How To Get In Shape Before Coming To Thailand

A majority of people show up and need 2-4 weeks just to get in shape to survive the class. Do yourself a favor and come in with great cardio. My first trip I made the mistake of lifting weights at home thinking that would somehow make me in good enough shape for Muay Thai – I was wrong! This time I biked a lot (and ran a bit) before coming, thinking my cardio was decently good – I was wrong again! Three things that will really hurt your cardio in the beginning is jet lag, the heat and small Thai portions of food that you won’t be used to.

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So if you want to be able to run 2.3 miles in the Thai sun make sure you can run 4 miles back home. Immediately follow your runs with 100 ‘burpees’ with pushups. You can divide them up 5 sets of 20; just make sure you get through 100 with good form. If you can do that you’ll be in pretty good shape to start training right away. You could also do the ‘burpee’ pyramid, which I’m a fan of: start with 10, shadowbox for 10-30 seconds, do 9, shadow box, 8, then 7, 6 and so on. Once you get down to the last one, you’ve done a total of 55. If you still have energy, repeat it for a second round. You may also want to start jumping rope back home (we do it here in Thailand before every training) if for no other reason than to get your technique down, and some base jump-rope cardio going – shoot for 3 x 5 minute rounds of jump rope.

If you can do the run and ‘burpees’ twice a day, six days a week back home you’ll be able to train twice a day here in Thailand. But if you can’t, you might want to have more realistic training expectations. For me I’m happy training just once a day, 5 days a week, taking Sundays and Wednesday or Thursdays off, depending on how I feel. I also alternate between long runs and shorter warm up jogs every other day just to change things up a bit. Also, take it easy the first couple weeks when you’re here; I see it all the time – guys show up, give it their all twice a day, then get sick or injured, and don’t train the rest of their trip. To be honest, even if you did the most lax training schedule ever and only trained Monday, Wednesday and Friday, taking four days off a week you’d still be in amazing shape if you did it for 6 months straight. You’d actually be a much better fighter and in better shape than the guy that trains twice a day, six days a week but is only here for a month. There really is no substitution for time.

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