man and woman training for muay thai

Is Muay Thai Good for Weight Loss?

A Muay Thai class or kickboxing class generally works up a considerable sweat, and will easily get you huffing and puffing. Knowing how many calories an activity burns requires a few formulas and tests to determine. In this article, I will provide info about whether Muay Thai is good for weight loss, and how many calories Muay Thai burns.

Overall, Muay Thai is good not very good for weight loss. If you train Muay Thai for 30 minutes every day, you would only lose about 11.2 oz (350g) of body weight per week. If you trained 1 to 3 times per week you would lose about 1.6 oz (50g) to 4.8 oz (150g) of weight per week.

Today, I will provide detailed info in a helpful table to show how much weight you can lose training Muay Thai in a 30-minute to 1-hour Muay Thai or kickboxing class. And also which burns more calories boxing or kickboxing, and if Muay Thai will get you ripped.

How Much Weight Can You Lose with Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a great workout to make you feel good and also burns calories that can accumulate and can cause you to put on weight. Or, hinder your ability to lose weight. I looked into the science behind how much weight you can lose based on the calories burned, and here’s how much weight you can lose with Muay Thai. 

On average, you can lose 5 oz (130g) of weight a week if you train Muay Thai for 1 hour twice a week. Provided that your diet remains the same. It’s possible to have the same effect by reducing your calorie intake by the number of calories in a Muay Thai workout, about 350 calories per day.

Medical professionals have stated that if you cut 500 to 1,000 calories a day from your typical diet, you’ll lose about 1 pound (0.5 kilograms) a week. It’s reasonable for most people to do a Muay Thai workout twice a week. But, if you trained more often you could potentially lose more bodyweight.

Muay Thai burns 300 to 420 calories per 30 minutes, according to Harvard Medical School. The calories burned differs based on a person’s body weight. A person who is 125 lb (57 kg) will burn around 300 calories 155 lbs (70 kg), around 350 calories, and 185 lbs (84 kg) around 400 calories.

Here’s a table that shows how much weight you can lose based on how often you train Muay Thai:

How often you trainAmount of weight lost per weekCalories burned total
Everyday11.2 oz (350g)2450
6 times a week9.6 oz (300g)2100
5 times a week8 oz (250g)1750
4 times a week6.4 oz (200g)1400
3 times a week4.8 oz (150g)1050
2 times a week3.2 oz (100g)700
1 times a week1.6 oz (50g)350

As you can see, it would take some time to lose body weight by training Muay Thai alone. Therefore, if you want to lose weight faster you should take a two-pronged approach. This would involve reducing your total calorie intake per day, and doing Muay Thai.

There are a few physical activities that burn more calories than Muay Thai, there are cycling and running. On average, they burn about 50% to 60% more calories than Muay Thai. Many Muay Thai schools, especially in Thailand incorporate a run as part of their workout. However, if you were to just hit pads, and do sparring it wouldn’t burn as many calories.

Therefore, if your Muay Thai school doesn’t do a run as part of their Muay Thai training session you can do this in your own time to burn even more calories. However, in my opinion, the thing that will have the most impact is reducing your calorie intake. 

This can be done by using alternative foods that are far lower in calories. For example, instead of using sugar, or eating foods that contain sugar use stevia instead. It tastes virtually identical to sugar but has zero calories and zero carbs.

Which Burns More Calories Muay Thai or Boxing

A Muay Thai or boxing session will both work up a sweat, and leave you thoroughly exhausted. However, they involve different body movements and exercises. So, here’s a summary of which burns more calories Muay Thai or boxing.

On average, Muay Thai burns more calories than boxing. Muay Thai burns 10% more calories than boxing. A 30 minutes session of boxing burns between 270 and 380 calories. Whereas, a 30-minute Muay Thai session burns between 300 and 420 calories.

Here’s a table that shows a side by side comparison of a 30-minute boxing session and a 30-minute Muay Thai training session:

How often you trainWeight lost per week (Muay Thai)Weight lost per week (boxing)
Everyday11.2 oz (350g)10.0 oz (315g)
6 times a week9.6 oz (300g)8.6 oz (270g)
5 times a week8 oz (250g)7.2 oz (225g)
4 times a week6.4 oz (200g)5.8 oz (180g)
3 times a week4.8 oz (150g)4.3 oz (135g)
2 times a week3.2 oz (100g)2.9 oz (90g)
1 times a week1.6 oz (50g)1.4 oz (45g)

The difference is not so large that it would necessarily change your decision about which martial art to do. Some martial arts are also better than others for other reasons. For example, some are more effective for self-defense. I explained how Muay Thai compares to other martial arts in this article about if Muay Thai is good in a street fight.

Will Muay Thai Get You Ripped

Virtually everyone would love to have an amazing physique. Getting ripped is a result of having a low amount of fat on your body which makes your muscles more defined. But, will Muay Thai get you ripped?

In general, Muay Thai will not get you ripped. Getting ripped is a balance between exercise and calorie intake. A 30 minutes Muay Thai workout burns 350 calories, which is 10% to 20% of your recommended calorie intake per day. It won’t make you ripped if you consume too many calories.

Professional bodybuilders that are judged on how well defined their muscles are will typically reduce their normal calorie intake a few days or a week before a competition to burn excess fat. This makes their muscles really stand out, as there is less fat on top of the muscles in between the skin and the muscle.

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