The Best Way Of Cutting Weight For BJJ

Bernardo Faria - No Gi Half Guard
NEW DVD by Bernardo Faria - No Gi Half Guard

BJJ is a weight class-based sport. As such, competitors are required to weigh within a  certain weight limit. The worst reason for getting disqualified even before you enter a tournament is because of being over the weight limit.  So in order for people to be able to compete, they must be on point with their weight. However, most people in competitive sports, especially grappling martial arts, are always looking for even the slightest edge. It might be supreme technical knowledge, an endless gas tank, high-level strategy or even weight manipulation. With weight manipulation, people tend to look to subtract rather than add. that’s where cutting weight for BJJ takes place.

Cutting weight for BJJ is a very common practice among grapplers of all kinds of grappling martial arts. It is very common among high school and college wrestlers. Their approach to making weight is to get super heavy over the weekend and then start eating well on Monday. By Wednesday, they’re cutting back on food and water. IT goes even further by Thursday when all they have are snacks and sips of water. IT stays like that all the way until Saturday and the cycle starts over again. In terms of cutting weight, it is as worse a method as possible.

BJJ Fanatics
HURRY UP & use checkout code: FANOM10 for 10% off on ALL PRODUCTS

An Easy Nutrition Plan For Grapplers:

Weight Cutting In Sports

One common thread that ties most grappling sports together is weight-class based competition. Consequently, there is the practice of cutting weight for BJJ. However, cutting is not a practice that’s solely relegated to grappling and combat sports. It’s also done by jockeys, rowers, and gymnasts. So, if you’re training in a sport where you have to cut weight to compete, makes sure to read on. Even if you’re just dedicated to strength, conditioning, and wellness, it’s still helpful to know how hydration and dehydration can affect your body.

First, let’s look at the science behind an unexpected strategy for cutting weight. Namely,  drinking a ton of water and saving your weight cut for the last day is actually better than gradual dehydrating. It doesn’t make sense now, but stick with us and we’ll explain it all. In this case, slow and steady does not win the race.

Cutting Weight For BJJ

The Role Of Hormones In Cutting Weight

The key reason behind this big weight-cutting method is an antidiuretic hormone called vasopressin. This hormone plays an essential role in maintaining the water volume in the spaces between your cells.

NEW DVD and DIGITAL instructional from CRAIG JONES!!! - The Z Guard Encyclopedia!
NEW DVD and DIGITAL instructional from CRAIG JONES!!! - The Z Guard Encyclopedia!

An important facet of vasopressin’s function is how it reacts to dehydration. Even mild dehydration causes an increase in vasopressin secretion, which stimulates urine concentration. In other words, as soon as you’re even a little bit dehydrated, the body kicks in water conservation mechanisms. On the other hand, a state of super hydration reduces the production of vasopressin. Conversely, your body begins flushing out your excess water through more frequent urination and a higher propensity for sweating. You can see where we’re going with this.

The Best Cutting Weight For BJJ Strategy

When looking to shed the pounds but keep your strength intact for competition, it is essential to develop a detailed, step-by-step plan. Cutting weight for BJJ is only effective when done correctly.

What you should aim for is to be full and hydrated until about 24 hours out. No need for starvation. A solid nutrition and hydration plan with a hard weight cut the day before will be tough. However, it’s way safer and less torturous than having to go through dehydration for days to little effect. The right approach to cutting weight for BJJ should allow you to stay fresh and energetic during competition,  even (or better said, especially) in the latter stages.

The key is maintaining hydration until about 24 hours before weigh-ins. You have to drink water early and often. Here is a basic water-intake guide, which you can follow leading up to a fight or a match. The method starts from five days out and yields impressive and safe results:

  1. Day 5: drink 2 gallons of water throughout the day
  2. Day 4: reduce to 2 gallons
  3. Day 3: 1 gallon
  4. Day 2: 2 liters
  5. Day 1: 1 liter
  6. Stop all water intake about 16-20 hours before your weigh in, barring occasional small sips
  7. Pre-Weigh-In: A few small sips

Next, you need to sweat, sweat, sweat! But, don’t use passive water-loss strategies like diuretics or Epsom salt baths. These can be dangerous and deplete water from places like joints, leading to poor performance and higher chances of injury. Instead, dress warm and work out. Generate sweat by practicing the skill sets needed for your sport. This way you’re improving while cutting weight for BJJ. You could also go for short sessions in the sauna (no longer than 10 minutes) or a hot tub.

Cutting Weight For BJJ

How To Recover From A Weight-Cut

Even more important than your cutting program is how you recover from it. Dehydration is the number one limiting factor in athletic performance. So, in order to be ready to compete, you need an effective recovery strategy.

Remember that after the weigh-in, it’s not just about water. You have to get carbs and consider macronutrient kinetics. This is the speed at which your body absorbs nutrients. That means no fats, fibers, or meat after weigh-ins. These types of products slow down the absorption in your gut. Instead, have liquid carbs and liquid proteins – specifically, fast-digesting carbs that are low in fiber.

The Essential Stack Of Supplements for Jiu-Jitsu:

One final, interesting bio-phenomenon to consider in you reefed strategy – warm foods. Warm food causes vasodilation, meaning nutrients will absorb faster. Fancy a warm tea, anyone?

Cutting weight for BJJ is never fun, but it certainly shows passion for your sport if you’re willing to put yourself through the experience. What type of strategies do you use and how will you adjust them next time you’re required to step on the scale?