If you compete in a weight class sport, this is a must listen

Acute weight cuts (not to be confused with fat loss) are pretty fascinating. 

If done correctly, they can give an athlete a significant advantage. If done poorly, they can waste months of hard preparation by destroying your performance on competition day and, in some extreme cases, kill you. 

So make sure you do what STATE DEADLIFT RECORD HOLDER and accredited practising dietitian Aidan Muir says.


Jono: Welcome back to the Bite Me Nutrition podcast. Today I have Aidan Muir with me. I'm saying that right, yes,

Aidan Muir: Yeah,

Jono: Muir.

Aidan Muir: you are saying that right,

Jono: Yep,

Aidan Muir: yep.

Jono: we've both got like slightly tricky last names. So I don't wanna be the guy that butchers that. So I probably should have checked before we started recording, but I've got Aidan Muir from Ideal Nutrition here with me today. I'm really excited to talk to him about specifically weight cuts. I know he does a lot of that stuff. So I wanna get some good ideas on how to do it. Maybe talk about who should and shouldn't do it. because I know that's a big part of it as well. But before we do that, who are you, what do you do, and why do you do it?

Aidan Muir: So I am Aidan Muir, I am a dietitian. I view myself as 50% dietitian, 50% content 

creator. So I see around 25 to 30 clients per week, pretty big mix of just general like weight loss, IBS stuff, medical conditions. And then the other 50% are athletes with a pretty big emphasis on strength sports, so like powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, a little bit of CrossFit. And then the other... random like 30% of the clients there would in that athletes portion would be like endurance athletes or team sports. So that's the dietitian aspect. The content creator aspect, I put a lot of emphasis on Instagram, usually I'm posting like five times a week, I do podcast stuff, I do blog stuff. So it's pretty even split of time. And then the other thing that is slowly taking up more time as well, is just the business side of things as well. So we are now at a team of six, soon to be a team of seven dieticians. So that's part of the role as well.

Jono: I can imagine that is taking up more and more of your week, definitely.

Aidan Muir: Yeah,

Jono: Yeah.

Aidan Muir: we're doing like weekly meetings and stuff like that with like each of the Individual

Jono: Yeah.

Aidan Muir: like staff members. And I was

Jono: Mmm.

Aidan Muir: like,

Jono: I'm going to try this.

Aidan Muir: I did an anonymous survey with them being like, Hey, guys, cool. If we drop back to Fort nightly and like everybody apart from one, and I think I know who the one is, um, said that they wanted to do weekly stores. Like, okay, I guess this

Jono: Yep.

Aidan Muir: is a good use

Jono: Okay.

Aidan Muir: of time.

Jono: Yeah. Yep. Yeah. It is. Uh, look, very big tangible. Yeah. I think you've got to catch up more often rather than less often. Like obviously you don't want to micromanage, but I think a weekly meeting is a long way away from micromanaging.

Aidan Muir: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jono: So, yeah, but yeah, that's seven weekly meetings.

Aidan Muir: Yeah,

Jono: Is

Aidan Muir: that's all.

Jono: that's time? Yep. Yeah, for sure. But, um, yeah. like, you know, we'll talk about where to find you later on and I'll link everyone up. But if you're not following Aidan, yeah, the volume of podcasts and blogs and Instagram posts is very impressive, not just the volume, the quality and the quantity. So yeah, definitely a really killer resource for a lot of things, especially strength sports stuff. But which I guess is one of the main reasons I wanted to talk to you today about weight cuts, you know what they are. And I guess probably the first question just for people who aren't really familiar with weight cuts is, well actually the first question would be like, who, what sports do you work with that require a weight cut?

Aidan Muir: So the big one is powerlifting, right? So if we're looking at weight cuts, it's obviously gonna be weight class sports. So we've got like combat sports, we've got powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, and strongman. One of the reasons why I'm so in this space is because the Federation of Powerlifting I work with the most, or the two federations are GPC and CAPO, and they have 24 hour weigh-ins, is a new weigh-in

Jono: Mm-hmm.

Aidan Muir: 24 hours before you compete. So if somebody was going for like the 82.5 kilo weight class, they could theoretically be walking around at like 87 kilos, cut into the 82.5 and then compete the next day at 87 kilos.

Jono: Mm.

Aidan Muir: But other sports will have far more common and a lot of other sports or federations is a two hour weigh-in where the same concept still applies just on a smaller scale, which we will talk about.

Jono: Yeah, yeah. So predominantly for yourself, the strength sports is at the biggest,

Aidan Muir: That's the biggest

Jono: they make

Aidan Muir: one

Jono: up

Aidan Muir: like

Jono: the biggest

Aidan Muir: heaps

Jono: weight

Aidan Muir: of powerlifters.

Jono: cut. Yeah.

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: And so, okay. What's the difference between, because you mentioned like walking around at 87 and dropping to 82.5. Like, is that what's the difference between have they just lost four and a half kilos of body fat? Or is there something else going on?

Aidan Muir: Yeah, so it's definitely very much something else going on. Like realistically, we're not even trying to lose body fat during that phase. A number that I like to put out there is that a kilo body fat contains around 7,700 calories. So it's like, we can't lose four times that amount in a week or whatever, but we're going to be losing a lot of water, weight, food, volume in the stomach, glycogen. So that's the storage from the carbohydrate. We have a lot of that in our muscles. All of those little things that aren't really body fat, but take up weight, we can lose. And ideally we do it in a way that doesn't negatively impact performance at all, or not much at all.

Jono: Yeah, yeah, gotcha. So it's not gonna it's not gonna help me shred for summer. Is that what you're saying?

Aidan Muir: No, and that's the key thing. Like I struggle with posting about this on Instagram because I, whether I'm right or I'm wrong, I view my audience as very intelligent people. And sometimes I get surprised when they misinterpret some of the stuff that I say. And one of the things that like is, it always gets me is I'll post about weight cuts. I try and make as clear as possible that this is an acute weight cut. The entire goal of this is dropping some more to weight, food, weight, whatever. We are not trying to lose body fat. We're, we're just trying to. set it up so that maybe we can have a competitive advantage in sport. It's not for health, just for performance, although we try and do it in as healthy a way as possible. And every now and then, like there will be comments from just general people looking to lose weight being like, Oh, should I do this? I'm like, no, that's not what we're trying to do.

Jono: Yeah, yeah. Well, like you said, we're food volume, glycogen and water. Like those three things are so transient anyway, right? And are in no way linked to body fat.

Aidan Muir: Completely

Jono: So

Aidan Muir: irrelevant

Jono: yeah.

Aidan Muir: to that, yeah.

Jono: So here's the disclaimer, anyone listening who, unless you are cutting for a strength sport and you are aware that any weight that you're going to lose over the next, I don't know, seven, two to seven days is temporary. this is not for you. But if you are looking to cut weight for sport, so I guess that's another good conversation as well. Is this something that everyone in a strength sport or everyone in a combat sport should do? Are there times where you would advise against it? How does that work?

Aidan Muir: Yeah, so I have a few answers to this. The gold standard answer that a lot of people should say is that you shouldn't cut for a competition unless it's the difference between winning and losing, unless it's the difference between getting a record and not getting a record. Like a lot of strength coaches will say you should only ever cut if it's for a really competitive reason or whatever, and you've got a lot of experience. I'm a little bit more pro weight cuts than other people. And one of the reasons I'm a little bit more pro weight cuts than other people is I look at it from my own perspective. I view myself as a relatively mediocre power lifter, but I also want to see what I can achieve. I also want, like, I'm not trying to like break records. Although fun fact, I did actually get a record at Singles. Talking about

Jono: What?

Aidan Muir: that off air. Yeah,

Jono: Wait.

Aidan Muir: I got a deadlift record

Jono: Amazing.

Aidan Muir: at Kapo State because it's a very niche record. It's within a certain age group

Jono: Doesn't

Aidan Muir: between,

Jono: matter.

Aidan Muir: but I'll take it. The funny thing is the age group is like, It's like 23 to 31. And like

Jono: Okay, that's

Aidan Muir: somebody

Jono: very...

Aidan Muir: beat me in that comp who was like 41 years old. But like, I still get

Jono: Yeah,

Aidan Muir: the record

Jono: right. But

Aidan Muir: in

Jono: it

Aidan Muir: that

Jono: doesn't

Aidan Muir: age

Jono: matter.

Aidan Muir: group. Yeah. But yeah,

Jono: Love it.

Aidan Muir: I view myself as very mediocre power lifter, but I'm like, I still want to see what I'm capable of achieving. And I think if I get a certain number, a certain total score, whatever you'd want to call it in a weight class, and then I got the exact same total in a lighter weight class, I've improved on what I have. Yeah. And. There's levels to this and like if somebody is like one kilo above their weight class, it's not much effort to drop a bit of like to drop some fiber. When people drop their fiber intake, they lose about 1% on average. That's what the research shows. If you drop quite a lot of fiber, that's not overly unhealthy to do for two days. That's not going to hurt performance. There's no real downside. So I take a nuanced approach to that. But then the next step is like, even though I'm more pro weight cuts than a lot of people who shouldn't do a weight cut and a lot of people who shouldn't do weight cuts. If you are very new to powerlifting or any strength sport or anything like that, I don't think you should do a weight cut. One of the reasons is I also just think you should have a chance to experience what it feels like to feel good on comp day. And I think you should just go into a comp feeling good so you can see how you perform because you've got a bunch of other variables that are going on. For example, you experience the hype of a crowd for the first time. Some people, that helps them perform better. Some people it helps, it doesn't help them, it makes them feel worse or whatever. How do you know if you perform bad on a day if it was because of the weight cut or because of comp day anxiety, whatever. I think you wanna experience a few things. So people who shouldn't be doing weight cuts, I think if you're very, very new to the sport, I also think if you are very far from the weight class, like we can talk percentages and stuff if you want, but if you're very far

Jono: Hmm.

Aidan Muir: from the weight class and there's no real good reason. for making the cut, then you probably shouldn't do it. Because the larger the weight cut, the more risks and downsides there are associated with it.

Jono: Yeah, yeah, I love that, though. I think like, I get the you've got to be going for a world record or you have no business doing a weight cut. I think that could be way too restrictive. And

Aidan Muir: Yeah,

Jono: like you

Aidan Muir: there's

Jono: said,

Aidan Muir: nuance.

Jono: just because, yeah, it's almost like, well, then why am I feeling for my training sessions? Because I'm not a professional athlete. So why

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: would I bother? It's like, well, I kind of want to get the best out of my performance that I as an individual can

Aidan Muir: Exactly.

Jono: do.

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: So But yeah, like you said as well, making sure that you've at least experienced one comp. So you've got a good baseline of, hey, this is, this is how I feel without a weight cut. And let's try and get as close to that as I can with a weight cut.

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: And so the, like you said, that's kind of the two biggest differences between, I guess, sports and all federations is the, the timing of the weigh in. So like the 24 hour, is it pretty much 24 hour and two hour? Are those

Aidan Muir: Yeah,

Jono: really

Aidan Muir: 24

Jono: the

Aidan Muir: hour

Jono: only

Aidan Muir: and two.

Jono: two that you've?

Aidan Muir: Some combat sports will have like four, but like I commonly say 24 or two is what I'm really working with.

Jono: Yeah, yeah. And so for anyone listening, that means that you either get to weigh in two hours before you perform or 24 hours before you perform. And so obviously, those different timeframes probably fairly significantly changes what you can do. How do you approach those two? Well, how do those two differ for you?

Aidan Muir: So we'll start with the two hours. So with two hour, I'm obviously a lot more conservative, right?

Jono: Hmm.

Aidan Muir: We always work backwards from what would hurt somebody's performance. So the fiber thing I talked about, not going to hurt anyone's performance, right? If you can drop 1% body weight without doing anything that hurts performance, let's start there. Going low carb reduces our body weight through reducing glycogen, which has physical weight. Like, let's just chuck a round number out there like, A lot of people can store around half a kilo of glycogen. So if we went low carb, we could get near zero. Like we could drop that significantly. But every gram of glycogen, we usually store around three mil of water alongside that. So it's not actually 500. It's about 1.5. It gets a bit more complex when you go down that rabbit hole. But like, I'm just going to keep that simple. But with the two hour wane, it depends on the sport you're doing being like, how much does that affect performance? If I get a power lifter and I took them completely low carbon, we didn't replenish any of that, that probably would affect performance a little bit. But if we use another sport like a combat sport or rowing or anything else like that, like a two hour window is not enough to replenish glycogen to get back to peak performance. So the other thing with dehydration through... drinking less water or sweating or whatever you would want to do. We've got really solid research that if people are more than 2% dehydrated, as in their body weight has dropped by more than 2%, just to chalk numbers to make that clearer. If somebody's dropped from like a hundred kilos down to 98 kilos through dehydrated dehydration, their performance gets worse. In strength sports, we see that they get weaker in team sports and stuff like that. We see that like their passes become less accurate. Like we can see some pretty clear

Jono: Mm.

Aidan Muir: like differences. So my rule is like, we want to get back to at least within 2%, ideally get back to 100% of where we previously weighed, if dehydration is a tool that we use. But that therefore means for a two hour weigh-in, we could drop like one or 2% of body weight through that. And then we've got enough time to rehydrate that. We've 24 hours, this is when it like, it gets, you've got a lot of leeway. I think it's, personally, I think it's a bit dumb that 24 hour weigh-ins exist. That's just my own personal opinion. But it's like you can send it in terms of dropping a lot of body weight. So to put context around this, a lot of research on four hour weigh-ins in combat athletes, because there's a lot more research on combat sports than there is on powerlifting, partly because there's more money in combat sports. But research on combat athletes shows that people can drop about 4% body weight the week of, as in they weigh 4% more than they did at weigh-in and then get back to peak performance, et cetera. They can drop 4% for a four hour weigh-in and get back to peak performance. Do I truly believe that there's zero loss in performance? I don't truly believe that, but the research can't find a difference. If that's the case, what can we do over 24 hours?

Jono: Yeah, that's wild.

Aidan Muir: I don't have a good answer, but the glycogen stuff I talked about, if you've got 24 hours, you could go low carb and get back to pretty much peak glycogen stores. The hydration thing, I like to think of as we can usually rehydrate about one kilo per hour to a certain degree. That's a complex, how did I come up to that number? We can talk about that at another time, but about one kilo per hour, but it's like 24 hours, it's like, obviously we're going to get back to where we want to be. And chucking some numbers out there. I think people can probably do about 8 to 10% of body weight with no loss of performance, but it's very not fun to do that. Like it's just,

Jono: That's

Aidan Muir: it's pretty

Jono: brutal.

Aidan Muir: savage. Yeah. And like, I don't know, using some personal numbers, like I've experimented with this myself. I've done quite a few 5% weight cuts and I'm like, oh, that didn't help my performance. For a recent comp last year, I did an 8% weight cut myself and the last like one or two kilos, as I said, aren't overly fun. but I performed on the day at the top end of what my expectations would have been. And that's really got me thinking because I haven't pushed any athlete really beyond that 8%, although I've seen other athletes go beyond 8% since I'm going beyond 10%. I'm like, hang on with my personal experience, if I performed at the top end of my expectations after an 8%, how far would I have to go before it hurts my performance? And that got me thinking for me personally, the limiting factor for me is the not fun aspect, more so than the performance aspect.

Jono: Yeah, gotcha. Yeah. So just the suckiness of that sort of, well, yeah, that the, the preparation for that,

Aidan Muir: Yeah,

Jono: that way in. Yeah.

Aidan Muir: like using examples like that, that's at the upper end, but like the thing that I didn't really anticipate is like the last two days are obviously that's when you're most dehydrated and everything like that. I didn't really sleep well the last night before the weigh-in and the large and it was a 24-hour weigh-in, but like the large aspect of that, you know the feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night, you're really thirsty and when you drink that water it's like the best tasting water in the world.

Jono: Yes, oh no, but can't

Aidan Muir: I had that

Jono: do that.

Aidan Muir: feeling, but I couldn't drink.

Jono: Yup,

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: that's

Aidan Muir: So that

Jono: rough.

Aidan Muir: sucks, but like, that's what I meant about the not fun aspect. And it's like, for a, like, three to 5% wake up, you'd never experience that, right? Cause you wouldn't need to, but for a 8 plus percent, which I don't really recommend to people, but like, if somebody's going to do that, you start to experience some of that stuff.

Jono: Yeah, yeah. Well, and I imagine as well the eight plus percent it would be, you know, this isn't an ad, but probably better to work with someone

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: to manage that probably don't do that for your first weight cut.

Aidan Muir: That's actually,

Jono: And all

Aidan Muir: that's

Jono: those

Aidan Muir: actually

Jono: factors.

Aidan Muir: like, I know it's not an ad, but like that's like, we both have a similar philosophy. We just try and put out good information. We don't really market ourselves too heavily or anything like that. Cause like whatever comes of it comes from, it's worked pretty well for both of us. But like with the weight cuts thing, why I talk about it a bit is because nobody's going to do it this well for themselves. Right? Like nobody's going

Jono: No

Aidan Muir: to

Jono: way.

Aidan Muir: like plan it out that well. Like I see people doing a lot of dumb stuff, like just going through some dumb stuff, like there's people who do like active sweating, like this isn't super dumb. Right. But like just using this as an example. they'll do active sweating the day before a weigh-in where they're doing some form of exercise to sweat, to weigh in lighter. And using powerlifting as an example, and other sports this would apply to, you go through an entire peak, structure your training perfectly, you intentionally de-load to get rid of the fatigue that you've gone through, and now you're doing something that's fatiguing to make weight when it's like, well, we could have dropped fiber, carbs, all these things that won't hurt performance rather than I think that could hurt performance a little bit.

Jono: Mm hmm. Yeah. That's I think, well, in terms of the comeback to the I guess, pushing that eight to 10%. Like I find like a lot of strength athletes, they're just built a little different. Hey, they're wired a bit differently mentally. And I don't necessarily I don't mean that critically. But in terms of if you're like, hey, you can get over 8% bodyweight loss, but it's gonna suck a bit. I feel like a lot of them would be like, okay, bring

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: it on. you know, similar to why they're doing active sweating 24 hours before weighing in because it sucks but it's they don't care right

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: because

Aidan Muir: And that's where it gets

Jono: there's

Aidan Muir: interesting

Jono: gonna be

Aidan Muir: with like how I said, the limiting factor is that it's not fun or whatever, but it's like, what if somebody was on for a record and they're like, this is what

Jono: Mm-hmm.

Aidan Muir: I want to do. It's like, well, let's make this as good as we can. Like let's make this as, it's not going to be healthy, but like, let's make it as healthy as we can. It's not going to be fun, but

Jono: Totally.

Aidan Muir: let's make it as easy as it can be.

Jono: Yeah, when I guess like, health is such a interesting because like, I would argue that no sports performed at their peak are healthy.

Aidan Muir: Yeah,

Jono: Right?

Aidan Muir: I agree.

Jono: Like really, like running 42 kilometers is not, quote unquote, healthy, neither is, you know, maxing out on Yeah, so exactly like you said, we want to you want to minimize harm, right? Understanding that there's harm involved, but there's definitely degrees that you can minimize that. So, um, I guess for 24 hour weigh in, are we looking at 5% body weight drop? And again, this is gonna vary individual to individual, but 5% body weight is like, a reasonable expectation should be fairly cruisy.

Aidan Muir: I think so, yeah. I, if I'm working with an athlete long-term, I like to, like 5% is a number that I like, I call that reasonable expectation, everything like that. I like to start with like a 3 to 4% one for the first time somebody does it, because I'm like that will give them a little bit of competitive advantage, but I want people to have a really, a good experience. I just want to kind of show them that,

Jono: Mm.

Aidan Muir: like, hey, we do this, it won't hurt performance, everything like that. Then I'll try like five. And then it's kind of a game of being like, let's just. push the threshold a little bit until we find what we don't want to do anymore. Either it hurts performance

Jono: Yeah.

Aidan Muir: or we decide we don't want to do it. But like I, five's a pretty good starting point. And one of the downsides of me documenting my experience with my weight cut is there's been a few people who have reached out to me being like, Oh, I want to start with eight. And I'm like, I, everybody who like, everybody I've worked with long-term, I will trial lower things first.

Jono: Mm.

Aidan Muir: because everyone has a bit of an individual response. Like if somebody does five and there's no downside, they feel all right doing it, there's nothing, it's like then maybe we can do a little bit more. Whereas there could be some other people who struggle with five right off the bat as well.

Jono: Yep, so yes, you don't want to jump and slam them straight to eight.

Aidan Muir: Yeah. And like this is, this is a separate topic as well, but like one of the things I would touch on with this is like, is this easier for men versus women? And what I mean by that is how does the menstrual cycle play into this? Like one of the interesting

Jono: Mm-hmm.

Aidan Muir: things is like all the, all the studies are referenced, like the 4% no loss of performance, etc. It is done on men. And I don't have a great answer to your question, but it's like if a woman is at a certain time of her menstrual cycle. Is there a chance that it's harder to get that last few percent off? Then I don't have a good answer to that, but it is food for thought that if I do chuck out a number being like 5% or something like that, that somebody might try that and they're like, Oh, that was actually brutal to get to. Cause it was actually a little bit harder than we expected.

Jono: Yeah, yeah, the menstrual, I've had athletes like just didn't the, the worst time in their cycle for weight, like

Aidan Muir: Yeah, exactly.

Jono: the day of comp, right?

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: Like it's, and there's nothing you can do about that. That's, that's biology and that's life. But like, yeah, that definitely would,

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: would

Aidan Muir: So

Jono: play

Aidan Muir: everything

Jono: a

Aidan Muir: I'm talking about

Jono: plane

Aidan Muir: is

Jono: to that.

Aidan Muir: like averages. When I say that 5%, that's, that's the caveat just being like, sometimes 5% is pretty comfortable. Sometimes it's not comfortable.

Jono: Totally. And so again, same caveat, but for a 24 hour weigh in, what's, do you have a percentage that you'd kind of start at there?

Aidan Muir: Yeah, actually, I should be clearer. So like with the

Jono: Just

Aidan Muir: two out.

Jono: say

Aidan Muir: So

Jono: 24,

Aidan Muir: that,

Jono: sorry, I meant two. Oh,

Aidan Muir: yeah. So that was, yeah. Okay.

Jono: yeah,

Aidan Muir: So you've

Jono: cool.

Aidan Muir: got me. So yeah. So like for 24, yeah, 5%. For two, I like to do just like two or three, but that's what I start at one. One step that I do chuck out there though, that I try to chuck out there to make people a little bit more open to these kinds of numbers is that so IPF, you could call it the gold standard of drug tested powerlifting at IPF worlds. So they do a two hour wane and this is the best of the best theoretically. They, somebody put together a study where they measured people's body weights one week out for the competition. And then they measured what they weighed in that. And they did this for everybody who got medals and the average weight difference was 5%, as in people weighed 5% more on average than what they weighed in that, which therefore means at IPF Worlds for a two hour weigh-in, the average person who got a medal did a 5% weight cut. Which therefore means there's some people who did more than some people who did less. And. That doesn't mean it's the best way to go about it, but that is what people are doing. And that's why when I start conservative, like two to 3%, because if we go back to that blanket statement of like, there will be certain coaches who are completely anti weight cut. I'm like, well, at IPF Worlds, everyone's doing 5%. It's like, that's the average for the people who win

Jono: Yeah.

Aidan Muir: medals.

Jono: That's it. And that's a pretty solid study population, right? Like you said, IPF world's best of the West, best of the best in tested powerlifting with a two hour way in. It's hard pressed to find a better a better sample. Yeah.

Aidan Muir: Yeah,

Jono: Okay.

Aidan Muir: but

Jono: So

Aidan Muir: I like to start with like 2% to 3% just because I'm like that fiber thing. I'm like that's 1% there. If we drop a bit of carbs, not go crazy, we'll drop a little bit there.

Jono: Mm.

Aidan Muir: And if we restrict fluid a little bit, like you just drink what you normally do, but like 20% less or something like that, maybe drop some food volume alongside the fiber, we say maybe a little bit less vegetables because vegetables are great. That's not going to help our performance in the next like day or so. We can drop 2% to 3% pretty much guaranteed without any loss of performance.

Jono: Yeah, yeah. So I wanted to ask about the fiber thing,

Aidan Muir: Mm-hmm.

Jono: like so low residue.

Aidan Muir: Yep.

Jono: Why does that work? And why does it not impact performance

Aidan Muir: Yeah, so I

Jono: to

Aidan Muir: don't have

Jono: the degree of other things?

Aidan Muir: the best explanation for why it works out to be like 1%. It's just like decreasing food weight in the gastrointestinal tract. Like that's why it's doing it. Um, there's probably a better explanation for that. Cause like one of the overly simplistic ways

Jono: Take

Aidan Muir: I look 

Jono: it. 

Aidan Muir: at it is like, we eat 30 grams of fiber per day. How is dropping this like dropping more than 30 grams, but it's like a compounding effect of other stuff in there. But why doesn't it affect performance? Cause it's like, it is just, it is just undigested. Like. food weight or digested food weight however you want to look at it. What's going to affect performance? How much glycogen we've got? How hydrated we are? Our electrolyte status? All of those things are going to affect performance but having less food volume in our digestion won't affect performance.

Jono: Isn't those things? Yeah, is that, would that be the first place you'd start? Like the first tool you'd implement?

Aidan Muir: Yeah, I think that'd be the first place I'd start with a lot of people. It's such an easy win. And the same thing with that food volume thing I talked about. Like theoretically, if somebody eats 2,500 calories per day, we could continue eating 2,500 calories per day, just with less food volume as well.

Jono: Mmm. Yeah. And does that literally like, gramps on the plate? Well,

Aidan Muir: Yeah, so like exactly. So

Jono: yeah.

Aidan Muir: it's like if somebody ate that 2,500 calories coming from a kilo to a kilo and a half of food, that's probably a bad example, but like using that example, you could cut it down to like 750 grams kind of thing. And theoretically that would be like oversimplified, but they've lost like just under a kilo, just through that kind of change already.

Jono: Totally. And then yeah, like you said, we're not changing their calorie intake. You could

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: probably even keep their macro nutrient intake the same. So.

Aidan Muir: The, the other like little hack I've got as well is like, if we're dropping somebody's carbs, like say, say I've got a 24 hour wait and then I have somebody going low carb from say five days out, um, like a quite low carb. I don't really want them to be in a massive calorie deficit for five days, particularly if I do like sometimes I do seven days. So an alternative to that is. increasing fat correspondingly. So like the technical equation would be like for every 45 grams of carbs you drop, you add 20 grams of fat because that comes out as the same amount of calories. So that way they're still consuming the same amount of calories. They're not in this huge deficit but they're also going to be dropping glycogen weight and water weight associated

Jono: Yeah.

Aidan Muir: with that.

Jono: Side note, everyone, that's why the ketogenic diet makes, looks like it works really quickly.

Aidan Muir: Exactly. Yeah,

Jono: You're

Aidan Muir: that's that. Yeah.

Jono: just dropping water. But for the purposes of this, where it's not about fat, it's about weight. That's perfect. Cool. So yeah, would you say low residue slash low fiber slash food volume, and then looking at maybe carbohydrate manipulation? And then is... hydration status kind of the more, I don't know, aggressive or the last thing that you'd

Aidan Muir: Yeah,

Jono: muck

Aidan Muir: it's kind

Jono: with.

Aidan Muir: of the last thing and like it is a thing that I could use because like that example I use about like drinking 20% water like it's not an issue really if somebody normally drinks based on their thirst and we go a little bit less like but like that is the last thing the one thing I haven't touched on is sodium so I should have touched on this earlier but um sodium slash salt helps us hold on to water a great example of this is when you go out for dinner and you wake up heavier the next day there's a few explanations once the food volume two is the carbohydrates But a third thing is that any decent chef is probably adding a decent amount of salt to their food. So you absorb and hold on to water quite a bit better. A great example of that is like when you're literally at the restaurant, you eat the food and you get thirstier than normal. So you drink more water than normal and you hold on to more of that water. This goes both ways. You, if you drop salt down to quite low levels, you excrete water more readily. Your body's not holding on to it as well. I Probably a bit too much of this, but I do a bit of a thing where I get people to go high sodium for a little bit and then drop their sodium two days out. Because there's a bit of a lag effect in our hormones where if we go high sodium, it's like our body gets used to having that much salt on board. So the hormones basically revolve around the assumption that we're having this much salt coming in. That's going to help us hold on to water. Let's excrete water at this rate based on the fact that we've got this much salt coming in. And then when you drop the sodium... it kind of makes it so that you lose water a little bit more easily.

Jono: Yeah, yeah. So you keep excreting water at that higher rate

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: before the body catches up.

Aidan Muir: So it's not a huge thing, but it is one thing that makes it a little bit easier if you do that.

Jono: Yeah. Cool. And so why is hydration the last thing that you'd muck with?

Aidan Muir:Just because that 2% rule, where

Jono: Yep.

Aidan Muir: it's kind of like, if somebody's more than 2% dehydrated, we clearly see changes in performance. And because we're not black and white thinkers, we are nuanced thinkers. 2% is where we see the differences in the research. But does that not mean that 1%, we're just not measuring the changes as effectively?

Jono: I doubt it's nothing

Aidan Muir: Yeah,

Jono: and then

Aidan Muir: yeah,

Jono: it falls off a cliff, right?

Aidan Muir: exactly.

Jono: Yeah.

Aidan Muir: So that's why I view it through that lens being, that's where we start seeing clear differences, et cetera. But it's like, well, maybe there's some differences at 1%. So like that's why water is the last thing. And it's also like the least pleasant in a way. It's also one of the ones that's harder for people to embrace as easily, like from that kind of health perspective, because some of it's like, if I drop five every day, it doesn't really matter. If I decrease sodium, that doesn't really matter if you have a little bit less carbs, but the water one is like, well, we want to be well hydrated kind of thing.

Jono: Yeah, which I find kind of funny. I don't know if funny is the right word, but I feel like that's the first, anyone doing their own weight cut,

Aidan Muir: Exactly,

Jono: what is

Aidan Muir: that's

Jono: the first

Aidan Muir: the first

Jono: thing they

Aidan Muir: one.

Jono: cut?

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: Yeah, instead of, actually there's all these other really

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: easy.

Aidan Muir: And that's once again, why I push this whole weight cut like thing. Cause I'm like, if somebody's doing themselves, that is the first thing. And I'm like, if we have a structured plan, it's not necessarily the first thing.

Jono: Yeah, yeah, totally. I've had heaps of clients who just don't, we don't even reach that point. You know, you do the math and you're like, I need 3% and they're like, so when do I cut water? I was like, well,

Aidan Muir: But

Jono: we probably don't,

Aidan Muir: yeah.

Jono: you know? Yeah. Yeah, cool. My headphones have just died for anyone listening, so I apologize in advance for the annoying pause. Where are we? Cool, good to go. I think. On that note though, I feel like that's probably most of the questions that I wanted to ask. I guess one other big thing would be post weigh in. What's do you have any kind of tips for what I should be doing or me I'm not doing one what people should be doing to rehydrate and refuel as effectively as they can in that window.

Aidan Muir: Yeah, that's actually a huge one. And I think that's the other kind of competitive advantage we have in a way being like, particularly for those shorter ways, how do we, how do we rehydrate effectively? So the first thing is obviously we've got to rehydrate fluid. I suppose like listing it off, we've got to rehydrate fluid, electrolytes and carbohydrates. And the goal one is to rehydrate things in a way that gets us back to theoretical peak performance, but also gets us feeling good as well. So. With the fluid thing, a starting place I'd start off with is understanding that one, we can only absorb so much fluid per hour. A rough guideline is that our kidneys can filter through about a liter per hour. So that therefore means if you're thirsty enough to drink two liters in the first hour, you probably shouldn't still do that. You should probably still just stick to around one liter. Larger people can go a bit higher, smaller people a little bit lower, but there's not these huge differences because it's still based on... kidney function. If you drink it all at once, you do not absorb as much as if you sip it over the course of an hour. So I would sip on about a liter per hour for the first couple of hours. If we have carbohydrates alongside that and if we have sodium alongside that, we absorb that even better. Like we've seen this from studies where they compare drinking milk after training versus water after training and we see people drinking milk absorb a bit more of the fluid. because of that carbohydrate and that sodium. So those are some key things. And just for thinking it through, if you went higher than that, you would just go to the bathroom more, basically. You wouldn't be absorbing anymore. And maybe there's a bit of an argument that you'd be absorbing less if you did that, but that's a bit of a different topic. The exact protocol I have personally, and there's variations of this, but what I get people to do is I get people to have. around 500 to 600 mil of Gatorade. I get them to have 250 mil of Hydrolyte. I have a protein shake, so that's another 250 mil. So it has protein in there and some creatine in that. Because although it's not doing a lot, it will help them hold on to a little bit more water in that acute time frame. And I have them sip on that, like obviously individually, but I have them sip on that over the course of an hour. And then if it's a bigger weight cut, then the next hour we do it. I haven't had anyone send it, but if I had somebody do 10%, I'd do it for four hours. If I have somebody who's just done like a two or three percent, I just have them do it for one hour. And then the next step is we go on to food. And we basically just want to go relatively high carb. For a powerlifter, we don't need a carb load, right? I might get them to have four grams per kilogram of body weight or something like that. Maybe a little bit higher if they want to. But for somebody who is, say, a rower, and if they have a long distance, I'd go. higher. But the goal at that stage is just to feel good. And a metric I like to give people is to get back to roughly their original body weight. We don't need to overshoot that. Some people turn it into a game where they're like, how heavy can I get? Like using that, like, say somebody started 104 kilos and they cut down to like 99.8 to weigh in or whatever. Some people will like, will end this process at like 107 because they're just like, how much can I eat? Whereas like, is that helping performance more at that stage? Like... You probably would have performed equally well at say 104 in that example, but risked any chance of like feeling bloated or whatever, which could hurt performance.

Jono: Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, I can, again, powerlifters with being built different, I can definitely see the appeal

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: of like, Oh, where did you end up? Where did I? Yeah,

Aidan Muir: Yeah!

Jono: I gained I was three kilos over. Oh, man, that's a, that's a anyway conversation for another day. But yeah, that's fantastic. So I think we've got a really good idea of the different strategies we can use and the different almost compartments of weight that those impact. how it differs from 2% and I got plovers going mental behind me, how that differs from a two hour weigh in versus 24 hour weigh in. Who shouldn't, shouldn't do, do a weigh in. Why you should almost certainly work with someone to do a, I keep saying weigh in to do a proper weight cut. I think, yeah, is there anything I've missed or anything else you'd like to add around weight cuts that we need to be mindful of? 

Aidan Muir: No, I think so. And like, I think that's fine. The one thing I doubled down on with the working with other people is even, even when you know stuff, like sometimes it still makes sense to have accountability, et cetera, for this kind of stuff. Like I, I said I've done quite a few 5% weight cuts and then one 8% weight cut. For the 8% one, I documented on Instagram. I was like, Oh damn, I've actually got to do the protocol and stuff like that. Cause I'm putting this out there, but like for the 5%, even though I know what I know, I didn't do it that way. Like I just, I did like, cut water a little bit more and stuff like that. Like obviously I use some of the tools I use, but I wouldn't do the water load that I'd normally do with a client. I didn't do the sodium load or anything like that. I just did like the last two days really of my kind of protocol. And I know that if I worked with somebody else and they were doing it for me, they wouldn't have structured it exactly the way I would want it to be structured, if that makes sense. And I think an outside perspective is pretty useful. Whenever you're doing anything that's kind of an aggressive approach or anything like that, I think an outside perspective is. useful.

Jono: Yeah, that impartial third party. Hey,

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: can't beat it. Well, look, one, the last question I was going to ask you was meant to be a bit of a joke because I was going to ask why don't you pull conventional? Why do you pull sumo? But you kind of answered that at the beginning with this, the record, what

Aidan Muir: The

Jono: the

Aidan Muir: record,

Jono: what

Aidan Muir: yeah.

Jono: the hell?

Aidan Muir: Yeah. So yeah, I saw that in the show notes and actually made me laugh. Why don't I pull conventional? So I'm all right at pulling conventional. I've done 180 for six conventional and that was at the end of a session, so I'm like, maybe I could do more. I just haven't really tried. But the reason why is because I've pulled conventional for four years. And then the first time I pulled Sumo, I pulled a PB. And I was like, OK, maybe I'm just built for Sumo. That's simple. With the record, yeah, so I had no idea how you like I, so as I said, I was doing that 8% weight cut just like for the experience, et cetera, because I work with a lot of people who I do 5% weight cuts with. But like anybody I'm working with, I want to experience some of this stuff. Like I've experimented with other stuff. Like I've done keto, I've done fasting, I've done vegan diets. None of them like. are appealing to me and I haven't done it because I thought it would be better or whatever. I've just done it to get a bit of experience and stuff like that. None of those are funny, if I'm being honest. But the weight cut was kind of to do that. I learned stuff from doing stuff. The example I used for that sleep thing, that's something that I learned. If I'd never experienced that, I wouldn't feel like, oh. And other things like you get headaches when you do a weight cut if it's a bigger one. So it's like, well, now I know to recommend Panadol for people. That's basic, but I learned by doing it. But yeah, it was a record. So I did a 235 kilo deadlift. It felt good. It felt like more was there and it's got me thinking, maybe I should do another comp. It was in the 75 kilo weight class and powerlifting as you know, but the listeners might not know, is very segregated. There's like five or six different federations. And I think Capo may have changed their weight classes at some time in the last 10 years, which therefore means there's not a lot of people who have competed in this weight class. Because I'm not an overly large person to start off with, like I normally walk around at say like 80 kilos or something like that. And I think it was like 81 kilos leading into this. I competed in the under 75 kilos. Powerlifting is not a sport where men who are 75 kilos, unless they're really short, really takes the sport. Usually it's like larger people. So I competed in a specific federation, in a specific weight class, in a specific age, even though you'd think like 23 to 31 is like, I'm pretty like... competitive age and that's how I got a state record. And when they sent it to me, I was like, is this a joke? Like, is this like, is this actually a record? But I'm happy either way.

Jono: Mate, too many caveats behind that. You should have just said, yeah, my latest meet, you know, I pulled 235, which was the state record. End of sentence. Don't need all that other stuff.

Aidan Muir: Yeah, I don't know. It's not something like, I don't know. I've always viewed it as like, I reckon you could get a random rugby league player, get them to do six rounds of trying on deadlifts and they could do that kind of thing. Like, I don't think of it as a great achievement or anything like that, but I do rate it. I'm like, that's sick. I didn't think I'd ever get records. That's cool.

Jono: Is that on the wall next to your degrees? Because that's where I

Aidan Muir: No,

Jono: would be putting it.

Aidan Muir: no, it's actually it's actually not. My my staff, so a few people at Valhalla who call me the goat, like the greatest of all time in terms of dietitians and my staff for the Christmas party got me a picture of a goat where they put my head on it and that's on my wall in the office at home.

Jono: That's fair. That's

Aidan Muir: So

Jono: that's

Aidan Muir: like

Jono: better

Aidan Muir: if I was

Jono: than

Aidan Muir: going to

Jono: a

Aidan Muir: do it,

Jono: niche

Aidan Muir: I'd

Jono: state

Aidan Muir: put it

Jono: record

Aidan Muir: next to that. Yeah.

Jono: Look my main takeaway from that was you're gonna compete again, that's what I heard I think we all heard it, right?

Aidan Muir: It's maybe I'm prepping for a half marathon right now, because some of my team are doing that and I'm like, maybe I compete but then I don't know, it's tough to do both, it's tough to get better at both, you know. Yeah.

Jono: hybrid athlete.

Aidan Muir: Hybrid

Jono: Yeah.

Aidan Muir: athlete, that's it, yeah. And basketball on top of that too, so it's like I'm all over the place of training right now.

Jono: Yeah. Oh, it's good that like, I mean, I think like most people, it's nice to mix it up, right? It can get a bit tedious doing the same thing over

Aidan Muir: Yeah.

Jono: and over, which unfortunately is what you need to do to excel at stuff. So.

Aidan Muir: Yeah, and powerlifting is always there. Like one of the good things about powerlifting, like as I said, that guy like was like 41, it's better than me. Like, I don't know, like basketball, I wanna play that until I can't, but there's a finite window there whereas powerlifting's got a bit of a longer window.

Jono: Yep. Well, and my main takeaway is I need to, I'm going to go downstairs and try a few,

Aidan Muir: Listen,

Jono: uh,

Aidan Muir: Wets.

Jono: sumo do some sumo.

Aidan Muir: Yeah, give it a crack. I'd love to

Jono: Yeah.

Aidan Muir: hear it.

Jono: I've never done it, but it's a

Aidan Muir: Just send it,

Jono: look. 

Aidan Muir: just like, as I said, like the first time I did go to Febe, who knows?

Jono: All right, stay tuned everyone. That's, that's coming next. We'll look, getting back to what we're supposed to be. We're not getting back to what we're supposed to be talking about landing the plane. Thank you so much for your time. Cause it's been killer to get that detail around weight cuts. They can be, like we've said, everyone who's done them themselves has probably done something less than, less than ideal, if you'll pardon the pun. And so I think it's really good to think about the difference. areas that we can attack the order that we should probably be attacking them and also, you know, thinking about your sport and the window that you have to refuel and rehydrate and taking that into consideration. And so like I said, right at the top of the show, like I said, Aidan and the team post a ton of like the volume of content and the quality of content is like hats off to you, sir. There's constant blogs and podcasts and posts coming out. So if for some strange reason you're listening to the I don't think there'll be too many people, but if you happen to be listening to this and you're not following them on the various places I'll get Aidan to list off, make sure you go and go and check these guys out. I will link all of these links in the show notes, but where's some of the good places to find you guys? Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Aidan Muir: So Instagram is my main one. So that is Aidan underscore the underscore dietitian. The blog is ideal nutrition. So that's easy. And then the podcast is the ideal nutrition podcast as well.

Jono: Awesome. Like I said, I'll link to all of those places in the show notes below. But otherwise, man, thanks so much for coming on sharing your weight cut expertise and your, your state record. It's been a blast.

Aidan Muir: Thank you for having me. It's been great.

Jono: Awesome. Thanks guys. I'll catch you next time. Bye.