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This interview was not with Forrest Griffin.
Another known professional MMA fighter shared his secrets for cutting weight. He has also fought in more than one weight class. Currently he is fighting at 155 pounds. He is normally 180 pounds so his schedule for dropping 25 pounds provides a lot of insight into another component of the life of a professional fighter.
This fighter finds 12 weeks to be an ideal amount of time for cutting weight and preparing for a fight. However, he usually gets 6 to 8 weeks. We discussed his current routine, which was taking place about 2 weeks before his December fight.
6 Weeks Before Fight Night
He has completely eliminated sugar, liquor and processed foods. Although he will eat carbohydrates during the day, he eliminates them after 5pm. His primary morning carbs are homemade granola, oatmeal and brown rice. Although he doesn't count carbs or log the amount of food like the first professional MMA fighter I featured last week, he doesn't usually have a problem gauging the proper portion. Carbohydrates fuel the daytime trainings so he does not cut them from his diet. Dinner is only protein and vegetables. His water intake is 1 gallon a day.
4 Weeks Before Fight Night
This fighter 2 weeks into the cutting weight has dropped about 8 pounds. He says this happens from eliminating the carbs at night. Now his body is also adjusted to having fewer carbs, but he is not eating so few that his body is tapping into his muscle as a fuel source.
At this point, he has added an early morning run into the routine before breakfast. Post breakfast he does his high intensity workout in the late morning. His dinner and water intake stays the same.
2 Weeks Before Fight Night
This is a critical stage in the weight loss process. He will begin at 169 lb. The first thing he does is lower his overall caloric intake by 20%. The meals are broken down into smaller portions and more often. While doing this he increases his cardio, but lowers the intensity and adds an evening run in addition to the AM run. These two runs do not serve as conditioning, but rather to assist with the calorie burn.
1 Week Before Fight Night
I was amazed that his fighter could be 7 days before fight night and still have 11 to 12 pounds left to lose. So at 166 -167lb he increases his water intake to 1.5 gallons. His workouts have eliminated sparring and consists of all shadow boxing, mitts and light runs.
3-1 Days Before Fight Night
First, he drops back down to 1 gallon of water and gets his weight done to 166-165 pounds. He wants to wake up on the day of weight-ins at 165 lbs. The day before weight-in, usually a Thursday he drops down to ½ gallon of water. On weight-ins he eats only egg whites in the morning and no water for the rest of the day.
With about 9-10 pounds to go on the morning of weight-ins, he begins cutting the remaining weight at 1pm for a 4 pm weigh-in. He covers his entire body with albolene and wears a plastic suit and winter cap. He will run on a treadmill and varying the pace. He begins fast to heat his body up quickly and keeps a faster pace for 15-20 minutes. Then follows with 20 minutes on the jump rope and 10-15 minutes shadow boxing. Then he will sit in the sauna for 10 minutes. After this 70-90 minute period he has usually dropped between 8 and 9 pounds. If after weighing himself he is 1 to 2 pounds short, he will spend the remaining 30 minutes doing 10 minutes on the rope, 10 minutes shadow boxing and 10 minutes running or shadowing boxing in the sauna.
After weight-in he begins sipping liquids and then goes to brown rice, brown pasta and tuna. He also adds whole eggs to get good fats in his body.