T Nation

Muay Thai


Hey guys,

This year I decided to start learning muay thai at a gym close to my school. I'm really enjoying it and want to get better. Now, here's my question. I'm doing a super squats cycle and am finding my legs are battered for days. I want to get better in this fighting style, but at the same time, want to improve in the gym. I'm starting to think doing a Power to the People cycle with deadlift and side press, and work weighted pullups a copule day would be a superior approach. I'm not as built as some of the guys there, so size is somewhat important, but strength is probably number one. What are your guys opinions?

Oh, and for another quick question: When you are doing russian twists, how much weight are you supposed to put on the barbell?



I am not familar with PTP so I will leave that for the more experienced to answer.

As of Russian Twist, my suggestion is either:

1) Train it together with other abs exercises. Straight sets, supersets, circuits etc. 2-3 times a week.

2) One movement plane a day. e.g:
Mon at gym - Trunk rotation
Tues at MA class - Trunk flexion
Wed at gym - Trunk lateral flexion
Fri at MA class - trunk extension

Which option works better depends on a lot of variables. Just my 2cents.

Geek boy


Quick question, what does your super squats cycle consist of, besides squats of course? How many times a week you train, and how many sets and reps you do are very important. It will be much easier for someone to give you advice if we know this.
Also, for some reason everytime I hear super squats I think of
Randall Strossens 20rep breathing squats program and you can't do anything else with that routine.


you don't need to be big to be good at muay thai, the champs are mostly these lanky bastards who have muscle that looks more like a knotted rope that real muscle. I would personaly not do a PTP cycle and start muay thai because the total body tension techniques are the opposite of the muay thai style kicks and punches, the kicks are dead leg swings and if you are tense you loose alot of power. In addition PTP and Muay Thai is probably to much unless you are really well conditioned. The naked warrior would probably work better, as a supplement program, but If you are just starting you should give your self some time to get used to the training volume, when I started I hurt so bad worse than I ever got from weights. But I recomend lots of wrist and grip strenghtning excercises.


Basically, I'm doing a modified super 20 rep program with only one day of squats a week. I saw it posted on t-nation, and thought I'd give it a try. I know, its not the true supersquats, but still pretty damn hard.

Squat 1x20
Military Press 5x5
Weighted Pullups 5x5

Deadlifts 12 heavy singles
Bench 5x5
Bent-over rows 5x5

Highpulls pyramid up and down
Weighted Dips 5x5
Barbell Curls 5x5

You really shouldn't tighten for the kicks? I'm still learning, so I guess all the power is generated from the hips?


looks good, I'll give it a shot. Thanks!


I won't try pretending like I know what's best for you, or anyone for that matter, but I can relate my experience.

I train Muay Thai and lift as well. My biggest lesson is to not to try to do both in the same day. Especially lifting heavy, second. My CNS is just fried. I lose a good 20% off my 1RMs.

I train most of the time with lower reps and mid to high volume. 8x3, 5x5, and 5-3-2 waves being my favorites. I mix up strength lifts, fast/explosive lifts, and GGP type lifts.

Strength - deads, squats, etc. at high intensity

Fast/explosive - the olympic variants mostly for me

GPP type - farmer's walks, KB swings or snatches for time (EDT style), sandbag work, etc.

Works for me.

The best simple plan for a fighter that I heard was from Dan John. Deadlift and press everyday. Do about ten reps each, 5x2, 3x3, whatever. Just get really strong and build that base.

Finally, nothing adds raw power to your striking like deadlifting. Nothing.


In Muay Thai mass is not really necessary at all. As mentioned most are tall and lanky. It is much better to be taller relative to your weight in Muay Thai. Shorter guys get kneed and kicked in the head easier and usually have a shorter reach. MT is a lot about staying loose and fluid not tight and strong. In a kick your leg is like a pendulum and there should be no tension,


I've competed in and trained others in Muay Thai and I have said the same thing over and over again.

Don't do any other training other than Muay Thai until that training no longer makes you stronger, faster, fitter. When it does cease to produce a fitness adaptation, start lifting. Now, what program do you do?

Charles Staley, Charles Staley, Charles Staley. Also, that damned evil russian guy that will remain nameless as he turned down writing for T-Nation. Did I say Charles Staley? I meant to say Charles Staley.

Not his EDT for hypertrophy either, size will NOT help you, power will. There is a big difference.

So in summary, Charles Staley on strength, speed, etc.



Yeah, when I use to do Judo and lift on the same day, my body was pretty useless. I can totally relate to that.

So heavy, lows reps adding up to 10. Looks good. I'm glad to hear about deadlifts being the end all be all, probably my favorite/best lift. Who doesn't love a bar bending deadlift?


Well, its makes now why I kept on hearing the same thing from the trainer: "why are you so tight, loosen up!!" It's hard to stay loose when you got some pretty big dude with crazy tribal symbols on his arms yelling at you. I was very tense though, not that I think about it. So stay loose and fluid, got it!

Do you have any tips for staying loose?


To stay loose stretch like a madman, while static stretching reduces maximum force development, It will help you relax and give you more fluid kicks, also use lifts that requier (sp?) lots of flexibility, Full squat, Deep lunges forward and side to side, dips, chins, and roman chair situps, but after a while you get used to the classes and you will relax anyway.


I also train Muay Thai and I do the exact thing your thinking about.

I train the dealift and weighted pullups PTP style. I dont find the tension techniques used in PTP an issue while training Muay Thai, stay tight when you Dealift stay loose when you train Muay Thai.

I also do various kettlbell movements on the evenings I dont go to the gym. Swings, snatches, windmills and some H2H drills.

I should mention that when I started Muay Thai I dropped all other training untill I became accustomed to the intensity of my MT sessions. I would maybe do some light bodyweight drills on off days but that was it.

If you choose to go the PTP route, start your first cycle very light, work on form and tension. Add 5 pounds per day Mon-Fri. Take Sat and Sun off, start your next weeks progression 5lbs heavier than the previous Monday. It will take time to build up but the key is to stay fresh. Hope this helps, and have fun in MT.


Thanks for all the responses, I really appreciate it! I'll write another post in a couple months with my progress. Take it easy


Depends on the fighters... Depends on the weight classes...
Before becoming a k-1 fighter, this guy was a muay thai heavy-weight world champ. At 6'3 and 265, he's not exactly a lanky bastard :slight_smile:


I think the other guys were refering to the native Thai whom participate. Their physiques typically are on the light side. I believe much that just plain has to do with the national diet being based around rice veggies and poor protein sources.