Weight Training for Wrestling by Dickie White

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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. As wrestlers we know the truth- nothing replaces good old fashioned hard work. 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. I know, I post them from time to time. In addition, Tom used similar types of programs for the 10+ years he was at Cornell working with the wrestlers. Dips- 3×10

Deadlift- 5×5

Day 1 Weight Training for Wrestling

Weighted Pullups- 3×10

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).

Weighted Pullups- 3×10

Superset- Squat 4×8 and Dumbbell Walking Lunge 3×8

Cable Row- 3×10

Tricep Kickbacks- 3×10

Please note that Tom bases all of his core movements (Squat, Bench, Clean, Deadlift, etc.) off of percentages of your max. 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. 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. There are two major issues that I’ve seen with weight training for wrestling programs in my years of experience.

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

Bicep Curls- 3×10

Cable Row- 3×10

Deadlift- 5×5 . 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. Look at all the infomercials out there for the “next biggest thing in fat loss” or whatever. But believe me, this isn’t the focus of the weight training for wrestling plans I have my wrestlers use. “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. 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. And that should be the same way you approach yourweight training for wrestling. 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…

Superset- Bench Press 4×8 and Med Ball Pushups 3×8

Dumbbell Incline Bench- 4×8

Day 3 Weight Training for Wrestling

Incline Bench- 4×8

Power Clean- 5×4

Bicep Curls- 3×10

Squat- 5×3

Power Clean- 5×4

Bench Press- 5×3

Superset- Cuban Press 3×12 and Tricep Kickbacks 3×10

Day 2 Weight Training for Wrestling

Alternate Dumbbell Bench- 3×10

Day 4 Weight Training for Wrestling

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. 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. Yes, those YouTube videos of someone performing a cool looking exercise with a big tire look cool. would be using them already? Anyway, that’s enough, lets get into some weight training for wrestling plans.

Second, there are a few systems and programs that are available that are absolutely fantastic. Oftentimes people are after the next greatest thing

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