A wrestling workout routine SHOULD be designed with a lot of thought and consideration.
This is especially important because the program factors in to your performance on the mat.
However, as I talk to more and more wrestlers and they ask me strength and conditioning questions regarding their exercise selection, program, etc., I’m finding that there is a big disconnect between their wrestling workout routine and their goals.
In a nutshell- the “programs” a lot of people tend to follow are just a crap shoot, for lack of a better phrase.
Here’s what I mean…
Wrestling Workout Routine Example 1
Ever done a “Leg Day” at the gym?
I used to have workouts like this.
Basically I would select any and all exercises that worked the legs in some capacity and then perform them. I probably followed the good old three sets of ten.
And I would just keep selecting exercises until I was having trouble walking.
And then I’d be sore for a week and think to myself, “Damn, I worked hard. I’m the man.”
…Of course I’d be thinking that in between every painful step I took.
Did I ever stop and wonder if I was actually accomplishing anything by implementing workouts like this?
Have you ever wondered the same?
Wrestling Workout Routine Example 2
What about a wrestling workout routine that calls for the following reps: 20, 15, 12, 8, 4, 4, 8, 12, 15, 20.
What’s really going on here?
I see 20 reps- a great way to build consistency with a technique, warm-up, and/or “burn” a muscle out.
Then I see 12 and 8 reps. That’s in the “muscle building” rep range according to the college textbooks I used to read.
Oh, and then there’s 4 reps, which is great at building strength.
Wow, a wrestling workout routine that follows this set/rep scheme has it all!
…Unless of course you’re looking to build strength and power, in which case you’re pretty fatigued by the time you get to the sets of 4.
Think about one of your recent training sessions during which you intended on lifting heavy…
Did you do 65 warm-up reps before you got to your heavy working sets?
Wrestling Workout Routine Example 3
Finally, I’ll introduce one of the guys who comes to my gym.
Upon writing this post, he’s currently on one of the most intensive squat programs ever (known throughout the powerlifting community as Smolov). I’ve done parts of this program before. All I did was squat, and believe me, it was extremely difficult.
Yesterday after completing the 2nd of 3 days of squatting for the week (keep in mind that all the days are heavy), he then did explosive deadlifts followed by a couple of other accessory exercises. After that he finished up with 20 minutes of conditioning consisting of jumping rope, rowing, and battling ropes.
Listen, the guy is a machine and he loves to train. In fact, sometimes I think he just trains for the sake of training. And that’s fine for people who just want to train and work for the sake of working.
But for people who want to maximize their physical potential (in his case based on his Smolov program selection, I’m guessing he wants to increase his squat), whether it be on the mat or any other sport, the end result must be kept in mind.
So, anyway, now that I’ve written one of the most long-winded intros ever, the first step (as you probably know) to designing effective wrestling workouts is…