I've seen fighters skip water or even hit the sauna in heavy gear to sweat out the 'water weight'. But: * Hydration = Performance: Our muscles are about 75% water. Dehydration means reduced muscle function, which can be a game-changer in combat sports. * Cognitive Function: A dehydrated brain is a slower brain. Reaction times can drop, and decision-making can become questionable.
3. Using Laxatives or Diuretics: This can lead to: * Electrolyte Imbalance: Essential for muscle function and nerve transmission, an imbalance can lead to cramps and even heart irregularities. * Gastrointestinal Distress: Nobody wants an upset stomach in the middle of a fight. Enough said.
Weight cutting is an art—a balancing act between meeting weight requirements and ensuring peak performance. It's vital to remember that the number on the scale is just one part of the equation. What truly matters is how you feel when stepping into the ring or onto the mat. After all, a few pounds aren't worth compromising your hard-earned skills and training.
Note: Always consult with a health professional before making any drastic changes to your diet or hydration habits.
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