Training Muay Thai in Winter

There is no doubt about it, we Brisbane residents get spoiled most of the year with good weather. So spoiled that when winter comes, we somehow lose the motivation to do anything other than sitting on the couch under the blanket and binge-watch the latest TV series on Netflix. Here are a few ways that we can avoid the comfort of the couch, and keep on track with our goals by continuing to train Muay Thai in winter.

Many people can relate to coming home, getting warm and cosy on the couch, and watching the clock tick down until it’s time to leave for training, only to make a last-second excuse not to go. Getting stuck on the couch after we finish work can be one of the biggest reasons that people break routine in winter. The best way to avoid the couch is to stay busy before training. There are always things to be done, whether it be chores around the house, grocery shopping, taking the dog for a walk, or even jobs to be done for work. If you have a few hours before training begins, it’s best to find things to do that will fill that time, or we will find ourselves setting up camp on the couch for the afternoon again.

Another reason that we might find ourselves struggling to find the motivation to go to training in winter, is the fact that we are less likely to sweat when it’s cold and feel as though we aren’t getting the same workout. Sweating does not equal results. Sweat is our body pushing out water through the skin to help cool itself down. In fact, sometimes sweating can be a hindrance to our performance due to dehydration of the body. So don’t be disheartened by the fact that you struggle to get a good sweat going in winter, because it may mean that you can get BETTER results by being able to train for longer due to your body not overheating and staying hydrated.

That being said, it is still important that we generate some heat in our body before we begin doing any intense exercise. This might mean that during the colder months we start our workout with multiple layers of clothing, and as our workout continues and our body warms up, we remove layers.

The thought of injury and the increased likelihood of it occurring in winter can have some people second-guessing the thought of going to training. We have to ensure that we warm up adequately before every session, especially when it’s cold. We do that through circular gentle movements in the beginning and continuing with dynamic exercises that take our muscles through range without overextending them. Exercises such as jumping jacks, slow jogging, arm swings and leg swings are perfect ways to get the blood flowing and generate the heat in our bodies to help ensure we don’t tear our muscles during the workout. A warm-up should last 5-10 minutes, but in winter you may want to allow up to double the time to be more thorough.

The best fighters always develop most in the winter. The classes become quieter, sometimes halving in size, but the dedicated students continue to show up. Not only does this mean they have maintained a consistent routine of training Muay Thai through winter, allowing each session to build on the previous session, but they get more 1-on-1 time with the trainer, as he is not pre-occupied with trying to look after the rest of the students. If you want to get the most out of the class, show up in winter when you are not competing with the rest of the students for attention.

At the end of the day, getting yourself into the gym on a cold day is mind over matter. So it may just take a little reminder to ourselves, that many people have been able to persevere in conditions far worse than ours. Maybe all we need…is Rocky Balboa: