If you’re ready to push your Muay Thai training to the next level, then a Muay Thai camp in Thailand is the ideal way to hone your skills. By receiving world-class training in the home of this ancient and prestigious sport, you can maximise your potential as well as having the time of your life in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Furthermore, you’ll meet lifelong friends in your fellow campmates.
However, as you may already know from previous Muay Thai training, it isn’t easy. A Muay Thai camp will put you through your paces and then some. While you may have the determination and positivity, you must also make sure you (and your body) are fully prepared for a Muay Thai camp by following these five preparation steps.
If you are heading for a beginner Muay Thai camp, then it is essential that you build up your basic level of fitness and skills. For those with experience in Muay Thai, it also doesn’t hurt to up your game a little before you head to Thailand. It is well worth joining a local Muay Thai gym (if you haven’t already) and training a three to four times a week.
If that isn’t possible, head to your regular gym four times a week and ensure you have a balance of strength training, endurance training, bag work and cardio. Get adequate rest though, you don’t want to end up with an injury before you arrive.
Lace up your running shoes
Most Muay Thai camps will start the day with a run of around 4-5km. To prepare for this, it is well worth running at least twice a week and joining your local Park Run. If you are not used to exercising in the early morning, then start jogging before work, so you are raring to go when you get to camp.
If you struggle with running, build up your cardio in other ways such as cycling, swimming or on the rowing machine at the gym.
Skip and jump
Getting to grips with a skipping rope before your Muay Thai camp will be a great advantage. Skipping is likely to be a key feature in your warm-up session as it improves your agility and strength in the lower legs. However, skipping takes time to master, especially with regards to timing. It is well worth making skipping your warm-up activity of choice at the gym or buying a rope for your home so you can perfect the practice.
Remember, you will be skipping barefoot at the Muay Thai camp so practice without shoes where possible.
Stretching is also an essential part of your training as it promotes flexibility which is needed for kicking in Muay Thai. While your focus may be on building muscles, it is also important to stretch them out, so you don’t feel stiff or cause an injury such as a muscle strain.
Spend some time on the mats at the gym to stretch out your muscles. Make sure to focus on the lower body by stretching your hips, groin, calves and hamstrings. It may be worth joining a yoga class if you are not sure where to begin with safe stretching.
Get ready for the heat
It is not just the training that will be intense inThailand, it’s also the heat and humidity. If you are from colder climates, then prepare your body for heat by training in more layers of clothing than you’re used to and making the most of steam rooms and saunas.
If possible, try to arrive in Thailand a few days before your camp so that you have time to acclimatise. If you head out to train as soon as you arrive, your body will be in shock and struggle to perform at it’s best. Make sure to up your water intake; it is essential to stay hydrated for maximum performance.
While a Muay Thai camp may seem daunting, by putting in the preparation before you head out, you’ll begin the camp feeling much more confident and be able to perform at your best while your coach puts you through your paces.
Darren Mitchell is a Muay Thai enthusiast and writer for the BestMuayThai blog. Darren has trained Muay Thai for several years at gyms all over the world alongside some world-renowned fighters and coaches.