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Principles of Training

My local gym, the Underground Training Station, is very focused on coaching, education and getting results.

As well as having amazing coaches they also share their knowledge through workshops and seminars. I attended a season on the Principles of Training which was really interesting.

The session was presented by Neil Parsley, BSc, CSCS, ASCC

Neil Parsley is one the most sought after/experienced strength and conditioning coaches in the UK. Over the last 15 years Neil has coached Olympic Champions/medalists (Beijing & London Olympics) multiple World and European medalists and National teams/champions across several sports including Taekwondo, Athletics, Rugby, Swimming, Cycling, Wrestling and Disability swimming. He has travelled extensively throughout the world attending training camps and competitions in Europe, Asia, Australasia & South America.

My Key takeaway from the session:


Begin with the end in mind, what do you want to achieve? Get stronger? Lose weight? Training for a specific sport or event?

What drives what you do?

Know you why?

What’s your purpose?

Your training needs to be linked to your goal.

Different Goal + Different Training = Different Results

Be specific to you

What’s the best plan for you!

You are unique - your plan should be as well.


Have an element of power in your program

Power = strength + speed


The basics done to a high level with consistency will get you a long way.


Do CORE movements really well.


Have a focus on core stability


Anti extension - roll outs

Anti flexion - goblet squat/front squat/ squat

Anti rotation - plank

Anti lateral flexion - suitcase carry


Combined = amazing results

HIT Training - should be 20 seconds max intensive.


Training is placing stress on the body, you don’t always need to do a hard training session.

  • Needs to be progressive

  • “Train don’t strain”

  • Slow and steady wins the race

  • Don’t leave training till the last few weeks

  • Overload principle - must be gradual and progressive. Too much overload = fatigue

  • Train less but train hard.

  • Do less with more intensity

  • Don’t train the same all the time

  • Recover well

  • Eat well

WRONG Training

  • No progress

  • You don’t want to exercise

  • Poor sleep

  • Irregular eating patterns

COMMON Mistakes

  • Not seeking professional advice

  • Not listening to your body

  • Trying to do, to much training

  • Following a training program that is not specific to you

Training should be enjoyable!


Treat sleep like an exercise

  • Have a bath before bed

  • No caffeine after 6pm

  • No bright lights before bed

  • No use of devices before sleep

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