Weight Training For Wrestling

Wrestlers are some of the most conditioned athletes in the world. Wrestlers are also some of the strongest athletes in the world.

Wrestling is an intense mixture of cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and skill. Not only does skill need to be executed with strength and power, strength and power needs to be sustained for a long 6 minutes.

In order to dominate the wrestling mat, you need to begin conditioning your cardiovascular and nervous systems through various forms of moderate and high intensity cardio and drills at the same time as you begin lifting to build more strength and power.

In a wrestling match, you have two skilled wrestlers of about equal size and strength making swift and explosive attacks and counterattacks, lifting, tripping, dragging, pushing and pulling each other.

Repeatedly exerting maximal power drains even the most conditioned wrestlers. With two wrestlers of equal skill, the less conditioned wrestler is then bound to succumb and get pinned.

Your weight training session needs to be effective, efficient and intense – lasting about 1 hour. As a wrestler, all of your practice tends to be intense in nature – from lifting to cardio to skills practice on the mat – so overtraining is a real issue.

Overtraining is bad because it can reverse training progress and make you more prone to injury and illness. To avoid overtraining, make sure to optimize your nutrition and get sufficient amounts of rest between training and get enough sleep to fully recover practice.

Do the following full-body wrestling lifting routine three times a week in pre-season and two times a week during wrestling season. Keep your training sessions intense and efficient. The purpose of this routine is to help you build a solid foundation of strength and explosive power:

Full Body Weight Training for Wrestling:


Power cleans – 3 sets x 5 reps
Barbell squats – 3 sets x 5 reps
Incline bench press – 3 sets x 5 reps
Barbell bent over rows – 3 sets x 5 reps
Parallel bar dips – 3 sets x failure
Dumbbell back rows – 3 sets x 5 reps
Pull ups – 3 sets x failure
Cable seated rows – 3 sets x 5 reps
Abdominal work


Romanian deadlift – 3 sets x 5 reps
Leg press – 3 sets x 8 reps
Push ups / pull ups supersets 3 sets x failure
Hamstring curls – 3 sets x 10 reps
Cable seated rows 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Cable lat pulldowns 3 sets 6-8 reps
Dumbbell shoulder press 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Dumbbell back rows 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Abdominal work


Dumbbell lunges 3 sets x 10 reps
Barbell front squats 3 sets x 5 reps
Barbell bent over rows 3 sets x 5 reps
Dumbbell incline bench press 3 sets x 5 reps
Cable seated rows 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Overhead shoulder press 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Dumbbell back rows 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Pull ups 3 sets x failure
Abdominal work

In addition to weight training, start practice your wrestling drills, and perform conditioning workouts to give you an edge before you begin official wrestling practice.

When you practice, don’t just go through the motions but really focus and be present in your training so you start to develop a level of proficiency that will pay dividends when you step on the wrestling mat.

Things to keep in mind when training for wrestling:

Grip strength: As a wrestler it’s important to have a strong grip. Perform movements with ropes, kettleballs and thick barbells to develop your grip strength.

Listen to your body: Training for wrestling can be grueling with high levels of intensity. Weight lifting movements such as power cleans, deadlifts and squats tax the muscles and nervous system more. So, get in tune with your body, monitor how you feel and give your body more rest if that you feel you need to.

Sleep: Get sufficient amounts of sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will have a hard time recovering from the physical stress of high intensity weight training, conditioning and drills. This could lead to exhaustion and it increases the risk of injury.

Diet: It’s crucial to get high enough protein, essential fats and complex carbs to fuel strength training for athletic performance.