Part 1: Muay Thai Camp Survival Guide (Secrets Revealed)

Its been three weeks since I left the Muay Thai boxing camp. Ive now had some time to reflect on my month there and I wanted to write an article answering many of the questions Ive received on the subject. This is Part 1 of a 4-part series, which talks about my preparation for the camp. Part 2 3 will cover the things I did to survive at the camp and Part 4 details my results and my post-camp training. (Note: Dont worry, this blog is not suddenly going to become a fitness blog. The primary focus is as always, about travel.)


My experience at Rawai was actually better than expected, which was why I ended up staying for 4 weeks when I only meant to stay a week. What I found was that people attended for very different reasons but most people fit into one of two groups; people who wanted to fight and people who wanted to get fit.

I naively thought that I would suddenly become a fighting machine but the reality of it is, you will need many months of training before you can have a real fight. Nevertheless, I think that going to a camp to improve your fitness is still a great idea.

Preparation For The Camp

In December last year, I made a decision to join a Muay Thai camp. I always wanted to learn some form of self-defense and the timing was right. Besides, I had become fat. After looking at my expenses for 2011, I knew why. I had spent the last 3 months on the ship, drunk almost every night. (This is actually socially accepted behaviour on cruise ships, as your only options once youve finished work at night is to drink at the crew bar or cry into your pillow. And at duty-free prices, its yet another reason why cruise ships are a wonderful place for budget-conscious alcoholics who want to resist the peer-pressure of sobriety.)

I had arrived on my last ship at 82kgs and within 3 months had grown to 89kgs. And I hadnt gotten any taller! I was actually too embarassed to ever mention this on the blog before. I needed to get back in shape and best way was to have a goal ie. to get my cardio fitness to the level required for intense muay thai training.

When I started pre-training, I was only able to walk 5 kms in an hour. I didnt want to get to the camp and be too exhausted to attend all the training sessions. So I worked hard and even hired a personal trainer, who put me on the right path to lose most of that extra weight. Before arriving at the camp, I was actually able to run 11.5km/h for an hour.

Now, its not absolutely necessary to condition yourself beforehand but the benefits are obvious. Im really glad I started preparing 3 months beforehand. I was working out 6–10 hours a week which I think was a good start to build momentum.

One thing I failed to do however, was to develop my flexibility. I think this is critically important and my lack of flexibility hindered me during my training.

Part 2 will be published tomorrow, covering my nutrition at the camp.

Originally published at