Hints Of Conditioning From The 60 Min. Men

           Back in the old days of Professional Wrestling, if you were the world champ and you had a main event, it was common for wrestlers to go for an hour or more draw. Now just being physically gifted is one thing, you also needed the mentality because wrestling for that long would give the average person a stroke if not kill them. Men like Lou Thesz, Vern Gagne, Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat, Jerry Brisco, Harley Race & the Funks all at certain times in their careers had what was the called The One Hour Broadways where commonly if there was running feud, they’d have matches that went to an hour draw or drew from 2/3 falls. Ric Flair was considered the 60 min. man because he constantly went that amount of time with whomever he wrestled when he was the main guy.

            Granted, this was around the early TV era to about the late 80’s, nowadays, hour long matches are rarely seen, mostly in the indies or every now and then Ring Of Honor but long before the TV era, matches sometimes lasted more than 2 hours. One match where Ed “Strangler” Lewis and I believe Joe Stecher went at it for more than 5 hours. I couldn't sit through a match like that and I’m big on technical/scientific wrestling. To be prepared for a match of an hour or more is insane, the conditioning is beyond its peak and you’re mental capacity is taken to the limit.

            To even get to that point, your training has to be at the top of your priority, even back when wrestlers fought for real and entertainment wasn't a factor yet except in the carnies you had to be in the best shape of your life otherwise you’re out of a job or if you couldn't handle it, your pay was cut short. One of the best in the game who didn't have the charisma but the physical and mental attributes to be tireless was the late Karl Gotch. He emphasized the importance of training your musculature from every possible angle to get the best benefit for a match or to stay in peak physical condition. Squats, Push-ups, Bridging are key ingredients but keep in mind the supplemental exercises that become a factor.

            One of my favorite forms of conditioning is training like an animal in the jungle where you learn to move in awkward positions, think about it in wrestling (not WWE crap), you’re going to be in a position that isn’t always natural and might need to get out of a hold or keep your opponent at bay. Training with basic elements using multiple muscle groups keeps you in shape for the long haul. Barbell & Dumbbell Exercises are great for moving weight but they don’t have that same awkward positioning you have to make say like from lifting Odd Objects or moving with weight on your back.

            In India where wrestling was the sport of all sports, athletes worked in many different aspects and most likely Physical Culture developed. They used exercises in a more circular fashion (Hindu Squats, Hindu Push-ups, Clubs & Mace) so they can get great benefit for when they did Jor (aka Wrestling). Their matches in tournaments would commonly last an hour or more and the better man was usually the one in more condition and would end up beating the opponent by a throw or a pin or even took him by surprise when the other man was exhausted. These guys were some of the most feared in all aspects of wrestling; the most feared of them all was the great Gama to a degree that even American Champ Frank Gotch wouldn't want anything to do with him. Gama’s conditioning is the stuff of legends and although most of his matches rarely lasted more then a few minutes, he most likely could go easily in an hour or longer bout if he wanted to, he was that well conditioned.

            You don’t have to be a wrestler to understand conditioning but it wouldn't hurt to learn how you can keep your endurance up in other sports say like the Ironman, Basketball, Football, Gymnastics, even Soccer & Rugby. Every sport has specific conditioning programs to them but if you want to be the very best, you have to condition more than the other guy, not to compete against him in a training session but to keep you as less tired and fatigued as possible. In the UFC, conditioning is a tool you need more than anything else. You can punch, kick, slap a hold on or takedown as many times as you can but if you can’t keep it up in the later duration of the fight, you will get your ass kicked. If you want to be in serious condition, train like you can go an hour or more without blinking an eye.

            Nobody knows conditioning more than a wrestler does. He/she has to go through training that breeds a special kind of athlete, to understand conditioning to the highest level, turn to a wrestler and they’ll tell you how easy you have it made. You don’t have to be a wrestler to be in crazy condition but it’s important to learn the aspects of conditioning from a wrestler that’ll give you the competitive edge over your sport and training in general. Even if you just want to get in great shape and high levels of energy, a wrestler can give you the best tips.

            If you know the fictional legend of Tarzan, he is the embodiment of the ultimate athlete. He climbs, runs, swims, wrestles wild animals and can move through the jungle like nobody’s business. He’s one of my favorite characters and I strive to train the best I can to be like that, maybe not to the extreme like he does but to keep in awesome life-long shape. Want to know a certain way to in touch with your inner Tarzan, look to Erwan Le Corre, the founder of the Physical Education system MovNat that teaches you to unleash your inner spirit for natural movement like when you were a kid. Keep in condition, stay healthy and have a kick ass time doing it.
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