When you start training Muay Thai, you will quickly learn that there are many different opinions on the best frequency to train. Some coaches believe every day is the best frequency for training Muay Thai.
On the other hand, some like to concentrate their training on certain days of the week. In this article,
As a professional fighter, I will explain why both approaches are helpful and which one is better suited for specific people.
However, how often should you train Muay Thai will depend on what you aim to accomplish with your training.
Are you trying to engage in pro-fighting? Is Muay Thai a hobby you’re not taking that seriously? Are you trying to get in better shape and that’s it?
So let’s discuss different goals and how often you should train in Muay Thai to achieve that goal.
Table of Contents
- Defining What Your Goal Is In Muay Thai
- Tips To Define Your Muay Thai Training Intensity
- Picking the Right Training Intensity Based on Your Muay Thai Level
- Overtraining Or Under Resting In Muay Thai
- How To Overcome The Fatigue From Overtraining Muay Thai
- Final Thoughts On How Often You Should Train In Muay Thai
Defining What Your Goal Is In Muay Thai
The first thing you need to do is to define your goal. This is relevant in both Muay Thai and life. It makes you think about how much time and effort you want to invest in your training.
I’m going to tell you that it is worth investing your precious time into it if it is essential to you. Nowadays, people tend to get overwhelmed by the daily pressures of their life, which suck away their spare time.
For example, it’s evening, and you have just finished dinner. There are dishes to clean up, emails to answer, and a pile of laundry waiting for you.
How can you spend your evening productively? It turns out that one of the best ways to channel your energy is with Muay Thai. When I was a beginner, it was the first time I found an activity that forced me to do things I was not used to, pushing my comfort zone.
To define a goal, all you need to do is answer the following questions:
- Why do I want to start training Muay Thai?
- When will I want to stop? What do I want to achieve?
- How much time am I willing to devote to this goal?
Once you have defined your goal, then it’s time for you to explore a variety of ways in which you can achieve it. But if you are just starting out, please remember that whatever your chosen goals are, they will not happen overnight.
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Tips To Define Your Muay Thai Training Intensity
Goals determine the number of training sessions in Muay Thai, but you must also listen to your body.
If your goal is to be a professional but do not have any experience before, you can not train like professional fighters because your body is not used to taking that amount of pressure.
That is why defining your goal can be crucial in knowing how often you should train Muay Thai to improve.
For example, if you’re struggling to lose weight or are a beginner, training too hard with multiple daily sessions will lead to overtraining and injuries.
Tip #1: Understand The Need For Rest
Knowing when to rest is a key to your training. Know the parameters of your body and the injury you can endure during training.
I believe your body may feel discomfort, not pain, with increasing strength. When you push yourself and injure yourself (or get tired), it is a sign that the training is too hard for your body. And if you train too hard for too long, you will come back with injured muscles, which puts you at risk of permanent damage.
Tip #2: Know your Body
Your body is your best friend, but it can become an obstacle when you push yourself too hard and injure it. If you are not careful with your body, you will end up with injuries that take a long time to heal and can lead to permanent damage.
This is why, when training Muay Thai, if you see any pain or feel tired or dizzy during or after training, make sure to stop immediately. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Tip #3: Choose the Best Muay Thai Training Frequency For YOU!
The first thing you need to do is establish which schedule you can maintain, especially if you are a beginner or an amateur. The most important thing is to choose a program that will work for you and that you can commit to long-term.
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Picking the Right Training Intensity Based on Your Muay Thai Level
If this is your first time training Muay Thai, starting with a few weekly sessions is probably best.
This is because if you rush into too much training, you will end up getting injured or burned out. If you are an experienced fighter looking to improve certain aspects of your game, mix it up every day with strength and conditioning work in addition to pad work and sparring.
For example, I go through three-hour sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
But let’s look at what different training intensities look like and what you can expect to achieve in terms of progress.
Training 1-2 Times Per Week In Muay Thai
You should train 1 or 2 times per week if you do not aim for the highest level of fighting in Muay Thai.
Usually, training 2 times per week is perfect for staying healthy. For example, I know many people who have highly demanding jobs, have lots of stress at home, and train 2 times per week to relax.
Muay Thai is not only a combat sport that can be used to defend yourself. It is also a great tool to blow some steam after a stressful day.
By training 1-2 times per week, your muscles do not feel much fatigue. Also, your muscles can recover better in between training sessions. Therefore, it won’t affect your performance in other aspects of your life.
You can expect to feel more energetic, healthy, and probably happier after a long exhausting day at work.
Training 3-4 Times Per Week In Muay Thai
Five years ago, when I decided that I wanted to become a professional MMA fighter. I thought I had to train 2 times a day like other fighters in the gym. Once, one of my closest friends, a former UFC fighter, took me with him on every single training for a week. The result, I had no energy to train for about 2 weeks.
My body was not used to working out twice a day, and training so often caused more problems for me than benefits.
So how often should you train in Muay Thai If you want to be a professional fighter? At least 3-4 times per week is essential, and if you are a beginner who wants to turn into a professional should train no more than 4 times per week because your body needs to get used to this intensity first.
Once you’ve passed the adaptation period, you can progressively add more training sessions.
As a professional fighter, if I prepare for a fight, I train 2-3 times a day 5-6 times per week. However, if there’s no competition, I train for maintenance only. That means 3 times per week.
My fight camp usually lasts for 2 months. If I know there is a competition in 3 months, I train at a moderate pace 3-4 times a month. I then picked up the pace for the last 2 months to get in fight shape.
Working out 3-4 times is enough since you can cover all the daily basics. Drills, bag/pad work, conditioning, and sparring.
I would say this is the sweet spot for sustainable Muay Thai progress.
Training 5-6 Times Per Week In Muay Thai
Working out 5-6 times per week is also linked to stress and injuries.
If you are not a professional fighter, you do not need to train 5-6 times per week.
If you try working out 5-6 times per week, your muscles hurt a lot. Therefore, your productivity in other aspects of life will take a massive hit.
This doesn’t mean that you suck at Muay Thai. This level of intensity could even hurt the pros.
We use lots of energy in Muay Thai. After training, our body needs more time and nutrients to recover from this strenuous activity.
5-6 times per week is hardcore training intensity. You can expect short-term improvement, but long term, you will hit the point of diminishing returns. Your body will break, and you might need to step away from Muay Thai for weeks, if not months.
There’s a time and place for intensity. However, you can’t keep this intensity level indefinitely.
Training 10-12 Times Per Week In Muay Thai
Only professional fighters train 10 or 12 times a week.
If you’re training 10+ times a week, you need to have a specific plan and goal in place. Remember, you can’t keep this level of intensity forever.
At 10+ times a week, most of the training sessions are about developing your game plan, fighting different opponents, and sharpening your tools with pad work.
The main goal here is to overcome your weaknesses and become a better fighter. However, working out 10+ times per week without a long-term strategy will not be beneficial.
Let me share my newest camp schedule to know what looks like 10+ times work out per week.
Muay Thai Training Schedule For an MMA Fighter (10+ Times Per Week)
|Monday – Thursday||Activity||Duration|
|8 A.M||Running uphill|
|Around 2 miles|
3 rounds each 5 mins
|2 P.M||Strength & Conditioning|
|7 P.M||Grappling (For MMA)||90 mins|
|Tuesday – Friday||Activity||Duration|
|8 A.M||7-8 miles running||1 hour|
|2 P.M||Strenght & Cond|
|7 P.M||Grappling For MMA||90 mins|
|8 A.M||Sleep||As Many As Possible|
|2 P.M||Sparring||15 rounds each 3 mins|
|7 P.M||Jumping Rope |
Stretch / Abs
|5 rounds each 5 mins|
3 rounds each 5 mins
Wednesday and Sunday are rest days for me because I feel better when I have a rest day in the middle of the week, so I do not have to train five days in a row, and I am training 2 and 3 days in a row per week.
Overtraining Or Under Resting In Muay Thai
Initially, I was too obsessed with Muay Thai. As an MMA fighter who needed good striking.
When I knew nothing and learned one or two things, I felt like I was improving because there was a massive step from nothing to something. I was thrilled with my newbie gains.
My newbie gains kept me motivated for a while. However, once I reached a certain level of mastery and progress wasn’t that exponential, I got frustrated.
I was mentally and physically depleted. I thought I would grow faster as a striker by putting in more hours. I was so wrong.
Overtraining got me nowhere.
You always have to listen to your body. Having enough rest is as important as spending the right amount of time in the gym.
If you are feeling the following:
- Lack of energy
- Lack of motivation
- Get annoyed easily
You might be overtraining, and your body is warning you about it.
If you have these symptoms, you must take a break from training and get some rest. This will help your body recover and allow you to come back stronger than before.
Realize that overtraining can be a temporary situation, then after a long period of rest, you will see your progress levels increasing again with the correct schedule.
How To Overcome The Fatigue From Overtraining Muay Thai
Sometimes, when we spend months or maybe a year without breaks in the gym, we do not enjoy the process anymore.
Doing the same thing and being disciplined is not easy. Maybe we are taking the right amount of rest, one, two, or even 3 days a week, but still do not enjoy the process anymore.
I had some moments when I was even thinking, do I want to be a professional fighter? Do I want to suffer and sacrifice so many things and spend my life here?
From my experience, I can tell you that having rest is not enough. You must take a break and miss being in the Muay Thai gym.
Once a fighter, always a fighter, no matter your level. If you know what it means to be a fighter, you will miss the grind and not only the joy of success.
I take breaks every once in a while. I like to take 2-3 weeks off.
During this time, I’m not on a diet. I drink anything I want and enjoy my life.
After several days, I already miss throwing my hands and legs.
Also, you might rest your body during a break, but you can still train your mind. Reading books or watching video tutorials is a great way to keep moving things forward, even if you’re out.
Final Thoughts On How Often You Should Train In Muay Thai
Only your body knows how many training sessions it can handle per week. But never confuse body awareness with laziness. Some days you’re tired and need to push your limits.
Learning when to push and rest is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face in Muay Thai.
Most martial artists are guilty of being too tough for their own good. It is easy to push the limits but extremely hard to allow yourself to rest.
Discipline is essential to improve and achieve your goals. However, the discipline also includes having resting days, a proper diet, and the right amount of sleep.
For most people, I would say train 1-2 times per week if you do not have pro-fighting goals.
Train 3-4 times weekly if you have pro-fighting aspirations.
If you are a beginner, train 3-4 times per week to get in better shape and prepare your body for more intense training.
Finally, If you are already a professional and do not have any competition or fight any soon, train 3-4 times per week to be in shape, and do not over-extend yourself.
Do you have an upcoming bout and preparing for a competition? Train 10-12 times per week with the plan and long-term strategy.
Never forget to listen to your body, and stay healthy. Nothing is more important than your health and happiness.