Overseas fighting bootcamps are gaining popularity among Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) enthusiasts. These training holidays are attractive because they let you take a break from the rat race and offer a chance to focus on your fitness goals under experienced hands, says Ole Laursen, Muay Thai world champion. The ONE Fighting Championship fighter, who runs a fitness camp at his gym in North East Thailand, reveals more about what goes on at one of these training holidays.
Get Away From The Rat Race
"A lot of people, particularly ones who have got 9-to-5 jobs, are coming to places like Thailand on training holidays. It’s a chance to spend a couple of weeks in the sunshine, get away from city life and use Muay Thai or MMA to help you meet some of your fitness goals," explains Ole.
"My gym, Legacy Muay Thai, is located in Ubon Ratchatani in North East Thailand (with another one in Boracay, Philippines due to open). It’s perfect for people who are serious about training because it’s in the Thai countryside and there are no distractions, although there’re plenty of discos and bars in Ubon where people can go out at weekends," according to the 34-year-old.
At home, there are always distractions abound that might sway you off-tangent from your training regime, like the office, your favourite pub or sheer laziness. These overseas fitness camps eliminate those distractions and puts you in a position where it’s all about Muay Thai, or MMA.
Another crucial pull-factor — for both serious fighters and amateurs alike — is the intensity of these training camps. Depending on the length of your stay, you will essentially cram a few weeks (or even months) of your regular Muay Thai or MMA training into a couple of days, helping you accelerate your learning progress.
Ole, who will be fighting at the ONE FC event in Jakarta on February 11, explains, "As a professional fighter I train twice a day, six times a week. It’s hard but it’s also necessary in order to make sure I am in the best shape of my life in order to be able to smash the person standing opposite me when I step in the cage. If you take a Muay Thai class — say, twice a week — you probably spend four hours a week learning Muay Thai. That’s great and you will improve slowly and steadily, but at Legacy Gym, we train Muay Thai (or MMA) for four hours a day. So in one week you are learning what it would take you six weeks to learn normally, except that the learning process is way quicker when you train intensively and, unlike back home, you will be working one-on-one with a trainer who has had over 200 professional fights, so it is more like squeezing 20 weeks worth of your normal training into just six days."
Not All Work And No Play
Unlike serious competitors who attend these training camps as part of their fight preparation, most enthusiasts who sign up for these fitness holidays are mainly doing it to get fitter. "I think this is why so many people want to come and live the fighter’s life for a couple of weeks of the year; You get all the benefits in terms of things like fitness and weight loss but without the downside of having to actually fight someone at the end of it which, in my experience, can be painful," Ole says cheekily. "And of course, because you are not actually in training for a fight, you can skip a session now and again if you are feeling tired, and go out on Saturday night at the end of the week."
What Is A Typical Daily Routine?
These training camps are not so demanding that you train every waking hour of the day, if that’s what you’re concerned about. "We train from 6:30 to 8:30 in the morning, and 3:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon. It’s a good idea to have a sleep between sessions. Every session normally starts with running and skipping, followed by one-on-one pad work with a trainer, some bag work by yourself and then sparring or clinching," shares Ole.