Exercise Substitutions

Text that reads "Is it ok to substitute certain exercises? Ask Lee." It includes a picture of a man crossing his arms and smiling.

Because there are so many differences between gyms and equipment, I decided to write this post.

In the past I used to design programs almost exclusively including the specialized equipment I have at my gym.

However, I’ve since stopped doing that as I work with more wrestlers via email who don’t often have access to such equipment.

So, here are some of my preferred exercises that require specialized equipment.

If you think of anything that should be included or have a question, leave a comment below, or email me at dickie@wrestler-power.com.

Ball Leg Curl/Machine Leg Curl

If you have either of these exercises in your program and you have access to a Glute Ham Raise, I HIGHLY suggest you use the GHR.

More than likely I’ll have you perform the GHR for the same number of sets and reps.

However, email me and let me know if you have a GHR at your gym and I’ll get back to you with any possible adjustments.

By the way, here’s the GHR Progression I have wrestlers follow.

Squat Bar

To be safe, I assume that the only type of bar you’ll have access to is a standard straight bar.

However, if your gym has a Safety Squat Bar or a Manta Ray, I suggest using either of those.

My first choice would be the SSB.

Here’s a post detailing why I prefer wrestlers don’t squat with a straight bar- Shoulder/Elbow/Wrist Saving Squat Tips.

Deadlift Bar

For Deadlifts, I prefer a Trap Bar. Fortunately it’s not nearly as uncommon as some other pieces of equipment.

I like the Trap Bar for safety reasons. To this day, I can’t recall one member at my gym telling me he/she hurt his back performing Trap Bar deadlifts.

However, I know many members who have injured their low back performing deadlifts with a Straight Bar.

It may simply be because of the frequency- the Trap Bar doesn’t get used as much for deadlifts at my gym.

But, whatever the case may be, I’d err on the side of caution. The last thing you need is to injure your low back and have to take a bunch of time off.

A picture of Kyle Dake and Dickie White.
Hi, I’m Dickie (the author of this blog). Here I am with my good buddy, Kyle Dake. While he doesn't have a nice coat like me, he is pretty good at wrestling. Here's what he said about my training system:

Before I began lifting using Dickie's system my wrestling skills were getting slightly better. I've now been lifting under his guidance for more than 5 months and I have begun to dominating ALL of my competition. At first I had little faith in Dickie and his program, but now I would run into a wall if he told me I would get stronger! I know it sounds insane, but I would. The bottom line is Dickie is an expert and knows what he is talking about. If you want to defeat those kids whom you've always lost to and reach a level you never thought possible, I suggest you start lifting using Dickie's system immediately.

-Kyle Dake, 4X NCAA Division 1 National Champion

Want to see what other wrestlers are saying about my training system? Check out my Success Stories page.


Want to learn more about Dickie? Check out my About page.


Want to get started on a program today? Read this post and download your free program- 12 Week Training Program For Wrestlers.


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