Filip Novachkov's 4 Techniques to Evolving Your Wrestling

article Apr 08, 2017
By Filip Novachkov

“If nothing changes, then nothing changes”

- Sammie Henson
World Champion, Olympic Silver Medalist, H.C. West Virginia

As you grow older, you start to look at things differently. I believe that everyone experiences growth in their own way - via making mistakes and learning from them and although there are no major shortcuts in life, there are definitely little tricks and tips that can help you get on the right track early. That’s what growth is all about – find your path early and stick with it all the way through, or at least for 5-10 years and see if it’s doing you any good. Be sure to listen to your peers and everyone else around you, because you never know what advice might help you in the future. Here are a 4 things that might help you on your wrestling journey.

1. Be open to new ideas and methods. Everything evolves, so evolve with everything.

If you want to be successful in wrestling, you have to make it a lifestyle. One that you can commit to and still enjoy. I challenge you to try something new in the off-season. That is the time where you can let your body grow naturally and not worry about maintaining a certain weight. The biggest mistake is keeping your body from growth. If your body is trying to grow, let it. I’ve seen it way too many times where kids in middle and high school would suffer during the off season just to stay at a certain weight and compete at it the next year. You will be miserable. Can you really do something for a long time if you're miserable with it? I can’t. Try to make your training as pain-free and as fun as possible, especially at a young age. The off-season is the time to experiment with your eating plans, training routines, strength building, and sleep schedule. The most important thing is to have fun with it. Not everything you try will stick with you, but the good stuff will for sure. Be sure that whatever you decide to test, to give it a consistent 2-3 weeks trial and error period. You might just stumble upon something that will stick with you forever.

2. Ask questions, it's important.

Tony Robbins, one of the greatest motivational speakers of all time says that asking the right questions brings you to a better quality of life. I use this approach with anything new that I dive into. Whenever I approach a new training routine or an eating plan, I always ask myself if I can sustain that. I look for the little things that I can make a part of my daily routine. You can ask yourselves questions with anything you do. If you set up paradigms for your lifestyle and hold yourself accountable you can make anything happen. I often find myself asking the same questions over and over again. Why am I doing this? Is this helping anyone else besides me? Is this something my body needs? Is this making myself and others get better? Trust me, you can always be better. You can always look for new ways to improve and become a better version of yourself. Asking questions will help you get there. In wrestling, there’s no such thing as knowing it all. There is always going to be someone out there that can whoop your but no matter at what level. If you don’t keep evolving your game, sooner or later you’re going to get humbled. So be open to new ideas, weigh in the benefits by asking questions and be playful with it. Bruce Lee once said that a man who is playfully serious is a dangerous man. This means have fun in the process, but still have your eye on your goals.

3. Develop your concentration and willpower to do whatever you set your mind to do.

This is easier said than done. Everyone should know that willpower can make anything possible. There are no such people as “SuperHumans.” We are all born with a blank slate and everyone is capable of getting themselves to that next level, whatever that is. Your main goal should be to be better than you were yesterday. There are many different ways to strengthen your concentration – meditation or repetitive training exercises, like staring at an object for an extensive amount of time, can help. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in a day if you focussed on one thing at a time. Developing concentration can help you strengthen your willpower. There is no guaranteed methods that will work for everyone, but the best practice that I have found to work for me would be fasting. I wanted to prove to myself that I can last a day without food, and plus there are numerous health benefits to fasting every once in awhile (look it up). For wrestlers, know that I didn't do it with the purpose of cutting weight, but as a challenge, and I had fun with it. My weight actually stayed about the same because I was drinking plenty of water throughout each day. I did a 3 day fast, but you can start with some intermediate fasting in the mornings. Now don't be stupid and die from starving yourself. Know your limits and capabilities and always do your research before attempting anything. Whatever it is that you find, stay consistent with it. Training your concentration is just like training any other muscle in your body, you need to practice consistently.

4. Longevity. Can you do this forever?

This one is my favorite. It has become the main criterion of my training. I love wrestling and surfing, and I want to be able to do them forever. So whatever gets implemented into my lifestyle needs to be sustainable. Whether you are diving into a diet plan, exercise, or recovery method, just remember to weigh in the pros and cons before you make a commitment. This circles back to remembering to ask the right questions. Wrestling is one of the most demanding sports there is, mentally and physically. It takes a toll on your body, but you don't need to train like a maniac every single day to be great. If you push your body hard, know that you will need a sufficient time to recover well enough to do it again. It has been stated that wrestling on the international level is a young man’s sport, but I believe that if you take care of your body, you can wrestle for a very long time. Train hard, recover well, then train even harder. Find the little changes in your daily routine that help you get better and stick with them. Be consistent.


Whether in wrestling or for anything else in life, it doesn't take an extraordinary effort to achieve greatness. Greatness requires discipline and consistency with the little habits that you build into your life. It is the little efforts done consistently that will win you the battle in the long run. At Bulgarian Muscle, we are going to introduce many of the little things that have helped the team over the years, so make sure you stay tuned and take advantage of this information.

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