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Wrestlers Use Kettlebells and Sandbags To Prepare for Matches

Posted Jul 21 2008 10:00am

If you watch the Olympics you will get to see five minutes of wrestling between the hours of lame as gymnastics and long distance running. Sorry if that offends you, but I love the high testosterone sports that never get any air time like boxing, Olympic lifting, wrestling and some of the track events that display power.

Wrestlers often have incredible physiques, are incredibly strong and have amazing fitness levels. So much so that when they transition to mma they often totally dominate the true martial artists. How do they get into such amazing shape and become so darn strong?

Well, I never competed in wrestling but from what I have read and watched, it is a combination of several factors. Number one their sport practice and competition involves pushing, pulling and throwing an opponent who is trying to do the same to you. So by wrestling they are practicing resistance training for prolonged bouts. Number two they often have very intense warm-up/conditioning sessions of body weight exercises. Not merely jogging like most boxers do, but sprinting, jumping, squatting, lunging, hand walking and bridging just to name a few. I do a lot of body weight exercises these days and am always amazed at how effective they are for conditioning and relative strength. The third factor contributing to the amazing physical abilities of wrestlers is that they do all of this, and then lift weights and odd implements as well!Alexander Karelin, the famous Russian wrestler, would do Zercher deadlifts, cradle the bar in your arms and bend way down, for 10 reps with 440 lbs!

Wrestlers have always been innovators in the strength and fitness field, in fact, most old time strongmen were wrestling champions. Today's wrestlers use Olympic lifts, kettlebells and sandbags to develop incredible strength and power in the legs, abs and back so that they can lift and throw anyone in a match. Training with these implements together will make you strong as hell if you push it hard because the extra stimulus will force your body to adapt. I love to lift weights, but when I added kettlebells to my powerlifting routine my numbers increased dramatically. The key is to balance these different implements in your regime so you are progressing towards your goals and not just wasting energy training for the fun of it! Check out this video of a wrestler getting ready for the Olympics using kettlebells and sandbags.

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