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Kaitlin Young – Cutting Weight.

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kaitlinCutting weight is always an interesting topic and everyone has a different approach. I’m going to talk a little bit about how I make 135.

I walk around at 150 in good shape and can get up to 155 if I’m really enjoying life:-) This fight on October 6th is only 10 weeks after the previous fight, so weight hasn’t been too much of an issue. When I’m in camp, I cut out all processed foods.That means anything on the lable or ingredients list that I can’t pronounce, don’t know what it is, or know it’s bad, I won’t eat. Xyience Energy drinks are the exception. I love them and they keep me awake for my very busy schedule. I am finding out that I can’t really handle processed food outside of fight camps either now. (I get heartburn from Oreos. Lame.)

Anyway, I usually don’t have to count calories as long as I am eating clean and training hard. The weight comes down pretty easily, and I almost always drop below 150 at about 2 weeks out. I’ll allow myself a weekly cheat meal, something made with real ingredients, but that is a whole lot fattier and cheesier than I would normally eat. If I can wake up on the Monday morning before weigh-ins at 147 or below, I usually have a pretty easy cut. On Saturday morning, one week out, I woke up at 145.9. That is pretty light, so I had one last “cheat” meal. It was a very disappointing cheeseburger and I wish I would have made different choice, but whatever. On with the cut!

This morning I was 146.4. Up a half of a pound, which is no doubt a result of the sodium from the cheese and other toppings. I start my full sodium cut tomorrow though, so that will drop easily. I’m sure Ill be under 146 in the morning again. When I say sodium cut, that is exactly what it is. I don’t eat anything with sodium, other than what little fish and meat I will have. If you’ve never paid attention, you’d be surprised at how much sodium is in nearly everything we eat. This is especially true if you aren’t cooking at home. There is sodium in any meat product you will have, even prior to cooking. There is usually much more if it has been previously frozen (like those chicken breast packages you can buy) because they inject it with what is essentially salt water.

The week of weigh-ins it becomes less about actual weight loss, and more about the weight of the food you put in your body and the amount of water it could allow you to retain. I look for food items that are high in calories, but low in sodium content. Fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts are about all I will eat. I will also have a small amount of dark chocolate because most bars have no sodium, high calories, and help keep you sane.

In addition to cutting sodium, I drink copious amounts of water. (I choose to use spring water. A lot of fighters will do this, even if only partially, with distilled water.) This is known as “water loading”. What you are doing is giving your body plenty of water, so it begins to give it up more freely. During the camp, one or more gallons a day is typical. This will cause you to “float” more weight overnight – which means you lose more water weight without any activity other than sleeping. By the time the final week rolls around, I will usually be floating about 4-5 lbs overnight. The week of the fight, I drink two gallons a day on Monday and Tuesday, one gallon on Wednesday, and about a half a gallon on Thursday morning. On Thursday afternoon, I stop drinking completely and if I eat anything it will be a small peice of fruit.(Clementines are PERFECT for these times, because they are almost exactly only .25 lbs each.) By the morning of weigh-ins, I’ll usually be down to 138-139 without having actually sweat yet.

As far as cutting the last 3 or 4 lbs, I have really grown to like just throwing on a sauna suit and hopping on a stationary bike and alternating it with walking on a treadmill every 20 minutes or so. I use abolene most of the time, which is intended as a make-up remover (and is expensive as hell) but does a good job to open up your pores and help the sweat start. I used to only use the sauna, but now my preference has changed a bit. It feels more comfortable to bike than to lay in there breathing hot air and having awkward forced conversation with strangers when you are a crabby, weight cutting biotch.

During the last part of the cut, it is important to have several scales available. A lot of the time they are inaccurate, so I try to make sure that I am under 136 on more than one scale before I head back to the hotel. Invicta lets us check our weight on the official scale pretty much whenever we want, so I usually start my cut around 10am on the day of weigh-ins so there is plenty of time to check on the official scale before we have to report to the commission.

The last couple of times I have made 135, my appetite returned almost immediately after having less than a gallon of fluid. This is a sign of a healthy cut – if there is such a thing. I take it as a sign that the metabolic process has not been disrupted too much. In some previous fights, it has taken several hours for my appetite to return. That can’t be good. As most people know (TMI alert) when you are dehydrated, your urine becomes concentrated and a much darker color than normal. My goal is to be “clear” again as soon as possible, which was within 4 hours of weigh-ins last time.

This is the process that works for me. Everyone has a different approach, but this is how I manage a 10+% bodyweight cut and still feel healthy and ready to fight.

Kaitlin Young is a professional MMA fighter with the all women’s Invicta Fighting Chamionships, and personal trainer at Uptown Custom Fitness in Minneapolis, MN.

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Kaitlin Young – Cutting Weight.

Cutting weight is always an interesting topic and everyone has a different approach. I’m going to talk a little bit about how I make...