This is going to be great fun! This is the time where you get to create your own training area, whether it is a room, a basement, a garage or a section of your house this is where you let your own world be created!

To determine the space you need, you want a non – cluttered open area. Choose an area that will be free of distractions as well as a place that you can train in year round.

So if you do not have heat in your garage you can forget that idea! Trust me, I tried using those little space heaters and they do not work well enough to heat a room. It was mid December and my garage must have been low 30’s! Steam was rising off of my face and eventually I got sick! You also want an area that has a high enough ceiling for you to do chin ups and pull ups & overhead dumbbell presses with out hitting your head or the dumbbells on the ceiling.

When I first made my gym, I moved stuff from my Dad’s garage and squeezed an open space in what was once a crowded and messy garage. Regardless, I was overly excited to start something that I could call my own. I was tired of training at gyms that played lousy music and the members talked more than they trained. I need my own world. A place where limits were endless and sweating was a good thing. Loud music was something I wanted so I bought a stereo from Best Buy that ran me 65 $. You may already have a CD player so bring that into your training area.

I bought a few motivational posters of wrestlers and hung them up. The equipment I have is more than what you will need, but never the less, I snagged plenty of bargains by looking in the right places. And you are going to do the same!

Let’s take a look at some of the equipment I recommend and then, it’s all up to you. If you want to purchase the stuff, go for it. Or, you can simply make your entire strength and conditioning routine revolve around the body weight calisthenics shown in the training manual & the DVD.

One thing I would like to see you purchase is a stability ball. If you plan to be using heavy weights then you purchase a burst resistant stability ball. This ball allows you to work your core during every exercise which is a key factor in improving your wrestling performance. The large variety of exercises you can do with the ball are endless. In addition, you can do the exercises with body weight or with free weights. Use the ball and do not feel bad to avoid using the benches. You should not use the flat barbell bench press too often anyway. As mentioned before, they are not very functional for wrestling because a wrestler will never lay still or flat. In addition, the fixed hand position on a barbell places undue stress on the shoulders. So use the exercise moderately.

The environment we compete / train in is unpredictable and dynamic. Not only does a stability ball make sense to use for your program, they are scientifically proven to be more effective because they activate the nervous system more! In addition to the unstable movements, you will be working more muscles during each exercise, especially stabilizer muscles. These are the small muscles that keep joints and ligaments in place and make you less prone to injury. This is a key factor when performing any exercise because as wrestlers many injuries occur to the joints (knees & shoulders). You want to choose the exercise(s) that gives the highest benefit to you and our sport. In addition, when choosing exercises for your workout program, you do not want too many isolation exercises. The majority of your workout should comprise around compound / complex lifts. These are lifts that use more than one muscle to complete a lift. Examples are dead lifts, barbell rows, DB chest presses, all Russian Kettlebell moves, pull ups and dips.

Isolation exercises are good if you need to address certain weak areas. Compound moves can make it difficult to address weak muscles since they work a variety of muscles at once.

Regarding weak areas, GPP training can often fix these weak muscles. As mentioned before, for young athletes, the weak muscles would be all the muscles they can not see when looking in a mirror (the entire posterior chain).

A note on the flat barbell bench press: I do like to use this exercise for a beginner especially so he does not have to worry about balance and learning an exercise on a stability ball. Also, sometimes it is necessary to use a bench to load the muscle enough with heavier weights. As always, experiment and see what works best for you. Regardless though, variety is key! The bench press is a great exercise when used moderately, not excessively as many young athletes tend to do.

Here is a perfect example of training the wrong way: I walked into a high school weight room. The kids in there were the football players. There were squat racks and 2 dead lift platforms. They were all EMPTY!! I saw kids doing STRICT barbell curls and another one doing one arm preacher curls. I did not see one athlete churning out any complex moves. No squats, no dead lifts, no hand stand push ups, dips or pull ups. These complex moves are gut busting and tough. The results they deliver are awesome never the less! This football team had a poor winning record as well!

A perfect example is a team near me that has a very successful team.

Conditioning is never a problem with their kids. They are built with muscle and this is because they ALL DO STRENGTH TRAINING YEAR ROUND! It is a tradition in this town of course, but, bottom line, their efforts pay off.

Next thing you want to look at would be the purchase of a chin / dip tower. This would probably be number one on my list of things to get, but you can always find parallel bars at a playground and monkey bars or rings for pull ups at the playground as well. These can be purchased at places like Sears, Sports Authority or any other sporting good store. If this piece of equipment takes up too much room you can always purchase the chin up door unit where you install a bar in between your door way. Of course, you can always try to find one at the local park. This piece of equipment is one that can take up room and needs a ceiling to be a bit higher for your head to clear above the pull up bars. The two exercises – along with their many variations - (pull ups and dips) that you can perform on this unit are just awesome and very key for wrestlers! The other benefit is having access to the unit all year as opposed to being at the park, you will not be out there working on the dip and pull up bars when the weather is freezing! Or, will you? Chins & dips are great for in season strength training because you can complete a lot of work in a short 10 minute circuit using all the variations of dips and chins.

Can you build your own chin – dip equipment? I did see a guy who built his pull up & dip stations in his back yard! He installed pressure treated wood into the ground. The wood looked like thick rail road ties and was probably purchased from Home Depot. Then, he drilled a bar in between the wooden beams for pull ups. The dip apparatus looked like a set of gymnastic parallel bars. There were 4 upright beams of wood in the ground - then 2 bars for the dips – the dip bar was a bit longer, looked more like gymnastics parallel bars. These bars looked like pipes of some sort. If your or your family members are handy, then make it yourself!!

Next is a medicine ball. These can help you work on balance, power and strength! You will be using a medicine ball for upper and lower body exercises. I prefer to see you getting the round rubber medicine balls as opposed to the older leather style. The rubber medicine ball is more challenging to use as well as more versatile! We use medicine ball throws & tosses to increase power. The reason being is because you can RELEASE THE MEDICINE BALL. When you are able to release an implement it turns into a power exercise. Why? Let me explain once again as a review. If I want to make the bench press a power move, no matter how fast I press the weight up, I HAVE TO SLOW IT DOWN right before the lock out or the bar will fly out of my hands! This is not smart or safe, obviously! Your body MUST put on the brakes! With a medicine ball, you do not need to put on the brakes because you are explosively throwing or tossing the ball out of your hands – there is no point in where you must slow down as opposed to barbells or dumbbells! I hope that makes sense!

One more thing for the home you need to purchase are a few pairs of dumbbells, & a barbell if you can afford it. The DB’s are more versatile, but eventually you want to find a sturdy barbell (I advise paying extra $ for a good barbell because you want this bar to last!). My first barbell was purchased from costco, it was a 300 lb set and served me plenty well. I still use the Olympic plates but I have purchased a new, top quality barbell since then. Make sure you buy either the hexagon or pro style dumbbells. Hex dumbbells are much cheaper than pro style. DO NOT purchase adjustable dumbbells with spin collars because the collars can loosen as you perform your exercises.

As you get stronger you will obviously have to purchase heavier dumbbells, but, for now, these three items will more than suffice: stability ball, chin / dip tower, dumbbells. In the future as your training becomes more advanced and you have built up a solid foundation of strength and power you can look to start using Russian Kettlebells.

Now, I know I gave you the typical strength training equipment – now let me emphasize some stuff that can be used and purchased for a low price. I call this equipment the Farm Boy Training Tools:

1. Sand bags – 50 – 60 lbs, wrap them in a contractor bag, tape it up, then put them in a duffle bag – purchase this from an army navy store – my bag costed me $ 18, and the sand bag was maybe $ 2 or $ 3. Use a lighter sand bag if necessary.

2. Buckets – 2 heavy duty buckets, load them with sand for farmers carry or farmers walk – wrap foam and tape it around the handles to make the handles larger, which makes gripping them tougher. A wrestler needs to work on finger and grip strength!

3. Sledge Hammer – go to Home Depot and buy a hammer or two. Buy a lighter one, and in a few weeks start using the heavier hammer. Make sure there are no people or animals, etc near by. I use the sledge hammer by hitting overhead, or by bringing the hammer around the body from the side similar to baseball swings. Hitting a solid object such a large tire or log of wood is great. You do not want to hit small objects, b/c if you miss, watch out! Also, change your grip. Make sure you work your non dominant side equally to your strong side or slightly more.

4. Wheel barrow – load them with weights or sand bags – a wheel barrow is not too expensive compared with buying a pulling sled which can run you close to $150. Wear a pair of work gloves when pushing or pulling the wheel barrow. Pushing up hill is the best & the toughest. Don’t take the easy way out, go out there and make it tough!

5. Large Tires – these can be FREE from a junk yard – get a large tire – get a chain and rope from Home Depot – wrap the chain around the tire – and then wrap the rope around the chain (the chain is dragging on the ground and will not break) – loop the rope around your weight lifting belt and drag it like a sled. BIG TIRES can be used for tire flipping and are awesome for developing the entire body!

This is why I like to improvise. Saves you money first of all, and the farm boy training will make you stronger than someone who sticks to weight training only. In addition to these benefits, most farm boy training attacks the posterior chain. The posterior chain is largely responsible for giving an athlete strength, speed & power!

Here are a few places where you can purchase your equipment. Shop around, check for quality first, best price second! Too many people want to save ten dollars on equipment and end up buying a lesser quality item that ultimately can put the athlete at risk for injury.

1. www.performbetter.com

2. www.stretchwell.com

3. www.power-systems.com

4. Sears

5. Sports Authority

6. E Bay

7. Home Depot (farm boy implements)

When looking for a stability ball, perform better and stretch well are great companies. Dumbbells should not be purchased online so you can avoid paying high shipping due to freight charges. E Bay sometimes has good sales on the chin / dip unit and often times companies will ship them for free. If you purchase the unit from a store you can always try it out first to check the sturdiness. Then again, an even better option would be to print out a photo of the chin / dip unit, then have a welder build you one out of solid steel or build it with the wood and bars that I mentioned before. Be sure to have the welder make it high / low enough to fit the height limitations of your home. As I mentioned earlier, shop around and do research. Do not rush and buy cheap equipment that will injure you in the short or long run.

You’ve successfully subscribed to KEVOS
Welcome back! You’ve successfully signed in.
Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Success! Your email is updated.
Your link has expired
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.