Type of routine for a wrestler?

To make a weight training routine that can fit into wrestling practice 3-5 days a week and two running workouts a week what is the best way to do it?

To me its either splitting the body into two, like Westside Barbell,

Mon. Upper
Wed. Lower
Fri. Upper

Mon Lower
Wed Upper
Fri Lower

like that alternating between heavier lower rep days and lighter speed or higher rep days.


3 full body workouts each week cutting out some isolation excercises and doing less excercises

Mon. full body heavy (press, pull, squat, posterior chain, core)

wed. full body speed

fri. full body reps

What do you think is best for a wrestler grappler? Or does it depend on how close competitions are?

Both will work alright. In fact, i'd switch between both, if you like them both just the same.

The only change i'd make is to keep two upper body days on the first scheme EVERY week. Dont switch back and forth.



Since you mention it, over the next month or so is the first time I ever have to cut some real weight. I am currently about 210 and gotta be 198 in a few weeks.

Right now I am just doing some maintanence and speed training, as well as eating less calories and especially less fat, and not doing any hypertrophy based training until the season is over.


Under the 3 workouts per week total body I have trouble recovering in time, is this becasue I haven't given much time to get used to a 3 times per week total body plan (been doing it for about 4 weeks) or am I maybe just not a fast recoverer?

Why would you do 2 upper body and only 1 lower body training session per week?
I know westside for skinny bastards does that, but I got the impression that was meant for runners and football players who need fresher legs for regular games and practices in season.

If you feel there is not enough recovery happening, then you need to either back off on the intensity OR spend more time on recovery. Both should have the right effect, the latter being vastly better in terms of the level you would attain.

As far as 2 upper body days versus lower, i have the (apparently heretical) view that combat sports, including all forms of grappling, require greater attention payed toward the muscles of the upper body then the lower. Of course this depends largely on your style, but few styles in either sport require phenomenal leg strength.

This issue is amplified by the weight classing. The stricter the weight classing in your sport, and the lighter you are, the greater the emphasis needs to be on upper body musculature.


You guys are right in that how much leg strength you need depends on your style.

I don't believe in cutting weights out totally in season. I feel I lose too much useful strength like that. I do however cut down on the volume, especially volume of training with smaller excercises and just keep it basic.

"this is very debatable for folkstyle or freestyle "

Plenty of people debate my point with any combat sport. Typically, it's one of two people:

  1. People to proud to admit their biggest lifts aren't as important as they want to admit.

  2. A trainer who makes money off of those that fit into category one, and so fight tooth and nail to "prove" the efficacy of training the big lifts. That's what keeps the food on the table.

As you know, speed (one of the components of power) is more critical to a good shot the strength. Of course, if your particular style is to lift from a shot every single time, then more strength is required, however, squatting or lunging your own bodyweight (if course you should be lifting explosively which certainly makes it more difficult) is no phenomenal feat.

Getting to his legs is what you need, and when weight classing is introduced, it helps to be leaner on the bottom, and more filled out on top.

However, i am perfectly willing to acknowledge that some forms of these sports, and some styles within, require a bit more leg strength.


FWIW I agree with Doug about the relative importance of upper and lower body training for combat athletes, especially in the lower weightclasses.

Strong legs do help, of course, and I wouldn't neglect them entirely.

If you don't have a problem with upper body recovery I'd consider trying something like this:

Mon: full body Wed: upper Body Fri: full body

or if you still have recovery problems:

Mon: upper body Wed: upper body Fri: full body


Gary, I really like your first suggestion, I am gonna try to work with it.

Cool. Let us know how it goes.


I'd still like to hear more opinions about the differences between the pros and cons of full body workouts vs. a two way alternating split (both involving 3 days a week) in a wrestlers routine while he's training wrestling.

Do you really have enough energy in season to work in weights? I've always been of the opinion that the best workout for wrestling is... wrestling. Hit the weights wehn it's warm outside again.

I'm not sure what you guys define as "in season" since I basically have wrestling practices and tournaments all year around...

And of course I think I should lift weights through the year to build maximal strength, speed strength, strength speed and strength endurance. Near important competitions I would cut back and just try to maintain.