First question you may be asking is, “Why create a program for us to train at home?” That is the short, unedited version of your question I bet! Ask anyone else, and they want to be at a gym with the high tech equipment, the cool machines, “the atmosphere”, and bla bla bla! Hey, I am not here to pull any punches, so pay close attention and we’re gonna get you rolling on a tough program. A program to help you kick butt and take names! That is, if you decide to stick to the programs and bust your butt with them!

Now, here are my reasons, some of them, for keeping you out of a commercial gym, and training in your own home. First of all, I do not want you training at a gym where they make you feel like an outcast because you break into a sweat every time you train! These gyms have employees who will shake you down like the Sopranos to ensure you have left no trace of sweat behind on that last pretty machine you used! Create your own world, your own atmosphere! Turn that garage or basement into a dungeon, a place where no one can steal your thunder. Pump your favorite CD and set aside a time of 30 – 45 minutes that is undisturbed. Put up your own posters and pictures that will motivate you. Remember Rocky 3 and 4, where Rocky goes away to train? Well, he needed that environment to get back the Eye of the Tiger. People look at you in a funny way in those ridiculous pretty gyms when you have The Eye of the Tiger.

Next reason is you MUST STAY AWAY FROM ALL MACHINES!!! These are the worst enemy of all athletes, especially wrestlers. A machine guides you through a predictable range of motion & limits the amount of force you can apply. As a wrestler, everything you do on the mat is ever changing. A wrestling match or practice is never absolute. We can never say that every time we hit a low single your opponent reacts the same way. Your opponent can react an infinite number of ways! Free weights help your body develop more balance, they recruit more muscles to work together and they strengthen tendons and ligaments to help reduce your chance of injuries.

I see a few wrestlers training at a gym that I used to go to when I did not have my own place. I watch them do leg extensions, shoulder presses on a machine, chest presses on a machine, etc. I feel like shaking them and taking them through my own training regime! They do not want to listen though, as they want to train the wrong way because they feel paying for my services costs them too much. Maybe I’ll hit them over the head with this book when it is finished! Training like a bodybuilder using machines and excessive cables can get you big and muscular but it will not give you functional strength! I have seen many wrestlers who look jacked but get a rude awakening from their thinner opponent. Sure, the opponent is highly skilled, but, the opponent was surely doing tons of dips, push ups and pull ups. In addition, the bodybuilding training will work against you, limiting your ability to gain strength, power & speed.

What is functional strength? Functional simply means that you are able to use it effectively for what ever endeavor you are involved in. Functional training for you might not be functional for a soccer player. The training philosophies outlined in this book will give you functional strength specifically for wrestling. Specifically, doing an exercise such as the flat bench press would not be very functional for wrestling for a number of reasons; specifically, you never lay motionless on your back in a wrestling match, and then press upwards. Even though I like the bench press and still have some of my athletes perform the exercise, it is not a popular exercise with me!

But, picking up a weight from the ground and lifting it to your chest is very functional. Try lifting a sand bag up and placing it on a barrel or a table next to you. This move has you incorporate lifting from a low level and rotating – very similar to hitting takedowns and cutting the corner. The bench press does have its place in some training programs, but I will not use it very often. I prefer dumbbells for extra balance and they allow you to turn your wrists and take excessive pressure off the shoulders.

Another reason for you to train at home is that you will have the necessary equipment that many commercial gyms do not have. And if they do have the equipment, it is not in a convenient place for you. Outfitting your home with a small make shift gym will be easy and relatively inexpensive. Training with the “right stuff” will put you on the road to the states, and hopefully, further! In addition, we need the proper mental attitude, but that is probably another book in itself!

My own experience in training at gyms has taken me literally through much of NJ, and at times, other countries! I found one place, 30 minutes away that suited me perfectly when I began to take bodybuilding seriously. The gym was dark and dungeon like. The music was loud, very loud! Never was a radio station playing, only CD’s in order to avoid the annoying commercials that came on every 5 minutes. The loud music put all the lifters in the zone. It also made it too loud for conversation so that was never a problem. Too many other gyms have people reading the newspaper and doing the same exercises using the same weights year after year. Their results speak for themselves, unfortunately. If the radio shuts off for a minute you hear everyone chatting. It sounds like a crowded coffee shop!

When I entered this gym there was a certain smell in the air. The smell of hungry gladiators pushing their mind and body to new limits. Everyone was sweating! Heavy weights were dropped on the floor constantly and no one told us to be nice to the weights. We were there to go to war. War against our training partners and war against the weights. If a CD was being changed you heard no one talking. You heard weights clanking together, weights being dropped to the floor and people grunting while pushing out those last few reps that separate the men from the boys. My training partner was a former wrestler. I knew my best training partner would have to be a wrestler for him to be able to understand & accept the intensity of the work outs. Pain was not a problem for either of us and we pushed each other to our limits and beyond. Often times I recall my partner getting nauseous and taking trips to the bathroom. We all had the eye of the tiger. The gym reminded of the gym Rocky trains at in Rocky III, it was called TOUGH Gym. When Rocky walked in he saw all the boxers had the eye of the tiger.

As years and years passed, I evolved into my own training style and left the bodybuilding scene. I grew interested in keeping the gladiator with in well and alive. I pursued mixed martial arts and learned that my strength training was truly inadequate. I suffered numerous injuries that sidelined me for more than just a few months. In turn I researched how to properly train for the sport of grappling and martial arts. I have since then completely changed my strength training program and in turn I feel healthier and more athletic. Unfortunately, during high school I read all the bodybuilding magazines. I followed the programs outlined in them and they had very little carry over to wrestling.

As you will learn through reading this manual, hopefully more than once, training like a bodybuilder is the biggest mistake you can ever make as a wrestler! The workouts  in the Combat Grappler manual will be just what you need to gain the extra edge over your opponents and will make a huge difference in your next wrestling season!

Bodybuilding moves do have their place in our programs a little bit, but not a lot. Our sets, reps, rest periods, speed of reps and choices of exercises will help you stand out from the competition. Let us delve into how you should start training for wrestling.

DISCLAIMER: This post on our site is not responsible in any way, shape or form regarding any injuries that may result from following the training programs outlined here. It is advised that all readers get a full medical check up and clearance prior to performing this or any exercise program. The workouts listed may be too strenuous for some individuals and should only be done under the supervision of a trained professional.

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