For the sport of wrestling, you need more than just strength. A skill often overlooked and or mis-understood is cardiovascular endurance. Having good cardio can produce wins. It’s a skill just like strength, power, balance, coordination, flexibility, accuracy, agility, stamina and speed. All of which are needed in our sport.
The better your skills are can easily translate into more impressive wins.
Just like J. Robinson from the University of Minnesota preaches…
Make a strong wrestler tired, he’s not that strong – Make fast wrestler tired, he’s not that fast – Make a technical wrestler tired, he won’t be that technical…
Learn to wrestle better when you’re tired and you’ll win a lot more matches.
In order to improve your cardio in a way that translates into wrestling would be to wrestle a lot of timed matches. Which most coaches teach. No one can argue that practicing live matches at varying times is without a doubt the best way to improve your cardio for wrestling. Going for 6 min, 10 min, even 1 min goes, 30 sec. goes, etc. are incredibly important for your overall conditioning and mental toughness.
Some coaches prefer you to do a lot of running before and after practice thinking this is going to improve your wrestling performance, when in fact it can do the opposite.
If you’re going to use running as a way to improve your wrestling, give this a shot. Instead of just running to run, create measurable data on the skill itself such as:
– 1 mile Run for time
– 200 m Sprint for time
– 400 m Sprint for time
– 800 m Sprint for time
There are countless ways to benefit from running. But not for distance, more for speed.
We also use rowing for our cardio testing of athletes.
500 m Row
1000 m Row
2000 m Row
The goal of course would be to increase your work capacity. How much can do you do in what amount of time? Get your baselines, repeat these tests periodically and do your best to beat your times. Simple right? Wrestling timed matches and sprinting will definitely get you in great shape. But what if you were doing something a little extra…
Another format that should be practiced often is based on a timed priority exactly like wrestling. An example would be a 20 min AMRAP (As Many Rounds or reps As Possble). You can choose any time you want, it doesn’t have to be 20 min. With this format you’ll perform 3 or 4 movements with a different…
With this format you’ll perform 3 or 4 movements with a different or the same rep scheme as many rounds/reps as possible in 20 min. Example:
20 min AMRAP
Repeat these 3 movements with proper technique in order until 20 min is up. Lets say you complete 20 rounds (300 reps) in 20 min the first time you test. The next time you perform this same workout you now have a goal. BEAT YOUR PREVIOUS BEST.
If you’re succesful, you have proof that you’re getting in better shape. Your cardio is improving.
Another good format for cardio-endurance is EMOTM (Every minute on the minute or EMOT2M – every minute on the 2 minutes).
Pick two or three movements, pick a challenging rep scheme, set the clock for 10 min (or whatever you choose), your job is to complete one or all movements in less than 60 sec. Example:
10 Min EMOTM
This format would require you perform all 15 repetitions inside 60 sec. If you finish in 30 sec. you would get 30 sec. to rest until the NEXT minute starts. Don’t start early. Hence EVERY MINUTE ON THE MINUTE. Simply repeat for 10 minutes, thus ending with 10 rounds equivalent to 50 pullups, 50 burpees, 50 situps in less than 10 min.
To improve your endurance, simply add more time (12 min) or more reps such as:
Sounds easy right, give it a shot.
My favorite format for increasing work capacity is simply a task priority.
3 or 5 rds FOR TIME. Perfect for wrestling. Complete the task and your finished. In this example, you’ll pick 2 or three movements ranging from bodyweight to resistance, even add running into the mix. Such as:
3 Rounds For Time:
400 m Run
10 min CAP
Your job would be to establish the best pace you can to finish 3 rounds as fast and as efficient as possible. You have 10 minutes. When your finished, stop the clock and record your TIME. You should be extremely tired when you’re done. To improve, get better at 400 m sprints, improve your pushups and pullups by increasing your strength. Now that you have a time to beat, get better.
We practice and perform quite a few different formats that are designed and proven to increase work capacity faster than just running for 45 min before and after practice.
This sort of training without a doubt transitions to wrestling performance. It’s been proven already. Fact is, when you start to fight during your training and your mind is telling you to rest or stop, it’s when you decide to push past the fatigue and dig deep, when you finally do… you’ll find the next level to improving your performance in anything you do in life. Wrestling included.
Get to work – Improve your skills – Be a better athlete – WIN MORE MATCHES