Strength and Conditioning for the High School Wrestler
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One of the searches I see the most to my website is something along the lines of “how to get stronger for high school wrestling” or “in-season high school wrestling strength training”. Y’all asked, so I’m gonna answer. In fact, if you stay with me through the whole article I’ll give you a free program I use with my wrestling athletes. Before we get started, here are some of the common themes I see in the successful high school wrestler when it comes to Strength and Conditioning:
Consistency and discipline
If you want to become stronger for next season, you must be disciplined, and you have to want it! Training will require a lot of consistent hard work, as no one becomes strong by training “every once in a while”. If you’re prepared for that, then you can expect great gains. Just like practicing once a month won’t do anything for your wrestling skills, inconsistency will rob you of any results in the weight room. The mark of a true champion is someone who does things that others aren’t willing to do.
It’s important that you train the way a WRESTLER trains. Football players, hockey players, and wrestlers do not train the same way. You need to realize that. A wrestlers strength training and conditioning program should include a steady diet of Squats (Back/Front/Zercher), Deadlifts, Pullups, Rows, Direct Grip Training, Neck Exercises, Shoulder Presses, Sprints, Broad Jumps, Anterior AND Rotational trunk work, and lots of flexibility and mobility drills. While that is by no means an exhaustive list, it’s a great start and significantly better than the standard “Squat, Bench, Clean” list you see in most high school programs. Once you start training specific movements and exercises that mimic wrestling, you will see your strength on the mat skyrocket.
Willingness to be “uncomfortable”
It’s imperative that you are willing to be uncomfortable. Do the things you’re bad at because it will only make you better. Do you suck at pullups? Do more pullups. Is your deadlift weak? Deadlift and strengthen your trunk. Is your grip strength embarrassing? Do more grip work. Many people shy away from things they’re bad at. Not you though, you’re a champion; and champions embrace being uncomfortable.
Goal setting and goal getting
If you don’t set goals and track your progress you will not reach your highest potential. That is a fact proven over and over again. In fact, in the book “The One Thing”, I recently read research that “individuals with written goals were 39.5% more likely to succeed.” Furthermore, “those who wrote their goals down AND sent progress reports to friends were 76.7% more likely to achieve them”. The point is this: Not only should you write out your training goals (the sheet has space for that), but you should also have progress reports too. Thankfully, in weightlifting progress reports are fairly easy. If your weights are going up, you’re well on your way to success.
Every great wrestler I’ve ever worked with had what I call an “Attack mentality”. Once they got into the weight room, they were ready to attack their session-that was the only thing on their mind. Too often people at the gym are busy taking selfies, checking facebook, and talking on the phone instead of training! If that sounds like you, then either stop it or get out of the gym. You’re wasting your time.
Without further adieu, here is the program as promised. Simply enter your email below and you’ll be immediately taken to the page with a free downloadable wrestling pre-season program. For anyone who has questions about various exercises, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, those who train hard now are the ones who stand on top of podiums in February and March.