6 Steps To Lose Weight & Build Muscle With Muay Thai Training
After training in multiple muay thai gyms all over the world for years now, we noticed that more and 70% of people are mainly interested in losing weight and build muscle with muay thai training.
And, you’re right, muay thai training is probably one of the best ways to go in order to achieve that goal without spending boring long hours at the fitness gym.
However, at first, it can be confusing to know what to do to maximize your results. This is why we decided to create a simple guide of 6 Steps to lose weight and build muscle with muay thai training.
#1 Control your diet and calorie intake
I know this is not the funniest part, although it is the most important part if you want to achieve your goals. You can train 5 hours per day, but if you are jumping into those sweet snacks and pizzas, you won’t lose weight. As well as if you train 5 hours a day and not eating enough, you won’t build muscle.
In other words: if you are looking to lose weight with muay thai training, you will need to consume fewer calories than the calories you’re burning during the day. On the other hand, if you want to gain weight, you want to consume MORE calories than you are burning throughout the day.
Here are a few easy steps you can follow in order to get the best results:
#1 Know your caloric requirement and the calories you’re consuming
Before making any plans on your diet, you will need to know how many calories you should eat, you need to know how many calories your body needs to maintain its current weight.
Then after you know many calories your body needs to stay at the same weight, you want to have a deficit of 200-600 calories below or higher.
First, you have to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) which is the calories your body is naturally burning to function normally. (out of any extra activity). You can use this calculator: here
Then, from that number, you want to subtract 200-600 calories in order to be in a healthy range of weight loss.
#2 Create a meal plan & count your calories
Again, not the funniest part here but if you really want to make sure to achieve your goals, it is a necessary step to do it.
Now, I personally have something against those “hardcore diet” or very limiting diet, YES, they work BUT, most people getting into those diets are gonna stay stick to it 1-2 weeks or 1 month if they are really motivated. And, that’s really not optimal, so, what is the way to go?
Ok, now let’s start the serious talk! Intermittent fasting is the BEST way to have a healthy weight loss and muscle building routine.
If you never heard about it, you can learn more here. I personally find the 16/8 format being the easiest to apply, you will only need to skip breakfast.
Now, when starting intermittent we all tend to eat TOO MUCH or NOT ENOUGH, of course, the fact that you are in a fasted state will limit the impact of that on your results. But, when starting out, you should keep track of your calorie intake and create a meal plan.
To do so, you have some amazing apps such as MyFitnessPal.
#3 Track and adjust
It’s math time! When starting out, it can be confusing to figure out if you are actually losing weight or not. It usually takes about 3 weeks to notice the first results! Your weight might drop drastically when first starting out, it will mainly be water weight.
Pro tip: do not weigh yourself every single day! Your weight depends on a lot of factors such as fatigue, water intake and more… I recommend you weigh yourself every week in the same state such as every Tuesday right after waking up and going to the bathroom.
You can track your progress with simple math facts such as:
- 500 kcal/d deficit -> 3500 kcal/week deficit -> 1lb of fat loss/week -> 4lb / month
- A 2 hours muay thai training session is burning around 1200-1500 kcal
#2 Add strength training routine
As we have seen, you will need to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight and consume more if you want to build muscle, no matter what. So how to do both?
There are a lot of reasons why you should start strength training. Again, we’re not talking about Bodybuilding here, they are not the same. Strength training is not only for people who want to lift weights to sculpt muscle and have a massive physique.
Strength training has many benefits, especially coupled with muay thai such as functional benefits which will help you to build your overall strength. You will be stronger, faster, more explosive and this will help you build muscle, lose more fat and upgrade your muay thai game.
So how to do it?
The first rule, if you want to do strength training along with your muay thai sessions, you should always do it AFTER your muay thai session, never before.
You can start out by adding simple bodyweight strength training right after your muay thai sessions following a simple workout such as this one, and then you can even join a fitness gym and add weight training. I would recommend weight/strength training 2-3/week, no more, otherwise, it might impact your muay thai sessions badly.
If you don’t like the classic weight lifting, you can get a lot of benefits from HIIT training, which is probably the best form of additional work with muay thai training. Learn more here
#3 Focus on the quality of your training sessions
This might sound obvious, but this is very important. When training in a gym, we often make friends, we have our daily job/routine, we might be a little tired, so you might find it “OK” to go light on a session and just talking with your gym mates. Then the next one, and the next, you get the point…
You will often find yourself spending your time talking, hitting pads without much energy and enthusiasm and missing some part of the sessions such as clinching and sparring.
This doesn’t sound like a lot of a problem, but this can really affect your results and progression. When training at your gym, you want to give yourself at 120%. This will not only make you lose more weight but also help you improve your performance and stamina way quicker.
Some obvious simple tips:
- Always go 100% when training on the bags
- Do not miss any “part” of the training session
- Don’t complain and think its “ok” to miss that round
#4 Have the right mindset and avoid burnouts
This goes along with the previous point, having the right mindset is crucial if you want to achieve your goals, whether your training goals, financial or any aspect of your life.
If you are the kind of person who gives up after 2 weeks of intensive training, you must read this!
I get it, you are excited to start training and you want to get results as fast as possible. And that’s truly amazing because you are part of a small percentage of the population who are actually going to DO IT.
But, this excitement can literally break your goals. Over the last few years, I have seen dozens of people super hyped up about starting training muay thai, and then, 2 weeks later they gave up.
Why? Simply because your body is not used to it yet, as your mind isn’t either. If after 2 years without doing any physical exercise, your body will be really affected by getting into a hardcode muay thai training routine.
The fact that Muay Thai is such intense work is a double edge sword. The intensity makes it perfect for burning a ton of calories quickly. On the other hand, it can also wear you down and drain your energy
Of course, if you are a competitive fighter, you NEED to train AT LEAST 6 days a week to prepare your fight. But for most people, this isn’t the right strategy to adopt.
So what to do? When start out training, you want to go step by step, let’s say starting out with 2 sessions a week, then move to 3 sessions a week, then add some strength training.
You want to keep it easy until training becomes a normal part of your routine and you don’t even have to think about it, you just GO.
Having the right mindset about effort is also important. Expecting too quick results might lead you to a huge drop in motivation that might reflect on your life.
So keep it easy, understand that it might take time to reach your goal and just DO IT. An additional resource that might have a huge impact on your mindset and training is the Law Of Attraction, having the right way to think will help you to reach your goals.
#5 Stretch well after every session
Thanks, captain obvious, but how stretching will make me lose more weight and build muscle?
Well, stretching can have a great impact on your weight loss. Stretching is probably the most important part of any of your training sessions.
It probably sounds obvious, but I can still see a lot of people skipping stretching because “they don’t need it” or just by being lazy. You can have a look at all the benefits stretching has on weight loss here.
Adding a stretching routine after every of your training sessions will make your body and muscle recover quicker, which will directly impact your weight loss and muscle gain. As muscle soreness and painful muscles will highly impact your performance, if you don’t stretch enough, you might find your next session very hard!
And so, limit your weight loss by the limitation you will have on the intensity of your workout.
It doesn’t have to be a 1h yoga class, but you can follow a simple stretching routine such as this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsslSF7_m0c
#6 Add low-intensity cardio training
In Thailand, there is a saying “No run, no fight.”, which means that for every muay thai fighter, you NEED to run every single day to be able to fight. This is why in Thailand, we run 10-15 km every morning before our muay thai sessions.
Of course, you don’t have to be that extreme, but adding low-intensity cardio training will have a great impact on your overall health and muay thai performance. Especially when burning fat, low-intensity cardio workout will get you into the “ fat-burning zone” (learn more here) as well as improving your overall stamina.
Muay thai training is a great way to reach your goals, and, as we covered through this article, there are some things you want to apply in order to maximize your results.
The most important part of all of that is to actually ENJOY training, which will make all of it easier.
If you are training muay thai, you are probably gonna love our muay thai hoodies So now on the top of training effectively, you can upgrade your style doing it! If you want to take your training to the next level, you can even get yourself some amazing training tools such as a reflex ball.