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Getting Fit Fast At Rawai Muay Thai | Don't Ever Look Back

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Getting Fit Fast At Rawai Muay Thai

Getting Fit Fast At Rawai Muay Thai

After nearly five months of traveling through the USA and Europe, I feel like crap.

You’d think that after all of our amazing adventures I’d be on top of the world, but my body is paying the price for our time on the road. We’ve been eating junk food way too regularly and the number of intense workouts we’ve had whilst traveling can be counted on one hand.

The body needs a shock to the system and I think I’ve found it.

Muay Thai Kickboxing Training at Rawai Muay Thai.

Rawai Muay Thai - Phuket, Thailand

Rawai Muay Thai - Phuket, Thailand

4-6 hours of training per day, 6 days a week in the Thai humidity. This was sure to help me feel better!

I arrived in Rawai on a Sunday night and woke up at 6am on the Monday morning refreshed and eager to get started. With my gym clothes on, I headed to the Rawai Muay Thai Boxing Camp for my first training session.

Before getting into action I needed to buy the necessary Muay Thai equipment from the gym – 12oz gloves, handwraps and shin guards.

Muay Thai Equipment - Gloves, Shorts, Singlet and Shin Guards

Muay Thai Equipment - Gloves, Shorts, Singlet and Shin Guards

Now I felt the part and was totally ready to step inside the ring… but not so fast! Before the 2-hour morning session, we needed to warm-up first.

No problem, I thought. Until one of my fellow students told me that the warm-up was a 4 kilometer run followed up by 10-15 minutes of skipping rope or bouncing on tyres. I tagged along with a couple of the older guys for the run and was glad to discover that they were happy to take it nice and slow.

With that said, a 4km run (mostly uphill) in the Phuket heat still wasn’t easy and by the time I arrived back at camp, I was already pretty tired. “Go on the tires!” one of the trainers barked at me – this sounded more inviting than skipping but within minutes my calves felt like they were on fire.

Bouncing on tyres to warm up

Warm Up: Bouncing On Tyres. Harder than it looks!

By the time we actually started the class, I was absolutely exhausted and dripping in sweat. But this is exactly what I was here for!

A typical Muay Thai boxing class consisted of 10-15 minutes of stretching before getting into the hard work. For the first 4 days at Rawai Muay Thai I was a part of the beginners class, taught under the watchful eyes of Hehm and Fin. We learned the basic techniques of Muay Thai including punches, kicks, elbows and knees and ended each class with a demo on how to tie your handwraps.

It was on the fifth day (Friday) that I was finally let loose into the advanced class which used up every last ounce of energy my body had! Following the warm-up and morning stretch, each student participated in 5 x 3 minute rounds on the boxing bags around the gym followed by 5 x 3 minute pad sessions with a trainer inside the rings where proper Muay Thai technique was taught.

In between each of these rounds, we were made to do 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups.

Practicing a Muay Thai Kick

Ouweeee! Practicing a Muay Thai Kick

I gave each class everything I had and although my technique still was poor, the trainers were extremely friendly, helpful and happy to point out exactly where I was going wrong and how to fix my mistakes. For those who are serious about learning the proper technique, 600 Baht (under $20 USD) buys you a 1-hour VIP training session with the trainer of your choice.

Muay Thai training in Thailand definitely isn’t for the faint of heart but if you’re looking to get back on the road to fitness and health then it’s a great way to get your butt into gear!

Some of us (myself included!) occasionally need to be forced to exercise and by the end of the first week of training, I felt a hundred times better than when I arrived.

I definitely got what I needed out of my time at Rawai Muay Thai – the hard part will be to keep it up once I get home.

A Typical Day at Rawai Muay Thai

6:00am – Wake up and shower. Eat a banana for some morning energy.
6:30am – Head down to the gym for the 4km run and warm-up.
7:30am –  2-hour morning session begins.
9:30am – Go back to room, shower and then have breakfast.
10:00am – Spare time until approximately 2:30pm. Either have a nap, do some work or explore the local area.
3:00pm – Back to gym for the afternoon session. Another 2 hours of intense Muay Thai training!
5:00pm – Back to room again for another shower.
6:00pm – Dinner – usually at the Cashew Nut Restaurant.
7:00pm – Back to room to get some work done and Skype with Amy.
9:00pm – Fast asleep!

Would you attend a Muay Thai Boxing Camp and do what I did? Why/why not?

13 Comments

  1. Posted December 30, 2011 at 2:26 am | Permalink

    Muay Thai is no joke. Good job buddy! How sore was your body after training? haha.

    • Posted December 30, 2011 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Thanks guys! I was really sore after training, definitely worked out some muscles that haven’t been used before!

  2. Posted December 30, 2011 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I have always wanted to try this. It sounds like it would be pretty tough though. Good Job 🙂
    James – Ouroyster recently posted..Midweek Snapshot – Tallinn, Estonia 2008

    • Posted December 30, 2011 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      If you’ve got a decent level of fitness then it really isn’t too difficult! There were quite a few larger guys there who survived ok. I guess it comes down to how determined you are to get through the session and push yourself as hard as you can.

      The trainers are pretty understanding and know when you need to take a rest.

  3. Matthew Cheyne
    Posted December 30, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I take my hat off to you for being able to get through that whole grueling routine. There is no way in hell I could have done that knowing the state of poor fitness I am in.

    What I would be interested in doing if that was available in Phuket would be some personal training of the gym variety. If an hour only cost 600 baht or about $20 I would love to do a few hours with a training and learn how to train a lot better so that I can make the most of the gym when I finally go back to it one day.

    Now that we know what Kieron did to get his mojo back, what did Amy do? Or is that the topic of a future post?

    Either way I wish you guys a wonderful New Year’s wherever you happen to be and a happy, peaceful 2012 with a multitude of wonderful travels and encounters.

    • Posted December 31, 2011 at 12:54 am | Permalink

      Thanks Matthew – I was in a pretty poor state of fitness (and there were others there in a lot worse shape than I was!) so don’t be so quick to write yourself off.

      I’m sure that there would be gyms in Phuket (or elsewhere in Thailand) that offer affordable personal training compared to what it costs in Australia. One of the other programs I was looking at doing was Crossfit Chiang Mai (http://www.cfcnx.com/) where you can do unlimited sessions for 2000 Baht ($60) per month.

      While I was working hard at getting fit, Amy attended the Eminem concert in Melbourne which was one of her 25 Before 25 list items.

      Thanks so much for the well wishes and all of your comments and support in 2011 – we really do appreciate it and hope you’ll keep reading on in 2012! 🙂

  4. Posted December 31, 2011 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    It makes me ache and feel sore just reading this post. Mostly because I think about just how unfit I have become over the last six months of travelling and most of the time it is just easier not to think about it! I did a lot of boxing and kick boxing in Aus, so this sounds really cool to me – do you know if girls can attend or are the classes male only?
    Sam recently posted..John Lennon’s Wall: Peaceful or Puke-worthy?

    • Posted December 31, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Haha the body does take some time to adjust and there is quite a bit of soreness… but it’s the good kind of soreness! Anyone can attend these classes – there were girls training at Rawai and some of them even fight in matches!

  5. Posted December 31, 2011 at 4:50 am | Permalink

    This is awesome! We have a couple of places where I live that do Muay Thai, BJJ, or various forms of MMA, and I’ve been thinking about going for a butt-kicking workout. Fun experience — thanks for sharing!!
    Heather recently posted..Merry Christmas from Home

    • Posted December 31, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      You definitely should go for a workout at one of these places! Who knows, you might get hooked! 🙂

  6. Posted February 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm… this seems much more hardcore than the muay thai gym I come to here in Koh Tao! I think they might laugh me out of this place. I don’t know if I’d make it through the 4k run!
    Alex recently posted..The Baackeses Take Bangkok Part I: Templed Out

    • Kerry
      Posted July 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      They’re not all super hardcore here in Phuket. I’ve lived here as an expat for years and enjoy going to this fitness and muay thai gym

      Thailand Camp
      91/19 Moo 6, Viset Road, Rawai, Muang Phuket Thailand 83100 Rawai
      087 471 1351

      It’s more about fitness than fighting and it’s a lot of fun.

  7. Posted August 4, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Muay Thai’s a lot of fun

    People kind of get the idea that it’s just super hard aggressive 20 year olds beating each other up. But the truth is, people of all ages and all physical conditions are taking part in the training.

    It’s fun, very rewarding and a great way to get fit and healthy

    Jessica
    Jessica recently posted..Types of Yoga Classes in Phuket

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