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 Weight Training for Wrestling 
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Post Weight Training for Wrestling
Weight Training for Wrestling
by: Dickie White

As the sport of wrestling continues to grow (with at least some thanks going to the increasing popularity of MMA), weight training for wrestling has become a very sought after. There are two major issues that I've seen with weight training for wrestling programs in my years of experience.

First, a great majority, especially those at the collegiate level, are basically offshoots of the football weight training program. While there are some similarities, football players should be more focused on developing absolute strength, whereas wrestlers should focus their weight training on relative strength and power (strength per bodyweight).

Second, there are a few systems and programs that are available that are absolutely fantastic. However these weight training for wrestling plans consist of exercises with sandbags, kettlebells, tires, kegs, thick reps, and a lot of other training tools that most wrestler don't have access to. While I do believe that these are great ways to bridge the gap between traditional weight room strength and functional wrestling strength (I use them myself often with my wrestlers), I also understand that a majority of wrestlers reading this article do not have access to this type of equipment. "Hardcore" equipment like this exists at underground gyms and training facilities and if you're a member of one of those, there's a good chance you already have someone helping you with your training. So for those of you who aren't fortunate to workout at a well-equipped hardcore gym, keep reading, I have some great news for you...

The other day I was fortunate enough to have former Cornell Wrestling Strength Coach, Tom Dilliplane, send me a copy of his 16-week summer program. This is the exact program he used over the summer of 2009, the summer before Cornell placed 2nd at Nationals and had 2 National Finalists. In addition, Tom used similar types of programs for the 10+ years he was at Cornell working with the wrestlers. While some would say the program looked boring and repetitive (you would not believe the repetition of such exercises as the Bench Press, Squats, High Pulls, Weighted Pullups, and other exercises that many may consider to be plain and boring but obviously get the job done) the fact of the matter is this- it works. Oftentimes people are after the next greatest thing. Look at all the infomercials out there for the "next biggest thing in fat loss" or whatever. As wrestlers we know the truth- nothing replaces good old fashioned hard work. And that should be the same way you approach yourweight training for wrestling. Yes, those YouTube videos of someone performing a cool looking exercise with a big tire look cool. I know, I post them from time to time. But believe me, this isn't the focus of the weight training for wrestling plans I have my wrestlers use. Sticking to the tried and true barbell and dumbbell exercises that have withstood the test of time is what's going to lead to the best results with your weight training for wrestling plan. Additionally, I think it's worth considering the fact that if these new age styles of training were so groundbreaking and effective, don't you think all the big wrestling schools like Iowa, Cornell, Iowa State, etc. would be using them already? Anyway, that's enough, lets get into some weight training for wrestling plans.

Weight Training for Wrestling Workout (first week in Tom's Summer Program)

Day 1 Weight Training for Wrestling

Superset- Bench Press 4x8 and Med Ball Pushups 3x8

Superset- Squat 4x8 and Dumbbell Walking Lunge 3x8

Incline Bench- 4x8

Superset- Cuban Press 3x12 and Tricep Kickbacks 3x10

Day 2 Weight Training for Wrestling

Deadlift- 5x5

Power Clean- 5x4

Cable Row- 3x10

Weighted Pullups- 3x10

Bicep Curls- 3x10

Day 3 Weight Training for Wrestling

Bench Press- 5x3

Squat- 5x3

Dumbbell Incline Bench- 4x8

Alternate Dumbbell Bench- 3x10

Dips- 3x10

Tricep Kickbacks- 3x10

Day 4 Weight Training for Wrestling

Deadlift- 5x5

Power Clean- 5x4

Cable Row- 3x10

Weighted Pullups- 3x10

Bicep Curls- 3x10

Please note that Tom bases all of his core movements (Squat, Bench, Clean, Deadlift, etc.) off of percentages of your max. These percentages and 2 more weeks of this program are included as one of 4 free gifts for signing up for my newsletter at

About The Author
Dickie White is the co-founder of Shamrock Strength and Conditioning, one of the nation's top systems for training champion wrestlers. Dickie is a 2006 graduate of the Ithaca College Clinical Exercise Science program and holds a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). For more information on how you can improve your performance on the mat through his strength training system please visit his blog and sign up for his free newsletter at
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Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:16 pm
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