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If your new years goal is to fight muay thai – Part 2: Goal setting and establishing a routine

If your new years goal is to fight muay thai – Part 2: Goal setting and establishing a routine

The importance of a strong mind in a fighter is not often underplayed, and for good reason. To step over the ropes as a kickboxer it takes a lot of courage, determination, and hard training, but it also takes a strong mind and discipline to continue to show up to training every day.

There is going to be days where you don’t feel like training. This is guaranteed. Even for the professional athletes there are days where they have to drag themselves out of bed, or scrape themselves off the couch to go to training. Kickboxing in Brisbane (or any sport in Queensland for that matter) can be hard to get motivated for, especially in the summer time where we can have over temperatures of 40°C during the day. The difference between these professional athletes and the average person who stays at home to catch the latest episode of “Days of our lives”, is they are dedicated to their goal.

It is said when starting a new business, if there is not a business plan it is likely to fail. This applies to all areas in life. If you go to your local weights and cardio gym to start working out just to “see what happens”, you are more than likely going to stop training within a few weeks. There should be some stakes or consequences for your training. In Muay Thai and Kickboxing, you can set yourself the goal of fighting to give you direction and clarity about what you need to do, and why you are doing it. But for some people this goal is too far away, or they aren’t sure how long it will take for them to be “fight ready”, and without a deadline the training gets pushed to the side and the couch looks so much more enticing when class is upon is. We can get past this by breaking down our major goal into smaller goals, with distinct deadlines.

In the beginning it is important to set very achievable goals, so we feel like we have gotten a few easy wins early on. Here is an example for a goal timeline of an overweight person hoping to one day fight in the ring:

Current weight: 75kg
Fight weight: 60kg (if you aren’t sure about what your fight weight is, ask your trainer for an approximate weight)
Ultimate goal: To fight in the ring

Week 1: Goal – Complete first week of training
Go to class two times this week. Be very specific about the days and classes, it leaves less room for procrastination. Choose classes that are going to work for your schedule every week. Walking in the door can be the hardest part, so achieving this goal should be congratulated.

Week 2 + 3: Goal – Establish a routine

Repeat the classes of week 1. If you absolutely have to miss a class due to unforeseen circumstances, make sure you make it up by attending another class, or at the very least do some form of exercise at home; this should be a last resort.

By now we should have some sort of routine about our training and from here we can build around it.
Week 4: Goal – Increase our training

Increase training to four times this week. Again, choose times or classes that are easy to stick with every week. This could (but does not have to) include going for a run, instead of going to a class. Your week could end up looking like this:

– Monday: Muay thai class
– Tuesday: Muay thai class
– Wednesday: Muay thai class
– Thursday: 2km run (or walk+run, depending on fitness level)

Week 5 + 6: Goal – Establish a new routine

Continue attending sessions from week four. Doing too much too quickly can overwhelm us and make us want to quit before we even get started, which is why we take our time building up our fitness and routine over several weeks. If you make it this far, make sure you take some time to really congratulate yourself; it’s easy to let life get in the way of your goals.

Week 7 – 9: Goal – To be 70kg by end of week 9 (this will obviously differ for each person’s weight and goal-weight)

Increase intensity of your training. It is now time to stop going through the motions of our training, and start setting our intentions with it. Our movements are no longer just what the trainer tells us, but they are done precisely and with aggression. I have previously covered Diet to prepare for a fight in Part 1, implement this diet from Monday to Friday. It is too much to ask that someone follows this diet every day forever, but if you follow it every week day, and don’t go crazy with eating junk food the whole weekend, you will start to see results.

Consult with a doctor before implementing this diet, and have it tailored specifically to you.

Your new training schedule may look something like this:
– Monday: Muay thai class
– Tuesday: Muay thai class
– Wednesday: Muay thai class
– Thursday: 3km run in week 7 + 8 then a 4km run in week 9

Week 10 + 11+ 12: Goal – To be within 5% of the fight weight

There is a good chance that you have gotten down to your fight weight and realise that you could be even lighter. If this is the case, than all you have to do is set yourself a new achievable weight goal for every three weeks. Don’t set yourself one that is too easy as it is important to challenge ourselves, but also don’t set yourself one that is too hard as we want to keep achieving our goals early on. Once we have been training for a while, and going to class is a normal part of our daily routine much like going to work is, then we should start to really challenge ourselves with the much harder but more rewarding goals.

Once you are close to your fight weight the final decision is up to your trainer and when he/she thinks you are ready to fight. This can be frustrating, but hopefully your trainer is trustworthy and has been around long enough to know when their students are ready to fight (and when they’re not ready). If your trainer hasn’t already asked you if you want to fight, you should go and let them know that it is a goal of yours. Remember to be respectful! Don’t demand they find you an opponent, but just make them aware that you are interested. Usually a trainer will give you around four weeks notice of your first fight, then it’s time to really knuckle down and train as much as possible, backing off the intensity of your training in the last week before the fight.


The above time line is an example only! There are a number of factors that could impact the timeline such as current weight, fight weight, prior training experience, work or kids, but the idea is that we apply the principle of setting ourselves small goals, in hope to reach our ultimate goal of one day stepping in the ring.


In the beginning it is important to set very achievable goals, so we feel like we have gotten a few easy wins early on.