I recently achieved this after entering a martial arts competition with very short notice and with little preparation beforehand.Before I even get started, I’d like to mention that this style of weight cut is not healthy! It is something I would never recommend others try and I certainly don’t plan on having to do this again.However, it did help me to personally test my own self-discipline in a rather extreme way, and it also reinforced my theory that one of the best motivators is simply setting a goal.
I often lack motivation and need strict targets and deadlines if I’m to force myself to do anything which requires much effort. I’ve been saying I will enter another martial arts competition for a while but have not spent much time looking around for ones to enter. A friend suddenly got in touch on the Monday and informed me about a comp which was taking place on the Saturday – and the deadline to enter was Monday. In a burst of spontaneity, I decided to enter and, oh yea, why not enter the weight category below the one I was in then…
Foolish? Perhaps yes, but actually in the end it was totally worth it.I entered the competition on Monday night AFTER dinner, so I had five days in which to lose the five kilos I needed to. Here’s how I did it:
I did not eat or drink anything either all day on Friday or on Saturday morning before the weigh in. It is in fact only now that I realise that over a period of five days I ate in total just over 1200 calories.That’s less than the daily recommended allowance…once again, definitely not something I advise you try!
I would have trained on Thursday night as well but had to work late.Frankly, it may have been for the best as after even just 20 minutes jogging I was certainly feeling the drain. As it was, at Friday lunch I could only manage 10 minutes in the sauna without feeling like I was going to pass out, and on Friday night I was not feeling top notch when hitting up the old ‘jogging wrapped in a bin bag’ look underneath my hoodie as well.
3. Final measures:
On Friday night when I got in I had an Epsom salt bath.After doing various research online it seems that this can help to speed up weight loss; using salt in your bath means that more water is drawn out through the skin by osmosis. I used about two large cups of Epsom salt and stayed in a hot bath for around 30-40 minutes. In hindsight, I’m not sure if this really did that much extra to help as I weighed myself before and after and hadn’t lost anything.However it was worth a shot!
Saturday: FIGHT DAY
On Saturday morning, I got up super early ready to hit the gym & sauna again if necessary before the weigh-in. However I had made the weight! Happily made it to the comp, spent an agonising 45 MINUTES (argh) in the queue waiting to be weighed, and then was finally able to get some proper nourishment.
I have a confession though.Halfway through the week, I tried to move up a weight category.I thought to myself there was simply no way I could actually achieve the cut without causing damage and weakening myself completely.However I was informed by the organisers that there was no one else registered in the category above me, so if I didn’t make the weight, I would have no one to fight.Well that simply wouldn’t do.At that point, I decided I had to go for it, no matter what the cost.
In terms of the physical and mental impact the cut had on me, it was certainly not ideal.I started feeling fairly weak from Thursday evening onwards and spent most of Friday feeling dizzy and faint.The worst was certainly after my Friday lunchtime sauna session, after which I felt fairly light-headed and found it hard to concentrate. Surprisingly on the Saturday morning I felt okay as I waited to weigh in, and then as soon as I weighed in I rehydrated immediately and ate.There was a 45 minute period where I felt better straight away, then another 45 minutes of feeling rather weak, and finally after that I managed to recover my strength before having to fight, so that luckily I felt absolutely fine when I stepped on the mat.
One thing I will mention is that as tempting as it is, don’t gorge yourself after weighing in.It turns out I had three hours before weigh-in and fighting – and really I was lucky I had this much time to recover.After weighing in I rehydrated with a Dioralyte solution – if you go for this option it’s best not to drink water immediately with it as it affects the solution of the Dioralyte you’ve just consumed.However over the three hour period I rehydrated further with energy drinks and water. I ate a banana after weigh in as well as a sandwich, and had a breakfast bar a few hours in.Just before my fight I had part of a high-calorie energy bar which helped give a bit of extra burst during the fights.
Overall, the experience was an immense challenge.Not only was I pushing myself physically by depriving myself of food and drink, but the mental effects of this as well were fairly overwhelming.However it was all worth it in the end as I made the weight in the end, felt fine when I was actually fighting, and in fact ended up winning all my fights and securing a gold medal!
I have not written this post to suggest you adopt such weight loss techniques.I have written this to emphasise how much setting a goal can be a driving force in your motivation, and also to show what can be achieved with a little bit of self-discipline.Don’t do something as extreme as the above if you can help it – but if you have to, know that you should set yourself a deadline to meet to keep the momentum going, and trust me, it will all be worth it in the end.