This post is inspired by a recent conversation with a family member. I don’t know if many people get these comments, but this person expressed concern that I was going to extremes in order to lose excess weight for some tournaments coming up, particularly not eating and other extreme methods of weight loss.
The comments were meant with the best intentions, but it’s hard for people sometimes to understand that a lot of times these extreme measures are avoided as much as possible (well, for me anyway) and regarded as a last resort, because truth be told they’re pretty impractical when it comes to jiu jitsu tournaments- well the bigger tournaments like IBJJF ones, anyway.
When a jiu jitsu player attends a tournament set up more in an IBJJF format, you don’t typically weigh in the night before- you are required to weigh in the day of, really minutes before you are supposed to compete which more often than not makes extreme weight loss tactics a last and desperate measure. Wrestlers usually weigh in the night before (from what I understand) so they can exercise more extreme weight loss strategies since they have time to eat, drink, rest, replenish what they have lost. However, relatively there’s little time in between weighing in and actually competing in jiu jitsu, so a competitor doesn’t have as much time (if at all) to rehydrate or regain their energy.
So for a jiu jitsu player, it makes more sense for them to take a longer, steadier approach to weight loss. Sure, it makes them a killjoy at your Friday Night Hot Fudge Sundae/Pizza Party around tournament training time, but they are doing what they have to in order to lose weight in a sensible way where they will still have energy for when its go time. Sure, there are some lower ranked competitors who will still attempt these extreme tactics, but after time they learn that it’s a hell of a lot easier on their bodies to take this longer approach then to starve themselves, run around in sauna suits, and other sorts of crazy weight loss methods.