Cutting 102

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Now that I’ve gotten the “meat and potatoes” out of the way (Cutting 101 and Wrestling Nutrition), let’s get into some of the ways I prefer to cut weight.

Obviously the final pounds you’re looking to cut are going to come from water weight.

But there are some tricks that can help you lose the weight easier. Additionally, I have a new strategy that’s been very helpful thus far. I’ve had success with it as well as some of the wrestlers I work with.

Diet Adjustments

First off, there are a few things you’re going to want to do to your diet the last couple of days before you step on the scale.

For those who want to reference it, I’m pulling a lot of the information below from the 5-Day Certification/Cutting Plan (Click Here to read the 5-Day Plan).

Obviously 5 days isn’t going to cut it with multiple matches a week. So, I’ve abbreviated things to help you make weight as easily as possible.

You start 2 days before by cutting the following:

1. Dairy and Soy.

2. Sodium (keep a close eye on sauces, packaged/canned foods, etc.).

Both dairy and soy have the tendency to bloat people. The last thing you want before a weigh-in is for your body to be holding water.

In addition, it can also slow digestion in many people. Having multiple pounds of excrement in your large intestine will just weigh you down and force you to have to sweat off more weight.

As far as the sodium goes, you don’t need to completely eliminate it from your diet. Just keep your eye on it when you’re eating. It’s very common in foods, especially packaged foods.

Some things I like to eat the last 2 days are unsalted, raw nuts (usually cashews) and peanut butter.

It’s amazing how not hungry I feel after I eat a handful or two of nuts. I don’t feel full, but I also don’t feel like I’m starving.

In addition to that, the total amount of food you’re ingesting is very small. As a result, it really won’t add any weight to the scale. This makes it a great snack the day before and day of weigh-ins.

Anyway, those are some diet adjustments that I’ve found to have the most impact.

Now, the next piece of the puzzle…

Fluid Restriction

The next big thing is the process of dehydrating your body. This usually begins by restricting your water intake.

Generally speaking, I think this starts a little too early for most wrestlers.

Obviously, you need to take into account the total time you have to make weight.

You have school, practice, homework, etc. which all factor in to the time you have to get to weight.

However, I’d really try to do your best to limit your fluid restriction to within 20 or so hours of weigh-ins. Also, try to time things in such a way that you get the majority, if not all of your weight off as close to weigh-in as possible.

This will limit the total time you’re dehydrated, which, as you know, has an impact on your performance.

In addition, when you stay adequately hydrated up until the last possible moment you will sweat a lot easier.

I remember back in high school when I would dehydrate over the course of a couple days. As a result, I would only lose a pound, if that, the practice before weigh-ins.

On top of that, I’d have 1, if not 2 practices where I would put forth really low quality efforts because I was already dehydrated.

When you only have so many practices to get better before the end of the year, pissing them away because you’re already dehyrated is counterproductive.

Additionally, when you extend the process your body becomes more resistant to losing water.

However, when you do it in one shot, while your sweat may slow down towards the end, you’re able to lose it at a faster rate.

From a personal example- I was still consistently losing weight at the end of my last cut. I was losing about a pound every 20 minutes.

To summarize- take into account the time you have to lose weight along with the weight you have to lose. Then, if at all possible, do your best to dehydrate within 20 or so hours of weigh-ins. Obviously, the closer you are to weigh-ins, the better.


Good news- I’ve found a new way to get pounds off without having to run in sweats!

Here’s a video of NCAA champ Johny Hendricks cutting weight:

After watching this and other videos like it, I decided to see just how much I lost sitting in a Hot Tub. I was both surprised and excited when I lost close to 3 pounds in 30 minutes the first time I tried it.

Because it was so successful, I decided to test out a few hot baths the Saturday before my Friday weigh-in.

During the three 20-minute baths I took I lost 2 pounds each time.

Even on the day of my cut I still lost a pound every 15-20 minutes, and that’s when I was in the 140s and getting really close to weight.

If you decide to use hot baths, make sure you try it out before actually cutting weight.

You may not respond well. But you won’t know until you try, so make sure you do some trial runs ahead of time.

One tip I have based on my limited experience with them is to make the temperature tolerable for 20-25 minutes.

Obviously the hotter the bath, the faster your core temperature will rise and the sooner you’ll start to sweat.

But, if you’re in and out every 5 minutes because it’s too hot, it may affect your ability to get down to weight in a sensible amount of time.

So definitely experiment with it and find out what works best for you.

I mean, think about it- after a day or two of light eating and hard practices, is running a bunch of miles in sweats something you really want to do?


No one likes cutting weight.

But, we all like winning.

And while cutting weight is, and will always be part of any sport with weight classes, there are better ways to go about it than throwing on 3 layers of sweats and jogging for miles on end.

So put some of these ideas into practice and let me know how things go.

And, as always, leave me a comment below with any questions you may have.

Related Posts:

Weight Loss and Performance

How To Ace Your Certification

Certification Plan

Refueling Post Weigh-Ins

Best Way To Rehydrate Post Weigh-Ins

How To Maintain Muscle When Making Weight

4 Responses to Cutting 102

  1. Heather Embrey December 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

    Would really like to know how to help my son’s recover after cutting weight. So they feel rehydrated and ready to wrestle that morning. Does your wife do diet plans for wrestlers out of the area. We live in Northern California, and my son is a very competitve wrestler. We downloaded your strength program and he is using it 4 days a week in his sports fitness class. I think where he lacks is a good diet. Especially being at school from 8 to 5:30. Love your post, and thanks for your commitment to this great sport.

    • Dickie December 2, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

      Hey Heather,

      That’s actually the next post I’ll be putting up either Wednesday or Thursday. I’ll send out an email with a link to it as soon as I post it (I’m assuming you’re on my email list, but if not, that will be the fastest way to find out about it).

      My wife works with quite a few wrestlers…all of whom are easier to work with than me, lol! Feel free to send her an email at I told her that you may be emailing her, so she will be on the lookout.

      Glad to hear the program is going well. which one is he doing and do you have any questions on it that I can help you with?

      Thanks for the comment and talk to you soon.


  2. Dustin December 3, 2012 at 1:57 am #

    Thanks for the great blog. I come here often. I am in the process of getting back into wrestling and hopefully start coaching; but needless to say I’ve let myself slack off 🙁 I have tons of wrestling knowledge but always lacked in diet. What are your suggestions foe someone getting back into the sport on such a long layover that would be easy to follow. Thanks

    • Dickie December 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

      Great to hear you’re getting back into things, and thanks for visiting so often. I think the biggest thing to focus on when getting started again is just taking it day by day while focusing on your successes. I actually stopped lifting as much for a few months and recently just got back on a regular schedule with that. Rather than focus on where I was versus where I am, I’m instead just simply focused on the act of getting in the weight room, having fun, and looking to make a little progress each day.

      Over the last couple years of training in MMA, I’ve really come to learn the importance of having a strong mind. Back when I was wrestling I thought mental toughness just came from getting through tough practices and pushing myself hard; but I’ve since learned there’s a lot more to it.

      Check out these two posts to get started:

      Wrestling Mental Toughness

      A Mental Lesson That Slapped Me In The Face

      And if you haven’t yet, be sure to sign up for my newsletter because I’ll be sending out some emails this month as I post a couple more mental training blogs.

      Hope this helps man. Feel free to leave me more comments with questions; I’ll be sure to get back to you.

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