Am I in shape enough? Is everyone else going to be more advanced than me? Will I get my butt kicked sparring? When just starting out with Muay Thai, it’s easy to have these thoughts surging through your mind. Although growing in popularity, Muay Thai isn’t exactly a common way for individuals to get in shape, so it can be a little off-putting when you walk into your first few classes. The most important thing to remember is that everyone starts somewhere. Sure, there may be people in class who are more advanced than you, but they were all beginners at one time or another too. Here are 5 ways to mentally and physically prepare yourself for your Muay Thai training regimen.
1. Up your cardio game:
Almost all Muay Thai classes that you take will have some conditioning involved in order to increase your cardiovascular endurance. It’s easy to get out of breath when you’re sparring with someone for multiple rounds, so having a solid cardio base will help you to not get tired midway through. Running and jump roping are two awesome ways to cross train.
2. Get in the right mindset:
Muay Thai can be a great outlet for any stress or tension you may be holding on to, so let it out in your movements. With that being said, you also have to make sure you keep your movements controlled and perform them with good form or you run the risk of injuring yourself or your sparring partner. Also, prepare yourself for being hit. If you’ve never trained for a fighting sport before, the sparring element can take a little getting used to.
3. Buy the right gear:
If you plan to stick with the sport, it’s important to invest in some good gear. Hand wraps, gloves, loose fitting shorts, mouth guard, and shin guards are all essential. Investing in some anklets is probably a good idea too.
4. Learn to recognize when injuries are serious or not:
Muay Thai is a contact sport, so some injuries are inevitable if you train for a while. The key is recognizing when you can push through an injury (like a bruised shin) or when you should take some down time (like with a sprained ankle). Continuing through a serious injury will only make it worse and cost you more time.
5. Spar with someone who is more advanced than you:
This may seem a bit counterintuitive, but by sparring with someone who is more advanced than you, they’ll be able to give you pointers and show you how to control your movements. Having 2 beginners sparring is a recipe for bad form and injuries. You will learn nothing from someone who is at or below the level you are.