These 10 tips will help you pack on some size and strength while keeping you fast on the mat... Get started now!
1. Eat Enough Calories If you need to gain size and strength, you can't do it without consuming enough calories. Your daily intake with your wrestling practices plus a growing body means you should consume roughly 20 times your bodyweight in calories per day.
That means you take your bodyweight and multiply by 20:
140lbs x 20 = 2800 calories daily
2. Divide Calories Into 6 Meals Now that you know how many calories to consume each day, you want to figure out how many you should eat at a time. However, you don't want to eat 6 evenly divided meals in terms of calories because your energy demands differ depending on what your body is doing.
For instance, your body needs a lot of calories first thing in the morning during breakfast... especially if you're trying to gain weight. This is because your body has starved all night long. It is also the time to jump-start your metabolism so that you gain muscle, not fat.
You also need more calories immediately following a workout or practice. This is your time to help the body recover from the catabolic activity you just required of it.
So... Here's what you do:
* Consume 25% of your daily calories at breakfast
* Consume 25% of your daily calories after a workout
* Consume 50% of your daily calories spaced evenly over 4 meals
So for our 140lb wrestler seeking weight gain it looks like this:
* Eat a 700 calorie breakfast
* Eat a 700 calorie post-workout/practice meal
* Eat 4 other meals daily. Each meal should be roughly 350 calories
3. Eat Carbs At The Right Times In the last step you figured out how many calories you should eat at each meal, and that breakfast and post-workout meals will contain more calories.
Those extra calories at breakfast and post-workout will come from complex carbohydrates. That means you will use sources such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice (brown), beans, whole grains, oatmeal etc.
60% of your daily calories should come complex carbohydrates. So for our 140lb wrestler it should be:
2800 x .6 = 1680 daily calories from carbohydrates.
Now take the 1680 daily calories and multiply by .25 to figure out carbohydrates at breakfast and post-workout:
He'll eat 420 calories from carbohydrates at breakfast and postworkout.
Now take 1680 daily calories from carbohydrates and multiply by .50 to figure out the rest of the daily carbs. That means you will now have 840 calories from carbohydrates to eat over 4 more meals. That comes out to 210 calories from carbohydrates in each of your 4 other meals.
Now take your calories from carbohydrates for each meal and divide by 4. This will give you the number of grams of carbs for each meal.
420/4 = 105 grams of carbohydrates with breakfast
420/4 = 105 grams of carbohydrates post-workout
210/4 = 52 grams of carbohydrates with each of 4 other daily meals
* This isn't an exact science, and you just round up or down.
4. Frequent Protein Your body stores carbohydrates and fats. It doesn't store protein however. You need to eat protein frequently in even amounts.
You should consume approximately 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight daily or roughly 30% of your daily intake. This means that our 140lb wrestler should consume between 140-200 grams of protein daily.
* I would lean towards only 1 gram per pound of bodyweight and round out my program with carbohydrates.
For the 140lb wrestler that means 140 daily grams of protein. Spread this over 6 daily meals and you now have roughly 25 grams of protein per meal.
5. Creatine Ok, before I say anything, I want to go out on a limb to announce that "although I personally use creatine and see positive results I am in no way telling you young wrestlers to nag your parents to get you creatine. You have so much to do before that as far as training properly and getting in the right nutrients.
Creatine works... but only for those that have experience in training and proper nutrition first.
Two points: keep very hydrated when consuming creatine. Never ever dehydrate for weight cutting, and especially not when using creatine or protein supplements. It's dangerous and could put stress on your heart and cardiovascular system.
Also, you don't need to load creatine. That's just wasting money. 5-10grams daily will suffice.
6. Maybe Use Glutamine Glutamine is another supplement that has benefits in both fat-reducing programs and in weight-gain programs. In a nutshell it helps you recuperate and prevents overtraining... both of which are so important to wrestlers with extreme training practices.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in your body. Most protein powders and meal replacements that are good use them.
If your budget allows, and your doctor says it's ok, you can use glutamine and see recuperation benefits. But it takes a month to 6 weeks to start working. Be patient and consistent... just be realistic. You'll get more results from training and nutrition than any supplements (or steroids) can ever give.
7. Limit Exercises To 5 When you're strength training and trying to gain weight, you must prioritize your workouts so that you get the 'most bang for your buck'.
I recommend that you put a cap on your daily workouts at 5 exercises. This is so your body can recuperate and use those calories that get burned up fast as food for growth. If you're really enthusiastic and want to grow, but you insist on long workouts with tons of exercises you won't grow as much.
8. Use Multi-Joint Exercises If you want to add size and strength, you have to use multi-joint exercises. These are exercises that force your body to move more than one joint at the same time. They're also called full-body exercises.
Some great examples are:
Front Barbell Squats
Barbell Hack Squats
Incline Barbell Press
Standing Shoulder Press
I could go on all day...
These are the type of exercises you want to key on in order to gain weight fast.
9. Brief Workouts We want to keep your workouts brief in order to maximize hormone production. We want those 5 exercises to be completed in under 35 minutes so your body produces testosterone and growth hormone as a response.
"This is essential to growth'
This means you're not screwing around. You do a warmup set of each of the 5 exercises, followed by 1 set to failure... and no more.
Then you immediately move to the next exercise.
10. Train 2 Or 3 Days Per Week Depending on your schedule you will train 2 or 3 days per week when trying to gain weight.
I like the Monday-Friday-Wednesday method.
This means that on week 1 you train Monday and then again on Friday. On week 2 you train only on Wednesday. Keep alternating. This has you train every every few days.
You can split your exercises so that you do 5 on A day, and a different set of 5 on B day.
(If you have questions or want examples, let me know)
PS. If you need more personalized coaching, be sure to ask me your questions in our members-only forum on the site:
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- Steve Preston
- I am a 20 + years Sports Performance Specialist. I work exclusively with wrestlers to help them gain strength, speed, flexibility and endurance to win more matches. I also coach wrestlers on how to cut weight without losing strength. My website www.wrestlingperformance.com is a members-only site where you can get hundreds of my articles, tips, strategies, workouts, interviews etc. to help you gain the edge. I also provide personal coaching in our members forum :) I'm a dog lover... My Schnauzer named Gracie is our baby. My wife is Michelle, the greatest person in my life.