Mix Up Your Muay Thai Training with Tabata

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As Muay Thai practitioners, we all know that training is a critical element to our success. Well-planned and executed training programs prepare us for competition and reduce the risk of injury while providing the strength, agility and stamina necessary to battle in the ring. So, while we can all acknowledge how important training is and likely wax philosophical for hours about our personal routines, let’s not ignore the elephant in the room. Training can also be downright drudgery if we stick with the same program week in and week out.

Are you feeling bored or uninspired with your current workouts? It’s probably time to change things up a bit and try something new to reinvigorate your training program. Fortunately, there’s Tabata: A style of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with intervals lasting about four minutes, which offers fast and effective results to keep you in top fighting shape.

Tabata training can come in many shapes and sizes; some requiring exercise equipment and others requiring only your body. For a killer workout without any equipment, follow this bodyweight Tabata.

Perform 20 seconds of the following exercises in the order indicated and incorporate 10 seconds of rest between each exercise: speed squat, burpees, mountain climbers, speed skips, speed squat, burpees, mountain climbers, speed skips. This sequence creates a four-minute interval. Repeat the cycle five times with adequate rest between intervals and pat yourself on the back for crushing it in 20 minutes.

Want a super simple Tabata that will destroy? Check out this one known as the “Torcher”: perform 20 seconds of burpees followed by 10 seconds of rest. Follow that up with 20 seconds of shadow boxing and another 10 seconds of rest. Rinse and repeat eight rounds to create the ultimate four-minute interval. Now, how many of these can you rock before begging for mercy?

Love it or hate it, the treadmill provides an ideal platform for intense interval training. Jam out to your favorite music or just let your mind wander as you try out these Tabata-inspired circuits on the treadmill.

Climb up on the trusty treadmill and set the speed to a medium jogging pace like 7 mph. Run for one minute. Then switch to 5.5 mph and run for two minutes. Repeat the cycle five times. Take a breather and walk for a minute at a comfortable pace. Once you’ve rested, run 30 seconds at 10 mph and do a light jog for a minute at 4 mph. Repeat this cycle five times and take a four-minute cool down. At this point, your total workout time is just shy of 28 minutes.

If you want to HIIT the treadmill for the ultimate short-burst interval workout, this is it. And the best part is that the hardcore intensity lasts only 10 minutes. Begin with three minutes of light jogging. Turn up the treadmill speed to the upper limit of your sprinting ability and go hard for 40 seconds. Follow this up with 20 seconds of walking. Repeat this challenging cycle 10 times and you’ll be dripping. Again, you can add an incline to the circuit for more intensity. You can also try the same intervals on a stationary bike for a change of pace.

Effective training with Tabata benefits athletes from all combat sports, which can make you a favorite to win your next fight if you compete in big money arenas like pro boxing or MMA. Choose a Tabata that’s right for you and marvel at the gains once you work it into your training program. One thing is for sure, you won’t be bored.

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