Gettin’ After It: A Luchador’s Workout

Anyone who is even vaguely familiar with lucha libre can deduce that we train pretty hard. In some respects training for lucha libre is not unlike other sports, but in several respects, lucha libre demands a unique set of skills. Aside from the standard strength training, plyometrics, and agility, lucha libre requires a great deal of aerial awareness, dynamic balance, acrobatics, stunting, and frankly, pain tolerance (We often also joke that it requires a regular disregard for survival instincts). The latter four we generally practice together in some form or another within the ring itself.

Despite the fact that we share in-ring training routines, each of us also has our own personal training routine, about which I have been asked quite a few times. In order to appreciate what it means to train to be a luchador however, it is imperative to get an idea of both the personal and coach-mandated routines. I will describe our basic in-ring warmup routine in addition to my own personal training regiment to give an idea of what it means to train as a luchador. This however will say nothing about diet, which although is subject to some conventions of health consciousness, is relative to each luchador.

In the ring, our warmup regiment is mostly tumbling. While it varies on a daily basis, here is a sample of a recent tumbling warmup routine:

2x 6 diving forward rolls

2x diving forward roll, back-extension roll x4

2x high-diving forward roll, back-extension roll, diving shoulder roll x3

2x forward bump, kip-up, back bump, kip up, back bump, kip-up, front handspring x3

2x high-diving roll, back-extension roll, front handspring, bump, kip-up, bump, kip-up, front handspring x3

Rope jumping routine: a sample of this can be found here, which also incorporates various ring-entrances such as diving forward rolls over the third rope, front flips, and planchas.

We then usually spend anywhere between an hour to 90 minutes practicing lucha libre-specific moves, including locks, throws, and other various moves (read: trade secrets). Such routines are somewhat difficult to explain, and thus will remain a mystery for all of you. Unless of course, you decide to start training lucha libre

My personal routine is broken down into three categories: push, pull, and squat. I incorporate twist and bending into every routine, which includes core training. My workout is set up as a circuit, so in between sets I am usually doing agility exercises or core exercises to keep my heart rate up. In other words, my only rest time is in between moving from one exercise to another. I do not work to exhaustion and I do not incorporate heavy plyometric training, as I am training in-ring between my lifting days. Furthermore my routine is in a perpetual state of transformation: in lieu of starting a completely new routine, I am always swapping one exercise for a another exercise that emphasizes the same muscle group, albeit somewhat differently. I do this often enough that at the end of a 3-4 month cycle the workout is a completely new routine.

Day 1:

5 minute elliptical warmup

Bench/seated chest press/DB press: 3×8

Handstand pushups/shoulder press/incline bench 3×8

Decline bench/weighted dips/dip machine 3×8

Triceps isolation: 3×10

Flies/cable flies/fly machine: 3×10

Deltoids, internal and external rotations: 3×10

Deltoids, front raises: 3×10

Core (weighted) & agility exercises

Run: 20-30 minutes 3/4 intervals (5.5 mph & 7 mph)

Day 2:

5 minute elliptical warmup

Weighted pullups/chin ups: 3×8

Row machine: 3×8

Row & twist: 3×8

Shrugs: 3×10

4-way neck machine: 3×10

Reverse flies: 3×10

Curls/hammer curls: 3×6

Core (high repetitions, no weight) & agility

Run: 20-30 minutes 3/4 intervals (5.5 mph & 7 mph)

Day 3:

10 minute elliptical or treadmill warmup, averaging 5.5mph

Squats/leg press: 3×10

Dead lift: 3×10

Power clean/KB swings: 3×8 or 3×15

Calf raises: 3×10

Thigh inductors: 3×10

Thigh abductors: 3×10

Core exercises (balance & stability)

Swim (various exercises): 20 minutes

And on Sunday I rest. Not for religious reasons mind you. Because, well, I need to rest sometime. 

One Comment Add yours

  1. betunada says:

    well, now we know. a lotta werk! ¡ continua la bueña suerte !
    i also wanted to comment on ken jennings (prior post) — but couldn’t find a comment/post link there.

Tell me a story..?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s