Take off your hoodie!

When should you be cutting weight?

There is an endless debate between coaches and competitors on when to cut weight? Do you do it during practice? Do you do it on your own time? Both? Neither? (Well ok, that last one is not an option). 

The arguments are simple.  Many athletes like cutting weight during practice.  They still participate during practice but wear additional layers to sweat more, or some even just do cardio in the corner of the gym to lose the weight and don’t participate.  The pro argument is that it saves them from having to do an extra workout which will allow them to save their strength and decreases the opportunity for injury.

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 The con argument is that their training suffers.  They are missing out on valuable practice time where they could be improving.  Practicing while wearing extra layers and dehydrating yourself does technically count as practicing, but your performance and concentration suffer during this time and the benefit of training is greatly reduced.  Not only that, your training partners are suffering as well, as you are not able to train hard with them.  Which argument is stronger?

During my life on the mat I have been on both sides of the spectrum, as a competitor and now as a coach.  Personally, I’ve always been of the opinion that you should cut weight on your own time.  Practice is for practicing.  To be successful as an elite athlete, one must put in extra hours on their own time, these extra hours could be used for cutting weight.  Selfishly, when I go to practice to train, I don’t want my training partners to be cutting weight; I want them working out and testing me.  Besides, cutting weight during practice really takes the fun out of practicing.  At the end of the day, we’re playing a game, it should be fun.

This is just the opinion of a retired athlete turned coach.  At the end of the day, the most important thing is that after your cut weight, you grab some Rapid Rehydration.