Convicted Artist Magazine

Mar 20th
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Home Blog To Cut Weight or Not to Cut Weight: That is the Question
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To Cut Weight or Not to Cut Weight: That is the Question

Regularly, fighters cut as much weight as possible in an attempt to gain an advantage when agreeing to engage in combat. Tools and techniques commonly employ are: sauna suits, sauna baths, starvation, dehydration, excessive amounts of training, diuretics and all sort of strange dieting methods to cut the desired amount of weight. These methods ensure that fighters can cut up to 40 pounds in a span of five to seven weeks.   Deprivation is the mantra of the vast majority of all camps.

It doesn't take a genius to question the positive viability of such tactics. Although the fighter feels a psychological edge after “coming down” in weight to be the “bigger” fighter come fight night, one still has to wonder the price being levied on the human body. Luckily, I was able to seek the counsel of a professional to get this answer.

For over 15 years, Pete Ramirez has been studying, competing, training and learning about the effects that exercise and nutrition has on the human body. He owns and operates his own personal training studio (Fitness Saves) and has a growing stable of MMA fighters and boxing professionals. Ramirez took time out of his busy schedule to provide his expertise.      

Cutting Weight Properly v. “Deprivation” Tactics

"The issue that is really at the core of this is that fighters really need to see themselves as 'year round athletes' and not just being dedicated for those five or six weeks of [training] camp. A dedicated athlete maintains his body fat at 10% or less year round. [Fighters] tend to be very stubborn and they have their own way of cutting weight so, as a trainer, I work with what I have in front of me. I really take time to explain how starving yourself and overall deprivation actually makes you weaker and gives you stamina problems come the fight. 'Clean eating' coupled with a comprehensive, year-round program will ensure that the fighter is strong, lean, healthy, and lightning-fast come the fight. This is what I instill in my fighters and my success so far speaks for itself."

Short-term and Long-term Effects

"In the short-term, cutting weight without proper nutrition results in the body losing muscle which obviously weakens the fighter. There is only so long a machine can run efficiently if it is not receiving the right fuel. In the long-term, going up and down over the course of years is just not a healthy concept. There are several health issues that may arise later in life because the body is just not equipped to be treated in this way."

Word to the Wise

"It is important to really take the time and make a decision if you really want to train and give yourself the best chance at success. The science is there and as a trainer, it is my job to know what works best. This is what I do and I'm always prepared. Any person that walks through my studio doors needs to be ready to make that commitment and follow the program given to them. I take a lot of pride in my work and I make sure that every person that I train, whether it be a fighter or someone just looking to learn to be healthy, I'm going to commit to meeting their goals. It's the only way I know how to apply my craft and it is the way I believe every trainer should approach every pupil. It's an honor."

Sergio L. Martinez

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Jerry  - Good Read! |
When cutting weight you hit the nail on the spot!
Anonymous  - Guy Knows What He is Talking About |
Simple and accurate. This trainer has a future
marco  - Great advice on cutting weight |
This article is very acurate when it comes to a fighter cutting weight.
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