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Considering amateur fight but wondering about time commitment

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I’m considering an amateur fight in the next year. I’ve done a point sparring thing but it was a no knock out event and I only prepared for it for maybe 3 weeks. 

If you have fought as an amateur, what does “fight camp” look like? How much do you run? How many hours are you training? What other activities do you do to prepare? 

In a perfect world, we would all be able to stay fight ready all the time but that not always realistic, lol. I’m training maybe 10-12 hours a week currently without running, which I would add in as soon as I make a decision if this is going to happen. 

 I’m planning on speaking to my coaches about this too but I wanted hear about different ranges of experiences about what it took to be fight ready. 

 

 

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This is such an interesting topic. Personally I feel that if you have a decent level of conditioning you can get fight ready quite easily. But if you go from nothing it will take so much longer. We have a great fighter in my gym who is not actively fighting atm. But he joins clinching everyday to teach the others (he is one of the guys in Sylvies slomo video of Saranmuenglek clinching). He drinks a beer every evening and is as mentioned not training for fighting. But now he has an upcoming fight and he told me he needs a week to get ready. Most likely due to years and years of hard training giving him the basic conditioning needed. 

At fight camps in Thailand you usually train 2 2-3 hour sessions a day, 6 days/week. Morning session starting with a run and being a bit softer than afternoon sessions. Mix of bag work and pad rounds. At my gym I only join Saturday morning sessions due to my work and those are very soft. Run and then people working on their own stuff. 3 pad rounds. No clinching. Afternoon sessions start at 4pm with run or skipping depending on weather (30-40 min). Then 30 minutes clinch ending with man in the middle. Then it's either sparring usually 3-5 rounds of 3 min rounds. Or padrounds where you do your own work waiting to be called for 3 rounds of pads with 1-2 minutes in between. I often get three extra rounds of only teeps or elbows because apparently I need this 🙄. Once everyone got their pad rounds there is usually some technique drills followed by 200 jumping knees in the ring, pushups, 200 situps (but only a third of us actually doing any situps) and stretching. Done by 7pm. If any of the thai fighters have upcoming fights they will be given a lot of extra work and driven to the point of exhaustion by the trainers. 

The thing is people can say things like yeah we did skipping rope for 30 minutes and I did 5 rounds on the bag. But in reality they didn't skip for 30 minutes there were several breaks and the bag rounds were not efficient work. They pretend time spent in gyms is time spent training. But they just goofed around half the time not engaging in efficient training. So I feel it's difficult to get a true answer to how much time you need to prep. People are way lazier than they think. 

Personally (and I'm not very experienced in terms of muay thai but I've competed in other sports and have a decent understanding of how my body works) I want to keep a decent level of conditioning to always being able to train and learn. If I'm exhausted on the pads I will learn less and my movements will be sloppy. I train to train. 

What I find important is to drive yourself to and beyond point of exhaustion. This because I feel it increases my level of fitness, but it also teaches me that I have much more to give when I feel I'm dying. So it's both for mental training and for body conditioning. I love metcon workouts to do this. 

Sylvie has tonnes of very helpful articles on this topic on her blog. Perhaps look at articles tagged "overtraining". But also keep in mind that she is constantly fighting and she has done so for years. And I'm also pretty sure she might be a cyborg 😁

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8 hours ago, LengLeng said:

 

The thing is people can say things like yeah we did skipping rope for 30 minutes and I did 5 rounds on the bag. But in reality they didn't skip for 30 minutes there were several breaks and the bag rounds were not efficient work. They pretend time spent in gyms is time spent training. But they just goofed around half the time not engaging in efficient training. So I feel it's difficult to get a true answer to how much time you need to prep. People are way lazier than they think. 

Personally (and I'm not very experienced in terms of muay thai but I've competed in other sports and have a decent understanding of how my body works) I want to keep a decent level of conditioning to always being able to train and learn. If I'm exhausted on the pads I will learn less and my movements will be sloppy. I train to train. 

What I find important is to drive yourself to and beyond point of exhaustion. This because I feel it increases my level of fitness, but it also teaches me that I have much more to give when I feel I'm dying. So it's both for mental training and for body conditioning. I love metcon workouts to do this. 

 

This is such a hard pill to swallow, but you are so right that when people say "I train 3 hours a day" that's not super accurate. I'm lazier than I think I am, too. But the honest answer is also what you get to next, which is that the amount of time required is just whatever gets you fight ready, mentally to the point where you know you did the work. I don't know that an "x" number of miles works for everyone, or "y" number of sparring rounds. I've fought with zero clinching and sparring (due to stitches or whatever), or with daily clinching/sparring leading up. I'm an anomaly in terms of how often I get to fight, but not in what those training methods' purposes are. They're to make you ready. And to me "ready" is a state of mind more than anything.

If someone walked into my gym and said, "Sylvie, put me on a program to get me ready for a fight," I'd just make sure that the rounds of pads and on the bag are at least 1 minute longer than the rounds of the actual fight. So, 2 minute rounds in a fight = 3 minutes or more for each round in training. 3 minute rounds in a fight = 4 minutes in training, etc. And more rounds than the fight will be. So, if it's a 3 round fight, do 5 rounds on the bag and on pads. If it's a 5 round fight do 6-7 on pads and the bag. Although, padwork is largely up to your trainer, so you might have to do whatever they say and then get your extra time/rounds on the bag. Shadow a lot to get the feeling of movement and timing. I'd tell this person to run every morning (mileage doesn't matter, as long as it's pushing you to do it every day). Situps, knees, pushups, pullups, and teeps.

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Thank you for that feedback! This at least gives me some idea of where the bar is set for serious training in Thailand. I’m in the US and from my understanding, the idea of fight camp is more of a western thing? Fighters in Thailand are coached to be fight ready pretty much always? I don’t have firsthand knowledge of this but that’s been my understanding from people who train and fight there. 

Like almost all amateurs, I have lots of life commitments, including 4 young children. I just started training at a new gym that is much more of a fight geared gym than the one where I started. The level of serious training is quite different, which is what I was seeking. But it’s giving me a more realistic view of what it’s going to take to get to the new coaches idea of being ready to compete. It’s... a bit overwhelming. I’m excited and motivated to really start accelerating my training.  But what I don’t want to do is overcommit and end up having to walk away or half ass training and end up getting seriously injured. 

I started training 16ish months ago after 10 years of being pregnant 4 times, taking care of babies and small kids, and doing little in the way of fitness. I’m also on the “mature” side at 41 so the rate of improvement in conditioning might be a bit on the slower side. While not overweight, I had very little strength and endurance when I started out. Those have vastly improved over the last year+ but I’m definitely not where I want/ need to be from a conditioning or skill aspect. All that to say that I started at almost zero so it’s a slow but steady uphill climb with training. 

I daydream about taking a few months off and just focusing on training but that is just not going to happen. Lol. 

Thats interesting about the idea of thinking we are working harder than we actually are. Lol.  I’ll have to start paying closer attention and maybe hold myself more accountable to accuracy of how much I’m actually working. 

Thank you again for taking the time to share your experiences and ideas about getting ready for competing. You guys are generous and awesome. 

 

 

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On 8/17/2019 at 11:18 AM, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

This is such a hard pill to swallow, but you are so right that when people say "I train 3 hours a day" that's not super accurate. I'm lazier than I think I am, too. But the honest answer is also what you get to next, which is that the amount of time required is just whatever gets you fight ready, mentally to the point where you know you did the work. I don't know that an "x" number of miles works for everyone, or "y" number of sparring rounds. I've fought with zero clinching and sparring (due to stitches or whatever), or with daily clinching/sparring leading up. I'm an anomaly in terms of how often I get to fight, but not in what those training methods' purposes are. They're to make you ready. And to me "ready" is a state of mind more than anything.

If someone walked into my gym and said, "Sylvie, put me on a program to get me ready for a fight," I'd just make sure that the rounds of pads and on the bag are at least 1 minute longer than the rounds of the actual fight. So, 2 minute rounds in a fight = 3 minutes or more for each round in training. 3 minute rounds in a fight = 4 minutes in training, etc. And more rounds than the fight will be. So, if it's a 3 round fight, do 5 rounds on the bag and on pads. If it's a 5 round fight do 6-7 on pads and the bag. Although, padwork is largely up to your trainer, so you might have to do whatever they say and then get your extra time/rounds on the bag. Shadow a lot to get the feeling of movement and timing. I'd tell this person to run every morning (mileage doesn't matter, as long as it's pushing you to do it every day). Situps, knees, pushups, pullups, and teeps.

Thank you for the specific recommendations about how to get ready! This breaks it down into what seems like something doable and specific. I guess I feel like I’m a bit all over the place in terms of what exactly I’m supposed to be doing and I’m feeling a bit unsure. I’m planning on speaking to my new coach a bit more about it but this is a great place to start. 

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The mental thing is a bit tougher to wrap my head around. I’m really starting to grasp just how significant the mental and emotional aspects are when it comes to making the decision to fight. I’m a pretty tough person but I worry about crumbling in the ring. I keep waiting to feel closer to ready and anywhere near confident but it hasn’t happened yet. I worry that that part won’t ever come. That part has me more nervous than being physically ready. 

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8 hours ago, CatherineS said:

The mental thing is a bit tougher to wrap my head around. I’m really starting to grasp just how significant the mental and emotional aspects are when it comes to making the decision to fight. I’m a pretty tough person but I worry about crumbling in the ring. I keep waiting to feel closer to ready and anywhere near confident but it hasn’t happened yet. I worry that that part won’t ever come. That part has me more nervous than being physically ready. 

I never even considered fighting, I thought I would try the sport when it was decided I would move to Thailand but I never even considered doing anything serious with it. I had never even seen a fight first time I tried and I did not know how to stand or what a guard is or anything. I was also incredibly shitty. Like the one everyone in the gym tries to help out because she cannot keep her limbs together. 

But after some months I suddenly had this vision in my head. Super scary. And about ten months in of proper training (starting 2/week to 6-10/week but no clinching, almost no sparring at all) I decided I really wanted to fight. And then it took a while to even get a fight and I only discovered how much I really wanted it when what was supposed to be my first fight got cancelled. And in the end I was smoking a cigarette having a beer when I was offered a fight five days later. So not ideal prep but it went well anyway. And nothing can beat that feeling of fighting for the first time. 

Everyone told me it would be just like sparring no worries and you won't feel pain. I felt a lot of pain. And it was nothing like sparring. So, even if I had done much more sparring and harder sparring I do not think I could have known before how I would react in the ring. 

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