Conditioning Programs from subscribers to the SCIENTIFIC WRESTLING TIMES!

Jake Shannon
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The response was really outstanding to my request to share some work out programs and I wanted to share them. Try these suggestions out (from the loyal subscribers to THE SCIENTIFIC WRESTLING TIMES, HANDS DOWN THE TOUGHEST SUBSCRIBERS IN THE WORLD) and report back to me how the programs work for you, enjoy!


Jake.....I have been working out for years and whenever I can find an opponent to wrestle, I hit the mats. Very difficult to locate someone in Florida to fight but I do my best.

I will be 75 this summer and still love to box and wrestle. Most of my matches are won by me and I fight anyone I can get. I prmarily get into strength training but hit the treadmill about three times a week to build up endurance and also to strengthen my legs.

I love to box although I always keep it down to body boxing with no head shots. Age doesn't deter me from doing what I love -Walt


Many, many clean and jerks with 40's and 10's or 6's or whatever you have. -Brian H.




I do a mix of the Karl Gotch coditioning, Pavels stuff, (kettlebells, pistols and one arm pushups), and indian club swinging. I would probably be interested in a mace, it doesn't have to be wood. I made my own Indian clubs out of plastic bats, and was planning to make a mace out of a bowling ball. I also like to use an exercise I did a lot of in the Army Rangers: Rucksack Marching. I just got a 50 pound weight vest that's way more comfortable than any backpack. The trick is to force yourself to walk AS FAST AS YOU CAN for the set distance. The pace should be around a 12 min mile. I would start with 2 to 4 miles with 30 lbs, and work up to 12 miles with 50 lbs. A pair of small dumbells and heavy boots or ankle weights can also be added. Trust me, this works great to develop cardiovascular endurance. -John D.


I am a kettlebell nut. I went from regular wieghts to the kb's an made massive increases in strength. I was 200 lb's with a 400lb bench. I am now 180 with a resting pulse of 54 and have amazing power.

-Paul Britt


Thank you for your email. In answer to your question, I do a lot of circuit training and yes, sometimes I include Kettlebells. Also do a lot of rope climbing, bodyweight exercises. I would love to purchase the Mace you wrote about should you decide to make them. Keep up the good work. I've enjoyed the DVD's and books. Sincerely, John Saylor


Hi Jake, I love kettle bells an have seen some clubbell routines that look very effective but I don't have acces to either of those items to train with regularly so I rely on free weight exersizes combined with medicine ball routine I start out with a super 5x5 set. That is five exerizes done consecutivly for five sets of five reps. I train with relativly light weight for my size.

It goes like this I start with 95 lbs. on an olympic bar and do 5 romanian dead lifts then 5 hang and cleans then 5 push preses then 5 singlearm dumbell power clean and presses then 5 alternating arm dumbell bench presses on a big rubber ball. Then repeat with 105 lbs. then 3 more sets with 135 lbs.

Then I start the medicine ball I do between 25 repitions and 3 minutes duration of 3 exersizes depending at what stage of intensity Iam at in my training towards my fight day.

The exersizes are blurpies where you place the ball on the ground sprawl your legs out behind you aloow your abdomen to hit the ball in one motion return to your feet and throw the ball to your partner who does his rep back and forth. # 2 sit up to stand ups with the ball just like it sounds complete a sit up then stand up throw the ball and repeat. #3 push up and over ball one hand on the ball one on the floor push up bounce over alternating hands on the ball and floor.

Thanks for your interest, -Mike


For grappling I specifically do grappling drills and exercises such as sit outs, hip heists, bridges, etc. I use grappling drills as warmups for class because not only does it give you a great conditioning workout but it is sport specific and helps get the base movements into your muscle memory and in your head. Aside from that I jog, do pushups and pull-ups, workout with Clubs and utilize a 110lb. sandbag. J Anyhow, I would be interested in a mace if you ever make them available!

-Bill Cogswell


Jake and all of those at Scientific Wrestling, my current workout resembles a buffet, all time permiting of course, daily mer (morning exercise routine- smartbell, calisthenics and shadow wrestling), then wrestling and resisitive exercise (power cleans, circuit training- machine and dumbell, then swimming, running and wrestling when I am able to work these in). -Ed S.


Hello for conditioining back in 1999 i worked my way up doing 5oo sqauts and 230 hindu pushup i used to to them everyday then i stop now i am trying to go back i do squats 250 in morning and at night i do many pushup as i can, hindus, normal, wide half moon pushup i do bridge sometime and wall walking i also will be putting rope up soon to do rope climbing jack demsey was very good at handstand he used to walk more on his hand than his legs, he will be showing me some conditioing and handstand training i also found wigan carnival wrestler who used to take on comer on circus show they conditioing was good from working in the pit the old timer in wigan are telling me to work on conditioing

p.s i hope you don't mind when i get the seminar dvd can i show it to old timer in wigan?





Hey Jake, I used to wrestle with my punching bag and practice leg riding drills for about an hour, then I would also do 400 yards of lunges. Then I would run half a mile to finish it up, but I did this about two years ago when I had plenty of time in my senior year in high school. I now do this routine every once in a while but, college, studying, and work took a good majority of my time. Now, I can only do half of this because I do not have enough time to practice my complete routine. But something is better than nothing. Not to mention I have a hell of a hard time trying to find a practice buddy who is willing to handle the brutality of catch wrestling submissions. They complain that the catch wrestling submissions hurt too much, this is why I love catch wrestling submissions or hooks, and they refuse to practice the submissions or have the submissions practiced on them. The catch submissions hurts like a fucking bitch but I want to learn them and I am more than willing to go through with the pain in order to learn. That's my routine. Glad to be of help, Isaac



I used to have 3 sets of kb's; 16kg, 24kg and 32kg. I used them for about 3 years and honestly, I don't think they are that great for grappling ( I'm a judoka ) . I get a lot better results from doing calisthenic circuits, js bands and dumbell routines. To each their own. I actually am going to sell my 32kg kb's. Do you need a pair of 32's ?

I would probably get the mace if you made them. I like training with hammers and it looks like a great training tool.

Have a good day,




I'm 51 years old so I doubt my conditioning routine will have much application to many of the folks reading your newsletter. For those older wrestlers who love the sport and like to keep their hand in a bit, you are not alone.

I try to wrestle about 2 days a week, usually from 1 to 2 hours each practice. What I do on any given wrestling day varies, so it would hardly count as a routine. I rest one day a week. On the remaining four I do strength training and cardio.

Strength Training: Most days this consists of body weight exercises. Pull-ups, dips, sit-ups, various kinds of push-ups. I will mix the exercises up with different variations but I usually do two sets of each one - the first set until I'm pretty tired and the second set to failure. A typical routine might be 2 sets of pull ups, 2 sets of Hindu push ups, 2 sets of body weight squats, and 2 sets of sit ups. Another routine might be 2 sets of bar dips, 2 sets of pull ups, 2 sets of handstand push ups, 2 sets of one-legged squats, and leg raises. Sometimes I like to do a circuit of parallel bar push ups, pull ups, and bar dips - 5 circuits of 20 reps each exercise. About once every ten days I'll lift weights - 2 sets of 8 reps each of dead lifts, power cleans, and clean and press.

Cardio: Either before or after the strength training. I try to run at least once a week. I don't do more because of pain from an arthritic ankle. Running stadium steps is easier on the ankle than running on the flat. On the other days I speed-walk. (Heel, toe and off I go. Man, does it look silly but I can get huffing and puffing without a diet of Advil). I sometimes swim laps instead of the walking or running.

Flexibility: This is very easy to lose as one gets older. One of the reasons I like body weight exercises is the range of motion involved. On my wrestling days I stretch before and after. I should probably do more flexibility work.

I've never used kettle bells or Indian clubs, but they look intriguing. Again, I think the motion would have as much benefit as the resistance. If I ever run into someone with a set of kettle bells, I'd like to try a routine and see if I could get out of bed the next morning.

Great newsletter! I'm very happy you are keeping the great American wrestling tradition alive. Best of luck and vaya con Dios.

Mark Larkin


Jake-- I've been using kettlebells for about three years now. I have trained with Mike Mahler, as well as several other top instructors. They are awesome! Check out my website when you get some time. Move with strength, Frank DiMeo NSCA-CPT, KBC-1, CrossFit-1


Been using Clubbells for over a year. Have 10 and 15's. Use them on off days that I'm not grappling. Found that it helps loosens and stretch the tight areas. After conditioning and heavy grappling, the body will be beat and really tight. Been using Scott's stuff to stay a bit flexible. Am in my late 40's and the body needs every little help it can get. I generally work on getting swings for the range of motions. With the breathing, it gets me ready for the next class. The Asian Indian Wrestlers uses it since recorded time, it seems to make sense using them. Kettleballs, Ive tried them at my friends. Like them. Just cant afford to get abused by the wife for obtaining more stuff. She tried the CB to see if she can use them one day against me. Luckily she almost tore her shoulder out trying to lift and swing with one arm. She hadnt lifted it since. She uses the aluminum bat though. -Arthur L.


Hello Jake. Congratulations on getting married. Yes I do use Kettlebells alreadt and I really like them. My typical routine is pretty full but it works for me right now. Usually in the mornings I lift weights but in the Olympic style, so lots of power cleans, clean pulls, overhead press,etc., next day all snatch related exercises.

I lift six days aweek, but I do not do alot of exercises each day only five or six different lifts. I find that this gives me the explosive strength needed for good wrestling. I do Cardio everyday and this is where the Kettlebells come in. I have been using the Bas Rutten boxing tape, just the two minute rounds and during the minute rest between rounds I pound off ten snatches each hand, with a 45lbs kettlebell I have.

The Bas workout is what I use after training in grappling for and hour to two hours so I am already pretty tired. Sometimes if I feel good I will wear 18oz. boxing gloves for the rounds and quickly take them off to do the snatches. I also do ten sets of ten reps jump shrugs with the 76lbs kettlebells, want to be explosive for my takedowns. I am just getting back to doing kettlebells and trying to put it in the mix in a good fashion.

Yes I would be very interested in a mace like Karl's so let me know what is going on and if you have any questions about how I train then just drop me a line.

Thanks Jake and talk to you soon. Sincerely Edd M.


Dear Jake, I too like working with the clubs and would be very interested in the Mace should you decide to sell one. Thanks for everything, Paul Kilman


hey there jake! thanks for the reply(regarding locations in australia) yes i use a mix of kettlebells and Mr Gotchs conditioning exercises and am even thinking of getting some clubbells, i would be very interested in purchasing a mace so pls let me know if they become available... thanks look forward to hearing from you soon,

Regards, -Paul

********************************************************************************************************* Hey Jake,

My conditioning routine also entails mixing many differant implements to get the job done. I use sandbags,clubbells,sledges,kettlebell,med balls,BW exercises,traditional weight training and band pulley type exercises to name a few. Obviously these implements arent ued daily but they coexist into my whole plan depending on what im focusing on.

I have been using them in circuits to mimic my chosen sport (mma) for designated time periods to help w/ conditioning just like rhadi and jc in the said series.

I would def. interested in the mace from your video w/ gotch. Keep up the great work and great resources.




Personally, I just started Ross Enamait's "Infinite Intensity" program. I will be using kettlebells, dumbbells and a combination of plyometrics, bodyweight exercises, weight training exercises and isometrics.

For the past six months, I have been limiting my conventional weight lifting to usually a 20-rep set of deadlifting and 2-3 sets of db bench once every 7-10 days. The rest of the week, I train with a Mike Mahler-designed routine consisting of nothing more than a kettlebell and speedrope. Despite the nauseating hype of kettlebells, they are FOR REAL. I just turned 35 and I am in the best shape of my life. My conditioning is great and I feel like a machine!

I'm anxious to start Ross' program because, from all the training material I've studied, it looks like the smartest, most complete program for the combat athlete ever designed. As for clubbells and the mace, honestly, I'm not interested in the least in trying these things. I'm trying to minimize the number of toys in my program, not add more. I want my program to be like my physique: lean and effective.

Keep up the good work, friend! -Mark


I ordered kettlebells a few years ago and over the course of a year, worked up to bent pressing the 75 lb bell, and a 100 pound dumbell. Barbell deadlift of 320. Not world records, but good for me. My routine was 5 x 5 bent press, 5 x 5 deadlift using a barbell.

Would use the weight for 5 reps until I could do 5 sets, then start using 5-10 lbs heavier on the last set and continue adding a set of the higher weight until I could do 5 sets, etc. With the KB's, I just used a dumbell when I needed to add weight, until I could use the next higher KB.

Didn't experience the immediate "results" that people tout, just used a common sense old school approach to adding the weight when I was ready. Definitley widened the shoulders and density to the back, and power to the legs. Jeff


Hi Mr. Shannon, I am emailling you to discus our conditioning routines as you asked in your email. To be honest I don't have a fixed routine due to my hectic work schedule. I work odd hours and these range fro m 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sometimes I go to work and work till 14:00, go home to return at work at 22:00 and work all night till 06:00-07:30 depending on the schedule. Other times of work are 14:00, 16:00, 19:30, etc. all depending on the schedule. I know these are no good eighter for my health or rights but those aren't even contemplated in this country. So instead I have a selection of exercises that I rotate.They are eighter for power or for endurance. I don't beleive in having an exercise that increases power and endurance at the same time. I work them with different exercises. First of all for grappling the no.1 exercise is bridging and its variations. Mainly I work the bridge, falling into bridge (wrestling way and another with the feet flat on the deck(kung fu style)). Also I kneel on the floor and fall back into a bridge or where my flexibility permits me because after long hours at work it isn't always the same. To these I mix one legged squats and hand stands. I also do one arm push ups and one arms hindu pushups but I feel they are more for striking and mma than wrestling. another exercise I do is hanging from a bag and do sit ups that way. For weights my main training is squats and deadlifts. One arm deadlifts feature greatly in my training. Also add barbell curls for wrestling and standing presses for striking (barbell and dumbells). I also do some strange/exotic exercises with implements as in Gotch's video clips you kindly sent me, though mine are diferent. Partial moves are also good. I don't use kettlebells or clubbells because I felt they didn't give me the necessary strength for all out fighting. to these I add stretch bands eighter alone or with weights. Bottom line is this: do everything you feel that gives you strenght with which do crush you opponent. You keep learning somthing new every day and also your body changes everyday. Today I cannot train as I used to when I was a teenager or when I was in my twenties. A car eccident and work eccident also left their toll. Hope I didn't take too long but if you want we can exchange ideas more. I have more ideas on training. I also was thinking of putting out a book on fighting strength training (with 20 years behind it) but at the moment I don't like the idea because I want to fight professionally and don't want to give away my sedcrets. Always your's Charles Borg


I stick to pushups, planks, bird dogs, mule kicks, isometric streachs using a chair, dumb bell swings, isometric contrations using the iron bar (The one boxers use). -Dustin S.


Jake..I do a lot of bodyweight circuits, and also integrate the kettlebell as well. I'm not an "expert" with the KB per se, but have been able to use the snatch and swing, two fundamental, but very intense movements effectively. I have a few of Ross Enamait's books, and am now doing quite a few programs from his recent book,"Never Gymless"

Here are some of my sample routines:

20 kb swings 20 pushups 20 burpees 10 pullups

Run as fast as possible in 60 seconds

12 burpees or 12 kb swings or snatches 24 pushups 36 squats run 400 M

rest 60 sec and repeat 4-6 times

I try to do something different each session and include the KB as much as possible.

-Gil C.


Hi Jake, I train using a combination of kettlebells, bodyweight conditioning and high intensity interval training on the versaclimber. (, etc) I would be interested in training with the mace. Billy


Hi Jake I currently don't grapple, but do kung fu (shaolin) and tai chi with a bit of yoga. I do the forms for kung fu and tai chi which gets me into shape. Yoga really helps. I am doing (just starting) work with Indian Swinging Clubs. I got the book- Authentic Indian Swinging Clubs from you, the editor. This is definitely good for strength. My dad made some five pound ones from Cherry wood. He just carved heavier ones too that I haven't received yet. I plan on doing bodyweight excercises Karl Gotch. As he says "Conditioning is the best hold". I am walking a little, plan on hill sprints and weights ( low weight, high repetition). I don't use kettlebells, but have read of them. I was thinking that the clubs are enough. There you go, further in my kung fu I'll do chin na which is like grappling and schway jiao, which is throwing, like judo. Take care Forrest


Jake,I use The Bas Rutten MMA workout.I use a grappling dummy for lots of my submission practice.You can go to his site and get a preview of his stuff.As you probably know he was 3x King of Pancrease and UFC Heavyweight Champ. I have been reading a lot on kettlebells thanks to your site. -No Name Given


I do 15-20 minutes cardio 5 times a week spread between the treadmill, rowing machine, stepper and cross trainer. I lift weights 3-4 times a week and do weight lifting complexes (many different sets one after another to build muscle endurance) twice a week. I do pilates most days and I do 100 squats a day. I'd love to a lot more but work and study doesn't leave any more time. -Ben C.


Jake, I used to bodybuild and powerlift.

I now primarily stretch (yoga for an hour once a week) and grapple 4 times a week (1 1/2 are spar sessions) and I do a 35 minute core routine (on an exercise ball, lot's of weird circular stuff).

That's it. Every once in a while I still box and will get on a 3 week kick of lifting 2 or 3 times a week but I'm getting old! -Jesse


I practice every day, but I find it hard to add in supplemental conditioning exercises.If you have any suggestions I would gladly appreciate them! You can view my training log ( for more details if you wish. Most of the time I do conditioning if: I want to focus on technique so I will run a few miles before class.

That class may be generally too easy, so I will run a few miles before or after class. I miss class, so I will run a few miles in addition to 2 minute drills.

When I actually do conditioning, it usually involves some form of running for a few miles. Sometimes I'll do 2 minute drills of a different exercise each time. I also attend the tae kwon do club for the conditioning and flexibility exercises they do. (Ironically, I never studied TKD, officially). I follow the Bas Rutten Workout CD sometimes too but modified and using a heavy bag.

I desperately want to add in weight lifting and cardio to my schedule, but I have trouble adding it in when I already do so much grappling. In a way I use grappling as cardio itself, I guess. One of my friends swears by kettleballs; although, I am not into buying much equipment... I usually spend the money on training instead! Haha.

I don't think I will do MMA, nor do I train for competition (although I still do a lot of competitions for training). I tried practicing 2-3 times a day for a few months; however, it was murder and my body couldn't take it. Even though I am only 25, my body couldn't compensate and regenerate fast enough to train so much. I physically and mentally burned out. About 7-8x a week seems to be my practical limit right now. I still need to get in better shape, however.

-- Jimmy Cerra


jake, as a matter of fact i do train with kettlebells, i have been training with them since i have been deployed. i also recieve mike mahlers weakly emails on strength traing and have his dvd for explosive power. if i was not in iraq i would love to attend one of his seminars, word is they are well worth the time and money. as of right now i am in the middle of revamping my workout. i am trying to incorporate bodyweight cals., kettlebells and weights. if anything has to go it will be the weights. through years of bodyweight training and reading pavals "the naked warrior" it is amazing how much resistance you can get with just changing angles and leverage points using your own bodyweight. plus i love pull ups. my problem is i want it all, strenghth, endurance, power, and i dont want to gain weight. its hard findin g the right work out. crossfit is also a good program, they post a workout of the day and its a great variety. i did that for a while as well. i am always open to new forms of exercise and trying new things. i have heard of club training but havnt tried it yet. please let me know how the seminar was. thanks tony g.



I would definitely be interested in a mace for less than $150. I have considered kettlebell training for quite some time. Check out Pavel's Russian kettlebell training.




I'm going through Farmer burns lessons in physical culture right now, and its working great. I do his gymnastic exercises, neck exercises and dumbell exercises right now and its upped my strength hugely, i'm going to start doing some heavier lifting this summer and some power lifting and plyometrics stuff, I always use dumbells, but i'm looking into trying to make some indian clubs to work a greater range of motion. I was looking into kettlebells but don't have a clue where to get them and have never seen them in any store, so I'm at a loss. I also do a bit of road work, but not too much because I have bad knees. but yeah, you asked for the information and I gave it, hope it helps, and if you have any tips as to what I can do to improve it let me know.

-Matt M


Jake, I can honestly say that my only conditioning is when I spar. I like to spar alot and try and control my breathing. I do not lift weights or do any kettlebell training. I just roll with all differnt weight and sized people. hope this helps.



Jake, Right now its kettlebells with various routines. One is the DOE manmaker. (kb exercise 10 reps alt w/ 1 min jump rope, kb 1 arm swing each arm, JR, kb snatch each arm, JR, 2 hand swing JR, KB C&J each arm, JR, etc...) I do another version of that with my Concept 2 rower. Doing a crossfit WOD here and there. Will try to do 3 to 4 days in a row with a day or 2 off depending on how I feel. Not really getting ready for grappling, just getting ready for deployment. Also started tinkering with the Highland Games. Joe


Hi Jake, Yes, my main form of S&C for grappling, and general fitness, is Kettlebells. As far as a routine, I have nothing to share that would amount to much. I'm still a novice! I'm hoping to meet with a local RKC Instr. in the next week or so, so he can help me put together a solid routine. I just finished reading Pavel's new book, Enter the KB, and I learned quite a bit! I also have the original RKC book, and Power to the People. PTP, was especially good! One of these days, I want to make it to a Kettlebell workshop; maybe I'll try to attend the next KB convention, next Spring/Summer. I've never used Clubbells, but I'm sure they are very effective. Danny


I think Scott Sonnon's stuff is great, particularly the joint rotations and drills from the Grappler's Toolbox series. Regarding clubs, however, I'm not a big fan of paying big $ for a fixed-weight implement. I've turned several clubs out of wood, and made several more from large mailing tubes + concrete mix + 1.5" oak dowels (these ain't pretty, but they still 'work' fine). For heavier club work, I use a club handle I turned from a hickory log. I made the top 6" about 1" in diameter to hold Olympic plates, then use a sturdy collar and tighten the hell out of it. It really helps to be able to shift weights depending on what activity you're doing, as some club moves let you use a lot of weight, some just a little. I have a client, a female contractor, who wanted to get stronger for sledgehammer work, and she uses loadable club handles of mine with weights ranging from 5 to 15 pounds, just one weight wouldn't cut it. Re my program, that's a lot longer. I will say I think Mark Hatmaker's heavybag workout is pretty great. -Stephen C.