T Nation

Wrestling Workouts?


hey can anyone suggest a good workout or workout style (Renegade, Outlaw (CW), Westside, etc) to keep or gain strength and drop some fat? i was thinking Fat to Fire? any wrestlers help me w/ this one? by the way i currently weigh about 148-150 i wrestle colliegant (sp?) in high school and my goal is to make it to districts next year and im hoping to wrestle in the 140 lb weight class. Im not super ripped but im not a blob either, i can see 4 of the "six pack" but my abs are still soft, you can see the outlines but there is about a 1/4 inch of fat :frowning: im hoping to eliminate that!

anyways sorry for the rambling post and thanx in advance for the advice



Hey, I'm Chris, I'm also a wrestler in high school, and I'm in the same situation you're in( except I weigh about 160, and want to gain instead of lose weight)the only thing I know to tell you is to run run run your a$$ off, at least two or three miles a day and then after a good rest period, run some sprints ( to your " exploseivness"0 because even though endurance is good, you don't want to end up liek a distance runner, so the sprints will help, as well as taking in enough calories so that you don't lose the muscle as well as the fat, and if anyone can help me with my weight gaining problems... i'd really appreciate it. Also, to answer your question, really high reps on all of your workout exercies ( except for the power ones of course, squats, leg press, ect.)

Best of luck, Timmy


right now i'm using CW's outlaw strength and conditioning program, and its wroking really well. I'm actually losing fat and gaining strength and size, although some of that could be due to my supplementation (creatine and red bands). as far as running goes, if you're not doing an endurance intensive weightlifting prgoram, when you run distances, carry a light dumbbell or two (5-15 lbs). it'll build up your grip and mental toughness.


Speaking from experience with 8 years of wrestling under my belt, if you want to build endurance..running is ok but running stairs is the ultimate.


thanks chris, i was in the same boat as you at the beginning of this year, i weighed 136 lbs and i had only gained 3 lbs in the last year and had grown 4 inches, needless to say i had leaned out alot, so i ate ate ate ate ate ate everything in sight but sports and all of the running kept me the same weight, i took a couple months off of sports (still lifted) and i gained 20 lbs! i weighed 154 and i decided that was enough lol i only wanted to gain about 5-10 lbs in the first place and i certainly didnt wanna wrestle in the 152 or 160 lb weight class.

anyways on to trying to help you:

I would suggest 20 rep squats if you dont already do them, that safety squats, trap bar deadlifts, variations of bench, and the olympic lifts were the core of my school weight training program. alternate a standard day of lifting with an olympic day. here would be a sample program:

Day 1:

Power Clean 3x10
High Pull 3x10
Jerk 3x10
Stiff legged dead 3x10

Day 2:

Safety Squat 3x10
DB bench 3x10
Military 3x10
Front Squats 3x10

on odd days cycle all olympic lifts as well as stages of them (cleans, jerks, high pulls, snatch, clean and jerk, hang versions, from the floor etc) as well as lunges, rev. lunges, and stiff legged deads off a box,

on even days do some variation of squat first, front squat, back squat, split squat, etc. and do the rest of the big 3 and variations of them, (db bench, trap bar deads, incline bench etc)

do days one and 2 and then change a little something in each and use the modified day 1 as day 3 and modified day 2 as your day 4 workout.

also do 20 rep squats monday wednesday and friday, i went from barely being able to do 10's (65 lbs) to being able to do 225 with a spot. with only a 10 lb difference in body weight

hope it helps


ps any more ideas to help either of us? thanx


I know how you feel. I really needed a program like this, too, in highschool but there wasn't a resource like this one available. I'm sorry to say that the first thing I turned to was Muscle and Fitness. With that in mind please let me save you some wasted time and silly mistakes.
Outlaw strength and conditioning is a good choice. Stay on it until you have hit a training plateau or lost the weight you've wanted to drop. If the plateu occurs, try Meltdown training I or Meltdown Training II, with the squat substitutions mentioned if you can't do Olympic lifts. But, and this is critical, your diet is going to determine just how well that works. Try to reduce your carbs to just veggies, even stay away from fruit for a few weeks, until your bodyfat is low enough. Look on T-mag for the original T-dawg diet. Once you have achieved that, 3-2-1 wave method found in Poliquin's writings or Alessi' Reactive Strength Article on T-mag.
Iron should primarily be used for strength. You can build endurance in practice (more on that in a minute). Anyone who tells you that you don't need to be strong to be a good wrestler isn't doing you a favor. I'll be the first to say that technique and endurance are king but if strength weren't a factor, then why do they have weight classes?
As far as supplements go, 12 caps per day of Smart Blend fish oil is my favorite and HOT-ROX. I don't see why RED BANDS shouldn't be given a shot either. Flax oil two to three tablespoon per day. Once you hae acheived your desired level of bodyfat you can drop the fish oil down to three caps per day and the flax to one tablespoon. then you can stop the RED BANDS/HOT-ROX.
Here's the biggest mistake that I made in highschool wrestling. Whenever it came time to lose weight/build endurance I ran sprints till I got sick, stairs, hills, and 5 miles every afternoon. It was all a waste. Endurance is very specific. Yes, sprints do have some carry over but relatively speaking NOT AS MUCH AS WRESTLING!!! Instead of doing all of that running, I should have just done more drilling and live wrestling. Wrestling, by the way, is one the best fat burners in the world. There is an study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning that shows that live wrestling jacks your blood lactic acid levels to 15ml/l. In layman's terms, that a puker!!! And as Poliquin and Alessi have written that translate to tons of fat burning. Bottom line, you should be wrestling at least 2-3 days per week in the summer and maybe even four in October and November. Lifting should be done three days a week at most.

I could go on forever, so if you'd like a specific program, just post here and we'll put something together. Best of luck to you.

Rob Monti CSCS, USAW



Thanks for your very informative post, and yeah sure I would love a program if you have one. But there are a couple things that are a problem for me:

1) my parents dont believe in supplements and they won't let me buy them, though I might buy some protein powder and possibly some creatine (and keep it in my locker at school).

2) my parents don't buy healthy food really so i try to eat as clean as I can which is not really :frowning: My house is possibly the most hihg carb house in the world. I am gonna start snacking on deer jerkey to up my protein intake, other than that I have no way really to have a good diet. My parents buy and prepare all the food I eat, other than at school, and then I can't really eat all that healthy either. For lunch I usually have plain ground beef and refreid bean soft tacos, thats about as healthy as it gets. So yeah my nutritional situation positively blows.

I only have 4 weeks till I get back to school at which time I will have weight training as a class- they have a program much like the one I gave Chris. They mix it up once in a while with running, sprints as warmups, plyo's ab circuits, GPP style "plate workouts" that make you sweat like no-otha-motha, etc etc. so I am worried about possibly overtraining doing workouts at school, practice (I play sports year round: football, wrestling, track), and working out at home.

So even though I have football now I don't really need to bulk up because I'm a running back/receiver. I'm trying to lean out about 5-10 lbs and get ripped and ready for wrestling, so I don't have to drop weight drastically during the season.

3) I only wrestle during the season because that would interfere with football and track. During the season I will be wrestling 4-5 times per week in practice and then a match either on saturdays or during the week.

Here's my plan for the next 4 weeks, feel free to make revisions or suggestions:

Fat to Fire I by Coach Davies along with "Pretty Boy Abs" from Rugged Magazine (online, I can find a link if you want) and "High Octane Cardio" by Mike Mahler (sp?)

For high octane cardio I was planning to sprint across a field by my house (approx 100 meters) do 20 pushups, spring back, do 20 burpees, rest 1 min, repeat about 10 times. I was going to do the abs and cardio on my off days in edition to morning GPP and jump roping warm up Davies suggests in the program.

As I already said my main goal is to get ripped and lose weight while keeping my strength levels and improve my conditioning.

I would still love to see your program or any other programs/suggestions/recomondations by anyone else.

thanx for all the help,



I am going to be joining a wrestling club in the next month and would love some more info on a specific workout! Feel free to PM me too!


One of my buddies wrestles for the U of Iowa, and I work out with him sometimes. Twice a week he does this thing called the Alger Hour of Power. It's a punishing workout that involves a lot of your back and most of your body. It only takes an hour but it will cut fat, put on muscle and make you want to puke. If anyone wants it pm and I will type it out


I'd love to see the program as well as hear any other ideas you or your friend might have on the subject,

thanks in advance,



Just wanted to bump this up to get some more responses, I start practice in a month and could use any help I can get!


Hey I don?t do wrestling as such but I have been boxing for the last three years and have been practicing judo for 2 yeasr as well so I know what it?s like trying to increase strength and get cut at the same time.
Firstly I?ll recommend the article on combat conditioning that you can find in the archives I?ve been a fan of this method of training for a while and it does work and should benefit a grappler quite well.Search for Matt Furey, there?s a frank shamrock interview which is interesting as well.

Here?s a plan that I use about 4-6 weeks out of a competition I usually cut about 10-15 pounds over this period of time and get noticeably more defined especially around the chest shoulders and legs.
Cardio: 30 -45 minute run 4-5 times a week,20 mins on a rowing machine/cycle for 20 minutes 4 times a week(go hard do a minute fast and a minute regular)
Conditioning:3-4 times a week (Hindu squats,Hindu pushups,crunches,pushups, ) try to do 10-20 of each one move on to the next and aim to get say 3 sets done continuously or even better do them for the duration of approximately 1 round of competition. I box amateur so 2 minutes is a good starting point.

Weights: Do a normal weights session 2-3 times per week. Add some snatches and some clean and jerk, try these with a dumbbell as well to improve stability.

Do sprint training as well 3 times a week,4-60 yard dashes up hill will help your cardio and your explosiveness as well.
I really like this last one as well.
Do each of the following for a minute take a few minutes and repeat 3 times(do this 2-3 times a week)(Skipping,bagwork,pushups,crunches,dumbbell curls,dumbbell upright rows,dumbbell overhead press,Squats,rockclimber,skipping,bagwork crunches)
Do an ab work out every morning as well.

Remember as well your young and that your body still need time to develop,dont rush into using loads of supplements you dont need most of them with good nutrition the only supplement I use are a multivitamin and a fish oil capsule


with about 10 years of wrestling experience i think i have a few pointers for you. whoever said that running was not as good as wrestling was right. first of all, its as specific to the sport as possible so you are training your muscle memory. second, wrestling is so physically demanding that it should be a proirity. however unless you have a mat at home n a partener, its hard to wrestle as much as you should be, so incorporate running when its imossible to wrestle. forget the supps. creatine isnt worth it in my experience and the amount of sweat you excrete could mess up your elecrtolytes even more with creatine. skip the protein too. if you wanna lose weight, its not like you have to have liquid protein to really pack it in. just eat meat. helps with your mood too. i know id be happier eating a chicken breast or lean beef than a protein shake/bar. the low carb thing is nice but if you are training it will make your life hell and kill your motivation. gotta get some carbs. gatorade after practice, whole wheat bread, low GI carbs like beans n veggies are all great. protein, fats, n carbs all have a place because of the recovery needs of a wrestler. multivitamins are useful but not when dropping water (if you do that, which i dont recommend)because its hard on your body without water to flush excess vitamins/minerals out.

as far as weight training, the order of precedence for muscle groups is as follows : 1-legs/ lower body n lower back 2-pulling muscles of the upper body (bi's and back are in this group so lots and lots of rowing and pulling for a wicked shot) 3- pushing muscles (these are used less then pulling muscles but they are important and prevent injuries)



Hey, I wrestled for Michigan State and was their strength coach last year before starting medical school this year. My pic is down in the "picture" section under "baby blue." My simple suggestion is to always do intense, explosive workouts. Lifting is great if you do it well. Get in your pushes, pulls, and lots of legs. Olympic lifts are very good for wrestling too. Wrestling "live" is the best conditioning and improvement tool I think. I also prefer sprints and stairs for supplemental conditioning rather than distance. To lean up and stay strong, eat good sources of protein(fish, chicken, lean beef), tons of vegetables, and low glycemic carbs. A post-workout drink like Surge is good for after lifting and wrestling hard. Hope that helps a little.