In this series of articles, I will give myself 30min to write about a topic – a rough draft to published. It will be harsh and straight to the point. Let’s see how a few of these go and if I have any friends left after this period.

Stop cutting weight. It’s not worth it. There I said it. It’s more trouble than it’s worth.

Cutting Weight is a prevalent topic in today’s world. And yes, I just pimped my book written 8 years ago about the subject. I’m not against cutting weight, but let me tell you, it’s not what you want to do long term.

Here’s some sage advice: don’t cut weight until your totals are on the cusp of world level, or you’re just an lb or two over. This, I have no issue with just squeezing into a weight class, no matter the level. I understand the psychology and approach. I remember doing this 22 years ago at my first bench meet. It didn’t matter in the big picture, but it mattered to me.

There’s a stark difference between cutting a couple of lbs vs. changing your life for weeks on end to make weight.

I am not for significant weight cuts unless there is huge money on the line like boxing, fighting, and the like. Keep in mind, I’ve cut for just about every meeting I’ve ever done the last two decades, but it’s also one of my biggest regrets.

When I was obsessed with breaking 2700 at 242, I could have enjoyed my lifting so much more, but I was stuck. People get stuck in all areas of life; for me, I couldn’t gain weight, or I’d feel like crap, but being 265 and starving myself wasn’t having me feel great either, so I kept slamming my head into the brick wall. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place in no man’s land in the 260s.

Finally, after a long break, a full mind and body reset along with some clarity, I decided not to cut weight anymore and jumped up two weight classes, Chuck V style, and it paid off. I can’t tell you how happy I was training, eating, and rolling up to the meet eating Cheeseburgers, Chipotle, OJ, Greek Yogurt. If I wanted a ‘Coca-Cola with Ice,’ I had one without being suicidal afterward, worrying about the extra 140kcal I just consumed.

I remember talking with Brian Hill a couple of years ago and told him flat out – stop cutting weight, get bigger, and have more fun. I don’t know all the details, but he had his best meet ever and seemed like he had fun doing it, so that’s a win in my book.

Cutting weight is not bad, but when it becomes your sole focus and obsession – more than actually lifting weights and trying to be as strong as possible, then it’s an issue. My biggest regret in lifting is not having more fun and just showing up and lifting. You also knew this is coming: I’m not giving anyone the green light to be fat and lazy. Being fat and lazy does lend itself to being more robust than skinny, depleted, sucked down, distracted and exhausted.

I’d pick the fat and lazy guy to win at lifting every time who can think about being big, strong, and simply locked-in for big weights—not being part of a weight-watchers competition.

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Brian Carroll

Brian is a world-class powerlifter with over two decades of elite and pro-level powerlifting under his belt. Coming back from a devastating back injury in 2012 that broke multiple bones and that most experts said he would never recover from, he has returned to the pinnacle of world-class lifting (while 100% pain and symptom-free) and is now dedicated to helping others avoid the same mistakes that he made in the past through private and group coaching in Jacksonville, FL. Brian’s impressive recovery has given him the opportunity to teach and deliver talks to physical therapists, chiropractors, medical doctors, professional strength & conditioning coaches and experts from all facets of sport, on how to avoid injury, while building anti-fragile strength and resilience in athletes.
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