Mia “Killa” Kang‘s story is fascinating. As a tween, she had an eating disorder. She thought the best way to lose weight was to just stop eating.
When she was scouted as a model at age 13, her eating disorder only intensified. It wasn’t until recently, during a 10-day retreat in Thailand, that she discovered Muay Thai. She fell in love with it, trained hard, and learned how to respect and take care of her body.
If you’ve always been interested in trying Muay Thai workouts to lose weight, there’s no better time than now to pick up the sport. Not only will it make you lose weight, it will help you develop confidence and learn self-defense.
It’s Better Than Kickboxing
Muay Thai practitioners often refer to it as the “martial arts of 8 weapons.” This is because unlike regular kickboxing you’re allowed to use your hands, shins, knees, and elbows to strike an opponent.
There’s also a lot of clinch work involved in Muay Thai. This means grappling your opponent in a clinch to prevent him or her from kicking and punching you. In a real life situation, you can use clinching to stop a baddie from hurting you with a knife or any other edged weapon.
Overall, Muay Thai allows you more range of strikes compared with ordinary kickboxing. With the addition of clinching, Muay Thai just makes you a better fighter at all ranges. Plus, you can expect to burn around 700 calories per hour with Muay Thai, which is even better than running.
It’s Good for the Heart
Walking, jogging, and running are the most common types of cardiovascular workouts, which are exercises that increase the work of the heart and lungs. Cardio offers many benefits including reduced risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, increased metabolism, and sculpted muscles.
In terms of cardiovascular conditioning, Muay Thai workouts are one of the best physical activities you can do to improve cardio performance. Round after round of kicking, punching, and clinching will keep your heart elevated and your fat burning.
Also, since it combines both aerobic and anaerobic work, Muay Thai intensely works your heart and lungs so you can expect increased heart and lung capacity with continued practice.
It Will Give You Abs
Aside from cardio conditioning, Muay Thai workouts are also great for building strength. Some cardio workouts are fantastic for losing weight in less time but without strength training, the pounds you shed could come from muscles and not pure fat. You should remember that even if your main goal is to lose weight, you don’t want to do that at the expense of your muscles.
Lucky for you, Muay Thai workouts aren’t purely cardio. Doing Muay Thai will help you build muscle, which is a good thing. Even at rest, you can burn an extra 120 calories a day for every three pounds of muscle gained.
This is why Muay Thai is an ideal workout. With Muay Thai you’re essentially getting two training routines: cardio and strength training.
Weight Loss Tips with Muay Thai Workouts
Now that you know how Muay Thai helps you lose weight, let’s get to the specifics of how it can help you torch those calories and give you the body you’ve always wanted.
As you may already know, Muay Thai competitors fight in weight classes. Fighters either gain or cut weight before a contest so they can compete in their preferred weight category. Those who need to lose weight follow a strict regimen because losing weight too fast can lead to weakness and fatigue.
So what do fighters do to cut weight?
Well, aside from perfecting their Muay Thai skills, they also do the following:
- More cardio. To keep themselves in peak fighting condition, Muay Thai fighters supplement their workouts with cardio activities such as running, cycling, and jumping rope. They do this to increase their stamina and of course, keep calories in check.
- Diet. There’s a saying that muscles are made in the kitchen and not in the gym. The problem with drastically decreasing caloric intake, though, is that it will also drain you of the energy you need to do Muay Thai workouts. What you can do instead is reduce your fat and sugar intake and replace with healthier options. This way you can cut calories without necessarily reducing the amount of food you eat.
- 110 percent. You don’t have to be a fighter to give Muay Thai your best effort. Obviously, you’ll burn more calories if you train hard compared to just phoning it in.
- Strength training. Yes, in addition to Muay Thai sessions, you also have to lift weights or do some form of resistance training. Keep in mind that there’s a lot of clinch work involved in Muay Thai. You need to improve strength if you want to do up your clinching game. Plus, with more strength training, you’ll get a better physique. Remember, more muscles equal more calories burned.
Muay Thai Training Session at a Glance
So what exactly happens when you go in for a Muay Thai workout?
In your first few classes, you’ll be taught the basics – the proper stance, how to move, striking, blocking, and so on. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you’ll move on to practicing strikes on a heavy bag or specific techniques with a partner.
A trainer will also help you hit focus mitts and Thai pads and you’ll be asked to do conditioning drills in addition to your workout. If you’re a little concerned about sparring, don’t be. Your trainer knows you’re there to keep fit and not to get beat up.
Muay Thai isn’t just for people who want to compete. Even children and senior citizens can learn Muay Thai and benefit from it.
Want to Try Muay Thai?
You can sign up for a free trial. If you’re looking for a fun way to lose weight, Muay Thai will give you that and more. You’ll learn self-defense, build self-confidence, and train under world-class coaches.