Wrestling for Fitness

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By Ken Hunt.  AFI Certified Trainer and owner Steel Gym NYC.

I have always enjoyed playing a variety of sports, in addition to working out. In high school and college, I played tennis, football and was on the track and swim team. I also wrestled. Wrestling is a great sport, and demands a certain type of training. When I first started to get bigger, a talent scout for one of the big wrestling promotions approached me about joining their training program for new talent. At that time, professional wrestling wasn’t quite the “industry” it is now.  I don’t regret my decision, but always wonder what might have been.  So here is a quick over of some training tips that successful wrestlers use in the work out routines

Workouts must be as short as possible while working as many muscles as possible, so short, and intense. . You can achieve this with circuit training –going between stations quickly without resting. Do only 1 or 2 sets of an exercise (low volume to prevent overtraining) and you can train the whole body in a short time so you only need to do it once or twice a week

Wrestlers are always trying to maintain or lose weight.  The best way to lose weight quickly is to go on a low sodium diet, eat low sodium tuna, plain noodles and rice, etc. While you are on this diet eat a banana or two every day.  They contain a lot of potassium and don’t cause fluid retention as sodium does. Don’t severely restrict your carbs or protein, just cut out some fat. .

So, low sodium, high potassium, low fat diet combined with a total body circuit once or twice a week will help you build strength

You should work the muscles from largest to smallest, in quick succession with each set to concentric failure. Here’s what I think is a very good workout for wrestlers:

•           Squats: 2 sets 6-8, 1 minute rest between each set

•           Chin-ups: 1 set to failure

•           Barbell rows: 1 set to failure

•           Lateral raises: 1 set to failure

•           Flat bench: 1 set to failure

•           French Presses: 1 set to failure

•           Barbell curls: 21’s

•           Calf presses/raises:  2 sets to failure

You should go from one exercise to the next, with no rest. The key is to get in there, hit your muscles, and get out before they start breaking down. I included calves because strengthening these muscles are important to wrestlers, any time you on your feet your using calves to maneuver and to generate power.

I think I would be remiss if I didn’t touch on wrestling as more than just exercise.  So many of us have experienced the “homo eroticism of the man to man contact.  It speaks to our most basic and fundamental needs and desires.  Lets face  it, there is something really hot and exciting about 2 men, almost naked  ( or maybe completely naked)  locked in a manly embrace,  struggling to see who is the strongest, the most dominate, the winner!    Many of us have “wrestling experiences” growing up.( you remember that, don’t you?) And then some of us have continued those experiences  well into adulthood.

So whether you wrestle for sport, or fun, or as foreplay, consider adding a few wrestling exercises into your training routine.  I think you will find them a challenging addition to your workouts. It’s a great test to see just what kind or shape you are in and to test your stamina. Give your self a few weeks and soon you will look great—in and out of your singlet. Who knows, maybe you can find someone to exchange holds with—on and off the mat.   Wanna Wrestle?

Ken Hunt is an AFI-certified trainer and owner of Steel Gym in New York City. Ken’s articles have been featured in The New York Times, Compete, Horizon Barcelona, LaCosmopolatina, Dignity, Men's Fitness, Genre, HX, Stonewall News and EXIT South Africa, and he’s a frequent guest on Sirius OutQ Radio. Ken also travels the country lecturing on physical fitness and sharing his work-out secrets. He is currently finishing his new book “ The Hunt for Fitness,” working an a new cable TV project. Steel Gym has been named one of the top 5 gyms in the U.S. by Muscle and Fitness Magazine. Steel is also ranked as the "#1 Gym in New York" by the American Fitness Institute for "cost, cleanliness, equipment and service," and has been called "the last real gym left in New York" by famed bodybuilder Victor Martinez. For the second year in a row Steel was awarded both the Talk Of The Town Award for outstanding customer service, and received the New York Award for Physical Fitness. The gym is located at 146 W. 23rd St, New York, NY 212.352.9876 http://www.steelgym.com Steel Gym has been named one of the top 5 gyms in the U.S. by Muscle and Fitness Magazine. Steel is also ranked as the "#1 Gym in New York" by the American Fitness Institute for "cost, cleanliness, equipment and service," and has been called "the last real gym left in New York" by famed bodybuilder Victor Martinez. For the second year in a row Steel was awarded both the Talk Of The Town Award for outstanding customer service, and received the New York Award for Physical Fitness. Steel Gym is located at 146 W. 23rd St, New York, NY http://steelgym.com

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