T Nation

Wrestling Season

Ok, Seasons coming up real soon. I’ve been lifting for 9 months, clean diet. My team is Nationally ranked and I typically lose 3-4 lbs of water weight in practice. I would be able to workout in the mornings, 8 hours before practice…I’ve been doing a 5x5 program and am wondering what program i should use during season to maintain muscle(strength not hypertrophy). Thanks

3x3, big lifts only. deads, overhead press and chins. Wrestling training should take care of all other things. I’d do 1 light set as a quasi warm up, then ramp up each of three successive sets, nowhere near failure, every other day at the very most, maybe 1 on, 2 off.

Seems to me that during the wrestling season your goal is to maintain your strength and power, not to try to improve it. That’s would the last 9 months was about. I would suggest weight training 2-3 days per week, max. Maybe 1 explosive movement (olympic-lift varient) and 2 other exercisies in each training session (big exercises like Squat, Deadlift, Bench Press and Heavy Rows). I think training with lower frequency and volume at a reasonably high intesity is a good idea. Something like 3-5 sets of 3 reps per exercise at say, your 5 RM. The training should be challenging but not balls-to-the wall full out. Don’t go to failure. You may also lift relatively light weights the day after a strenuous match or training session as a means of active recovery, but this is not really a weight training sessions in the same sense that I am talking about.

Perhaps you could do something like this:

Day 1: (1) Power Clean 3x3; (2) Full Squat 3x3; (3) Bent Row 3x3.

Day 2: (1) Power Snatch 3x3; (2) Full Squat 3x3; (3) Incline Bench Press 3x3.

Seems to me that the second session should be the one that is closer to your next match since the Power Snatch is a less stressful movement than the Power Clean and your body will recover from it faster.

Don’t worry about trying to improve your lifts during the season, simply try to maitain your explosiveness and strength. You will probably get enough direct abdominal and lower back work and endurance training through wrestling practice so you probably do not have to worry about training these parameters separately.

Just my $.02… you might want to ask Christian Thibaudeau about this. He trains a lot of high level collegiate and professional athletes.

I wish the guys in my judo club would ask questions like this. It’s usually, “what’s your favorite pizza place?” Anyway, I would stick with 5X5 or maybe 10X3, be careful if you go powerlifting style, you’ll make mass gains.

5x5 is a good program, but don’t forget there are other absolute strength programs out there. 6/1, wave loading, 5%, 5/4/3/2/1, etc, etc.

I like reactive strength by don alessi. It’s a wave loading program and good for relative strength. you may want to make the reps in the waves 753, 642, and 531 for your goals

I’ve got to ditto what Matt said: your objective is to maintain your last 9 months of work. Your weight workouts should be 20-30 minutes long, two times a week max. The wrestling workouts will take of everything else. Your total reps per workout should not exceed 30 or so for 3 to 5 exercises 3 reps per set 3-5 sets.