Practice makes perfect certainly applies in all aspects of your life. But how about the wrong training routine? What if you have the best intentions but make mistakes because of a lack of knowledge? How to put your Muay Thai workout routine to the next level and progress faster than ever before?
I’ve got the knowledge. No worries, I will guide you through the world of Muay Thai workout routine and help you grow your skills. I will divide this topic into three areas – beginners, intermediates, and competitors. There are huge differences between these three levels – read on to get to know tiny details!
What Should Muay Thai Beginners Do?
If you’ve just started your Muay Thai voyage in a local dojo, that’s great. You just have to listen to your coach and work on your technique.
For the first few weeks, you should focus on basic knees, kicks, and punches. Learn teep kicks, jabs, straight punches, uppercuts, diagonal and straight knees, and maybe a front kick too. The training routine mostly looks like this (but it depends on the area of the world):
- Running for 10-15 minutes;
- Dynamic warm-up;
- The technical aspect of the game – learning new techniques, combinations, maybe a heavy bag session;
- Core exercises or movement;
- Stretching – cooldown.
Your Muay Thai workout routine heavily depends on your coach’s instructions. A beginner should learn accurate techniques. It is way harder to fix errors when you automatize the movement. Don’t hit hard, think about listening to every single word of your coach. He’s your God in this phase of training.
Which Muay Thai Workouts Work For Intermediate Fighters?
You’re training for 3+ months? Great, it’s time for modifications of your Muay Thai workouts. You’ll get to know which basic strikes work well for you. It’s time to start building your fighting style. Are you going to be a toe-to-toe fighter, a brawler, a pressure warrior, or a counter-striker?
Well, I’ll tell you the critical aspects you should improve in this phase of your Muay Thai voyage. Two or three training sessions at your local dojo simply won’t be enough anymore.
You’ll have to throw strikes in front of the mirror. Start slowly, then increase the speed as time goes by. A mirror inside of your home will help you a lot, watch your moves, and fish for your mistakes. Be self-critical and don’t strike too fast, think about the accurate position of your limbs.
Your shadowboxing Muay Thai workouts are useless you if don’t visualize your opponent. Your imaginary foe is in front of you, counter, attack, and look for the openings.
You must learn to move. I know you will criticize me a lot because of this paragraph, but staying on the central line means you will never reach the top of the division. Yeah, you should learn step-drag forward and backward, shifting, and regular steps. But there is something more!
Pivots, side steps, and 90-degree moves are extremely important, circle your opponent.
You don’t want to listen to me, do you? Fine, you’ll end up against the ropes in the competition. When you meet a dangerous toe-to-toe fighter, you might get knocked out cold!
You should be able to connect some combos at this phase of your training. I recommend you to try easier ones first, then upgrade your skills.
Here are a few examples:
- Jab-straight – outside low kick;
- Jab – right uppercut – left middle kick;
- Jab – straight punch – left teep kick – right low kick;
- Straight punch – left uppercut – right front kick – left low kick;
- Left jab – right slashing elbow – short left hook;
- Left teep kick – left middle kick – right straight punch.
There are many different combinations, but stick to the basics, don’t try advanced moves just yet. Train at your home in your spare time, and don’t connect your strikes too fast. Work on motion fluidity and don’t try to knock your imaginary enemy!
Can I Become A Good Muay Thai Competitor And How?
When and if you decide to compete, it’s time to make some massive changes in your life. First, sometimes you will have to train two times per day and work on your weak areas of the game. It is hard, but many fighters who reached the top mostly come from poor families, they were battling to become the best.
The Understanding Of Process
You can’t just apply for the competition, you must get yourself ready properly or you’ll lose via first-round stoppage. Those fighters are beasts, they train every day, and they want a victory too.
Massive changes will reflect many areas of your life – you’ll have to go to bed early, it will impact your social life, people might stay away from you… But Muay Thai workouts are going to dominate your mind because you’ll start to live for your Thai boxing competition.
Your coach will work on your technical aspects of the game, listen to him carefully. You’ll have to do conditional sparring a lot, you must be ready to react. The majority of dojos let fighters spar at least once per week, plus there will be way more mitt work.
You will fight 3×3 minutes, or 5×3 minutes, depending on the competition, so the majority of coaches will stick to a 3-minute workout, one-minute rest. The ultimate goal is to prepare your body for the competition.
There’s one old rule – if you give 100 percent in your training session, you’ll give 30-40 percent in the tournament. You’re stressed, the guy across the ring wants to destroy you. The training session is different, you help each other grow. More mistakes in your dojo lead to fewer errors in the tournament and greater chances for the win.
Here is one example of a Muay Thai workout:
- 3-minute shadowboxing, focus on punches and elbows;
- one minute rest;
- 3-minute conditional sparring;
- one minute rest;
- 3-minute heavy bag work;
- one-minute rest;
- 3-minute combos;
- one-minute rest;
- 3-minute counters and blocking.
This is one set, repeat it two or three times (it simulates two or three fights).
Strength And Conditioning – Areas To Improve
Special Muay Thai workouts for better strength and conditioning are a must for fighters who plan to touch the sky. If you gas out in round 1 or land pillow punches, you’ll hardly win the fight!
How many times per week should I work on my strength and conditioning? Well, I’d recommend you to do it at least two times, but three is an optimal number for me.
Muay Thai strength and conditioning workouts contain:
- Weight and barbell drills;
- Core workouts;
- Rope jumping;
- Medicine ball exercises;
- Resistance band workouts;
- Plyometric drills;
- Sprints and HIIT runs;
- Long runs;
- Movement and reaction time drills.
I know, it looks like rocket science, hire an expert if you have money. If not, watch all over the internet, and make sure you learn to perform exercises correctly before you start lifting weights. The worst thing that might happen to you is an injury.
So please, warm up properly before your Muay Thai workout for strength and conditioning.
I will give you some hints now:
- 1-5 repetitions with 88-100% of 1 RM (repetition maximum) and 3-5 minutes of rest lead to maximum strength.
- 6-8 repetitions with 75-83% of 1 RM and 90-120 seconds of rest lead to maximum punch/kick power.
- 8-12 repetitions with 65-75% of 1 RM and 60-90 seconds of rest are excellent for muscle hypertrophy.
- 12-20 repetitions 50-60% of 1 RM and 30-60 seconds of rest is a moderate speed workout, and it’s good to simulate rounds.
- 20+ repetitions with 30-40% of 1 RM and 60+ seconds of rest boost your explosiveness.
Before The Competition
You’ll probably cut your weight, so stick to aerobic training sessions and don’t get too tired in a fight week. Long-lasting, light-to-moderate intensity Muay Thai workouts will help you get leaner. Work on your combos, movement, and quick strikes, and do some light running, you need to drain your body. Just drink water and eat properly after the weigh-in, your body has to recover.
If you don’t have to lose pounds, then there is a lovely option for your fight week – explosive drills and exercises. Work on hypertrophy or maximum strength 10+ days before the competition. If you have 7-10 days left, the power training session is ok, but don’t lift maximum weights. I don’t recommend you to lift more than 50% of your 1 RM in a fight week, especially when the tournament matters to you.
Yet, when you aim for the peak of your shape for a different tournament, there’s only one rule – don’t do power or maximum strength drills when you have less than 48 hours left to your fight. The upcoming competition serves to help you prepare for the later tournaments. Watch it as a hard sparring session.
The understanding of Muay Thai workouts depends on your training level and plans. Did you just start or you’re an experienced athlete? Would you like to be remembered in the world of Muay Thai or do you train to reduce stress?
I will finish this article with a great piece of advice – fighters who plan to compete should hire a strength and conditioning coach and work on their technique at home whenever they have time. I hope you have a better understanding of Thai boxing training routines and processes right now.
Last Updated on July 4, 2022 by Deni