Wrestling Workout

Could someone please help me put together a 3-4 day a week lifting program for wrestling. I’m looking to increase my size, strength and explosiveness. I been changing up my workout every week becasue i just can’t find any good program to follow. I’m also currently doing cardio work 2-3 times a week and when the season nears closer obviously i will do alot more cardio work but for now i want to get bigger,faster, stronger…any ideas?

It would be a bit easier to help if you posted your ideas and let the forum critique. Since every athlete is unique, it is impossible to design a program without really knowing you. What have you done in the past? What has/hasn’t worked? For what type of wrestling are you training?

I have done the regular Westside Barbell program for powerlifters and have saw a great increase in size and strength, but with me wrestling in college im not sure that is a suitable program, i’ve looked at HuskerPower and BFS but they don’t seem to be the answer. I’m considering Joe Defrancos W4SB becasue it seems geared around athletes. I’d prefer my program be something Westside based as i have had great success with there regular program.

W4SB is a good program, i would do mostly pulling based ME upper movements though. (I have never felt that bench has helped my grappling much). For rep days i would do some odd objects lifting (sandbags etc) for some variety. You will probably have to modify the volume to fit the wrestling work (and not visa versa), but that is pretty much a given anyways. Inseason work is trickier though. I would use your best judgement on that…

What does your wrestling training week look like?

Well currently i have no wrestling training going on…i wrestled all of june and half of july…but right now i’ve got no wrestling going on for like 2months so im trying to focus on getting Bigger,Faster, and Stronger, while i don’t have to worry about wrestling training…also im doing cardio 2-3 times a week, utilizing a strongman circuit that i put together. Although there is a No Gi Submission Wrestling facility about 40-45mintues from where i live so i may go and roll around there once a week on saturdays just so im getting in some sort of grappling…but i like i said my main focus now is getting BFS.

It sounds like a WS or a WS4SB would work well in your case (the strongman circuit especially). Be careful with the submission grappling as you are in the off-season. (especially with the wear on the shoulders). Do you have any nagging injuries from the previous season?

which one would you reccomend WS or WS4SB? Also do you feel 2-3 days of Strongman Circuit is enough cardio for now? Believe it or not it’s been the hardest cardio i have even done and i’ve utilized Guerrila cardio and barbell complexes before. http://www.thewrestlingmall.com/specialinterests/tips/strength/weight.asp
Hey man check out that workout and tell me what you think…it’s a sample program utilized by the university of minnesota? Do you feel it’s any good?

Well, they are both really the same in theory. The main difference is the lack of DE days and the introduction of a Rep day. I would start with WS4SB as a template and modify to taste. If you want another opinion, I would ask Elitefts’s Q&A for more specifics as they are the source (and defranco is on it). Defranco does train wrestlers so he might be able to give you a better idea of how WS4SB is modified. BTW, Zach Evans-esh wrote an article (on ELITEFTS) awhile back on how he trained a HS wrestler, that might be useful for you as well.

What is the circuit like? If it is enough depends on a lot of factors. Are you fresh enough for your other workouts? etc. Strongman condictioning is great, but you can overdo it. If it is intense enough i might be temped to use it in place of the rep day in WS4SB.

As an aside, if you have some wrestling drills (that you can do solo: sprawls, footwork and the like), i would try to add some of that in as you can never work on footwork too much.

It will work. Its quality is very dependant on the athlete who does it and what that athlete did in the past. I do like the emphasis on technique in part 3 though.

I am not too big a fan of a body part split. It doesn’t make too much sense to me to split up the workouts like that. I usually do my neck work at the end of everyworkout (with grip work in a circuit manner). I also don’t like the emphasis on “push” based movements like bench for grapplers. (for reasons that i mentionned above).

My strongman circuit consists of pulling a tractor tire forward for 25yds and then pulling it backwards for 25yards, then running 25yds with an old beer keg i got, then grabbing a 50lb sandbag and running with it and i unload it on to a wheelbarrow that already has 150-200lbs in it and i walk it up 30yds then back 30yds and go back through the circuit by taking the sandbag out running it back, then grabbing the keg and running it back then pulling the tire forward and then backwards and then i am done…that is one rep i usually do 3-4 depending on how i feel…never more then 4reps though. Sorry if the explanation is’nt that great. So what do you think of the circuit? Would it be too much to do 3 times a week? So would you go with WS4SB over the university of minnesota program then? I don’t mean to be bugging you like this i’m just trying to find a weight program to do and some cardio. Also do you have any programs you would reccomend for grapplers?

As i said before, it depends. How do you feel after doing it? Two hours after doing it? The next day? Without knowing you i can’t say too much. It does sound like a nice circuit though.

In regards to WS4SB versus the program you listed, i would go with WS4SB with one caveat. That is modify the template to fit you. (This will be an ongoing process).

Don’t worry about bugging me about this. I understand your apprehension about finding the “best” program. The real secret is that their isn’t one best program for everyone. You really have to find out for yourself what works for you. Personally, i follow WS4SB with more ME upper workouts being pulling movements (pull-ups, rows) and with more grip work. (This is combined with a tempo-intensity circuit on the off-days and skills training all week). The basic template is the following:

am: ME upper pm: High intensity MA workout
day2: Tempo,circuits pm: forms, light technique
day3: ME lower pm: High intensity MA workout (different emphasis than day1)
day4: same as 2
day5: Rep upper pm: Sparring/grappling live day
day6: “Fun” workout day (sometimes strongman, sometimes sprints, more sparring whatever i feel like doing)
day 7: Off

As you can see, there isn’t anything special about it. BTW, i found the link to the article by Z. Evans-esh:

It also has some ideas on what grapplers can do. If you have any more questions lets me know.

what do you do for your tempo-intensity circuit?

It depends on the day (and if a competition is coming up etc.). Usually it consists of the following (not necessarily in this order:
-1000-2000m of tempo (ala CTFT)
BW exercises (push-ups, pullups, squats, lunges, partner rows)
(or a combination of both BW and tempo)
-rehab circuits (scap push-ups/rows,
rotator cuff work, dorsi-flexion, hand extensors)
-abs work
-technique work (emphasis on form, intensity is very low)

It isn’t a whole lot of work (i usually do a combination of the above) nor is it terribly intense, as it is a “low” day. The primary importance of this is to build general fitness and improving recovery between high-intensity days. (This concept came directly from CFTS). This has managed to work fairly well for me, but it took a bit of time to iron this out (and it still could be improved).

You mentionned in the past you did a WS routine. Did you do this during your wrestling season or just in the off-season?

I did it during the off-season. Also i wanted to know what you thought of Ross Enamait’s stuff for combat athletes? I heard it’s suppose to be pretty good? Do you have any expierence with it?

Sorry i never heard of him. (That doesn’t mean his stuff isn’t good though). What did you think of the Evens-esh article?

I enjoyed the Evens-esh article alot, i got alot of good information from it, it said he also uses the WS4SB. Anyways if your interested rosstraining.com is his site.