Thai fighters have long been considered a level above average for Muay Thai. After all, Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand. With the bustling, competitive scene in both Lumpinee & Rajademnern stadium, it is no surprise that many fighters who wish to improve brave the sweltering heat that is Thailand to go to Muay Thai gyms for a month or two to learn and improve from the Thais.
A typical day of training for Thai fighters looks something like this.
A session at a Muay Thai gym in Thailand is split into rounds, with each round lasting 2 minutes, which is the duration of each round in an amateur fight. The purpose of doing so is to stimulate and train them up for the pacing and intensity of a real struggle as much as possible.
A usual routine to start the full training would be a 3 – 5km run. Conditioning plays a huge role in a fighter's game. It can be the difference between winning a fight or getting tagged with a knockout kick because you were too tired to keep your hands up. Long-distance running is an aerobic exercise that uses oxygen and builds up your cardio working capacity or "gas tank". Both sparring and pad work are forms of anaerobic exercise and do high-output work in a short amount of time. This is why long-distance running compliments fight training so well and is often used to build up a fighter's stamina in the ring.
Skipping Ropes – 5 Rounds
Skipping rope is a great way to build powerful calves and shins. In addition, it will help your footwork and agility in the ring. Thai boxers will usually use weighted jump ropes for the added challenge. We wrote a whole article on the benefit of skipping in every fighter's Muay Thai journey here (https://www.thejungle.asia/post/3-main-benefits-of-skipping-for-muay-thai), so we do not want to be repeating ourselves like a broken recorder! Read the article to find out the comprehensive benefit skipping rope bring to your Muay Thai training.
Shadow Boxing – 2 Rounds
Shadowboxing is an exercise where a boxer moves around, throwing punches. Shadowboxing is a popular and essential exercise for boxers to hone their fighting techniques, condition their muscles, and warm up or mentally condition themselves in the lead up to sparring, a boxing session or a fight. Shadowboxing hones our technique and form as it allows us to finetune some of our movement, add combinations, and test out its flow at a reduced pace, which is not possible in a sparring session or a real fight. In addition to that, shadowboxing trains our mind to remind our body to remain calm and balanced through our movements and the actions we take.
Pad Work – 3 – 5 rounds
Rounds on the Thai kicking pads will help you practice your timing, technique, and distance control. It will also push your cardio even further. Typically your pad holder will call out combinations, and you hit the pads, but some advanced holders will let you freestyle and flow. A good pad holder will keep up a good pace and throw some attacks to check your defence. To end the pad session, holders will add a finisher exercise like continuous kicks.
Heavy Bags – 5 Rounds
On the heavy bag, the emphasis is on working the different combos slower than on the pads. Because the bags are stationary, it also allows us to work on the different angles of our kicks, punch and knees. Heavy bags and training on them also allow us to test and unleash our full power without the fear of injuring or breaking someone's bones. Lastly, heavy bags put our stamina to the test because it is very tiring to hit the heavy bag repeatedly over 5 rounds for 2 minutes. This teaches us to continue maintaining our form, technique and power even when we are tired and wish to rest. That lesson can be translated into a real fight scenario where we ought to continue to hit with the same power and form in the third round as we would in the first round.
Abs / Cooldown – 3 Rounds
Training of your abs helps improve movement patterns, strength, and overall performance. As a Muay Thai fighter, your core is vital. A solid and stable core will lead to more powerful kicks and punches, better footwork, more efficient clinching, and the ability to absorb more punishment. Moreover, everything we do in Muay Thai is connected to the core. Our core helps you build explosive KO power and use these weapons to their fullest potential. A strong core will make you stronger overall, but it will also help you generate speed for all that dynamic movement you need in the ring.
There you have it, how the best in the business, the Thais trains. Speaking about the best of the company, The Jungle has been voted the "Best Muay Thai Gym" in 2021, and you can rest assured that our lessons are structured to cater to people of all skill levels so it does not matter if you are a beginner or someone well versed with Muay Thai, our lessons are sure to teach you something new! So what are you waiting for? Book a class with us now!