Is Wrestling the Toughest Sport In The World?

Is wrestling the toughest sport?

There are a ton of tough sports to choose from if you enjoy a challenge. But of all the sports out there many people would argue that the hardest sport is wrestling. But is this true? Is wrestling really the toughest sport in the world? 

Wrestling is one of the toughest sports in the world. It requires a combination of mental and physical determination, speed, and tactfulness. The best wrestlers train for hours on end on the mats and in the gym to become physically and mentally prepared for competition.

I would say that wrestling is the toughest sport. Of course, there is no real way to prove this. But what I can do is give you the reasons that I think wrestling is tougher than other sports.

Read on for more information on what makes wrestling challenging and tips on getting started in this sport.

Why Wrestling Is The Toughest Sport 

The physical demands of wrestling are second to none. However, I would also argue that wrestling requires more mental determination than any other physical activity as well.

Though it is not required nor am I recommending it, wrestlers often take on demands such as weight cutting that require both physical and mental discipline second to none.

For instance, wrestlers have to train their minds as well as their bodies to be successful. This is one of the many reasons I think wrestlers also do very well in MMA.

That being said, here are the key factors that make wrestling one of the most challenging sports:

Wrestling Requires Strength and Endurance

Wrestling requires a lot of physical strength and endurance: wrestlers have to carry their opponents throughout a match and keep them from pinning them down. For wrestlers to win and maintain bragging rights with other competitors afterward, they must endure multiple rounds against different people.

Many sports require you to have strength, and many sports require endurance. But to be a great wrestler you need to have both incredible strength and power as well as a well-conditioned cardiovascular system. 

The explosive pace of wrestling requires conditioning that is unique to the sport and requires the wrestler to focus on multiple aspects of their physical fitness and strength.

Powerlifters focus on power, long-distance runners focus on aerobic stamina, but wrestlers need to focus on all aspects of physical fitness.

Wrestling Requires Mental Strength and Determination

Wrestling requires mental strength and determination to succeed. For instance, wrestlers have to maintain their composure during intense matches in which they might feel dominated or frustrated.

Additionally, they must keep their concentration levels and focus in check to make strategic decisions that will ultimately lead to victory.

But beyond the day of the match, wrestlers require the most mental strength leading up to the day of competition. With weight cutting, conditioning, strength training, and mat time, a wrestler must have determination beyond what is typical in most sports.

There have even been studies done that show a correlation between mental toughness and success during a wrestling season.

You Take a Beating From Opponents

Wrestlers have to take punishment from their opponents: they might be thrown to the ground and made to take a pinning position. Though there might not be any punching or kicking in wrestling, you still might leave a match pretty bruised up.

The other factor is wrestlers don’t have any substitutes on the bench: they can only wrestle one match at a time until it’s over.

Weight Cutting For Wrestling Is Very Tough

Some wrestlers are required to cut weight before matches to meet the requirements for their weight class. Of course, it is up to the wrestler whether or not to cut weight for their weight class. However, cutting weight is pretty common at high levels of wrestling.

In some cases, this is done through dehydration, and in others by consuming a low-calorie diet. This can be dangerous to wrestlers’ health when done improperly.

This is especially true when wrestlers cut weight through dehydration. Of course, I am not recommending it but simply pointing out that it is a reality many wrestlers partake in.

Most high-level wrestlers are willing to go to extreme measures to get an edge on their opponent. You of course don’t have to cut weight but if you choose not to you might end up wrestling someone 10-15 lbs or more heavier than you.

Wrestling Has A Tough Culture

Simply put wrestling comes from a culture of tough guys. The two most common styles of wrestling practiced in the United States are Folkstyle and Freestyle wrestling. Both of these styles were heavily influenced by English catch wrestling

Catch wrestling was a brutal style of submission wrestling practiced originally by English blue-collar workers. These wrestlers were as tough as they came with some matches resulting in serious injuries. Of course, these newer styles are not as extreme but the tough guy nature is still part of the culture. 

That said, in wrestling, just as in life: The winner is not always the one who has the most skill or talent. Instead, it’s usually determined by who can endure more and keep going despite obstacles like fatigue and injury.

Wrestling Can Be A Dangerous

Like any sport wrestling poses a risk of injury and is more dangerous than many other sports. Of course, much of this can be avoided but my point is that it is not for those who want to take no chance of injury.

Most injuries and dangers in wrestling are minor and non-life-threatening. This would include things such as sprains, bruises, broken limbs, ringworm & fungal infections, and cauliflower ear.

Much of this, however, can be prevented with safe coaching, safe practice principles, clean mats, and the proper wrestling gear.

Though some more serious injuries can happen when wrestling, they are rare when proper training is taken seriously. That said, there is no denying that you have to be pretty tough to jump on the wrestling mats.

How To Avoid Common Injuries in Wrestling

Do you want to avoid common injuries in wrestling? Follow these easy guidelines:

  • Get plenty of sleep each night, not just to avoid injuries but also for your overall health and wellness. Resting helps the body to recover after a workout or match.
  • Protect yourself by wearing headgear during practice sessions and games. This helps to lessen the impact of contact with another wrestler or practice partner. It also helps protect against cauliflower ear which is common in wrestling.
  • Warm up before working out by doing some light cardio, active stretching, and rolling your neck. This will help you avoid burnout or overuse injuries that are common in wrestling. Take good care of yourself!

Tip: Also, eat healthy foods that provide adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed or fast food for the most part; it’s typically high in fat content and not as nutritious as other options. Drink plenty of water.

Bottom Line

Wrestling might be the toughest sport in the world, but anyone can learn it with the right training and mental discipline. In most cases, elite wrestlers train for hours on end on the mats and in the gym. They put themselves through very difficult physical and mental stress that is second to none.

The emphasis on physicality in wrestling means that it takes time to build up the conditioning necessary. But if you’re willing to put in hard work, nothing will stop you from reaching your ultimate goal. 

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