John Gaglione's In Season Wrestling Training # 1
In Season Training for Wrestlers with Zach Even Esh
In season training is critical for wrestlers if you want to maintain all of the strength gains you acquired in season. A big mistake that wrestlers make is that they stop weight training completely and then they are at their weakest during qualifiers, counties and states. Wrestlers should be trying to peak at their end of the year tournament so it is critical that they keep doing their strength training year round.
The biggest difference between in season and off season training is the amount of volume and frequency of the workouts. This means during the season you wonít be performing as many sets and reps and using as much weight as some of the more complex lifts as you would during your off season. It is critical that the coach analyzes each individual and makes sure they are recovering properly. It is also crucial that you pay even more attention to your recovery and soft tissue work as well.
When in doubt lower the amount of sets and reps and decrease the weight. If a wrestlerís lower back or legs are fried during the week this will severely impact their ability to wrestle well. The last thing you want to do is be injured during the season when it counts the most. You need to find a proper balance between rest and training. Always remember to deload (take it easy) when the big tournament are coming up. Usually 1-2 full body workouts are enough to maintain strength throughout the season.
During October myself and Underground strength coach Zach Even Esh got the opportunity to train three college wrestlers from a Division Three College in upstate New York. One was a national champ and the other two are expect to place in the national this season. We put them through a simple total body workout that consisted of very basic exercises. We put them through a workout that wouldnít overall tax their body, but worked all of the muscles critical for wrestling performance. We performed exercises that would help wrestler become more explosive, become more stable for resisting their opponents movements, as well as exercise to strength their grip and pulling muscles to improve their takedowns and riding ability on top. Here is the workout we did.
A1) One Arm Dumbbell Clean and Press 5 sets of 5
(first rep from the floor then a hang)
B1) Trap Bar Deadlifts for Speed 6 sets of 2 Reps (performed with a sub max weight for power)
The Trap bar deadlift is a great substitute for the
deadlift in season. Since you can step inside the bar the weight is closer to
your center of gravity thus putting less stress on the spine as opposed to a
traditional deadlift where the weight in front of you. We did these with sub max
weight for speed to really keep the focus on form and keep the stress of the low
back while still training the leg to be powerful.
Box Jumps are a great exercise to teach wrestlers to be explosive and athletic. We used a a moderate box height to ensure they were gaining full hip extension every rep.
workout was very basic and we kept the weight relative light and trained for
speed and power as well as strength. Even through these guys were high level
wrestlers they were not high level lifters so they didnít need extremely
advanced exercises or training protocols. When performing in season workout
with your wrestler be sure to use simply movements with sub max weight so they
donít get too beat up during the season, but are still maintaining a high level
of strength. Remember donít cut out your strength work during the season or you
are going to be at a severe disadvantage at the end of the season.
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to the next level and ensure this coming wrestling season is your best one ever
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