Fight training without a fight? It may seem counterintuitive, but you CAN capture the performance benefits of a fight camp without ever stepping foot in the ring.

The secret lies in periodisation – strategically planning your training into blocks that progressively build strength, power, speed, and Muay Thai specific skills. This optimised structure allows you to simulate a fight camp and its gains without the fight itself.

In this video, 51 year old ex-pro fighter and Muay Thai performance specialist Don Heatrick breaks down the major benefits of using a periodised approach in your training whether you compete or not…

Avoid plateaus, prevent injuries, ensure sustainable progress, and align training to your unique goals – periodisation helps any Muay Thai athlete make consistent gains for health, fitness and self-defence.

Don draws from decades of experience showing how planned, progressive training variations beat out stale, repetitive routines. Break out of your rut and design a periodised plan tailored to your needs. You’ll unlock better performance, faster recovery, and increased motivation.

Think periodisation is just for competitors? Think again. Use these proven techniques to transform your own training. It’s time to start stealing those coveted fight camp results – no actual fights required.

by Don Heatrick

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Fight Training For Non Competitors

More and more Thai boxers are realising the importance of strategic planning, periodisation, to build strength, power, speed, and endurance, ultimately peaking for a fight.

But here’s the burning question:

Is this still crucial if you’re not competing but training for year-round muscle, fitness, and self-defence?

Stick around to find out!

The truth is, whether you’re a fighter or just on the path to personal excellence, periodisation holds the key to unlocking your full potential. I’m going to share why it’s not just for fighters, but for everyone seeking holistic fitness, longevity, and optimal health. It’s not just about the fight camp.

Avoiding plateaus, preventing injuries, and ensuring sustainable progress—these are just a few benefits of a well-planned training structure. Today, let’s breakdown my top 5 reasons to periodise your training, WHOEVER you are…

Avoiding Plateaus

Training that remains stagnant fails to ignite the necessary responses for improvement. The concept of periodisation, however, injects diversity into your training, without training simultaneous qualities that cancel out.

This strategic variation acts as a safeguard, warding off plateaus and fostering ongoing advancements in strength, power, speed, endurance, and skill development. Alternatively, if you prefer, think of it as an elevation of your overall fitness level.

Optimal Fight Camp Blueprint - Fight Training

Short & Long Term Injury Reduction

As a Nak Muay in my 50s, I’ve learned firsthand how ambition can turn into abuse. Periodisation not only gives short-term gains but also safeguards against wasteful long-term wear and tear.

When you’re younger, there’s a natural tendency to go above and beyond, believing that pushing harder equates to faster and better results. I’ve done it, and I’m carrying issues because of it. It’s like wielding a sledgehammer to crack a nut – an excessive effort to achieve a seemingly small goal.

Little do we realise that, in the process, we unknowingly subject ourselves to needless wear and tear.

Periodisation is a more measured and thoughtful approach to training, akin to using the right tool for the job. And can prevent unnecessary strain and set the stage for a healthier, more sustainable journey in the long run.

Avoiding burnout minimum effective training dose


Sustainability is key. Periodisation allows you to maintain a long-term perspective, using planned variations in training to avoid burnout and ensure consistent progress.

Without periodisation, it’s easy to overdo it – training too intensely for a few weeks or months before hitting a wall. This “burn bright then burn out” approach leads to overtraining, illness, or injury.

You might make quick progress at first, but end up having to stop completely or reduce training long-term. This start/stop method is a false economy and jeopardises lasting gains.

The periodisation approach is sustainable – allowing your body to adapt and grow stronger over time without overstress. The targeted and progressive training periods promote longevity by preventing the damage caused by abrupt spikes in volume or intensity.

Periodisation leads to lifelong gains by keeping you healthy and engaged in the long run. It’s truly the smartest path for any Muay Thai athlete seeking consistent, lasting improvements.

Training-Plan-boom-and-bust-training-vs-long-term-fight training

Individualisation & Goals

A major benefit of periodisation is the ability to customise training to your unique objectives. Whether your goal is to gain muscle or strength, improve cardiovascular endurance, or sharpen self-defense skills – periodisation allows you to emphasise different aspects in each training block.

Without a purposefully planned approach, it’s easy to neglect key athletic qualities which then degrade over time. We’ve all heard “use it or lose it.” This applies equally to competitive athletes as well as those simply seeking to maintain or improve physical competence into older age.

Age-related physical decline is largely due to disuse rather than an inevitable inability to continue improving.

But without periodisation, it’s easy for certain capacities to be overlooked and decline with the passing years. The right periodised plan aligns training with your individual preferences, time constraints, and current fitness.

Fight Training Personalised Goals & Training

It allows you to double down on personal limiting factors and prioritise your biggest game changers. You can customise periodisation to target your weaknesses without dropping other abilities you’ve worked hard to develop.

It’s the ultimate way to align training with your unique objectives for the most efficient progress possible.


Variety is the lifeblood of motivation and engagement. Transitioning through blocks that focus on mobility, strength, power, and speed keeps your training both intriguing and challenging.

This not only ensures a constant stimulus for physical improvement but also caters to your mind’s need for diversity, keeping you fully engaged in the training game.

Rounding Up

In a nutshell, periodisation adapts to your goals, individualises your training, and ensures you use it, not lose it. It’s a game-changer for any Nak Muay, whether you’re in the ring or training for life.

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.

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