Weight Management Specialist Lou Giordano “Don’t cut weight, manage it”

61f9e7fc98b11beda1f7427d58379565Lou Giordano – the man behind UFC middleweight Eddie Gordon’s recent physical transformation – is one of the few people in the MMA industry who is in support of the UFC’s USADA decision to ban IV use for re-hydration after weight cutting. Giordano spoke to MMAOddsBreaker on Episode 121 of “The Parting Shot Podcast” and discussed a variety of topics. Background in the Health/Fitness industry.  “I’ve been involved in [health and fitness] for over 15-years. I have a degree in Exercise Science and Weight Management specialist directly under 1 of 600 sports registered dieticians; he’s actually the registered dietician for the New York Jets as well. I’ve been working directly under him for many years. Also multiple certifications in Pilates, Spinning, the list goes on as far as the certifications and training as well.”   Interest in MMA “I was always a fan, probably when I was a sophomore in high school. One of the first fights I remember seeing was an old Tito Ortiz fight and I was hooked ever since watching the guys fight in a cage. I’ve been wrestling since I was 10 years old, just grappling and that kind of a thing always interested me at a younger age.”   How he started working with Eddie Gordon   “It’s pretty ironic actually, my brother [has been] sponsoring Eddie for quite some time. At that time I decided to get out of the fitness industry actually because it just took a toll on me. Being one of the vainest industries in the world and I needed to pull away from it. So I went to do the 9-5 thing, which wasn’t really my thing. I got to meet Eddie through the sponsorship and we started talking. Of course I can’t keep my mouth shut when it comes to health and fitness.  So we started talking then about a year ago.”   Biggest mistakes Gordon was making in his previous weight cuts  “Cutting 20 pounds in a 24-hour period and once in a while relying on IV use. I know that he did use it for the Dempsey fight. He had no choice, he was that dehydrated and that’s really what spiraled him and I actually working together. Because of how he felt after that fight. I looked at him and [told him] there is a different way of doing this, we should really talk. That Sunday after the fight is when we spoke on the phone and started that Monday.”   Explanation behind “Don’t cut weight, manage it”  “It’s simple. I stared wrestling when I was 10 years old. When I got into high school that’s really when you had to cut weight and compete in weight classes. When you’re 10 they just put you on the scale and whatever you weigh, you weigh.  I had a really hard time making weight, I wrestled at 171-pounds. I did the typical starve yourself; my mother hated it because I wasn’t eating dinner. I realized once I got into the health and fitness industry that you should really manage your weight versus looking at it and trying drastically cutting from one number to the next.  It’s like managing your money, if you just kind of fly by the seat of your pants, before you know it you’re not going to have any pants because you don’t have any money. So if you’re managing it properly, things to tend to work out better.”   Banning IV use to make it a level playing field  “If you dehydrate yourself to the point of needed IV treatment and now you can’t IV treatment, you’re absolutely going to do damage. The reason why I’m for it is because it’s going to force guys to do one of two things.  Move up in weight class, if you move up in weight class you’re not cutting as much weight so you should technically go into that fight 100% hydrated. But the other thing I’m excited about is people like myself who really know how to to manage somebodies weight. You’ll get guys fighting at 100% at all times, which always makes for a more exciting fight. How many times have you watched a fight where one guy wasn’t prepared, cut too much weight? He had the skill but empty gas tank and it didn’t make for a good fight.”   Concerns about fighters still doing extreme weight cuts even with the IV ban  “Sadly yes [I think it will happen] and I say this because obviously since [working with] Eddie Gordon I’ve been speaking with a lot of different fighters. It’s that old school mentality that you have to break. I’ve been trying to do it for 15-years in the fitness industry and it’s very difficult. It’s the one industry where people who aren’t really educated in it just assume they know what to do. Yet America is still one of the fattest countries in the world so maybe we don’t know what to do. It’s just trying to break that mold of [extreme] weight cutting.”   Thoughts on same-day weigh-ins.  “I [prefer] the day before because it does give you time to refuel and replenish a little bit. The body is very smart and the body is very lazy. Once it gets comfortable at a specific weight, then you can push yourself to perform at that specific weight. With Eddie, his optimal weight was 193-194lbs during his camp that’s where we held him the longest. After he weighed in at 185-185.5 we got him back him up to 193lbs before the fight so his body didn’t think anything different. I do like having that one day in between. The more the better because the you can put more fuel in your body.”   Thoughts on day before and day of the fight, weigh-ins.  “I’m actually in favour of that. Again you’ll get guys who are fighting at the same weight and it’s about whose hydrated more and who has better skill. Which is what we want to see as a fan, skill vs. skill and the best versus. the best.”   Fighters who can’t afford his services “I understand that and the reason I do what I do. I don’t train, I like to teach and educate. I will be continuing to educate as much as I can, to try to help as many people I can. Maybe this is a bad fitness statement; I want to get my clients to the point of not needing me anymore. But they can understand their body so where they don’t need me. If they want to train with me that’s different but they don’t need me.”   Thoughts on Mike Dolce “I don’t know him personally and refuse to speak negatively about somebody I don’t know. I do strongly disagree with everything he says and does. I have to just from what I’ve been taught and I know. He promotes people cutting large amounts of weight, I disagree with that. He promotes using IV’s to refuel his fighters. So I don’t agree with a lot of things he does.”   Thoughts on George Lockhart  “I am a little bit [familiar with him]. I did read an interview with him on BloodyElbow.com. I agree with a lot of the things he says, how he fuels people and how he hydrates them. But the only thing I’m a little cloudy on is if you’re really good at what you do – and I’m not taking a dig at him – Cyborg shouldn’t have a problem making that weight. Eddies a guy who walked around at 220-230 pounds, he started his career as a heavyweight. He’s now going to fight at 170lbs no problem, fully hydrated. So I really don’t know what he’s doing with her but I do agree with some of the things he’s said.”   Cyborg dropping to bantamweight  “I absolutely think she can make the limit with the right help. Will she do it? I don’t know. Ronda is a very intimidating and fantastic fighter. I don’t know too many people who are jumping to take that fight.”   Working with other UFC fighters  “I’ve been working with a few currently but I can’t mention any names just yet, we’re ironing out the details.  But I’m definitely working with some big name guys and there will be a lot of stuff being released much sooner then later.”   A year from now, the percentage weight cutting will be decreased  “I would love it to decrease 80%. I think with the IV ban and because it’s getting so much publicity and it’s going to eventually fizzle out.  There’s not going to be a need for extreme weight cutting.”   Best advice for fighters cutting weight  “The best way is to don’t cut weight and to manage it. What I mean by that is you need to start sooner much then later. Everybody I’ve spoken to is used to waiting until the last minute because they’re carrying around all that weight. I would suggest doing  is starting months before, training all year round, keep your weight no more then 10-12lbs above your weight class. That way your body will not feel like it’s a weight cut at all.”   You can follow Lou on Instagram/Twitter @Lou_Trition and you can listen to the full audio version of this interview below (64 mins in) 

Written by James Lynch

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