Cutting Weight

August 8, 2017 | Author: coachhand | Category: Copyright, Low Carbohydrate Diet, Trademark, Magnesium, Nutrition
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Manual on cutting weight for powerlifting by Brian Carroll....






The Ultimate Guide to Making Weight for Powerlifting and Other Weight Class Sports BRIAN CARROLL

Copyright © 2013, by Brian Carroll. All rights reserved. Original printing in USA. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any way, nor electronically stored, accessed or shared, without the prior written approval of the copyright holder, except as may otherwise be allowed by applicable law. This book is not medical or any other form of professional advice that requires licensing in any jurisdiction. It is for scientific and educational purposes only. Please consult a qualified health care professional for medical advice. The author, any contributors, publisher, and copyright holder(s) (and their successors) are not responsible for any adverse effects associated with any use of this book. Where third party trademarks are used in this book reason- able efforts were made to identify the trademark owner where first used, and in a customary manner. All such use is in an editorial fashion with no intention of infringement. To be clear, all third party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All photos by Ken Richardson and Ken Hicks. Cover and book design by Stephanie Bastek,

CONTENTS CONTENTS iii CONTENTS iii TESTIMONIALS iv TESTIMONIALS............................................................. iv .................................................. vi ABOUT THE AUTHOR AUTHOR vi ............................................................ 1 INTRODUCTION INTRODUCTION 1 CUT ......................................... 44 TO CUT, OR NOT TO CUT Decisions, Decisions Decisions.................................................... 44 My Cutting Progression Progression................................................ 66 TIPS AND TRICKS FOR CUTTING WEIGHT........ 10 Consult Your Physician Physician................................................ 10 Cutting For a Two Hour Weigh-In Weigh-In................................ 11 Restricting Carbs Carbs ......................................................... 12 Drink Copious Amounts of Water Water............................... 13 Cleanse Your Colon Colon...................................................... 14 13 Salt Loading Loading .................................................................. 14 Water Pills Pills..................................................................... 15 14 The Sauna Sauna...................................................................... 16 15 What If You’re Ahead of the Game? Game?........................... 17 Be Patient Patient..................................................................... 18 The Recap Recap...................................................................... 19 PUTTING THE WEIGHT BACK ON ON........................ 20 You Can Eat Again Again........................................................ 20 Bagging Up Up................................................................... 21 Take a Nap Nap..................................................................... 22 Perform a Light Workout Workout............................................. 22 Competition Day Day.......................................................... 24 iii

TESTIMONIALS “Brian Carroll’s guidance with making weight has made a huge difference for me. I love his methodical approach. More importantly, I appreciate the thoroughness of his protocol. He gave me the easiest time I’ve had in cutting weight, and I maintained my performance as a result.” —Al Caslow, world record holder in the squat at 165 “I was close to a meet, and 20 pounds over my weight class, so I called Brian. Everything he said would happen, did. I think he has a crystal ball that tells him exactly what I’ll feel, and when. I made weight right on time, and was able to focus on the competition in front of me. With Brian, this isn’t magic. It’s experience and knowledge.” —Jesse Burdick, 821 pound deadlifter at 220 “Brian’s approach is simple: He’s no BS, straightforward, and refreshing. Everything he says works, and he’s had me dialed in perfectly for my weigh-ins. With his protocol, I was able to cut 12 pounds effortlessly and earn an elite total at 165 pounds.” —Allison Lockhart, Canadian elite raw and multi-ply powerlifter “I’ve tried cutting weight on my own by doing it the old fashioned way—sweating it out, with no method or plan. With Brian’s advice and coaching, I went from 215 to 198 and set numerous world records in the squat and bench, along with an all-time world record total of 2620 at 198 pounds. Brian made this easy, with no decrease in my performance.” —Shawn Frankl, holder of multiple world records


“Brian helped me with my cut the last time I made 148. He laid out a plan, I followed it, cut 14 pounds, and ended up setting world records in the squat and with my total of 1930, which still stands today.” —Brian Schwab, holder of multiple world records “Brian’s cuts work well for me because we both squat big, and we both like to cut a lot of weight. His protocols work. I’ve gone through them with him, I’ve experienced his results, and they work. For our last cut to 198, I hit a world record 1050 pound squat.” —Sam Byrd, holder of multiple world records


ABOUT THE AUTHOR Brian Carroll has been a competitive powerlifter since 1999. Since finishing second (as a junior) in the open class at the 2004 WPC Worlds (totaling 2000 pounds), he’s been one of the most accomplished and consistent lifters in the history of the sport. Brian holds, and has held, multiple world, national, and state records in the 220, 242, and 275 pound weight classes, and he’s one of a select few to ever hold a pro total in three different weight classes. Additionally, he’s one of few lifters in history to be ranked in the top-ten in three different weight classes at the same time. He currently lifts in the 275 pound class, where he’s ranked second in the world with a total of 2730 and a historic then-world-record 1185 pound squat. A member of Team Samson Powerlifting in Jacksonville, FL, Brian is a self-employed personal trainer and licensed massage therapist. His lifetime powerlifting highlights are as follows: • 220 Class: 1030 squat, 633 bench, 755 deadlift; 2375 total (10th best of all time) • 242 Class: 1064 squat, 785 bench, 771 deadlift; 2570 total (5th best of all time) • 275 Class: 1185 squat, 785 bench, 800 deadlift; 2730 total (3rd best of all time)


INTRODUCTION I first started cutting weight for powerlifting competition about ten years ago. Since then, refining my weight-cutting process has entailed a lot of experimentation and a lot of conversations with people who know what they’re doing. After a long career in this sport, I’ve found some techniques that really work—and will continue to work every time you use them. I started with a five-pound cut that first time out, but since then, I’ve cut as much as 35 pounds to make weight, and I’ve figured a few things out along the way that I believe can help you optimize your full potential as a lifter. After doing this successfully for myself quite a few times over the years, I’ve become something of an authority on the subject, advising multiple world record holders and coaching them to successful cuts. These lifters include: • Brian Schwab: All-time world record total in the 148 pound class. • Shawn Frankl: All-time bench and total world records in the 198 pound class. • Al Caslow: All-time squat world record in the 165 pound class. • Sam Byrd: All-time squat world record in the 198 pound class. Additionally, I’ve made cuts and set world records in the squat in both the 220 and 275 pound classes, in addition to several other cuts where I’ve won competitions and set both national and world records. I’ve also helped dozens of other competitors, both male and female, successfully cut weight for local, state, and national powerlifting meets.


What You’re Getting Here Every cut is different, for every lifter. Some of the easiest cuts I’ve seen have happened when the lifter least expected them. Conversely, some of the most difficult cuts I’ve ever seen were supposed to be easy ones. Your body is constantly changing, and it’ll respond to weight cutting in different ways, with a lot of different variables in play. One thing, however, never changes: By taking care of everything you can control—meaning the things you absolutely have 100 percent control of—you can really help your chances for success. And by 100 percent control, I’m referring to what you put into your body. The framework I’m going to share with you in this eBook is more than just a simple guide. It’s also not a bunch of ridiculous bro-science of the type you’ll see all over the internet. Instead, this is a proven method for cutting up to ten percent—or more—of your bodyweight while still maintaining the ability to perform at a high level. In fact, if you use my methods, I believe you’ll perform better than you ever have in your life. One thing you’ll need to keep in mind is the fact that there are risks involved here. Things can go horribly wrong over the course of any weight cut. You can get sick, you can pass out, you can overheat and be worthless on competition day—or you can even fail to make weight. There’s no greater feeling, however, than the one you’ll have when you’re sitting at the rules briefing weighing 20 pounds heavier than anyone in your weight class—with your muscles popping with fullness. You’ll know you’ve defied logic at that point, and you’ll be competing in what rightfully should be a class below you. My main goal in writing this eBook, then, is to help guide you and improve your chances to succeed in the best and most efficient way possible. I’ve learned how to do this the hard way, and because of that experience, I know exactly how to teach you what to do, what to avoid, when to let up, and when you have to push yourself. I know the tips and


tricks that will keep you ahead of the curve, and I’ll use lessons from my own career to show you how to avoid the pitfalls and dangers of cutting weight. Thanks for purchasing this book. Use it in good health. Respectfully, Brian Carroll St. Augustine, Florida


1 TO CUT, OR NOT TO CUT Decisions, Decisions Now that I’m over a decade into my powerlifting career, I look at things a lot differently than I used to. After several years of cutting weight for every meet, it’s not worth it to me to do this anymore. In fact, the only time I suggest cutting is if you’re looking to compete against a particular lifter in a specific weight class, you have some kind of unfinished business in a weight class, or if you’re going for a world record—a true world record, and not some cheesy federation record. Wait. This is a weight cutting manual, right? So why am I telling you that it’s not advisable to cut weight in the first place? Well, first off, I meant what I said. Things can go horribly wrong for you, both mentally and physically, if you don’t do everything right. You can have a great fifteen-week training cycle—along with a lot of money and a big opportunity—go down the drain just because you did a bad job of cutting weight.


Do not attempt to cut more than 5 percent if you’re mentally weak and have no heart.

The key? Pick your spots. If you’re going to do this, do it at the right time, do it carefully, and don’t take it lightly. I say this because one of the major reasons why I suggest that lifters not cut is the fact that it becomes an all-consuming process while you’re doing it. Once you have some experience under your belt, don’t cut for smaller


meets. Save your cuts for the big ones. With that said, however, I wouldn’t suggest trying your first major weight cut in the biggest meet of your life. If it’s your first time, try it out in a meet that doesn’t have a world title on the line. When I was making ten percent cuts, it was all I could think about. It was really the only thing on my mind during meet week—and then, once I actually made weight, I needed to get obsessed with recovering so I could have some decent strength on the platform. The problem with this was that I wasn’t able to fully focus on competition day and the things I had to do. I was always distracted, and things that could have helped me were put on the back-burner. Sometimes this was a good thing, but in general, I wouldn’t suggest being distracted like this on competition day—especially when the distractions are avoidable, and even more so if you’re not a The meet doesn’t start until the highly experienced competitor. bar is on the floor, but a bad cut can end your day a lot sooner. It can seriously beat you down after a while. I remember always worrying about what I was eating, and always being obsessed with whether my weight was up or down a pound or two—and I’d be pissed if I’d gained any-


thing when I didn’t want to. This type of thing can make you feel like a supermodel instead of a powerlifter, and that’s bad. I wasn’t able to enjoy myself, and constantly starving and dehydrating myself down to nothing wasn’t worth competing in a lower weight class after doing it for so long. I don’t suggest cutting more than 8-10 percent of your body weight more often than twice per year, because it’s so very taxing, both mentally and physically. When you do it right, you can still perform at 100 percent and look like you belong two weight classes higher, but it takes a lot out of you. Use extreme caution, and do this sparingly.

My Cutting Progression For my first meet, I didn’t necessarily “cut weight,” at least in the strict definition of the term. I did, however, fast for some of the day to make sure I came in under 220 pounds. I was always on the bubble, and I knew it would be close, so I didn’t want to take any chances. For my second meet, my weight was up to 235, so—being the experimenter that I am—I played around with some carb manipulation techniques and cut down to 220 within two weeks. The problem with this was that it happened two weeks before the meet, and it screwed up my training for those last two weeks. As a result, the meet didn’t go as well as it could have, or should have, and my bench and squat suffered. After two years in the sport, my weight was starting to creep up to about 240, but I was getting more and more solid. This is where things open up for a bit of debate. There are experts who say that guys with more muscle can lose water more easily, while others will say that “soft” guys can do this faster. I’m not sure which side of this argument I’m on, but I can tell you that after cutting almost 10 percent of my body weight, I needed some help with rehydration. I contacted a friend who could get IV bags, and I had him show me how to hook them up. Since 2006, I’ve “bagged up” for every meet for which I’ve had to cut more than five percent of my body weight.


This changed everything with regard to the way I go about cutting, because it allows me to recover almost to feeling 100 percent within the first hour of the start of bag therapy. Having this as an option also made me want to push the cuts harder. I knew I could tolerate the suffering from the cut if it meant getting bigger and cutting more weight, because the option of immediately bagging up was now available to me. I worked like this until 2007, which was when I competed at 220 for the last time. For that meet, I came down from a body weight of 255. This was one of the hardest cuts I ever had to make, and my performance definitely suffered. At that point, I knew it was the right time to move up to the 242 pound class. One major thing I noticed here was that every time I cut down from over 240 to make the 220 class, each cut seemed to get more difficult—and I became noticeably larger every time I bounced back to my normal weight. Part of this was the gorging I did once I made weight, as my body grew from all the deprivation because of all the extra calories that were suddenly available to me. By 2008, after only one year of lifting as a 242, I was already up to 260. My body was now growing like a weed, and each cut was yielding about two pounds of mass About to put on a show for the growth that stayed with me cameras at the EliteFTS S4 for the following training Compound.


cycle. It wasn’t long before I was cutting 10 percent of my body weight again to get down to 242, and it was getting old. Fast. When 2009 rolled around, I knew my days of lifting in the 242 class were behind me. I had grown to over 270, and my body was obviously trying to tell me something. I made my debut at 275 in October 2009, weighing in at 270 without cutting any weight at all. The following year, at the same meet, I had to scramble to cut ten pounds from 285 to 275. I did this with no water or carb prep, just managing to use some dandelion root and spitting techniques to drop the weight with minimal effort. Since 2009, I’ve competed at 275 for every meet but one. In 2011, I decided to make one final cut to 242, because I thought I had some of that aforementioned unfinished business down there. The day, and the meet, didn’t quite go the way I’d planned, and everything was very disappointing. I didn’t bomb, but it took everything I had to get down under 242—and I had to use every trick in the book (or this book, actually) to make it happen. In that meet my strength suffered badly, and it was obvious to me which class I needed to lift in from then on. My last meet took place in 2013. I cut from 290 to 275 using just a simple low-carb diet for the final week. With a little bit of water loading, I stepped on the platform at 295. In fact, the most amazing thing about this was that I was as strong on that platform as I was in my training cycle, if not stronger (my squat was bigger there than it was in training). I bagged up for this meet even though the percentage of my cut was fairly small, and this just happened to be the first meet I’ve ever competed in where I didn’t have a single cramp for the entire day—or that night. It was an amazing experience, and one I’d like to repeat for every meet from now on. The most important thing to keep in mind here is that you have to be mentally prepared to do this the right way. There are so many pieces of the puzzle that come into play that you have to be ready for anything, at any time. In the next section, I’m going to get into the real nuts and bolts of cutting weight, offering my best tips and suggestions for how to get the job done properly. Depending on how much weight you have to


cut—and how much time you have between the weigh-in and your competition—some of these suggestions will be needed in full. For smaller cuts (2-5 percent of your total body weight), you’ll be able to get away with doing less, and other tips and tricks won’t be necessary. Just know what you’ll need to do, and prepare yourself psychologically to do it.

Trust me: This is the last place in the world you want to be worried about your weight cut.


2 TIPS AND TRICKS FOR CUTTING CUTTING WEIGHT WEIGHT In this section, I’m going to get into specifics regarding how I perform my weight cuts, and how I program this for other lifters. I’ll be jumping around a bit from topic to topic in this chapter. The reason for this, as I said at the end of the previous chapter, is that you may or may not need all of these tips. Some will describe your situation perfectly, and some may not apply to you at all. The first thing you’ll need to do, then, is assess your situation. Know how much weight you’ll need to cut, know what type of meet you’re competing in—how much time do you have for your cut, and how much time will you have between the weigh-in and the meet?—and know what your physical situation is. From there, use this section as your guide, utilizing the various methods I’m outlining here to customize your own personal weight cutting regimen. Everything here works, and it’ll all work like a charm for you, but you don’t want to overdo it and leave yourself weak and unmotivated on competition day.

Consult Your Physician I’ll preface everything here by saying the following, and you need to listen to me carefully: Call your doctor if you have any questions or concerns regarding how cutting weight will potentially affect your heath. I don’t suggest using diuretics or taking any extreme measures for any of this. If you get overheated, or you end up dehydrating yourself too much, serious


medical situations can arise and you can be setting yourself up for trouble. Seek medical attention immediately if you can’t keep fluids down, or your heart rate elevates for an extended period of time.

Cutting For a Two Hour Weigh-In This is a difficult situation, and it’s sort of a controversial subject for me to tackle. The issue with two hour weigh-ins, obviously, is time and timing. It’s very difficult to cut more than a couple of pounds, then put them back on and feel comfortable in time to lift. The best way to do this is to use IV bag therapy immediately after you weigh in. Don’t waste any time in getting this underway. IV bags are not a drug, and they’re not illegal. What you need to do here is find a medical professional to hook you up, because you want this to be done properly. Hooking up an IV bag isn’t exactly brain surgery, but it’s not something you’ll want to play around with, either. Find someone who knows how to do it, then bribe them, take them out to dinner, or change the oil in their car for them after the meet. Sticking to a low-carb diet the week before a meet has been shown to not totally kill strength. What kills strength, then, is dehydration and losing five percent or more of your bodyweight, then not being able to put it back on. When you have a two hour weigh-in where you’ll be cutting approximately 2-4 percent of your bodyweight—I don’t recommend trying to cut anything over five percent under these circumstances—the following methods and guidelines are advisable: • Stick to a low-carb diet (under 20 grams per day via green vegetables and protein shakes) for three days before the weigh-in. • Drink two gallons of water for three days, until the day before the weigh-in. • Drink one full bottle of magnesium citrate 36 hours before you


weigh in. • The day before the weigh-in, limit your water intake to one liter all day, with only protein for food. • Sweat some right before the weigh-in if you’re still over, and have your IV bags ready for use immediately afterward. Time is of the essence here, and every minute counts, so use a sauna suit for rapid sweat loss and quick results. You can also “run” in the sauna or on a treadmill. • Eat a full breakfast and have lots of salty snacks and carbs available for consumption during IV time.

Restricting Carbs Going low carb during the last week before a big cut is one of the most important things you’ll have to do. Limit your carb intake to under 20 grams per day of just green vegetables—along with (maybe) some cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and protein shakes made with water. This will prime your body for the cut—and, for some people, it’ll actually be enough to shed the pounds of water you need to lose. Proteins are crucial here. You’ll need to consume low-carb shakes, red meat, turkey, chicken, fish, bacon, eggs, sausage, and other forms. What you’ll really want to do here is eat enough without try-

When I stare at the chalk bowl hard enough, donuts appear.


ing to starve yourself early in the week. Eat normal portions. Just skip the carbs. Also, make sure to keep the fats high. Use coconut oil and flax oil along with your bacon and sausage. Caffeine is also a must at this point in order to keep your energy up, especially once you get to the middle of the week.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The week before you start a major weight cut, don’t gorge on bad

foods that will make you hold water for an extended period of time. This will just make the process more difficult. For the 2006 WPC World Championships, I thought it would be a good idea to eat a whole French silk pie two days before I started my low-carb routine. This was not part of my normal diet, and it really made things difficult for the cut. The water load actually worked against me because I was so filled with carbs, and this almost prevented me from making weight.

Drink Copious Amounts of Water If your weigh-in is taking place on a Friday, your water loading starts on Monday. This is especially important if you’re doing a low-carb week. Beginning on that Monday, you’ll load two gallons of water every day until Thursday, the day before the weigh-in. I prefer to use distilled water for this purpose, because it seems to take more weight off me. This probably has to do with the lack of minerals usually found in spring water. Then, once Thursday rolls around, you’re limited to what I call “sippy time.” Every time you urinate, you can have a couple of ounces of water, but not until then. During these combination low-carb/water loading weeks, I’ll typically lose 1.5-2 pounds each day until the point where I cut off water altogether. This would be typical for lifters from 220-275, as well. This adds


up, and can be a ten pound weight loss just from the water loading and the lack of carbs alone. For some lifters, this can be enough to simply coast right into the meet.

Cleanse Your Colon 36 hours before your weigh-in, clean out your colon by using a magnesium citrate product. The key to this is to do it before you cut off your water. Why magnesium citrate? It’s gentle on your stomach, and won’t cause cramping the way other products like Ex-Lax and Dulcolax tend to. For example, if your weigh-in happens on a Saturday, you’ll want to drink the magnesium citrate on Thursday evening. This can sometimes drop 3-4 pounds by itself. When you wait to use the magnesium citrate after you cut off your water, you’re holding onto 1-2 pounds of additional weight from the product itself. Keep in mind that this stuff is disgusting in terms of taste, and you won’t want to drink it when you’re dehydrated. You need water in your colon to excrete waste, and your colon won’t work properly when you’re not hydrated. From 36 hours in, the amount of food you’ll be consuming will be very low, so don’t worry about the weight of your food after the cleanse. It’s minimal.

Salt Loading Also apropos to discuss right now with regard to the low-carb/water loading strategy is salt loading. What you’ll want to do during this period is load up on salt with all of your meals. You don’t have to use stupid amounts here, but put some salt on everything. This will help you to become hyper-hydrated—and that becomes very important when you cut off all your water the day before your weigh-in.


Water Pills Water pills are always a staple of my weight cuts. After I’ve done all of the things I’ve mentioned previously, I’ll take water pills (responsibly) throughout the day before weighing in. This is usually guaranteed to drop ten pounds or more. I’ll cut water off at 10 AM, then start my diuretics around noon. I’ll then take them every 3-4 hours or so, monitoring my weight whenever I do so.


I’ve experienced times when diuretics didn’t work, and I’ve had to drink a lot of water—up to a half gallon—to get them going. This was caused by waiting to long to start them. At this point, my body didn’t want to release any water. After three doses, the water kicked them in, and I urinated like crazy. I don’t recommend this, which is why I suggest starting your diuretics at 12 PM.

Dandelion root works well. Take 1000-1500 mg every three hours as you monitor weight, starting at noon. Note that this is also used as a laxative, and it has a host of health benefits. This is a much more moderate approach, designed for times where you just need to get a last little bit of weight off. For more extreme cuts, you can go with the prescription diuretic Lasix. I really like Lasix for a variety of reasons. It’s fast-acting and it won’t stay in your system for a long time. This is advantageous because once you start to approach your goal weight, you don’t want something in your system that will keep working for hours on end, like Spironolactone or other longer-acting diuretics. There are side effects with this, but that’s what happens when you cut large amounts of weight. For a 220-275 pound lifter, take 60-80 mg every four hours. For lighter lifters, reduce this to 20-40 mg. If your cut is small, you’ll only need a dose or two. Along with each dose of Lasix,


a 220-270 pound lifter should also take 500 mg of potassium, 1000 mg of calcium, and 400 mg of magnesium. If you weigh less than 220, these dosages will be fine, but you can scale this if you want to. Additionally, one of the great things about using Lasix is that it’ll help you avoid sweating most of the time. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather urinate than sweat when it’s 100 degrees outside. The more you urinate, the more you can drink—and I’ve had people take Lasix and be able to drink water and be comfortable all day.


Lasix can be very dangerous, so consult your doctor before you use it.

The Sauna When you’re cutting weight, it’s extremely important that you have access to a sauna. Sometimes, the last few pounds of a cut can be stubborn, and the only real way to get them off is to sweat it out. My technique for this is to use a 10-minutes-in, 2-minutes-out interval. There are two things you should keep in mind for the sauna: First, make sure you have an ice pack at the ready to put on your head between sauna bouts. Next, keep towels ready to wipe off your body once you’re outside, because you don’t want to chance any water going back into your skin. This isn’t likely, but I like to cover all my bases and make absolutely certain. Finally, if you’re taking diuretics, don’t start sweating in the middle of the day. Wait for your diuretics to work, and don’t go into panic mode at 3 PM. Every minute counts during a cut, but you need to give each individual technique a chance to work. Wait until the evening before you start to sweat. Here are some additional tips:


• Bring someone with you to monitor you in the sauna during your cut. If possible, have someone cut weight with you. • Eat ice in the sauna once you start to become overheated. • Take a break from the sauna if you’re getting too overheated. If you exceed your threshold of heat too early in your cut, you’re done. Take your time, and don’t panic. • Sour gum is a very useful product that can come in very handy when you need to spit, and hard candy can come in handy during bouts in the sauna where you need to keep your spirits high. • I suggest purchasing a sauna suit and using it for your cut. This will help your body temperature rise faster, and it’ll bring on the sweat faster. • Steam rooms work very well. You can also turn your hotel bathroom into a steam room. Block the air cracks around the door, hope that your bathroom doesn’t have an automatic fan, then crank the shower all the way up. Many hotels have extremely hot water, but some don’t. Make sure yours does. • Hot baths can be very effective. Fill the bathtub to cover your whole body with water that’s so hot that it burns you if you move. Every bit of you has to be covered. You’ll sweat in the water, and you’ll continue to sweat when you get out—just like the other sweating methods we’ve covered—as your body attempts to cool off. Use the 10-minutes-in, 2-minutes-out interval. • Don’t take a shower or jump in a swimming pool until after you’ve made weight. Your body will want to get hydrated any way it can. Don’t let it. Stay stinky and look forward to feeling much better the next day, once you’ve made weight.

What If You’re Ahead of the Game? Once in a while, you’ll make weight way ahead of schedule, hours before you’d planned to. If this happens to you—and there are a lot of reasons


it can—don’t continue cutting weight. Get yourself some water, have a few sips of a sports drink, and procure some snacks, because there’s no need for you to suffer and stay dehydrated any longer than is absolutely necessary. It’s times like this where you realize how important it is to both pace yourself and constantly check your weight. There’ve been many occasions where I’ve had clients drop weight much faster than we expected. With some of these, we’ve even eaten a full dinner the night before weigh-ins, and they’ve made weight with no problem the next day. The last thing you want to do to yourself is overshoot your goal weight and be miserable for no good reason.

Be Patient With that said, however, it’s very important that you not make weight too early. If you’re only two pounds over weight, and you have a 24 hour weigh-in, you’ll want to take your time and wait until the evening—or night—to shed these last two pounds. The best case scenario in this case is to be just a touch over at bedtime. When you do it this way, the idea is to wake up early and check your weight first thing in the morning. If you’re still over, you can take the rest of it off right before the weigh-in. This way, you’ll be keeping the time you spend in a state of dehydration to an absolute minimum.


Plan your trips so you arrive early to the meet city, and don’t count on your flight showing up on time. Get in a day or two earlier than necessary. I once had to cut weight in an airport, then sprint to the meet weigh-in. I once also almost missed the time slot for my weighin for the 2006 APF Seniors because my flight arrived 24 hours later than scheduled.


The Recap Let’s take a look at what we’ve got so far. For a Friday weigh-in: • Purchase a meet-like scale, and check your weight every day. Get accustomed to using it, and bring it with you to monitor your weight all week—and before the weigh-in. • Start your low-carb dieting on Sunday of meet week. • On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, you’re going to drink two gallons of water each day and put a moderate amount of salt on each meal. • On Thursday, cut off your water around 10 or 11 AM, then take water pills (if necessary) every three hours. Don’t use the sauna until the evening. • I always keep sour gum on hand to spit weight if necessary. This may sound ridiculous, but I’ve spit 3-4 pounds of weight off in previous cuts. • Do a light, high-rep workout on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of meet week to flush glycogen out of your muscles.

A few days of improper cutting can ruin months of intensity in training.


3 PUTTING THE WEIGHT BACK ON You Can Eat Again This section is about eating. It’s about what to do once you’ve made weight. I’ve seen many lifters successfully cut tons of weight off their bodies, only to screw up the entire process by mishandling what happens afterward. How you put the weight back on can be as important—or even more so—than how you got it off in the first place. As I did in the previous chapter, I’m going to jump around a bit here and give recommendations for what I typically do. You’ll probably need quite a few of these. Others, you may not. Either way, these are all proven methods for optimizing your performance on competition day, once you’ve made weight. Okay, so once you’ve actually made weight, carbs are your friends once again. I’m not giving you carte blanche to eat nothing but junk, but it’s okay to have some at this point. When I’m putting weight back on, I’ll typically eat pasta, potatoes, granola bars, peanut butter, and some salty carbs—and I’ll have dessert with every meal. Fruits and fruit juices are also very good carb sources. You’ll obviously want proteins to be part of your intake, too, but carbs have to be your number one priority here. The best way to look at this is to not drift too far away from the things you’d typically eat. Sometimes this is difficult, especially when your diet has been so different from normal for a while during your cut, but do your best. Also, have some


Immodium AD ready, just in case. The last thing you want is for all your hard-earned weight to come out the other end. It’s still very important that you keep tabs on your weight, even after your weigh-in. Sometimes it’s hard to put weight back on after a cut, while at other times it flies back on to the point where you’ll have to pull back the reins a bit. Have your meet scale ready to monitor your body weight, the same way you did during your training cycle and your weight cut. During this rebound period, it’s also possible to become heavier than the weight at which you trained during your training cycle. This isn’t a bad thing, because these rebounds can occasionally yield awesome results. Just make sure you don’t go overboard, especially if you’re lifting in gear that has to fit properly.


These recommendations are for a 220-275 pound competitor. Adjust accordingly for your load and water loss expectations. For example, if you’re a 132 pound female lifter, you can probably get away with one gallon of water per day during your water load. You will also lose less water during the week.

Bagging Up IV bags are the most important part of putting the weight back on when you’re cutting over five percent of your body weight. You have to eat, refuel, and carb up, of course, but hydration needs to be your main priority. It’s not that hard to have a medical professional around to help you out. We all know someone who can do this, even if we have to pay them for their time or fly them someplace. Here’s my guide to doing this, for a 220-275 pound lifter (adjust accordingly):


• 5% Cut: 2 Bags • 7-8% Cut: 3 Bags • 9-10% Cut: 4 Bags, and Lactaid Ringers There are always variables, but here are some things to consider when you’re using IV bags. You’re close to hydrated when: • You start to feel good from the immediate hydration of the bags. • Your veins come back and pop. • You have the need to urinate more than just the initial time or two after the weigh-in. • You feel and see your face start to fill back out. • Your eyes are no longer bloodshot from the diuretics and sauna.

Take a Nap Make no mistake: Cutting weight is hard. It’s a very taxing process, and you shouldn’t underestimate what it takes out of you along with the pounds. On both your cutting and rehydration days, take a nap in the early part of the day, and stay off your feet. Additionally—and this may sound a little old-school, but it’s true—you need to abstain from sexual activity, especially on the day of your big cut. Trust me, if you don’t do this, you’re going to feel like crap when you get into the sauna to sweat, and you’ll think your legs are about to give out. Sexual activity takes a lot out of you, especially if you’re big, so save it for the next meet. Just rest as much as possible, and relax.

Perform a Light Workout I advise doing a light workout in your hotel room or gym—using just bands—to pump your newly fueled muscles up once you’ve made


weight. I’ve done this numerous times, and filling out my muscles can work wonders at this stage of the game. The first time I ever saw this was when the Ukrainians came to Ohio in 2007. The squatted, benched, and did seated good mornings the day before they lifted. They also kicked everyone’s ass. After bagging up, napping, resting, and getting 3-4 meals in you, do a full-body circuit that includes the following: • Stationary bike, or a 10 minute walk. • Bodyweight squats. • Push-ups. • Stiff-leg deadlifts. • Quad extensions. • Curls. • Triceps press-downs. • Good mornings. After you’ve done everything I’ve said to do, you’re going to be pretty full and bloated, so this will help loosen you up a lot. It’ll also help circulate and pump nutrients into your muscles, helping them fill out and priming them for the work they’ll be doing the following day. I suggest doing 3-5 sets of each exercise for 12-15 reps.


Never give up. Your body can do some very strange things. I don’t know how to explain it, but I’ve seen people lose up to three pounds overnight, just from sleeping. If you’re having a hard time cutting, don’t panic, because it’ll make you hold more water. Pace yourself, set goals for meet week and stick to the, and be ready to adjust.


Competition Day On competition day, the idea is continue eating good sources of carbs, to drink plenty of water, Pedialyte, and Gatorade, and to eat a good, solid meal every 3-4 hours. Also, make sure you have plenty of bananas around, as well as magnesium, calcium, and potassium, just in case. Force feed yourself, but not to the point where you get sick. For my competition days, I’ll start off with breakfast at IHOP. From there, I’ll go with a burger and potato for lunch. If the meet is a long one, I’ll do this again for dinner. My snacks will include fruit, trail mix, granola bars, and peanut butter crackers. This is pretty much the same stuff I eat on a regular basis. Make sure you’re smart about the way you eat on this day. Again, the last thing you want on competition day is to get the shits because you were too cheap to buy Immodium and didn’t want to eat good food.

In the hole: This is where you’ll know whether you’ve done it right.


Copyright © 2013, by Brian Carroll. All rights reserved. Original printing in USA. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any way, nor electronically stored, accessed or shared, without the prior written approval of the copyright holder, except as may otherwise be allowed by applicable law. This book is not medical or any other form of professional advice that requires licensing in any jurisdiction. It is for scientific and educational purposes only. Please consult a qualified health care professional for medical advice. The author, any contributors, publisher, and copyright holder(s) (and their successors) are not responsible for any adverse effects associated with any use of this book. Where third party trademarks are used in this book reason- able efforts were made to identify the trademark owner where first used, and in a customary manner. All such use is in an editorial fashion with no intention of infringement. To be clear, all third party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. All photos by Ken Richardson and Ken Hicks. Cover and book design by Stephanie Bastek,

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