By Scott "Future" Felstead - See: www.scottfuture.com
Both forms of athleticism are based around exhibition. In bodybuilding the competitor enters the stage to display his physique to a watching audience. The same happens in wrestling.
Although it's true that not all wrestlers are bodybuilders (some make a living from looking hideously obese and some wrestlers gimmick's are that of the skinny under-dog) it is fair to say that the majority of grapplers are high in muscular density.
Because wrestling is a "made for TV" genre nowadays, pressure is imposed upon the stars to "look the part". As a wrestler myself I understand that a muscular physique is awe-inspiring and gives authenticity to what we do. Make no mistake, wrestling is not easy, it hurts, it hurts a lot, but there's something much more credible about a Wrestling World Champion who looks to be chiselled out of stone rather than a champion who looks to have spent too much time is the local pizza parlour.
For this reason wrestlers have to follow many of the disciplines that the bodybuilding world sets out. Being lean is important in both fields, but wrestling a hectic schedule can make dieting extremely difficult. Anyone who has spent time on the road will tell you that service stations (besides charging the earth) do not cater to those who wish to limit their fat intake.
Much of the presentation is the same to. By that I mean to make the physique look as great as possible, both wrestlers and bodybuilders tan, wax and sometimes wear oils for the lights.
Maintaining the physique in wrestling is especially hard. Since wrestling is not a "9 to 5 job", eating at the right times can be difficult. Most wrestlers turn to bodybuilding supplementation as a means of taking in the right nutrients at the appropriate times. Protein & Weight Gain shakes are inside most wrestlers luggage and there are many other supplements we turn to as a means of growing in size. It's true that wrestling has a reputation for illegal performance-enhancing drug usage but as more and more supplements enter the market offering legal and safe alternatives, things are getting better. Plus the level of information is greater and athletes are becoming more educated.
Aesthetic muscle is important to wrestlers, but so to is strength. It doesn't matter who tells you wrestling is "all show", I can tell you that if you don't know how to look after yourself the likelihood is you will leave the ring in pieces. Since wrestlers are frequently large individuals, picking them up takes great stamina and fitness. Also, matches can go for long periods, cardiovascular conditioning is paramount. So you see there are many aspects to a wrestlers lifestyle that need consideration. I was trained in the UK fundamentally, I got some experience of schooling in the "Dungeon" in Calgary, Canada, and I have picked up knowledge overseas such as in the United States.
I'm going to try and analyse the way I look at training and bodybuilding, and apply it to myself as a wrestler.
I think Protein is the key as far as my, and other wrestlers regime is concerned. A good whey protein will supplement a high (or often neglected) protein diet. We spend a lot of time hanging around buildings waiting to perform and usually the backstage/ locker room areas are sparse in terms of meal opportunities. The protein shakes, which replace or supplement meals, are important in terms of keeping the body in a fit state to recover from the punishment it might receive during a night in the squared circle.
As anyone who has seen wrestling will know, as muscles and bones are twisted and slammed, the body needs to be taken care of. Protein and amino acids will be used in desperation by the body to rebuild from the damage suffered. If you don't take in enough protein, your "hungry" muscles will raid other stores within the body thus limiting your ability to increase strength and size. This is why athletes who engage in contact sports may find it difficult to put on lean mass.
I try to get to the gym 4 times a week, but as the wrestling schedule fluctuates it can be difficult to maintain a consistent regime. This makes it all the more important to have an effective diet matched with the right supplementation. My training consists of weight training and aerobic training. As a body builder I need to lift as greater weight as possible each time, usually consisting of 3 or 4 reps of 8-12. The idea is to reach muscle failure and feel the pump. Then it's straight out of the gym, taking in protein whilst the increased absorption (for protein intake) window is still open. I try to train one body part per session, rotating back on a weekly basis so that if I blitz my biceps on a Monday, I have until next Monday for that particular muscle to recover. I use both Glutamate and Creatine to aid recovery and help in the quest to gain size. Actually the glutamate does make me noticeably less tired, and more focused. The creatine also aids recovery and gives me that extra edge necessary when lifting people or weights!
Since reading the Body Kit Manual I have now just started to increase my sets, this takes some training up to (if your honest and try to lift your genuine maximums) but will really exhaust the muscles and that's what I'm after from a Gym session. So far it is really producing results.
Aerobic training might consist of running, swimming or cycling. This is important in my line of work so as not to "blow up" or become short of breath during wrestling.
Maintaining a flexible body is a must though. Stretching really is important because tight, knotted muscles not only house tension but also make you more likely to suffer injury. I personally use glucosomine in an effort to prevent the symptoms associated with arthritis. I think zinc is also important as an anti-oxidant. I try to drink green tee for it's anti-oxidant properties and reported help in the war on fat loss.
Wrestlers are renowned for knee and elbow injuries because of the pressure placed on joints. Our wrestling training consists of many legitimate techniques used by free-style wrestlers and Olympic athletes such as working to submission.
I am personally working hard to both gain muscle and lose fat, which as many of you know is a difficult task because the increased intake of calories, in an effort to put lean mass on, often results in an ability to shake off fat.
They key is to train right and eat right and this will vary from individual to individual. I have matches coming up shortly with a number of wrestling promotions including Revolution British Wrestling ( www.revolutionbritishwrestling.co.uk ) and hope to make an impact there when I debut.
When LA Muscle asked if I would write an article on being a Pro- Wrestler I leaped at the chance. What they did not do was ask me to plug their supplements or products. However I felt it necessary because the truth is that the LA Muscle range has become an established part of my training and wrestling routine. Having wrestled in the United States where it is not unusual for your opponent to weigh 300lbs, I know the importance of being big, and I also know the importance of training the right way in order to have as longer career as possible.
I have a way to go yet before I'll be happy with my physique, but I'm hopeful that I will get there. Motivation is really crucial. See yourself achieving your goals and have a think about what it will take to get there. If reaching your goal requires discipline and training, then you need to put the work in, it's as simple as that. This is true of wrestling, bodybuilding, and any other sport for that matter.
For more information on Scott, one of Britain's best wrestlers please have a look at : www.scottfuture.com
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