T Nation

Off-Season For Wrestlers


What does everyone think would be the best general template for a wrestler in the off-season? I was thinking a Westside template with a row as the max effort exercise for upper body and a deadlift as the lower body max effort. I would follow the max effort exercise with a supplementary rowing exercise and two pushing exercises, one vertical and one horizontal. I will have a Strongman day instead of the second leg day. I will incorporate the chins with GPP/extra workouts. Something liek this"

ME Upper Body

Bent-Row (3-5RM)
DB row (3-5x5-8)

Bottoms up Bench Press supert w/
Push Press (4x6)

ME Lower Body

Deadlift (3-5RM)

Squat (4x6)
Lunge (4x6)

Weighted Abs


Personally, I think that the MEUB day should include some type of pressing as the ME movement with as much empasis on OH Pressing as Horizontal pressing. I would include some shoulder rotational work as well. Lower body is where I would put cleans, deadlifts squats, gm, etc. As supplemental/accessory work I would include lunges and step-ups for obvious takedown reasons unless you are a Greco guy. I've found that any Zercher variation has excellent carry over into wrestling. Tire flipping and sandbag lifts ARE wonderful. Im sure you knew that because you want to incorporate a strongman day. I like to put them into my normal workout days. On MELB I'd do tire flips and on DELB I put in some bag cleans/deadlifts/throws. Upper body days incorporate different types of carries either for weight or distance. Plus strongman excercises make for great competition and motivation when training as a team. I don't know though, but that is what has worked for me. If I were too vague in this lemme know and I be more detailed.


Why include the pressing for any reason besides structural balance? I love overhead pressing but I don't see how it would carry over so much, besides more control in the tie-up. Heavy sandbag loading and cleans seem to have the most carryover, so I think I will include two seperate upper/lower days with some strongman training mixed in instead of it all on one day. Check your PM.


I'd say use the weighted chinup as your ME exercise... i've used it b4 in the past with a lot of success but Chet is a better wrestler than me so see what he does as well... use the search I wrote a thread on some mma training a while back that had some ideas you can use.


Just curious, Kombat, what level of wrestling are you doing (College, High School...)?

And what part of NY? I used to wrestle up there.


High School. I'm a freshman wrestling in Section 8 at 160 lbs.


Your MMA thread is great. I do agree with you that gymnastic type movements have a huge carryover. I am going to incorporate all kinds of chin up variations (uneven towel chins, L-sit pull-ups, etc.) as GPP/gymnbastic training during extra workouts or at the end. So I don't want to overdo the vertical pulling by doing the ME exercise as a weighted-chin.


i say use OH pressing because its great for the core as well as balance and shoulder strength...also think about this if you are on your back and you bench press the guy off of you you are instantly pinned ive seen it too many times especially when guys think they can outmuscle an opponent because they bench a house it just doesnt work...

plus the tie up is extremely important so the strenght from OH pressing comes into play if you are tying up correctly thats why i like to do both OH pressing and horizontal pressing the choice is ultimately yours though try to figure out what is the most sports specific and use that but in any sport you can never go wrong with olympic lifts and strongman training


I used to wrestle in Section IX... Don't think i've wrestled against anyone from Section VIII.


Could you explain the tire flipping and sandbag training day. Do you clean the sandbag, lift it over head, walk with it, squat with it, lunge with it, keep walking with it then, row it...stuff like that?..for like timed? or do you do it as a strength exercise type way? Thanks



I like doing sandbag loading EDT, carries for distance with turns. There are other people more qualified to speak of this than me, however.


You'd want to focus on speed and maximum strength per pound. Stick to the basic free-weight exercises and get an o-lift variant in there.

What do you do for GPP work?