|Written by Soren Monkongtong on 24 August 2012|
Soren Monkongtong, one of Australia’s greatest and most successful Muay Thai fighters lends his advice on a career’s worth of knowledge regarding one of the hardest and most important aspects of fighting – cutting weight.
I’ve seen a lot of weight-cutting techniques in my time – from not eating for days at a time, to taking laxatives.
Towards the end of my career I had my weight cutting down to a fine art! In Bangkok, you have to weigh-in on the same day as the fight. At Channel 7 Stadium, where I usually fought, I weighed-in at 6am and then fought eight hours later at about 2pm – which only left me eight hours between weigh-in and the fight. So I learnt quickly.
Now, I prefer the same day weigh-in because it makes it part of your actual fight. You HAVE to know your limits because there is no time for error. There are guys these days who can cut 10–15kg for a fight. But these guys usually have doctors close by advising them along the way. John Wayne Parr, pound-for-pound Australia’s best, can cut a lot of weight but he has had a lot of practice and knows his limits.
For guys starting out fighting, you have enough going on in your head before fight time to have to cut too much weight. It’s mentally challenging more than anything and can take your focus away from your fight. The best way to cut weight is the traditional sweat suit. You run or skip in it and your body knows it’s exercising and is ready to replace lost fluid/energy. With a sauna, you are not actually getting your heart rate up so your body is not ready to bounce back. The trick is to take two steps forward, one step back – lose 2kg in the sweat suit, eat and drink back up 1kg. Sometimes this can take two or three days. If you do this properly, after a few times you get used to it. Cutting weight can actually help you focus.
The next stage is after the weigh-in. Your natural instinct is to make up for lost time, and eat and drink as much as you can. But this can totally slow you down and have you feeling sluggish come fight time. You have to stay disciplined and listen to your body. When your stomach says, “I’m FULL!” listen to it and wait a couple of hours until you eat again. Same with the fluids – don’t just keep drinking and drinking, especially sugary drinks. Listen to your body.
If you can get used to this process, knowing your limits and staying disciplined, come fight time you’ll have bounced right back and be ready to take on whoever’s standing in front of you.
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