Muay Thai is an intense martial art, scheduling a proper training routine is very important. But how often should you train Muay Thai? I decided to find out.
If you’re a complete beginner to working out 1-2 weeks is enough, over time as your body gets used to the training as you are more physically active 3-5 times a week is enough to improve your Muay Thai technique and fitness and eventually, it is possible to train daily.
However, it depends on your unique goals and aspirations do you want to just stay healthy and get a workout in? Or do you want to eventually be a Muay Thai fighter?
All this and more will be discussed in this article.
How Often Should You Train Muay Thai Explained
This question is like asking how long is a piece of string? As it will vary from person to person, so this answer will change depending on your fitness and martial arts experience
If you don’t work out or have no martial art experience
Typically if you’re a person who isn’t physically fit or a natural athlete starting with 1-2 sessions a week is a good start.
The problem is Muay Thai is a very intense martial art and can burn around 600 calories an hour! For untrained individuals, this puts a lot of stress on the primary muscles used in a Muay Thai class.
Click here for a blog post by evolving MMA for the four muscle groups that Muay Thai strengths but typically Muay Thai will give these muscles a workout.
- Shoulder and arm muscles
- Hip and legs muscles
- Core muscles
- Back muscles
If your untrained Muay Thai will hit all these muscles especially the legs and hips very hard, so you could find yourself being very sore in the days after training this soreness will get worse if you force yourself to train when you’re in pain.
It’s much better to start small and wait a couple of days in between workouts to ensure your body is properly recovered. I recommend daily stretching to reduce muscles soreness, you can read more about the specific stretching you can do for Muay Thai in my post here.
Typically your training should be 80% Muay Thai with kicking pads/bag and working on your technique movement etc. With the other 20% doing some basic conditioning with pushups, dips bodyweight squats, etc. Just keep it simple!
Once you’re used to training 1-2 times a week and you feel healthy and want more, then you can gradually increase the training frequency to around 3-4 times a week as your body get’s more used to the stress you’re putting on it.
If You Workout Or Have Some Martial Art Experience
Now if you’re someone who regularly works out at home or in the gym or has some previous martial arts experience.
Typically you should start training Muay Thai around 2-4 times a week.
Training Muay Thai will still put stress on your muscles but the difference is your muscles were USED to being under stress; from weights or your previous martial arts training.
If you want to find out if you should lift weights whilst doing Muay Thai check my post here.
You will not be as sore from training Muay Thai compared to a complete beginner as your simply strong. This is where I started training Muay Thai as all the calisthenics(bodyweight exercises)were known to be and I already had good cardio fitness.
Whereas if as a beginner you’ve never done a pushup before, of course, it’s going to be harder to perform, especially as straight after you’re going through an intense 90 minute Muay Thai workout!
I still recommend starting at the lower end at around twice a week, as we all know it’s difficult to start a new habit so aim low even if you have the required fitness levels; as you can always improve instead of trying to immediately go 4 times a week and getting frustrated when you don’t.
If You Have A Lot Of Martial Arts Experience/Want To Fight Amateur Level
If you have considerable martial arts experience in a similar martial art or want to find Muay Thai at an amateur/Interclub level.
Training anywhere from 4-6 times a week is ideal.
Maybe you kick-boxed for several years back in the day or did Muay Thai a long time ago and want to get back into it.
Your body should be used to muscle fatigue from punching and kicking compared to less experienced Muay Thai beginners.
This is the level where I’m at as I’ve fought in InterClubs(friendly sparring with other gyms) and if you want to improve and compete you need to be going at least 4 times a week as the more you train you more you will progress.
Ideally, if you want to compete at InterClub you should be sparring at least once a week, read my blog post here on if you have to fight to train Muay Thai for more info.
If You Want To Be The Best Fighter You Can Be/Turn Pro
This is the highest level you can train up to, and you should train for months and months before you reach this training frequency.
Training around twice a day 5 times a week if you want to be a professional Muay Thai fighter.
This is the level professional Muay Thai/MMA fighters will train at but it will take you a long time to get your body accustomed to this level of stress if you came from being a complete beginner.
Typically you want to split your training into morning and evening sessions, in the morning you could do some weights for your strength and conditioning than in the evening work on your technique and bag work. This gives you time to recover in between the training sessions.
Giving yourself two days off a week is a necessity even for professional fighters are they’re bodies need time to rest and recover.
If you trained 7 times a week eventually your body will break down and you’re training will suffer.
Check out Flavia a professional Muay Thai fighters answer to the same question down below, and he says the same thing.
Why You Should Train Muay Thai Every Day!
Hang on a minute, Dillon you just said you shouldn’t train every day! Wait here me out on this. I don’t mean train extremely hard but if you go light even on your off days you will greatly improve your Muay Thai without much stress on your body.
Doing things like 5-10 minutes of skipping every day just to get the blood flowing or shadow boxing for 10 minutes daily, will put minimal stress on your body whilst greatly improving your Muay Thai technique.
Even spending 10 minutes a day to just walk around in your Muay Thai stance and see how you move. This has zero stress impact as you’re walking but footwork is probably the most important thing to improve in any striking art and will make a massive difference to your Muay Thai.
Check out this very simple walking drill by MuayThai Pros down below.
If you’re worried about overtraining which is smart you should be, doing things that are minimal impact like shadow boxing will not impact your recovery.
Now would I recommend hitting the heavy bag daily with full power? No of course not, but you could hit the bag every day but focus more on technique with little power to greatly improve you’re striking.
I do Sean Fagan’s(professional Muay Thai fighters)shadow boxing workout every day, and it’s only 10 minutes puts no stress on your body and you can easily do it daily. Take a look at the video below for the workout
Daily training in Thailand is very common and the Thai always do it, just make sure you’re not going too hard and you will always find the time to recover and improve your Muay Thai.
How To Structure A Muay Thai Training Routine
No matter what level you’re training at if it’s a beginner to a professional you definitely will be doing the following things no matter what Muay Thai gym you’re at.
- Skipping rope
- Shadow Boxing
- Thai Pad Work
- Heavy Bag Training
- Calisthenics(body-weight workouts)
- Footwork drills
- Running (now this is usually down in your own time outside of Thailand)
However, how you structure your training routine largely depends on what your Muay Thai goals are. According to Sean Fagan, this is the typical Muay Thai daily training routine in Thailand and I’ve seen people who have trained in Thailand have similar routines.
- Group run – 2-4 miles
- Skip Rope – 3 rounds
- Shadow Box – 2 rounds
- Pad Work or Sparring – 3-5 rounds
- Heavy Bag Work – 3-5 rounds
- Clinch 3-5 rounds
- Relax/Meditate during off time
All rounds will be between 2-5 minutes and of course, depend on your goals
- If your training for an amateur Muay Thai fight or a smoker/InterClub you should train with 2-minute rounds
- If you’re training for a professional Muay Thai fight it should be 3-minute rounds
- If you feel like being a beast and pushing yourself do 4-5 minute rounds
Now, this typical routine will last between 90 to 2 hours depending on how many rounds and how long you have the rounds.
However, this routine is quite advanced so if you’re a beginner stick learning the Muay Thai rhyme and basic technique first and take things slow.
Perhaps run on a different day or only hit the bag instead of hitting the bag AND doing pad work.
How To Train Muay Thai At Home
Now, what if you can’t access the gym or your home has limited equipment. What do you do? Luckily you can train all striking arts effectively at home with limited equipment and I will show you.
Three principles will help you with working out at home that you much pay attention to.
Record Yourself Training Often!
This is the biggest advice I can give anyone training at home or even at the gym and I’ve recently started to implement it myself. Recording yourself showcases all your weaknesses and always tells the truth.
I couldn’t believe how bad I looked on the camera! You will notice how often you drop your hands, your lack of head movement the truth is shown to you.
Records yourself slaps you in the face with your immediate problems and is the best thing you can do to improve yourself. Try to record yourself as often as you can so you can compare how you improve over time.
I recommend buying a Gorilla Pod Tripod to record yourself in any situation with your smartphone such as this JOBY Gorillapod that you can get for a fantastic price from Amazon right here.
Now if you don’t have a way to record yourself doing shadow boxing in front of a mirror is a good alternative, as you can still see yourself technique and what needs improvement.
Focus On One Problem Area At A Time
How often does someone promise for a new year resolution to lose weight, stop smoking, and become a new man/woman? All the time, and how often do these massive changes work? Never.
Especially when training home you can’t say, I will work on my switch kick, my Teep, and my leg kicks as this is too much to do and you’re spreading your work too thin.
Have one clear goal you need to work on, for me right now it’s my switch kick. I’m focusing on my switch kick right now, and after I’m happy with the progress then I can move onto another technique, but don’t promise yourself the stars when you haven’t even reached the moon.
Start Your Home Muay Thai Workouts Small
To be consistent you must start with small changes and over time make these changes a habit that will become a massive change, basically daily consistency=massive results!
This is known as the compound effect and was popularised in the book the compound effect by Darren Hardy and applies to everything you want to improve in; you can read a summary of the book here or watch a short YouTube video on the book down below. Or better yet buy the book for a fantastic price on Amazon via this link.
Commit to a very small goal, like running a 5K once a week or 5 minutes of shadow boxing a day or go even smaller! Just commit to something you can do so you can build a habit even gradually improve it over time.
So pick something specific you want to work on and commit to a daily habit to improve the technique, so, for example, do 10 switch kicks a day. Start easy so you can gradually improve and reap the benefits of the compound effect!
Don’t start with something too hard like I will do 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups,100 burpees daily and when you don’t do it you will feel bad and not motivated to train. It’s like the old fable, slow and steady wins the race!
Muay Thai Best Ways To Train Solo
Shadowboxing is the king of solo training methods as it can be done anywhere and you need no equipment. It allows you to warm up quickly, and a perfect way to practice proper technique and form for your Muay Thai strikes.
With every proper repetition of a strike, your body’s mind-muscle connection will improve. You more often you practice specific combos the better your muscle memory and the more effective you will be in a Muay Thai fight or sparing using those previously learned combos.
Now it’s important to imagine you’re fighting someone and not mindlessly throwing combos. Make sure you implementing proper defensive techniques like checking and leaning back, try to treat it like a real fight as much as possible.
Check the video below for Sean Fagan’s shadowboxing tips and what not do. As for a shadow boxing workout the 10-minute Muay Thai workout I posted above would be perfect.
Shadow Box Something Real Like A Tree/Pole/Sofa
Now the problem with shadow boxing is because your hitting/kicking air it’s easy to disguise poor form, like not turning in your hip with a roundhouse.
Now, I am not saying you go to your nearest tree and strike it with full force as that will HURT! Just strike it with precision with barely any power.
Kicking a tree showcases sloppy form as you can tell if you’re not kicking with the shin or not punching with your knuckles as you will get hurt striking with a tree with improper form. Also, it’s a lot easier to visualize an opponent if you’re kicking something physical.
Now start with shadow boxing without anything and then transition to hitting something physical. Be careful not to break anything!
Study Your Fights & Sparring Session By Recording Videos
This links to recording yourself as much as you can as the video tells no lie, you can see your problem areas and what you need to work on.
If you’re lucky enough to have fought whether a professional or InterClub level, analyze your videos and see what you did right and wrong. If you lost the fight why did you lose? What was the opponent doing to beat you?
If you haven’t fought, just look at clips you have recorded, what is the biggest thing you need to work on? Are you lowering your hands too much? You should know what your problem areas are.
A good method recording yourself doing a technique then youtube the perfect demonstration of that technique and then compare your video. You will see the mistakes you are making, and know best how to correct those mistakes so you can improve your technique.
Now, this process will take a long time you won’t improve over time. However, you should know this as Muay Thai is a difficult sport, and like with everything consistent gradual progress is the best step to success!
Interested in Muay Thai? Check Out My Recommendations
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