T Nation

Help for a Wrestler

I have a good friend who wrestles in high school, and wishes to take his competing to the next level. He usually fights in the 189lbs weight class, and he wishes to gain as much useful strength as possible between now and when his season really begins in mid-winter. I’ve showed him various programs including Designer Athletes and WSFSB, but he still wants some second opinions.

He’s looking for something “wrestling specific”, specifically something that will allow him to be more explosive in his shot (takedown technique). He may choose to lean up eventually, and fight in the 160lbs weight class however, if that is important.

Currently, he uses a five day split targeting a different muscle each day. I’ve told him this is inefficient for the purpose of gaining maximum strength and explosiveness, but he needs a little convincing. I’m posting this here because he refuses to make an account.

His goals are to increase his strength and explosiveness in the ring while maintaining his cardio vascular and muscular endurance.

Any help or advice, or any particular programs he might find interesting or useful would be appreciated. Especially anything specific to what will make him most successful in wrestling.

Thanks in advanced.

If your buddy is a wrestler he should NOT use a 5 day split each day focusing on a different body part. Im no expert but I wrestled in hs and I’d recommend a few things.

First off clean diet, its not rocket science, but it takes dedication. Its much healthier to wrestle at the weight where you have the most strength/energy per pound of bodyweight. (rather than cutting tons of weight)

Second I would do total body workouts. He needs to increase his overall strength. There’s no 1 right or wrong way but there are better ways. (pre-season) I would mix up my lifting routine to have a day with some heavy weights and lower reps…and then another day with less weight (still challenging) and a bit higher weights. (could do a 3rd day with lots of volume but less weight)

Sprints and other fast twitch exercises would be good for improving one’s shot. Don’t neglect cardiovascular endurance though, those 5 minutes feel like forever.

Lastly, nothing is 100% sport specific. So practice wrestling. Find a bigger stronger guy (teammate, coach, friend, etc.) and wrestle him. Practice all types of techniques. From neutral, top, and bottom. Work with a variety of guys. Good technique has a place right up there with strength.

Its not super indepth and it doesn’t have a fancy name, but it worked for me and I believe it makes sense… but thats just my 2 cents.

Ross Enamaits books, Alwyn Cosgrove’s articles and material. Martin Rooney’s video from Parisi speed school.

They will destroy his popular media culture ideas of 5 day splits bodybuilder style workouts.

Bodybuilding is a “sport” and lifestyle in itself with a completely different approach to athletic training.

I am a wrestler and normally wrestle at 189 but will probably take some matches this year at 215. I was as high as 220 in the off-season but slimmed down to 200-203 now. If your friend is planning on wrestling 160, he has to get to work now. If not, he should focus on getting bigger and stronger for 189. WS4SB should be fine, you can’t really zero in on a specific area for wrestling.

I agree with this. Find the best wrestlers on your team and practice with them: especially if they are bigger, stronger, and better than you. No one improves by always wrestling the team fish (you know who you are!!). It’s better to get your pride destroyed in practice than on the mat.

Work on leg/hip/knee flexibility for changing levels quickly for shooting on your opponent. Practice shooting in to a wall if you don’t have someone to work out with.

To build on practicing all types of techniques, work on situation wrestling. Put yourself in a full-speed situation for specific time intervals. For example:

  • 30 seconds double-leg takedown at live speed
  • 30 seconds half-nelson in deep. Roll your opponent.

Now, reverse. Learn both the offense and defense for each move. This will help you to understand how to properly execute the while predicting what your opponent is going to do.

Then, apply this one step further…

  • The drill is it is the 3rd period, 30 seconds left, you are on the bottom and down by 2 points. Wrestle live speed.

  • Both standing. Overtime. 15 seconds left and a takedown wins the match. etc…

Repeat these on both offense and defense.

Practicing this way really tests your grasp on technique and encourages explosive movements and improvisation.

Another good technique is called a you-me drill. You do a move and your partner lets you, then your partner does a move and you let him. The goal is to alternate at full speed while maintaining proper technique with no stopping in between. This gets you thinking on the mat on how to quickly attack at any time. Plus, it is one hell of a workout.

Without a doubt the two best things are squats and clean and presses. Tell him to focus on Oly lifts. These will build the strength to lift his opponents as well as the explosive strength to get in quickly on their legs.

Hell if he does nothing else but those 2 lifts he’ll kick some ass.

I did my 4yrs in HS at 165.

Btw I totally second what shieldss said. He needs to train with someone a weight class up from him, then picking up someone that weighs the same will be easy! I used to practice with the team fish, and I was OK at best. Then I trained with the 185lb state champ…got my ass kicked all over the place but I got a hell of a lot better!

[quote]douglas16 wrote:

Lastly, nothing is 100% sport specific. So practice wrestling. Find a bigger stronger guy (teammate, coach, friend, etc.) and wrestle him. Practice all types of techniques. From neutral, top, and bottom. Work with a variety of guys. Good technique has a place right up there with strength.

Quoted for fucking truth. Get big and strong in the weight room, apply what you build out on the mats. Way too many people try to combine these much to the detriment of their training.

DeFranco has some pretty good wrestlers on his template. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for him.

Like others have mention main thing will be his conditioning and overall endurance-strenght