I think this is an issue I find pretty prevalent in many places; LSD (long slow distance training) VS. HIIT (high intensity interval training). Lately, the trend has been to bash LSD. But I think that this is a little bit misguided. I'm sure most people who train here could agree that there is a very good mixture of aerobic and anaerobic training methods in their regimen, but I think it's very important to realize that the aerobic system is actually of utmost importance.
I think many people justify high amounts of HIIT by comparing wrestling to a sprint. A 7-minute sprint, interspersed with breaks. There is plenty of credibility to this analogy. But it is important to understand that in a 7-minute sprint, the most dominant energy system is the aerobic system. For truly anaerobic sports, such as shot put and Olympic lifting, where the amount of time force is being generated literally lasts seconds, the dominant energy systems are the anaerobic energy systems. In efforts lasting for as long as a match may (7 minutes without overtime) the aerobic system is a greater determinant of success.
I think there is a simple notion floating around that energy systems work in this manner - once the anaerobic-alactic system fails, the anaerobic lactic system takes over, followed by the aerobic system. This is essentially false. During physical efforts, they work in conjunction with one another - not one after the other, taking over for its predecessor when it fails. When the anaerobic systems are activated, it means that the aerobic system is working at 100% of its capacity already. During a match, amidst all the explosive shots, the sprawling, the lifting, the pulling, the pushing, the aerobic system is always working at 100%.
Even in an all out 400M dash an event that gets completed in as little as 45 seconds in Olympic competition, as much as 50% of the race is carried out by the aerobic system's bidding. In a much longer race, the aerobic system would clearly do much more work. In 7 minutes, the aerobic system would be the dominant energy system by far.
Wrestling is a sport of intermittent effort - the action isn't always present. There are plenty of instances when opponents will circle, remianing in good stance, or maybe walking around during a blood or injury timeout. Intervals have their place here, as they replicate these situations. But during the periods of low activity, consider that it is also your aerobic conditioning that is responsible for fueling you in these times of limited action. Compared to sprints, aerobic training resemble these periods of low action.
I don't mean to preach to the choir, or bash HIIT. I just think it is important to realize that aerobic system is certainly one of the biggest keys to success of wrestling. Conditioning is a very general term and can refer to a number of things encompassing LSD and HIIT methods, but it is important to know the difference between types of conditioning and how they can help develop wrestling success. There is a time to do HIIT, and there is a time to do LSD, and it is important to apply these based on the nature of a sport and the weaknesses of an individual.
Again, I hope this didn't come off as know-it-all-ish or condescending. This is just soemthing i feel could be constructively addressed. I have a couple of studies relating to the interaction between energy systems over the course of a work interval if anybody is interested. I hope this helps.