Train Like a Wrestler: Part 1

Hello, hello. I am back with a Guest Post for you today from Gene Zannetti of Z-Fanatical Fitness. Z-Fanatical Fitness is run by Gene and his brother Jeff who are former NCAA Division I and Ivy League wrestlers (aka – they are athletic and smart…what more could you want?). Their experience as wrestlers meant a lot of time traveling and anyone who has tried to stay in shape on the road knows how challenging that can be. The chances of your hotel gym (if it even has one) containing more than an old treadmill and stationary bike are slim to none. Having to adapt to that challenge as collegiate athletes has since resulted in the birth of Z-Fannatical Fitness which develops short, high-intensity workouts that don’t require equipment. They teach classes in gyms local to them in New Jersey, but also have videos available for purchase on their website.

When Gene first contacted me about posting information here in Dine, Dash, and Deadlift I was a bit apprehensive. I mean, don’t wrestlers basically starve themselves and then run around covered in trash bags in a sauna to make weight? At least that is what I remember seeing wrestlers at my college doing before meets. [Kidding, kind of] Obviously that is not the case, and so Gene is going to be here for a few posts to tell us about how to use wrestling-based training to get in GREAT shape before summer rolls around. So with that, I am passing it over to Gene so he can give you some background info on wrestling and his company.


{Gene showing off what wrestling has done for him!}

My brothers and I were fortunate enough to participate in the oldest and arguably toughest sport in the world- wrestling. We began in 1st grade and progressed into Nationally Ranked and All-Ivy League college athletes at the Division 1 level. Wrestling, now an Olympic sport (although, it may be getting cut from the 2020 Games), originated as a necessity for a man to defend his land and his woman. It is considered the holiest sport because it is the only one to be mentioned in the Bible, Torah, and Koran. Wrestling is described in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Egyptian hieroglyphics, and stories about Henry VIII and Abraham Lincoln. Socrates once swore, “upon Zeus that the elite runner could not equal the average wrestler.” Wrestling is the foundation of one of the fastest growing sports: MMA. Many champions and former champions have a strong base in wrestling: Jon Jones, Frank Edgar, Brock Lesnar, Matt Hughes, Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, etc. What is so special about this sport, and what does this have to do with you?

Wrestling requires a unique balance of all fitness attributes. Figure 8 illustrates the unique fitness demands of a wrestler compared to a distance athlete and weight lifter. Notice the combination of fitness requirements (strength, speed, and endurance) compared to other sports.

Figure 8

{Bomba, T. O. (1999). Periodization training for sports: Programs For Peak Strength 35 Sports. Human Kinetics. Champaign, IL.}

Wrestlers are also in a unique situation that requires them to compete within a weight class. A very low body fat percentage is more of a necessity than it is desire for a wrestler. A wrestler must also strive to get stronger and build endurance. A wrestler’s physique seems like a paradox- be as strong and small as possible. Are these not America’s mainstream fitness goals- burn fat, get stronger, build endurance? Aren’t these your goals?

Anyone can train like a wrestler. Z-Fanatical Fitness has a Progression System that can take anyone from whiner to winner, victim into victor, worrier into warrior, chump into champ, you get the picture. You must first be willing to learn and apply wrestling’s 2 Fanatical secrets. (1) Mindset Training and (2) LIFEPROOF workouts. These philosophies are the backbone of Z-Fanatical Fitness. Over the next few weeks you will learn how the body of your dreams begins with your mindset- fitness is never just physical. You will also learn workouts that can be performed anywhere, by anyone, in only 10 minutes. Mindset training combined with LIFEPROOF workouts will soon give you the body of your dreams.


Want to get yourself a copy of Gene’s E-Book, “The Z-Factor: The Missing Link Between You and Your Dreams”? Well just leave a comment on this post telling us what you think about the IOC’s recommendation to cut wrestling from the Olympics.

Winner announced next Monday!

Until next time!


6 thoughts on “Train Like a Wrestler: Part 1

  1. Sean says:

    The fact that they are planning on removing wrestling yet leaving “sports” like badminton which was the scandal of last years Olympics by playing poorly to get a better seed is ridiculous. What is the reasoning for keeping rhythmic gymnastics over wrestling?

  2. Alana H. says:


    Thanks for this resourceful post. On the subject of wrestling being cut out from the Olympics, I think that this decision wasn’t fully thought out and may lead to legitimate sportsmen and women to abandon their sports dreams altogether. This is especially true for third world country wrestlers who love the game given its inexpensive nature and universal appeal.


  3. Job Lara says:

    It’s a travesty. The original sport of the Olympics being removed is wrong! This is the worst decision the IOC can ever make. Wrestlers don’t take it laying down, we’ve trained to be on top; this will be no different.

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