Exercise Selection

I was recently asked a great series of questions regarding substituting alternative exercises for some of the ones I'd put together in my previously posted functional strength and hypertrophy routine. As a result I thought I'd run though my exercise choices and explain why I've selected them. Strength and conditioning maybe the practical application [...]

Strength & Conditioning Programming for Muay Thai

Strength & conditioning programming for Muay Thai isn't simple. If we were marathon runners things would be a lot more straight forward, but our sport uses a complex mix of athletic qualities and energy systems. Strength, power, aerobic fitness, anaerobic fitness and muscular endurance all contribute to your Thai boxing performance. Lacking in one [...]

Training Age

At a seminar I delivered to Thai boxers in Cork, Ireland, there were some very experienced fighters — having invested many years of training both domestically and in Thailand, and amassing a large number of fights internationally. You wouldn't describe these guys as 'beginners'... or would you? A small part of this particular seminar [...]

Periodisation of Muay Thai Technique Training

I've come across an interesting periodisation model while reviewing a classic article from the NSCA Strength and Conditioning Journal, "A Theoretical Model of Strength Training" by Stone, Bryant et al. And I thought I'd share it with you as it helps Thai boxers picture how their training should be structured approaching a fight. The [...]

Warning: Incompatible Training Methods

Your training must be specific to your sport. This is straight forward if you're either a sprinter (power) or a marathon runner (endurance), but we're Thai boxers and we need it all. Conflicting physical adaptations are part of our game, and managing this is crucial if you're to get the best out of yourself. [...]

Why Fighters Should Exercise on One-leg

In the last article I posted a video showing a progressive series of unilateral (single limb) leg exercises, and this week I'll explain why they feature in my Thai boxer's strength and conditioning programmes. Because We're Thai Boxers Thai boxers operate on one leg or in staggered stances, placing an unequal load on the [...]

Training an Injured Muay Thai Athlete

Because of the high level of interest in my Thai boxer Down - Injuries article, I felt I should continue on this theme. Fighters are a different breed, you're wired a little 'differently' – it's why you were attracted to Muay Thai in the first place. Like it or not, you're an extremist by [...]

Building Clinch Strength Using Alternate-side Pull-ups

When selecting exercises for your programme you should build from more general movements to more sport specific exercises. Alternate-side pull-ups are an example of a more Muay Thai clinch specific version of the general pull-up exercise. Performance points: Hang with your arms at full extension Draw your elbow into the side of the body [...]

What is Strength & Conditioning Exactly???

  This post was prompted by a recent Facebook status, which asked, “As strength and conditioning is becoming a big part of fighters training, what do coaches and fighters think it is? Weight training? Cardio? Padwork? Bag work? Core exercises? Body impact conditioning?” It's a great question, and one that certainly attracted a lot [...]

Muay Thai and Carbs — important? Part 3

This third and final part of my series looking at the importance of carbohydrates to Thai boxers, explains how carbs affect your final weight cut the week before a fight. Your body composition should already be on point (less than 10% body fat) by managing your calorie intake (especially carbs) for the previous 4-weeks or [...]

Fighter Weight Training Sessions In a Nutshell

Thai boxers, like most athletes,  don't have much time to dedicate to weight training sessions. It's therefore critical to train specifically in the gym — be the most productive and get out again. Fighters must focus on strength and power development in the weights room, as these adaptations aren't maximally stressed during Thai boxing training [...]

Building Functional Muscle for Muay Thai

Following over a months lay off from training due to a persistent illness, I've lost a lot of muscle. Stepping back on the scales I'm nearly 5kg lighter. My composition remains good, but I need to get my weight back were it was so I'm competitive in my weight category at 75kg max (day [...]

Don’t Workout

Ok, I'm deliberately picking on semantics here. What I'm really asking, is you consider your approach to training for the next year. There are good and bad gym sessions, and I'm not referring to details like exercise selection and order, or sets and reps etc. (although they are important), I'm talking about your general approach. Good training [...]

Strength Training Simplified

I've not had much time this week as I've been preparing fighters for a show at the weekend,  so this post quickly summarises a simple strength development approach introduced to me by Gil Stevenson, a director of the UK Strength & Conditioning Association. If you struggle to understand how to train for strength rather [...]

By | 2017-04-28T11:40:38+00:00 December 17th, 2012|Programme Design, Strength, Written Post|10 Comments

Muscle Soreness & Muay Thai Training

Pulling on my barefoot running shoes, I chose to run the 2 miles to the gym as part of my warm up. I'm not yet accustomed to the altered calf loading from barefoot running, and as I completed my gym session, my calves began to feel tight — but I still have the run home. [...]

Time Saving Multi-purpose Exercise

As fighters our exercising training time is very limited. We should spend as much time as possible practising technical and tactical Muay Thai. Time spent exercising must provide a benefit that can't be obtained during Muay Thai training or it's wasting time. Each exercise in your strength and conditioning programme must provide the biggest [...]

Correcting Muay Thai Posture Compensations

Following on from my last post, "Is Muay Thai Bad for Posture?", this time I look at some exercises that can counter balance the overuse and posture compensation that results from hours of Muay Thai training. These exercises strengthen and activate deep neck flexors and lower scapular fixators and stretch out the pectoral, upper trapezius [...]

Is Muay Thai Bad for Posture?

High training volume in any sport will lead to overuse injuries and muscular imbalances, and Muay Thai is no exception. It's true, you really can have too much of a good thing! Fighting posture is designed to defend vulnerable parts of your body against imminent attack, not promote long-term health. And Thai boxers spend a significant [...]

Timing Training to Boost Recovery & Performance

It's not enough to just train hard, you need to train smart. Thai boxers must train many different qualities to be successful – highly skilled movements, tactical strategies, flexibility, strength, explosive power and relentless endurance. How can you develop all these without frying yourself in the process? In a previous post I discussed general [...]

Technique Training When Tired?

Should you train technique when physically fatigued? It's a great question, and to grasp the answer it's crucial you understand how your body learns skilled movement of any kind – get it wrong and doom yourself to hours of corrective practise, get it right and short-cut to reliable skill in adverse conditions. Before I [...]