Conditioning, Strategy and Understanding My Love For Muay Thai

Muay Thai

I’ve only been taking Muay Thai and boxing classes for a couple of weeks now and it’s incredible how much I look forward to them. Last week was my first full week of running, Muay Thai and boxing and even though I was exhausted by Friday night I felt amazing.

There’s no doubt that training at a gym like Fight and Fitness gives me a good workout. It’s an hour of non-stop moving around on your toes while punching, kicking kneeing and elbowing stuff so there’s no denying the cardio I’m getting. But even beyond that there’s something about what I’m doing for the hour I’m in that gym that’s different than most workouts I’ve done before.

While still trying to catch my breath last night after a workout I was unraveling my wrist wraps and I introduced myself to one of the few women I’ve seen at the gym consistently. Her name is Wendy and from what I’ve seen of her in action I should probably stay on her good side.

“How long have you been fighting Muay Thai?”, I asked her.

“It’s been about ten years on and off.”, she said. “I just moved to California not too long ago and I always end up at a gym like this. I don’t really have a choice at this point, I really love it.”

I started digging into why Wendy, a fairly unassuming and petite middle-aged woman was so into a full contact workout like Muay Thai. What she told me was really interesting and explains why I feel so drawn to it.

“I can go out for a run and all I really have to think about is right-left-right-left and how I’m going to get back home. It’s a great workout but there’s no real challenge beyond how far can I go without getting too tired. It’s a nice workout but I need more than that.”

I thought this made a lot of sense and wanted to hear more.

She continued, “With Muay Thai I’m always learning and thinking about what I’m going to do next. It’s a great workout but that’s a distant second to the technique, discipline and thought process I go through every time I put on the gloves and train or spar with another fighter.”

This was just the answer I was looking for. There’s something about not only working out but thinking, learning and getting yourself into shape all at the same time. When I used to play basketball there was a lot of this going on. I was running up and down the court, jumping around and getting a fantastic workout in while I was playing the sport. But the conditioning I got from the sport was just a prerequisite for the strategy and thinking that’s required to play the game.

This makes a lot of sense to me. Learning and using my head while doing my best to punch or elbow someone else’s has become my ultimate workout. I didn’t know I’d feel this way about Muay Thai and boxing but I’m really glad I gave it a shot. If you’re looking for a similar type of workout I suggest you try it, too. If you have any questions I’m far from being an expert but I’ll help you out any way I can.

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  1. Keith Ringer

    Hup, good post and I’m glad you’re enjoying the MT. It is a great total workout (mind and body). I’m not sure if I told you that Soph’s MT instructor just won the world championship for her weight class (Justine Kish–she’s is insanely talented).

    Anyway, I just wanted to suggest that if you’re enjoying MT, you might give Brazilian Jiujitsu a try, as well. I found that I prefer it overall (but they are compliments: stand-up and ground fighting). You might find that you get most of the cardio of MT, plus a huge dose of anaerobic conditioning in BJJ.

    Keep the posts coming. I’m excited to see footage of your first tournament.

    • Hup

      I’m definitely going to try Brazilian Jiujitsu — they have classes for that and I’m always watching the guys with the Gis doing there thing while I’m in there. I’m going to get the hang of Muay Thai/boxing first and they the plan is to take it to the mat. I’m not sure if I’m really built for wrestling around but I’m game for giving is a shot.

      Thanks for the thoughts and I’m not sure why I never realized you were into this stuff. It’s a good thing I was on your good side (most of the time).

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