Strength and conditioning plays a big role in the training of a modern day Muay Thai warrior, boxer or any type of combat athlete (Especially in the United States). Throughout social media platforms you will constantly see posts of how much time your friends spend at the gym.
“Just got done lifting for 3 hours! #gymratproblems #swag”
Now this might impress some, but it goes without saying that if you are lifting 3 hours per session, you aren’t training hard enough or your training is ill-designed. The only people you will find benefiting from this type of training are high level bodybuilders who train using a completely different set of principals.
When it comes to training or working out, quality is of the up-most importance , especially as an athlete who already spends hours training outside of their strength and conditioning regimen. Quantity thrown at ill-designed training, or poor movement will only make you better at that poor movement pattern or cause injury.
If you are doing high quality, thought-out training, you shouldn’t be at the gym for more than an hour or an hour-and-a-half tops. Your brain disconnects and looses focus when you unlock your phone to see the latest facebook update. Not only do you loose your focus, you are also losing time that could be spent training.
Keeping yourself in the moment brings you a form of meditation. We are constantly distracted with texts and notifications, give the time to yourself to truly enjoy your hour alone. In Arnolds words..
“Texting at the Gym, That is Micky Mouse Shit”
Time Your Rest
Simple, yet underutilized. Some have it down to how ready their body feels to go again, but using a timer gives you a more objective measure. It is an important tool in staying consistent between sets, your results will vary week to week if you mix your rest time from 1 minute to 5 using the same workout. A basic rule of thumb would be 0-60 seconds of rest when training for strength endurance, 1-2 minute rest for hypertrophy, and 3-5 minutes for maximal strength training. Each serves a purpose, which I will touch upon in a separate article.
Plan Your Workout
This doesn’t mean “Today is chest and triceps”. Plan which type of workout you are going to do and its purpose, the exercises, sets, repetition range, intensity, tempo, and rest time of each. Take the guess work out, plug efficiency in.
Know the Purpose of Your Workout. Specificity is key in training. Know your goal, and which type of exercises are needed to accomplish this goal. Be specific, be goal oriented, and be realistic. In turn, you will maximize your workout time. The majority of fighters need a combination of mobility, activation, strength, and power work. Finding a credible trainer will make this process much easier, taking out all the guess work, and cutting through the bullshit and misinformation you find online.
Find a Trainer
1 on 1 training could be crucial. Not only will you get personal attention every minute of your workout, you have someone to make sense of everything you are doing. Having someone prescribe a goal-oriented plan, specific to you, your movement, and your goals will cut out exercises that give you little to no benefit.
Like I stated before, you should know why you are doing the exercise prescribed, the number of sets, the repetition range, intensity, and rest time. A trainer will personalize each aspect to fit your goal and take away all of the guess work. A good trainer will screen you for movement inefficiency, and correct these deficiencies in order to add longevity to your career and overall health.
Having a professional hold you accountable could make the difference between relying solely on will power and pushing towards your next personal best as a team. You aren’t learning all of your fighting technique from solely from youtube, so why take the risk of learning heavy lifts without supervision or feedback?
Super-Set it up
I have been running into the problem of getting anxious in between sets to go again. If you know you are doing multiple muscle groups during your training session, you can significantly decrease your time spent in the gym by doing circuit training and super-setting your exercises. Doing this, you increase the amount of work done in less time, challenging yourself, and staying engaged.
Some good super set patterns to use are Hip-Dominant Movements followed by a Pushing Pattern and Pulling Pattern. For power it is also effective to use a strength based movement such as a deadlift, squat, or bench press followed by a bodyweight power movement such as a broad jump, jump squat, plyometric push-up or ball slam/toss.
I hope you can benefit from some of these simple methods to more efficiently incorporate your strength and conditioning. Focus is key to achieving most things. Have a plan & set standards and losing focus will become a lot less likely. Remember that strength and conditioning is supposed to compliment your Muay Thai Training, not be the sole focus. Your sport specific training comes first (pads, shadowboxing, bag work, drilling, and sparring).
If you have any questions I would be happy to answer them in the comments section below or via message on facebook. As well as at MuayThaiAthlete@Gmail.com
Increase your overall fitness, hand speed and power with our fun and efficient boxing drills ===> MuayThaiAthlete.com/thaiboxing
Paul Banasiak is a Muay Thai fighter/addict,
9x champion, trainer, and fitness professional. After leaving medical school without looking back he decided to fully follow his passion of helping others become the best version of themselves, creating MuayThaiAthlete.com.
A website for those who are already passionate individuals who want to take their life&training to the next level.
Today we begin forging our bodies and
strengthening our minds.
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