'Wake up at 4am': Sushil Kumar explains a day in the life of a wrestler 

Sushil Kumar mentioned that 16 is an ideal age to start wrestling

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, an inspiration to many, is taking time out to enlighten the youth about wrestling.

The 37-year-old bagged a bronze medal at the Beijing 2008 Games and bettered his performance with a silver medal at the London 2012 Olympics.

He, however, is yet to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and pulled out of the National Wrestling Championships owing to fitness concerns. Sushil has utilised the time away from the wrestling action to guide the youth through videos on his official YouTube channel.

He mentioned that 16 is an ideal age to start wrestling as one might face difficulties in managing the moves and required training by the age of 18, 19 or 20.

Sushil Kumar

"16 is the best age for professional wrestling but 18, 19, 20 and after that if you start then there might be difficulties in understanding the right moves, training. 16 is the right age to start and then go on to serve the country through wrestling." - Sushil Kumar

"The most important aspect of becoming a wrestler is discipline. It includes everything which a wrestler wants. A disciplined human can always produce results," he added.

The three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist also reflected on the daily life of a wrestler. He said that a wrestler wakes up early in the morning and then sets off for regular training which takes place for around 5-6 hours.

Sushil also asked the aspiring wrestlers to pay special attention on the diet and rest as it will allow them to train better in the second session.

"A wrestler wakes up at 4am and then goes to class and takes advice from his coach on the training he needs to do. The coach makes a schedule for training for a week of 15 days. He does running, ropes, sit-up, wrestling training in the morning," he said.

"I have done it from 4am until 10am. He then needs rest for the second session. If he rests well then his body will respond well. Before rest, he has some snacks which include almonds, milk, butter, fruit and then proceeds towards his bed. If a wrestler doesn't train for a day then he goes back a lot. Then his system changes," he added.

Sushil, who bagged a gold medal at the 2010 World Championships, explained that the diet of a wrestler depends on the weight category he features in consultancy with the dietician.

"(The dietician decides) If he needs to have two chapatis (flat bread), rice or fruit. One more thing is that the wrestler plans his diet according to the weight category he plays in," the veteran wrestler said.

"A lot of people think that what a wrestler must be eating. (People think they consume) 1 bucket of milk or 15 chapatis. It's not like that. A wrestler is like a common man and needs to have a diet like a regular man. He needs carbohydrates and vitamins. He takes his diet and then goes for training," he added.

The evening training session, Sushil says, is focused on technique and strength training. He also mentioned that fruit juice is an important supplement for a wrestler and the last meal of the day - dinner - is to be taken around 9:30pm followed by a walk for quick digestion.

Additionally, Sushil mentioned, that a wrestler sleeps early so that he is well-rested and can resume training early in the morning.

"In the evening training, the coaches put in technique and strength training, he also does recreation training in the evening. Then in the evening, he has almond, juice. After that around 9:30pm, he has dinner and then walks a bit for digestion and then goes for rest so that he can wake up at 4am," he said.