The majority of amateur fighters believe that learning how to “cut weight” is your secret weapon to winning fights. I challenge that train of thought.
Though cutting weight can give you an advantage in pounds, nothing beats good old-fashioned hard work and smart preparation. Actually, cutting weight can and will alter your metabolism. In the long runs, during a bout or your general state of well-being. Dehydrating by 5 lbs is not a huge derailment of your metabolism. But what I am referring to is the 10-20 lbs that you sometimes hear about when a fighter bravely takes a bout on short notice.
Is Cutting Weight on short notice the answer?
Although this can be considered a heroic and courageous to step in for a match-up that has fallen apart. Why not be a little more forward thinking to stay prepared for a battle at all times? My first trainer, an ex-fighter from Thailand, taught me to think like a true warrior. He would say “Don’t train FOR a fight, train TO fight.”. To me, that meant staying in shape all year round to prevent the extreme “cutting” process. Hovering close to “fight weight” meant eating right and training daily. I followed his way for most of my AM/PRO fight career, doing my due diligence to stick with this mindset. This kept me able to fight in the super middleweight division during my entire journey as a Nak Muay. (What is a Nak Muay? Click Here -Courtesy of Wikipedia.)
I was always ready, willing and able until my second to last PRO fight. I made the mistake of not following the game plan that had kept me ready for years. Not having a confirmed opponent for the bulk of my 8-week fight camp. It allowed me to lose focus, not train seriously and let my normally, healthy dieting process go by the wayside.
This resulted in me sitting in the sauna for hours the day of the weigh-in. I was fighting worn, sluggish and just making it out of the fight by the skin of my teeth. All credit to my opponent who was indeed the better fighter that night. The result of that difficulty in making weight cost me the glory of getting my hand raised, in front of my hometown crowd.
A Muay Thai Lifer – “Staying in Optimal Health”
I’ve always known that I was a Muay Thai Lifer – whether I was going to fight beyond my prime or instead take on coaching full time. Staying in optimal health is the only way to ensure this path and depends solely on the food you put in your body for performance, recovery, and your overall well being!
Believe that you not only train like a warrior, but eat like one too. There are better ways to get to “fight weight” other than starving and dehydrating yourself. Explore your options and be “Battle Ready”
About the Author: Chris Romulo is a retired Muay Thai fighter who won titles in an amateur and professional career that spanned 16 years.
Strength and conditioning are important in Martial Arts and MMA! Use these 3 Pro tips for the best ultimate strength and conditioning results.
Gym Machine or Not to Gym Machine? That is the question.
1. Your Strength and conditioning doesn’t need to be on fitness machines. Stay off the Machines! As a Muay Thai practitioner you ARE the machine, so don’t lock yourself into another one. Stay out of the “health club” gyms because a seated chest fly has no benefit for a Martial Artist. There are hundreds of pushup variations that will build strength, speed, and power while incorporating other muscles than just your chest. Martial Artists are not bodybuilders, don’t train like one. Pick up and use dumbbells (no bicep curls), medicine balls, kettlebells, and barbells.
Stay Simple! DeadLifts, Back Squats and Presses, OH MY!
2. Go back to the basics! When it comes to your skill training, there is no such thing as too much practice. Things like shadowboxing, hitting the bag, and pad work are all staples of Muay Thai. There are a few things that are a must in your strength and conditioning program if you want to excel and build armor around your organs. For your weight training: Deadlifts, back squats, and presses are essential. When using your own bodyweight (calisthenics) such as pushups, pull ups, dips, sit-ups, back extensions, squats and lunges. You will build a great foundation for you to move on to more advanced methods. Quick advice, learn to crawl before you walk, then run!
Recovery is Training and its smart Training!
3. Recovery is just as important as the training! Your body doesn’t get stronger during the workout. It gets stronger after the workout. When your body is in repair mode, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bone heal. The heal to become more resilient than your last training session. Learn to listen to your body if longevity is a goal for your training and fighting. There is a thin line between being lazy and listening though…Your own research and experimenting are crucial on your path to becoming a smart Muay Thai practitioner. In my 20 plus years of fighting and training. I have been blessed to have used a multitude of recovery techniques that still keep me active. Acupuncture, massage, yoga, swimming, chiropractic care and physical therapy have all kept me able to now teach, coach and train “The Art of 8 Limbs” at 41 years old.
Here is workout we do here at our CROM Physical Culture facility in Rockaway Beach, NY. You will perform 12 exercises in a row at 10 reps a piece to develop your agility, balance, flexibility, endurance, power, speed, stability and strength. Also known as the “CORE 8”. Watch, practice and then perform!!
GET TO WORK!!
CROM’S “CORE 8” WORKOUT BELOW.
SHREDbyCROM: Crazy Snake
3 min jump rope
***15 min AMRAP***
Reverse burpee – 10
Ab-mat sit-ups – 10
Frog push-up – 10
Cossack squats – 10
Knee to elbows – 10
Jump squats – 10
Alternating superman plank – 10
Reverse crunches – 10
Power skaters – 10
Toe touch crunch – 10
Sit through – 10
Hindu squats – 10
The goal is to eventually make this a 30-minute AMRAP, at 30 reps per exercise. Progress as you feel ready!
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