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Building Functional Muscle for Muay Thai –
part 2

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Last week's post outlining my hypertrophy (muscle building) phase of training for
MuayThai generated a lot of interest, and warranted a follow-up providing extra detail.
I'll begin by clarifying the exercises in the programme.

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Session A Exercises

Don Heatrick S&C

Don Heatrick S&C
4 hrs

Muay Thai Traditions that Westerners Practice (But Th

Muay Thai Traditions that Westerners Pr

Of course it's nice to uphold some of the muay Thai traditions
1,841 people like Don Heatrick S& C.

Superset 1

a) Front squat — knee dominant lower body
b) Rear foot elevated split squats (Bulgarian split squats) — unilateral knee dominant
Superset 2

Fac ebook soc ial plugin

a) Incline bench press — horizontal push
b) Dumbbell chest press — horizontal push
Superset 3

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a) Pull-ups — vertical pull
b) Dumbbell bent over rows — horizontal pull

Recent Posts


Muay Thai Strength & Conditioning
Periodisation (Planning)

Candlesticks — core anti-extension

Session B Exercises

Plyo’s Before Muay Thai Skill Training?
— Activation vs Fatigue
Muay Thai Power Endurance Finisher
What Order Should My Exercises Be
Muay Thai & The Serape Effect

Superset 1

Core Training

a) Deadlift — lower body hip dominant
b) Single leg suspension squat — unilateral knee dominant


Superset 2

a) Standing over head press behind neck — vertical push
b) Barbell push press — vertical push
Superset 3

Energy Systems
Female Athletes

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and a 12-rep max weight for the 8-rep hypertrophy exercise.e. or a -4 rep max loading Periodisation Mindfulness Mobility Motor Patterns Nutrition Potentiation Power Medium weeks use a 7-rep max weight for the 5-rep strength exercise. 4-reps left in you. followed immediately by a hypertrophy finisher (8reps). I use low. This superset is repeated 4-times before moving on to the next pair of exercises.e. Movement Training Low weeks use a 9-rep max weight for the 5-rep strength exercise.a) Barbell bent over row — horizontal pull b) Suspended rows — horizontal pull Flexibility Heart Rate Core Hypertrophy Landmine (Coreplate) twists — core anti-rotation Injury Prevention Programme Progression Isometric Each superset pair consists firstly of a strength exercise (5-reps). 2-reps left in you. i. but the maximum number of full form reps are recorded (until technical failure) Programme Design Reaction Training recommended Recovery Reposted Articles PDF creado por htmlapdf. or a -2 rep max loading High weeks use a 5-rep max weight for the 5-rep strength a través de la Interfaz de programación . medium. high and high+ (overload) weeks. or 0-rep max loading — maximum effort High+ weeks use the same loads as the high week (0-rep max). and an 8-rep max weight for the 8-rep hypertrophy exercise. i. i. 0-reps left in you. and a 10rep max weight for the 8-rep hypertrophy exercise.e. metabolic As far as programming the intensity.

when issuing general templates. I test all the lifts. -4 rep max). Please let me know what you think in the comments below. Therefore in this example.The high+ week is an overload week that also tests new strength levels to establish appropriate loading for the following block of training. 5-reps) and a weight intensity (e. 5-reps completed with a weight you could lift a maximum of 9-times will feel relatively easy (low week). That should fill in a few blanks and give you enough detail to structure your first block of training. But.g. When designing individual programmes. calculate % of 1-rep max and specify target weights for all exercises of every session. If you'd like to know my thoughts behind the exercises I've selected in these two routines. where fighters find their own weights. please sign up for my PRO newsletter and I'll let you know when I post again and give you some other exclusive stuff too! Got a question you'd like to ask? Please post it on the #TeamMuayThai Forum Video Post Visualisation Weight Cutting Workshops You may also like the following related posts… Written Articles Written Post PDF creado por htmlapdf.g. as you should feel like you have 4-reps left in a través de la Interfaz de programación . Research Specificity Sport Psychology Strength Technical/Tactical Training Testing top 5 Training routine Uncategorized If you found this post helpful. take a look at my Exercise Selection article. it's simpler to work with a target number or reps (e.

. PDF creado por htmlapdf.Anaerobic Alactic Power Intervals Buakaw Strength & Conditioning Training Is Muay Thai Bad for Posture? Tags aerobic agonist anaerobic alactic antagonist autonomous process carbs coaching cognitive process energy systems explosive Fairtex focus gas Glycemic Index glycogen injury prevention kettlebell mindset motor learning motor patterns imagery MuayThai Jeckyll & Hyde Paradox MuayThai Flow State Performance Preparation: Optimised Warm-up movement patterns Muay Thai periodised perturbation plyometrics programming training Recovery res is tance bands ritual Saenchai speed training sport psychology specificity Tag Team: Physical Therapy/Strength & Conditioning Muay Thai Lucky Day Colours strength and conditioning Strength and power strength curve supercompensation Comments 0 comments Technical training trigger points Unilateral superstition visualisation weight cut Yodsanklai Add a a través de la Interfaz de programación .

or are the rear-delts sufficiently stimulated in your opinion to grow alonside the front and middle delts. do you feel it is necessary to include any rear-delt isolation exercises to this routine/programme. Hypertrophy. Training routine. Video Post. Strength. 2013 at 9:59 pm said: I’m just wondering. movement patterns Muay Thai programming training strength and conditioning 44 THOUGHTS ON “BUILDING “BUILDING FUNCTIONAL MUSCLE FOR MUAY THAI – PART 2” 2” Pablo Pena on February 3. by DonHeatrick in Core Training. I assume you include them to put more emphasis on the lats. perhaps on a separate day? Although you do include rowing movements.Fac ebook soc ial plugin Posted on January 20th. Pablo REPLY ↓ PDF creado por a través de la Interfaz de programación . to prevent any muscle imbalances? Thanks.

Good question. and maintain a robust balance of strength on both sides of the joints. 2013 at 8:04 pm said: Hi Pablo. Check out the following post I’ve put together which goes a little deeper. You’ll get all the rear deltoid development you’ll need by working the rowing exercises with good form. The key here is functional hypertrophy (muscle growth).DonHeatrick on February REPLY ↓ Pingback: Fighter Weight Training Sessions In a Nutshell | Heatrick Strength & Conditioning for MuayThai Simon PIccirillo on March a través de la Interfaz de programación . http://heatrick. By training these movements you’ll only ‘gain meat’ where you need it. 2013 at 1:14 am said: What an amazing website! I’ve just found this site and want to say how professional and PDF creado por htmlapdf.

com a través de la Interfaz de programación . I appreciate you taking the time to leave me your feedback.informative it is (and I’ve only been on it for 5 mins!) Great work REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on March 19. I’ll keep at it :) REPLY ↓ PDF creado por htmlapdf. 2013 at 2:51 pm said: Thanks Simon.

cheers from a través de la Interfaz de programación . BC REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on July 5. amazing site.Alden on July 4. 2013 at 9:26 pm said: Cheers Alden :) REPLY ↓ PDF creado por htmlapdf. Thank you very much for this great resource. Just the stuff i’ve been looking for. 2013 at 6:21 pm said: Yes.

I will be spreading the word. Thankyou a great informative site backed up by your personal experiances. 2013 at 1:22 pm said: Great site.LeeDent on April 1. also when you do find articles relating to sport specific training they are either aimed at professionals that train for a living and have all day everyday to do so or they are written by some geek with a degree in sport science that has never really applied any of their knowledge to the real a través de la Interfaz de programación . It certainly helps validate my mission and will shape the way I approach my writing in the future. And please do spread the word! :D REPLY ↓ PDF creado por htmlapdf. Your feedback regarding the content and the way I present it is very valuable to me. I have developed a 2 day split which is almost identical to yours but I will now be adding the supersets. 2013 at 6:15 pm said: Thank you Lee. I have been trying to come up with a weights routine for about the last 3 months specifically to enhance my Thai training but almost every site is obsessed with mirror muscles or should I say Hypertrophy (for the record I have nothing against that type of training It is just not functional for what I want to achieve!). I’m glad you’re finding the site useful. REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on April 1.

2013 at 10:01 pm said: Hi Don. others forms of training you do per week and how it differs from the traditional way in Thailand…and of course what each session entails. weights. You can also develop strength WITHOUT increasing weight too. a través de la Interfaz de programación . but it targets development of functional mass that aids athletic performance with a proportional increase in strength. it depends on the intensity and the volume of lifts that you use. just an idea :) REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on July 1. PDF creado por htmlapdf. 2013 at 10:58 pm said: Hi Colin. The routine above does add muscle mass.Colin on July 1. Weight training needn’t add unnecessary bulk. im curios how often you train muay thai. I would be intrigued to hear what your reply would be to the ‘weight training will add bulk/size/mass which makes it harder to make a given weight and ‘squeeze’ into a weight class….which I’m sure your aware many fighters do already. run.

Take a look at the following post for more detail: How you programme all the various forms of training is a good question… and a difficult one to answer briefly. REPLY ↓ PDF creado por a través de la Interfaz de programación . I’ll put together a post to shed some light.

Thanks again REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on July 1. If you have a ques tion. Think ive read all of the posts now so will try not to ask a question uve already covered! Keep up the good work. 2013 at 11:05 pm said: Thanks Don. jus t as k mate. 2013 at 11:14 pm said: Haha! No problem Colin.Colin on July 1. REPLY ↓ PDF creado por a través de la Interfaz de programación .

2013 at 9:48 pm said: I was wondering if you do programs A and B on the same day? REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on July 10. and having a day between each weight training session allows sufficient neuromuscular recovery. Both sessions work the whole body. 2013 at 12:09 am said: Hi Anwar.Anwar on July 8. Don REPLY ↓ PDF creado por a través de la Interfaz de programación . The sessions are intended for two different non-consecutive days. Regards.

you’ll be notified each time I add some new content. 2013 at 7:12 am said: I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice.Rico on July 21. keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back in the future. :) REPLY ↓ Pingback: Building Functional Muscle for Muay Thai | Heatrick Strength & Conditioning for MuayThai Paul on September 4. If you sign up to the free newsletter . PDF creado por a través de la Interfaz de programación . A few questions. I’ve been reading a few of your posts here and there (forwarded here from r/muaythai) and want to thank you for your time and effort. Cheers REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on July 21. 2013 at 12:51 pm said: Thanks Rico. 2013 at 7:10 pm said: First off – very good blog.

You say you break your weeks into low. I’ve heard overhead presses behind the neck are bad for you (exterior rotation vs interior rotation) – would standing military press (bar in front) leave any holes in the workout? 3.1. Front squats are my personal preference PDF creado por htmlapdf. there will just be more hamstring/glute (hip) involvement. :) Here are my quick answers: 1. Any guidance would be helpful. 2. Again. Can I sub back squats for front squats? I feel my hamstrings are very weak compared to my quads already. Also considering lateral dumbbell raises instead of the barbell push press. great site! An invaluable resource for a MT noob like me. REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on September 4. high. 2013 at 8:57 pm said: Hi Paul. high+. Good questions too. no problem and thanks for getting in a través de la Interfaz de programación . Back squats can be substituted for front squats. medium. does this mean you do 4 week rotations? low -> mid -> high -> high+ -> low -> mid -> etc… I’ve done some basic strength training and it focused on linear progression and am still pretty new in the gym (~6 months strength training / ~1 month MT training). Would this also put any holes in the workout? 4.

But. 3.) REPLY ↓ PDF creado por they target the knee dominant pattern – and I target the hip dominant pattern with the deadlift. Hope this helps . Linear progression is fine initially. is as a progression for the clean (olympic lift). 2. that tend to become long and weak from our fighting stance a través de la Interfaz de programación . pressing behind the neck is only a problem if you have injured or unusual shaped scapulae (shoulder blades). My reason for pressing from behind the neck is that this better trains the muscles stabilising the scapular. Lateral dumbbell raises are shoulder isolation exercise and doesn’t develop a functional movement pattern. It also acts a progression toward the overhead squat and snatch (olympic lift). 4. The push press is a much better choice as it also adds power development to the routine. The cycling of 3 or 4 intensity levels (over 3 or 4 week rotations) allows for recovery and progression – especially when factoring in all the other training Thai boxers subject themselves to! The lower intensity sessions also allow you to craft your lifting technique too. but you’ll soon reach plateaus in performance. Military presses are ok. My other reason to front squat. Most people are fine. rather than running your lifting-pattern ragged and reinforcing bad habits.

the s ingle-leg s us pens ion s quats can work as a progres s ion toward pis tol s quats . and als o add (mus cle building) volume to the preceding deadlift s trength exercis e. 2013 at 10:07 pm said: Don – you are a man amongst a través de la Interfaz de programación . 2013 at 7:00 pm said: It’s great you’re getting into the routine Paul. PDF creado por htmlapdf.Paul on September 4. The s us pended s quat allows you to trim the amount of as s is tance contributed from your arms to get the loading jus t right for the number of reps required too. 2013 at 5:43 pm said: tried the workout last week – am loving it on my off-days from muay thai training. Yes . I’m going to leave your routine as-is and start today! Thanks again!! REPLY ↓ Paul on September 9. Thank you so much for your response. had one more question – is the suspended single leg squat essentially a stepping stone to pistol squats? REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on September 9.

can you suggest some other exercises i can do to build up to that? currently i do planks and crunches (a variety of crunches). 2013 at 7:49 pm said: so i’ve been doing this routine. my core must be too weak to do that quite yet. PDF creado por a través de la Interfaz de programación . and am coming along nicely EXC EP T for the candlesticks.REPLY ↓ Paul on September 25.

bending at the hips to allow you to return back to the start position. 2013 at 9:47 am said: Hey Don First of all thanks for the amazing post! I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time now. it gives a little more detail on how it’s performed: http://heatrick. and you can reduce it further by bending both knees.) Randy on September 11.DonHeatrick on September 25. great question… I don’t know if you’ve seen my video specifically on candlesticks. I’ll put together a blog post for you . You could also just work the ‘eccentric’ lowering phase only. Really good job! :) PDF creado por Retracting one leg will reduced the amount of leverage. There are some other ideas I have for building up core anti-extension strength. 2013 at 10:24 pm said: Hi P a través de la Interfaz de programación .

I’m used to do pullups right after my deadlifts (to deload my spine). Peace :) REPLY ↓ PDF creado por htmlapdf. 2. 1. Can I substitute Bulgarian Split Squats with Walking Lunges? Just because I love them. have a nice day. a través de la Interfaz de programación . Can I rearrange the workout so that I do pullups after my deadlifts? I really hope you can help me out. Can I substitute either the overhead Press or the push press with cuban presses? I feel like I get a lot more shoulder activation with the cuban presses. Other than that.I have some questions though.

then follow with the upperbody pushing exercises (listed as superset 2) before finishing with the core exercise. Best regards. but won’t be particularly effective for building functional muscle or movement. just keep the number of walking lunge to 8 reps per leg. Thanks for the positive a través de la Interfaz de programación . Yes. swap the ‘pulling’ exercises (listed as superset 3) between the two sessions. Cuban presses are great for developing the muscles stabilising the shoulder.DonHeatrick on September 20. :) 1. Yes. 2013 at 6:52 pm said: Hi Randy. 2. 3. and re-order these pulling supersets after the lower body exercises. Don REPLY ↓ Alex on November 3. The overhead press develops functional strength and the push press adds volume for hypertrophy (growth) and adds some power development too. and at the same intensity level (loading) specified. 2013 at 2:49 pm said: PDF creado por htmlapdf.

2013 at 7:03 pm said: To achieve any significant changes. a block should be at least 6weeks in length. :) I’d still train power once a week during this block to maintain rate of force development. 2013 at 12:30 pm said: alright thank you! Which exercises for power (and reps/sets) do you recommend to fit in there as a 3rd training session? REPLY ↓ PDF creado por a través de la Interfaz de programación .how long you should follow this strength-hypertrophy training block to see benefits and before switching to another training method where conditioning/power/explosiveness is the focus? Is 8 weeks a good number? REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on November 3. 8-weeks will be even better. REPLY ↓ Alex on November 4.

)? thanks again REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on November 4. Check out the following pos t: http://heatrick. s tiff-leg Box pis tol s quats are fine – as long as you can control PDF creado por htmlapdf. s ome med ball throws for the core and s omething s imple like kettlebell s wings or pus h pres s es . 2013 at 1:57 pm said: I’d add a third s es s ion with s ome plyometric drills s uch as box jumps .and another ques a través de la Interfaz de programación .Alex on November 4.. trap-bar. 2013 at 12:49 pm said: . can I do box pis tol s quats ins tead of s ingle leg s us pens ion s quat? can I vary between different deadlift exercis es (s umo. If you follow the 3-to-5 principle: between 3 – 5 s ets of between 3 – 5 reps for neuromus cular training (s trength and power) you will get good res ults .

com a través de la Interfaz de programación .the form s trictly for the given number of reps . :) Don REPLY ↓ PDF creado por htmlapdf. Any vers ion of a deadlift (hip dominant lift) is als o fine.

I had 2 questions on this: 1) What would come after 6-8 weeks of following this routine? Will the benefits decrease. and should we consider to an alternative 6-8 week program in order to ‘shock’ the muscles to see continuous gains? 2) My trapezius muscles can get very tight after weights and Muay a través de la Interfaz de programación . 2014 at 12:23 am said: Hi Don. fantastic article and great to hear ways to counterbalance any potential injury. Is continued following of this program likely to alleviate any imbalance and reduce tightness? Thanks. Firstly. C hris PDF creado por htmlapdf.Chris on January 25.

I’ve written a brief answer for you on the Q&A forum: http://heatrick.DonHeatrick on January Best a través de la Interfaz de programación . Don REPLY ↓ PDF creado por htmlapdf. 2014 at 2:41 pm said: Hi Chris.

2014 at 8:20 am said: Hi Raf. Much appreciated. I’m ridiculously happy that i found your website! Everything I’ve been searching for! hopefully you still write more on this website because i love learning from your articles! a través de la Interfaz de programación .com Posts of 2013 | Heatrick Strength & Conditioning for MuayThai PDF creado por htmlapdf. Raf REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on March 11. Thank you for getting in contact and giving me some feedback. Don REPLY ↓ Pingback: Top 5 Heatrick. 2014 at 6:57 am said: Hey Don. :) Cheers.Raf on March 11.

What do you think I should do for my next block of strength training? Should I continue the same routine and readjust the intesities? Should I change up some exercises? I appreciate your help. and have progressively ramped up the intensity to the high+ range. I’ve been doing this routine for 4-5 weeks now.Pingback: Exercise Selection — part 2 | Heatrick Strength & Conditioning for MuayThai Matt on April 30. -Matt REPLY ↓ PDF creado por a través de la Interfaz de programación . 2014 at 11:16 pm said: Hey Don.

as you’ve said. I’ll look at producing a TeamMuayThai download with some further a través de la Interfaz de programación . simply adjust the intensities relative to you new maximum loads. You could also change some exercises too if you wish. Don REPLY ↓ PDF creado por htmlapdf. 2014 at 11:35 pm said: Hi Matt.DonHeatrick on April 30. You can re-run the same routine if you like. Cheers.

com a través de la Interfaz de programación .Azza on May 26. Repeat each superset 4-times before moving onto the next superset pair. 2014 at 1:04 am said: Hi Don. yes that’s right. Superset 2 x4 etc ? REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on May 26. 2014 at 4:28 pm said: Hi Azza. REPLY ↓ PDF creado por htmlapdf. Do you repeat each superset 4 times? For example Superset 1 x4.

i would need a simple Routine for strength Building only.Sven Zimmermann on January 2. 2015 at 9:39 am said: Nice blog. Thank you REPLY ↓ DonHeatrick on January 10. REPLY ↓ Leave a Reply PDF creado por a través de la Interfaz de programación . 2015 at 9:13 am said: Thanks Sven. I’m putting together some more programmes soon.

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