Cutting like a Sumo Wrestler

I think the most successful weight cut as a strength sport athlete is when you say you’re going to cut from 240, and, after six months, you have a beautifully made progress of cutting to 260.

That’s the ideal weight cut in my opinion.

I just found a cool video of a sumo wrestler who described the gold standard of nutrition for sumo wrestlers: chanko nabe. Chanko nabe looks pretty simple: its just stew. But imagine meatball with stew? Isn’t that amazing?

It’s the culture shock talking, probably, but that’s just straight up innovation.

Like bleeding edge of innovation.

Now obviously, we’re just teasing with the title. Cutting? Sumo? Come on. Those two words aren’t even aloud to be in the same sentence.

It’s illegal.

Its breaking harmony in the universe.

Not to say that you can’t lose weight while eating the stew of sumo high performance!

At the same time, I think Chanko Nabe stands for something greater than just good ol’ stew.

What is Chanko Nabe, really?

Chanko is a stew that really can be anything in the contents that are in it. Soybean paste, beef broth, chicken broth, BOTH! Any meats/protein, vegetables, or noodles can go in it.

It seems like any old stew.

What’s so special about it?

Chanko Nabe represents Eating Good Food for High Performance

It doesn’t matter what you look like when in the face of actual PERFORMANCE.

You’ve got to perform for your function and you’ve got to fuel it with quality fuel. How can I care about aesthetics without prioritizing performance, if what I chose to compete in is primarily performance-based?

Sumo is a symbol of that.

Just take in for a second.

Sumo wrestlers, probably have the highest fat free mass quantity compared to other sports. I think strongman is up there as well, but even strongman has weight classes (even if you have an open class. There was as study that said that some wrestlers have up to 260 lbs of lean body mass on them.

If you’re not familiar with what body fat percentage looks like on peoples’ frames, just know that 260 IS A LOT!)

Regardless, no matter what the demands of your sport, no matter the caloric needs, eating quality foods, makes a huge difference in performance.

So enjoy Chanko Nabe

Here’s a link to a great Chanko Nabe recipe


Kanehisa et al. Body composition and isokinetic strength of professional Sumo wrestlers (1998)

Kondo et al (1994) Upper limit of fat-free mass in humans: A study on Japanese Sumo wrestlers