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Developing the Complete Wrestler

June 19, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 70

When it comes to the aim of helping an athlete become a better performer in their sport and improving sport form, the exact protocols used need to be implemented to the exact demands of their chosen sport.

To take that thought a step further, it is absolutely critical that deviations must be made even within programs for the same sport, as different positions and tactical schemes will demand different expressions of abilities from the players. For example, an offensive tackle in a spread offense is going to need to be lighter and more mobile than a tackle in a power run offense who needs to be bigger and stronger in order to control his opponents in the trenches.

In regards to wrestling, considerations of weight class, current weaknesses in specific demands( power endurance, strength endurance, muscular endurance, aerobic, anaerobic development, etc.), timing of "key" competitions, contraindications to certain exercises, style of wrestling used, and attributes of "key" competitors, amongst others, are of primary importance.

Too often wrestlers can be seen training in the off season utilizing 'bodybuilding' methods of isolation of muscles groups, without a real focus on improving the stated considerations listed above. Compound that with the fact that many end up cutting weight in an unhealthy way to reach a certain weight class, and they end up losing any positive gains that had been made during the off season, thus, the result is the wrestler stays the same, if not, becomes worse than they were the year before.

So ultimately the question becomes how is the complete wrestler developed? The answer to that is that what defines a complete wrestler is completely individualized. Though in speaking in generalities, it is necessary to work to develop the needed qualities with a periodized plan along a general to specific continuum.

In the first phase/block of the early off season training period, the focus should be on restorative measures of mental, social, and physical qualities. These can included cross training, going on vacation, hiking, biking, meditation, restorative workouts, etc.

As the off season progresses, and the wrestler returns to the weight room, a progression towards restoring and achieving desired body composition for the coming competitive season should become the main priority. The development of general physical qualities should also be emphasized as should aerobic peripheral and cardiovascular attributes (methods to achieve this can include tempo runs, general conditioning, increased time under tension, etc.).

A shift towards the development of relative and limit strength, rate of force development, and explosive strength follows the previous block. In regards towards developing the appropriate energy systems for the sport during this time, the raising of the anaerobic threshold should be of focus. Aerobic qualities will still be developed in order to garner the improved recovery ability of the anaerobic system as well as because of the nature of the increased aerobic contribution as exercise duration continues, even during intermittent exercise.

As the beginning of the competitive season approaches, specialized specific methods of development should be employed. The improvement of power endurance, strength endurance, muscular endurance, and technique under fatigue become the priorities of the training process.

Through all of these phases, accumulation of adequate flexibility and mobility must also be trained. Also, as always, technique enhancement should always be a highly sought after aim. As new physical attributes are developed, it is important to continue to reinforce and learn optimal technique, so as to not lose the abilities to perform in the sport.

If more wrestlers were to follow the guidelines listed in this article, the performance of American wrestling as a whole, would surely improve.

The bottom line is that if you only take one thing away from this article, that thing should be to stay away from the bodybuilding style workouts. They will do nothing to raise your abilities on the mat.

No Nonsense Wrestling Development,

Kyle Bohannon, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Kyle Bohannon is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and the owner of Strive Training, a private strength and conditioning facility located in Cincinnati, OH.

You can contact Kyle via email at, or by phone, 513-571-2950.

Source: EzineArticles
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Wrestling Training


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Off Season Training

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