There has been a lot of talk about strength training in the wrestling world spurred on by Kyle Snyder showing off much of his training on social media. Many old school wrestlers and coaches were brought up with the idea that lifting weights tends to make you slower. That may have been true with the way lifting weights was applied to athletes during the cold war.
As training methods improved so have the results and the research confirms that improving your strength makes you faster. In theory a good strength program makes you more athletic, and decreases your chance of injury while increasing your speed. You can search the web for numerous studies that confirm that “neuromuscular” gains boost your speed and efficiency. Improving the connection between your nervous system and muscular system makes you quicker in the imitation or action and also reaction. Just what an athlete needs to be competitive at the highest levels.
So, if you are a high school wrestler and your team doesn’t have a strength program get on one. Wrestling is a combination of dynamic power and flexibility, not any easy thing to train for. I’ve collected information from sports docs for years. If you need help reach out to me through the comments. College athletes you’re in a pickle. In most cases your trainers are not very good and the programs that they give you aren’t in your best interest for short term performance or long-term body health. Search out a private practitioner in the off season for the best results.
Done correctly strength training should make you quicker and stronger and decrease your rate of injury. Done poorly it will slow you down and make you less flexible. It can also contribute to body problems. I have known so many D1 wrestlers that complain of low back issues while competing that’s a little criminal. The same with shoulder issues. Proper strength training teaches you to use your body correctly. How to breath correctly. So many high-level wrestlers have told me that it took most of their college wrestling career to learn how to stay out of positions that cause injury. A good trainer shows you how to use your body when applying strength in order to avoid compromising positions. This speeds up the process of wrestling from good and healthy positions. I get it, you think you’re indestructible (you’re young) but trust the “olds” on this one – you’re not. And unless you want to spend big bucks as you age, get after it soon.
Wrestlers take control of your body’s health and performance. There is life after wrestling.