So you’ve heard from your co-workers who have tried Muay Thai training, they said that not only it’s a spectacular cardio workout but also an awesome sport and self-defense tool. You’ve watched every Buakaw fight you can find and wanted to try training like him. Now what?
THE THINGS YOU NEED
1 – Find a gym
This is the first and probably the most important of all. There are a few things to consider when finding a Muay Thai gym, like its distance. Either from home or work, the gym should be close by. I wouldn’t recommend a place that takes more than an hour to get to because of: 1) I value your time and so should you, and 2) the long travel time can get very exhausting and I wouldn’t want you to get your energy sapped because you got stuck in EDSA.
Once you find a gym, you’ll want to know everything about that gym to get the most of your time and money. You’ll want to know everything they have to offer; from the size of the place to the quality of the instructors. (Hint: Not all trainers are made equal). The best way to go about learning the quality of a gym is by simply asking someone who has already been to that place.
2 – Shop for your (quality) Muay Thai gear
Boxing gloves – this is an absolute necessity. You can’t train Muay Thai without this, you just can’t. Aside from obvious reasons (hygiene), having your own boxing gloves shows that you’re fully committed to your fitness goals. Whether to lose weight or to learn self-defense, your coach would know that you’re taking the training seriously just by bringing your own gloves. Price ranges from 2000 – 4000 PHP. Anything below that, more likely than not, isn’t made of leather. Therefore quality would be an issue. When it comes to boxing gloves, leather is equal to durability and quality.
Boxing gloves are sold by weight and unit of measure is OZ (ounce). The different sizes are: 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, & 16 oz. The heavier, the more protection is provided. For the ladies, I would start with a 10 to 12-oz gloves depending on your size. The bigger your frame, the bigger your hands (they should be). For my bro’s you can try anywhere from 10-14 oz. I personally prefer 14 oz when training and 12 oz when sparring.
Hand wraps – this is a long strip of cloth that protects your wrist and knuckles from injuries induced by punching. You wear this before your gloves. The longer, the better. For maximum protection, I would avoid using the elastic, spandex ones. The price of quality is generally at 500 PHP and above, anything below would give you the bacons after washing (yes, like your old silly underwear).
Muay Thai shorts – to be a legit practitioner of one of the deadliest martial arts in the world, you have to have this. The Thai shorts are made in such a way that you can easily throw kicks and knees. It also gives you an identity and a sense of pride (bruh, I do Muay Thai bruh). As a neophyte, you can wear basketball or running shorts. For the ladies, leggings are an acceptable alternative, too.
I don’t put a price tag on my shorts. As long as they’re Muay Thai shorts, I buy them.
Other necessities: Extra shirts/tank top, towels and water.
It is a must that your top be a dry-fit material because you will sweat a LOT. Trust me on this. Bring towels too and at least a liter of water. It’s imperative that you stay hydrated throughout your workout, you follow?
***These are just the essentials, other accessories are not covered on this post. Note that as your skills progress, you may feel the need for additional equipment like Ankle Support Wraps, Muscle/Athletic Tape, Mouth guard among others.
3 – Get adequate amount of sleep
No matter how many Redbull’s or Monster drinks you’ve had, if you’ve only gotten 4 hours of sleep, postpone training to the next day or until you get at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Otherwise, it’ll only be detrimental to your health. I normally require myself 7.5 hours of sleep before training day (7 hours minimum). I can face whatever challenge life gives me when I get 8 hours of sleep (it almost never happens).
4 – Eat
Consume a small-medium amount of food 2 hours prior to your training session. (Yes, half-rice can do, babe.) Muay Thai is an intense workout out so you’ll be needing all the sufficient nutrients (the go, grow and glow) to fuel your body. Eat too much and you’ll instantly regret it. You want to last as long as possible, right?
Oh and I’m against consuming anything that elevates your heart rate prior to any intense training (or at all). These so-called pre-workout energy drinks are nothing but extreme doses of caffeine and a bunch of harmful chemicals. You want your heart rate to go down, not up! You can get the same “kick” organically. Hint: try banana.
#5 – Prepare for an intense workout!
You may as well say your farewell to your loved ones due to the intensity of a Muay Thai training session. I’m kidding of course, but it wouldn’t hurt to say you love them, would it?
If this will be your first time or first SPORT to try, expect to get tired early into the workout (which is perfectly normal for a newbie).If you want to know how I fared in my first Muay Thai training, you can read my about my other post here.
Now, if you’ve been boxing for quite a while, you will notice a HUGE difference in the energy consumption department between punching and throwing a roundhouse Muay Thai kick (the bread and butter of the sport IMO).
No matter how tiring it can get, just keep calm and complete the session. You may slow down or even take a breather for a few seconds. Again, the most important thing is you finish the workout.
That’s enough for now, I’m not going to reveal everything to you. Where’s the fun in that? Have fun on your first Muay Thai training! Oye!!!
(Disclaimer: The brands of my gear shown are not meant to promote or endorse to anyone in any way. Your brand of choice is still up to you.)