6 Tips For Starting Muay Thai At 30 To Keep You Injury Free

June 12, 2022

As I write this, I am 31 years old. I plan to start training Muay Thai soon, having performed very little striking training in my teens and twenties. Grappling has been my primary base of martial arts.

So, I’m treating this as my manifesto for starting that can help you. If you’re on the other side of 30, these rules and guidelines will ensure you don’t crash and burn starting a new activity and sport you fall in love with.

6 Tips For Starting Muay Thai At 30

These tips are in no particular order. Following these guidelines will keep you healthy, prolonging your enjoyment in the sport of Muay Thai.

Start Slow

I know what it’s like to get excited about starting something new. You get the bug after your first trial session and want to go back multiple times weekly. And because you’re so far behind everyone else in the class, you think going more often will help you get better faster.

The only problem is that you’re not accustomed to the workload your training partners are accustomed to. Further, many Muay Thai techniques require movement you may not have performed for many years.

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Think of rotating the hips or upper body rapidly or throwing a teep where your hip flexors and hamstrings feel like you will shred them since they haven’t been used this way. So, start slow.

Learn the basics and drill techniques slowly. You don’t need to throw maximal roundhouse kicks on the Muay Thai heavy bag, leaving the gym limping from lack of shin conditioning.

Reduce Other Activity

Whatever your current physical activity schedule, you will need to initially reduce activity outside Muay Thai. It doesn’t have to be like this forever. But if you are already hitting the gym, doing cardio, or training other martial arts, adding Muay Thai training on top is a recipe for injury.

Once you’re accustomed to Muay Thai training, you can increase your other physical activity back to where it was or look to replace some of it with Muay Thai.

Your Schedule Shouldn’t Replicate A Muay Thai Camp

Is 30 Too Old To Learn Muay Thai

Watching Muay Thai training videos on YouTube can be motivating, where fighters are put through grueling fight camp trials or traditional Thai training schedules. No, you shouldn’t be waking up at 6 am to road run before Muay Thai class.

You’ve just started Muay Thai, and there is no need to add more physical stress to an already cardio-intensive sport. If the excitement of training Muay Thai is so great that you must do extra training, then shadowbox slowly at home to drill the techniques you learn in class.

Fuel For Recovery

Now is not the time to diet and lose weight intentionally. Starting a new activity will require greater caloric intake to maintain your bodyweight and recover. Every movement is brand new, meaning you are incredibly inefficient at training.

Inefficiency requires more energy to perform the task. This novel stimulus requires quality nutrition so you can recover between classes and other physical activity you enjoy.

Embrace Soreness

Everything is new. You’ll be performing movements and getting into positions you never have before. But the extreme soreness won’t last forever. It will take a few weeks to adapt, but once you do, you won’t wake up in crippling pain like when you started (unless you’ve taken a few too many leg kicks).

Add Sessions Slower Than You Think

Like starting slow in class, you must progress slowly with how often you train. Once to twice a week is perfect to begin. Especially if you are from a sedentary background, you will feel like training more each week. But don’t do it.

Milk your progress with these sessions and wait until you feel you are recovering faster than when you started. As classes begin to feel more manageable and you need an extra session to continue progressing your technical abilities, that is the time to add another session.

Is 30 Too Old To Learn Muay Thai?

It’s never too late, and you’re never too old to learn Muay Thai or any other martial art. As long as you start slow, are sensible with what you do as physical activity outside of Muay Thai, and don’t drastically increase your training volume, you will have a long enjoyable Muay Thai career.

Can You Compete in Muay Thai At 30?

You can compete in Muay Thai at 30. However, you are starting Muay Thai at 30. Ease yourself into training for at least 6 months before thinking about competing. See if you like the sport enough and if you’re willing to risk your health getting competition ready.


30 isn’t old by any stretch of the imagination. But starting a new sport at 30 when you’ve spent most of your time sedentary, in the gym, or training in other sports requires patience. You must learn foreign movements progressively so you don’t cause niggles and injuries, ending your Muay Thai career prematurely.

About the author 

James de Lacey

I am a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international level teams and athletes. I am a published scientific researcher and have completed my Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. I've combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your combat training.


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