Weight fluctuations. Interesting stuff.

Look, I'm not going to lie. There's a guy in here, "Lockout", that makes this one of the least productive and most boring places to talk training on the internet, and no one can be bothered to ban him. Buyer beware. Arguments about minutiae. Ad hominems. Appeals to authority. Training #1.

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Weight fluctuations. Interesting stuff.

Postby lockout » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:02 am

I know this is more of a strength board, but since powerlifting is a weight class based sport, I think it's a worthy topic.

I just realized something new recently. People often say that when dieting a lot of the weight lost is water. It seems strange until you put all the pieces of the puzzle together of why.

1. When you decrease calories you decrease carbs and your glycogen goes down. Along with the glycogen goes a lot of water. On low carb diets this can mean 15 lbs lost in 2 weeks, mostly being water.
2. A reduction in sodium intake can also make a difference of even 5 lbs in a day.
3. This applies to naturals, but when you diet hard for a long time your testosterone production goes down significantly. Since estrogen in men is produced from testosterone, this means your estrogen will decrease along with the testosterone. Less estrogen means less water bloat. I'm not sure how much it would affect a natural. But for athletes taking steroids, it really makes a big difference. Just to give an example, I hear roughly half of the weight gained with some steroids is only water weight. And because of that, a lot of athletes mistaken the difference as muscle gains or losses.

See how complicated it can get and how much those fluctuations add up? Diuretics can make a difference of perhaps 8 lbs in a day give or take. Also competitive athletes can and some do change the drugs they are on a week or two prior to a contest. Swap an aromatizing steroid for a non aromatizing steroid and throw in an aromatase inhibitor a few weeks prior to a contest and your water bloat will drop.

Once you take all factors into consideration, it's easy to see how one could have dramatic fluctuations in weight within a short period of time. This means the following:
1. For dieters of any sort, fluctuations in weight don't necessarily indicate fat or muscle low or gain. It's hard to tell, even with a scale or even a supposed body fat measuring technique. So instead of going by scale weight, you've got to go by the big picture long term.
2. Powerlifters and other weight class athletes who know this could use the information to drop a weight class or even two in order to dominate a lower weight class. Guys like Ed Coan ring a bell. I don't know his exact technique, but he's been famous for dropping weight fast.
3. Bodybuilders drop water weight pre contest to get the ripped look. But a lot of the literature gets skewed due to misunderstanding of what happens when bulking or cutting. Less muscle is gaining during a bulk than often thought or assumed and less muscle is lost during s cut compared to what people are often lead to believe. Body fat testing doesn't really work.
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