I feel like when the training sessions are longer than 90 minutes, and when there is no recuperation/pause/break period, I feel drained after practice and technique and skill diminish. Is this a good thing or should a something more than a few minutes be given to regain energy for the rest of the practice? (excluding the short 1-3 minute breaks between changing pads, getting water etc)

If there should be a break how long should it be and what should be done during that time?

(having muay thai in mind)

  • You need to add more detail on the content of these practices. Are you looking for an exercise-science answer on optimally designing a workout--which would only really help an instructor--or for a good way to handle hard training? Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 16:43
  • @DaveLiepmann, handle hard training and get the most out of it. That I am not running on empty and not doing damage
    – Vass
    Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 16:45
  • Yeah, we definitely need more detail on the structure of practice, when/how you start having trouble, how long you've been training and on what schedule. Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 16:48

3 Answers 3


It depends on your level of intensity. 90 minutes is a long time to go without a break. Lots of short 30 second to 1 minute breaks throughout training are normally more effective. After an hour of doing anything intensive, the body normally requires intake of food e.g. carb drink to replenish salt stores. If you are not resting to do even this, you will damage your organs.

  • 2
    Are you seriously claiming that an hour of intense exercise requires salty sugar drinks in order not to damage one's organs? That's absurd on its face. Millions of people train longer and harder than that without ill effects on their (unspecified) organs. Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 16:50
  • 1
    The condition is called Hyponatremia and affects the kidneys. It's not really absurd in any way.
    – kwaichi
    Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 16:58
  • I think you mean hyper natremia. Hyponatremia is associated with a large intake of water causing a low concentration of sodium in one's blood. Hypernatremia is a relatively high concentration of sodium due to lack of fluids (dehydration).
    – THelper
    Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 20:21
  • Either way, I think the warning needs to be rephrased to be anything but laughable. If one could "damage your organs" without "carb drink" for longer than "an hour doing anything intensive" then we'd have an epidemic of tens of millions of people hitting the ER from playing soccer, judo, running, football... Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 22:09
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    I was interested in this, just through my casual googling (ie, I'm an expert now!), it seems this might come about through drinking a bunch of water through the 90 minutes to lower your sodium content. It seems more dependent on how fast you drink bulk amounts of water than the total quantity. Also its unlikely to damage your organs in that time unless you went really crazy with water, but it might account for some fatigue / exhaustion / mental exhaustion you feel. But overall unlikely to be factor unless you drink lots Commented Nov 21, 2013 at 1:09

It is natural and expected to be tired and less precise towards the end of a ninety minute hard muay Thai class. There might be specific ways in which the instructor could run the class more optimally from a sports-science standpoint, but you should simply try to do the class as prescribed without taking extra breaks. (I could be more specific if you gave more detail in your question about the structure of practice, when and how you start having trouble during classes, how long you've been training and on what schedule.)

Train hard, train frequently, eat plenty and well, rest plenty, hydrate well. Hard training is supposed to be hard. It will make you better.


This is more how to deal for training so long: When you're taking e.g. two classes in a row, you should add electrolytes to your water, especially Zinc, Calcium and Magnesium. I would suggest not to eat anything, maximum a power bar.

To the question: As the others wrote it depends on how you are training within this period of time. But yeah, you should take breaks but for some reasons they shouldn't be too long. I would say sitting for 5 minutes is already too long, something between 1-3 minutes is good.

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