It’s important to understand that if you want to the very best in your sport or in your training, you want to be in the best condition as possible. Karl Gotch put this rule to a level not many want to achieve. It doesn't matter if you’re in Wrestling, Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey or Soccer for that matter, you can have all the gnarly skills you want but if you can’t last the way you need to, you’re done. A lot of people seem to have this notion that if you just train a little and work on the skills you’ll be fine. Wrong. Conditioning and technique go together like a Horse & Carriage, one without the other is worthless.
When it comes down to conditioning, there are many ways to do it and like everything else, it takes time and patience and building your mental strength as well. One of the things I admired about Gotch was how he can make cardio look like a firestorm with just a good old deck of cards. I’m sure he might not be the first to come up with this concept but he did make it worth it in gold. Take a deck of cards, shuffle them and get to work. This makes training a little different because it’s never the same workout twice. If you can get through the deck, you’re in pretty decent shape and if you do it twice in the same workout you’re a terror practically on the mat, floor or on the field.
The cards have a way to test your mind power and see how far you’re willing to push yourself. Yes it takes progression to work up to a full deck but after that it’s more of a mental game than a physical. The more you generate power in your mind; the body will give in and do more. It’s the mind/muscle connection that brings together the most powerful type of training of all.
Remember about basic exercises? This is no different and your best shot is to stick with the fundamentals as best as possible when it comes to bodyweight…Push-ups, Squats and Bridging. These three alone can be beneficial to your health and strength training because there are many variations of them, some are easy, some are harder than others but once you have them down and you can train hard on them, you have the idea of mastering your own body in a way most will never understand. Like the old man once said “Conditioning is your best hold.”