Losing Weight and Building Strength While Training Muay Thai
For anyone who has decided to lose weight through exercise and training Muay Thai, common knowledge states that you need to burn more calories than you intake in order for weight loss. While some have a rigorous diet plan that allows them to measure the amount of calories they consume with each meal or drink, don’t assume that this is absolutely necessary in order to achieve the results you’re looking for. It’s true that cardio workouts and building endurance through Muay Thai will help you achieve a calorie deficit. But it’s also important to recognize the huge value that strength training provides when combined with cardio training in order to help you lose weight.
Strength training isn’t going to give you the intensive and heart-thumping feeling that cardiovascular training does, but building lean muscle helps develop your body into a naturally effective calorie-burning machine. Having more lean muscle means your body is capable of burning more calories while at rest. The boost from building muscle in addition to training Muay Thai on a consistent basis works towards helping you reach your desired weight faster.
Why You Want the Lean Muscle Mass Gained from Strength Training
“If someone is doing Muay Thai everyday, they still will be burning so many calories and metabolism will be through the roof. The lack of weight training is not going to slow down the metabolism in a situation such as this. Sure, weight training will contribute to weight loss and strength / power gain but lack of it wont slow the metabolism with someone training this much,” says Brett Taylor, the head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the Thailand Institute of Sport (Sports Authority of Thailand).
While losing weight through Muay Thai or cardio training, it’s normal to lose both fat and muscle. Muay Thai is resistance-based in the sense that you’re using your body weight for many of the routines that you do during training. While typically If you don’t have any resistance training in your routine, you might actually be slowing your metabolism down through lean muscle mass loss, for certain sports. As Brett said, you won’t have to worry about a slowed metabolism if you don’t add strength conditioning into your routine.
Strength training helps you build muscle, more so than a cardio-based routine. Brett continues on to say the following: “In order to gain muscle, the body must have a calorie surplus (a reason why fighters, women and other people scared of putting on too much muscle should not worry… because they are doing so much cardio already, their calorie deficits ensure they wont put on bulk. What will happen is they will get stronger. And if someone has a great strength base, it allows them to generate more power. This holds true in every sport which is why all sports should do resistance training.
Having More Muscle with Increase Your BMR
Base metabolic rate (how many calories your body would burn while doing nothing, even laying on the couch all day) is increased through having more muscle mass. A pound of muscle demands more from your metabolic rate than a pound of fat. Basically, the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn throughout the day.
It requires energy, or calories, in order for muscles to operate efficiently. They’re constantly being broken down, recreated, and synthesized. If you burn more calories at rest, you increase your calorie deficit, and this is the key factor for weight loss. One important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t rely completely on the scale when determining healthy weight loss. Muscle is more compact than fat; go by how your clothes are starting to fit differently.
Training Muay Thai for Weight Loss is Perfect
What makes Muay Thai perfect is that it combines rigorous cardiovascular endurance training and strength-based training through using your body weight to deliver kicks and punches. Strength training doesn’t require you to move fast when lifting weights, which is why many personal trainers tell people to move faster, not rest too long between sets, increase repetitions, and choose heavier weights. This is a modern day “commercial fitness” mistake. “One form of training interferes with the other, strength training should be separated from cardio, preferably on different days or times. If put together, cardio should be before strength training, not right after as it has a negative impact on protein synthesis (building of muscle) which is when the muscle is repairing. With Muay Thai, you’re constantly utilizing your body weight while improving cardiovascular endurance, which is an optimal method of losing weight properly.
Adding More Strength Training into Your Routine
Remember, you still need to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight, no matter what. You also need a caloric surplus in order to build muscle. What’s the best way to do this while training Muay Thai? Brett has the answer: “Incorporate strength training into your Muay Thai routine after you do Muay Thai, never before. Consider periodizing the times that you are building muscle and the time that you want to cut weight.” Building muscle while training Muay Thai has a multitude of benefits, if done properly.