There are two things lifters may be referring to when they talk about cutting weight:

  1. Slowly losing weight over the course of many weeks to reach a lower or more competitive weight class.
  2. Dropping a weight class the week before a meet by nutrition and water manipulation.

The first category is much easier to manage without losing strength. It is the optimal way to reach your intended weight class without sacrificing strength and possibly ruining an entire training cycle.

There are guidelines to follow if you're trying to manage daily body weight. The most important to follow during your cut is to watch your bodyweight and ensure that you aren't losing too quickly — for Dave, with a lean body mass of 235 to 240 pounds, this means dropping from one and a half to two pounds per week. If the weight comes off more quickly, the calories are likely too low and adjustments need to be made.

In this edition of Table Talk, Dave talks about this guideline as well as others, offering his best tips for cutting weight without losing strength.

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