Saturday, October 23, 2010

Getting Your Kicks In: "What if I Don't have time to Train?"

For the serious athlete training for competition, it's almost a no brainer: they want to get in the ring. They will make the time to train and go ridiculously hard until their appetites are satisfied.

For the average Joe or Jill, it isn't always so simple. School, work and other commitments can smother us and leave us gasping for just a little bit of gym time...and often times we suffocate and get none.

So what can you do?

In terms of the casual MT gym member, we usually recommend at least 2-3 days a week in order to get recovery time in, while doing it often enough to progress both physically and technically.

2-3 days is too much for some people's tentative schedules, especially the student who has commitments spewing out of their nostrils. A lot of our students are from York U, and it can really screw up the gym time. Even worse, they're not always in the greatest shape to begin with because of these harsh schedules.

Some people end up not training at all for long periods of time.

The problem with taking huge amounts of time off is that it makes the return that much harder. It can be hard to find motivation to get your conditioning or technique back when discouraged by how much it will take to do so.

If you fall under this category, I (personally) highly recommend the following:

1. If you have to, do drop ins. If you know you can't make it at least 2-3 days a week, do a drop in 1 day a week. It can be hard on the body to have a 7 day gap, but you still have an outlet to practice both the exercises we do as well as get SOME direction for your technique. It beat not having your team or instructors around to help or push you.

That way, when time frees up, you won't be learning how to do things all over again

2. When you aren't at Muay Thai, do some easy maintenance on your body at least a couple days outside of class. BLAST some mindless beats to work out to, and crank out a few sets of small exercises.

I used to do 6 sets of situps, pushups and squats on my off days (or on vacations). The number of reps per set would vary depending on how fit I was. It wasn't hard core at all, nor was it meant to be. It was supposed to be enough so that I wasn't crying over soreness when I did return to Muay Thai. These small sets didn't take much longer than 15-20 mins.

Either way, you don't have to kill yourself, and probably won't be able to do so the same way you would in class. Just put on that music to get you into a work out mood for that short period of time and bang those sets out quick. These short exercises won't be anywhere near Muay Thai, but they'll maintain something for you.

3. If one day drop in a week is all you can do for yourself, make it one solid day. Prioritize your time on that day and make it a point to give yourself the gift of a wicked work out and learning some Muay Thai.

4. Run. If you can't do anything else, running will help you tons. It's no secret that running can do great things for your conditioning, and that's why fighter's usually do a ton of it.

Everyone's fitness is different...I'd recommend a newbie try to do no more than 2k at first, and no more than 3 times a week. See how your body responds, and either add or subtract from there.

Those are just small solutions and suggestions.

If anything, the best solution is just #3. Pick whatever day you're most free (or days, if you aren't swamped), and make that your designated MT day.
There's really nothing else like doing the class, and with that one day you can at least guarantee yourself something to work with once you are able to commit more days to both fitness and technique.

Your body and mind will thank you.

Every day sitting is another day deteriorating! Now stop reading this and go do some situps :)

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