After weighing in at 273 lbs before his recent showdown with Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury is now the third heaviest heavyweight in history. Both Wilder and Fury have recently placed more emphasis on bulking up to prepare for their fight, and, with no upper limit in Heavyweight, the pair each weighed significantly more than when they last met in the ring at the end of 2018. At the other end of the scale, fighters who need to lose the pounds in order to qualify for lower weight classes will be looking at dieting restrictions. In either case, a balanced regime will avoid extreme fluctuations in weight and risks such as dehydration, both of which can cause health problems and have a negative impact on physical performance.
Supplements for Growth
Enhancing a well-balanced diet with supplements and protein shakes can improve muscle growth and so aid performance in the ring. The body’s growth hormone boosts protein production, stimulates fat burning and aids recovery from injury. Taken as a supplement, Ipamorelin is a peptide that helps to activate the body’s natural growth hormone. One of the principal benefits of Ipamorelin is an improvement in body weight, and it is also known to regulate one's food intake. When used in advanced training, it could help fighters to reach their goal weight faster, though regulations should be considered carefully.
Keeping Balanced While Bulking Up
Heavyweights or fighters well within their weight class have the option to bulk up more, giving them increased strength and power in the ring. As a match draws closer, Wilder indulges in six large meals a day consuming eggs, steaks and potatoes, washed down with a couple of protein shakes. Most fighters will look for well-balanced meals and snacks like these that are low in carbohydrate and high in lean protein. The essential amino acids in high protein foods are essential for muscle growth. However, balance is key as an excess of protein will turn to fat if it’s not burnt off, and surplus amino acids will simply be expelled from the body.
The Dangers of Dehydration
Although less common in boxing than in other combative sports, the dangerous practice of cutting weight through extreme dehydration is still being used by some fighters to meet weight limits that are much lower than their natural weight. Not only does this help them to qualify for a particular class, but, if they put on the pounds shortly after weighing in, they will have an advantage over their opponent. Unfortunately, dehydration is ultimately bad for performance, leading to weakness and exhaustion and, in some extreme cases, even death. Having the option to lose a little water weight can help meet strict restrictions, but this should only be used after having lost weight slowly and safely over a longer period of time.
Fighters struggling to make weight need to ensure extreme measures aren’t putting their health at risk or compromising their performance in the ring. Slowly losing or gaining weight with a well-balanced regime is far preferable for their health and ultimately leads to safer and fairer bouts in the ring.