It’s time for a small switch in your training. The fall/pre-season is definitely different from the summer/off-season. Your daily schedule, how much you are wrestling, and where the season is are all going to affect what your training should look like.
The fall is the pre-season. You should be wrestling more and becoming more dialed into your training with the season just around the corner. The summer was probably a time where you might not have wrestled as much and maybe ate a little more, but hopefully you were lifting and put on some good size. It’s the time to take a slight break from the craziness and build a solid foundation.
The summer programs would have reps ranges mostly around 8-20, burnout sets, long heavy carries, long range of motion, more isolation work, more bigger healthy muscles. Plyometric work would be longer with more focus on feeling good and less on force production. Building elastic tendons and healthy tissues, trying to build some “springs” in the athletes. Cardio would be long runs, hikes, and building a good aerobic base. Staying healthy, having fun, and feeling good are the objectives here. Justin Accordino of Savage Wrestling starts freestyle and greco early, perfect to learn new skills and help prevent burnout. Another layer of armour to be in great shape for the next phase of training.
The fall programs will have more strength and power work. Heavy barbell lifts mostly in the 3-6 rep range, less extra bodybuilding and isolation work. With more wrestling, wrestlers are going to be more fatigued and the extra work might just do more harm than good. Feeling good and staying healthy is still a priority. Plyometric work will be more intense with higher effort, force production is key. This is the time to dial in these athletic qualities and to be ready for the season. Your conditioning will slowly look more like repeated power work, interval training is good here. Keep in mind that wrestling more will be the main contributor to conditioning. School will play into the stress levels and even starting to lose some weight will have an impact. This phase is about filling in the gaps and adding to the foundation, being more specific with the wanted athletic qualities of strength and power.
It might seem like a large transition, but it is simply a little drop in volume and gradual increase of intensity. Let the stress of wrestling handle the conditioning and understand that with more wrestling, comes more fatigue. Fill in the gaps with more true strength and power work. Force production is obviously wanted for wrestling, work on that before the season comes.