One thing you can be certain of is uncertainty! Perfect isn’t real – reality is! Having an ideal training plan is one thing, but the likelihood of getting to follow it as written are slim at best.

The probability of a “spanner in the works” is extremely high, yet that doesn’t devalue the worth having a training plan in the first place. There’s immense value in creating a training plan and striving to meet it. Don’t make excuses! Commit, and if needed go with the flow!


As fighters there is always an opportunity for an injury, we are normally always carrying something, something that needs modifying as we are going along.

So as a strength and conditioning coach, planning training for a fighter, you need to be able to go with the flow.

You can have a nicely laid out program, between one flight and the next, that works through all the blocks of training, but it needs to be individualised. There will be certain aspects that we can or can’t do in a block, and you will need to modify that – adjust on the fly.

And it is purely individual, so rather than being too stuck with the “perfect” plan, you’ve got to do the best job you can, and plan to get the best out of your training you can – but it will never ever go 100% to plan.

You’ve got to be flexible enough to go with the flow sometimes, and go around an issue, and be a bit inventive with how you can fix a problem.

If a certain part of the training can’t be hit, there’s usually a way you can get round it, and there is an injured side that you can avoid, and you can work the non-injured side – and you get that neural cross programming, that will go on between one side and the other, to maintain the strength and power on the injured side.

And changing angles of exercises often works really well as well. So for example, a person that has an injured knee can’t do the squatting patterns, but you might find that that a real hip dominant lift, like the dead lift or kettle bell swing is fine, if they do the movement correctly. It’s posterior chain, it’s working down the hips, the knees aren’t getting the load, so they can still work on some lower body power development and maintenance while avoiding loading up the knee – so that recovers.

So there are lots of little things we can do in strength and conditioning that perhaps you can’t do in your Thai boxing practice, because it still aggravates an injury. But you can still keep on top of all of this stuff, and actually move forwards in a lot of areas while you’re injured.

But the other big thing is our supplemental training, our strength and conditioning training, allows us to kind of offset a lot of the issues building up, filling those gaps and making sure, that injury is less likely to happen in the first place. So injury prevention is very much top of the tree for your strength and conditioning training too.

Don Heatrick

Founder of Heatrick Strength and Conditioning

Don Heatrick is a family man from the UK, former mechanical design engineer, European Muay Thai silver medallist, former pro Thai boxer (ranked 4th in UK while aged 40-years), a Muay Thai coach, podcast host, and the go-to expert on Muay Thai performance training with over 25 years of coaching experience.

Don helps ambitious fighters and coaches take their game to the next level by bridging the gap between Strength & Conditioning, Performance Science, and Muay Thai.

Follow Don Heatrick on Instagram:


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