On The Weight Cut.

May 16, 2016

Last year at Nationals, the first under my new Occam banner, I competed as a Super-heavyweight.  This year, I competed as a 94.  As you can imagine, I’ve had to field a lot of questions about my opinion on weight cuts, weight classes and my own personal experience.

So I guess I should start at the beginning.  I weighed 275lbs by the time I was 17.  Yes, I lifted weights and I played football and by most standards I could’ve been considered “athletic” but I was still morbidly obese.  By my 18th birthday, I trimmed down to 215.  I found wrestling and I graduated high school weighing 205lbs.

That was around 11 years ago.  For the majority of my weightlifting career since then, I’ve maintained around 235lbs and competed as a 105kg lifter.  That was the case until around 2011 when I decided to purposely put on weight to see how strong I could get.  By 2013, I weighed 126kg/286lbs.  I could squat 285kg but my lifts didn’t improve as much as you would think.  As it turns out, I was too fat to move athletically.  I cleaned up my diet and sat around 265lbs as a comfortable super.

Work and life became stressful and for the first time in my life, I lost my appetite.  I would come home from work and genuinely would not be able to eat dinner.  So I decided to run with it and cleaned up my diet even more. Around this time, I got hooked up with Forklifter, a meal prep company.  So it was definitely way easier to stay clean and healthy during the week.

It wasn’t until I opened up Occam Athletics, my own business that I decided I would be better off as both an athlete and businessman being leaner and healthier.  So I really tightened up my diet and competed as a 105 by fall of last year.  The American Open was my first national meet back as a 105.


Peak fatness VS. Peak skinniness.  One of these physiques will do fine in the fitness industry and one will not.   

This month, I hit a 320 total as a 94.  My best ever total is 333 as a 105 so I’m not too far off.  The only real difference I can feel is my squat strength.  Realistically, it terms of being the most powerful lifter I can be, I’d be a 105.  But I’m closing the gap as a 94 and at this weight I get to buy pants off the rack.

As far as actual CUTTING methods, I tell people to never cut more than 3-5%.  I cut around 8% at the PWA Championships (my first meet as a 94) and around 5% at Nationals.  But I’ve been competing in weight class sports for 1/2 my life.

Would I recommend it? No.  And if you want further discussion about my methods, I can certainly write a post about it.  But I still maintain that you should never try and lose more than 3-5%.

And furthermore, you shouldn’t even be worried about weight class until you, yourself could potentially either a) qualify for nationals or b) medal at nationals.  Unless you are one of these two people, you have not earned the right to be concerned about cutting weight.  Your one and only job is to get stronger and healthier. (i’m of course not talking about international caliber lifters).

So there you have it.  My thoughts on losing weight for weightlifting.  I’m of course coming towards the end of the road as a National caliber lifter, so my strategy is going to be different from the guy brand new to the national scene.  If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask in the comments section.


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