Gama the Wrestler Training?

Frank Matthews

Level 4 Valued Member
You get the adaptations you train for...with very little "leakage" in terms of carryover. High volume lacks the necessary adaptive triggers to the tendons (tendons run in sheets all through the muscle, they don't just attach at the ends), as such it lags in developing max strength

If you were to include with your high volume resistance, some form of isometrics or other high tension training methods you'd get a MUCH better adaptive response.

Charles Bronson was also a miner and all around work hardened man, who knows what else he did for fitness. Individual response to any given protocol is another wild-card. And then we have muscle attachment points etc - my brother in law (fireman) built like a tree stump, was able to bench 400lbs without having lifted for over three years.
I thought high volume was good for tendons?
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
I thought high volume was good for tendons?

The literature really doesn't support that theory - tension needs to be at 70%+ of your 1RM or there doesn't seem to be much of a response (this also about the threshold for bone density increases). How you apply the load seems to matter - rapid, brief exertions increase elasticity, longer holds increase stiffness, both methods increase density but the longer holds do so to a greater extent.

Higher volume might be good for the joints themselves, but I haven't read anything to support that.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

Some people will naturally endure more high volume than other, regardless the "benefits". However, there is - IMHO - a difference between doing high volume calisthenics for a lifetime, as GG did, or Bronson, or Walker, and doing it just for a while, after a ramp up period.

I tried high volume only for a while. Yes, I felt less "stiff" than when I did ROP (if we consider a push routine) for instance. I did not get any aches and pains or tendinitis, etc... Nonetheless, this was only for a few months, so probably not enough to get an unjury.

This is all a matter of goal. If one is after local muscular endurance, up to a certain extent, then higher rep range can be worth doing. However, if one is only after loosing the joints, then I would think more about something based on mobility and ROM (OS, Scott Sonnon's FlowFit, etc...)

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Frank Matthews

Level 4 Valued Member
The literature really doesn't support that theory - tension needs to be at 70%+ of your 1RM or there doesn't seem to be much of a response (this also about the threshold for bone density increases). How you apply the load seems to matter - rapid, brief exertions increase elasticity, longer holds increase stiffness, both methods increase density but the longer holds do so to a greater extent.

Higher volume might be good for the joints themselves, but I haven't read anything to support that.
I think I may have been a victim of broscience then. Something I always try to evade. Thanks for replying!!
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I thought high volume was good for tendons?
I believe the idea is that high rep/lower intensity generates more bloodflow, which tendons do not get much of on their own. Thus, the rationale is that increased bloodflow to joints = more nutrients to joints = healthier joint tissue. But as @North Coast Miller said, you really do need decently heavy loads to actually change the composition of tendons themselves.
 

Irishjj27

First Post
I don't have sources on hand, but anecdotally speaking, many people who train with heavier resistance and lower reps find that they can do easier variations for very high reps without having specifically trained them. I don't think the same is often said for strength gains from high reps. Also anecdotally speaking, I have seen it said that high repetitions are good for circulation in the joints as well as joint health. Once again though, I don't have a source on hand for that.

Perhaps somebody else will chime in, but based on what I have personally read it seems as though ladders may be a nice medium between the two ends of the spectrum.
Anecdotally speaking, i can tell you that doing over a thousand pushups every other day ( up to 3 thousand) i was able within a few short weeks of weight training, bench press 365 pounds for 5 reps at a bodyweight of approximately 180 pounds. I was 21 at the time (46 now, in 2021). I can also tell you i am genetically built for both exercises, thick build, short limbs. However, I also think building thick tendons and ligaments via high rep pushups laid the groundwork. I can also tell you i did high rep pushups, pullups and situps along with LOTS of running to prepare for Marine Corps boot camp. I actually overprepared and got into s***ty shape while there.
 

MV144

Level 1 Valued Member
Hindu squats, hindu push ups and neck bridge are excellent exercises. I have been using them for 15 years. I use them primarily as warm up. Indian wrestlers do way more exercises than these, they do rope climb, burpees, mace etc...
Karl Gotch took it too far. Super high reps, nose to mat bridges, upside down rope climbs and of course since the Japanese dojo mentality is to be super tough above all else, it was the perfect match. Context.
Pro wrestling needed to be tougher than all the other forms of training to have legitimacy in Japan so they went overboard.
Doing the 500 hindu squats is a good rite of passage, it has value, it's a good test of grit and focus as well as showing a solid level of conditioning. It's not magical though.
To go back to Karl Gotch, I like his views on training but I feel George Hackenschmidt is better for overall training. Hack rightly believes his bodyweight squats is one of the best leg exercise there is but once you've reached the 25 mark he suggests using a barbell for the same movement. Hack doesn't suggest trainees should do hundreds of reps. Same with the bridge, Hack recommend bridging on the crown of the head which is far safer and equally good for neck strength
If you want cardiovascular conditioning, running and sprinting will take care of that.

So yeah, great exercises, no doubt, highly recommended. I for instance believe the hindu squat is a much more natural squat and if done correctly with breathing has a lot of health benefits. The bridge and the hindu push ups are also great especially for overall flexibility. Once you can get a solid set of 100, it's time to move on to jumping hindu squats, pistols, duck walks and obviously weighted options
 

GeoffreyLevens

Level 6 Valued Member
I for instance believe the hindu squat is a much more natural squat
Curious how you came to that conclusion? I've only ever seen little kids, toddlers, spontaneously squat with heels on the ground. A lot less balance issues if heels down though of course then you don't get the balance training of tweaking your gravity field proprioceptors so much
 

MV144

Level 1 Valued Member
Curious how you came to that conclusion? I've only ever seen little kids, toddlers, spontaneously squat with heels on the ground. A lot less balance issues if heels down though of course then you don't get the balance training of tweaking your gravity field proprioceptors so much

You've kinda answered the question for me. Squatting on your heels requires mobility. Toddlers are not fully formed and therefore far more supple than adults. Inversely there are people who can't squat no matter what because of genetics, their hips and ankles not allowing for depth. Generally speaking as people grow older they lose the suppleness required to squat on their heels. Wear and tear, environmental issues etc...sure it can be corrected but it takes an awful amount of time for people to get a good squat. What are the common squats flows? Depth, balance, coming off the heels, leaning forward... There's a reason for that. Squatting on heels is not a natural movement for most people, it takes a ton of practice to correct.

The Hindu squat offered a more natural movement because you're lowering yourself with your arms behind you as counter balance (balance is also a major squat issue for people) to allow you to stay upright or just slightly leaning forward, then you come off your heels as you reach the bottom of the squat, removing the ankle mobility issue and helping staying upright. As you come up the arms go to the front also providing balance as you shifted to your toes. Since your weight is shifting from heel to toe back to heels, it makes a much more user friendly technique in my opinion.

Again this is just my opinion. I've struggled and still struggle to squat on my heels but I can do hindu squats and hack squats atg until the cows come home. I'm just assuming many others are in the same boat.
 

MV144

Level 1 Valued Member
I question this. I lost most of my mobility in adulthood, as do many, but once I started working on it in my 40's, it came back.

-S-
I'm not an anatomy expert nor am I a pediatrician so take my word with a pinch of salt. My understanding is we are born with about 300 bones and soft cartilage, by the time we reach adulthood we have about 200 bones and the soft cartilage we had became dense bone structure, the skeleton becomes fully formed and we stop growing.

I'm assuming we are in general far more flexible as toddler than as adult.

Of course you can correct mobility issues and manage to squat well on your heels. My point is that squatting on toes may be the more natural squat. Old time strongmen squats on toes, indian wrestlers, sumo wrestlers, ballet dancers etc... Joe Bonomo did his pistols on his toes. Why would they squat like that if it wasn't natural?

It seems to me the squats on heels became the norm with the arrival of powerlifting and olympic weightlifting.

It could just be me because of my mobility issues but learning the hindu or hack squat takes 5min, learning how to squat on your heels could take months or years
 

GeoffreyLevens

Level 6 Valued Member
Take a peak behind the curtain at any Asian or African country where there isn't much furniture, at least out in the countryside. Do an image search. Not a lot of toe squatting going on there. Young, old, and everyone in between has their heels on the ground. That said if you plan on needing to explode up and forward out of your squat, then by all means, heels up, Sumo, Indian wrestlers...
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Maybe it's just me but I've always struggled with the balance in Hindu squats. Flat foot feels much more stable, and more comfortable if I'm holding it for a while.
 

Period

Level 5 Valued Member
Take a peak behind the curtain at any Asian or African country where there isn't much furniture, at least out in the countryside. Do an image search. Not a lot of toe squatting going on there. Young, old, and everyone in between has their heels on the ground. That said if you plan on needing to explode up and forward out of your squat, then by all means, heels up, Sumo, Indian wrestlers...
I've said it before, I'll say it again: try wrestling on soft sand, and you'll know why they squat this way. In Sumo, the squat is flat footed by the way, they rise on their toes when they come up in the shiko. Once again, the surface they compete on is the reason for that, they move on flat feet as well for the most partwhen in the ring - for more traction. Different wrestling surfaces dictate different footwork, and different rules dictate different attacks. In freestyle, shots are king, and so shots is what we train. Nobody cares how many squats of whatever kind I can do if I can take my man down reliably with a single leg each time. Certain other exercises seem to be more universally used in almost all wrestling styles - rope climbing for example is used pretty much everywhere as far as I know, except for Sumo and Bökh.

Cheers
Period.
 

Period

Level 5 Valued Member
Alter’s book is pretty good for what it is – basically an ethnological study of traditional Kushti as practiced today in India. He goes quite in-depth on ideology and nutrition as well. However, it’s not a book on exercise, and that shows. Furey’s books are different, they basically sum up his bodyweight training experience from various wrestling disciplines, with a heavy emphasis on his time in Iowa (under Dan Gable), the short time he was training with Karl Gotch, and his preparation for winning the world title in Shuai Jiao. I must say I quite enjoyed them, and go back to them occasionally. They are far more varied than people give them credit for, not just dands and bethaks. However, the one thing Furey leaves out for whatever reason are pulling exercises, and he doesn’t use joris, gadas etc., unlike Karl Gotch. If you are interested in Karl Gotch’s training, which is partially derived from Indian Wrestling but with some additional twists, I would check out the DVD set from Scientific Wrestling “Karl Gotch's Conditioning for Combat Sports”. The wrestlers who do the demonstrations show a lot of rope climbing and muscle-up variations as well, more than I have seen from the Indian wrestlers. If you are looking for a source on the traditional Indian wrestling methods, the standard is this: Encyclopaedia Of Indian Physical Culture Majumdar D. C. 1950 Baroda : Gotama Devi : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive There is also a newer video series titled “The Physical Body: Indian Wrestling and Physical Culture”, which shows a number of the exercises detailed in the book, but not all of them.

If you want to see what the current Indian Freestyle team is doing in their training, I would check out the books by Harphool Singh (formerly the coach of Sushil Kumar, if I understand correctly), “Encyclopedia of Wrestling” and “Teaching and Coaching Modern Wrestling”. Despite the titles, they focus a lot on conditioning. The parts relevant here are that apparently, they abandoned the traditional dands and bethaks for more intense exercises with less reps (such as dips and weighted squats) since they had a lot of problems with joint degradation (I should point out that also both Gable and Gotch had early hip replacements etc.). I must warn you though, the books are written in the most horrible English ever, it’s bad to the point you often have to guess what the author means.

Cheers

Period.
 
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