When the whistle
blows and the match begins it too late to wonder if you’re
cardiovascular training is going to carry you through to the end.
Wrestling is a high intensity sport. Thus, conditioning for wrestling
calls for high intensity training. In addition wrestling not only
requires high intensity power output but an ability to sustain
this output for up 6 minutes. Cardiovascular conditioning is one
of the most important aspects of a wrestlers training but many
times we see wrestlers during the season running for miles only
to find themselves tired after the first minute of a match. Many
wrestlers ask why this is; the answer is simple, they are training
the wrong energy system.
In part 1 of this series on cardiovascular training
we will look at the body from the heart, muscles, and lungs. Let’s
take a look at how exercise effect’s the body.
When we exercise our muscles use ATP for energy.
ATP is the only form of energy the muscles can use. Since this
is true, if there was no ATP already synthesized and stored in
the tissue cells, you could not perform immediate strenuous work,
such as picking up a heavy object, or walking up a flight of stairs.
The following events occur in the cell to produce ATP energy:
First, there are about 4 seconds worth of ATP already stored in
the cells. After this period of sustained muscle contractions
ATP in the working muscle is exhausted and the cells resort to
the use of Creatine Phosphate and ADP to create more ATP which
can provide energy for about another 25-30 seconds. Therefore,
the cell has a total combined storage of energy available to last
up to about 30-35 seconds during sustained muscle contraction
before the cell must resort to the conversion and use of stored
muscle glycogen. When energy is needed for longer than 30-35 seconds,
stored muscle glycogen is broken down to produce ATP. The end
product of this process is then converted into Pyruvate which
can also be used for ATP production in the presence of oxygen.
So what does that mean to our bodies? Well since
the heart and lungs are somewhat slow in delivering oxygen during
the onset of aerobic activity, the pyruvate is used for energy
until the heart and lungs catch up and can keep up with the oxygen
demand. The rate of breathing is extremely labored at the onset
of aerobic exercise because the heart is not yet beating fast
enough to provide an adequate volume of oxygenated blood to the
working muscles, and the lungs are trying to compensate until
the heart does catch up. Once the heart catches up and can provide
sufficient oxygenated blood, the respiration decreases, when this
happens its called getting your second wind.
Energy Delivery Systems
During the course of a wrestling match both the aerobic and anaerobic
energy systems are called upon to supply the energy demand. When
an athlete trains by running 2 miles a day they are training their
aerobic energy system (also referred to as VO2 Max). This system
is considered to basis for all athletic conditioning. For wrestlers
a good solid aerobic training program during the off-season will
prepare them for the more intense demands of the season. It’s
good to remember that recovery from anaerobic exercise occurs
through the aerobic system, so that throughout a match, at those
times when the intensity may be decreased, the aerobic system
will provide the energy to renew the anaerobic system.
part 2 of our series on cardiovascular training we will focus
on what exercises provide the best results for wrestlers and who
to prepare your training for the upcoming season.
Fry is the owner of Grapplers Gym and www.grapplersgym.com.
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Fry and is a coach and author of Grapplers
Gym where he teach wrestlers about training, conditioning
and the importance of nutrition to sport.