This is the final part of the 4-part Muay Thai Camp Survival Guide. (Go here for Part 1: Preparation For The Camp, Part 2: Nutrition At The Camp & Part 3: Hydration, Supplements, Pace & Recovery)
In retrospect, this camp was hard but it wasn’t insane. After the first two weeks, I felt like a kid at summer camp. Okay, maybe a fat kid at summer camp but still, it was fun. My initial goal was to go to a Muay Thai camp to learn how to defend myself. After finding out that I didn’t like being punched in the face or grappling with sweaty men, I changed my focus to improving my leg strength, flexibility, overall toning and stamina (ie. I wanted to look sexy naked).
I was happy with the results. My flexibity was the best it’s ever been but I think a lot of that credit has to go to the grueling Thai massages as well. I also lost a bit more weight, going down to 79 kgs. (But I don’t care about weight as much as body composition, anyway). I’ve also noticed that my reflexes have improved, so maybe I can defend myself in a fight after all.
However, the biggest difference I noticed was in my cardio fitness in the last week, when the training started feeling easy. So I added 30 min runs in the morning, just for good measure. In the end, my fitness returned to what I was capable of doing 8 years ago, so that’s pretty amazing.
It is quite impressive what one is capable of achieving, when immersed in such an intensive environment. Living onsite at the camp and being surrounded by professional Muay Thai fighters, raised everyone’s expectations of themselves. I think to see real results, one should stay on-site, commit to a minimum of 3 weeks and not drink for their entire stay. In order to make massive change, you need to take massive action. And the reality of it is, if one can’t do that in this environment, how can they then expect to do it in everyday life?
After The Camp
The real litmus test of course, is sustainability. How do I maintain the results in my everyday life? Realistically, I’m not going to be able to maintain doing 3 hours of cardio a day, so my challenge to focus on weight-training at the gym and to keep an active lifestyle when ashore.
At the moment I’m still easily able to do 200 push-ups and sit-ups a day, and I want to keep that up. But I’m not going to lie. It’s definitely been tougher to maintain the momentum when your peer group are not athletes but rather crew members who enjoy drinking, smoking and carb-loading.
I’m trying to find a balance, where I keep my carbs somewhat low and eat more alkaline foods (nutrition link) but still allow myself a couple of cheat days a week for drinking, so I’m not a complete social outcast.
This is the end of the Muay Thai series. Now back to travel blogging!
Ever done any martial arts?