I recently joined Muay Thai classes and am thoroughly loving it, but the class is held only thrice a week.
After going through this post I realized that I going to class thrice a week is the minimum required for satisfactory progress.
I used to train(3 years ago) for kickboxing 5 times a week and now I find need for more workout besides the three days. I don't have much experience with the gym equipment, but now would like to go at least once a week to the gym if its going to help. Is there any kind of supplementary regimen that I can follow for better performance while training ?

  • It's arbitrary to say that training three times a week is the minimum for satisfactory progress. Satisfactory itself is an arbitrary estimation. When it comes down to training, it's not how often you train, but how perfectly you train with the time you have.
    – stslavik
    Oct 15, 2013 at 13:40
  • 1
    I do realize that making the best of your time is very important but frequency is also required, which I am not satisfied with. I am sure you train more than thrice or at least want to :)
    – Shekhar
    Oct 15, 2013 at 13:46
  • If you internalize one lesson a week, allow it to change how you behave, how you move, and how you interact with the world, one lesson is all you need. If you take three lessons, but do not internalize them, do not move your life with them, then you will exhaust yourself and fail. Your work is to find your work, and having found it, give your life to it.
    – stslavik
    Oct 15, 2013 at 14:00
  • 3
    I, too, have found that three times a week is the minimum for satisfactory athletic progress in a combat sport. My judo coach agrees, saying that 2 times a week merely maintains. One lesson a week is really, really, really not helpful to getting better at a physical skill. If you're not interested in improving your physical skill, that's no trouble, but for athletes looking to improve, 3x/week is absolutely a minimum and more work produces more results. Oct 16, 2013 at 5:49

2 Answers 2


If you have a limited amount of time for training in class and a surplus of energy, your best bets for supplemental training are strength, power, conditioning, mobility, and judicious use of technique or movement work. Essentially, your primary goal in your free time is to become a supremely athletic physical specimen.

Strength and power

You should develop a basic level of strength. This would probably mean one or two strength workouts per week, spaced out so that there is opportunity to rest after them. Your goal with these workouts is to get strong in general, but also to prepare for power training using the Olympic lifts.

A basic template might be back squats, pull-ups, and dips on one day, and deadlifts, Turkish get-ups, and lunges on the other day. (Other reasonable choices include bench and overhead presses, Hindu push-ups, front squats, Romanian deadlifts, and so on.) Once you're capable of deadlifting about your bodyweight, the Olympic lifts (the power clean and/or power snatch) would be incorporated into these workouts as well. To make sure these workouts interfere minimally with your muay Thai, use either moderate weights or low reps (2-5). High intensity or high volume programs are appropriate for people training strength as their primary practice, but not for someone also training martial arts. However, you'll still want to focus on gradually increasing the weights you use. If these exercises are new to you, definitely find a powerlifting, CrossFit, or Olympic lifting coach to walk you through this process, or read a well-regarded book for novices, such as Starting Strength.


The best conditioning for any activity is the activity itself, done at a high intensity with little rest. However, a little extra work is helpful if you have time. Once or twice a week you could run between a mile and 10k (or between ten minutes to an hour), or a set of sprints (e.g. 4-6 100 meter all-out efforts after warming up). Rowing, swimming, and biking are also useful methods of conditioning, with the caveat that the efforts should be kept in approximately the same time range as the activity you're training for. Therefore shorter, more intense bike rides and intervals with rowing or swimming are often the best choice.


You want to make sure your joints are healthy and capable. Yoga is a good option for examining your body, and doesn't usually require too much in terms of recovery. Weight training, performed properly, can help in this area as well. A muay Thai-style workout mimicking your in-class workouts (particularly the sport-specific warm-up and stretching) would be quite useful.

Technique and movement

It is possible to do some limited drilling at home. If you have a heavy bag, you can do rounds on it, though take care not to ingrain suboptimal form. You can shadowbox and work on technique pointers from your last class. Again, remember: practice makes permanent.

It's also often useful to work on movement patterns that are unique to your sport, but that are not techniques in themselves. Footwork is a common example. In judo, I found it useful to work on breakfalls, shrimping, bridging, and so on at home. Often martial arts have complex and unusual movements that are disproportionately productive to get familiar with.


I have been training Muay Thai for over 6 years and the only supplements I used were protein shakes/bars, creatine and vitamins. Nowadays I don't even use much of these since I figured out that a proper diet is the best vehicle to achieve a good performance in the gym. I wrote a little post about it. Take a look, you may find something useful: http://www.effectivemuaythai.com/muay-thai-diet.html

Also, you don't have to train a specific amount of days per week to get a satisfactory progress: what is important is to push yourself to the limit and then let your body to fully recover before another "push". When you train hard a micro fractures in your muscles appear (that's how your muscles grow) and then it needs some to time to recover. How long it takes to recover depends on a person and his/her ability to repair the "damage". Things like a speed of metabolism, amount of sleep, a diet and obviously a genetics my slow it down or speed it up.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.