One of my new readers posed a very interesting question about my training regime, in particular, my regime including weights. He asked if I would be willing to share my training schedule so here it is!
Monday to Saturday – Muay Thai Specific Training
I start my mornings off with a 4 – 6km run, depending on what training mode I am in – 6km runs usually when I have a fight scheduled. Unfortunately (or should I say fortunately!), in rainy season, I don’t run when it is raining so I will mix it up between the rower or the bike. If I am trying to peak my fitness, I will usually do sprints on the bike.
In the afternoons I will spend 15 – 20 minutes of skipping with a heavy rope or if my ankles are giving me problems, I will switch to the bike or rower. I try to avoid using the bike or rower twice in one day. If I have the energy, I will sometimes head off to a steep 1km driveway near the gym and do hill sprints. I avoid doing hill sprints on consecutive days though as my legs don’t recover.
After the group warms up, we participate in approximately 10 minutes of group stretching which is led by one of the students (or sometimes a trainer) at the camp. This is the same for the both the morning and afternoon sessions.
The people new to Sinbi are sent to the trainers first for rounds of pad work while I will commence with 5 x 3 minute rounds on the bag. I try to use this time to practice my technique or specific combinations that I have been taught. It’s a good time for me to turn new skills into muscle memory as my body is not overly fatigued by this point.
If the gym is extremely busy – I will proceed to do 10 rounds on the bag.
Pad work is 5 x 3 minute rounds when I am doing more relaxed training but when I have been matched to fight, my trainer will take me for 7 x 3 minute rounds with the rounds getting progressively harder. My trainer usually makes me smash out 20 hard kicks at the beginning of each round to fatigue me before we begin. This has been incredibly good for not only my fitness but for my stamina.
Often the afternoon sessions are busier than the morning sessions so as the new people are doing pad work, some of the more experienced students and fighters will participate in 5 x 3 minute rounds of sparring, followed by bag work and/or pad work.
Morning sessions are finished off with clinching – sometimes there can be a lack of girls so I will get to clinch with a trainer, and sometimes some of the other males students. They don’t seem to like putting the guys in with the girls though. If they feel that my experience will outweigh the man’s strength then they will allow me to clinch with the man.
Afternoon sessions are usually when the sparring happens although on the busy days you will spar, do pad work and then clinch.
After each session, I do 100 – 200 sit ups.
When I am fight training, I will do short rounds (approx 2 mins) of power knees to a bag just before I do my sit ups. Because clinching and knees have become one of the strengths, it is something we work a lot before fights.
Weight training, for me, is serving two functions. I am currently trying to lose another 7 or so kg so I need to do the weight training in order to assist with that process. In addition to this, I am also doing it to make me stronger in the clinch.
I had initially been training weights 3 times a week – except for on fight weeks. I try to not do any weights in the 5 days before my fights.
Monday, Wednesday and Saturdays are usually the days I lift. Monday’s are easier for me, both physically and mentally. I usually feel fresh after a rest day so doing weights on top of my two Muay Thai sessions is manageable. Wednesdays and Saturdays afternoons are my designated work days so that if I have online work commitments I can maintain those along with training.
I had been working using a progressive overload system to try to keep my sessions short and sweet, but with maximum results. Progressive overloading is simply using heavy weights, low reps, but increasing the weight each set – usually doing 3 or 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps, depending on how tired I am.
Weights include over head tricep extensions, thrusters (or an over head press), renegade rows, chest (bench) press and bicep curls. On Saturdays I add in some squats, lunges and deadlifts.
I don’t train heavy weights with my legs because I use them so much with running, skipping and kicking so Saturday has been the ideal day for me to do this as I have the Sunday to recover.
I have found the weight training has been beneficial in helping me shift my body composition and has aided me in losing weight. In terms of Muay Thai, I am significantly stronger on pads and in the clinch however that can also be a result of better technique from training.
Now that I have spent some time building my strength I have moved onto adding circuit training into my weekly regime.
High intensity workouts, with lots of explosive movements – and I found a gym with a trowler!!!
Back home in Australia, I did 3 months of circuit training before I moved to Thailand and it was the greatest thing I have ever done for myself. It was the fittest and fastest I had ever been at that time.
Circuit training includes all the regular activities that you would expect – burpees, box jumps, sprints, trowler, chin ups, wall balls, ball slams, ropes, tyre flips and slams. I very recently found a gym that is all over the circuit training so that every thing you do is a compound on the muscles you have already worked and the high intensity has your heart rate elevated for at least 30 mins.
Even after my first session I felt faster and fitter the following day on pads so I will continue to do 2 circuits a week as a part of my routine.
With the combination of weight training and circuit training I will be able to not only shift the body fat I need to, to be fighting at a competitive weight, but I will also be the fittest and strongest version of myself. There’s a lot of good evidence and athletes that support cross training, and let’s face it – it’s not going to make me any worse!!!
So this is it! This is my training regime – this is what I try to adhere to on a weekly basis. It’s not without fault though – obviously training this much is excessive – I am completely over training my body and the thing that saves me is regular fights. Fighting regularly affords me rests days before and after fights so that when I return to training I feel fresh and ready to start again.