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Which Sport Requires The Most Rigorous Training?

Which sport requires the most rigorous training? Live4this13 and Tarkana both agree: Wrestlers need the most dedication and hard work. But what about the rest? Basketball? Track? Bunch of lazy loafs it turns out.

By: Athletes Topic Of The Week


TOPIC: Which Sport Requires The Most Rigorous Training?

The Question:

All sports require consistency, dedication and hard work, but some more than others.

Which sport requires the most rigorous training? Why?

What should a training regime consist of for this type of athlete?

Bonus Question: Which sport requires the least amount of training? Why?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - Live4this13
Wrestling: The Sport Requiring The Most Rigorous Training.

All forms of athletics require a precise balance of training. Almost all sports require both physical and mental principles to be successful. When trying to determine what sport requires the most rigorous training we should take all instances and training scenarios into consideration.

Football requires both physical and mental aspects. You must be strong to compete, also mentally tough to deal with the pain. Basketball is the same case, physical to be able to hold position and mentally tough to overcome adversity and deal with the crowd. However, as the case with both of the above sports, your weight does not really come into play.

Nutritionally training regimens are not required. Wrestling really takes it to the next level in terms of rigorous training. You have to take into account the physical and mental aspects, mixed in with the nutritional half. Many wrestlers have to be able to perform on minimal calories.

They are often training on depleted carbohydrate sources with is strenuous on the body. Carbohydrates are the bodies' main source of energy. This can add to the degree of difficulty of the training.

I base my argument on wrestling being the sport that requires the most rigorous training based on the fact that both physical and mental aspects are in great demand. In addition the athlete must also balance nutritional aspects in order to make their weight.


Training Aspects

As I build my argument for wrestling being the sport requiring the most rigorous training we will take a look into the actually training aspects.

Nutritional Aspect:

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    This is what I believe sets wrestling apart from other sports. Wrestlers must have a strict nutritional plan. Wrestling is a sport that requires weight standards to be met in order to perform. This increases the training stress on the athlete. Someone could be the most talented wrestler in the world skill wise, but if they didn't have the ability to maintain their nutrition they would not be able to compete.

    As we all know diet can be tough to maintain. Sometimes the correct food choices are not always available. Wrestlers may find themselves not able to go out with their friends due to lack of health food choices. In some cases many athletes are forced to go 24-48 hours on bare minimal calories, sometimes only an apple or two and water.

    Strict nutrition standards add to the already rigorous wrestling training. While some people say nutrition is not part of training, I firmly believe that it is. Especially in a sport that has weight requirements such as wrestling.

Physical Aspect:

    Wrestling is a physical sport. There is always contact between you and your opponent. You must be physically strong to be able to perform the moves necessary to take down or pin your opponent.

    Physical strength is important as you are pretty much just out there to defend yourself. Wrestlers do not have any teammates to help protect them. It is simple one on one.


    Click Image To Enlarge.
    No Teammates To Protect You.

Mental Aspect:

    The mental aspect of wrestling is also important. Being able to think on the fly and act and counter act based on how your opponent reacts is key. A strong mind can help make up the ground if your opponent is stronger than you.

    Wrestlers need the ability to be able to know which move to perform without having to think about it. Wrestling is just as much mental as it is physical.


Wrestling Training

I will now outline the steps you can take to perfect the aspects above to be at the top of your game.

Nutritional Training:

    There is really not much I can say here, as every case is different. Remember to keep a high amount of protein in your diet as your muscles will need it. Also your carbohydrates and essential fats as your weight allows.

Physical Training:

Plyometrics Routine:

    Plyometrics should not be overlooked, they are vital in increasing overall power output and explosiveness. I personally like simple plyometric routines.

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    I believe you should use them as a focus on learning how your body moves, and to create rhythm. Here is the plyometrics routine I suggest:

Plyometrics Explained:

  • Warm-up - Self explanatory, make sure you perform them to get your blood flowing and loosened up.
  • High Knees - Focus on bring your knees up as high as possible while jogging.
  • Butt Kicks - Jogging while kicking yourself in the butt.
  • Butt Kicks Video Guide:
    Windows Media (135 KB)
    MPEG (291 KB)

  • Transition Sprints - Sprint the first 20 yards then turn around and back pedal the last 20. Focus on keeping your balance while turning around, you should be able to get your footwork down to where you don't have to slow down when turning.
  • Lunges - Hands behind your head, step out as far as possible go down slowly then back up. Make sure to not go too fast on these.
  • Lunge Video Guide (Shown With Dumbbells):
    Windows Media (528 KB)
    MPEG (7.11 MB)

  • Frog Leaps - Go down like a squat then explode back up off two feet, focus on really stretching out and jumping far, but don't sacrifice form.

  • Click Image To Enlarge.
    Frog Leaps.

Sprint Routine:

    Make sure to concentrate on going hard on all your sprint work. Sprint work is vital in becoming a faster athlete. In this routine we will focus on both longer and shorter sprints.

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    The longer sprints will increase your anaerobic threshold, so that you can maintain your short speed and power throughout the course of your sprints. Shorter sprints will prepare you for the actual 40 test and help more in the speed department.

    • Warm-up:

        30 yd run at 50% speed
        60 yd run at 50% speed
        60 yd run at 70% speed
        80 yd run at 70% speed

    • Full Speed Sprints:

        2x10 yd
        5x40 yd
        2x80 yd
        1x100 yd

    • Reverse Sprints **

        3x30 yd

    • **On Reverse sprints you will back pedal for 30yds and sprint back to the starting point.

      print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Sprint Routine.

Mental Training:

    Mental training is tough. There is no real set routine you can go through. You just have to visualize your opponent making any move you can think of and focus on your reactions.

    You could try watching tapes of matches and learning to react quicker. The whole goal would to make the moves second nature. All you can do is visualize an opponent making a movie and make scenarios of how you would react.


Bonus:
Which Sport Do I Believe Requires The Least Training?

I believe track and field requires the least training. Athletes either run and jump then all you would need to train is speed/endurance, or throw discus/shot put and all you would really need is strength.



Click Image To Enlarge.
Track Athletes:
They Require The Least Training.

Work Cited

  1. Defranco, Joe. Westside. [ online ]


2nd Place - Tarkana
The Most Rigorous Sport

As I sit down to right this, I have only recently gotten back from one of the hardest wrestling practices of the year, and as my lungs are burning and my consciousness slowly starting to become complete again, my selection has been made quite obvious. A somewhat common debate in school is which sport has the hardest practice.

While an argument could be made for track/cross country due to the volume of conditioning, that also is the whole sport, but not so much in terms of other aspects, as well as the coaches not forcing as much intensity upon the team.

Many football players, whose practice is regarded by many as difficult wrestle in high school and will readily concede that wrestling practice is easily the more difficult. The reason is because wrestling requires all aspects of athleticism to be well developed.


The Aspects Of Athleticism

There are five basic components that make up athleticism, and you would be hard pressed to find another sport besides wrestling that relies so strongly on all of them (maybe no-holds-barred fighting, but that's neither a college nor Olympic sport, and gymnastics doesn't have an opponent actively acting against you).

The well conditioned and skilled soccer players tend to be rather skinny, and the tough hockey players rarely stay in for more than a minute consecutively. And while a marathon runner may train endurance for a countless time span, he must train nothing more than his cardiovascular endurance.

Most sports have many players in at once, giving you other people to rely on or shift some of the burden to, and teammates to switch in for you while you rest. In wrestling, you must be skilled everywhere, not just one position, and you must rely on yourself. Most of the aspects of athleticism are obvious:

Strength:

    Of course, just how much force can your muscles exert. While some sports require a lot of strength, such as football, and it is something many desire, a lot of sports lack a good need for strength. What's more is that in wrestling, not only must you be strong, but you can't be some large strongman.

    You have to be strong lean, and have a remarkable lift-to-bodyweight ratio. If you can't move around a mass of equal weight to yourself with ease (that mass being you opponent), than wrestling can become quite difficult.

Endurance:

    Another obvious one, endurance is both how well your heart and lungs can keep giving you the ability to move quickly even after being worn out and how long your muscles can keep exerting a force without losing much strength as it continues to work (I know, two different types of endurance, but you need them both).

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    When you have to go six minutes without stopping and constantly working at near-sprint levels of high-speed motion, you will need both high-intensity endurance and quick recovery. And all the while your cardiovascular system is being exhausted, it's not just your legs that are tiring, you have to fight with your whole body. Many beginning wrestlers find themselves sore in places they didn't know was a muscle.

Quickness:

    This relates to endurance in a way, mostly because people who are good at one are good at the other. This refers not just too running speed, but how fast you can perform a movement. The ability to execute an action quickly is important in most sports. Wrestling is no exception as you need to out-move your opponent if you want to score, and if you're not quick enough, they will score on you.

    In wrestling, you must be able to perform one of the largest arrays of moves and in quick succession. You have to be able to shoot fast enough to take an opponent down, sprawl fast enough so they don't do the same to you, stand up, roll or do one of many other moves to escape control of your opponent's ride.

    You must be able to break them down fast enough so they doesn't escape, all the while your opponent is trying to be quicker and do this to you. And these moves aren't simple motions; you must be able to move your entire body at the same time to stay in an advantageous position.

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Mechanics:

    Mechanics is basically your ability to move well. This incorporates your balance, fluidity and, in essence, flexibility. What this means is not that you can go fast, like in a race, but you are able to keep stability in your stance or position even when it is being resisted against.

    A non-wrestling example of this would be a hockey player staying up while being rammed into. Simply, a lot of it is your form. Even running requires a bit of form that has to be maintained through fatigue. So in this way, it is closely tied into technique.

Technique:

    With any sport, the longer you've done it and more experience you've had, the better you'll be (and if not, maybe you should give up). What is mostly improved through experience is your knowledge of the sport, the ability to strategize and the ability to do the actions better.

    What makes wrestling's technique even more difficult to master is the virtually infinite amount of possible moves. Unlike basketball (you knew I had to pick on them at least once) in which it is pretty much dribble, pass, shoot with a few fancy variations, most of which are for show.


    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Basketball: Same Old Show-Off Tricks.


Wrestling Training

As has been mentioned before; wrestling practice is among the most taxing and challenging of any sport. The coaches tend to be far more intense and it matches with the astronomical level of conditioning.

You may not think it takes a lot to do a sport whose match only lasts six minutes, but this sport has you moving at nearly sprint-like speed and straining your muscles to move and control your opponent.

All the while, you don't get to stop to call timeout or switch out with someone from the bench. It's like running a 6-minute mile while doing a lifting circuit. Plus, most big tournaments will have you wrestling 5 or 6 matches (unless you lose twice quickly) and you have about 45 minutes to recover and get ready to go again.

And unlike other sports where a team may get a good point lead and attempt to stall, in wrestling you are penalized for stalling with a point to the other wrestler, and multiple stalling calls will result in disqualification.

Harder Aspects:

    Since I just got back from a ridiculously hard practice, I'll outline many of the harder aspects:

    After warming up and stretching we went outside to the track to run. There we ran 10 200m sprints (breathing in that cold air really sucks). We then went inside, got our wrestling stuff on, and began jogging (because apparently we needed to warm-up again), and then went into fast-paced drilling.

    You can't rest during this while the coaches are barking at everyone to move at match speed. After this, we went straight into a 6-minute flow. A flow is basically a choreographed match in which we continuously score on each other without breaking contact. It may sound easy when the person is only half resisting, but the constant motion (even quicker than a real match) makes it exhausting.

    Then we got some time to practice a certain move series, which was less taxing for a short while. Then we went into a full 6-minute match, ran wall-sprints (a down-and-back is approximately 80m and they give us 10-11 seconds per down-and-back depending on how many we do, or else we have to redo it, and rest time is equal to the time limit).

    We ran 4,5,3, then switched partners and did another 6-minute match, ran 3,4,5. Then we got into groups of 3 and did 30 second live goes for about 8 minutes, then finished up with 3,4 (had to redo this one),5,4,3. I was basically keeled over any moment I could find and took 20 minutes to regain full alertness.

Training Basics:

    To give a more general explanation of how training is, the basics are as follows. During wrestling, it is hard to keep your strength up, so those with a strong will come in the morning and lift a few sets of the basic compound lifts at heavy weight and low reps (they may start requiring this of varsity wrestlers).

    Our practice starts off with running, often 8 minutes of 70m sprint, 30m jog (weird, rectangular indoor track) followed with about 7 200m sprints. These need to be done in less than 35 seconds or they have to be redone. This keeps our high-intensity endurance up, as well as leaving us breathless before the body of practice has even begun.

    After this, we grab some weights, get in a circle, and go through three circuits of a full-body lifting we call the ring of fire, which may be followed by running stairs with weights. While we improve our muscular endurance here, it is so much harder because we just finished running.

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    Then we have a few minutes to rest as we get ready and the freshmen finish up with the on-mat part of their practice. After re-warming up and stretching, most of the mat time is spent on technique through drilling and live situational goes. There is also plenty of live wrestling, which also provides more endurance training, and often a flow.

    Usually the later part will be filled with live 1 minute goes, half of them takedown/back up (which is harder since top work allows you to neutralize your opponents opposition more) and brief running session the coach calls overtime. Going through these practices works everything imaginable.

    One must also remember the strictness of weight control in wrestling. Unlike MMA, where weight classes are large (in terms of how much weight the classes span) and gymnastics in which there is no exact number, wrestling's middle weight classes are separated by only 5 pounds, and weight must be made exactly and often (once or twice a week).

    Because of this, weight cutting is more intense, making cleanness of diet crucial and protein must remain high to keep catabolism to a minimum, as well as keeping calories low. This caloric deficit makes the training that much harder.

    Off Season:

      In-season training will be controlled mostly by your coaches, but off-season training is important. The two things you need to do the whole off-season, even only a few weeks out, are strength training and out-of season wrestling. This is because these two things can't be made up for when time is lost.

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      Endurance lifting and cardiovascular conditioning need to be done too, as well as keeping body composition good, but many wait until a month before the season to regain cardiovascular endurance and shed body fat.

      In wrestling, all muscles need to be used, and great strength is needed, so much of the lifting should be in the upper threshold of weight in the lower rep range of mostly the basic compound movements (bench, squat, deadlift, military press, bent-over row, clean) so as to promote the best strength gains.

      This is also better done with less volume and higher frequency so a better strength-to-weight ratio is attained. Full-body circuit training, just as done in practice, should also be used to enhance muscular endurance. Cardiovascular training should be mostly sprint work - a lot of sprints.

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      Some race-type runs are good, like an occasional mile run (probably about six minutes, unless you can do even better, and I struggle to get that time). On top of all that, the most important thing, by far, is to continue wrestling in the off season. That way you are both keeping your skills sharp, so you're ready to go when the season starts, and you're continuing to get better by wrestling different people in the off-season programs.

Mentality:

    I'd like to add a little off-topic comment on the mentality of the sport. In many sports - for instance, I also play tennis - if you get angry, you're performance will begin to drop. However, in wrestling, as long as you keep your wits about you and wrestle skillfully, a jolt of fury can be a good boost to your match. This animalistic aspect of mentality is just something else I like about it.


Bonus:
The Sport Requiring The Least Amount Of Training.

Most sports require at least a respectable amount of training, and all of them require skill not easily picked up by those who haven't done it often. But if I had to pick one, I'd say basketball - just kidding.

Actually, I'd have to go with golf. There is definitely a great deal of skill involved, and the game can be very mentally frustrating, but physical performance seems to be of very little necessity in it, as many of its professionals are heavy old men.

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I pick golf because the most conditioning they need is the ability to walk from one hole to the next.

RELATED POLL
Which sport requires the most rigorous training?

Baseball.
Basketball.
Boxing.
Football.
Golf.
Hockey.
Soccer.
Tennis.
Track And Field.
Wrestling.


Which Sport Requires The Most Rigorous Training?
will@athletes.com

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