Muay Thai is not just a martial art. It is so much more than that and there are so many aspects to the training. The structure of Muay Thai training is similar to Western Boxing. The different elements of the training are each designed to sharpen specific areas of your Muay Thai game. Good gyms will incorporate many of these elements in training to ensure that students develop a well-rounded game.
Every gyms structure to training will be different, and there is no right or wrong. That is the beauty of this sport. You may find some gyms emphasize certain areas more depending on the instructor and class size.
Most gyms will incorporate most of the following: road work (running), padwork, bagwork, clinching, shadowboxing, sparring,, strength & conditioning, body conditioning. And that is just the name a few!
All of the above falls hand in hand. In order to be a complete fighter of the highest standard you must endure all aspects of training. Of course, there’s going to be things you dislike and things you dread but that is the same with everything in life! You have to suck it up and do it anyway. And you’ll find you’ll feel much more accomplished for doing so. It’s the small decision like that that help you grow as a fighter.
I used to hate roadwork, it still to this day isn’t may favourite thing to do but I’ve found the more I do it the easier it gets an I weirdly can find some fun in it these days. It is a source of meditation for me!
This is what makes Muay Thai such a beautiful sport. There is so much variety within the training and so many areas you can test yourself. As soon as you feel as though you’re to a high standard in one area, you can move your focus to the next. Although, I do think improvements can always be made, only a person with an ego would think otherwise!
Structure is important.
There are so many aspects to training you can’t do everything in one day it is not possible. Even if you had the time, it is not effective anyway as fighters need adequate rest in order to perform. This is where structure is important.
Personally, I like to have some kind of consistent routine. Knowing what i’m doing each day. This is how I find I make the most improvements. I spread my training out across the week.
My training shedule – an example
I will run three times a week. Some of these will be slow runs, some will be intervals or sprints. Some will be on the road, some on the treadmill. I like variety and i think it is key.
Strength & Conditioning
I will do one/two strength and conditioning sessions. So this is where I will work on body fundamentals such as power, speed, strength, agility training etc. These can be 30 mins to an hour long depending on the style of session we are doing.
I try to hit the pads at least once a day sometimes twice. Of course this is not always possible as I do not always have someone to hold. When I do hit pads I do anywhere between 3 – 5 rounds with varied round timings, 2-8 min rounds.
It usually depends what other training I have done. Let’s say I have just done some sprints in the morning and I’m hitting pads straight after we may do shorter rounds.
Let’s say that I haven’t done anything prior to the session then we may do longer rounds. It all depends on the state of training we have done.
Shadowboxing is an area of training most people overlook. (When they first start). You may hate doing it as you feel silly. I was the same. Over time you learn to love it once you realise the big improvements it can make to your game!
No matter the session I always try to make time to shadowbox. This is a great way to get the body moving and loose. This is time to work on your stance, footwork, balance and techniques. Be creative and let things flow. A good tip is to use a mirror whilst you do this. That way you can see your body mechanics, your guard and the details sometimes you don’t realise you are doing wrong.
Sparring is the process utilizing all of your techniques against a real opponent. It is in this stage of training that you will learn what works and what doesn’t work in reality. This is the element that most traditional martial arts are missing from their training regimen. This is what make sports like Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Boxing much more useful than other martial arts out there.
As a beginner, you should not spar until you develop proper fundamental techniques. Trying to spar without having cemented your method will result in you creating bad habits that will be difficult to change. While you may be excited to try sparring, be patient and focus on drilling until you have good enough control and technique. This is a stage where you will find your own style eventually.
Once confident try to spar at least 2-3 times per week at 60-70% output. Controlled sparring is where you will learn msot and try new things out.
Bagwork is done everyday. There are multiple uses of the bag. Whether it’s fitness rounds, technique rounds or drills, I always do something. Some days I will hit the bag for 10 rounds straight just perfecting the little things I personally feel I need to in my game. I could do 10 rounds of 1 technique until I feel it’s better. No ones gonna hold 10 rounds of the same thing for you! So this is where the bag is handy. Some days it may just be used as a finisher in a session for example sets or knees or kicks to build endurance. It varies!
I have plenty of bag drills that you can follow….
There are many aspects of training that must be included in a good Muay Thai program. Each aspect has a slightly different purpose to help you improve part of your game. When put together into a plan you will be on the right path to becoming a champion! Enjoy your week guys go get it!