A Heavyweight Opinion – Looking Like a Wrestler

Added by Iestyn Rees

I’m writing this column after a fairly unsuccessful weekend for me, wrestling wise I failed to beat Stevie Starr for The Welsh Wrestling Heavyweight Title, then on Sunday I was at Twickenham watching Wales lose to England, I hope my losing ways have stopped as I am at Cheltenham races tomorrow.

Anyway enough waffling, onto the column, in my first column I spoke about wrestlers presenting professionally and to do so they needed high quality wrestling gear and professional wrestling boots.  Well today I am going to cover a topic that I often get misquoted or misunderstood by fellow wrestlers and fans alike and that topic is a wrestler’s physique.

“You need to look like a wrestler!”

A quote I often hear and 1 of my favourite sayings, most people that hear me say this or see me writing it on twitter believe that I think every wrestler should be a bodybuilder, this simply isn’t the case and hopefully this article will spread some light on my opinion.

What does looking like a wrestler actually mean?

This is something I have been thinking about all week as I was planning this column. Well when I started watching WWF as a kid in the early 90’s my opinion of what a wrestler should look like was a giant muscle bound monsters like The Ultimate Warrior, Davey Boy Smith, this progressed to guys like The Rock, Triple in the early 2000’s. The landscape of wrestling today has changed a lot since the days of most wrestlers being 250lbs plus, wrestlers today tend to be smaller and their physiques are more akin of those seen in MMA and Rugby.

Fundamentally professional wrestling is the portrayal of a sporting contest by 2 athletes and this is where I have a major issue with a large percentage of British wrestling. All wrestlers should be aiming to present themselves as professional athletes, professional athletes come in all shapes and sizes depending on their sport and this translates perfectly to wrestling, where there is a variety of shapes and sizes of the performers.  Here are some examples of British wrestler’s physiques and a professional sporting equivalent:

Zack Sabre Jr / Cristiano Ronaldo – lean and athletic.

Dave Mastiff / Zydrunas Savickas – power lifter/strongman.

Chris Andrews / George North – powerful and agile.

The wrestlers in each of these examples have worked incredibly hard over the past 5 plus years to improve their physiques to the point there are at today. They present themselves as professional athletes whose physique and training compliments their in ring style. All 3 of their physiques is an achievable goal for any current or aspiring British wrestler or trainee.  I understand as much as anyone these type of physiques don’t happen overnight and will take years to build through hours in the gym.

Here in lies the problem with a large percentage of British Wrestlers there are far too many individuals who appear to have never seen the inside of a gym or make any attempt to eat healthily. I’ve heard every excuse under the sun: “I don’t have time”, “I afford a gym”, “I can’t afford to eat healthy”. But guess what these excuses and any others aren’t acceptable, in most cities there are budget gyms which cost £12 – 15 a month to be a member. If you cant sacrifice an 45 minutes to an hour, 3 – 5 days a week to train I honestly don’t think you deserve to be calling yourself a professional wrestler. Eating healthy isn’t overly expensive yes it takes a little more time to prep the food but if you train hard enough during the week you should be able to maintain a good physique with a fairly average diet.

I will give everyone who comes up with those excuses some free advice every morning when you get out of bed do 500 squats and 200 press ups, if its good enough for Ric Flair its good enough for you.

To close remember this to be a “professional wrestler” you have to train like a “professional athlete”.

I appreciate any feedback positive or negative, please tweet me any comment @iestyn_rees and thanks for reading.

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