My approach to training

An overview of my approach

I have been been involved in martial arts training since childhood. From a young age i became highly self motivated and self disiplined in physical training of versions types. 

Starting with some simple karate training and then moving on to an athletic system of ‘preying matiis’ Kung fu, callisthenics training exercises were the focus and priority during my early teenage years. A little later i was practicing a highly evolved and thoughtful system of Chinese martial arts conditioning called Neigong. This was a system i trained daily. Soon after I started competing in martial arts competitions so other harsh conditioning methods were added to my conditioning regimen, specifically things to build power and stamina.

A few years later bodybuilding style training interested me, so i trained in various ‘muscle gyms’ for several years whilst working as a bouncer.All the while i still pursued all the other elements of my martial arts practice to a slightly lesser degree.

With further self study of Russian sports science principle i came to appreaciate the value of a somewhat simplified approach to strength training and began to practice powerlifting and some Olympic weightlifting. 

whilst doing this i was still competing in various martial arts competitions so was getting a goood read on how these different training methods impacted my personal performance (and that of some students).

In 2001 i became highly interested in kettlebell firing as a tool for all around conditioning, as it seemed versatile and practical. I lived in Latvia for a month to study from the world champion at the time, training twice daily in private coaching sessions with him.

In 2003 I did one of the intensive personal trainer award courses of the day (YMCA) and found some of the structure ok, but ultimately was surprised that a novice could do this course and become a ‘personal trainer’ – simply because it taught a slightly skewed syllabus, which probably isn’t inline with ‘best practices’ of current sports science. Most personal trainers have training backgrounds of this type.

In 2007 I moved to Edinburgh to study for an MSc in Strength and Conditioning, which was a fairly new concept in the UK. Essentially its the science of human performance and how best to achieve it for whatever physical activity. This was a really useful period for solidifying my understanding of many scientific concepts that i had studied previously just not to such an in-depth level.

Since then i have been training a wide variety of clients, each with their very specific goals. I have been influenced to a large degree by the ‘scientific’ approach of my formal training, though ultimately I am more drawn to the approaches taken by the Taoist originators of my chosen martial arts practice.

That is to prepare the body and mind in a balanced, natural and harmonious way, that works with the natural flows of nature. Finding enjoyable ways to engage with physical practice, that are effective in making you fitter and stronger, but are also very enjoyable.  So its not all about aesthetics and abs and t-shirt muscles. These things are relatively simple to achieve. the key for me is to engage in training that is extremely interesting and enjoyable and simple to make as part of a generally good and healthy lifestyle. Adherence to physical practice over the rest of your life is important, so the training methods you use should be interesting to you and enjoyable to take part in. That’s is my aim.

Neil Rosiak MSc.

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