How Do Fighters Cut Fat
The science of rapid weight-loss for fighters has improved radically with the advent of sports science in the last 50 years. All competitive athletes in combative sports have to face losing or gaining weight in order to compete in a specific category.
Cutting weight to be able to compete in a specific weight-class is a skill that is a basic requirement for any professional fighter. When a fighter agrees to compete in a certain weight class and fails to make weight, it demonstrates an unprofessionalism and laziness which is not tolerated in the world of professional fighting.
Cutting weight means creating a plan of action for rapid weight loss before competing. Fighters will often dehydrate themselves to make weight in order to compete in some specific weight class. A fighter can lose over 30lbs in 48-hours when preparing for a professional bout.
But it's an art in self-discovery for the fighter because after the weigh-in, fighters are then given 24 hours so they can rehydrate before competing. This could easily mean that a fighter could weigh 170lbs on the Friday weigh-in and he could show up on the fight night on Saturday weighing 195 or more.
Sports science recently did a study which was published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal which specifically looked at the methods that fighters use to make weight, still a largely unchartered area, but the study revealed some important facts.
Fighters wanting to drop body fat to make their weight target will be able to limit lipid oxidation by eating carbohydrates within four hours before competing or exercising. The study was able to clearly demonstrate that this oxidation was limited farther when the carbohydrates that were consumed which were rated high on the glycemic index, the insulin is able to lessen or weaken lipolysis and appearing to limit the fat oxidation.
The lesson to be learned here is that when you want to drop fat then you must never eat fast acting simple carbohydrates too close to your training or fight night.
There is evidence that shows fat oxidation will be improved when carbohydrate availability is limited, it is important to note that the same condition will also increase the rate of amino acid oxidation. This means if you're only relying on your fasted training to try and boost your fat loss then you're likely to cause muscle loss too. You might reach your goal weight but it will diminish force production. Weaken your punch.
The lesson to be learned here is to make sure that you keep the intensity of your workouts relatively low during carb limitation, otherwise you'll just cause muscle wastage. Evidence now clearly shows that training intensities above 65% Vo2Max will be carbohydrate utilization dominated, while fat oxidation will decrease. Bodybuilders have known about this little secret for years, low impact aerobics, walking and other low intensity activities are best for getting ripped while preserving your precious muscle mass.
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