Cutting 102

Now that I’ve gotten the “meat and potatoes” out of the way in the previous post (for those who didn’t Read 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 off are going to come from water weight.

But there are some tricks that can help you not only lose the weight easier, but a new strategy that I’m using and promoting with the wrestlers I train and we’re all having great success!

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 a weigh-in.

For those who want to reference it, I’m pulling a lot of the information below from the 5-Day Certification/Cutting Plan my wife designed for me the wrestlers I train (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.

So 2 days before cut 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 a lot of people, and 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 and having multiple pounds of excrement backed up in your large intestine weighing you down is going to force you to have to sweat off a few more pounds than you would need to otherwise.

As far as the sodium goes, you don’t need to completely eliminate it from your diet; but be weary about what you’re eating because it’s very common in foods, especially processed/packaged foods.

Some things I like to eat, especially the last 2 days are unsalted, raw nuts (usually cashews) and Organic Peanut Butter (doesn’t need to be organic; like I said in Cutting 101, I’m a dirty hippie).

There is a bit of sodium in PB so just be sure to keep your eye on it, or look for reduced sodium types.

It’s amazing, at least to me, how full, or at least not hungry, a handful or two of nuts can do for you.

In addition to that, the total amount of food you’re ingesting is really small so not only will this not weigh you down (if you’re eating it the day of a weigh in or the afternoon/evening before a morning weigh in) but it also won’t add a lot of #2 (I sounds like my grandma) to your Large Intestine that may or may not have time to work it’s way out before you step on the scale.

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

Now, the next major piece of the puzzle…

Fluid Restriction

The next big thing, which I’m sure you’re familiar with, is the process of dehydrating your body; which 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 as I’m sure you won’t always have the luxury of having the day to take care of it like I did.

You have school, practice, homework, etc. that 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 20ish hours of weigh-ins and do your best to time it in such a way that you get off the majority, if not all of your weight off as close to weigh-ins 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 (which oftentimes is the night before a morning weigh-in) you’re body will more readily sweat and lose weight.

I remember back in high school where I would extend dehydrating myself over the course of a couple days, and as a result, would only lose a pound, if that, the practice before weigh-ins the next day.

On top of that, I’d have one, 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.

When you drag the process out over time your body becomes more and more resistant to giving up 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 and predictably losing weight at the end of my last cut (about a pound every 20 minutes, which based on trial cuts is about a pound less in that time period; but I was still happy with the results).

So anyway, to sum up the fluid restriction section- obviously take into account the time you have to lose weight along with the weight you have to lose, but do your best to dehydrate your body down to weight within the last day, if at all possible.

Finally, along with fluid restriction comes our favorite thing:


Good news- I’ve found a new way to get pounds off without excessive running in sweats (obviously I’m allowed to use rubber suits, saunas, etc., but I’ve really taken a liking to this new way and you can do it in the comfort of your own home).

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

So after seeing that and other similar videos I decided to see just how much I lost sitting in a Hot Tub and was both surprised and excited when I lost close to 3 pounds in 30ish minutes one day when I was using it as a form of recovery.

I thought I may be on to something so I decided to test a few of them out the Saturday before my Friday weigh-in to see if I could consistently lose weight using hot baths.

During the 3 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.

Obviously try these out for yourself before using it to cut weight.

Maybe you won’t respond as well, or maybe it will make you dizzy and/or negatively affect your performance in another way.

But I have had a lot of personal success with them.

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

Obviously the hotter the bath the faster your core temperature will rise and the faster you’ll get sweating.

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

So definitely experiment with it and find out what works best for you before implementing it when it matters, but I highly suggest giving them a shot.

I mean, think about it- after a day or two of light eating and hard practices, is running an additional couple of pounds off something that’s high on your things to do list the night before a weigh-in?


No one likes cutting weight, but we all like winning.

And while cutting weight is, and will always be apart of any sport with weight classes, there are better ways to go about it than throwing on 3 layers of sweats and jogging around a mat in the morning.

So put some of these ideas into practice and let me know how it goes.

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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