T Nation

Getting Ready For Wrestling Season

Hey all, this is my first post. I’m 15 years old and a rising junior in high school (sophomore right now). I’m about 5’ 11 and 155 pounds. This previous year I wrestled for my first time and was skilled enough to wrestle at the varsity 160 spot, while actually weighing around 145 pounds. I would have wrestled at the 145 weight class but we had an amazing senior there and another one at the 152 so unfortunately I lost to them.

So I tried out at the 160 and won. So all year long I was wrestling guys that out weighed me by 10 or more pounds which doesn’t seem like much but it makes a huge difference on the mat. These guys were bigger, stronger, and faster.

Anyway, I have already started preparing for next season. I would like to wrestle at the 152 weight class this year. I have been lifting 5 days out of the week after school and doing cardio on a regular basis. I have noticed that I have been getting stronger but I’m still not satisfied. I want to get stronger without putting on weight.

Can anyone help me with this problem? Are there any supplements, protein shakes, or etc out there that will help me see some serious gains in strength without the weight gain? I understand that I may have to gain some weight, so I am willing to gain 5 to 7 pounds so i can wrestle at 160.

            Thanks in Advance,
                               CJ

I too am a 15 year old wrestler. Only I was a freshmen this year, also wrestling at 160, but that was a good weight for me given I was 165ish in the beginning. I wasn’t varsity because we had a returning All-State wrestler (he placed in States as a sophmore) at my weight and a lot of other upper classmen from 145-160. However, at my Section Championships (Counties), the returning All-State kid dropped a weight class and I beat the other upper classmen at the weight to place 3rd in my county, and be All-County as a freshmen.

At 5’11 145 it sounds like you are pretty skinny. It wouldn’t be a bad thing to gain 15 lbs of muscle in the off-season then drop 8 lbs to make 152 in the season. When you are skinny like that it is very hard to gain a decent amount of strength without gaining weight. On paper you can through neural efficiency but it just never works out that way. Focus on strength for sure, but don’t kill yourself if you gain a few solid pounds, especially if you keep gaining strength. That is the main thing, as weight can be lost a lot faster than strength gained. You can lose 5 lbs in a night but to increase strength a decent amount takes months of hard work. If I were you I would look into Chad Waterbury’s Anti-Bodybuilding Hypetrophy program his Strength-Focused Mesocycle if you are still phobic at your weight.

Just a little about my own training, I started training a la Westside after the season and have gained 35 lbs and sit at 195 and 5’10. I have modified the template to emphasize pulling a good deal and do a little conditioning at the end of each workout. A good part the weight has been muscle, but some fat is thrown in as well; it just comes with the territory. I plan to wrestle at 189 this year, the 2x county champ at that weight just graduated too so I think I could take it.

here is a tip for you.hang on one arm from pull-up bar and try to increase hang time.its a great grip-strenght builder and a must for a wrestler.
stay strong!

First thing is get a clean diet working. If wrestling is really important to you, then this should not be hard. There are plenty of articles here.

This will help you get lean, so you have more muscle on your body for the given weight. If you are very lean already, then dont worry too much about getting leaner as this may be detremental (messed up hormonal profile, weak immune system, no endurance, etc.)

Next thing to do is get on a workout program where the focus is "big"movements like squats, dead lift, pullups, rows, dips, pressing. This will get you strong in the least amount of time.

Personally, I would stick with the 5-8 rep range for the most part, with some high rep stuff like 20 or more reps for endurance and lactic acid training. This would be done infrequently.

Just remember, Since you are new to the sport, technique is your number one priority. GET GOOD AT THE SPORT! train at your school in the offseason, train at other schools, go to wrestling clinics, camps, stuff like that. Technique always trumps strangth. I have beaten the shit out of some strong dudes because of superior technical ability. If you want to win, go practice wrestling. If you want to show off to the chickies then go bulk up.

Good luck

Before I offer you any advice, I’d like to ask a few questions.

First of all, are you going to bump up to the 160 lbs. weight class and actually weigh that much or are you going to try to stick to 145? I’m not going to tell you what I’d do because I know it’s your choice.

Second, what are your weight room numbers now? Have you ever lifted weights before? Have you seriously trained with weights or just kinda messed around with them (at your age, that is very common so don’t be afraid to tell the truth)?

What does your diet look like now? Do you pay real attention to it (have you kept a food log, read plenty of nutrition articles, etc.)?

Answer those honestly and I’ll try to get back to you.

[quote]carter12 wrote:
Before I offer you any advice, I’d like to ask a few questions.

First of all, are you going to bump up to the 160 lbs. weight class and actually weigh that much or are you going to try to stick to 145? I’m not going to tell you what I’d do because I know it’s your choice.

[/quote]

I think he said he wants to be 152 next season.

[quote]carter12 wrote:
Before I offer you any advice, I’d like to ask a few questions.

First of all, are you going to bump up to the 160 lbs. weight class and actually weigh that much or are you going to try to stick to 145? I’m not going to tell you what I’d do because I know it’s your choice.

Second, what are your weight room numbers now? Have you ever lifted weights before? Have you seriously trained with weights or just kinda messed around with them (at your age, that is very common so don’t be afraid to tell the truth)?

What does your diet look like now? Do you pay real attention to it (have you kept a food log, read plenty of nutrition articles, etc.)?

Answer those honestly and I’ll try to get back to you.

[/quote]

Most likely I will either be at 160 or 152 I would prefer to wrestle at 152 but I’m willing to wrestle either spot.

Heres a list of my one rep max.

Bench Press(reg)-250
Decline Bench-275
Incline Bench- haven’t maxed out
Squat-315(Knee Injury)
Dead Lift- haven’t maxed out
Power Clean-185
Overhead Press-145
Seated Row-180
Bent Over Row- haven’t maxed out
Lat. Pulldown-150

I have been lifting since the beginning of the summer 2005(Seriously, I had been in the weight room a few times before.)

I don’t currently have a diet plan. However I have been reading about them and was planning on starting one. If anyone has any info. or details about this to pass on, it would be greatly appreciated.

You are very strong for your weight.

One exercise I would add in is towel pullups or pullups using a thick rope. These will help your wrestling a ton. Hope this helps.

Austin

[quote]KombatAthlete wrote:
You are very strong for your weight.[/quote]

Thanks

[quote]aslater wrote:
One exercise I would add in is towel pullups or pullups using a thick rope. These will help your wrestling a ton. Hope this helps.

Austin [/quote]

Yeah, thanks. If you or anyone else has any other exercises they know of that would help me please list them.

Brother, those are some outstanding numbers for your weight and 15 years old!

As far as supplements, I wouldn’t recommend any supplements except ZMA and some Metabolic Drive for days that you can’t get enough protein in. Your diet (which I hope you fix) will take care of everything at this point. Read everything by Berardi and keep a food log (monitoring total calories, protein, carbs, and fat intake) for a couple weeks, then you’ll be set. Doing this alone will allow you to stay as muscular as possible while at the same scale weight.

As far as training, I would look into Chad Waterbury’s “Hammer Down: Strength for MMA” (not sure if this is the exact title). He has outlined two days per week for maximal strength training that will greatly benefit you as a wrestler. He’ll be posting two more articles on strength endurance and mobility/flexibility soon so you’ll be able to incorporate those.

In the mean time, add one or two other days (definitely two if you’re not wrestling right now) devoted to strength endurance with some hamstring (glute ham raises are great for this), upper back, and abs in the hypertrophy range. For the strength endurance, focus on building lactic acid tolerance.

Charles Poliquin did an article on lactic acid trainign for bodybuilders that I can also see working well for you. Search for it and if you follow that article, I’d choose legs, back, chest and do the lactic acid training.

OK so a type week of training would look like this:

Monday: Day 1 Hammer Down Article

Tuesday: Upper body strength endurance training along with hamstring and lower back, and abs in hypertrophy range. Plus grip work.

Wed.: Off

Thursday: Lower body endurance training along with
upper back, abs, arms in hypertrophy range. Plus grip Work

Friday: Off

Saturday AM: Day 2 Hammer Down article

Saturday PM: Optional 400 meter sprint work

I typed this up pretty fast and there’s probably some areas that hopefully others will critique, but it seems like it’ll work well for your goals.

In the complete off-season I found an upper-lower split with one day for maximal strength and functional hypertrophy (6-8 reps) and one day for speed and strength enedurance (6-15, shorter rest periods). Working different attributes allows you to attack them intensely without overtraining. I do some conditioning after lifting, mostly consecutive bodyweight exercises.

Great advice so far in this thread. For grip strength I would focus on any type of thick bar work as a staple and the rope or towel pullups fit the bill for this. Also strong wrists help when someone is trying to get out of your grip so sledge hammer levering all directions are great for this. Also when someone pulls out of your grip alot of times the thumb is the weak link. Plate pinches help with this. Defranco has a good grip routine that is done 5xwk on his site under the question and answer section. Hope this helps and feel free to ask any questions you might have. Keep up the good work!