How Often Should I Strength Train

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For young athletes I try not to have them train 2 days in a row. Once again though, there is never an absolute here. I know this variety thing is getting confusing & perhaps annoying, but it all depends - some wrestlers go to a club 5 days a week for 2 hours, then train with me 3 times a week. When this is the case, I always take caution to keep workouts brief and to the point, often lasting 35 - 40 minutes. In addition, those 3 workouts will vary so as not to over stress the central nervous system (CNS). If your CNS is run down then you will not make gains!

Most of these work outs will be full body, or divided into upper body, lower body & the final day being full body w/light weights. We need to give you a chance to rest after stressing your entire body. In addition, wrestlers tend to train much more than other athletes, often times wrestling 5 nights a week in the off season. Coupled with a tough strength training program and I start getting concerned that your body does not get enough recuperation time!

Strength training tears down your muscles. They get stronger from rest and proper nutrition. If you wrestle at a club in the off season then your body is under even more stress. At the least take one day off from strength training in between each workout, and if you feel you need it, take 2 days off after you do a strength training work out. There is now law stating you must train 3 days a week. You can still strength train the days you go to the wrestling club, but that is going to be an exhausting day so experiment with how long, when and where you incorporate strength training into your daily schedule.

As I mentioned before, learn to listen to your body. You should be shooting for two days of the week where you are not wrestling OR strength training! If you have decided to take a month or two off away from the mat (which I do recommend!) then you can train a bit more often. Last note, GPP training is critical! I like to see my wrestlers performing GPP activities in the form of "farm boy" type training. It is not unlikely for me to train wrestlers with out even having them touch a barbell or dumbbell, rather pushing and pulling sleds and wheel barrows and carrying sand bags. These workouts are awesome, I simply can not emphasize this type of training enough!

You might be thinking I'm crazy pushing you to rest, but, this keeps you fresh and rejuvenated for any upcoming workouts, whether they are strength training or wrestling. You can take advantage of active rest days by grouping together with some friends from your wrestling team and get in a fun bike ride at a state park, or find a wall climbing gym in your area and keep active that way as well.

BOTTOM LINE: You can work as hard as you want, harder than anyone else, but if you do not get adequate rest & nutrition then your body will always be in a state of repair. Our goal is for you to have rest days in order to reap the benefits of your strength training. In addition, the old saying of getting 8 hours of sleep EVERY DAY is key for progress! Your program of wrestling and strength training does not end when you finish a work out. It includes everything you do in addition to these workouts (rest & nutrition). Do not waste your efforts by over doing it! I encourage a daily nap when you have the time, even if it's just for 30 minutes.

Here are my favorite guidelines for strength training, and they are just that, GUIDELINES:

In Season - 2 - 4 days/week-15-30 mins./workout Post Season - 3 - 4 days/week-45-60 mins./workout Pre Season - 3 - 4 days/week-30-60 mins./workout

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