The wrestling season is now underway and this brings new challenges to the wrestler as far as maintaining his strength levels. The high physical demand of the sport is one challenge as is the amount of competitions one will wrestle over the course of the year. A new strategy is needed which we will discuss here.

The wrestling season is now underway and this brings new challenges to the wrestler as far as maintaining his strength levels. The high physical demand of the sport is one challenge, as is the amount of competitions one will wrestle over the course of the year. A new strategy is needed, which we will discuss here.

Everyone knows how hard practices are and how much energy is burned up to get through them. This is one reason adjustments will need to be made to your standard 4 days a week program. The other is matches and tournaments. It is not uncommon for there to be 2 or more competitions per week. This brings into play the time available to train and preparation/rest for your match.

It will take the most dedicated of wrestlers to adhere to a strict work out program. Every wrestler will have to decide if they are willing to make the extra commitment. Like most things, there is a price. To become a great athlete, as the saying goes, “that is real expensive!”

If you have made the choice that you are going to give everything you have and do everything within your power to become a champion, then let’s take a look at an IN-SEASON work out that should be viable to all. This will be a greatly abbreviated modification of the PROGRAM. There is just no way to keep up with that much work and wrestling at the same time.

Let’s 1st look at possible options as far as when to train; 1)morning (before school), 2) night, 3) before practice (most have some down time after school), 4) immediately after practice, 5) during school hours (if you have free time). Some of these may not even be an option for you. All of these have some advantages and disadvantages like getting up extra early/staying late or having to jog to or from practice, to name a few.

One must remember that the commitment may require others to also make the extra effort too. You may need coaches to arrive early or stay late. Parents may have to give rides if you can’t get to the gym or school yourself. Each wrestler will have to look at his own situation and determine what will work best for him.

Before you make this decision, here is the new program: 2 work-outs a week to go with your wrestling practices and competitions. I would perform FULL BODY work-outs. Hitting upper and lower body on the same day. Also, I would complete this work-out in @ 30-45 minutes. This should be obtainable for everyone.

I would do the same warm ups I recommended in the PROGRAM. If you are training immediately after practice, the general warm-up may not be necessary as you should already be completely warm (one of the advantages to this time slot).

Then I would pick 3 main exercises to do. Squat or Deadlift, Bench Press or Military, and a Rowing variation. I am going to assume that everyone is hitting plenty of Pull Ups and Chin ups in practice? Let’s take a look at a sample “day 1” work-out, where you choose Squats, Bench, and Low Cable Rows.

The GENERAL WARM UP should take you no more then 5 minutes tops. Remember, you are doing them in a circuit fashion from one to another. Another thing you can do to save time is throw your Squat warm up in with them. So it would look like this; Sit ups, Side Bends, ReverseHypers(or another back exercise) and Squats.

You go three times through and you should either be at or near your work sets. For beginning lifters I would stick to 4 sets of 10. More advanced trainees could do 4 X 10 one week and 5 sets of 5 reps the next. As you are Squatting, in between sets, you start to take your warm ups on the Bench. That is to say, you do a work set in the Squat and take a warm up in the bench.

This way when you are done Squatting you are ready to go in the Bench. I would use the same sets/reps as the Squat.Then hit Rows(you should be plenty warm) I would do 4 x 10 and if you stay focused on the task at hand you should finish in a rapid fashion.

The 2nd day (which should be a minimum of 48 hours later) you choose the three other exercises, Deadlift (preferably TrapBar), Military Press, and Barbell Rows. You complete it the same as day 1 and you have two good work outs done for the week. If you happen to have some extra time (i.e. you finished quickly), then you could pick another exercise from the PROGRAM that targets muscles you feel need work. I would not spend more then 45 minutes tops for the TOTAL work out.

If you need motivation just remember…as you’re putting in the extra time and effort, most are not. The price is too high for them. They are getting weaker as the season wears on! You will be getting stronger, and as the big tournaments roll around at the end of the season you will have a big advantage over your competition! I wish you all the luck you deserve. Contact me at Coach Ellinger.


  1. This is from left field. I guess you heard of the famous match where my good friend wrestling at 105 as senior caught a very good wrestler from LV I believe it was Pigeon?(spelling may be wrong.) If they wrestled 1000X it was likely the only time it would have happened. It did and we won. Why do you ask?

  2. Actually Coach Ellinger, you have it slightly wrong. It wasnt not Rich Pidgeon from Locust Valley that was stuck. I wrestled Pidgeon that night and lost to him 2-1(You never forget the guys/scores of the people you lost too). Ricka wrestled a guy that he stuck . It was truely a one in a thousand win for Ricka.

  3. Ok thanx for the correction. It was a great match, but as it turns out it was not what the person was asking. It was someone trying to bust my chops about BJFK losing to LV this year. I did not realize that the match even took place because I was away. They did not know that I was not coaching at Belmore this year. When I read the question the “famous” match was the only thing I could think of as we (BJFK) did not wrestle LV when I was there. Anyway you should have beat that bird ! LOL

  4. ok, im new to your website, but am very impressed with what i have been reading. although this is a little off topic, i think i would like your point of view. Im sure there are many women out there thinking the question im about to throw at ya. I was very serious about my work out routine, even amature weight lifting and body sculpting. have to say over the past 5 years or so, time restricted me from the gym and my routine. now what was hard muscel is mush. where do i start to get back to where i was with such a full schedule

  5. Hey cat, yea this is a slightly different question then I usually get! From what you wrote, if you were doing some serious weight lifting you probable have some pretty good knowledge of what a good hard work out should be? I would have to ask if you read my articles TRAIN and THE PROGRAM ? What were you old work outs as compared to these? What I am getting at is did you do the big lifts i.e. Squats, Bench Press, Pull Ups. etc.? Most females make the mistake of not hitting these movements. While some modifications have to be made do to body structure and the ability to add muscle/recover. for the most part, ladies will see much greater results on a real program.

    The thinking that “I don’t want to look like a female Bodybuilder” is nothing to worry about. Unless this is your specific goal and you want to dedicate your time , effort and add some Performance enhancing Drugs, it is not going to happen. With that being said, you have to sit down and ask yourself some questions.

    How much time do you have to train?
    What are your goals?
    Do you need someone to push you?
    where do you plan on training?

    Then you can make a plan. In reality training does not take much time. Like everyone you need to come back SLOW! Don’t expect miracles over night, but good results can happen over a short period of time if you are consistent.

    On another note, This is one of the benefits of our gym. We have training for EVERYONE. In the past, parents and relatives have joined the gym to work out while the athletes where also working out. SO if you or anyone else is in a situation like this it can be a win-win proposition. I hope this helps and if you have more questions let me know. Good luck; Coach Ellinger

  6. Coach Ellinger; I have to congratulate you on the impact you are having on the wrestling community. As one can clearly see, wrestlers and coaches from across the country are starting to use your system.

  7. Wrestling Fan- Thank you, I am glad to see that people are reading and using my stuff. I feel we are offering the best training and advise on training you will find. I hope to continue to push are training to even greater levels in the future as we work on some new things.

  8. Yea Roy thanks for the advise. If I could only find a better way to make $$$$$$$$ on my ideas I would be golden.

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