Nov 11, 2016
Ready to Wrestle
Drew Black

Several years ago, I attended a conference on periodization and planning that changed my approach to in-season strength and conditioning. During one of the presentations, I heard this analogy for training while competing: “If you are going to drive a racecar around the track one time, you better put the pedal to the metal.” I immediately applied it to my wrestling team’s in-season work.

To be successful, wrestlers need to be strong, powerful, and explosive, while also having the anaerobic endurance to compete in multiple matches per day at tournaments. We put the pedal to the metal in the weightroom during the season by keeping intensities high and volumes low and incorporating full-body circuits to keep the athletes functioning in high gear.

Here is a three-week sample of what our in-season lifting circuit might look like. We do five to eight reps of each exercise and complete the cycle four or five times, with 45 seconds to one minute of rest between each set.

Week One

Upper-body pull: Pull-up with wide overhand grip or lat pull

Lower-body lunge: Dumbbell walking forward lunges

Upper-body push: Dumbbell flat bench

Strength walk

Week Two

Upper-body pull: Pull-up with underhand grip or bent-over row

Lower-body lunge: Dumbbell walking backward lunges

Upper-body push: Dumbbell incline bench

Strength walk

Week Three

Upper-body pull: Pull-up with alternate grip or upright row

Lower-body lunge: Plate-overhead walking lunges

Upper-body push: Dumbbell flat bench with alternate arms

Strength walk

Drew Black is Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and Head Wrestling Coach at Wesleyan University.

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