The following article was submitted to Fight Quality by Darren Mitchell from bestmuaythaiboxing.com.
Attending a Muay Thai camp is a great way to sharpen your Thai boxing skills, and is also an exciting and challenging all-round experience. Over days (or even weeks) you will be pushed to you physical and mental limits as you train every aspect of Muay Thai alongside seasoned Thai fighters and coaches.
But attending a camp isn’t something that should be taken lightly, it’s a serious commitment and you should ensure that you are in the right condition and frame of mind before setting off. These 5 tips will help you prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.
Boost your cardio fitness
Muay Thai requires incredible levels of cardiovascular fitness, especially when training for several hours a day on consecutive days. So, it’s crucial to start your Muay Thai camp with a decent level of fitness. The number one way to improve your cardio is jogging, so try to get some runs into your weekly schedule in the build up to your trip. Most camps in Thailand will start with a morning jog, so it will also be beneficial to get in the habit of early morning jogging.
Learn to skip
If you’ve trained Muay Thai for any length of time, you will know that skipping is a vital part of training. Skipping is a tricky skill to master, so it can be tempting to try and avoid it in the gym… But this won’t help you much in a Thai camp. You’ll be expected to do a lot of skipping, so you need to make sure your skipping game is strong. If you already train at a Muay Thai gym, then turn up early to sessions so that you can grab a rope and get some more skipping practice in. If you train at home, you’ll need to buy a rope and watch some YouTube tutorials to get yourself camp ready.
Improve your flexibility
Training Muay Thai with stiff non-flexible leg muscles makes life difficult and can increase your risk of injury – especially when training every day. In the weeks before you travel, work on your flexibility by stretching daily, and looking to increase your leg flexibility in particular. Focus on your hamstrings and groin to really improve your kicking range, and hold deep stretches for over a minute to really push yourself.
Acclimatise to the heat
If you’re travelling from a cold or mild climate; training in the heat and humidity of Thailand can be very tough. You will start to sweat earlier than normal, and may feel exhausted quite early on in your sessions. Whilst there’s nothing that can totally eradicate the effects of the heat, there are precautions you can take to reduce it’s effects. Before you travel, try training cardio in more layers of clothing than you normally would to raise the temperature you train at – this will get your body used to training at higher temperatures. Also, try to arrive in Thailand a few days before your training camp starts, to give your body time to acclimatise to the heat before you start training.
In the build up to your Muay Thai camp, you should be eating healthy balanced meals with plenty of veg and protein. Starting your camp with a few extra pounds of fat and not enough lean muscle will not do you any favours. Also, it will be beneficial to lay off the alcohol for a few weeks beforehand too.
Darren Mitchell is a Muay Thai enthusiast and writer for the BestMuayThai blog. Darren has trained Muay Thai for several years at gyms all over the world alongside some world-renowned fighters and coaches.
The views and opinions in this article are those of the guest author and are not necessarily representative of Fight Quality’s own views. We welcome guest posts from knowledgeable and passionate writers, but have no affiliation with the author or connected companies/products.