Long Island Wrestling Association


Donate to Support
the LIWA


Association Office
PO Box 368
Oakdale, NY 11769

Steve Meehan
stevemeehan0809 @ gmail.com



John Gaglione's In Season Wrestling Training # 1


In Season Training for Wrestlers with Zach Even Esh

C:\Users\John\Desktop\Zach Even Esh Underground In season Strength workout with\Zach Teacing Soft Tissue Work.jpg

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.

C:\Users\John\Desktop\Zach Even Esh Underground In season Strength workout with\DB Clean and Press.jpg

A1) One Arm Dumbbell Clean and Press 5 sets of 5 (first rep from the floor then a hang)
Zach Teaching the Clean and Press

The clean and press is a great total body exercise to teach wrestler to be explosive as well as develop strong stable shoulders in the upper body. Sit back and pop the hips to clean the bell and then dip and drive the bell to lockout and make sure to stabilize the weight at the top to get the most out of the exercise.

Paired with

A2)Mixed Pulling(different type of pull ups) 5 sets of Sub Max Reps (leaving one or two in the tank)
Pulling strength is king for wrestling. The key is not to go to failure all the time in season since it will be much harder to recover from. Make sure to keep the chest out and get the chin over the bar each rep. Try these with towels as well as a variety of different grips.


C:\Users\John\Desktop\Zach Even Esh Underground In season Strength workout with\Trap Bar Deads.jpg

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.

B2) Reactive Box Jumps 6 Sets of 3 Reps (jump onto a box land, then extend your hip and repeat)

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.

C:\Users\John\Desktop\Zach Even Esh Underground In season Strength workout with\Leg Raises.jpg

B3) Mixed Core Exercises 6x6(hanging leg raises and knee raises on parallel dip bars)
Core strength is extremely important for wrestling. The hanging leg raise variations are also going to work the grip at the same time which is an added bonus for wrestling.

C:\Users\John\Desktop\Zach Even Esh Underground In season Strength workout with\Knee Raises.jpg

The knee raises performed on the dip station is also going to improve shoulder stability as well as core strength since you need to support your body with your arms.


This 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.

 Be sure to check out Zach Even Eshís blog if you havenít already too for more information on how he trains his wrestlers in Jersey!

If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at gaglionestrength@gmail.com
or check out my website www.gaglionestrength.com

To take your wrestling to the next level and ensure this coming wrestling season is your best one ever go to GaglioneStrength.com and e-mail Coach Gaglione for more information on how YOU can take your training to the next level.

Not from around the area, but still want to learn the exact systems that are used at Gaglione Strength to build champions? Check out
SupremeStrengthForSports.com to learn more.

 Coach John Gaglione is a Sport Performance Specialist out of Long Island New York. He is a certified "Underground" Strength coach who specializes in training combat athletes. Johnís work has been featured in Elite Fitness Systems, Testosterone Nation
, One Result & local wrestling site Long Island Wrestling Association.
If you would like to learn more about John you can reach him at www.gaglionestrength.com or e-mail him at gaglionestrength@gmail.com.