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High School Wrestling: Cardio Options for Conditioning

High School Wrestling: Cardio Options for Conditioning

Is wrestling a six minute match just like running a marathon? No. Is wrestling a six minute match just like running a 5K? No, again. Sometimes wrestlers do loads of running to condition themselves for wrestling only to seek out themselves “gassed” before the match is even half over. So, what’s a wrestler to do? I’ll discuss some cardio options with reference to wrestling conditioning.

First, wrestling is primarily an anaerobic sport. Anaerobic means “without oxygen.” Wrestling relies totally on the ATP-PC and Glycolytic energy systems. The ATP-PC energy system supplies energy for as much as roughly ten seconds of exercise. Imagine a track athlete sprinting for 100 meters. The Glycolytic energy system supplies energy for exercise lasting from roughly ten seconds to 2 minutes. Imagine a wrestling match where you control your opponent for some time after which explosively shoot for a takedown. There are several explosive bursts in a wrestling match. Wrestling is virtually 100%anaerobic exercise. In contrast, running a marathon is roughly 98%aerobic exercise. So, why train like a marathon runner in the event you’re a wrestler?

Some trainers imagine that LSD (long, slow distance running) builds an aerobic base. Aerobic base training is believed to reinforce the anaerobic work that may follow in a while within the conditioning program. Other trainers dispute this notion. Some trainers imagine that regular state cardio like jogging can clear the body of waste products and speed recovery after intense strength training. Other trainers dispute this notion as well. Trainers that do not favor regular state cardio normally favor some sort of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). HIIT normally involves periods of high intensity activity alternating with periods of lower intensity activity. As an illustration, one might alternate sprinting for thirty seconds and jogging for thirty seconds for a delegated time period.

Some Potential Advantages of Regular State Cardio:

  • Construct an aerobic base which is able to enhance your anaerobic exercise in a while
  • Increase your work capability (i.e. construct an even bigger gas tank, as Matt Wiggins would say)
  • Removal of waste products from the body after intense strength training
  • Speed recovery after intense strength training

Some Potential Drawbacks of Regular State Cardio:

  • Regular state cardio trains slow-twitch muscle fibers (as a wrestler you would like more fast twitch muscle fibers which are chargeable for strength, power and speed)
  • Increased cortisol production which can cause muscle loss
  • Overuse injuries (e.g. to your knees)
  • May be time consuming

Some Potential Advantages of HIIT:

  • Tends to develop fast-twitch muscle fibers
  • Anaerobic training can develop aerobicand anaerobic capabilities
  • Shorter duration/less time consuming

Some Potential Drawbacks of HIIT:

  • May result in CNS burnout (i.e. overtraining)
  • May result in an excess of anaerobic work in the event you’re also strength training and doing loads of hard wrestling (again resulting in overtraining)

Forms of Cardio to Consider:

  • Regular State or LSD (long, slow distance)
  • HIIT
  • Tabatas (one other type of HIIT that has turn into highly regarded)
  • HOC (i.e. High Octane Cardio–combining running with body weight or dumbbell exercises)
  • Sprints
  • Hill Sprints
  • Circuit Training (e.g. Working Class Cardio by Matt Wiggins–no running involved)

Points to Consider:

  • Trainer Ian King has had success with athletes by which he dropped cardio conditioning from their training entirely
  • When Dr. Fred Hatfield was put in command of boxer Evander Holyfield’s physical conditioning prior to his fight with Buster Douglas in 1990, he dropped all roadwork (long, slow distance running) from Evander’s conditioning program
  • Wrestling is primarily an anaerobic (i.e. without oxygen) sport
  • Regular state cardio could also be good for recovery
  • Regular state cardio could also be good in the event you are “out of practice”
  • For those who are strength training and wrestling hard in practice, then don’t overdo interval training
  • Regular state cardio may help increase your work capability (i.e. construct an even bigger gas tank)

As you’ll be able to see, cardiovascular training for wrestling is complicated. You could need to do some longer running within the off season and switch to interval training when the season begins. Educate yourself about the several cardio conditioning options available to you.

Let me leave you with a reminder–a wrestling match is just not like running a marathon.


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