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Weight Loss Tricks for Competition
With the Mash Barbell Picnic coming up, I have been asked by some of the competitors to write something about losing those last few kilos/pounds. As an ex-professional powerlifter, I have lost up to 25 pounds in a week. Let me say now, I wouldn’t advise that. There is nothing healthy about extreme weight loss, but then again, there isn’t anything healthy about professional powerlifting.
This article is for the weightlifter, powerlifter, and strongman that have 1-5 kilos/2-11 pounds to cut. Personally I take the quick off and quick back on approach. This means that I try to lose the majority of my weight the week of the meet, and then I try to put it back on immediately after weigh-ins.
We are focusing mainly on water weight, which doesn’t seem to affect muscle mass at all in my experience. If you are over more than 5 kilos, you might want to clean up your diet a little 2-3 weeks out before trying the following Tricks.
First, I want you to understand how to determine your current weight. I recommend weighing completely naked first thing in the morning after going to the bathroom and before eating or drinking anything. This is the weight that we will be working with. Too many people tell me that they are 5 kilos over, and then I find out that they are weighing in their clothes after dinner. Then they will perform all of my weight loss tricks only to weigh-in 3-4 kilos under. That’s too much!
The goal is to make weight as close to the top of the weight class as possible. I want you to have as much of your hard earned muscle as possible.
Here are the tricks:
Hydrolysis- This is a fancy word for water manipulation. Basically you start 5 days out. Day 1 you will be drinking 1 gallon of distilled water. Day 2 you are to consume 1 and ½ gallons of distilled water. Day 3 you will take it up to 2 gallons. Day 4 you get one glass of water total to sip on only. Day 5 you will perform your weigh-in. The key to this working well is keeping the diet clean (lean meats, vegetables, and healthy fats) and low in sodium for days 1 and 2. Then day 3 you are to absolutely cut out all sodium and maintain a totally strict low calorie diet.
Day 4 you are to check your weight first thing in the morning. If you are within 1 kilo, you can eat lightly (mainly protein and vegetables) with zero sodium. Day 5 you perform you weigh-in. You can expect 2-3 kilos/4-7 pounds from this trick. It’s always good to try these tricks out before competition time to see how your own body responds.
Sweet Tarts- sweet tarts are the bomb for losing weight. The sour candy will make you salivate like nothing else. Obviously you don’t eat the candy. You just swish around in your mouth and spit in a cup. You can expect 1 to 1.5 kilos/2-3 pounds from this trick. I have easily lost a kilo of weight in one hour from this trick alone.
Now a lot of people have tried other things like gum or other types of candy. NOTHING works like Sweet Tarts; so don’t waste your time.
Sauna Suit- You can buy a sauna suit at any Walmart. These work differently for each person, so you will need to try it out before competition time. I have watched my friend Ox Mason lose 5 pounds in 2 hours, but he sweats like a mad man. I don’t recommend getting crazy here. A sauna suit with a sweat suit over top works just fine. Don’t be the guy with 4 layers on, and then wonder why you had a heat stroke.
Hotel Saunas and Hot Tubs- actually in my experience a hot tub trumps a sauna any day. The water surrounding the body really heats things up causing the body to work overtime to cool things off by sweating.
The key to this working well is taking a break every 15-30 minutes, and then get out and scrape the water off the skin with a credit card. This little trick is good for massive kilos. Once again it depends on the amount that you sweat.
Hotel Bathroom converted into a Steam Room- This trick has saved me many times. You will first cover all the cracks of the door with hot wet towels. Next you will turn on the shower and sink with completely hot water. You can also sprinkle some water on the walls. Then cover your head with a hot towel, and let the sweating begin.
Dandelion Root- This is a natural diuretic that can really help you get rid of some water. I wouldn’t use this unless I was really having a tough time. It just makes it hard to turn the water loss off when it comes time to hydrate.
Getting the water off is one thing, but if you don’t put it back correctly, you will have wasted your time. I recommend drinking Pedialyte to rehydrate immediately following weigh-ins. Adding a little extra sodium to your food is another good idea to help the body start retaining fluids again.
If you have 24 hours to put your weight back on, then you will have no problem. If you only have two hours, then this process is a little trickier. You are going to want to stay away from hard to digest proteins like steak. I recommend grilled chicken, rice, and walnuts. Intra-Competition nutrition should be filled with simple sugars (Gatorade for glycogen), and personally I like Meal Replacement Powders between lifts to keep me fueled.
I hope this simple article will help you lose some not so simple kilos. If you are competing for the first time, then I recommend going in at whatever weight that you are weighing. You will have enough things going through your brain; so don’t add extra stress for no reason.
I hope to see all of you at the Mash Barbell Picnic September 17th and 18th. We are having weightlifting on Saturday and Powerlifting on Sunday both on our Farm in Advance, NC. This is The Barbell Life in its essence. To sign up, click on the link below:
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