By Steve Preston
"One of the most effective ways for wrestlers to get into great shape for the season is through Metabolic Conditioning".
Metabolic Conditioning is getting both the aerobic system and the anaerobic system in shape. It is done by creating a workout to condition both systems. When you get into great Metabolic shape, you will be strong and energetic on the mat. It is done in the off-season... in an effort to arrive at practice the first day in great shape.
Here are a few tips to improve your Metabolic Conditioning:
---------- 1. Give Yourself 12-16 Weeks ----------
12-16 weeks is the amount of time required to get into great Metabolic Condition. This is accomplished by starting at the beginning of the summer and working on it the entire summer. This will get you into tip-top condition for the upcoming season.
---------- 2. Begin By Jogging One Day Per Week ----------
Jogging really doesn't serve much of a purpose for high-performance wrestling. Jogging doesn't meet the anaerobic (without oxygen) needs of a wrestler. But... getting into 'aerobic' condition is a great way to get into the best 'anaerobic' condition for wrestling. The aerobic conditioning lays the groundwork for reaching a higher-level of anaerobic conditioning. Therefore, we have wrestlers do one day per week of jogging at the beginning of their Metabolic Conditioning Program. This will be maintained throughout the entire program. Just don't use jogging by itself to cut weight or for 'getting into shape'. It is merely a tool for improving your anaerobic condition.
---------- 3. Add Interval Sprinting ----------
Interval sprinting is basically sprinting fast for a pre-determined distance, followed by a walk or slow pace for a pre-determined distance to let the heart rate slow down. If you think about it, it really does mimic the activity on the wrestling mat. You are constantly going all-out, followed by short rest periods. Adding interval sprints will get you into anaerobic condition fast!
---------- 4. Add High-Intensity Sprinting ----------
One day per week, we have wrestlers do nothing but sprints. This differs from Interval Sprinting where the wrestler is doing sprints, followed by slow periods to allow the heart rate to come down before sprinting again. High-Intensity Sprint Workouts are done by sprinting for a predetermined distance. When completed, you rest until your heart rate is normal before sprinting again. This is done for distances from 10 meters up to 150 meters. We are not trying to get the wrestler tired by doing these. We are concentrating on short, powerful bursts of speed.
---------- 5. HIT Circuits ----------
I'm a huge believer in the value of High Intensity Training (HIT) for wrestlers. It is strength training that requires brief, intense, infrequent workouts. Each set is taken to momentary muscular failure ie. the point at which you can no longer perform another perfect repetition. A HIT circuit for wrestlers is done by completing the exercises for the workout in HIT fashion, with minimal rest between exercises.
It is brutal, yet effective. In fact, it can be just as effective or MORE effective than any running program when trying to get into wrestling condition.
Steve Preston is a nationally-recognized strength and conditioning coach for wrestlers. For your FREE copy of his '63 Strength, Conditioning and Nutrition Tips for Wrestlers' e-book go to:
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