2

votes

Crossfit Female Bodytype Question

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 17, 2012 at 5:11 PM

So I've noticed an interesting common thread that I see when I look at Crossfit Women and I certainly know that this isn't always the case, and this is not intended to be critical - just entirely curious.

Why is it that I see most photos of super strong Crossfit type women who lift heavy - with tons of muscle and a very high bodyfat % ?

https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/552586_366955883375462_1166556506_n.jpg

Again, not being critical - just wondering what the hormonal relationship is with heavy lifting women and bodyfat. IF these women have so much muscle and are incredibly strong, why aren't their bodies leaner?

Again just curious. Mostly because I have recently started lifting and had my bodyfat % shoot up out of nowhere, whereas a more endurance based training for me keeps me super lean.

Any clarification would be great!

Thanks!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:47 PM

I'm not sure which hormone is responsible for it exactly, having read the blogs of PCOS researchers and MDs, I'm not sure they've pinpointed one hormone yet either, but holding on to body fat in spite of caloric restriction and increased activity is one of the classic symptoms of PCOS. There are often issues with high cortisol and low thyroid, and a tendency to store belly and upper body fat because of the slightly more "masculine" hormone profile.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:55 PM

I also have a history of PCOS - althought recent tests reveal - Insulin and DHEA levels all in normal ranges - sooo...what (in your case) makes it difficult to lose body fat (it might be my case too) ???

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 18, 2012
at 01:49 PM

Wait, that was probably confusing. You should fight at the class weight is what I mean. I understand that could cause like, fights to be cancelled because somebody gained weight overnight, but at least put a cap on it... like five pounds.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 18, 2012
at 01:04 PM

Well, I guess I don't understand why they don't promote fighting at the weightclass you weighed in at. I'll never really understand that.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 18, 2012
at 01:18 AM

@CD...that comment was not directed at you. I think we are on the same page.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:43 AM

BTW, I agree with Mark -- Not that anyone cares :). And Mark (from like 20 comments ago) I understand weight classes. My comment was in response to Sleepy saying, "The women on the site that I posted are all obviously less than that during show, but they certainly don't get to 20%" -- My point was that fighters typically train in the 10-15% body range and then drop to 5-8% for weigh-in. So it is not true to say a model/ bodybuilder never gets to 20%.... What a great detour though.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 09:18 PM

It is a sport and everyone can play it but weight classes is definitely better than watching 225+ men just hulk out on the smaller guys. Certainly I would like to see Silva fight in the 205 weight class because there is more talent there. He is 37 and probably past the point of taking those kinds of chances in his career. GSP fights in his 'natural' weight class which means to fight Silva he would have to fight a man who outweighs him by 30-40 pounds! So the fight will never happen. Weight classes are a necessary evil unfortunately.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 09:12 PM

Gah, I absolutely can't stand weight classes and the games you have to play when it comes to weigh-ins. While I get it, it shouldn't be that way. Anderson Silva SHOULD fight at light heavyweight and the fighters within it. Heavyweight should be more restricted, etc. The problem is that Silva walks at 220 pounds and cuts 40 pounds to skip an entire weightclass... it's just not right.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 09:07 PM

I agree that training camps are used to lean fighters down (some fighters stop conditioning when not in training camp) and prepare them for their cut. Yes, they carb load before a fight but the weight they regain between weigh in and fight night is all water weight. One day is not enough for your body to do much of anything except restore water and glycogen.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 09:04 PM

You are not staying small. You get as big as possible then cut as much as you can without hurting performance and have a size and strength advantage at that weight class. Anderson Silva cuts water weight before a fat (diuretics are not banned and legal). He walks in on fight night close to 200 pounds. When he fought at light heavy he weighed in at 205 and still had to lose weight! Modern fighting is about gaming the system and finding the 'right' weight class. That is why people who hold titles in multiple weight classes are held in such high esteem.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:59 PM

But I think I intially explained myself poorly... typically during training fighters are getting leaned down to be able to cut weight at the end more easily. Then they eat as much as possible to get weight back on. It's not strictly water weight. I know it's a lot of drinking but it's also a LOT of eating.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:58 PM

If there were no weight classes, 'bulking' up or adding muscle would be advantageous (to a point). 2 fighters, both weight in at 185 pounds. One is at 10% BF, the other at 20%. One fighter has an 18.5 pound lean mass advantage. But that is small scale. Now you add in diuretics and the ability to lose double digits in water weight, and you have a huge advantage. Take a guy who weighs 210 pounds at 10% BF (189 pounds of lean mass) and squeeze him into the 185 pound class. He has a HUGE advantage over a 'natural' 185 pounder. Many guys have trouble cutting that much weights. Some don't.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Either way, I still disagree. I think everybody should bulk up for fighting. I understand there are weight classes but you should be proportionate for your weightclass. I don't understand wanting to stay small, especially when weight gives you a big advantage. Some people need to simply change their weightclass (Anderson Silva) because it's not natural/healthy/advantageous to fight at a low body fat %. He does cut a LOT of fat just to make weight... Wouldn't you assume he performs in peak condition during training and not the fight?

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:36 PM

You stated that fighters maintained lean BF% while training then fattened up for fats. It is the opposite. That was what we were explaining. You referenced your trainer as a world champion to bolster your position (arguing from his credentials). I pointed out that those credentials are not that meaningful to this discussion. Basically because you are misunderstanding what fighters are trying to accomplish by cutting weight and being lean. I have trained jits, boxing, and muay thai and never heard of Saekson Janjira (there are A LOT of Muay Thai ex-champs). I'm sure he is a great fighter

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:20 PM

Well you'd be surprised that people can weigh 15 pounds more the very next day, which yeah mostly is gaining back all their water weight. I honestly don't know what we're talking about. I think it's reasonable to assume that people with low body fat % don't always have the best endurance through the sport. I'd rather see it proven than argued over though. Saekson Janjira is our trainer, and he was undefeated before he retired. I don't know where you're from, but most people worship him as a fighter. Anytime one of our fighters is fighting in the UFC you'll hear Joe Rogan claim so. :)

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:02 PM

@sleepyhouse22...The weight in is the day before the fight, how much can someone change their lean body mass composition in a day? A man who can show his abs is very lean and at or below 10 BF%. It is typical to carb load before an event and important to regain water weight after a weight in. My friend has had 3 MMA fights and holds a belt. Organizations with belts are a dime a dozen. There are no undefeated fighters who hold titles in major organizations. Unless you train with Floyd Mayweather (who boxes).

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on July 17, 2012
at 07:18 PM

^Measuring tape and mirror aren't going to give you a body fat reading. Muscle under fat can "push it out" if you are gaining muscle and maintaining the same amount of body fat.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 07:01 PM

He's also a six time undefeated world champ, but who cares.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Our trainer isn't a nutritionist. He's a fighter. It's not up to him to make sure you eat properly lol.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:59 PM

I know, but that's low bf% for weigh in strictly. Then you pack it on. Our fighters consume multiple pizzas the second they step off the stage. That's not saying low bf% for performance in fights, that's strictly to make the cut. But I understand that they all have visible abs, but men and women are different... going back to women fighters, you're not going to see a lean woman fighter above 150 pounds.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:55 PM

@Sleepyhouse22...sounds like the gym you work out in needs to review the nutrition plan their fighters are on.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:53 PM

@Sleepyhouse22...having watched more MMA, wrestling, and boxing then I care to admit; almost every fighter in every division except heavy has seeable abs when they fight. For men this mean's a BF% around 10 or less. I can understand that maintaining a low BF% while training at a high rate is difficult but for weight in and fight night, they show up as lean as possible to fit into lower weight divisions for the advantage size brings.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:52 PM

You know Anderson Silva cuts nearly 40 pounds just to make middleweight? IMO, that's ridiculous.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:49 PM

I don't even know what we're talking about anymore. But I like talking about fighting a lot more than body fat % that's for sure.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:48 PM

I understand, they are lean for training, but when you go into a fight you actually want to put back on as much weight as possible. Too many people fatigue as low body fat % and I think you see that a lot with beginners. We have quite a few UFC fighters from our gym and the biggest problem with all of them is their low body fat %. Just saying. They look like skeletons trying to cut for weight and it makes for poor performance.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:46 PM

i.e. Anderson Silva should be in a higher weight class.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:45 PM

@sleepyhouse22...um fighters are some of the leanest athletes on the planet. Only the heavy weight division has 'larger' men where the weight range caps at 250 pounds.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:44 PM

@CD...Professional fighters compete in weight classes. It is common practice to cut weight and 'lose' 5-15 pounds of water before a weight in for a larger athlete to compete in a smaller weight class. There are not weight classes in running so there is no advantage for doing this.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:42 PM

Well being lean in fighting is a big disadvantage and not something to strive for. If anything, before a fight they put on as much body fat % as possible.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:28 PM

@Sleepyhouse22, in ESPN the Body issue she said she was 160 lbs. I don't know a lot of bodybuilders, but I do know fighters, and they typically walk around 10-15 pounds heavier than they fight.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:20 PM

CD- You're right...I should have said 18% is in my opinion where lean begins...18% and downward is the varying range of leanness.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:19 PM

kerri walsh... (if you're talking about this volleyball player http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerri_Walsh) is six feet, three inches tall. Lolo Jones is far under 150 pounds...: http://www.runlolorun.com/content/index/biography

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:13 PM

^Told you I was too lazy. BF% is a good measuring tool but has it's limitations. Lean to me means visible musculature. 20% does not allow for that in my experience. @Paleo4ever - Being lean is about quality and quantity of diet. No amount of exercise will get you there if you do not have nutrition dialed in.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:12 PM

You guys are seriously oblivious to body fat % readings. If you want to be LEAN then you need to be 14-17%. The women on the site that I posted are all obviously less than that during show, but they certainly don't get to 20% not during show. Walk into any gym and any trainer will tell you that 20% is a good 'weight loss' goal, but it is not LEAN.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:08 PM

@Paleo4ever -- 2% on a woman who is 150 lbs is only a 3 lb difference. You can really see a 3 lbs difference on a body?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:07 PM

@Mark - scroll down it is adjusted for age @Sleepyhouse22 - if bodybuilders/models are your definition of lean, then cannot argue much with you other than to say, Kerri Walsh and Lolo Jones are both 150+ with abs. But to say someone is not lean unless they look like a model is a high bar...

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:57 PM

20% in my opinion is not lean for a women. 18% is lean. 20% is like most of my friends who do 20mins of elliptical 2 days a week. NOT LEAN.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:56 PM

Ah! yes, i think i am confusing Powerlifting with Crossfit. that is clearer now, thank you. I am measuring bodyfat 1) the mirror 2) measurments with a measuring tape.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:54 PM

20% is a good goal, but it is not the lean I'm talking about. If you want to be fit, sure. But if you want to be muscular and actually lean, like any of these women: http://cutandjacked.com/articles/15 then 20% is kind of a joke.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:52 PM

^You made the same mistake I did. The ACE BF% tables does not adjust for age. We lose lean mass as we age. The limits in the ACE chart are defined by the oldest age group. If you look at BF% broken down by age group, you will find 20% to be the upper limit for men and < 15% to be lean for women up to 40 or 50 years of age (I forget and am too lazy to Google it at the moment).

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:47 PM

It is for women! 20% body for for women is ~10% on men. http://www.builtlean.com/2010/08/03/ideal-body-fat-percentage-chart/

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:47 PM

Also, CF does not focus on strength enough for women to get 'bulky'. Most women experience the beginner effect when they start CF but gain very little strength after. CF is essentially varied metabolic conditioning. I recognize that many CF gyms program in separate strength training now. That is no longer CF but the old lift heavy/run sprints.

Fe87afa634afe26f4f6fd956abe0b46a

(565)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:44 PM

The Crossfit women I have seen are actually very lean, and have some of the most amazingly symmetrical bodies. Are you sure you are not referring to powerlifters?

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:44 PM

It should be noted that the picture you posted is of a young woman competing in a powerlifting competition. Typically, powerlifters do not focus on aesthetics and go for broke on strength. If you look at power athletes in general, they are not a 'lean' bunch...hovering at or above the 20% BF range. I do not recall any women with a high BF% competing in the CF games.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:35 PM

20% bf isn't lean...

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:35 PM

BTW yes ^ How are you measuring it because those little hand readers are NOT accurate whatsoever and will fluctuate on time of day, water intake, how crappy it is, if you just worked out or not, etc.

8f87879387f2a357db7c33008ff9a04a

(887)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:32 PM

I disagree! I had 20% bf @ 160.

C45d7e96acd83d3a6f58193dbc140e86

on July 17, 2012
at 05:15 PM

Can I ask how you are measuring your BF?

  • 59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

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5 Answers

2
892be7bd354cb6359a42bbda9069c2c0

(120)

on July 17, 2012
at 10:02 PM

First off, CrossFit is all about personal improvement and empowerment. Everyone starts somewhere - strong, weak, old, young, skinny, fat.

Secondly, umm: http://www.google.com/search?q=crossfit+women&hl=en&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=u-AFULKGH-eY2wXZ7uXQBQ&sqi=2&ved=0CFYQsAQ&biw=959&bih=646

2
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:22 PM

All depends on your goals. If your goals are to win lifting competitions, you have to eat A LOT to build that kind of muscle/frame --> http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/sport=weightlifting/index.html.

If your goals are to be stronger/ healthier/ etc then you can lift and not put on a ton of weight.

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 17, 2012
at 10:16 PM

Depends on the person. I have an underlying hormonal disturbance (PCOS) that makes it really easy to build muscle, but very difficult to lose body fat. I suspect many power lifting women, and perhaps some crossfitters who excel at heavy lifting have the same issue because the extra androgens offer a "natural" advantage to build muscle.

If a woman doesn't have a hormone imbalance, putting on a lot of muscle is going to take a lot of work, perhaps to the point of overtraining, where cortisol issues might account for an increase in body fat.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 18, 2012
at 06:47 PM

I'm not sure which hormone is responsible for it exactly, having read the blogs of PCOS researchers and MDs, I'm not sure they've pinpointed one hormone yet either, but holding on to body fat in spite of caloric restriction and increased activity is one of the classic symptoms of PCOS. There are often issues with high cortisol and low thyroid, and a tendency to store belly and upper body fat because of the slightly more "masculine" hormone profile.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on July 18, 2012
at 04:55 PM

I also have a history of PCOS - althought recent tests reveal - Insulin and DHEA levels all in normal ranges - sooo...what (in your case) makes it difficult to lose body fat (it might be my case too) ???

0
31381cfeb5d6da6fc75f80ab68e041ea

(560)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:27 AM

i think a good question to ask is how heavy is heavy? your post that you did last week about gaining bodyfat on lifting sounded like a beginner's lifting program... these women have been lifting a long time and VERY heavy weights. they cater their diet to their TRAINING. are you doing that? if not, you probably can't blame the weights/hormones, you know? especially when there is a whole community of very lean weightlifting women out there.

0
F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

on July 17, 2012
at 05:23 PM

If the women that are lifting heavy aren't wanting to be lean, then they're not going to be. Honestly, you lift a lot less if you lose weight. Even though women can bulk up, I'm telling you that you're not going to see a very muscular, lean woman anywhere above 150 pounds.

A lot of women simply want to lift heavy and they will even put on weight to do so.

As far as your own situation goes, we would have to know about your diet, water intake, and how heavy/often you are lifting.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:35 PM

20% bf isn't lean...

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:47 PM

It is for women! 20% body for for women is ~10% on men. http://www.builtlean.com/2010/08/03/ideal-body-fat-percentage-chart/

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:07 PM

@Mark - scroll down it is adjusted for age @Sleepyhouse22 - if bodybuilders/models are your definition of lean, then cannot argue much with you other than to say, Kerri Walsh and Lolo Jones are both 150+ with abs. But to say someone is not lean unless they look like a model is a high bar...

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:46 PM

i.e. Anderson Silva should be in a higher weight class.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 07:01 PM

Our trainer isn't a nutritionist. He's a fighter. It's not up to him to make sure you eat properly lol.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 09:12 PM

Gah, I absolutely can't stand weight classes and the games you have to play when it comes to weigh-ins. While I get it, it shouldn't be that way. Anderson Silva SHOULD fight at light heavyweight and the fighters within it. Heavyweight should be more restricted, etc. The problem is that Silva walks at 220 pounds and cuts 40 pounds to skip an entire weightclass... it's just not right.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:57 PM

20% in my opinion is not lean for a women. 18% is lean. 20% is like most of my friends who do 20mins of elliptical 2 days a week. NOT LEAN.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:49 PM

I don't even know what we're talking about anymore. But I like talking about fighting a lot more than body fat % that's for sure.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:08 PM

@Paleo4ever -- 2% on a woman who is 150 lbs is only a 3 lb difference. You can really see a 3 lbs difference on a body?

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:36 PM

You stated that fighters maintained lean BF% while training then fattened up for fats. It is the opposite. That was what we were explaining. You referenced your trainer as a world champion to bolster your position (arguing from his credentials). I pointed out that those credentials are not that meaningful to this discussion. Basically because you are misunderstanding what fighters are trying to accomplish by cutting weight and being lean. I have trained jits, boxing, and muay thai and never heard of Saekson Janjira (there are A LOT of Muay Thai ex-champs). I'm sure he is a great fighter

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:59 PM

But I think I intially explained myself poorly... typically during training fighters are getting leaned down to be able to cut weight at the end more easily. Then they eat as much as possible to get weight back on. It's not strictly water weight. I know it's a lot of drinking but it's also a LOT of eating.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 18, 2012
at 12:43 AM

BTW, I agree with Mark -- Not that anyone cares :). And Mark (from like 20 comments ago) I understand weight classes. My comment was in response to Sleepy saying, "The women on the site that I posted are all obviously less than that during show, but they certainly don't get to 20%" -- My point was that fighters typically train in the 10-15% body range and then drop to 5-8% for weigh-in. So it is not true to say a model/ bodybuilder never gets to 20%.... What a great detour though.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:12 PM

You guys are seriously oblivious to body fat % readings. If you want to be LEAN then you need to be 14-17%. The women on the site that I posted are all obviously less than that during show, but they certainly don't get to 20% not during show. Walk into any gym and any trainer will tell you that 20% is a good 'weight loss' goal, but it is not LEAN.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:28 PM

@Sleepyhouse22, in ESPN the Body issue she said she was 160 lbs. I don't know a lot of bodybuilders, but I do know fighters, and they typically walk around 10-15 pounds heavier than they fight.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:48 PM

I understand, they are lean for training, but when you go into a fight you actually want to put back on as much weight as possible. Too many people fatigue as low body fat % and I think you see that a lot with beginners. We have quite a few UFC fighters from our gym and the biggest problem with all of them is their low body fat %. Just saying. They look like skeletons trying to cut for weight and it makes for poor performance.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 09:07 PM

I agree that training camps are used to lean fighters down (some fighters stop conditioning when not in training camp) and prepare them for their cut. Yes, they carb load before a fight but the weight they regain between weigh in and fight night is all water weight. One day is not enough for your body to do much of anything except restore water and glycogen.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:53 PM

@Sleepyhouse22...having watched more MMA, wrestling, and boxing then I care to admit; almost every fighter in every division except heavy has seeable abs when they fight. For men this mean's a BF% around 10 or less. I can understand that maintaining a low BF% while training at a high rate is difficult but for weight in and fight night, they show up as lean as possible to fit into lower weight divisions for the advantage size brings.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:54 PM

20% is a good goal, but it is not the lean I'm talking about. If you want to be fit, sure. But if you want to be muscular and actually lean, like any of these women: http://cutandjacked.com/articles/15 then 20% is kind of a joke.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:13 PM

^Told you I was too lazy. BF% is a good measuring tool but has it's limitations. Lean to me means visible musculature. 20% does not allow for that in my experience. @Paleo4ever - Being lean is about quality and quantity of diet. No amount of exercise will get you there if you do not have nutrition dialed in.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:42 PM

Well being lean in fighting is a big disadvantage and not something to strive for. If anything, before a fight they put on as much body fat % as possible.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 09:18 PM

It is a sport and everyone can play it but weight classes is definitely better than watching 225+ men just hulk out on the smaller guys. Certainly I would like to see Silva fight in the 205 weight class because there is more talent there. He is 37 and probably past the point of taking those kinds of chances in his career. GSP fights in his 'natural' weight class which means to fight Silva he would have to fight a man who outweighs him by 30-40 pounds! So the fight will never happen. Weight classes are a necessary evil unfortunately.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 18, 2012
at 01:18 AM

@CD...that comment was not directed at you. I think we are on the same page.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:19 PM

kerri walsh... (if you're talking about this volleyball player http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerri_Walsh) is six feet, three inches tall. Lolo Jones is far under 150 pounds...: http://www.runlolorun.com/content/index/biography

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:45 PM

@sleepyhouse22...um fighters are some of the leanest athletes on the planet. Only the heavy weight division has 'larger' men where the weight range caps at 250 pounds.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 07:01 PM

He's also a six time undefeated world champ, but who cares.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:52 PM

You know Anderson Silva cuts nearly 40 pounds just to make middleweight? IMO, that's ridiculous.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:59 PM

I know, but that's low bf% for weigh in strictly. Then you pack it on. Our fighters consume multiple pizzas the second they step off the stage. That's not saying low bf% for performance in fights, that's strictly to make the cut. But I understand that they all have visible abs, but men and women are different... going back to women fighters, you're not going to see a lean woman fighter above 150 pounds.

8f87879387f2a357db7c33008ff9a04a

(887)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:32 PM

I disagree! I had 20% bf @ 160.

59ee717de524f921efb7f2984157339f

(871)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:20 PM

CD- You're right...I should have said 18% is in my opinion where lean begins...18% and downward is the varying range of leanness.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:44 PM

@CD...Professional fighters compete in weight classes. It is common practice to cut weight and 'lose' 5-15 pounds of water before a weight in for a larger athlete to compete in a smaller weight class. There are not weight classes in running so there is no advantage for doing this.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:02 PM

@sleepyhouse22...The weight in is the day before the fight, how much can someone change their lean body mass composition in a day? A man who can show his abs is very lean and at or below 10 BF%. It is typical to carb load before an event and important to regain water weight after a weight in. My friend has had 3 MMA fights and holds a belt. Organizations with belts are a dime a dozen. There are no undefeated fighters who hold titles in major organizations. Unless you train with Floyd Mayweather (who boxes).

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 18, 2012
at 01:04 PM

Well, I guess I don't understand why they don't promote fighting at the weightclass you weighed in at. I'll never really understand that.

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:52 PM

^You made the same mistake I did. The ACE BF% tables does not adjust for age. We lose lean mass as we age. The limits in the ACE chart are defined by the oldest age group. If you look at BF% broken down by age group, you will find 20% to be the upper limit for men and < 15% to be lean for women up to 40 or 50 years of age (I forget and am too lazy to Google it at the moment).

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:55 PM

@Sleepyhouse22...sounds like the gym you work out in needs to review the nutrition plan their fighters are on.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:20 PM

Well you'd be surprised that people can weigh 15 pounds more the very next day, which yeah mostly is gaining back all their water weight. I honestly don't know what we're talking about. I think it's reasonable to assume that people with low body fat % don't always have the best endurance through the sport. I'd rather see it proven than argued over though. Saekson Janjira is our trainer, and he was undefeated before he retired. I don't know where you're from, but most people worship him as a fighter. Anytime one of our fighters is fighting in the UFC you'll hear Joe Rogan claim so. :)

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:58 PM

If there were no weight classes, 'bulking' up or adding muscle would be advantageous (to a point). 2 fighters, both weight in at 185 pounds. One is at 10% BF, the other at 20%. One fighter has an 18.5 pound lean mass advantage. But that is small scale. Now you add in diuretics and the ability to lose double digits in water weight, and you have a huge advantage. Take a guy who weighs 210 pounds at 10% BF (189 pounds of lean mass) and squeeze him into the 185 pound class. He has a HUGE advantage over a 'natural' 185 pounder. Many guys have trouble cutting that much weights. Some don't.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 17, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Either way, I still disagree. I think everybody should bulk up for fighting. I understand there are weight classes but you should be proportionate for your weightclass. I don't understand wanting to stay small, especially when weight gives you a big advantage. Some people need to simply change their weightclass (Anderson Silva) because it's not natural/healthy/advantageous to fight at a low body fat %. He does cut a LOT of fat just to make weight... Wouldn't you assume he performs in peak condition during training and not the fight?

81fca18329e68e227cdfef3857bfef96

(1320)

on July 17, 2012
at 09:04 PM

You are not staying small. You get as big as possible then cut as much as you can without hurting performance and have a size and strength advantage at that weight class. Anderson Silva cuts water weight before a fat (diuretics are not banned and legal). He walks in on fight night close to 200 pounds. When he fought at light heavy he weighed in at 205 and still had to lose weight! Modern fighting is about gaming the system and finding the 'right' weight class. That is why people who hold titles in multiple weight classes are held in such high esteem.

F5be4be097edc85690c12d67ee1a27c0

(1884)

on July 18, 2012
at 01:49 PM

Wait, that was probably confusing. You should fight at the class weight is what I mean. I understand that could cause like, fights to be cancelled because somebody gained weight overnight, but at least put a cap on it... like five pounds.

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