Muay Thai Vs Weight Lifting – Which One Should I Do?

Muay Thai and Weightlifting at two activities that I really enjoy. One is really intense cardio, good for building functional strength and getting in incredible shape and the other can be used to pack on a lot of muscle, become insanely strong and become irresistible to the opposite sex.


You can compete in both Muay Thai and Weight Lifting although Muay Thai is a little bit more dangerous and the risk reward ratio is a little bit higher.


Weightlifting to has it competitions from strongman to bodybuilding contest, which wouldn’t be my cup of tea but everybody has their own goals.


Combining Muay Thai And Weightlifting

These two exercises don’t have to be done exclusively and combining the two through the week maybe the most of most beneficial way to go.

Strength training for 1 or 2 days a week and then Muay Thai training 3 or 4 days a week is the optimum solution in my book. The strength training will make you more commanding and dominant for Muay Thai, and Muay Thai training will get you in more intense physical shape, with functional strength and also a ripped and lean physique.

If you can take on both of these disciplines, that’s the best thing you can do but if you only have time to focus on one, let’s take a look at the benefits of each:


Benefits of Muay Thai


Effective Self-Defence

There’s nothing like the feeling of confidence you have when you know how to defend yourself. Muay Thai is the king of stand-up fighting and from your very first class you will learn effective techniques to defend and protect yourself in any situation, even if you’re attacked by a group of people.


Insane Cardio Levels

Training for Muay Thai is an intense experience, it builds huge anaerobic conditioning and the dopamine rush you can get at the end of a workout is second to none.

If boxing is an intense workout, Muay Thai takes it to the next level. The pad work involves kicks that really take it out of you and that’s something that any athlete can benefit from highly.


Muay Thai Is Fun

When you train in the gym, it’s pretty much a team activity where iron sharpens iron and everybody gets better together.

There is a strong team mentality and everybody’s working hard to get better and this results in a lot of fun and camaraderie in the gym and you can make friends for life.


The Culture

Muay Thai has a strong culture of respect, for your gym, your coach and even your opponent that is unmatched in almost any other sport.

Taking on Muay Thai is something that might take you all around the world and if you do go to Thailand, it will be one of the best experiences of your life.

From visiting the authentic Muay Thai gyms and learning from the best coaches like Saenchai and Buakaw, to experiencing the insane culture and nightlife, it will be a trip you never forget and you can seriously increase your Muay Thai skills while you’re there.


Teaches Discipline

The tough training that is involved in Muay Thai, day in day out tough sessions, hitting the pads, sparring, doing circuits and drills can really build your character.

This is especially true for when you keep training through small injuries and when you don’t feel 100% but you push through anyway and get the workout done. This can help you to grow in discipline and an overall statue to become a different but better person.


There Is No Feeling Like Winning A Fight

If you stick with your Muay Thai and go through all the grueling character building training, you’ll eventually start the spar the better fighters in the gym and then you can go on to have amateur fights.

The feeling of going through 6-weeks of intense training, dealing with all the nerves and the thoughts about whether you’re going to win or not and then going out on the night and performing in front of all your friends and family is a rollercoaster of emotions.

Having your hand raised is a feeling like no other in the world and I don’t think that anything you could achieve in weightlifting could bring the same level of joy.


Benefits Of Weightlifting


Structure And Discipline

Weightlifting requires a regular routine, consistency and hard work in the gym day in and day out to get the results of strength gains, being jacked, having a lot of muscles and looking good for the opposite sex.

One of the hardest parts of being a weightlifter or a bodybuilder is that you have to have a specific diet. You have to eat a lot to bulk, you have to be strict to get a six pack, and you have to really measure your calories and have good nutrition to be a top weightlifter. And this can develop a lot of discipline.


Increase Confidence And Self Esteem

When you start to see the results in the mirror from weightlifting it can be a real shot in the arm in terms of confidence and self esteem.

You see your hard work paying off in the mirror and it makes you feel good and the good feeling manifests outward into the world.

Your new found confidence and self esteem can improve all aspects of your life outside the gym.


Attractive To The Opposite Sex

Increasing your muscle will make you more attractive to the opposite sex, once you don’t put on too much fat as well and this is probably one of the main reasons people start to lift weights.

Increasing your physique and filling out your t-shirts will see you getting plenty of looks on the streets from women and from men if you are a woman and this can help you to feel good about yourself too.


Physiques of Muay Thai and Weight Lifting


The physique of a Muay Thai fighter doesn’t have as much muscle but you can look ripped and strong which will also be attractive to the opposite sex. While you won’t be able to lift heavier weights, you’ll be a far more effective athlete than the weight lifter.


The physique of a weightlifter is big and strong with a lot of muscle and how lean you are and how big you get will depend a lot on your diet.

Lifting a lot of weights should make very strong with a big arms, big chest and a big back that you will be able to see from a mile away.


For Skinny Guys

If you’re a guy that’s skinny, you could possibly do a couple of months of weight lifting to increase your muscle and then moving to Muay Thai but keep on the strength training 1 or 2 days and you can have the best of both worlds.


For Heavy Guys

If you’re a guy that’s over weight, Muay Thai is probably the best option. If you can get 3 gold sessions a weekend and you should burn a lot of calories and that will help you to get your weight down. Once you could take up to 2 days of strength training as well as you can put on some good muscle, get ripped and be in great shape.


For Average Guys

If you have an average physique, for me Muay Thai is there more fun activity. You’ll be able to do circuits and strength and conditioning work that will tone your muscles and make you look good, the self-defence element for me is much better than being strong and the rewards of hard training can bring you titles and acclaim locally and even further afield.


Try Both

My advice would be to try both for at least a month, see which one you like more at the end and see what your goals are after being involved in both sports and go with the one you like the most.


I Choose Muay Thai

For me personally combining strength training with Muay Thai is the way to go, it’s what I have always done and strength training can definitely help you to get better results in Muay Thai. Strength training needs heavy weights for low reps and lifting combo moves that involve more than one muscle group which just makes you an overall stronger person and then they might I will turn you into a lightning athlete.



If I had to take between one or the other it will be a hard choice but I would go with the Muay Thai!


Aidan Lehane has been involved in the fight game for well over 10 and has trained in some of the leading boxing gyms around the world including Sinbi Muay Thai and MTK Global Marbella. He wants to offer as much advice to beginners and pros as possible.

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