– One Fighter’s Perspective –
When I train for a fight I always try to eat as much as possible. My diet mainly includes rice, meat, vegetables and fruit. My family cooks all of our own meals, and between work, training, and taking care of my daughter I eat as many as six times per day. This is based on training twice a day for a total of four to six hours as well as working manual labour.
My last fight was at one hundred and twenty-two pounds. When training started six weeks out I was walking around a little over one-thirty. This time around I knew it would be a very easy cut in comparison to my last fight at one-fifteen.
The first thing I started was water loading, this is something I picked up in North America; cutting weight in Thailand is very different. Depending on your size this means drinking four to six liters of a water a day and is best to start at least four weeks before you are set to fight. During this time I try only to focus on training and weigh myself just once per week. When we are about ten days out I cut back on training. This is very difficult for me but is a very important step in both cutting weight and preparing for the fight. My team aims to increase intensity but to decrease the volume of training. It is at this time that I also begin to eat less. I will still eat complete meals, but just smaller portions. Additionally, I stop eating three to four hours before bed. Replacing your evening meal with a natural protein supplement is a good idea as you still want to replenish your body. I recommend Vega Sport-Performance Protein along with Vega Sport-Recovery Accelerator.
Most weigh ins in North America happen one day before the actual fight and are usually on Fridays; in Thailand it is the morning of the fight. Depending on how much weight you have to cut Thursday is usually the last day for food. Start the day with a filling breakfast (oatmeal), and then have a late lunch with both carbs (vegetables) and protein; portion size will depend on how much weight you are cutting. About one hour before the last training session I cut out all food and liquids. The idea is to go no more than twenty-four hours without fluid. Nowadays, many fighters prefer to do hot water bath but I don’t like it. I put on a sweatsuit (vinyl) and run the weight off. During this time it is important to towel off often removing all sweat from your body. Along with running, speed drills, light pad rounds and bag work all help. I will get under five pounds of my target weight before jumping in a cold shower and going to bed. Make sure to keep very warm while sleeping; if needed wear your sweat suit to bed. Usually through the night you will lose about two pounds.
Having lost a few pounds during the night I hope to be three pounds within my goal the morning of the weigh in. I try my best to sleep in and then in early afternoon I go for one more run in the sweatsuit, and if needed some time in the sauna. This will get me down one to two more pounds and during the day I will lose at least one pound not eating.
Be sure to check out my next blog post that talks about refueling your body before the fight!
With over sixty professional bouts under his record, Thanit “Boom” Watthanaya is a Muay Thai fighter from Khorat, Thailand. Currently living in Vancouver, BC with his wife and daughter; watch out for him on the North American Fight Scene!