Does Muay Thai Kill Gains?

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No, Muay Thai does not kill gains. Muay Thai can help build lean muscle mass, but the amount of muscle you can put on only doing Muay Thai is limited. However, if you want to make faster and more pronounced gains in lean muscle mass, weight training will be much more effective.

Muay Thai is not just a sport but also a way of life in Thailand
Muay Thai is not just a sport but also a way of life in Thailand

The Impacts of Muay Thai on Muscle Growth

1. The Impact of Cardiovascular Training

One of the most significant impacts of Muay Thai on muscle growth is its emphasis on cardiovascular training. Muay Thai is a high-intensity sport requiring much endurance and stamina. As a result, it can help you build a stronger cardiovascular system, which is essential for overall health and fitness.

However, too much cardiovascular training can have a negative impact on muscle growth. If you’re doing too much cardio, your body may start breaking down muscle tissue for energy instead of building it up. So, it’s essential to balance cardiovascular training and resistance training to ensure that you’re building muscle while also improving your cardiovascular health.

2. The Role of Resistance Training

Resistance training is crucial for muscle growth, and Muay Thai can also help with that. Muay Thai involves a lot of bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges, which can help you build strength and muscle. Using weights or resistance bands, you can also incorporate resistance training into your Muay Thai workouts.

It’s important to note that Muay Thai is not a substitute for a well-rounded resistance training program. While it can help you build muscle, more is needed. So, to build muscle, you must incorporate other resistance training exercises into your routine.

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3. The Importance of Nutrition

Nutrition is another critical factor in muscle growth, and Muay Thai can also help with that. Because Muay Thai is such a high-intensity sport, it requires a lot of energy. You must fuel your body with the right nutrients to perform at your best.

Protein is especially important for muscle growth, so ensure you’re eating enough. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough carbohydrates to fuel your workouts and enough healthy fats to support your overall health and fitness.

To promote muscle growth, it is crucial to consume sufficient amounts of protein
To promote muscle growth, it is crucial to consume sufficient amounts of protein
(Image source:

Maximizing Muscle Growth While Doing Muay Thai

1. Incorporating Resistance Training

While Muay Thai is a great cardiovascular workout, it provides different resistance training benefits than weightlifting. Incorporating resistance training into your routine can help maximize muscle growth while doing Muay Thai. This is the reason why Muay Thai fighters have big legs. I like to focus on compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, as they target multiple muscle groups at once. I also make sure to include isolation exercises to target specific muscle groups.

It’s important not to overdo it with resistance training, as it can lead to fatigue and decreased performance during Muay Thai training. I typically aim for 2-3 resistance training sessions per week, with a focus on lower weight and higher reps to avoid excessive muscle soreness.

2. Optimizing Nutrition

Nutrition plays a crucial role in muscle growth, and it’s important to fuel your body with the right nutrients to support your training. I consume enough protein to support muscle growth, typically aiming for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

My Muay Thai training sessions also focus on consuming complex carbohydrates to provide sustained energy. Additionally, healthy fats are important for hormone regulation and overall health.

3. Balancing Cardiovascular and Resistance Training

While resistance training is important for muscle growth, it’s important to balance it with cardiovascular training to maintain overall fitness and endurance. I typically do Muay Thai training 3-4 times per week, with 2-3 resistance training sessions per week. This allows me to maintain a balance between muscle growth and cardiovascular fitness.

It’s important to listen to your body and adjust your training as needed. If you find that you’re feeling fatigued or not making progress, it may be time to adjust your training routine.

Excessive cardiovascular training can adversely affect muscle growth
Excessive cardiovascular training can adversely affect muscle growth
(Image source:


After conducting research and analyzing the results, I have come to the conclusion that Muay Thai does not necessarily kill gains. However, it is important to note that Muay Thai training can impact muscle growth and strength gains.

Additionally, it’s common to see Muay Thai fighters who are relatively skinny compared to other combat sports athletes. Most Muay Thai fighters prioritize speed, agility, and technique over raw strength and muscle mass.

However, incorporating Muay Thai training into a well-rounded fitness routine can be beneficial for overall health and fitness. It can help improve balance, coordination, flexibility, and mental focus. Additionally, Muay Thai training can be a fun and engaging way to stay active and motivated.

Overall, the impact of Muay Thai on muscle gains will depend on various factors, including the individual’s fitness goals, training intensity, and nutrition. It is important to consult with a qualified fitness professional to determine the best approach to achieve your specific fitness goals.

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Michael B. Ryan

Michael is a passionate Muay Thai enthusiast and founder of Fancy Muay Thai. He shares tips and resources to help others improve their skills and provides unbiased product reviews. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and affiliated sites. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.