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Home Sport-Specific Wrestling Training It Ain't No Five Mile Jog

It Ain't No Five Mile Jog

It Ain't No Five Mile Jog

Chances are that if you wrestle, you may be trying to shed some pounds before the season begins. This means you’re probably cutting back a little on your food intake. But you don’t want to reduce your calories too much, as that could leave you with weak muscles, low energy, and a slow metabolism. Finding the optimal amount to eat can be difficult, and I don’t recommend the tedious chore of counting calories, but there is an easy way to figure out if you’re eating enough. Starting tomorrow, measure your body temperature first thing each morning, before you even get out of bed. Any cheap thermometer from the store will work, but keep in mind that your core temperature is one degree higher than what you’ll measure from an underarm thermometer. If your temperature is less than 97° F for thrIt Ain’t No Five Mile Jog Your conditioning, stamina, and endurance need to be a high priority in your wrestling training. Whether it’s running, biking, swimming, jumping rope, rowing, or any other cardiovascular activity, you need to incorporate it into your workouts so that you don’t gas during a match. Many people hear this advice and think that they need to jump on the treadmill or elliptical for an hour. Not only is slow, long distance aerobic activity less efficient for weight loss, it doesn’t directly serve the energy needs of a wrestler. Think about it. A match is four minutes long in youth wrestling, six minutes long in high school and international competition, and seven minutes long in collegiate wrestling, and you don’t try to go slow and pace yourself. As a two-time NCAA All-American told us when I was at a summer camp: “It ain’t no five mile jog. Heck, it’s a freakin’ one mile sprint!” I think that slow jogging or biking can be useful to build a conditioning base when just getting started and that long distances runs every once in a while are a great way to test your endurance and mental focus, but they shouldn’t be your primary conditioning method. Wrestlers need to be able to go all out for those four, six, or seven minutes or more if you go into overtime, and they need to be fast. As my middle school cross-country coach always preached: “Running slow makes you a slow runner.” Running is certainly a whole different animal than wrestling, but your speed off the mat translates to speed on the mat. If you want to be more explosive in a match and not get tired either, your best bet is to do some sprints or intervals. My favorite is uphill sprints, but you can run the bleachers or stairs instead. For intervals, try doing four laps around a standard track, sprinting the straight-aways and jogging the curves. These workouts won’t take longer than ten or fifteen minutes including rest in between sprints, but trust me, that’ll be tough enough if you’re pushing yourself to an appropriate level. I would recommend doing two or three sprint or interval workouts per week. Here are some sample workouts I’ve done before: The Miracle Mile: My high school team occasionally did this on the indoor track. We’d line up on the start, and the coach would yell out a distance, randomly ranging from 50 meters to 400 meters. After each sprint we’d have very minimal rest, and then another distance would be called out. Eventually it would all add up to a mile. Match Simulation: This is one that I made up on my own a while ago. I’d simply run for the same length of time as the periods in a match. So when I was in high school, I’d run as far as I could in two minutes, then I’d jog for about fifteen seconds. That represented the first period plus a brief moment for the coin flip between periods. I’d do that for the second and third periods, and I’d usually add one minute and thirty second goes for overtime, as well.

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