Wrestling practice is pretty predictable. When you get to practice, you know that you are going to warm up, drill some techniques, and do some live wrestling or sparring. There isn’t a whole lot that changes regardless of where you are wrestling whether it is here or in another country. I know that there have been times for me when it is hard to feel excited for practice when things seem stale. That is why I change things up every now and then so that I can do something new and still get a great workout.
1. Dummy throws – I had the pleasure of training under Ivan Ivanov for about a year and a half in Boise, Idaho. The guy is a genius, and he has also created some excellent products to help wrestlers as well as the general fitness enthusiast. I particularly like his new speed dummies. You can grab a dummy and just throw it for an hour. You will get your heart rate up, improve your technique, and it never complains about getting a serious beat down.
2. Running – I can’t say that I am a huge fan of running. I would probably like it more if I were faster. Instead of just running mindlessly for hours like you were training for a marathon, I like to make it simulate a wrestling match. I like to do sprint and jogging intervals. Sometimes I will even count my steps doing 30 slow pace steps for each foot and then 30 sprint pace steps afterward. Alternating between the two is a great conditioning tactic.
3. Swimming – I can’t float without a life jacket to save my life, but fortunately for me, I can swim. I think that swimming is a great simulation for wrestling because you are using your whole body. I imagine that it gets a little easier with improved technique, but for now a little thrashing in the pool can help change things up especially if you do timed intervals like you would have in a wrestling match.
4. Dumbbell circuits – I like to use dumb bell circuits as I get a couple weeks out from competition. The circuits help me to challenge and test my shape as well as do timed intervals to simulate a match (Is the timed interval training making sense now?). One circuit that I really like to do is 15 shoulder press each arm, 15 rows each arm, 15 pushups, 15 hammer curls each arm, and 15 dead lifts all with dumb bells.
5. Games – Games are fun no matter how old you get. The competitive nature of games also help you to push yourself to win. This will help you to get in a great workout and have fun doing it.
6. Exercise videos and fitness classes – Have you ever seen those p90x workout infomercials on t.v.? I know I have, and I have done some of those workouts. They are pretty good. I have also done other yoga classes and aerobics classes that have really pushed me. Sometimes the body needs a good shock to help you get ready for a new level of preparation.
7. Shadow wrestling – Sometimes it is good to get a break from wrestling the same opponents day in and day out. Try wrestling yourself once and see how you do. I don’t mean that you are literally going to try to grab your own legs or try to pin yourself. Go through the same movements that you would if you were in a wrestling match and imagine yourself scoring the winning take down in the Olympic finals. I know that before I found wrestling I would pretend I was Michael Jordan on the basketball court shooting the game winning shot. It was fun, and you can do the same with wrestling. That way you can enjoy winning the Olympics every day.
There are plenty of ways to change up your workouts if they are getting stale. All you have to do is put some thought into what can challenge your body and help you have a good time while you are doing it. The possibilities are really endless. Just get out and start moving. You’ll come up with something.