Imagine this: You’re in a classroom-setting fitness class with about 30 other seemingly fit participants. You take a look at the board and see the list of exercises displayed, and think well that’s not toooo bad. You could definitely do without the burpees though. Then you start the warm up – Two laps around the camp, totalling about 800 meters in the blazing heat and 10 more minutes of jumps and crawls and lunges. You’re already winded. Surely, that was apart of the workout. Then you look back to the board. Two words come to mind – Oh. Shit. The list of exercises have now been doubled with weights and kettle bells and medicine balls. You find out you’re doing the circuit 3 times through with a lap of camp after each. Oh, and you have 20 minutes to complete. Ready, Set, Go!
Tiger Muay Thai has been a dream of Sam’s to attend for as long as I’ve known him, and when we both got the chance (and time) to try it out, we jumped on the opportunity. TMT is an internationally acclaimed Muay Thai & Mixed Martial Arts facility located in the southern region of Phuket, Thailand. Hundreds of people flock to this tropical training camp every month with the hopes of improving their fighting skills and techniques, attaining their fitness or weight-loss goals and becoming a better version of themselves inside and out.
Now, this isn’t a “fitness and spa retreat” jam-packed with pretty flowers for your hair and words of uplifting encouragement. This training camp breaks you to your very core and pushes you harder than you ever would push yourself if you were training on your own in the gym. Just by taking one look at the world renown training camp’s Instagram account, you can feel the pain. Tiger Muay Thai is everything that you would expect it to be – strength, pain and a lot of sweat.
Now, why on earth would I consider this a “dream holiday”?
Well, I’ve always been an athlete and always interested in fitness, and as you are already well aware, I’m absolutely addicted to travel. The fact that Tiger Muay Thai combines the two makes it a perfect place for people who want to learn new skills, improve on their fitness or completely change their lifestyles. After a few years of traveling, I’ve learned that there’s more to travel then eating, partying and trying to catch the next train. Tiger Muay Thai offers an alternative to what most people think of Phuket – party central. It offers an opportunity to see a unique part of the world while training and staying healthy.
Many people we met while at Tiger were stopping by for a week after a long few months of travel, almost like a detox. Others were there for a month at a time, like Sam did, really trying to make a change in their fitness and diet habits. Others were training at Tiger gearing up for a huge international Muay Thai/Boxing fight. Most of the people I met actually extended their stay to train longer, which is a huge testament to the success Tiger’s training programs and hard work brings!
It was awesome to meet people from all backgrounds and of all fitness levels. To put it in perspective, while we were training at the Cross Training or Body Fit classes, James McSweeney, international UFC fighter, would be training an up-and-coming fighter in the ring.
Tiger Muay Thai offers a variety of classes. We mainly stuck to the fitness classes, which included Cross Training, Body Fit, Combat Conditioning, Raw Fitness and Yoga. All, except the Combat Conditioning, were considered open to all fitness levels. These classes engaged in circuits, partner workouts, team building exercises and various unique workouts that were all about keeping the heart rate up, maximum reps and correct technique. I can honestly say there wasn’t a single class that I didn’t leave absolutely exhausted and absolutely happy. Combat Conditioning classes were reserved for the advanced fitness levels, and we participated in about three of those during my week. These classes push you to your farthest point, and then pushes you some more.
I also tried my hand at one of their Beginner Muay Thai Classes. I was pretty nervous at the start, but once you get into it, it was actually super fun and rewarding! Although it’s a 2.5 hour class, it seemed to go along very smoothly without me getting too antsy towards the end. I learned the basic techniques to Muay Thai Fighting, and I really enjoyed the attention of the Muay Thai Masters there to help.
Another great thing about Tiger Muay Thai is that they offer classes off camp, as well. They offer a run up to the famous Big Buddha in Phuket, which is a 4.2 kilometer run straight up hill. They offer Combat Conditioning in a pool as a recovery class, which, from what I’m told, isn’t so much of a recovery class! They also offer Sunset Yoga, Beach Workouts and much more. Tiger also offers One-on-One classes with the trainers and UFC fighters to work on your technique and also Personal Training in their indoor gym.
If you wanted to, you could opt to stay in one of the camp’s hotel rooms right next to the gym. You could also buy a meal plan so you could eat at camp every day as well. From what I could see was that their portion sizes and prices were far to large for what I would want as someone coming in to get into shape.
As for prices, I would recommend the All-Inclusive package that Tiger offers. It includes all of the fitness and MMA/Muay Thai Classes for just 4,000 baht ($133 USD) for the week! It gets cheaper if you stay longer as well.
The only thing I could say negatively is that some classes would cancel last minute, and sometimes it seemed disorganized. Other than that, everything was truly great!
I honestly loved every second of my stay with Tiger Muay Thai. It felt like I was a little kid back at camp. I met so many amazing, fit, motivating people who all had the same mindset that I do about fitness and wellness. Training together bonds people together, and I will take away the relationships with both the trainers and the trainees.
In just one week, I lost 3 kgs, and Sam lost 7 kgs in a month! There’s something to be said about tough love, and the trainers pushed you past the point you usually quit at. That’s something I appreciate so much. One of the trainers had said during a 5 minute plank, “This isn’t a team sport. If you quit, you’re quitting on yourself. You have no one to rely on except your own strength. You have no one else to blame except yourself. Get back up there if you fall. Don’t quit and keep pushing.”
This is what I think Tiger is all about. You’re changing yourself physically, but you’re also resetting your mental attitudes about the way you look at the world and your problems ahead of you. Now I know, that if I can lift a 10 kg plate over my head for a lap around camp, I can get through this tiny little problem in my day. It’s as simple as that!
If you’re ever looking for a lifestyle change, want to get into Muay Thai/MMA, or just want to switch up your normal travel plans, Tiger Muay Thai is the place to do it!
Huge thanks to the team at Tiger Muay Thai for allowing me to train and for showing me a new way of travel!
Disclaimer: I was a guest of Tiger Muay Thai in exchange for this review. My opinions are my own, and I only write honest and truthful reviews.