Muay Thai is one of the most rewarding sports that you can take up and the benefits are endless. One of the questions that comes up a lot with beginners is how many times a week they should be training and the answer really depends on what your goals are and what you want to achieve.
For each person, their goals could be completely different. If you are in the gym lifting weights and you just want to get ripped then twice a week will be plenty, if you are a full-time worker and you just want to increase your fitness, build muscle, burn fat and take on a new hobby, two to three times a week will be plenty.
If you’re someone that’s involved in another sport competitively, and you like the high fitness levels that Muay Thai training brings, then once a week might be enough if you have other training already. If you’re someone that wants to fight and you are a healthy young improver, I would recommend you train every day, except maybe Sundays so you can allow your body to rest and recover which as it is also very important.
Training One Day A Week
Training one day a week is for people with busy schedules who can only find time to make it to the gym once although you could still practice shadow boxing if you have some space and spare time or even practice on a heavy bag.
People who are committed to other sports like running, rowing, soccer or even boxing can benefit strongly because Muay Thai can burn upwards of 600 – 800 calories in a single session and it really blasts the anaerobic conditioning system.
It will take you a long time to pick up the high-level skills training only once per week.
Two Muay Thai Sessions Per Week
This is for beginners who are very interested in improving in the sport and you can build up the skills involved in becoming a Muay Thai fighter quite quickly by training twice a week in a good gym.
This is for people who also train three times a week in a weights gym and I want to get ripped when learning a new self defense skill they can put their muscles to good use.
Training 3 + times for Muay Thai
If you are someone that wants to take your Muay Thai to the next level or you just really love the training, you could easily train 3 + times a week.
If you are in Thailand, it is common to train twice a day 6 days a week, so if you’re young and fit you shouldn’t worry about overtraining too much.
If you want to fight in Muay Thai, you need to train in the gym at least three times a week and supplement this with your strength training twice per week and you need to get your cardio runs in as well, so you may even need to train twice in one day.
What I used to do to get the cardio and Muay Thai training in the same day is to go for a 5K run before work and then rest up during work in the office and head down to the gym for pads, bags, and light sparring in the evening.
Why you need to train at least twice is because Friday night for us was dedicated to sparing and all good gyms will have a dedicated sparring session once per week that you need to be going to if you want to fight. You also want to get two good hard sessions in on the pads with your coach or your partner’s where you can hit the pads and get all your bags and conditioning work in as well. There will usually be a dedicated strength and condition session for endurance circuits during the week as well for prospective fighters and fitness enthusiasts.
How long does it take to get good at Muay Thai
It depends on how often you train, how long it will take for you to get good at Muay Thai, but for a benchmark figure it should be 6 months at least and quicker if you put in your own training outside of the gym.
Muay Thai is probably the most difficult martial arts to get good at because there is so much involved. It is the art of eight limbs and with boxing its just punches but in Muay Thai you have to deal with kicks, knees, elbows, punches and there is also the clinch which is a huge part of the game that you will also need to learn.
How to speed it up your progress
If you can get a heavy bag at home or even if you can just shadowbox three – 5 minutes every day you should see yourself improving much quicker. We become what we think about and if your mind is always on Muay Thai then you are bound to improve much quicker.
Common beginner problems and something I definitely struggled with coming from the field sports like I played a lot of soccer, my hamstrings and hips were tight and that causes problems with getting your kicks high enough up on to the pads.
I struggle for months with my kicks until I went to Thailand for 1 month training and then I started seeing rapid improvement when I returned to my gym in Dublin.
As with anything, the benefits of your training will compound quickly and you will probably see a period where you improve rapidly in the space of a month but it might take you 6 months to reach that point so be patient, consistent and stick to your training.
Can I train Muay Thai everyday?
You can definitely train Muay Thai every day, even if you do 3 or 4 days in your gym and you can train at home as well just with shadow boxing, hitting the bags if you have one at home or pads with a partner. Training Muay Thai everyday is something that they do in Thailand all the time, so there is no problem with it if you have the time and energy to do that.
Muay Thai Overtraining
Overtraining is a bit of a myth but, if you overtrain, you should know it because you will have dull aches in all of your muscles and you constantly feel lethargic and tired. If you are really feeling bad and tired, you should probably just take a day or 2 off to rest recover and come back for the next day for some more punishment.
Things you need to be doing to improve at my time
Muay Thai Shadowboxing
Once you learn the basic techniques, then shadow boxing is very effective for improving your form, opening up the joints, helping you to put your combinations together, kicking higher with your roundhouse kicks & teeps and visualizing yourself as someone who’s improving at the sport or even stepping into the ring.
Drills With A Partner
Drills are very effective for improving, your opponent will hold up their gloves for you to punch and you will also be wearing Muay Thai shin guards so you can practice light kicks to the legs that your partner can catch with their own shin pads. Drills make Skills.
As you start off it should be opposite hand opposite leg, so if you throw a left punch you should follow it up with a right low kick and if you throw a right punch you should follow it up with a left low kick and then you could add a right knee after that for an effective muay Thai 3 hit combo.
Pads With A Coach
If you can get an experienced coach to hold the pads for you, they will help you to improve much quicker. They can point out where you were going wrong and make on the spot adjustments so that you can practice the right thing going forward in the rest of your training, whether that’s light sparring, bags or even shadow boxing.
The heavy bag is your best friend when you’re trying to improve, it is always available and provides a solid opponent that you can strike at will. When you’re just getting used to your techniques and trying to improve, time spent on the bag is invaluable. Focus on your form instead of your power and try to put your combinations together with the proper footwork.
There is no better way to improve then to actually simulate a real fight even if you were only going 50% at the start, you will quickly learn how to block effectively and how to land your own strikes.
There is a lot involved with Muay Thai and any good coach will never throw you in at the deep end. Just remember not to be the guy that runs around hitting everyone too hard in sparring as the better Fighters will give it back to you with interest.
All in all, Muay Thai is a very rewarding sport but it is one that takes some time to master probably more than any other martial art just because of the amount of time it takes to learn and master so many different techniques.
Let us know about your progress in the comments below and we look forward to hearing from you