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Want to Start Wrestling

I want to start wrestling for my Highschool (I’m a freshman). I come from a background of Boxing, Powerlifting & Strongman. More recently I’ve become not so athletically fit and mainly static strong. I want to regain my athleticism and conditioning for wrestling. I’m 5’6, 180lbs, 22% BF. I have some fat. I want to also compete at around 160 - 170lbs. Can I get some Weight Training/Conditioning Programs to run while I cut weight. My Grip, back, legs & Core are especially strong, but my conditioning is dogshit.

If you want to maintain strength/muscle maintain intensity/volume as best you can, while cutting slow.That stimulus for growth is the same stimulus to hold onto lean mass while cutting down.

“Keep running whatever program you are on” usually works but in reality small modifications have to be made to be sustainable while cutting weight and adding in conditioning. Volume required to maintain gains is less than the volume required to make them so you have some wiggle room.

Gradually add in conditioning and progress it. The kind of conditioning will be determined by the sport. The more specific e.g. energy systems, movement patterns etc. a form of conditioning is to a sport i.e. scholastic/collegiate wrestling the better carryover in performance you’ll get. A wrestling coach would be handy.

Google “collegiate wrestling resistance training” and you’ll get loads of good stuff

If you’re conditioning really is terrible (thought strongman needed conditioning?) something non specific is fine to build work capacity e.g. stationary cycling or rowing machine for an hour at moderate intensity. As soon as you feel you are fit enough and have the required work capacity transition into more specific forms of conditioning.

Thanks brother, also strongman conditioning vs fighting conditioning for me are two different animals. At least for boxing.

At 22%, you can probably lose a bit more weight and dominate in a lower class. Just my opinion. Especially at 5’6"

I’ll see how I feel after a cut to 160. Usually I feel meh around there, but those were always after drastic cuts for boxing. Maybe I’ll hop down to 140 - 150. My ideal BF% is 14%.

Don’t worry about deciding on a weight, because Coach will tell you how much to weigh.

And don’t worry about how you will feel, because your teammates will need you there, so you will get there.

Get started with some of these

Do you have a buddy to work with before the season starts?

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In wrestling, this doesn’t exist. You more than likely WILL feel like shit more times than not. I’m just saying you could cut more to get down to the 150s. If your coach sees you have weight to lose and he’s worth a fuck, he’ll make you cut too. That’s just how wrestling and most combat sports are.


Probably true, although my opinion of wrestling coaches’ knowledge of nutrition and dieting is that they’re in the stone ages and do more harm than good. There is certainly a lot of truth in the fact that if you can fit a team need that’s where you need to move. But he shouldn’t start a drastic cut if he has time to start working slow–he will save more strength that way, and strength comes in handy once it is tuned to the wrestling match.

OP–Cut as much as you can with a gradual, sensible and easy diet. Ratchet it up in steps, not all at once. A little appreciated fact is that just as you can only gain strength so fast in strongman or powerlifting, you can also only cut so many calories so fast or add in conditioning so fast before it backfires on your system.

Build the diet intensity gradually and sensibly just like you would build your powerlifting training for a meet PR. Get the most out of the least, then as you need it you can call on more methods. Also this saves your body for the last push, which is really important to avoiding illness and injury

Never said he should. But he should be prepared to have to do so. That’s all I’m getting at. I agree most coach ideas are prehistoric, but the fact remains that OP is 22% body fat. He already fucked up in terms of off-season wresting goes. That’s why he needs to know that a coach is going to make him prove himself.

I agree, I was just adding an addendum to your post

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No buddy as of right now, I bet I could find one though.

From when I boxed I know about oxygen deprivation, I heard it’s worse in wrestling… Should I kick up the distance/time/intensity of morning cardio?


The season starts in a couple weeks, don’t go too too crazy with long, fast, intense runs now. Don’t break yourself down too much.

Use your longer runs to prepare yourself for long practices. Do some short, brief crawls to get used to moving around on the ground. Then build the specific conditioning for wrestling in practice, while wrestling.

Speaking of getting ready for practice, how is your flexibility? You’re probably going to end up in some wild positions you’ve not been in before. Are you loose and limber?

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Ask your coach what you should do. You never wrestled before and you are overly concerned about fitness when you still need to actually learn how to wrestle. You’ll get into whatever shape you need at practice. Nothing you do outside of actual wrestling practice will get you into wrestling shape as much as wrestling will. You are going to suffer regardless and nothing you do outside of actual wrestling practice will change that.


First, good advice so far. Completely agree about specificity and that at your current bodyfat% and height you are going to ultimately want to wrestle at a lower weight class than 160. That might be a realistic weight for this season though as many scholastic wrestling governing body’s (athletic commissions) have safety standards concerning how much weight a wrestler can cut (what weight they can wrestle at). Your very high bodyfat % though makes me think that you could definitely make 150 before you started needing to worry about health concerns.

Regarding conditioning work, understand that steady state/fasted morning cardio will build up your recovery abilities (how quickly you can return to homeostasis/being aerobic after intense bouts of exercise), but it’s probably not going to make a huge impact on how you perform during the periods of wrestling.

Actually wrestling or doing wrestling specific conditioning drills is what is going to improve your performance in your actual matches. And not only will it build your conditioning, but it will also provide opportunities to build wrestling specific skills which will further increase your efficiency of movement, making the conditioning that you already have go further.

Some of the partner drills posted above are great foundational wrestling drills, but to be honest, beyond just a simple teaching of “what’s an Under Hook/Overhook” and what it means to pummel, my personal opinion is that things like “pummeling” as just a cooperative Drill don’t really become functional skills until you start to add real resistance.

So for instance, with pummeling the progression of resistance might go:

-no resistance, just do the pummeling Drill till both people understand how to maintain their balance, shift their feet so their Underhooking Arm is supported by their same side foot/coordinate arm and footwork skills, and at least some idea of the mechanics of how to “dig” for an Underhook

-both partners go for Double Underhooks/Front Body Lock until either someone gets it (at which point the Drill resets and both partners continue to go for Double Unders), or time runs out in the “round”

-both partners can “win” by either achieving Double Unders, or by transitioning to Side or Rear Clinch via some sort of transition (Arm Drag, Duck Under, etc…). If either is successful at gaining a dominant position the Drill resets until time in the “round” runs out

-both partners can go for any transition, throw, takedown or reversal from a Greco Clinch (Over/Under Clinch) but cannot separate in order to do so. If separation occurs, or either wrestler is successful at getting a takedown, reset and start over (this is essentially “free wrestling” from an Over/Under Clinch) until the time runs out.

Good advice so far.

You will stove/break/strain fingers and wrists if you wrestle long enough. Google “bucket of sand” exercises to keep your hands healthy.

Make sure that your wrestling practice is tougher than a real match. Coach used to setup mock matches with double-time rounds to help with the conditioning and grit needed. When we got to a real match they were surprisingly short.

What about the whole fasted cardio eats muscle ordeal? I’m trying to not lose a ton of muscle.

What are some good core exercises? As of right now my core knows how to brace, I need to have it learn to not rotate. So good anti-rotational Exercises?

Won’t lose a tonne of muscle doing it as long as daily/weekly calories are on point but is broscience anyways so no reason to do fasted morning cardio unless you have to. Steady state is just prep and maintenance work anyways.

Sport specific condition should begin ASAP and make up the bulk of your conditioning training

I worked some of these drills with my dad (Who weighs 228lbs). The carrying was hard but almost reminded me of carrying things for strongman. Also it brings me back to my days of boxing when my calves were sore as all hell after some training days. Thank you for all these drills and the advice.