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Muay Thai/Strength Training Log


Hey everyone,

I'm a long time reader of T-Nation and have recently begun formal Muay Thai training (~3 weeks ago) at a local MMA gym. I also started 5/3/1 this week, so I thought now would be a good time to start tracking my progress on here with both Muay Thai and strength training and to learn from the expertise in this forum!

Basic Info:

Age - 23
Height - 5'9"
Weight - ~165 lb


Weightlifting - On and off since since my sophomore year of high school, but I didn't learn about how to properly strength train until I was 20. Then I stopped training altogether for a year and had to start again from scratch this past October.

Martial Arts - The past three weeks of Muay Thai classes and one BJJ class are the extent of my formal training experience.


I'd say I'm hooked on the martial arts after beginning training. I don't have any long term goals with Muay Thai or MMA at the moment. My only goal is to continue improving in each art I practice.

As for strength training and general fitness, I simply plan to keep improving on these six lifts: Deadlift, Squat, Overhead Press, Clean High Pull, Bench Press and Pullups. I'd also like to be more explosive, which is reflected in my training.

All that being said, welcome to my log!


I started my first week of 5/3/1 last Saturday. My first workout was the following:

Warmup: Dynamic mobility work for hips/hip flexors/thoracic spine; jump rope - 3 min; box jumps - 3x3

A. Squat - Warmup; 195x5; 235x5; 275x5
B. Clean Pull - 135x6; 165x6; 185x6; 205x6
C. Decline Reverse Crunch - 3x12

I was just getting over a cold on Saturday and didn’t want to push it with this workout. It just felt good to be back on my routine.

My second workout of the week came on Monday:

Warmup: Same as Saturday, but with overhead medicine ball slam for 3 sets of 3 in place of box jumps.

A. Push Press - 75x5; 105x5; 115x9
B. DB Floor Press w/Rotation - 55lb DBs for 2x12/arm
C1. Pullup - BW for 3x8
C2. Face Pull - 30 lbs for 3x12
D1. Hammer Curl - 3x10
D2. Tricep Rope Pulldown - 3x10

I felt great on the push press today. I felt I had at least three more reps left in the tank, but seeing as this is my first week back in the gym after being sick I again didn’t want to push things.


This is where the fun starts. I finally got to go back to my Muay Thai class, which I usually go to on Tuesdays and Thursdays. But I was out of town until Wednesday, so I instead went to the Wednesday night class. And since my schedule is packed on Friday (tomorrow) thanks to a project for a college class, I had to hit the weights on both of my Muay Thai days this week, which I generally try not to do. But I digress.

Morning Workout - Strength Training:

Warmup: Mobility work; jump rope; box jumps - 3x3

A. Deadlift - 235x5; 275x5; 315x8
B. Clean Pull - 165x6; 186x6; 195x6; 205x6

I only had time for two exercises before heading back to town for Muay Thai, so I didn’t feel too bad about giving my all for the last set of deadlifts.

Night - Muay Thai:

The class went about as I expected. Missing the past week meant I needed to rebuild my conditioning, but class went well. My instructor tried to fix my technique for the hook, and it felt way stronger after his advice. I may post a video asking for further input some time.


Morning - Strength Training

Warmup: Mobility/Jump Rope/Overhead Medicine Ball Slams

A. Bench - 135x5; 155x5; 175x5
B. Floor Press w/Rotation - 60 lb DB for 2x12/arm
C1. Pullup - 3x8 (BW)
C2. Facepull - 3x12 (35 lb)
D1. DB Curl - 3x10
D2. DB Skullcrusher - 3x10

Night - Muay Thai class:

A lot of work on defense. My partner has an extensive martial arts/boxing background, which really helps. My kicks and elbows seem to be my weak point right now. The problem with my kicks stems from me being such a strange case. I’m mostly left-handed, but my main sport growing up was baseball, and I’ve always thrown/batted right-handed. I’m completely left-footed. This makes for a case where I throw better punches from an orthodox stance yet can’t for the life of me throw a proper kick with my right leg yet. Though, it is still my first month of training Muay Thai. How long should I expect it to take for my form to come around?

I will say this: It’s been a great first week of 5/3/1 and a great first week back in Muay Thai.


Welcome to the combat thread and thanks for sharing your training.

As far as how long it will take for your form to come around is all a matter of time and commitment. Practice your right middle kick before and after class on the heavy bag. Make sure your trainer and the fighters critique your form and have them go over the nuisances of throwing the right middle kick the proper way while they are watching you on the heavy bag and on the thai pads.

Here are some tips that help me when throwing kicks:

  • turns your hips and shoulders to the left
  • stay on the ball of your left foot and pivot as you are throwing the right kick. The pivot will help to generate power as the hips and shoulders turn to the left
  • when you are shadow boxing, commit to your kick all the way. When you commit, your entire body will move back and around

In the beginning I really struggled with the switch left middle kick. It took me a few months before I developed the rhythm, timing, and technique. Now it is one of my favorite kicks to throw

Let me know if you have any questions. There are a lot of experienced guys on the forum with a lot more knowledge than I have, so feel free to ask questions to all of us here.



Thanks for the advice! I appreciate the thoughtful feedback. I kept your pointers in mind as I worked on kicks today during shadowboxing. I feel that I’m starting to feel more comfortable kicking with my right leg. I’ll be spending a lot of time on my kick technique during open gym hours, where I’ll have some guidance from instructors and fighters.


I’m keeping my workout light today, as I can only break away from working on a class project for 15-20 minutes at a time. But I have managed to work the following into my routine today:

About 10 minutes of stretching/mobility work.
15 minutes of jump rope work.
3 rounds of shadowboxing.
Two 15 minute walks around campus to clear my head.

I probably won’t do too much else today outside of stretching. I plan on doing squats and a fair amount of heavy bag work with a training partner tomorrow, so my focus now is on being well-rested and ready to move.


Today’s workout went great. I entered the gym feeling tired, which worried me because there’s been a trend the past month of my worst days occurring on days I’m scheduled to squat. But after doing some mobility work and box jumps to warmup I felt great.

Strength Training Workout:

A. Clean Pull - Warmup; 155 x 3, 185 x 3, 205 x 3
B. Squat - Warmup; 225 x 3, 255 x 3, 285 x 8
C. Zercher Deadlift (from a rack set to where my hips are parallel to begin the lift) - 135 x 6; 185 x 6; 205 x 6; 225 x 6
D. Ab Wheel Rollout - 2 x 20

Afterwards, I worked on some Muay Thai drills with one of my training partners, then did heavy bag work mainly focusing on right middle kicks. My partner noticed that I was initiating my kicks with my leg when I should be initiating the kick with my hips. Can anyone confirm whether his advice was sound? It made sense to me when I compared it to a baseball swing. In a baseball swing, I know that the hips initiate the swing and the hands follow naturally. I just don’t know if that’s a false analogy. Regardless, my kicks certainly felt stronger/better after following his advice.

I left the gym feeling like I improved in both my strength and in my technique, which is the best anyone can hope for after a workout.


If you really want to maximize power you actually need to initiate the kick by driving off the rear foot, shifting the weight towards the target as you step diagonally to the left foot (which you should turn out to load the rotational muscles of the hip). Once you reach this loaded position, then the hips rotate through as you continue to rotate on the ball of the left foot. Once the knee passes through the center line you extend the knee.


[quote]Sentoguy wrote:
If you really want to maximize power you actually need to initiate the kick by driving off the rear foot, shifting the weight towards the target as you step diagonally to the left foot (which you should turn out to load the rotational muscles of the hip). Once you reach this loaded position, then the hips rotate through as you continue to rotate on the ball of the left foot. Once the knee passes through the center line you extend the knee. [/quote]

Thanks for the detailed instruction. I turned it into bullet point notes in my notebook and brought it with me for when I practiced kicks on the heavy bag. It really helped!


All Muay Thai and bodyweight work today. No lifting.

I got in a lot of mobility work and five minutes of jump rope before moving on to defensive sparring drills with my partner.

I then hit the heavy bag for a bit, working mainly on kicks but also working in punches and elbows.

After that, I hit the jump rope again for another five minutes before stretching and heading out.

On the way home I stopped by a park for 4 sets of sprints of about 30 yards.

I’ll probably meditate and relax for the rest of the day, get in some pleasure reading and watch a movie. After putting in the work, it’s important not to neglect proper rest.


Weighed in at 164 pounds this morning before breakfast, so I lost another pound, which is fine because I’d say I have five pounds of fat to lose. I do see myself putting on mass in the long term so that I’m back at 165-170 but leaner.

Today’s strength training consisted of the following:

Warmup: Mobility work and 10 minutes of jump rope.

A. Push Press - Warmup; 95 x 3; 110 x 3; 125 x 9
B1. Pullup - Bodyweight x 3 x 8
B2. Face Pull - 40 lbs x 3 x 12
C1. DB Floor Press (w/ rotation) - 60 lbs x 3 x 8/arm
C2. DB Incline Curls - 25 lbs x 3 x 10/arm
D. Skullcrushers - 65 lbs x 3 x 10

Afterwards, I hit the bag to work on middle kicks and called it a day. I plan on doing three rounds of shadowboxing later on tonight.


Not much to note from today. Had Muay Thai class tonight and got solid instruction on my kicks. Everything is starting to click. My instructor was happy with how all of my strikes are coming along. Good day overall.


Today was deadlift day:

Started with a warmup - some mobility work, jump rope work and box jumps.

A. Clean Pull - Warmup; 165x3, 185x3; 205x3
B. Deadlift - Warmup; 255x3; 295x3; 335x6
C. Glute-Ham Raise - BWx3x8
D. DB Swing - 80x2x12

Hit some more jump rope after and called it a day.


Had a great day in class today. We worked mainly on middle kicks, and my technique was more consistent than ever.

Also had a weightlifting session today that I took easy, knowing that I had Muay Thai later.

Today’s weightlifting:

A. Bench Press - 145x3; 165x3; 185x4
B. Half-Kneeling Landmine Press - Bar + 25 lbs for 2x12/arm
C. Bodyweight Pullup - Did as many reps as possible for two sets (ended up being 15 and 8, respectively)
D1. Hammer Curl - 30 lb DBs for 3x8
D2. DB Skullcrusher - 30 lbs for 3x8

I’m starting BJJ next Monday. I’ll be doing that twice a week along with my two Muay Thai days. Any advice on how to modify my 5/3/1 to accommodate for the heavier martial arts workload? I’m thinking about just cutting down on assistance exercises and not pushing as hard on the last set of the day for each of the main exercises, but would that still be too much?


Had a super Friday night/Saturday, but I managed to get some work in yesterday.

Warmed up at home with some mobility work, stopped at a park to do sprints, then got to the gym to do the following after some box jumps:

A. Power Clean - 135x5; 155x3; 175x1
B. Squat - 235x5; 265x3; 305x3
C. Zercher Deadlift - 165 for 2x12

Then I hit the heavy bag for 50 right middle kicks and 50 lead kicks before working for 2x3 minute rounds.


Kept my workout simple today since it’s my first night of BJJ later (will post on how that goes).

Today was push press day:

A. Push Press - Warmup; 105x5; 115x3; 135x6 (was supposed to do 130 for my last set, but, as is often the case, there were no 2.5 pound plates to be seen at my gym today)
B1. DB Bench Press - 65lbsx2x12
B2. DB One-Arm Row - 95lbsx2x12/arm
C. Hammer Curl - 22.5lbsx3x10
D. Tricep Rope Pull Down - 50lbsx3x10

Thought about doing some kind of circuit or fast five-minute run as a finisher but decided to stretch out for twenty minutes instead. I’m saving my energy for BJJ.


Just got home from my first BJJ class.

A few things I learned tonight:

I need to work on my hip mobility.

I need to strengthen my core in ways more specific to BJJ movements, or else maybe just get used to these movements. Either way, I was definitely feeling it in my core tonight.

Most importantly, I learned that I am already hooked. I added BJJ to my contract at the same MMA gym at which I do Muay Thai, so I already knew I liked the environment. But this was my first class with the head instructor/owner. (I will be taking his Muay Thai class upon progressing in the next few weeks.) He’s very knowledgeable, as are the more advanced students in the class. He also spent two hours working with us despite it being scheduled as a one hour class. On top of that, everyone was insanely supportive/encouraging. I get the feeling that I’m somewhere where the instructors and students are all willing to go above and beyond, which makes me want to strive harder and do the same. It’s a great feeling.


That’s great! Keep on keeping on!


Thanks, Sentoguy!

I kept on keeping on today with a Muay Thai session. We mainly drilled footwork before working on the longest combo I’ve been introduced to yet. My instructor told me that in the next week or two he plans to test me on the basic punch, knee and elbow commands plus a few other things to see if I’m ready to move into my gym’s Bang Muay Thai program. Does anyone have experience with a Bang Muay Thai program? I’ve heard good things about it. but I’m curious to see if anyone here has any first-hand experience with it.


I did some mobility work, stretched and did 15 minutes of footwork/shadowboxing today before breakfast. After breakfast, I walked to the gym for some strength training:

Warmup - Mobility work/box jumps

A. Hang Power Clean - 135x5; 155x3; 175x1
B. Deadlift - 275x5; 315x3; 345x1
C. Glute Ham Raise - BWx3x8

I finished with an easy five minutes of jump rope. I need to save my energy for tonight’s BJJ class, which I’m very much looking forward to.


BJJ was awesome tonight. We primarily worked on techniques for passing guard. I made improvements on the warmup drills (i.e. forward/backward rolls, hip escapes, etc.), which were all new moves to me when I had my first class Monday night. Working on passing guard also makes me thankful I built a (decently) strong deadlift. Talk about needing your posterior chain!