Weight cutting weight loss and fat loss might sound like the same thing to a layman. Only a true fitness geek and the combat athletes can understand the true meaning and difference of the three terms. Boxer’s training routines and diet plans are quite specific for weight cutting and weight loss.
The Difference between Weight Loss & Weight Cutting
Yes, the two are different in meaning. To cut weight is one thing and to lose weight is another. Boxers usually fight in certain weight classes to maintain the fairness of the game. Fly light, featherweight, middleweight, and heavyweight are the weight classes for the boxers. They have to pass the weight test a day before the match. That is when they cut weight to make sure they fit in their specific weight class.
Weight loss, on the other hand, is something anyone can do. Whether to cut down on body fat, get fit or simply get leaner, slimmer, weight loss is a general practice for athletes, actors, celebrities and even normal regular people.
Why Boxers Need To Cut Weight
Cutting weight means losing weight fast, right before the final weigh-in for the fighters, boxers, martial artists. Boxers need to cut weight because they simply have to fall in their particular fighting weight class. What most boxers do is that they stay close to their fighting weight class on the upper side of the range. This means they maintain a weight of 20 to 10 pounds higher than their weight class. Then for the weigh-in, these professional boxers cut weight and after the weigh-in, they gain that weight back on within 24 hours. Putting the weight back on gives them a comparative advantage of weight over their opponents.
What Is A Better Option for Boxers – Lose Weight or Cut Weight
Weight cutting is quite an unhealthy practice. If not done right, it can have severe consequences. Extreme weight loss done the wrong way can be dangerous and life-threatening.
How Do Boxers Cut Weight?
When boxers cut weight, they often compromise their health. Even the most polished UFC players don’t give the weight cutting much thought and just do it going the most extreme ways. For the weigh-in before the fights, most boxers cut weight by cutting their food and water intake. Some simply stop drinking water to lose all the water weight and shed the pounds above their weight class. This practice damages the metabolic system in the body. In fact, it can even kill you since it starts affecting the organs if not done right. Moreover, cutting out on food and water intake can actually lead to more water retention and sodium retention in the body. This will not only affect your overall health but also stop the weight from falling after a particular figure because your body steps in and starts acting opposite to what you want.
Therefore, even the most seasoned professionals must not go the extreme route by themselves. Instead, seek professional guidance from your trainer as well as a nutritionist to stay fit and still put on and lose the unnecessary weight you need to qualify for your weight class.
The Right Way for Boxers to Cut Weight
It is an accepted fact that boxers need to cut weight but another fact is that they must do it right for the sake of their own health in the long run. Weight cutting should not be aggressive or else it can have negative effects on physical fitness as well as performance on the day of the fight. The right way to cut down on weight is to start early at least a week ahead or 5 days ahead of the fight. Moreover, cutting down on food and fluid intake is one thing, to completely stop it is another. Seeking professional help is the best way to do it. However, if you want to do it yourself, take guidance from your trainer and stay in moderation. Here is the right way for boxers to cut weight for their weigh-ins.
Maintaining your weight close to your weight class is the easiest way to pass the weigh-in. At least throughout the training camp if not before that, try to maintain your weight just a little above your weight class so that you don’t have to go the extreme route for the weigh-in. Customize your diet as well as your training routine to achieve the goals. Make sure you have a healthy metabolism with the help of cardio and other exercises.
Food and Fluid Intake
Boxers cut weight by cutting down their calorie intake. The best way is to reduce the calorie intake a few days ahead of the weigh-in. Moreover, start cutting down on water slowly too since most of the bodyweight is actually water weight. Also, this is the weight you can lose fast. Boxers bulk up on their fluid and calorie intake to rehydrates and replenish themselves for the fight right after the weigh-in.
Sweat it out
The rest of the calories, boxers usually just sweat out working rigorously in the gym. Since the weight they are trying to cut down is usually the water weight, so most of the boxers turn to fluid restriction and extreme vigorous workouts to sweat it all out. Running a treadmill, cycling in a sauna, and fast jogs with trash bags and heavy parachute clothing are some examples of the extreme training for boxers to cut weight. These extreme methods often leave them tired, weak and drained out. Their energy levels are quite low on the day of the weigh-in.
Tips and Methods
Weight manipulation is too dangerous in fact injurious to health if done wrong. However, if done right, it offers a great comparative advantage, increasing the chances of a fighter winning the fight.
George Lockhart the former fighter turned nutritional guru for the UFC athletes has helped some of the most difficult weight cuts for the final weigh-in. He says even the most professional boxers cut weight by almost abusing their bodies, never giving much thought to their meal plans and overall health. Lockhart suggests a balanced and steady weight loss routine is the best way to go.
An easy 5-day weight-cutting routine can make your life easier and your goals achievable, that too by only cutting down some on your food and fluid intake instead of completely restricting it and sending your body into a nonresponsive zone.
Start by 2 gallons of water for the first two days. This will train your body to flush out. Cut the water intake to 1 liter on the third day. Cut it down to another half the next day and finally reduce your water intake to only 0.25 liter on the fifth day. This slow reduction will not move your body into a starvation mode. Just make sure that when you are not sweating try avoiding too much. Reduce your calorie intake by avoiding carbs and salt, staying hydrated, eating fewer carbs a day. Moreover, eat proteins and vegetables as much as you can.
How Do Boxers Lose Weight?
When it comes to how boxers lose weight, it generally means how they lose all the fat and gain pure, ripped, muscle instead. This is possible because boxing is a sport that creates real physical perfection. There is no doubt that boxers have the best bodies. They are physically fit with toned, lean muscles, and have a high level of endurance too. The whole training camps are designed around losing body fat and developing strong, ripped muscles. This is what a common boxer’s training routine looks like, especially when the boxers lose weight in terms of body fat.
- Explosive lifts lay the foundation for dense muscles
Weight lifting increases stamina and power. Boxers and fighter use explosive movements for weight lifting. While this increases power, it also makes the muscle metabolically active, which in turn helps gain strong, solid muscle mass.
- Combat athletes and boxers manipulate their growth hormones
Fighters manipulate their growth hormones by tricking their body. Their training alternates short high activity periods with short rest and mixing up different sets of exercises. One such example is consistent fighting, skipping, or punching bag workout with 30 seconds of rest followed by some weight lifting sets. The short recovery time trains the body to recover fast. This shapes the body and increases the growth hormone levels in the body too. This leads to faster fat burn as well as faster muscle growth.
- Avoid Plateaus with variety
Boxers lose weight and burn fat fast. The reason they are able to do it is that they avoid plateau quite effectively. They are so good at avoiding this state because they never stick to the same routines or the same amount or level of reps and exercises. They time their rounds instead of counting the number of reps. Moreover, they go out of the box and try to incorporate all different sorts of workouts and exercises into their routines.
- Upper body endurance training is the key to their perfect V-shape physique
Boxers do a lot of endurance training. Upper body endurance training specifically forms a good part of their training routines. This helps develop strong broad muscles along with a thin lean waist. They are able to achieve this with the punching bag routine that requires the torso rotation like no other exercise. This removes excess belly fat, works up the oblique muscles while developing strong shoulders.
Diet Plans and Exercises
The secret is that you don’t necessarily have to be a fighter to bet a boxer like a body. Instead, you can simply adopt the same training routine using all the same training equipment and technique to get in the same shape like a boxer. Here are some of the major lessons you can learn from how boxers lose weight and apply it to your training routine to get in form like a boxer.
- Training at a casual intensity, even for long hours and for months isn’t as fruitful as the boxing training. Reason? The casual intensity. It only increases the cortisol level and preserves the body fat instead of burning it so even after spending long hours you still look the same. Switch to short high-intensity activity instead and you will be surprised by the results.
- Boxers always train in 2 to 3-minute rounds instead of counting their reps and taking their time. The intense anaerobic way they train involves high-intensity physical activity. The training routine works up all the muscle groups in your body helping them get the lean, toned build.
- The boxing training equipment like heavy bags and mitts also help get the lean physique. The equipment itself is designed to get the boxers in shape and increase their strength, endurance, and stamina along with the skill level and technique. If you do the training right, the intense physical activity is sure to burn the fat and the calories to get you in perfect shape.
- Boxing training includes anaerobic workouts. This means you train in intervals of intense physical activity and short rest. This anaerobic interval workout routine activates your metabolism to work at a faster rate not only during the time when you are exercising but also hours after the exercise.
- Both boxing training and cross-training exercises work every muscle group in your body. You will probably feel sore in places you didn’t even imagine you could ever feel sore. You work up muscles that have been dormant and with an intense level of physical activity they all start to get solid, lean, and fit.
Boxers Lose Weight by Eating Right
Nutrition is the key to good health and fitness. You cannot expect to get fit without the right food. Leaving the bad food habits might be difficult but it is not impossible. With a little self-control, determination, and resilience you can definitely do it. Here are the key steps to get yourself to eating right.
- Stop Eating Junk
Start with cutting out on junk, and garbage food. Stop eating boxed, packaged, canned, and frozen food. that means saying a big NO to all the sugary cereals, soda, canned juices, refined carbs, white bread, most of the baked deserts. You are mostly cutting down on unnecessary sugars, salts, and processed foods, preservatives, and chemicals. This is a healthy lifestyle change anyone can adopt. This little step goes a long way in your weight loss goals as well as your general health profile.
- Switch to Whole Foods
The first step is to cut the junk, processed, and frozen. The next one is to make the switch to whole foods from the refined ones. Instead of using refined salts, flours, sugars, even the selected vegetables, and meats only, switch to whole foods. Whole grains, raw honey, rock salts, and natural flavors for seasoning. Likewise eat fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats. They are much more healthy and nutritious than the canned alternates.
- Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day
People often skip breakfast and go for a large lunch followed by a fancy dinner. The alternate route is the better option. Start your day with a good hearty, healthy breakfast, a good lunch, and always something quick to digest for dinner. This will help your metabolism and prevent fats from accumulating in your body.
- Add Snacks Between Meals
Don’t ever make the mistake of skipping meals. Cutting down your calorie intake is one thing starving your body is another. Skipping meals sends your body in the fasting mode where it starts to store fat instead of burning it. It slows down your metabolism. Take five to six meals a day. You can take three proper full meals and two or three snacks in between those meals. Make sure you eat the right food. This will boost your metabolism while keeping your energy levels high, which is a must for the intense physical activity you are gearing up for.
Boxers Training Routine and Diet
A healthy boxer's training routine and diet are the best for anyone who wants to lose weight. You can exclude the fighting part if you simply want to get fit or add to and you will learn some awesome self-defense moves. A boxer's training routine and diet normally stick to the basics. And if you get the basics right the job is done well. The advanced level training further increases the skill level and technique of the boxers. It is the basics where all the endurance, speed, and stamina comes from.
Boxers Training Routine and Diet
Boxers training routing and diet both are equally important when it comes to weight loss and weight cutting. The intense activity coupled with the wrong nutrition is not very likely to help your weight loss goals. The right kind of nutrition not only helps but boosts your weight loss plans.
A boxer's diet must be for lifelong health. You can definitely customize the meals according to your specific needs. Cut down on some foods at certain times and increase the consumption at other times. However, always bear in mind that good nutrition is the key to great performance. Whether you a boxer cutting weight for the competition, training for a fight or it is the regular training routine, your diet is what keeps you strong and provides you all the energy to deliver the power and strength your body has developed with all the training. Here are the basic rules to eat right.
Always eat for long term health and fitness goals. Even if you have a specific target to achieve, like weight cutting to make weight, never go the extreme route. Chose a diet where your overall health will suffer the least or better yet, doesn’t have to suffer. This is because you need all the weight and the energy back for the fight you are cutting weight for in the first place.
A balanced diet is a key to a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle. Never completely cut out anything. Instead, include all the essential components of a healthy diet into your meals in appropriate proportions. Carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, make sure the diet you are taking includes everything in appropriate proportions. You might think that cutting out on fats will help with fat loss. That is not true. Healthy fats are essential to an active and fast metabolism as well as body functions. Therefore, take good fats along with other nutrients.
The right timing of the meals is probably even more important than the meal itself. Never, ever starve your body of the food when it needs energy. Likewise, do not overeat when you are already full. Time your meals to fit your daily schedule. Taking 3 large meals with two to three snacks a day is the best way to go. The right timing will make you feel full on less food. This way you will eat less and lose more with the workout, especially when you are planning to lose weight. Starving your body will only push it into starvation mode which is where fat storage takes place instead of fat loss. So eating at the right time is the key to fat loss.
Design Your Meals to Fit Your Needs
A single diet plan can never fit all. Everyone has a unique body type, lifestyle, diet goals, and metabolism rate. That is why a diet that helps reduce weight for someone may actually lead to weight gain in somebody else. Therefore, never try to just adopt someone else’s diet plan. Rather, design and plan your meals according to your own specific needs. Only you know how your body responds to certain foods at a certain time of the day. Therefore, customize your diet to fit your specific needs. You can also seek professional guidance for professional sports nutritionists to help you design a diet and work plan for the desired fat loss.
Eat More but Don’t Over Eat
A boxer's diet must be balanced enough to provide energy for intense physical activity. Moreover, their diet must facilitate muscle development while reducing excess body fat. That is why a boxer's training routine and diet must complement each other for the best results. The diet must be enough to supplement the rigorous workout routine providing the energy the body needs for the workouts to get the ripped physique. A boxer must never starve. At the same time, moderation is the key. A boxer must not overeat in order to avoid fat build-up.
It Is Significant For Boxers to Maintain Weight
It is true that boxers cut weight before the fights to fit in their certain weight class at the time of the weigh-in. However, in order to avoid extreme weight cutting that might even have negative effects on their overall health as well as performance, they must maintain their weight close to the weight class. This way they will only have to lose a few pounds and that is much better as well as easier option health-wise. A boxer must take a balanced diet to maintain their weight.
Hydration Is the Key to Great Performance
You cannot perform well if you are dehydrated. A well-hydrated body helps proper body functioning. You simply cannot live without water as 50% of the body weight is water and if you are sweating it out at a fast pace you need to replace it too. Otherwise, the body will start retaining water, putting a full stop to your weight loss goals. Water transports the nutrients to your whole body, it helps remove toxins, regulates the body temperature, and helps with fast digestion. Therefore, it is crucial for boxers to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Hydrated muscles get fewer cramps to a hydrated body will even have less cramping. Even when you are shedding water weight to make it for the weight in, it is crucial to drink enough water to survive, for proper body functioning as well as preventing water retention in the body when losing water weight.
Eat a Balanced Amount of Carbs
While carbs do spike sugar levels and convert into fats when taken in excess, a moderate amount of good carbs is necessary for routine body functions. The good carbs help you feel fuller. Therefore, they help you control your diet and eat less. This helps maintain good body weight. They prolong physical endurance while reducing the risks of diabetes and heart diseases. Just avoid the processed carbs instead switch to whole foods like whole wheat and whole grains so that your body also gets the fiber and other nutrients required to digest those carbs, preventing them from turning into fat. Instead, the fiber helps convert these carbs into energy required for the intense physical activity.
When it comes to proteins, lean meats and seafood is the best option. Skip the canned and packaged, processed meats in favor of fresh meat. Eat meats in moderation as all meat even the white meat has fat. Moreover, I prefer lean meats as are easy to digest and the fat content is low. Proteins are essential for muscle development and body functioning. Add lentils, eggs, and other forms of protein to your diet too along with meat to have a balanced proportion of everything.
While bad fats have their health risks including the risk of heart diseases, clogging the arteries, and accumulating excess fat in your body, good fats are actually necessary for proper body functioning. The good fats from nuts like almonds and cashews and natural oils including olive and canola oil are good for the body. They facilitate cell growth and vitamin absorption. Therefore, make sure to include the good fats in your diet in moderate amounts. Avoid bad fats including trans fats and saturated fats.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals come from fresh fruits and vegetables. They are important in small quantities to help with proper brain functioning, muscle movement, bone, and cell growth. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can pose serious health risks. Therefore, eat colorful foods and vegetables for balanced nutrition.
A balanced diet is the healthiest diet be it for fitness training muscle gain or weight loss. You can customize the diet plan by adding all the essential nutrition elements needed by the body.
Does Boxing Tone Your Body?
There is no better workout routine or even sport that tones your body as boxing does. The intense workout routines are never the same so your body does not get used to anything to stop responding. Boxing tones your body since it adds all different kinds of exercises in a single workout routine for the best results. Boxing helps you say goodbye to the excess body fat and welcome strong, lean and healthy muscles.
Boxing burns calories fast. Everything from running to the boxing specific workouts like jump rope, heavy bag workout, mitts training, and even the weight training is designed to burn fat and calories. This, in turn, helps develop strong muscles, toning and shaping the body to perfection.
There Is A Difference Between Weight Cutting Weight Loss And Fat Loss
It is crucial to understand that there is a great deal of difference between weight cutting, weight loss, and even fat loss. Wight cutting is the sudden weight reduction specifically to make weight for the weigh-in. Boxers gain back the weight they lose for the weigh-in right after it to have a competitive advantage in the fight. This is a quick weight cut followed by a fast weight gain. Weight loss, on the other hand, is rather a long term or permanent. Boxers lose weight at a slow pace in with proper diet and intense exercise so that they do not put it back on. It is something they want to maintain. Weight loss and fat loss can be similar or different in the sense that a boxer might already have a ripped body and yet wants to make it to a lower weight class on a permanent basis. In this case, he will probably reduce some of the muscle mass to lose some of the weight. However, most of the time, weight loss is synonymous with fat loss. Boxers burn excess body fat in order to achieve a ripped, lean, muscular physique.
You Might Have To Rush for Weight Cutting But Do It Wisely
There are times when a boxer needs to cut 20 or even 30 pounds weight to make it to their specific weight class at the weigh-in. For this, sometimes even the most polished and experienced professionals make the mistake of rushing it all and going the extreme route too soon, cutting out their food and water intake. This only sends the body into starvation mode. It starts retaining water as well as salt along, which in turn stops the body weight from falling. If they take diuretics at this stage, then it leads to fatigue, lack of energy and strength to such an extent that most athletes cannot make up for all the weight loss and lack of energy for their final fights ending up losing anyway. Therefore, whenever a boxer cuts weight, they must be careful about the following aspects.
Be careful about:
- Muscle maintenance
Boxers must make sure that when they limit the food and water intake for the sake of weight loss, they must think about muscle maintenance too. They must make sure that they are only losing the fat and the water weight not their muscle mass in the process of weight cutting. They must plan a diet and water intake that only leads to weight cut and does not affect the muscles otherwise performance will be drastically affected.
- Bone Mineral Density
A boxer's weight cut must not affect their bone mineral density. This means that they must never deprive themselves of the nutrients required for the regular body and muscle functioning. Otherwise, the body will start taking nutrients from the bones. This will affect bone mineral density, making the bones hurt at the same time it makes them weaker.
Immunity is one of the most important things to consider when boxers cut weight. Their weight cutting process must not be too extreme to affect their immune system to a dramatic extent. After all, what is the point of going through all that effort and making it for the weigh-in and then lose the fight because you were too weak to fight or simply not well enough to fight and win?
Never rush when it comes to weight loss and fat loss. Instead, take it slow and light. Then slowly increase the intensity or the pace of your weight loss regimen. This will ensure you are keeping the balance in mind and your body will have the time to respond right too without going into the defensive mode.