Implications For Conditioning Programs Part 3

Kyle Dake hitting a super duck under in an International Freestyle match.

This post is part 3 in the series where I detail some of the key points in a recent journal article I read.

Below are some of the strength training suggestions.

In no other sport, according to the authors, is the need for total body strength as important as it is for wrestling. As a result, strength development should be a primary focus and include a variety of exercises aimed at improving strength throughout the entire body.

When compared with a circuit training protocol, rest periods should be longer (2-4 minutes, rather than 60-90 seconds). Additionally, resistance should be heavier (6 rep max and lower, rather than 10-15 rep max range).

However, some similarities exist in exercise selection. Multi-joint exercises should be prioritized throughout the annual training program.

Here are some suggested exercises the authors feel would be most beneficial for wrestlers. Please note that the authors state that not all of these exercises should be considered primary, multi-joint exercises. Therefore, they should not follow the 6 rep max or lower loading guidelines.

Chest: bench press, incline press, decline press.

Upper back: lat pull-down, pull-ups, rows.

Lower back: good morning exercise, Deadlift, hyperextensions.

Thighs: squats, split squats, linear and lateral lunges.

Hamstrings: stiff-leg deadlifts, standing leg curls.

Arms: arm curls, tricep extensions, wrist curls.

Paper Referenced

Kraemer, W., J. Vescovi, P. Dixon. The physiological basis of wrestling: implications for conditioning programs. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 26(2), 10-15. April 2004.

Ten Steps To Program Design

“1. Type of strength (speed strength, ultimate strength, etc.).

2. Types of muscle contractions (concentric, eccentric, isometric).

3. Changing speeds of contraction throughout a task (critical point acceleration).

4. Rest intervals (reps, sets, training days).

5. Method of recovery (active or passive).

6. Sequencing of exercises.

7. Relative strength and control of stabilizers, joint antagonists, agonists, etc.

8. Training history of the individual- have they “been there” before?

10. Proficiency level of the athlete.”


McGill, S. (2009) Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance- Fourth Edition. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada: Backfitpro Inc.

Related Posts:

Implications for Conditioning Programs Part 1

Implications for Conditioning Programs Part 2

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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.