Does Wrestling Have Weight Training?

You are thinking of trying wrestling or maybe you just want to get jacked like a wrestler and want to know about wrestlers and their weight training regimes. In this article we will look at all these wrestling and weight training.

Does wrestling have weight training? Wrestling does not have weight training but many wrestling programs will schedule mandatory weight training sessions outside of wrestling training. Typically wrestlers will lift weights 2-3 times a week with a focus on developing ab, back, leg and neck muscles.

Do Wrestlers Need To Lift Weights?

Do wrestlers need to lift weights? Wrestlers do not need to lift weights however they do need to participate in strength training. Instead of lifting weights many wrestlers from Eastern Europe and Central Asia do not lift weights and instead focus on body weight exercises such as rope climbs, pull ups and dips which are just as effective as weights in developing strength.

Why Do Wrestlers Need Strength Training?

  • Finish Takedowns – Sometimes pretty technique isn’t enough to finish a takedown, often you need to use some brute strength to drive through your opponent’s sprawl and cut the corner, the stronger you are the more likely you are to finish takedowns
  • Defend Takedowns – We have all been sprawled on by someone with very strong hips, it feels like a rock is laying on you, strength training can help you improve your sprawl so the next someone tries to double leg you you can show their face mat and give them no chance of taking you down
  • Injury Prevention – Wrestling is a demanding sport, it takes a heavy toll on your joints and ligaments, by strength training you can increase your muscle mass which provides your body with a shield decreasing your risk of injury
  • Grips – Gripping is a fundamental aspect of wrestling, wrestlers grip their opponents to set up, finish and defend against takedowns, grips are what give wrestlers control over each other, if you want to be a good wrestler you need strong grips, strength training can significantly improve your gripping strength which will allow you to control your opponent giving you the opportunity to attack high percentages takedowns
  • Developing Ideal Body For Weight Class – There is an ideal muscle mass that each wrestler should attain to compete most effectively in their weight class, strength training is the most effective way to build muscle and develop the optimum body for your weight class
  • Mental Benefits – Strength training will have you feeling strong as you regularly see your progression, by believing that they are strong and powerful wrestlers can take this new found confidence with them onto the mats, resulting in an increase in performance,

Do Russian Wrestlers Lift Weights?

Do Russian wrestlers lift weights? Russian wrestlers do not lift weights as much as American wrestlers. Instead of squatting and benching Russian wrestlers prefer calisthenics and weighted body weight exercises. Russian wrestlers regularly perform weighted dips, chin ups and rope climbs and occasionally kettle bell movements. 

Here Is A Video Showing Typical Russian Wrestling Strength Training

Why Don’t Russian Wrestlers Lift Weights?

  • Causes Inflexibility – Russian wrestlers believe that lifting weights particualry performing movements such as heavy barbell squats and deadlifts reduces an athletes mobility preventing them being able to achieve positions such as the splits and cartwheels which are needed to defend against takedowns, Sadulaev when describing Snyder said, “Snyder is pumping iron a lot, I think. He is like wooden man. It is easier for me to beat him”, referring to his belief that Snyder’s obsession with weightlifting has caused him to become stiff
  • Causes Slowness – Russian wrestlers believe to be a great wrestler you need to be fast and athletic, they believe that heavy weightlifting slows you down as you are carry extra unneeded mass, making you unable to explosively get to the legs of your opponent to finish takedowns
  • Focus On Wrestling Training – Russian wrestlers prefer to train wrestling and develop their techniques rather than focus on strength training, they believe in the concept of specificity which states that if you want to train for an event your training should mirror that event as closely as possible, this is why Russian wrestling training puts such a high focus on live training, Russian wrestlers prefer to add more wrestling practices to their weekly training schedules than weight lifting sessions as they believe it is more beneficial to them improving as wrestlers
  • Use Other Forms Of Strength Training – Instead of lifting weights many Russian wrestlers will perform body weight exercises and calisthenics, Russian wrestlers will often perform weighted dips, rope climbs, Judo pushups, and chinups, they believe these exercises will make a wrestler strong and fit but will not negatively impact their flexibility and speed

Does Wrestling Build Muscle?

Does wrestling build muscle? Wrestling does build muscle. Have you looked at the typical wrestler they are very muscular and usually have defined arms, large legs backs and huge necks. Wrestling builds muscle because you are forced to use your legs and back to attack takedowns, your neck to finish takedowns and maintain position, your arms to grip and control your opponent and your abs throughout all the movements.

How Often Do Wrestlers Lift Weights?

How often do wrestlers lift weights? During the off season wrestlers will lift weights 3-4 times a week as they are focused on building size and strength. During the season wrestlers will reduce how often they lift to typically 1-2 times a week as they focus on competing and lift to maintain their physique.

Here Is Iowa Wrestling Team Lifting

What Type Of Weight Training Do Wrestlers Do In The Off Season?

  • Building Muscle – During the off season wrestlers want to put on as much muscle as possible so they can develop the most optimum physique for their weight class, to build muscle wrestlers will train like bodybuilders and perform lots of supplemental exercises in the 8-12 rep range
  • Building Strength – During the off season wrestlers want to get as strong as possible so they can effortlessly throw their opponents through the air, to build strength wrestlers will perform heavy powerlifting and Olympic weight lifting movements in the 1-5 rep range
  • Building Endurance – Wrestlers need to have endurance to wrestle the whole 6 minutes, to build endurance wrestlers will use light weights and perform high repetitions 20 +

What Type Of Weight Training Do Wrestlers Do During The Season?

During the season wrestlers reduce the frequency of their weight training and the intensity. During the season wrestlers are training wrestling and competing regularly their bodies can not handle high volume weight training so they reduce sessions to 1-2 times a week. The goal during these sessions is not to build muscle or strength but just to maintain their current physique and strength levels.

Does Wrestling Get You Ripped?

Does wrestling get you ripped? Yes, wrestling will get you ripped if you combine regular wrestling practice with a healthy diet which puts in a calorie deficit. Wrestling burns a lot of calories (700 per hour) making it easy to achieve a calorie deficit and get ripped. However, no matter how much wrestling you train if you eat more calories you burn you will not get ripped.

How To Get Ripped For Wrestling?

  • Train a lot – Go to wrestling practice as much as possible, you should be training 6 days a week, the wrestling you train the more calories you will burn, leading to shedding fat fast
  • Achieve A Calorie Deficit – Use an online calculator to determine how many calories you need to maintain your current weight, these calculators are not super accurate but they will give you a good idea, start by eating 250-300 calories below your maintenance, track your results, if your weight loss stalls then slightly increase your calorie deficit, repeat this process until you hit your goal weight
  • Diet – A calorie deficit isn’t enough, to ensure you reach peak condition and get ripped you need to healthy, you should focus on eating a high protein diet (aim for 1 gram of protein per 1 pound of body weight, 160 pound man should eat 160 grams of protein), your diet should mainly consist of eggs, red meat, chicken, fish, fruit, vegetables and rice, focus on natural and chemical free food, if you eat like this you will be shredded in no time

Why Are Wrestlers So Jacked?

Why are wrestlers so jacked? Wrestlers are so jacked because wrestling places a large amount of stress on the neck, arms, shoulders, back and legs. If you are constantly driving off the mat with your legs, picking up and throwing your opponents and grabbing on to their arms your body is forced to build muscle and become jacked. Wrestlers also combine their wrestling practice with weightlifting causing further muscle development.

How To Get Jacked Like A Wrestler?

  • Train Wrestling – If you want to look like a particular athlete then you need to practice the same sport as they do
  • Train As Much As A Wrestler – If you want to get jacked then you better be prepared to work as hard as wrestler, wrestlers will often train 6 times a week and sometimes do 10 + sessions a week, wrestlers train very hard
  • Perform Similar Exercises – Wrestlers regularly perform rope climbs, chin ups, bridges, neck harness exercises, push ups, sit ups, dips and kettlebell movements, by performing similar exercises your body will start changing to resemble a wrestler’s
  • Diet – Wrestlers compete in weight classes, to ensure they are as strong as possible for their particular weight class wrestlers will follow a strict diet which results in them being very ripped, wrestlers will typically eat a lot of red meat and other high protein foods such as chicken and eggs, they will get their carbs from fruit, vegetables and rice, eat like a wrestler to transform your body


Strength training is an important part of wrestling, as you can never be too strong. However, there is a fine line between focusing too much on strength training to the detriment of your wrestling practice. American wrestlers will typically lift weights and focus on powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting movements in an effort to build strength and muscle. They will often lift weights 3-4 times a week during the off season and 1-2 times a week during the season. International wrestlers particularly from Russia are not big proponents of lifting weights as they believe it makes an athlete slow and inflexible. Russian wrestlers prefer to focus on calisthenics and body weight exercises.

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