Thailand, and in particular the island of Phuket, have become synonymous with fitness. Whether you’re looking for traditional Muay Thai training, general fitness or activities you can undertake outdoors in the glorious sunshine, Phuket has it all.
However, the focus of today’s article will be Thailand training essentials and specifically the ones you’ll need for a Thai boxing/Muay Thai/MMA trip. After all, it can be all too easy to get caught up in the excitement of your upcoming trip and forget some of the essentials you’ll undoubtedly need.
That’s why Fightlab have constructed this definitive list that will ensure you know exactly what you need when travelling to Thailand for training purposes.
It might sound rudimentary but one of the most common types of injury in the gym is ripped skin on the ball of the foot and/or big toe. Fortunately, there is an ultra-sticky and durable white tape that sells like hot cakes in the shops here.
Simply wrap it a few times around the injured area and it will allow you to finish your training regime. When you’re on a month’s training holiday the last thing you want is to be off for a week with sore feet. It’s definitely worth the 80 Thai baht a roll that it costs.
Now you’re probably thinking, nail clippers!?! But should you find yourself with ripped skin then these are your new best friend. There really is nothing better to trim any flappy or torn bits of skin than nail clippers.
You’d be amazed how many times fighters get caught out and end up ripping the skin on their hands and feet. This leads to extra damage and even more soreness. Of course, wrapping sticky tape as mentioned above will significantly reduce the likelihood of this happening.
Pronounced in Thai as ‘num mun moy’ this stuff is hot! It’s really good for tight muscles and super effective when rubbed into legs as part of a pre-warm up routine to help prevent sprains and strains.
Nearly all fighters get a deep tissue massage with this pre-fight to get them nice and loose and massage out any knots they may have. It comes in both oil and cream forms and in various size packaging from as little as 40 Thai baht.
There are two main kinds of hand wraps and various techniques for wrapping correctly. Your trainer will teach you how to wrap your hands and often within a week you will be competent at doing it yourself.
The first kind of hand wrap is made from 100% cotton and these are good if you’re completely competent at wrapping your hands because they can work themselves loose throughout your training session if not done correctly. As they are 100% cotton they are thick and durable, and will ultimately last you for years.
The second type is the Mexican style elasticated hand wraps. These are my favourite and all I now wear. As they are elasticated they stay tight to your hands and don't work loose when training. The only downfall is that they are not as durable as the cotton hand wraps. This means that they can wear thin over time, but at only 300 Thai baht a pair they’re not an expensive bit of kit. For me, a year is more than enough out of a pair.
I would always recommend getting two pairs when training in Thailand as most people will be training two times a day. They tend to get sweaty and smelly, so need washing after each session really.
Avoid using the ones strewn about the camp or sharing other peoples as it’s not only hygienic but will also make your gloves smell. You don’t want to fall sick when on your dream Thailand training trip right?
Anklets help prevent you twisting your ankle by supporting your feet while training. They cost a mere 300 Thai baht per pair and come in various colours and sizes.
Muay Thai Shorts
I would recommend getting a least 2 or 3 pairs of Muay Thai shorts if you’re training twice a day. These can be picked up cheaply in any of the Fightlab stores for as little as 500 Thai baht. There are two types of material: satin and parachute.
The parachute material is great for training as it's super light and dries out quickly. The satin is more suited for your fight shorts as it’s thicker and can hold more designs/logos.
We have a large range of brands in-store or you can go all out and get your own customised Muay Thai shorts for as little as 900 Thai baht. These are available at our stores or via the customizer on the Fightlab website.
Muay Thai Gloves
You will need at least one pair of gloves at your desired weight. This really is a personal preference but most people will get their gloves to match their weight e.g. 8oz for a 50/60 kilo fighter and 14oz for a 90 kilo fighter.
There’s also 16oz and 18oz for sparring, but you shouldn’t have to buy these as the gym will inevitably provide them if you want to spar. However, if you can afford to it’s best to buy your own pair because as we mentioned earlier, sharing training gear is unhygienic.
These are only really essential if you want to spar and come in various sizes and brands. They cost anything from 1,400 Thai baht for the full contact type, but you can get the semi contact foam type for as little as 600 Thai baht per pair.
These are fine if you’re an average standard Muay Thai fighter and can control your kicks. They also help with shin conditioning as you can feel the impact from kicking or checking a kick. Be mindful though that you do get a few bumps and grazes, but these only serve to improve your shin strength.
We’ve listed eight essential training items but there’s obviously a lot more equipment you can buy such head guards, bags, mitts etc. Our list of equipment is perfect for first timers coming over to train in Thailand and will help you get the most out of your training holiday. All items mentioned are available at you nearest Fightlab outlet.
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