The process of cutting weight can be confusing, overwhelming, and discomforting if done improperly. It can come with negative health effects and adversely affect your strength. But cutting weight is a big component to the strategy of strength sports and when done properly can be very advantageous, and an otherwise seamless and pleasant process.
Weight classes put competitors on an even playing field, as lifters go against people their size. Sometimes, the difference between first and second place in a competition comes down to body weight and at that point, the advantage goes to the competitor who weighs less. In order to get an accurate picture of relative strength to body weight, body weight is factored into the formula used for overall scoring, called the Wilks coefficient. In other words, the less you weigh and the more you lift, the higher your Wilks score will be.
Although weight cuts aren’t for everyone, it is beneficial to know when and if you should cut weight, how to implement a safe weight cut, the side effects of cutting weight, what happens after weigh-ins, and what weight class is optimal for you.
In order to help me get the facts straight, I reached out to registered dietitians and powerlifters Mike Perkins and Tiffany Ma, to help set the record straight on the do’s, don’ts, why’s, and how’s of weight cutting for strength sports.
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