Challenges: Brad Mann Six Months Of Work

575700_10200833766141889_465033867_nA nineteen-year old from South Africa, Brad Mann is spending his next six months at Tiger. Wanting to lose weight and start anew, Brad is determined to become a new person. Having only been at Tiger for two days so far, Brad is planning on taking body fit, cross training and Muay Thai classes. He says he’d also like to try more of the various classes once his fitness has improved.

How did you first hear about Tiger?

A friend of mine was going to come with me, but he ended up having to go to university. Tiger’s website also really pulled me toward coming.

What motivated you to come?

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It was basically just deciding that I wanted to lose weight and I thought Tiger would be able to help me.

Had you done much exercise before coming to Tiger?

Before I would mainly just go to gym, weight lifting and a little running. Nothing big or hectic like Tiger.

Have you set any goals for yourself to work toward while you’re training?

Mainly just to lose weight. No set number. Just trying to get healthy, feel good and look good.

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How do you feel about those goals now that you’ve started training?

I think it’s going to be a great experience.

Has anything surprised you about Tiger?

Everyone is really friendly here. It really surprised me.

Do you have any advice for prospective guests?

It’s too soon to have any advice, but check back in a couple months.

Whats That? Big Buddha Run At Tiger Muay Thai

Buddha5Tiger Muay Thai offers the Big Buddha run every Tuesday, as part of its daily body fit classes. Guests meet in front of Tiger’s office at 8:30 AM and are transported to the base of Big Buddha to begin the hike. The only equipment you need for the Big Buddha hike is a sturdy pair of trainers and a bottle of water. Tiger’s body fit instructor, Ocean Bloom, explains the Big Buddha run below.

What is Big Buddha?

Big Buddha is one of Phuket’s most important and revered landmarks. It’s a large Buddha marble statue that sits on the highest point in Phuket. It’s a steep 4KM hike from the base of the hill, where we begin our Buddha run. The workout is about an hour long and we use the hike to do intervals, power walks, and exercises along the way. It’s an all-levels class, so it can be done as a race for time or it can be used as an hour of cardio introduction.

Buddha2It takes most people about an hour?

Walking at a steady pace takes about one hour. If you are an elite athlete, you could do it in as short as 21 minutes. That’s the record for the fastest time and that is running the entire distance uphill.

Is it challenging?

Yes. Life is challenging and so are our workouts. However, it’s all about the approach you take to it. Because we go as a large group, there’s safety in numbers and a tremendous amount of supportiveness. People are hiking at all different fitness levels. There are elite athletes that can train together during the workout, and there are a lot of guests who come in with a very limited fitness background. We try to team up similar experience levels to go through it together.

Buddha3Is it the same workout every week?

We change the workout slightly each week. Often we will combine interval training or strength exercises during the hike. Some weeks we drag tires up with us. Some weeks we just get to the top as quickly as possible and then do a circuit. It’s slightly different each week.

Do you have to drag a tire by yourself?

Some experienced athletes choose to drag a tire by themselves, but most guests are placed into groups of three, so they can share dragging the tire up the hill. It’s a great teambuilding exercise and can be a great tool to motivate yourself, when you have teammates rooting you on. It’s great to train with a tire, because then when you come back without a tire, you’ll find that you’ve increased your speed up the hill.

Buddha4Will someone be there if I get tired or injured?

We always team up and stay together. We have an assistant on a scooter constantly monitoring the group and checking in with people to make sure they’re hydrated and that they’re not pushing themselves past their ability. We get everyone up the hill.

What can you see on your way up to Big Buddha?

What make this training session so exciting and different is the amount of wildlife and nature that you see along the way. It truly is a journey. Each time you do it you will see new things. Elephants, monkeys, butterflies, birds, lizards, and more. Even the weather can be exciting. Along the way there are also spectacular viewpoints overlooking Phuket.

Would you recommend the Big Buddha run for someone trying to lose weight?

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Because it’s an hour-long cardio session, it’s a great way to burn fat. It’s also great because of the varying terrain. It goes from totally flat to very steep. There are places to walk, jog and run. You’ll be working all the muscle groups of the body. It’s one of the best ways to strip off unwanted fat. Plus, because we go up in a large group, you are definitely motivated to push yourself harder than you ordinarily might. People are often surprised by just how fast they make it up the hill.

Benchmarks: Week Three

Aaron1Welcome to Tiger Muay Thai’s weight loss and fitness blog. I’m your host, Aaron Rowland. I’m a 27-year-old writer from Los Angeles, California. I’m at Tiger to lose weight, improve my fitness and have the adventure of a lifetime. I’ve been here seven months so far and I’m staying indefinitely. My favorite exercises are the bicycle crunch and the medicine ball slam. Tire flips, suicide planks and burpees give me nightmares.

Looking Forward

Two weeks of substantial losses behind me, I had to mentally prepare myself for another week. Fourteen days done and the persistent exhaustion hadn’t passed. I hope I would discover some hidden power or energy after a couple weeks, but it seemed I’d have to get by with slogging my way through workouts. I guess if it were easy to lose weight and live a healthy life, everyone would do it. It actually takes a lot of focus and determination to keep moving forward, day after day and week after week.

Phuket Health And Fitness Festival

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Last Saturday, I made my way to the Phuket Health and Fitness Festival to attend Ocean Bloom’s boot camp fitness class. It was a tough three-part workout, which I most definitely wasn’t ready for. We started with a warm-up run up and down the beach and through the local beach resorts. After a series of sprints, we completed a timed workout consisting of kettle bell swings, thrusters and burpees. We still weren’t done after that; we still had a poolside circuit to complete with ten different stations of strength and cardio work. It was an exhausting workout, but a fantastic way to spend a Saturday morning.

Thursday Beach Training

Continuing with the beach theme, on Thursday, body fit took its weekly trip to the beach for an outdoor workout. Sprints across the beach, sit-ups in the surf, and even crawling around performing crab walks, left the group covered head to toe in sand. Half of the beach days take place at Nai Harn beach. The other half of Thursdays, we end up at Promthep Cape where an outdoor set of stone stairs presents its own challenges.

Aaron3The End Of Week Three

I step on the scale, not sure what to expect. After two weeks with huge results, I’m just hopeful that the number doesn’t move up from last week. It doesn’t. The results are in. My weight is 116.9 KG. I lost 0.8 KG (1.7 LBS) and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a result like this that I hope to achieve on a weekly basis. I’m clearly taking the right steps toward a healthier lifestyle without falling for any gimmicks or fads. If I can continue on this path, then I know I’ll have a fighting chance to lose the weight and keep it off forever.

What’s Up Next?

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This last weekend I attended the famous monthly BBQ Beatdown at Tiger Muay Thai. It’s a fantastic night of amateur smoker fights, delicious food and (for some) a night of partying and fun. It’s a great way to let of steam and relax, but it can also present some challenges for those who are looking to lose weight. We’ll also explore just what Thailand’s wet season means for its fitness classes. Here’s a hint, be prepared to get wet!

Have a great week of weight loss! If you set your mind on it, I know you can do it!

Guest Testimonials: Hamad

Hamad

It is a pleasure for me to share my wonderful experience I recently experienced at Tiger Muay Thai & MMA Training Camp.

I came to TMT weighing 138 Kg and within 10 weeks of professional training and supervision, I lost 19 Kg dropping my total weight to 119 Kg. What’s great about Tiger Muay Thai firstly is the people of different cultural backgrounds from all over the world. Everybody at the camp is there for a reason either for losing weight, becoming professional fighters, preparing for a fight, body building, fitness and health.

Tiger Muay Thai has a great team with energetic support and training programs. The main reason of me loving this camp is the spirit and the incredible energy which you can feel throughout and developing of a strong determination of reaching your goals.

I had my private Cross-training sessions with Kitty Teppo. From barely walking two laps around the camp my fitness increased to me running 5-6 laps around the camp in a few sessions. Kitty is incredible and does not carry the “I Can’t do this” attitude and she pushes you to your limits army style. I also did Muay Thai private sessions with Master Rattanchai Jadngooluem AKA “Nai” who also has been very inspirational throughout my tenure. The amount of passion and energy he carries are directly felt while training with him and he a dedicated teacher so that you can reach your goals.

During my stay, I also had the opportunity to work with Peter, AKA “The Thai Hulk”. He has been very supportive in strength, conditioning and body building activities of the training program. He has been responsible for increasing my strength and overall fitness.

As someone who thoroughly enjoyed my stay at TMT, I strongly recommend fellow trainees who would like to join for a variety of reasons such as weight loss, general fitness, and endurance build up, general training and so forth. TMT is a place for everyone who has an aspiration to push oneself beyond the limits in a healthy way.

It was really a great experience as a whole where I met people from different cultures, varying backgrounds and different age groups. After my experience, I no longer believe that one who seeks high quality training or elite standards needs to go all the way to the West. Tiger Muay Thai Thailand was a fabulous experience. I assure each of you that you will enjoy as much as I did as this place treats everyone equally.

Whats That? Yoga Classes At Tiger Muay Thai

Tiger Muay Thai offers daily yoga classes Monday-Friday from 7:00AM-8:00AM. As an added bonus, evening yoga classes are available every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00PM to 7:00PM. A private sunset yoga class is also available on Friday evenings. Additional details and information on signing up for that special offering can be found in the TMT office. Students are not required to provide any equipment, but useful equipment to bring includes a yoga strap, a personal yoga mat, a bottle of water and a hand towel. Tiger’s yoga instructor, Ocean Bloom, explains her classes and philosophy below.

What kind of yoga do you teach?

It’s a mix of styles. Its foundation is Ashtanga Yoga, so power flow.  Because we have such a variety of guests, from beginners who have never done yoga to some really experienced yogis, we have many options from basic postures to advanced. But it’s definitely a power flow class.

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How do classes begin?

Monday through Friday, our classes start at 7 A.M. I like to keep the space quiet in the morning. Create an opportunity for the guests to slow down, enjoy being at the camp while there isn’t screaming and punching. Chaos can be good for high energy, but it’s hard for the nervous system to be in that state of fight or flight all the time. It’s helpful to start the day off with yoga in a quiet peaceful space.

And once the class starts?

We begin in savasana, dead body pose, for a few minutes practicing some breathing exercises and short meditation periods. It’s the foundation for the beginning of the class. Then often I’ll ask what the guests need and how they’re feeling. If guests have particularly tight hips that day or stiff necks, then I’ll adjust the class to address it. Even though I come in with a plan and a sequence I’m going to teach, I’m open to changing the class. Many of the students are training anywhere from three to six hours a day and it’s important to take that into account.

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Where does class go from there?

We move from practicing breathing exercises (pranayama) to sun salutations that heat up the body and connect to the breath. Then we move into balancing poses, arm balances, deep hip openings, and other movements that challenge the body. These are all movements that need to be performed once the body is warm. Really, I have no expectations of the guests. I’m happy if people come and lay on the mats for half the class, just being able to slow down.  Some people never really take time to just relax and be still, so I’m happy to provide that space. I’ve had many guests write me and tell me this was the only hour in the day where their mind wasn’t going crazy.

What is the difference between the morning and evening classes?

It’s a different vibe doing yoga outside first thing in the morning. It’s a good way to start the day, to set an intention and goals for the day and to work out any stiffness to warm yourself up for what you’re about to do. The evening classes are inside Tiger’s MMA room and it’s quite hot. I turn off the lights and the AC, so it’s a littler darker and you sweat a little more. It’s at the end of the day so it can be a really beautiful way to come down and relax yourself for a good sleep.

Morning Yoga

What about your private Friday sunset yoga class?

This class is about getting out into the elements. We refer to a lot of different elements when were practicing yoga, like sun salutations and moving like the flow of the ocean. I found a really beautiful place on the mountain up to Big Buddha where there’s a lookout point. We practice outside on the earth. You can see the sunset over the ocean. I really feel like it offers all of the elements there. Your feet are literally in the dirt and the sun really fills your soul.

Do you get a lot of students without a prior background in yoga?

I would say the classes are ninety percent beginners. It surprises and excites me every day when I ask how many new students have never done yoga before and three to sometimes five people put up their hand. It’s exciting because there’s a whole other connection to the body that these people can now experience. I think that’s what makes Tiger such a unique and special place. It may seem like an intimidating place at first, but it’s an environment where almost everyone is a beginner in yoga. The goal is just to make yourself feel better in every way. Just showing up, that’s what takes courage. If you arrive in class and stick through it, then you’ve done the hardest part.

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Would you recommend yoga for someone trying to lose weight?

One hundred percent! You can’t train hardcore every day, but you can do yoga every day. Even if it’s an intense practice, you can make it gentle for yourself. It’s also highly beneficial for recovery, considering the amount of pressure you put on your body when you’re trying to lose weight. Most people want to see big results in a short period of time. If you’re going to be pushing your body that hard then you also need to take care of it. Slow the nervous system down and find ways to breathe, so you can sleep at night

Best tip for someone just starting yoga?

Breathe. Breathe! I would rather someone come to class, just lay on their mat, breathe and listen to what’s being said rather than to push and struggle through the movements. The breath is everything.

Yoga At Tiger Muay Thai

What would you say to someone reluctant to try yoga?

I think often people say they don’t like yoga, because they try it one time and they don’t feel that they’re good at it. That’s not a good reason to never go back. If it’s a challenge, that should inspire you to get better at it. And it is something you can get better at each session. Learn how to breathe properly. Learn the significance of the cues, why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s not just to stretch your muscles, but also to make you a happier person both physically and emotionally.