Strongman Training for Wrestlers

TAGS: jay ashman, wrestler, strongman, training

Strongman is an often used area of training for many sports. Moving large objects epitomizes overall body power and conditioning. However, if performed incorrectly or used too much, it can wipe out your athlete for the mat.

I currently work with several local wrestlers who are now in-season. I work with their coaches to ensure that the work they do in the weight room as well as at the Gorilla Pit isn’t going to overtrain them. They have a program from me that they follow in their own weight room, and I see them twice a week.

I don’t run them, and I don’t have them push the Prowler. I work basic strength movements in a circuit to maximize their strength, power, and work capacity. I focus on moving their bodies quickly with minimal rest.


Here’s a sample training template involving Strongman implements that you can utilize with your wrestlers. If you don’t have all the implements handy, be creative.

1A: 50-foot yoke walk for 400 feet
1B: 3 rope climbs
1C: 20 frog push-ups
Repeat three times.

2A: 3 445-lb tire flips
2B: 50-foot hand over hand seated sled pulls with 110 lbs attached
2C: Plank hold for 1 minute

Repeat two times.

3A: Battles ropes for 30 seconds
3B: 10 burpees
Repeat two times.

Don’t overdo the Strongman implements during the season. They get a lot of work in practice throwing each other around, so it’s best to stick to “event” training one day a week on a two day a week template. The other day is good for basic strength work or core work using sandbags or other implements.

Be smart about it. If the athletes look burned out, lighten the volume and let them rest. Wrestlers are a notoriously tough bunch. Of all the athletes I’ve trained, wrestlers are the least likely to complain and the most likely to work through pain, fatigue, and injury. It’s up to us as strength
coaches to look for signs of that because the kids won’t always say something.

Be creative with it. Have fun and reap the rewards of it. I have a few kids who have already impressed the coaches with major improvements from last year, and I credit smart Strongman training for that.

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