Why You Shouldn’t Cut Weight For BJJ
by David Castillo
It’s not that I don’t believe in cutting weight for jiu-jitsu, it’s just that I’m against it. Cutting weight isn’t healthy; it doesn’t make you stronger or faster. And if your goal is to compete at a high level, then you need to stay fit and strong so you can perform at your best.
I’ve been doing jiu-jitsu since I was five years old and have competed in my age group. I started competing when I was sixteen, but I stopped cutting weight because it wasn’t necessary anymore. Nowadays, there are no excuses for not being able to cut weight anymore. There are plenty of options available now to train with less equipment and still get results!
The main reason why I’m against cutting weight is because it makes me feel like crap. If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right. If you want to compete, then you need to look at all the factors involved before making a decision.
First of all, let’s talk about what exactly happens during training sessions. When someone cuts weight they lose muscle mass and strength while gaining fat mass (or water). The first couple of times you cut weight, it’s probably not going to be noticeable, but as time goes on, there will come a point where you’ll just feel weak. This can directly affect your performance.
There is also the re-hydration process that most competitors have to go through before they can actually compete (unless they’re competing in a lighter weight division). Losing all that water weight just results in a dehydration effect which makes you even weaker. Cutting weight can also cause your body to have irregular heartbeat and cause your vision to blur.
Most people are okay with putting their bodies through a process like this if it’s for a good cause, but I just don’t see the point in cutting weight. This is something that you’re going to have to do every single time you compete and there is just no way around it.
You can’t control how much your body weighs so why bother?
Nowadays, cutting weight is mostly unnecessary for kids since there are so many weight classes to choose from. For example, if you’re a lighter weight you can always compete in the lower belts since there are fewer competitors.
Even if you decide to cut weight, I would highly recommend that you don’t do what I did as a blue belt and just eat anything and everything before the weigh in. The night before my first important competition as a blue belt I was up until 5 am just eating whatever I could get my hands on, and then I had to cut weight! Not only that, but I ended up getting second place in my division. Nowadays, I try to avoid anything related to weight and jiu-jitsu!
So if you’re trying to decide whether or not you should cut weight, the choice should be obvious. Stay in shape and get the most out of your training. A jiu-jitsu competition is not the place to try to lose weight.
In conclusion, I have to say that you’re really selling yourself short if you think that by cutting weight you’re going to perform better. If anything, you’ll end up feeling drained during your matches and possibly even hurt yourself. So just focus on getting a good night’s sleep, eating well, and performing your techniques during training.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you have a great day. Oh, also if you’re a female blue belt looking to compete in the 115lb division, we should probably get on that soon. Let’s roll!
Check out this related story: The Secret to Martial Arts Success
Sources & references used in this article:
Workouts for MMA Fighters, BJJ, Boxing, Wrestling and other Combat Sports by G Chiu – fightcampconditioning.com
Workouts for MMA Fighters, BJJ, Boxing, Wrestling and other Combat Sports by D Garner – fightcampconditioning.com
What You Need to Know About MMA Training by M Pogorzelski – iamupperechelon.com
Habit (us), body techniques and body callusing: An ethnography of mixed martial arts by DC Spencer – Body & society, 2009 – journals.sagepub.com