Wrestling is the world’s oldest sport and one of the original Olympic sports. This activity exercises the entire body and requires a lot of strength by physically pinning down and subduing your opponent. Therefore, it’s easy to think that consistently doing it would be a good way to build muscle or become ripped.
Wrestling alone might not get you ripped like some of the jacked wrestlers you see in the Olympics. Instead, you need to incorporate strength training and a solid diet into your fitness plan. This will help you to gain muscle and lose fat. Wrestling can aid in these areas, but it might not solely provide the ripped results you’re looking for.
Are you interested in getting into wrestling as a form of exercise? This article will look at how wrestlers get ripped, what wrestling does for the body, and how it helps you achieve your fitness goals. This is true for all types of wrestling including folkstyle, Greco Roman, and freestyle wrestling.
Why Wrestling Alone Won’t Get You Ripped
To be ripped means to have both low body fat and a good amount of muscle mass. This is what gives you the ripped and muscular appearance that you’re looking for. Wrestlers have an athletic physique, so we immediately assume that it must be due to the physical act of wrestling.
This is somewhat true due to the force exerted during the act. Yet we must also consider that wrestling matches only last for a few minutes and that over time, your muscles adapt to the stressors you’re putting them under. That said, wrestlers typically build up most of their strength and muscle in the gym rather than on the mat.
In other words, in most cases the lean and muscular wrestlers that you often see more likely built their bodies from their strength and conditioning programs rather than directly from wrestling. Of course, strength and conditioning are a regular part of most wrestling programs, so in a way, they did get ripped from their wrestling program.
So think about it this way, wrestlers have strict diets and strength and conditioning programs to help them get lean, muscular, and athletic for wrestling. Instead of thinking wrestlers get lean and muscular from wrestling itself.
Of course, wrestling itself is very physically demanding and does contribute to the athletic conditioning of the wrestler. But wrestling alone is only going to put on so much muscle. Also, wrestling is going to burn a ton of calories to help get you ripped. But if you don’t keep your calories in check through dieting you can easily just eat more to cancel it out.
Does Wrestling Build Muscle?
Wrestling can build muscle like any physical activity. However, the principles of fitness state that to obtain and maintain fitness, you must consistently push yourself to new limits. Additionally, the small amount of muscle gained won’t result in the “ripped” physique that you’re going for.
In addition to gaining muscle, you should also maintain reasonably low body fat. Too much body fat and you won’t look ripped. You want to have a healthy balance between the two. Avoid fatty foods and consume abundant amounts of lean protein with plenty of fruits and vegetables.
How Wrestlers Build Muscle
To achieve the muscular build that wrestlers are most known for, they, like other athletes, incorporate strength training and a strict diet regimen. By including each of these things into your current routine, you’ll gain muscle more quickly than if you were simply wrestling, and you’ll be on your way to becoming ripped.
Strength Training For Wrestling
Strength training is the act of performing physical exercises that are intended to help you build muscle to get stronger and able to produce more power. Examples of these exercises can be weight lifting, bodyweight exercises, and other forms of physical resistance.
Before assuming a strength training routine, you should, first, decide how often you want to train. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been training for a while, you should never overdo it. Exercising too often could cause a decline in performance.
I recommend starting off strength training 2-3 times per week, making sure to focus on both upper body and lower body muscle groups. Keep in mind that wrestling requires full-body strength. You should find a strength training program that focuses on getting stronger on the basic compound lifts. This simply means that you are using multiple muscle groups to perform the exercise.
Good examples would include squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, barbell rows, pull-ups, and dips. You might also consider learning some of the Olympic lifts as well such as the snatch and the clean and jerk. These are great exercises but are a little more complicated and may require coaching.
As previously mentioned, one of the main components to increasing strength and building muscle is to push yourself to new heights constantly. In the fitness world, the term for this is progressive overload.
Progressive overload is achieved by continuously increasing the stress on your muscles. You can do this in a few different ways:
- Adding more repetitions
- Increasing the number of sets per workout
- Increasing resistance or heaviness of weights
Of course, you should always focus on lifting safely and with good form. Don’t just try and increase the weight by any means necessary. Otherwise, you could harm yourself, and you won’t be able to wrestle.
A Proper Diet Will Help A Wrestler Get Ripped
Wrestlers also build muscle by paying close attention to what they eat. The goal is to gain as little fat as possible while increasing muscle mass. The two most important dietary factors for building muscle are calories and protein.
Increasing your caloric intake will make you put on more weight so that your strength training is fueled for growth. However, it’s also important that the extra calories don’t come from empty calories like junk food. Doing this won’t give you the nutrients you need for wrestling or training.
Additionally, as you push your body to become stronger and wrestle, you’re disrupting the cells within your muscles and tearing muscle tissue. Increasing your protein helps the body build and repair the cells and muscle tissue after strenuous workouts.
Figuring out the specific amount of protein and calories your body needs to reach your goals will vary on the individual. Getting ripped means that you are both lean and muscular. Since it is hard to build muscle and lose fat at the same time, I would suggest doing one goal at a time.
Cutting Diet For Wrestlers
To get lean and lose fat you need to eat fewer calories than your body burns. At the same time, you need to keep up strength training and eating enough protein so that the weight you lose is not coming from hard-earned muscle.
As a general rule, I would suggest eating at least 1 gram of protein per pound of goal body weight. So if you weigh 200 lbs and want to cut down to 180 lbs then you should be eating at least 180 grams of protein per day.
Then you are going to want to figure out how many calories per day your body burns. The exact amount of calories you burn each day is your maintenance calories. Or in other words the number of calories you need to eat to simply stay at your current body weight.
To lose fat you need to eat below your maintenance calories. You can figure your maintenance calories through an online calculator though keep in mind that they are not perfect and you might need to adjust. For most people, their maintenance calories are going to be somewhere between 13 and 16 times their body weight per day. So at 200 lbs, you are looking at roughly 2600-3200 per day.
If you are inactive and out of shape you are probably on the lower end and if you are in decent shape and active you are probably on the higher end. Your maintenance might be even higher or lower than these numbers. You simply need to do your best to try and figure out where you are. Then you simply want to eat fewer calories than your body is burning.
To lose one pound per week you need to eat roughly 500 calories below maintenance per day. Since you want to keep up your energy for wrestling I would suggest not trying to lose more than 1 percent of your body weight per week. In fact, I would shoot for somewhere between .5 and 1 percent of body weight per week.
So a 200 lb wrestler would be looking at eating about 500-1000 calories below maintenance per week to lose 1-2 lbs.
Lean Bulking For Wrestlers
If you want to gain muscle then you will want to do the opposite of this. You should eat above maintenance calories to put on muscle. To do this I would suggest keeping protein the same as on a cut but increasing your carbs.
The main thing you will want to avoid is trying to bulk too fast. Eating too many calories will not result in more muscle but will only make you put on extra fat that you will need to lose later. That is of course understanding that the goal is to get ripped. That said, I would suggest only eating a few hundred calories above maintenance when on a bulk.
Of course, you still might put on some fat bulking, but it will be greatly reduced by keeping your calories at a reasonable level. A pound of muscle does not have near the same amount of calories as a pound of fat does and it is much harder to put on a pound of muscle than to lose a pound of fat. So you don’t want to increase your calories as much as you might think on a bulk.
A few extra hundred calories along with a strength training program will do the trick. Unless you are brand new to lifting weights ( or on special supplements ) then you are not going to be putting on multiple pounds of muscle per month. So take your time and build muscle slowly while keeping fat gain to a minimum.
Ways In Which Wrestling Can Help You Get Ripped
In addition to being a great hobby, wrestling can whip you into shape and keep you there. It helps you stay active and be social. Here are a few different benefits to wrestling that can help you achieve any fitness goal you have.
Wrestling Gives You a Full Body Workout
Even though you’re training your body in the gym, don’t forget about your commitment to wrestling. Wrestling is a full-body workout, and the activity engages all muscles. Because of this, it can help you get a well-rounded workout. It can also help you access muscles that you aren’t able to with traditional methods.
Wrestling Is an Anaerobic Exercise
Wrestling is a high-intensity exercise that lasts for a short time which, on your body, can give you the same effects as a full-on HIIT workout. This is because they’re both anaerobic exercises that break down glucose in the body without oxygen. This is beneficial because it helps you to burn fat and build muscle.
Wrestling Improves Your Cardiovascular Endurance
The more you perform these intense wrestling sessions, the more lung capacity you’ll have and the better condition your heart will be in. The lungs and heart are a vital part of your training, so as they improve, you’ll see significant improvement in your workouts.
Wrestling can get you on the path to getting ripped. However, wrestling, by itself, won’t get you the results you’re looking for. Instead, you should incorporate a healthy diet that includes a good amount of calories and protein, as well as strength training to help you bulk up.