So, the time is now. We are roughly 22 or 23 days away from the 2017 USS Strongman Nationals in Detroit Michigan. This is the time that strength athletes commence our “cut”. It is a time to dial in the way you are eating, nail in the last few training weeks, and get the hydration, sleep, and mobility work you need to peak for the contest.
For those who are unaware, I compete in the 198 Weight Class for USS Strongman. The good news is that I am getting stronger and am becoming a real contender in that weight class, the bad news is that my training weight is around 220 Lbs. So, I sit writing this at a luscious 222.2 Lbs. this morning. That means I need to cut roughly 24 Lbs. total to make weights in 22 days. Taking into consideration a few pounds come from the fact that I am very hydrated currently and just ate, I will give myself 22 pounds to lose in 22 days. Plus, the hashtag #22IN22 looks and sounds SOOO much better.
So how it is possible to lose 22 pounds in 22 days? You may be saying to yourself that it is a lot of weight to lose in not a lot of time and you would be right. I would never suggest doing a method like this for a client or someone that is looking to PERMENANTLY lose weight or is looking to keep the weight off. I am a strength athlete who needs to fit into a weight class for about 10 seconds as I stand on the judge’s scale. After that point, I want to gain as much weight back as I can. Again, this is not meant to help those looking to lose weight and keep it off. Safety disclaimer over. Let’s get into it.
My weight cut will be broken into 3 different phases. I will be going over the latter two phases in two different articles (www.SamBrownStrength.com) so stay tuned for those. Phase one however is what I like to refer to as “Cut-The-Crap” Phase. This phases lasts roughly the first 12 or so days. During this time, we are hitting the last few “real” training weeks. We are still moving heavy weights and pushing ourselves as we try to peak our bodies and minds for the meet. The only real difference between this stretch of time versus regular training is that on the off days (non-training days) I cut carbs down to about 40 a day. Why 40? Well, it is an arbitrary number when it comes down to it, but there will always be residual carbs in the green leafy veggies that I eat and that is exactly where you will be getting ALL your carbs from. Fibrous, green, leafy vegetables. Broccoli, spinach, kale, and asparagus will be your best friends during this time. During the off days, I will be increasing my fats a little bit to help me stay satiated. I keep myself in a calorie deficit still, but I just adjust the sources of my calories. When I say fats, I mean healthy fats. Ghee (google it you will thank me), Avocado, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, and MCT oil are my go to selections.
During this time, I increase my cardio to roughly 3-4 times a week. I am not talking “kick your ass” HIIT cardio, you are going to be in a calorie deficit and may not have the energy available to recover from it. I am talking three to four bouts of steady state cardio a week just to help burn a few extra calories during your days. Incline walking on a treadmill, rowing machines, spin bikes, and the elliptical all do the job. Pick your poison and get your cardio in. Again, nothing too crazy or difficult. Just a brisk pace to burn a few hundred calories.
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