T Nation

Different Strengths for Different Things

Over the past years I have always been curious and witnessed several different examples of athletes having strength in the weightroom and having it transition to sports. Specifically my journey and others started off as a recreational lifter to a body builder to a powerlifter… .and now to a NCAA college wrestler I have gone through many phases of lifting. I have always been known as the biggest guy for my weight class and having the big show muscles.

I have been able to put up big lifting numbers but curious in the big question of Is grappling strength different then weight room strength? I know the easy explanation of wrestling being anaerobic and needing more endurance and definitely a technique sport but the argument I get in with a friend who strictly does power lifting routines comes off to not believe that there is such a thing as grappling strength. The strength in the weight room correlates to a wrestler.

I have seen many teammates who can’t lift big amounts of weight or don’t take lifting seriously and will get All American honors (I know obviosly they have technique and experience, but saying if they did spend time in the weight room what would the outcome be). It’s an interesting question I have and is there any way to maybe go from being able to have weightroom strength and focusing more on grappler. I have been looking for an in season program to follow for the grueling 6 month wresting season that occurs during the winter.

Any advice or has anyone seen this occur ? I myself found another interesting thing in that heavy squats produced thick legs and I wrestled worse… big legs slowed me down and I gassed faster… why do I need to squat a huge amount when the guy im wrestling is my weight?

hi rep squats may be better for what you are doing. as well as cleans and its variations.

as for translating weight room work to grappling, that is what tactical/skill work is meant to do. to convert that bench press to usable strength on the mat. you may also want to switch your lifts so they can carry over more easily. try things like, atlas stone lifts, farmers walks, overhead squats, sledge/macebell work, KB work, clubbell work, sled work, tire flips.

worry less about muscles and more about movements or think of parts like the spine or hips. for example with those 2 parts you can have a day that focuses on strengthening the spine. doing deads, overhead squats, good mornings, bent presses, etc. you could do an overhead day where every lift at some point must be over your head. like 2 handed anyhows, turkish getups, snatches, jerks, etc.