Before we get into the program we have to speak of several issues. As with any work out program or sports activity, you must get the proper MEDICAL CLEARANCE from a doctor. Make sure you lift with the proper supervision, equipment and spotters. Don’t attempt anything if you are unsure on how to do it. First, get instruction from a knowledgeable person.
Also, make sure your equipment is in good working order and the area is clear and unobstructed. Always remember why you are training. You are training to become a better wrestler and/or other athlete. Stay within your limits and make slow steady weight increases. DO NOT sacrifice good form and proper RANGE OF MOTION(ROM), for heavier weights.
Wear the proper attire when training. We will discuss this a little later in this article. Make sure that you and others are not fooling around when someone is engaged in lifting. In other words, use some common sense and if you don’t have any, find someone who does to help you.
This program is set up for the athlete or team that is training at their school’s work out facility. I have used it for many years with several schools and sports programs. I last used this program in a school setting while working at Plainedge High School. Many have talked about the impact that this program brought to the school.
For example, the year I got there the football team was coming off a poor year, going 1-7 if memory serves me correctly. The wrestling team was also just very average at the time. Within 3 years of implementing this weight training program, combined with the athletes’ commitment and all the coaches hard work, the football team made the county finals and the wrestling team became a perennial power in Nassau County.
What I have done is modify the current program I use to better suit the availability of your average high school weight room. It is a 4 day program that is done on Mon., Tues., Thurs., and Fri. This should make it viable for most schools. It is divided into two lower and two upper body days. Mon. and Thurs. for lower body and Tues. and Fri. for upper.
Let’s talk about what you need to start. You must wear the proper clothes. I understand that shirts to your knees, shorts to your ankles that are 6 sizes too big so your ass is hanging out might be all the rage and you got to look fly. Here though we are not trying to impress the ladies, we are getting ready to work out. The clothes you would wear to wrestling practice should be fine.
The first thing you need is the right shoes. Converse Chuck Taylors(All-Stars) have become a cult favorite amongst Powerlifters. The soles are flat, which is a requirement. They come in the High Top version and this gives plenty of ankle stability. You can find them at most places that sell sneakers for relatively cheap, which is also good. If you have a pair of, dare I say… basketball sneakers that are similar, they will work fine. Some wrestlers will wear their wrestling shoes if they don’t have anything better.
The next thing you need is a notebook to record your work out. I always joke that you can commandeer one of your notebooks from school because this is important. With what’s happening in education these days I am not so sure this is a joke anymore. Just in case, go and buy a MARBLE notebook dedicated to your work out records. You will record the day, date, lifts performed with the weights used and repetitions completed.
This is all you will need to get started, don’t go out and waste money on a bunch of garbage. When it comes time to get a belt I can help you with what you need and where to get it. Absolutely do not buy those funny looking gloves that you see some people wearing. You know right away that they are not serious about training.
Lets get started, Monday is a lower body day and we start right off with the KING. When you Squat you should be doing it in a POWER RACK with the safety bars set at the correct height. This is an important safety issue and can not be over emphasized! The safeties should be set just under the bar height when you are at the lowest part of the squat. This can be the difference between a serious injury or being “saved” as the bars can catch the weight if you have any problems and can’t finish the lift.
You MUST BE TAUGHT THE PROPER WAY TO SQUAT! In the future, I have planed videos on proper lifting techniques. Until they are available I welcome everyone to come down so I can work with you on proper form. I do not know and therefore can not recommend anyone on LI outside of my gym that teaches proper lifting technique. Please, if you feel that you are qualified contact me! I would love to spread the word of your availability to all who visit our site.
Everyone goes through the warm ups listed in TRAIN III. This is your GENERAL WARM UP. We will start here with 10 sit ups on the slant board. 10 is just a starting number! If 10 is real easy, by all means do more. With side bends start light and add weight till you find the right amount that is somewhat challenging for 10 reps on each side. Do reverse hypers in the same general manner, that is add reps or weight as you can.
NOTE: if you do not have a Reverse Hyper Extension machine, do regular hyper extensions. If neither is available you will have to go to other options. please contact me and I will try and help you find the best option in your gym.
You then go to the specific warm ups for the exercise you are going to perform. Everyone warms up with the bar 1st. Young athletes may feel funny about this. I guess they think people will see them and make fun of them? Let me tell you that many big time lifters that I have watched, competed with and against warm up with the bar as do I and everyone who trains with me.
The reasons are simple, you want to warm the muscles and joints that are about to get worked hard. It is the same as wrestling, you don’t go right into live wrestling before warming up. Also, I like to see that the proper technique is being performed with the light weights. For example, and especially with a wrestler, you may have gotten “banged up” a little in practice. Your mentality is to shake it off and keep practicing! That is fine and something I would expect, but if it affects your lifting we want to know early on to prevent any possible injuries.
The amount of warm up sets usually depend on the amount you can lift. The more you lift, the more sets you will need to do before you get to your WORK SETS. Let me list what a warm up may look like for someone who is Squatting 225 for his 1st work set. Bar x 10, 95 x 10, 135 x 10, 185 x 10, then 225. While another person who is Squatting say 115 for his 1st work set might be, bar x 10, 75 x 10, 95 x 10 and then 115.
I am recommending 10 rep.(repetitions) sets. This is not a magical number but a good middle ground to start. By that I mean that you will be able to handle a fair amount of weight and still get plenty of repetitions which is very important. We want to build a strong foundation for future gains to be built on. Once again just like wrestling you want to get in a lot of practice reps. which is like drilling your shots over and over perfecting your technique.
The old saying comes to mind, I am sure you may have heard it. Practice makes; how does that go again? Oh yeah, practice makes perfect, right? Wrong! Practice makes permanent, and only perfect practice will make perfect. you must execute your lifts with proper technique. Whether in the wrestling room or the weight room, don’t just “go through the motions” you’re wasting your time.
After Squats you will move on to some assistance work. Here you will be able or might be able to make several choices. I would recommend Glute/Ham Raises if you have one, if not do Leg Curls. Do 4 sets of 10 repetitions(4 x 10). Then choose 1 of the following Step ups, lunges, 1 legged Squats and do another 4 x 10 with each leg. I would not add weight but rather add repetitions if the set is easy. That is to say, do 15-20 or even more reps.
When you start out take your time. Like all things there will be a learning process that you must go through. Many, if not all athletes who start with me will spend much of there first few work outs mainly doing the squat. We will spend a great deal of time just teaching the proper techniques. I will start out having them squat WITH NO WEIGHT just to make sure they have it down pat.
We then go to squatting with the bar and add weight according to each athletes ability until we find the proper weight for his work sets. THE AMOUNT OF WEIGHT YOU START WITH DOES NOT MATTER!!! Proper technique is all you should worry about. If you stay dedicated to this program you will begin to get strong very fast. Within a few months you will see some great gains.
For example, I had an athlete start with me who was a big kid at over 6 ft. and 330lbs. It was a struggle at first for him do to his size to control the bar and squat 95lbs! In less then 2 years he started develop into his great potential and was squatting between 365-385 for 10. the whole time I would tell him to “just stick with it- it will come”. As DR. KEN LEISTNER would say ” it is not the destination, but the journey.”
I will end part one here, hopefully you will make the commitment to dedicate yourself to becoming the best. Proper weight training will dramatically increase your strength levels, giving you an advantage over your opponent on the mat. Contact me if you need help, GOOD LUCK Coach Ellinger