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1) Don’t train straight off the plane!

Many visitors to Thailand experience huge jetlag. Up to 12 hours time difference can have an impact
on your body and mind. Although you will be keen to get in the gym and start training it is worth taking
the first 24-48 hours to relax and recoup, getting yourself used to the time difference and recovering
fully from jetlag before training. Eat plenty of food and drink lots of water during this time.

2) Get used to the heat!

The heat and humidity in Thailand can be overwhelming especially for people like myself coming from
a cold climate. You maybe used to training hard at home but trying to immediately train at the same
intensity before you are used to the heat can be a quick road to exhaustion. Make sure you drink lots
of fluids while training (1-2 liters will dissapear quickly). You will find plenty of shared water at the
Gym but most prefer to drink bottled water straight from the fridge, especially those most concerned
about hygiene.

3) Of course I want to train 12 times a week. That’s what I pay for right?

Do you usually train 24 hours a week? If not then there is a very good chance your body will not be
ready for such a harsh regime of training. It is best to start slow and build yourself up gradually to full
on training. Going at it hard 100% on day 1 can lead to exhaustion and small injuries which in the
long run will cost you more than a slow start. Over training can also lead to mental depression and
the feeling you “just can’t carry on”. This is a common problem people have in Thailand and one of
the leading factors people have in stopping training early.

4) Stay off the strip and walk away from walking street!

A lot of places in Thailand, especially Phuket and Pattaya offer great training facilities and some of
the best trainers availabe in the world. They also offer some of the most tempting attractions such as
Clubs, Parties, Discos, Bars, Dancers, Ping Pong Shows, Ladyboys, Massage Parlours and a whole
world of temptation you don’t find at home. The best strategy is to stay away from the walking streets
and party areas (especially the full moon parties) and if you do feel the need to go out and party do it
on a Saturday night as Sunday will be your day off from training. Whatever your weakness, you will
find a way to exploit it fully here in Thailand. Don’t get sucked into the party lifestlye because your
training will suffer for sure!

5) Don’t lift too many weights!

Heavy weight lifting can impact negatively on your stamina. Building excessive muscle mass may
look great on the beach but can slow you down considerably in the ring. It takes a lot of oxygen to
effectively use big muscles and you may find yourself quickly running out of steam when you fight. If
you do lift weights, you are better to do high reps with light weights quickly to build stamina and
strength. Bag work, road running, skipping and pad work are much preferred in Gym training.

6) Skip, Skip, Then Skip some more!

Skipping is an essential part of cardio training for muay thai and the best way to warm up, especially
for those who do not run! Skipping helps develop your leg strength, cardio and stamina. It also serves
to improve your footwork and co-ordination. You should try to skip for 5 rounds before training. If you
need to, take a short break every 5 minutes and try to build up to skipping for the full 25 minutes
without stopping. You should hop from foot to foot and carry out skipping exercises and not bounce
on two feet. Your trainer will show you how to do this properly. Even fighters at the highest level start
their training regime by skipping.

7) DON’T try and test your muay thai skills on the Thai people!

Thai people are very friendly and polite and take well to foreign visitors. One thing they will not
tolerate is seeing another Thai under attack. They will group together to protect their own and fighting
in the street in Thailand (and any other country!) will have severe consequences, can lead to being
arrested and will get you kicked out of your gym and even the country

Muay Thai

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