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

Owner and Founder at PowerRackStrength.com
Brian is a retired world-class powerlifter with over two decades of world-class powerlifting. From 1999 to 2020, Brian Carroll was a competitive powerlifter, one of the most accomplished lifters in the sport's history. Brian started off competing in bench press competitions 'raw,' then, shortly into the journey, he gravitated toward equipped lifting as there were no "raw" categories then. You only had to choose from single-ply (USPF) and Multi-ply (APF/WPC). Brian went on to total 2730 at 275 and 2651 at 242 with more than ten times his body weight in three different classes (220, 242, 275), and both bench pressed and deadlifted over 800 pounds in two other weight classes. He's totaled 2600 over 20 times in 2 different weight classes in his career. With 60 squats of 1000lbs or more officially, this is the most in powerlifting history, regardless of weight class or federation, by anyone not named David Hoff. Brian realized many ups and downs during his 20+ years competing. After ten years of high-level powerlifting competition and an all-time World Record squat at 220 with 1030, in 2009, Brian was competing for a Police academy scholarship. On a hot and humid July morning, Brian, hurdling over a barricade at 275lbs, landed on, fell, and hurt his back. After years of back pain and failed therapy, Brian met with world-renowned back specialist Prof McGill in 2013, which changed his trajectory more than he could have imagined. In 2017, Brian Carroll and Prof McGill authored the best-selling book about Brian's triumphant comeback to powerlifting in Gift of Injury. Most recently (10.3.20) -Brian set the highest squat of all time (regardless of weight class) with 1306 lbs – being the first man to break the 1300lb squat barrier at a bodyweight of 303 lbs.
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