By Aida Guemati
In judo, cutting weight is almost as common as drinking a glass of water and the funny thing is that most judokas, in order to make weight, will cut their water drinking.
It does not matter if you participate at Local, Regional, National or International Tournaments, before facing your opponents you have to get to terms with the scale! For many it is really a nightmare as they have to get rid of 5,10 sometimes 20 pounds in a week. Can you imagine the psychological pressure you have to cope with, besides all the physical distress this might cause?
One could write hundreds of pages on judo making weight, but there are some funny stories to report. It is known of Olympic athletes sitting on the scale an hour before the official weigh-in opens with big bottles of water under their arms, looking frantically at their watches, counting seconds, minutes, asking: “when is the official weigh-in finally going to open?!” And these are the lucky ones, those that reach the scale perfectly in their weight.
But what about those judokas still cutting weight until the last minute before the official weigh-in closes? You will see them running, sweating, puffing with tons of clothes on, their fellows covering them up with their bodies to create a natural sauna. Those are the ones, that loose the last 1, 3 or 5 pounds in order to make it before stepping on that scale. And when they succeed the first thing they do is drink and eat as much as they can, which does not necessarily contribute to a peak performance that day.
One could write a book on “Judo Cutting Weight Methods” as there are many of them, describing the pros and the cons. But what if there was a way to get rid of this burden, allowing you not to worry anymore, not to have all the psychological pressure during the week/s before the competition and to be at your peak performance while facing your opponents on the mat?
Strange but true most judokas prefer the drastic way to make weight. During the week before competition they continue to go out with their friends after training, have dinner together and why not a beer and another one. Why should one take into consideration moderation, if it is possible to loose the last pounds an hour before the weigh-in closes? It is a lot more fun to hang out with your fellow judokas enjoying life. But what about the performance the day of the competition? Will it really be at its peak?
Due to the fact, that judo training is really hard and most of the athletes undergo heavy endurance tests, the body gets used to many things, even to suffer without feeling the pain. So often this leads to an attitude of “who cares, I can make it anyway” and yes they step on the scale the day of the competition and succeed, but forget that they could have a far better performance if only they would consider optimizing their nutrition.
Judokas should treat themselves like outstanding racing cars, which only get the best fuel there is on the market. Instead of cutting weight until the very last minute, in judo making weight should be achieved by optimizing ones nutrition. Judokas should only get the right fuel they deserve, in order to always be at peak performance.