Maintaining strength while cutting weight


White Belt
Jun 28, 2003
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First off i have to thank you guys for the great info I've gotten from this forum already. It's been a big help. Anyway, I'm planning on dropping weight so I can enter a lower weight class in BJJ. I've wrestled most of my life so I know plenty about cutting water weight, but I was hoping you guys could give me some advice on maintaining strength while dropping fat. I realize how important it is to eat plenty when trying to make strength gains or build mass, but I'd like to ideally continue getting stronger (I know it's unlikely) or at least stay close to where I am now while dropping weight. Thanks for your input
1. Every ounce of food you put in your body should be as high quality as possible, by quality I mean it should have a lot of protein and not a ton of fat or excessive ammount of carbohydrates.
2. Take your vitamins! I take a multi-pack, as well as extra B's, C, Zinc and Magnesium. If you're short on cash or don't feel like taking pills all the time, a solid multi-pack will be fine. Most single pill multivitamins are subpar in my opinion though.
3. One of the only supplements I've found to be useful is Glutamine. It's not some super supplement (nothing legal in the US is) but it will indeed help one keep quality mass on while consuming fewer calories. If you use it for what it can do (help prevent catabolism from what I understand) it can be great. Just take a few capsules when you should eat, but can't, won't or don't. It's worked for me over the past few months at least. To a lesser extent I also found BCAA's to be useful in terms of maintaining muscle mass while losing fat.
4. It is indeed possible to lose fat and get stronger as long as you train smart, eat at least semi-smart. Just like anything with lifting, it often becomes a confidence issue. Lifters can get it in their head that if they're not stuffing food in constantly, they can't perform in the gym. Now obviously, I am a proponent of a high calorie diet for most lifters, but that doesn't mean you can't continue to progress while limiting your food intake. I lost weight while making amazing progress on my bench just recently. Don't sell yourself short.

I hope that's of some help.
well yep sticking to point 4 , if you have a proper diet and train right with adequate rest .. there is no reason why you will not gain strength ....

loosing fat is fine ,u dont need excess fat to be strong ??? i dunno where u got that from .. if u read alot of the "lightweights" on this forum have extreeme amounts of strength .. just make sure you get the energy intake you need and you will be fine .. also remember that your body apart from the protien needs energy mostly to recover and grow , eat alot of vegetables too dammnit

just whatever you do , do not starve yourself im only saying this because i read of werestlers doing this all the time to "cut weight" i guess who am i to judge what they do because i know some werestlers that do it and they are pretty damn strong , but if you are asking to gain strength , you would not be wise to be starving your body of nutrients because it will eat at your muscle first .. well when its pretty much completley starved

but anyway your probably already know this

edit : oh how much weight are you planning to loose ? are you going to go many lbs under your current weight ,from what i gather u pretty much just wanting to get rid of the excess bulk ??
Hey Herculean, thanks for your input. I never thought that being fat had anything to do with being strong, but taking in lots of quality calories has plenty to do with making strength and size gains. When you take in excess calories, your body will turn it into fat and muslce (if you exercise). It's the same with losing weight. Whenever you burn more calories than you consume, you run the risk of going into a catabolic state and losing the muscle you've worked hard for. I've had 2 instances when I hit a plateau and couldn't get over it despite changing up my workouts. I finally decided to add some extra protein shakes and calories to my diet, and I broke through no problem. Way too many people underestimate how much what you do in the kitchen can influence what you do in the gym. My question dealt with what sort of precautions you could take to avoid losing strength while dieting. I already take glutamine for this reason, as Carnal suggested, and also take a multi-vitamin. Right now I weigh right about 185 and have been dieting down to this weight for 2-3 weeks for NAGA Cape Cod on the 15th. The weight class I'll be in goes from 175 to 190 lbs. My next tournament is in early August and the weight class there is 170-180. I'm only trying to drop another 5-10 lbs., but I'd like as much of that to be fat as possible. I'm 5'10 and don't carry much fat on me, but the less the better.