T Nation

Nutrition / Supplements for Wrestling


I'm new in this forum and hope a Topic exactly like this is not created yet.
Is someone having experiences how to best gain muscle and strength for wrestling and a good supplement for pre/post shakes ?

Since Im not just lifting at the mooment, also wrestling training und fighting, which has a high cardiovascular requirement and my metabolism is prett intense. I loose weight fast.

Thank you guys !


what's your diet like? height, weight, age?


I've turned 23 lately, I'm 180cm and weigh 82 kg. I didnt tested Bodyfat yet.
Want to get up to 84-85 kg on muscles, and try to keep it there.

At the moment I'm eating like 5-6 times a day, smaller meals. Trying to put carbs, proteins and some fruit/legumes in every main meal. As selfmade shake I use 200ml water, oats, low fat quark, flaxseed oil and 2 bananas.

Im training 5-6 times a week, 2-3 times lifting, 2-3 fighting


You're doing alot of things correctly already. There is a thread on how to get in more calories a days easily, which you said is one of your difficulties. Check it out and see if this is useful to you.


Alright, thanks. I checked it out.

But do you know about a good powder/supplement, that you would prefer for gaining muscle?
I think a carbs/protein mix would be best for me, but not sure about that.


This a Biotest site, they sell some of the best supps in the world, if you can afford them click store and have a browse.


This article has some good guidelines for designing a nutrition plan for athletes:

For shakes, start with the basics. A protein powder like Metabolic Drive Muscle Growth (to have with or between meals) and a workout shake like Surge Workout Fuel (to have before and during your training). Both are in the store here:

You might also want to look around the Combat forum on the site here. The guys that hang around there would also be able to help.

There's absolutely no reason for you to get your bodyfat tested. Just keep a general idea of how you're looking (are you fat, soft, kinda lean, ripped), watch how clothes are fitting, check the scale occasionally, and watch your strength in the gym.

Sounds like a basic plan, just don't miss those healthy fats. The shake also sounds fine, but could probably use a bit more protein.

The more we know about what you're doing, the better we can help.

What do your lifting days look like (exercises, sets, reps)?

What's your strength like on the basic lifts (squat, deadlift, bench press, overhead press, row, pulldown/pull-up)?

How long are each of your fighting training sessions?

Do you do any additional cardio during the week?


AT the moment, Im doing on the first day (after warm-up, dynamic stretches, core )

Cleans or Snatches before Strength Programm, combined with Mobility Squats or yoga tables etc.

Day I
First Block:
Romanian Deadlift x8 Reps / 4 Sets
Flat Bench Press x8 Reps / 4 Sets
Side Plans 60sec each side

I always do one set of deadlift, then one set bench press, than side plank. Then I repeat 4 times.

Second Block:
Horizontal Pull-Ups (legs on a box, Using the TRX) with weighted Vest 20lbs x8-10 / 4 Sets
One-Leg-Squat (Pistol) x8 each side / 4 Sets

Afterwards, I do sometimes extra work like SHoulder, Arms, Abs.
Usually takes me like 90min. in total (including warm-Up)

  • Squat is good, I do lots of single-leg work. When I work on both legs, I prefer Front Squats. They also work the core more and create great posture.
  • Chin-Ups I do like 12 in a row, with fully extended Arms.
  • Im a little weak in bench pressing I think, my 1RM is like 210-220 lbs.

  • Fighting training sessions are around 1,5 hours.

  • Sometimes I do sprints, rope skipping as extra cardio, but to keep my cardio level, fighting usually is enough.


Lifting in a circuit like this - one exercise, then another, then another - instead of doing all sets of one exercise at a time, isn't really the best way to build strength or size. Also, 4 sets of 8 isn't the best strength-building rep range.

I suggest switching to a program like Joe DeFranco's Westside for Skinny Bastards. It's intended to build muscle and strength for athletes. It's also still three days a week, so it shouldn't be a problem to schedule:

What kind of weight are you using on the front squats?

Ha, that's actually above average. Good work.

What about overhead pressing? That's also a very important exercise for fighters.

Cool. Just be sure to eat before these sessions or try to have a shake during them, if possible, to avoid burning important calories.


Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I know the DeFranco Plans, I also read his articles. I will give it a try soon.
I feel I increased strength, its just the muscle mass that is at a limit at the moment, that could be little more.

Overhead pressing I didnt test 1RM, but I usually do it with Kettlebells like 20kg or 24 kg as a secondary exercise, 6-8 Reps each side. What I also like, is handstand push-Ups. Creates great strength in shoulders, also good shoulder blade stability and posture. what you think about it?

On the Front Squats I use around 178 lbs at the moment, on 6-8 reps ( deep squat )


You build muscle by giving your body plenty of nutrients - total calories, carbs, protein, and fat. Try tweaking your nutrition with the advice in this thread so far, monitor your progress like I suggested (strength in the gym should keep improving, weigh in once or twice a week, etc.) and you should be back on track.

Sounds good. Don't be afraid to sometimes include push presses, jerks, or one-arm presses, to get more total body involvement.

Handstand push-ups are one of the hardest bodyweight exercises around, so if you can do them with good form, more power to you. Ha. But they can definitely work as a great exercise for grapplers.

I'd definitely like to see you improve your strength on these. Your squat is almost equal to your bench press, and that's a sign of imbalance. Be sure to keep working on building lower body power and strength, don't settle.


But is a Front-Squat a good comparison to the bench press? Because on a Front-Squat, u usually cant take the same weight like on a basic Squat.

thanks again!


I'm not totally sure what you mean, but if someone's bench press is stronger than their squat (like in your case), it usually indicates a strength imbalance.

Because the legs/lower body are much larger than the chest, the squat should always be bigger than the bench press. When it isn't, something's "off", whether it means a weak core, weak leg muscles, a technique issue, or something else.

The bottom line is, keep training like you've been, but try to push your lower body strength so you're eventually squatting somewhere closer to the 300s. Chad Waterbury, who's worked with a bunch of fighters, has a great article to explain this:


Yes, I totally agree. On the Basic Back Squat Iam definetly stronger than on Bench. My 1RM for Back Squats is around 390-400 lbs. But since Front-Squats are more challenging for the core, I take less weight in my 1RM. it cant be equal, that just what I wanted to say.

The article is interesting, thanks a lot !!


Today I started up with the Squat and Sprint programm, try to put on some strength and increase speed. It's hard and intense, will see how I'm doing it in 4 weeks !