Aside from the physical and mental preparation a fighter goes through leading up to a fight, another major factor in preparation is being on weight for the fight. It is no secret that fighters cut weight to be under their respective weight classes with making more dramatic efforts to do so than others. Although a fighter may be able to cut 20 pounds and rebound back up to that same weight the next day it is often shown later in the fight how much the effort in cutting the weight affected their performance. A fighter should know the limits of the body, understand and practice making the weight safely and still be able to perform at the best the following day.
Most fighters have a system that they are comfortable with and tend to stick to it. Often people may have a twist on the exact way it is done or secrets that work for them, but most systems are fairly similar. The system that our Team Tompkins follows is as follows. Normally I like to be around 15 pounds over almost a week to a week and a half out. From that point the first major change is eliminating eating late at night, if anything a protein source of food only. I continue to eat 5 meals a day, eating every 2-3 hours limiting carbs to only complex, such as salad and veggies eliminating simple carbs such as breads, pasta’s rice and sugars as well as sodium. With the eating I water load and try to drink between 4-6 litres of water a day. I normally begin dropping about a pound or pound and a half a day from there. In the last few days I switch to distilled water to eliminate and the sodium in my body and stick to proteins and greens meals to keep my energy as well as keeping my weight lower. Normally by the morning of the weigh-ins I am 3-5 lbs over the limit. If I am lower than expected I may have a light protein and greens based breakfast to keep energy and begin the water cut. Because of all the water loading made up until midnight of the night before weigh-ins the water is normally sweated out fairly easy without completely over dehydrating yourself. The last pounds are cut out by wearing sauna suits and sweatshirts and light running on the treadmill at a constant but not over exerting pace. If my legs begin to feel weak or cramp the last resort in the sauna for normally the last pound or so.
After making weight it is key not to over eat but to have a slow feed of carbs, clean and lean meat, sodium and water. I normally but back on 12 pounds since all the carb depletion make it easy to absorb the carbs back in the diet and gives you a big energy boost back in the system.