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How Muay Thai Changes Your Body

How Muay Thai Changes Your Body

Watching the difference in people who have trained for a few months at Garcia Muay Thai and MMA Gym in Glen Cove, NY, makes you appreciate how much each person can do to become healthier and fitter. Some people come to the gym just to get fit, others want to compete, either at an amateur level or professionally. Some came simply to learn a method of self-defense. No matter what the reason, Muay Thai changes your body.

You’ll get stronger.

Muay Thai improves overall strength, but especially core strength. You expect to have your arms and legs get stronger, but you’ll be surprised at the body area you’ll really work. That’s your core muscles. The kicks and punch strength all emanates from the core. Each session builds both strength and stability. The power and speed for strikes all start with stronger core muscles. It helps you stay stable and protects the spine.

You’ll lose fat and build endurance.

Whether you’re sparring or training, Muay Thai is high intensity and burns not only calories, but also calories from fat. It boosts your metabolism and keeps the fat burning for hours after your session. It builds lean muscle mass, not bulk, which makes you look lean and toned. It’s a great anaerobic workout, which means it builds your endurance fast. You’re constantly changing your speed and intensity, doing quick strikes in short high intensity bursts and then dropping back to a recovery period between and doing this for a considerable time.

You’ll get the lean, sculpted look.

You’ll build muscles with Muay Thai, but not the bulky muscles of bodybuilders. If you want that type of build, you need to split your time between Muay Thai and weightlifting. Instead, you’ll get the leaner, cut, trim appearance that makes you look sculpted. It tones all parts of the body and gives you flat, defined abs, with toned athletic appearance. Not only will you look your fittest, you’ll feel your fittest, too.

  • You’ll burn off the hormones of stress when you practice Muay Thai. That can make a lot of difference in your overall health and body. Stress can lead to serious conditions if you don’t find a way to burn off the hormones. You’ll be more than fit, you’ll be healthier.
  • You’ll look more confident, because you’ll be more confident. Muay Thai provides a mental workout and helps you anticipate your opponent’s next move. That builds your self-confidence and belief.
  • You’ll have improved posture, which also adds to the confident appearance. Improved posture helps prevent back pain by building core muscle strength. You don’t have to fight to get the benefits either.
  • Muay Thai builds discipline and improves focus. It’s as much of a mental exercise as it is a physical one. You’ll also move with more grace and coordination with a fluidity to your every move.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


Muay Thai Vs Boxing - What's Right For Me?

Muay Thai Vs Boxing – What’s Right For Me?

One look at the build of the boxers in a Muay Thai vs boxing comparison and you’ll see one big difference. The Mua Thai fighter has a leaner appearance. That’s because the training regimen is different, because the focus is different. Boxers go for strength and speed, while Muay Thai fighters want speed, but focus more on flexibility than strength. The training of Muay Thai fighters does include strength, but it’s not focused on muscle building like boxers undergo.

You’ll develop a far better street fighting self-defense tool with Muay Thai.

If you’re trained in either, you’ll be a force to deal with if you’re any good at all. Both boxing and Muay Thai training have their benefits. While you’ll have a small advantage initially with boxing, if you’re still standing, kicks can be extremely effective at keeping people at bay and give you more room to maneuver. Both are extremely good for self-defense. Both are focused on combat styles, but Muay Thai tends to be better for all types of street fighting scenarios, since you use all parts of your body to fight.

Both boxing and Muay Thai training will get your fit and help you lose weight.

There are differences in how each type of fighting train. You’ll find more strength building workouts for boxing training, including weightlifting. Both are hard work and both help you build lean muscle tissue. However, with Muay Thai, there’s not as much effort on building muscle, even though it’s a great workout. That’s what makes the Muay Thai fighters tend to be leaner and strong, rather than strong and bulky.

The actual fight is different and has different rules.

If you train to go in the ring, there’s a big difference in what’s allowed in boxing and what’s allowed in Muay Thai. Muay Thai is the art of eight limbs, which include the shins, knees, fists, and elbows. While boxing is limited to punching, you can kick, elbow or knee your opponent in Muay Thai. Both require skill and are grueling, but Muay Thai tends to be harder on the body of the opponent, since there’s more power behind a kick, than there is from a fist in a padded glove that is the weapon of boxing. With that said, boxing requires more finesse and precision movements, since you’re limited to striking the upper body and head.

  • Muay Thai fighting tends to be grittier, using more body parts for striking, while boxing focuses on more technical skills, such as foot work and evasive movements. Both require the same skills, but in different proportions.
  • Muay Thai is more difficult to learn the basics, since you have more weapons to learn to use, but to master either boxing or Muay Thai, it takes a lot of practice and time.
  • Boxing tends to be a bit faster paced than Muay Thai fights and has a different rhythm. Boxers bob and weave while they prepare for combination blows that can include several punches.
  • If you want a form of exercise and fighting skills that can take you into your senior years, Muay Thai is probably the best. It focuses on flexibility and total body strength.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


Get Out Of The Workout Rut

Get Out Of The Workout Rut

The longer you workout, using the same machines or doing the same bodyweight exercises, the closer you come to getting into a workout rut. At one time or another, everyone has felt that, whether it’s a workout rut, a work rut or even a relationship rut where every minute is so predictable that it’s almost boring. You can solve those problems in a number of ways. For a relationship rut, people often take up a new activity together. At work, they may request a new job within the company or look for ways to change things and make them more efficient. How do you deal with a workout rut? It’s easy, find a new way to get exercise.

Why not consider kickboxing?

There’s so much to learn when you first start kickboxing that your mind will be so busy the time will fly quickly. That combination of moving in new ways and learning new skills will certainly hold your interest and make exercise fun again. That’s what staying in shape is all about, having the energy to enjoy everything life has to offer. It’s perfect for couples that want something new to do together or for the average man or woman that just wants a change.

Muay Boran/Muay Thai is the martial arts of Thailand.

Muay Thai offers even more opportunities to learn. Unlike kickboxing that offers 4-point striking system, Muay Thai has an 8-point striking system. The kicks are different, the footwork is too. Just like kickboxing, there’s a lot to learn. There’s also a wide variety of styles and methods for Muay Thai. You have to learn not only all the moves, but also how to anticipate your opponent’s moves, which makes the time fly. Once you start Muay Thai, not only will you look forward to classes, you’ll look forward to getting into better shape to execute what you’ve learned.

Using MMA to get fit is perfect if you want the skills but don’t want to fight.

Maybe you like the idea of learning self-defense and getting fit enough to grapple, but don’t like the idea of actually fighting. Taking classes that get you fit enough to fight can be a good way to break the workout rut you’ve experienced. It’s great for people of all ages and can burn calories like mad. You’ll build confidence while you learn this new activity. It’s a great change from moving from one machine to another that often happens in the gym.

  • Getting fit is all about having the energy to enjoy life more. If you dread your workouts and forcing yourself to go, it isn’t fulfilling that mission. Enjoying every minute means enjoying your workout, too.
  • MMA, kickboxing and Muay Thai builds lean muscle mass. You won’t bulk up like bodybuilders, but build sinewy muscle tissue that gives the sculpted, but muscular appearance.
  • Other activities that can help reduce the doldrums of exercise include hiking, bicycling and swimming. Anything that gets you moving, leaves you breathing hard and builds strength provides a good workout alternative.
  • If you have specific problems, like fat deposits that simply won’t disappear or poor hand-eye coordination, focusing on alternatives like Muay Thai can help build those, as well as increase speed, stamina and strength.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


The Key Is Balance

The Key Is Balance

At Garcia Muay Thai & MMA Gym in Glen Cove, NY, we help clients balance their training. It’s the basics for any Muay Thai training. There are so many different variables in Muay Thai and MMA training. It’s as much about the mind as it is about the body. It takes all types of training to get prepared for the challenge with an opponent. You have to be mentally prepared, have endurance and cardio stamina, have muscle strength for your entire body, have impeccable balance and be flexible.

Each type of training plays an important role.

There’s no one aspect of training that is more important than another. If you aren’t strong, you won’t be able to successful accomplish many of the moves necessary to win. Agility, flexibility and balance help you win. Having the endurance to maintain a high level of energy can wear down an opponent and make you a winner, even if your skills aren’t as polished as an opponent. As you can tell, every aspect of fitness is important.

Focus is necessary whether it’s MMA, Muay Thai or any other sport.

Winners don’t pay attention to the crowd or worry about what others think. They focus on the task at hand and never waiver. They watch their opponent intently and anticipate his or her every move, so they can be one step ahead of them. Developing focus is just as important as learning other skills or developing fitness at all levels. In order to know what moves your opponent may use, you have to know the techniques available. It’s about learning your craft and putting that knowledge to work for you.

Full body workouts benefit the Muay Thai or MMA fighter.

All the parts of your body work together when you’re fighting. No one area should be the focus of your workout. Your upper body is as important for success in a fight as your lower body, so balancing your workouts between the two or doing full body workouts is important. Your opponent will have studied you and learn your weaknesses. He or she will find ways to overcome you using those weaknesses. If you have great upper body moves and upper body strength but lack the same degree of perfection in your legs and feet, your opponent will sense that weakness and use it against you.

  • Flexibility training is often overlooked and that’s a mistake. Not only does it help prevent injuries and decrease muscle pain, but it’s also necessary to win.
  • Both learning new skills and hours of practice are important and require balance. There’s so much to learn that even with years of experience, there’s always something new. Once a skill is learned, practice helps you maintain perfection.
  • Constant learning, practice, dedication and physical exertion are key components to success. However, you also need to have confidence that is balanced with humility. That combination of knowing you achieved much, but still have much to learn is important.
  • Balancing your workout ethic with your social skills is also important. Realizing others are here to help you and you are here to help them, while respecting each person is a balance everyone needs.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


How Running Can Help With Endurance

How Running Can Help With Endurance

How does running or any other cardio workout help you build your endurance? First let’s define endurance. It’s more than just cardio, it’s about the body’s stamina and ability to “endure” long workouts and activities that are physically tasking. It’s about the body being able to take a pounding, from the legs and joints to the heart and keep going strong. It should be an important part of training that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Muay Thai professional fighters run every day to build endurance.

There are many reasons these professionals take up running, but one important one is to build stronger bones, particularly shinbones. It’s important for anyone practicing Muay Thai, since it’s an important protection for blocking kicks and a powerful tool to deliver painful ones. If your shinbones are strong, you can deliver stronger kicks with a lower risk of breaking the bone or having a bone fracture. That makes running excellent conditioning for Muay Thai.

You get a good cardio workout when you run.

Running not only gets your heart pumping, but it also boosts your overall endurance. Your heart needs exercise to be stronger, just like any other muscle in your body. Running increases the heart rate and works it like leg exercises work leg muscles. Modifying your pace, like using high intensity interval training—HIIT—can increase the benefit of running. It creates afterburn to torch even more calories. It’s just modifying your run to volley between short bursts of high intensity and recovery paces.

Running boosts endurance by increasing your mental strength.

Not only do you burn off stress when you run, you build mental strength. That’s important not only for Muay Thai, but in every aspect of your life. Running improves your mood, primarily from the happy hormones it increases and pushing your body past that point of giving up to reach that point can help you push past other things in life that block success or achieving your goals. You’ll learn to endure more and push past it.

  • You’ll improve your knees by thickening the cartilage, which boosts their endurance. Studies show people who walk double their chance of osteoarthritis compared to runners, because the impact builds the strength of muscles that protect the joints.
  • Running increases lung volume. It strengthens the respiratory muscles like the diaphragm, which allows to improved lung volume. That lets you take deeper breaths and increased oxygen each breath.
  • Running helps your muscles perform better doing other tasks. It’s called post-activation potentiation—PAP. Studies show running increases PAP, which increases the amount of time you can perform endurance exercises.
  • Running changes the body by increasing the network of capillaries, boosting mitochondria production and helping you lose weight and build muscle tissue. All those things build endurance.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


Muay Thai Changes Your Approach To Life

Muay Thai Changes Your Approach To Life

At Garcia Muay Thai and MMA gym in Glen Cove, NY, people take classes for a variety of reasons. Muay Thai is definitely good to help get you fitter and that’s one of the big motivators. It also is an exceptional tool for self-defense, which is another important reason people study it and participate. There’s more to Muay Thai than just the physical aspect. There’s a deep mental change you undergo the more you learn.

Working out hard with Muay Thai can help you overcome anxiety and depression.

While serious depression and anxiety requires professional help, everyone can still benefit from Muay Thai. It’s a tough workout, just preparing your body for the sport. There’s rope skipping, shadow boxing and training with a partner that provides an intense cardiovascular workout. It includes resistance training, too. Both intense cardio and strength training are often used as complementary treatment for depression and studies found, they’re as effective as many drugs that are given. The only side effect is a healthier body with this type of prescription.

You’ll learn how to anticipate your opponent’s moves.

Even though this is invaluable when sparring, it’s also a trait that extends to daily life. If you’re in business, learning how to read the competition and plan for their next move is important. You start seeing patterns everywhere, including social life and at work. It helps you prepare in daily life for all the possible outcomes when you make a big decision that could be life changing. That builds confidence.

Just feeling strong and capable can also boost your confidence.

Not only will Muay Thai help you feel more confident, you’ll have the walk and stance of confidence. That makes a huge difference. If you look confident, people don’t intimidate you and it shows. You cease being a victim, but with the lessons learned in Muay Thai, don’t become a bully either. You learn respect for others and for yourself.

  • The fitter you become when you learn Muay Thai, the more focused you become on living a healthier lifestyle. You start to eat healthier, hydrate more and get more sleep to allow your body to heal.
  • You’ll meet a group of like-minded, welcoming individuals that provide a warm community that helps you along the way. It provides a great social atmosphere of sharing and caring.
  • Learning Muay Thai can change your perspective from one of victim to one of victor. You’ll see the amazing changes in your body and feel your strength, which helps you know that you can overcome any blockade in the road.
  • Muay Thai is vigorous and that helps burn off the hormones of stress. You work off that aggression in the gym and leave a happier, more pleasant person. It diffuses anger and can improve relationships with everyone.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


Is Your Weight Loss Goal Realistic?

Is Your Weight Loss Goal Realistic?

If you’re like most people, when you finally decide to lose weight, you want to do it in a few weeks. If you only have a few pounds to lose, that’s possible, but for most people, it’s the weight they gained over years of poor lifestyle habits. In order to maximize your potential to take weight off and prevent it from returning, your weight loss goal need to be realistic. While it’s possible to lose several pounds in a few days, that weight loss is normally water weight and not permanent. Permanent weight loss is all about changing your eating habits and getting more active.

Start by identifying your ideal weight.

If you’re six feet tall and weigh 140-pounds, you don’t need to lose weight no matter what your gender. A quick way to do that is by using a BMI chart. For the 6-foot person weighing 140, their BMI is 19, close to underweight. However, if you’re the same height and weigh 191, your BMI is 25, which is overweight. Once you find what your ideal weight for your height, age, gender and build is, identify how much weight you need to lose.

Set weekly goals by dividing the number of pounds by two.

Losing one to two pounds a week is a healthy goal. It gives your body a chance to adjust and allows you to create healthier habits, which include exercise and diet. While it might seem weight loss will be more initially, since you weigh more and just moving burns more calories, if you’re working out, you’re also building muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does, so you’ll be boosting your metabolism. It is not only healthier, but more realistic.

Note your ultimate timeline based on the number of pounds you want to lose each week.

If your goal is to lose 20-pounds and you focus on two pounds a week, your timeline will be 10 weeks, let’s say that date is May 30th. Write down your goal. In the above scenario, it would read, “I will lose 20-pounds by May 30th by exercising for a half hour every day and eating a healthy 1500 calorie diet.” You can then check your progress every week to make sure you’re staying on track.

  • If you’re not happy with your body shape, but you don’t need to lose weight, opt for exercise. Muay Thai and MMA are excellent ways to get your body in shape with a sleek muscular appearance.
  • Take your measurements before you start your workout program and take a picture in a revealing gym outfit. Every month do the same thing at the same time of day. This helps you record your progress, besides using weight loss and can be extremely motivating.
  • Setting goals is not only a good way to achieve weight loss by focusing and tracking on what you want to achieve, it’s good practice for achieving other things important in your life.
  • Realistic goals are the true road maps to success. They not only help you focus and formulate a plan to achieve your goal, when they’re realistic and achievable, they keep you motivated and prevent discouragement.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


How Can I Tell If I'm Dehydrated?

How Can I Tell If I’m Dehydrated?

We emphasize proper form, practice and quality training at Garcia Muay Thai & MMA Gym in Glen Cove, NY, but not matter how well you’re trained, if you don’t take care of your body, you simply won’t perform your best. Drinking adequate fluids is extremely important. During training, you’ll lose a lot of fluid and if it’s not replenished, you simply won’t do well. There are a lot of ways to tell if you’re dehydrated, so you can turn things around before it becomes serious. If you pinch your skin and it doesn’t snap back when you release, you’re probably dehydrated.

Your muscles require adequate fluid to function properly.

Water plays an important role in how well your body functions. In order for you muscles to function properly, you need adequate water. You need water to sweat, which is the body’s way to cool its core and prevent overheating that can be dangerous. If you’re sweating while you workout, which is normal if you’re pushing yourself, you could lose as much as 2.5 % of your body weight and that can affect your overall performance. The more fluid you lose, the more it negatively affects your performance.

Mild dehydration can make you tired.

It doesn’t take much to have mild dehydration, especially if you’re totally focused and working your hardest. Mild dehydration can have a big effect on your health and how good you feel. It can make you feel sluggish, exhausted and even cause achy joints. That’s because when you lose fluid, you lose it from all parts of the body, including the blood. It causes the blood to get thicker and reduces the amount of blood that goes to the heart and leaves to replenish the muscles. Dehydration reduces glycogen and that leads to muscle fatigue. Dehydration can also cause inflammation and contribute to joint pain. Water also boosts fluid in the joints and lubricates them to reduce pain.

Your major organs are mostly water.

The amount of water in your body will vary based on age, gender and weight, but it’s between 45 and 75% of your body. Your brain is approximately 73% water and the lungs are 83%. You can imagine the negative effect dehydration has on those organs. It can cause irregular heartbeat, make the mucus in your lungs thicker, trigger breathing problems and allergies. Too little water can cause mental fog and poor cognitive performance. That’s extremely important in Muay Thai, where anticipating your opponent’s moves and planning your next move is important.

  • Make it a habit to carry water with you and sip on it frequently. It’s especially important when you’re training and pre and post training.
  • Don’t think that you have to have sports drinks to replenish electrolytes. Most studies show that sports drinks only benefit people who workout at high intensity over an hour. Then, they do help. Otherwise, drink water.
  • One option that’s excellent if you’re working out longer than an hour at high intensity is coconut water. It’s natural and contains all the electrolytes necessary. Make sure it doesn’t have added sugar.
  • One simple method of determining how hydrated you are is by looking at the urine color. Light colored, almost clear urine indicates adequate hydration. Dark yellow amber colored with a strong smell indicates dehydration.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai


Is Religion Used In Muay Thai?

Is Religion Used In Muay Thai?

There’s a lot of misinformation about Muay Thai. I frequently get questions about whether Muay Thai is a religion or contains religious movements and ceremonies from people who are considering coming to Garcia Muay Thai and MMA Gym in Glen Cove, NY. The answer is simple, “NO.” While Muay Thai is steeped in culture and spirituality, which includes promoting respect for opponents and self, it’s not based on religion, but rather self-defense and using the parts of the body as weapons of war.

It was the survival of the fittest.

While ancient history records wars waged with swords, daggers, hammers, axe, mace and staff, the Tai —Siamese—tribes were fierce with good fighting skills as they migrated to Thailand. They used their bodies as weapons based on training in the military and that passed from father to son. It was an effective fighting style, with those surviving, teaching the others the movements that allowed that survival. Much like evolution of man, this fighting style evolved based on what worked in the battle field.

There are many cultural connections and spirituality in the sport, but not religion.

Since Thai was constantly under attack, learning these self-defense methods were part of the culture. It became mandatory that young men in the military trained in the art of Muay Thai, which allowed them to refine their skills even further. They used these techniques against the armies of the Cambodians, Burmese and others in the area. However, not all their time was spent in war and in times of peace, it became sport and fun in the villages. There were competitions and matches. In times of peace, older survivors of battles would teach the young men the art of Muay Thai and so it grew as a cultural even over 500 years, changing and building on skills with each decade.

The spirituality of Muay Thai is not the same as religion.

Yes, there are cultural significance to many parts of the sport. For instance, the mongkorn—headpiece, prajioud—armband—and shorts have a spiritual significance and in traditional matches, are blessed to give luck and protection. The Wai Kru, for instance, roughly translates to bow teacher. It’s showing respect to the trainer, rather than to an entity. The Ram means dance and Muay translates as boxing. The Wai Kru Ram Muay is not really a dance, but more of a warm-up, showing off the fighter’s style, while showing respect to not only coaches, but also opponents.

  • Other traditions performed before a fight have a cultural basis that may have occurred for practical reasons. Kneeling down, bowing three times and grabbing dust off the steps and sprinkling it on the head may have been a sneaky way of assessing the texture of the ground, damp, hard, slipper, etc.
  • Some traditions of Muay Thai include climbing over the ropes, rather than through them and walking counter-clockwise around the ring. Many of these traditions are similar to superstitions, like athletes wear the same socks all season after a big win.
  • While Muay Thai isn’t a religion, it does teach respect for self and others. It also teaches self-discipline and goal setting. It helps people of all ages cope with the stresses of the world and remain composed.
  • At Garcia Muay Thai and MMA Gym we focus on more than just traditional Muay Thai. We focus on MMA, self-defense and Muay Thai kickboxing to help you become your fittest.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai Gym


The Difference Between Muay Thai And Boxing

The Difference Between Muay Thai And Boxing

The translation of the words Muay Thai is Thai boxing, so is Muay Thai similar to the style of boxing seen in America? They both use punches and strikes, hoping to defeat their opponent, but that’s where the similarities end. Something as simple as wearing shoes or boots during a fight is one example. Boxers wear shoes, Muay Thai boxers don’t. Muay Thai boxers may also wear a charm or cloth around their upper arm, while boxers don’t. In amateur boxing, the boxers also wear headgear.

A lot of the difference occurs in what’s legal in a fight and what’s not.

While boxing just allows punches, Muay Thai is known as the art of eight limbs. That means knees, elbows, shins and fists are used. You can throw punches as you would in boxing, but you can also elbow, kick and knee your way into victory. It’s far more grueling than boxing and faster moving, since so many different weapons can come at you. The strikes from elbows, shins and knees can pack more of a punch than an actual punch from a padded glove. However, it may be harder to perfect boxing, since you can only use your hands to strike the upper body and head.

You defend yourself differently in Muay Thai compared to boxing.

With Muay Thai, a lot of focus is on blocking strikes that come at you with arms and shins. However, boxing uses movements to evade the strike, such as footwork, distancing and head movements. Boxing tends to be far more technical, even though Muay Thai students have more striking options to learn. Muay Thai does get technical, but uses more brute strength and grit, rather than precise technical skills to take down an opponent. It’s all a matter of degree.

Which training is better for self-defense.

If you’re in a life threatening situation where you have to fight or be seriously injured, you probably would be better off with Muay Thai training, even though both would be good. While a well-trained boxer with developed evasive techniques would have no problem taking out a street thug, the average person would be better off with Muay Thai training. You have more tools in your arsenal of weapons, approximately 80% more, since you use all parts of your body. Grappling can be the most effective self-defense tool.

  • Boxers spend more time perfecting head movements, moving around the ring, footwork and getting in and out of striking range compared to Muay Thai fighters.
  • While both Muay Thai and boxing use a clinch, boxing uses it as a defensive move to prevent the opponent from striking. Muay Thai uses it as an offensive move to provide more striking opportunities or throw the opponent to the ground.
  • Boxing Vs Muay Thai have other technical differences. The stance is different, with boxers turning hips to the side to reduce striking area. Boxers also use their hands to guard their head and elbows in to guard the body. Muay Thai boxers jeep the hands further out to protect from kicks.
  • Both boxing and Muay Thai offer benefits like boosting self-confidence, improving your health, weight loss and self-defense.

For more information, contact us today at Garcia Muay Thai Gym