In part one I gave you 3 lifts that should be the foundation of any program. When these lifts are performed correctly, amazing things start to happen. Your strength levels climb through the roof, and you start to see muscles you didn’t know you had.
Wrestlers who have trained with me in the past have said things like, “I’m hitting my moves much better and I’m pounding kids I could never beat before.” Others say, ” My mom is pissed because my clothes don’t fit and I have to buy new ones.” Some even say, ” I have all these girls chasing me. What should I do?”
I am always happy to see that the desired results of the work outs are being realized. Wrestlers start winning more matches. I tell the kid to apologize about the clothes. I know they can be expensive these days. As for the girls, I wish I had the answer. Men everywhere for a 1000 years, I’m sure, have been trying to solve this problem. You will have to figure that one out for yourselves. I wish you luck. The good news is, if you do find the answer you will be a very rich man.
I left off with the Bench Press and would like to start here with another important pressing movement. The MILITARY PRESS, sometimes called the overhead press. We perform them standing with a barbell and we press in the frontal plane not behind the head. Many of the past real big Bench Pressers, would do the Military press behind the head. Some could handle tremendous amounts of weight and it was not uncommon to hear of 400+ for reps.
There is a very important point to be made here. You are probably not a top bencher, benching in excess of 600lbs. You should not be training like one. The athlete’s goal is to become better at his chosen sport. This should dictate how you train. When the time comes for you to set records in strength sports, we will make the necessary adjustments to your training.
So I keep the press in front and feel it does not place unneeded stress on the shoulders, which we are trying to strengthen. While we are talking about the frontal plain, I also like doing PULLUPS(palms facing away from you)/CHINUPS(palms facing you) in front. Again for the same reason, to prevent the shoulders from being over stretched. If an athlete can’t perform this exercise, Pull downs using a high pulley can be substituted. It is not exactly the same but is a good 2nd option.
Lets move on to ROWS. There are several different variations. The two I feel are best are; 1) The LOW CABLE ROW and 2) BARBELL ROWS. Along with Pull Ups and Chin ups, these will help build a very strong upper back.
DIPS are another of my all time favorites. Many, including myself, consider them to be right up there with the pressing movements when it comes to building upper body strength. They are a rather tough exercise to perform even with just body weight. Some gyms may have dip/chin assistance machines. These machines are a good option for athletes who can not perform them without help. In our gym this is one of the many things we use JUMP STRETCH BANDS for.
The Jump Stretch Band can be hooked to a Power Rack or Dip station so the person performing the movement can step his foot or place his knee on the band. It then acts like a giant rubber band and adds a boost to the lifter. The Jump Stretch Bands are a relatively inexpensive item that most anyone could buy if not available at your gym or school. They have many other uses that I will talk about in future articles.
Please take note of ALL the exercises listed so far. They are all COMPOUND, MULTI-JOINT exercises. In short, this means you are moving two or more joints, and working two or more muscles. There is no one arm machine preacher curls here! This is for good reason. The body is not intended to work this way. It prefers and responds much better and faster to real lifting.
Once again, if your current gym or training facility has all machines or if the workout you are now doing has you using mostly machines and doing isolated movements, it is time to make some changes. You will find that these lifts are much more demanding. Like the old wrestling saying, ” If it wasn’t so hard – everyone would do it!”
I will end part 2 here and next week part three will go into some special exercises, proper assistance work, and warm ups. In closing, I want to thank all of you who have helped to get LIGHTHOUSE WRESTLING off to a great start! I appreciate all the positive responses and welcome all feedback. This site is for the wrestler. We want to continue to help promote the greatest sport with the coverage it needs and deserves. Please keep spreading the word to all your family and friends. Thank you, Coach Ellinger