Scheduling your Muay Thai training properly can make a world of difference in the speed with which you improve. But deciding exactly how much you should train each week can be a difficult task.
It all depends on your current level. As a beginner, 2 times per week can be enough, then progress to 3 times, and finally 5 or 6 times if you plan on competing at any level.
There is no simple answer as everything depends on your specific goals within the sport. Let’s go through a few scenarios that should give you a good guideline on how often and with what intensity you should train.
Training Muay Thai as a beginner
If you’re reading this and wondering how often you should train, you’re probably a beginner. After a few years of training, you will most likely have dialed in your training regimen based on your current physical condition and training goals.
Related Article: Is Muay Thai good for beginners?
Beginners are always eager to learn and progress as fast as possible. Watching experienced Muay Thai fighters in the gym immediately increases our motivation. However, if you are just starting out, your body will be put through a lot of stress, so don’t rush it or the end result may be counterproductive in the form of nasty injuries that keep you out of the gym for weeks.
The first major thing that determines how often you can train is your overall fitness level. A naturally fit person naturally can train more often, even if he is completely new to Muay Thai or martial arts. Before dialing up the Muay Thai specific training, someone who is out of shape must first build a reasonable level of strength, endurance, and cardio. Don’t let that stop you from starting though, shadowboxing, pad and bag work are some of the best ways to get you into shape.
How many times per week should I train?
I understand that the answer it’s all personal and is not why you came here. So, for the average person in their first year of Muay Thai training, going to the gym 2 times per week should be enough to progress the specific skills. This way the body has time to recover from the wear and tear it went through.
However, if you are serious about the sport (even if you are not a competitor), strength and conditioning training once or twice a week will help you build the physical attributes required for fighting. A typical beginner’s training week can consist of 2 Muay Thai sessions, a strength training session, and a running session. If your body is up to it, add a 3rd training session and perhaps skip the run if you are already in reasonable shape. The best advice I can give you is to listen to your body and schedule accordingly.
Why you should “train” something every day
The concept of “greasing the groove” is commonly used in strength training, but the principle applies to any motor skill. In general, the more you practice something, the better you will become at it. This entails performing a specific skill as frequently as possible, but only a few reps at a time, so the body does not tire. This is easily applicable to martial arts as well. Simply throw a few punches and kicks throughout the day. The goal of greasing the groove is to accumulate repetitions of a specific move without becoming fatigued or taxing the body. This way, you can practice your fighting skills every day without overworking your body. Here’s a quick rundown of the concept by the man who came up with the term himself.
Fighting is a multi-dimensional endeavor, and many things contribute to it, not just kicking and punching. On your “rest days,” you can focus on a low-effort aspect of martial arts training such as stretching, mobility work, or hand-eye coordination. You’ll be astounded at how far you’ve come once the hours start piling up one by one. Here’s some more information on the subject.R