T Nation

Training for Wrestling


Im goin out for the wrestling team my final year of high school. The season starts late November, and wanna get in good shape. All im worried about is my conditioning, I feel my strength is fine were it's at.

So for anyone who's wrestled, what have you done to get into good shape for wrestling? So far, ive been doing basic sprints and distance running.


I wouldn't be doing distance running as a means of getting in shape. Distance running works the wrong energy system. Wrestling is anaerobic and distance running is aerobic. If you really want to get in shape for wresting, do complexes and keep the sprinting. FWIW though, concentrate heavily on technique. The biggest mistake I made in wrestling was neglecting technique! If I had spent half as much energy on technique than I did in the weight room and conditioning, I deffinatly would have placed at state. sigh but thats life i guess.

Anyway, good luck. Its a tough sport but its fun. Hope you enjoy it!

Edit: Thats not to say that strength and conditioning are worthless in wrestling, THEY ARENT! But try to find a balance.


Hill runs, fireman carries, farmer walks, partner drills repeating takedowns or movement patters. ALot of the conditioning Ive done in the past is related to the movements I do in the sport. Maybe contact your coach with that knowledge and ask him if he can provide any advice or the numbers of potential training partners.


1st as a matter of curiosity what weight class do you plan on going?

Anyway, I would keep the sprints, maybe some limited distance work, and many of the things rassy and dsg suggested. However, I find the best way to get in shape to wrestle hard is to wrestle hard! Drill with intensity, live match situations, get used to maintaing stance and technique when you're tired.

BTW is this going to be your first year wrestling? If so I would begin training (wrestling) immediately. One can have huge lifts and be in great shape but if you havent been able to develop your style and have some feel of the way your own body moves and reacts it will be tough to compete with someone who has that experience.

All that being said, get on the mat and good luck man!


What about doing some distance running 2x a week after a sprint workout? I know I saw the team running on the track last year.




You don't need any type of aerobic training for such sport...


Rassy: Thanks, Ill start incorporating the things you listed into my routine.

Teddy: I weigh 228 right now, planning on getting down to the 215 class. And yes, this will be my first year wrestling.


Complexes, sprints, prowler pushes. Don't just work on conditioning though, keep the weights moving and focus on unilateral lower body work and alot of pulling movements. Pull ups and deadlifts should be your best friend as a wrestler.

Outside of the training in the weight room, you need to get on a mat as everyone else suggested. If this is your first year in the sport and your last year in high school, you will have an uphill battle. A very steep uphill battle especially in Conn. where there are some very talented wrestlers. You need to develop what coaches will call "mat sense" which is knowing where your body is on the mat and in relation to your opponent. Mat sense and aggression are what determines a great wrestler and a good one. Good luck. Train hard and do everything you can to get reps on the mat ASAP!


It depends on how your team is conditioning. My school does long distance runs around a lake by the campus once a week, and those are somewhere from 3 to 5 miles. We also do sprints in the halls during the winter, and there's a lot of distance running on top of that. It depends on your coach's training mindset. Get good at what he's going to have you do all fall and winter.


OP, this is the best response to the distance running question that you had. When I was in middle school we ran laps around the halls for like 20 or 30min. The coaches wanted you to do at least a jog and incuraged you to sprint as much of it as you could, but god help you if you walked! Simularly, when I was in high school we did conditioning on the stairs that looked something like this:

Carring someone: 10laps each
By yourself: 10laps
Situps when you are done

He did this mostly in the begining of the season as a way of weeding out the weak. Contact your coach about it.

Btw 165StateChamp, good post.


The mats only come out when the season starts... Im sure I can still learn some moves on the grass?



Yea, I know the team at my school warms up with stairs. Something ill def. have to work on.


Some decent thoughts on the topic. If this is your first year, as a Senior, walking on you're going to live and die by your ability to learn how to wrestle. All the conditioning and strength on the planet is not going to help unless you strive to be fundamentally sound. You need mat time. The sooner, the better.

In the last two years, I have felt I was in pretty good shape. It is easy for a powerlifter to fall in the trap of just training and minimal work outside of that. I realized I needed to pick up the pace and we have been doing a lot of sprints, sled pulls, heavy carries, etc.

When winter hits, I have a few friends that fight MMA up here (friend rents a small space with a full size mat) and I will head up and wrestle with them. We have some college kids who join us, as well. This goes on for like 2-3 months 2X a week for like an hour and a half. The reality of things is when I first started, I was gassed terribly. I was a sweaty fuggin mess. It was almost comical and I felt bad for the guys who had to pair up with me.

It took about 3 weeks until I started to do alright.

I guess the point I am trying to make is like 165 Champ said, focus on the things your coach is going to have you be doing in season, so you can hit it and not have it be a detriment to your mat time.

Beyond that, be an absolute mat whore.

Drill the basics like your life depends on it because it does. Be the first guy on the mat and the last guy off.

Good luck in this undertaking. I think it is courageous and will end up being a real positive undertaking for you.

Let us know how it goes.


Thanks dude, ill talk to him about maybe using a mat after school one day, and what kind of conditioning to do.


Cool. Keep in mind I am rounding 40, so you probably have a leg up on me.

The thing is, one thing I realized real quick is as soon as I slacked off on the basics, stance, lightning quick response to shooting attempts, heel toe knee on my shooting attempts, not following movement but staying fluid, resisting standing up out of fatigue, these guys ate me alive. I mean kicked my ass like a school girl. It was remarkable.

A big part of why they wanted me to come up is because it was obvious I could muscle them.

At times it helped, but only if I used all the other things I referenced above. Otherwise, I was fresh meat.

I coach K-8 kids and every year I get a 4th or 5th grade kid who is just starting out. Up here, that's a problem as most kids at that point have 200+ matches under their belt, easy.

I always take these kids under my wing and am relentless with them on the basics.

Again, I think you will do well. Just be that guy. Strive to beat guys who when you first showed up, smoked you. Avoid frustration, which will be hard to do, and see everything as an opportunity to get better.

Honestly, I'm excited for you bro. Get after it.


Do you like singlets THAT much BlackLabel? I mean you can do all your lifting in the singlet if it would help.

On a serious note all the best. If you don't jump on a kid's back repeatedly trying to break his sticks as I did in the third grade you are already doing much better than me. I had a forced retirement, not my fault the bastard wouldn't turn over for the pin!


lol, Ive been wearing on to school and got some looks... there just so damn comfy.


Burpees. Lots and lots of burpees. And burpees.


Right boxers get no benefit from all the running and jump roping they do. I used to run cross country to get in shape for wrestling as well as lift weights and I'd blow away the football players once wrestling started. Anyways running will help alot but you still need to hit the weights best bet would be to find if they have some off season wrestling teams in your area and join that.