First things first, let’s clear up a few misconceptions.
First of all, strength training is not bodybuilding. It’s far from it. It’s also not powerlifting, and it sure is definitely not crossfit. It’s also definitely not messing around with weights before or after your Muay Training for a few minutes.
You may wonder, though, if it’s not all those, what exactly is strength training?
For starters, strength training IS heavy resistance training that’s performed in a specific format with the goal of improving your body’s strength over time.
How Added Strength Benefits Fighters
All fighters can benefit from added strength. In particular, those who lack explosive power can benefit the most from becoming stronger. Although strength training alone won’t help improve your explosive power and make your strikes harder, it does lay the necessary foundation to allow you to train how to throw much more powerful strikes.
If there is one specific area where improved strength can make such a huge difference, it’s in the clinch. If both fighters who have similar skill levels find themselves in the clinch, it’s usually the one who’s stronger who wins.
Improving your chances of winning the clinch is reason enough to try strength training, as the clinch game is a huge part of Muay Thai.
Muay Thai Alone Can’t Increase Your Power
While improving your technique can help you utilize your raw power better, you can only do so much with so little. This is where strength training comes in.
You can spend years training to learn proper technique and to know how to generate powerful strikes. But, at some point, your strikes will no longer be as powerful, and for its power to improve beyond that of what you already have, strength training is absolutely necessary.
Muay Thai training alone just can’t provide enough stimulus to the Central Nervous System. It just won’t be enough to force your body to adapt and become more powerful. Sure, you’ll learn to throw powerful strikes to the best of your capabilities, but its power will be limited. That is, unless you subject your body to specific training that’s targeted towards making your body stronger and more powerful.
Simply mashing pads as hard as you can thousands of times can only force your body to adopt so much. You can only train as hard for as long as you can either, although doing so can improve your endurance, but still your strength is more likely to remain the same.
The point here is that if you want to become a better fighter, you have to force your body to adapt and improve, which is exactly what strength training does.
Becoming a Better Fighter
Strength training and power training can certainly help you develop harder hitting strikes that are far more devastating. But, don’t forget, higher power strikes require much more out of you and you can only throw so much before gassing out, which is also why you’ll want to work on your conditioning at the same time as well.