Training Muay Thai in Thailand is an experience unlike any other. Most people who train Muay Thai outside of Thailand think that they’re ready for the real deal, don't they? They think that "Muay Thai is Muay Thai" and ultimately, it doesn't matter where you pick up and master the techniques.
Remember that in Thailand, Muay Thai is their national sport. If you’re not a full-time Muay Thai fighter, odds are that you will not be training at the same intensity and frequency in which your Thai counterparts train, which is to be expected. You wouldn’t expect to keep up with them in any Muay Thai workout anymore than you would expect a casual football fan keep up with an NFL player.
Of course, you want to be prepared when you’re training in Thailand. If you’re not maximizing every second of time you spend training in Thailand, then you’re losing out on training with the best of the best.
Here are 10 ways to make the most out of your Thailand Muay Thai training experience/adventure:
Before You Commit To Thailand... Are You Physically Ready For It?
The most important thing you can do to prepare yourself for training is Thailand is to prepare your body.
In Thailand, they train three times a day - 3 times a day! There’s a run in the morning, one training session in the late morning, and another in the afternoon.
This means that you must keep your cardio and your muscular endurance up to snuff, and you must be training both. If one goes out, so does the other, which loses you precious time that you could be spending learning from the Thais.
Other than keeping your cardio and muscular endurance strong, before Thailand is the time to make sure that your body is balanced. Specifically, you’re looking to make sure that there are no muscle imbalances within the body nor any areas with weak mobility. If you have any of these problems, that could lead to an injury.
And as Sean and Paul have said, "respect your recovery." Remember that training sessions are thrice daily. You will need adequate recovery if you want to maximize that training.
Right now is the time to make a habit of stretching, foam rolling, and ice baths or any other type of recovery you do.
Why now? Because everything requires less effort to do when it’s a habit. If you’re exhausted after a training session, you will not have the willpower or have very limited willpower left to push you to go through your recovery routine.
Mastering recovery also means planning out your diet. My recommendation is to scout out the area for restaurants that can fit into your budget and fulfill all of your nutritional requirements. Or if you have access to a kitchen, figuring out what supermarkets are around you and preparing your meals as you go along.
In case all that does not work, there’s a plan B: pace yourself. I know this sounds like I’m telling you to be lazy, but if you kill yourself each training session, you will not be able to train as hard for the rest. You cannot operate at max speed all the time. Pace yourself and you will survive.
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