Skip to main content
Spotify for Podcasters
Heatrick Heavy Hitters – Muay Thai Performance

Heatrick Heavy Hitters – Muay Thai Performance

By Don Heatrick

Helping ambitious fighters and coaches take their game to the next level by bridging the gap between Strength and Conditioning, Performance Science, and Muay Thai
Available on
Apple Podcasts Logo
Castbox Logo
Google Podcasts Logo
Overcast Logo
Pocket Casts Logo
RadioPublic Logo
Spotify Logo
Stitcher Logo
Currently playing episode

New Era of Muay Thai: Unlocking Athletic Performance

Heatrick Heavy Hitters – Muay Thai PerformanceMay 26, 2023

New Era of Muay Thai: Unlocking Athletic Performance
May 26, 202306:07
The Importance Of Discipline in Strength And Conditioning For Fighters
May 19, 202303:13
Tips To Prevent Round Kick Foot Injury
May 12, 202310:44
Fighters: Even More To Motivation Than You Know – Part 2
May 05, 202312:07
Fighters: There's More To Motivation Than You Know – Part 1
Apr 22, 202312:31
Kevin Ross – The Public Perception of Fighters is Wrong
Apr 07, 202304:40
The Problem With Your Muay Thai Trainer
Mar 31, 202305:52
How To Coach Experienced Fighters – Professor Tony Myers
Feb 24, 202306:31
What Is Authentic Muay Thai Training NOW? Old School vs New School
Feb 10, 202305:41
Balancing Your Work Life And Fight Life

Balancing Your Work Life And Fight Life

Your work life and fight life are in conflict. I know you feel the clock is ticking, that you’re running out of time when it comes to finding out how far you can go in Muay Thai.

It was true for me, and it’s true for everyone – regardless if they compete or not. 

We all have a “bucket list”, and although Muay Thai is on there, you feel that your work life inevitably gets in the way of your fight life. And you may hate to admit it, but even family and friends crowd out your fight training too! 

The biggest challenge in becoming the best you can be at Muay Thai, is how consistently you can train. And this is compounded when you pick up an injury or simply don’t seem to recover well.

“If only I didn’t have to make a living and I could train full time!”

But, even pro Muay Thai fighters have to work to make ends meet – a full-time income from just training and fighting isn’t there (yet). 

And even then, the truth is a big chunk of your week is tied up with making a living, regardless if you're a Muay Thai enthusiast, amateur competitor, pro fighter, or anything in between.

This balance is crucial, because at the highest level, fighting careers are short, DUAL careers. Any athlete must prepare for post-athletic life.

Like most westerns, you’ve primarily focused your effort on career first and your fight training second. You’ve built stability, and that’s good!

Not only have you got something else you’re good at to fall back on, but you can better afford the costs associated with training – such as gym fees, equipment, and travel too.

But, finding time to train consistently is the issue! You’re relatively financially rich, but time poor… You begin to struggle with the work life balance.

And your fight life planning differs depending if you have a sedentary job, an active job, or a physical job.

Check out the full episode to learn more.

And if doors are open to my Heavy Hitters program right now, you can join here! 

Further notes and resources at

Feb 03, 202307:19
Paul Banasiak: Losing A Fight By Doing Too Much!
Jan 20, 202304:47
Scheduling Your Weekly Training Plan For Fighters – Part 2
Jan 17, 202311:10
Scheduling Your Weekly Training Plan For Fighters Part 1
Jan 06, 202308:06
How Pre Fight Rituals Boost Confidence & Performance – Part 2
Dec 09, 202207:22
How Pre Fight Rituals Boost Confidence & Performance – Part 1
Dec 02, 202206:18
Fight Skills Technical Practice Part 2: Solo Sessions
Nov 25, 202208:11
Fight Skills Technical Practice Part 1: Group Sessions
Nov 11, 202205:41
Feeling Tired During Fights Isn’t The Same As Being Tired
Nov 04, 202202:52
Tips For Coping With Pre Fight Nerves
Oct 28, 202209:50
Strategically Pacing Yourself To Win Fights
Oct 21, 202204:53
Using Fighters Deload Week To Kill It!
Oct 14, 202203:24
The Splits Stretching Routine For Fighters Kicks
Oct 07, 202205:59
Mental Strength Training Tips For Fighters
Sep 30, 202202:39
The Barbell vs Dumbbell Shoulder Press For Fighters!

The Barbell vs Dumbbell Shoulder Press For Fighters!

Both barbells and dumbbells have their place in a fighters program for exercises like the shoulder press... Either to target specific qualities in different blocks of training, to accommodate shoulder mobility or injury, or simply because of the limited availability of one or the other in your gym!

In this episode all is explained, while I share part of a discussion from a video call with one of my Heavy Hitter clients... He struggled to get hold of two barbells for the Deadlift and Shoulder Press superset pairing in his program.

Armed with the information shared on this call, he opted to use a barbell for the Deadlift, and then use a pair of dumbbells for the shoulder press – so he could compact his training session as much as possible without negatively affecting his results.

Further notes and resources at

Sep 23, 202202:56
Real Discipline For Fighters

Real Discipline For Fighters

Discipline is needed when your motivation has run dry, and it’s exponentially more important! Fighters must build real discipline in order to become the best they can be.

In the last episode, I explained that consistent effort over the long-term makes the biggest difference to your performance. To achieve that, there’s a common denominator – DISCIPLINE.

Discipline comes from caring enough about achieving something that you’ll do what it takes, even when things become difficult.

Let’s break this down into component parts so you can make practical use of it... 

Further notes and resources at

Sep 16, 202207:32
The Difference Between Optimal And Peak Performance For Fighters

The Difference Between Optimal And Peak Performance For Fighters

Do you know the difference between optimal and peak performance for fighters? Too many fighters don’t, and it’s costing them! 

I see many pro and hobbyist fighters alike, rightly working incredibly hard in their training, but mistakenly believing that every session must push them harder than the last.

“Go hard or go home” has its place. However, this attitude is regularly misplaced and over simplified.

Understanding when this kind of maximal effort is needed, and when it’s not, is what separates those that become the best they can be and those that boom and bust!

In this episode, I’ll explain what the difference is between optimal and peak performance training, and how to use both approaches to best effect as a fighter.

The objective is to build long-term performance, so that in a year you’ll be a different fighter. And in a few years you’ll be untouchable!

This is very different to the flat, cyclic progress the vast majority of fighters make with their athletic performance between one fight and the next.⁣ 

Investing time and effort into developing and using a solid training program pays back in a way that may not be hugely noticeable in the short-term (a month or two)…⁣ ⁣

But holding your focus, keeping with it for longer periods, compounds your progress incredibly – while others slip back (and are doomed to repeat).⁣

I’m looking to work with fighters that understand this, and are hungry to make a real difference to their training.

If enrolment is open, you can join Heavy Hitters here:

If doors are currently closed, that link will allow you join the VIP Waitlist instead. 

Further notes and resources at

Sep 09, 202206:13
How To Do Hill Sprints Without A Hill
Aug 26, 202205:56
 Fighters, Is Stronger Faster?
Aug 19, 202205:14
Stronger Fighter Training
Aug 05, 202206:52
Exactly Why A Big Fighter Isn't Always Stronger
Jul 29, 202204:04
Being Both Big AND Strong Hits Harder – Bigger Weight Class
Jul 22, 202205:33
Fat Loss: Big Or Fast – Who Hits Harder?
Jul 21, 202204:11
Planning Long Term Fight Performance Training Without Burnout or Blowout
Jul 01, 202207:22
Is Fighter Performance Training Healthy Or Not?
Jun 24, 202205:56
Fighter Training And Work Life Balance With Iman Barlow
Jun 17, 202202:19
Punch Power-Up Using Secret Hip Mechanics
Jun 10, 202204:57
Fighters Training With Sore Muscles – Everything You Need To Know

Fighters Training With Sore Muscles – Everything You Need To Know

One thing’s for sure, fighters training with sore muscles is part of Muay Thai – especially when you head out to Thailand to train!

But… Is muscle soreness the sign of a good training session? How can you avoid being too sore? Should you train if you’re really sore? How can you reduce muscle soreness the quickest?

There’s quite a bit to unpack on this subject, so let’s get started! In this episode… Everything a fighter must know about delayed onset muscle soreness (aka DOMS).

Video version, show notes and further resources at

Jun 03, 202217:25
Fighter’s Lower Body Activation Exercise For Strength And Conditioning
May 27, 202205:04
The Best Reaction Training For Fighters

The Best Reaction Training For Fighters

There are a ton of different reaction training methods and an ever-increasing crop of reaction training devices…  And for fighters, they’re NOT all created equal.

Some methods really only function as warm-up or movement activities, whereas others can develop Saenchai-like reflexes in the ring!

In this episode… which reaction training methods will make you a better fighter the quickest, and WHY?

Whether it’s throwing and catching tennis balls, punching top-to-bottom balls or boxing bars, hitting reaction lights or even evading striking robots… There are many methods vying for your attention when seeking to improve your fighter reactions.

And the truth is, some methods carry over into your fight performance while others don't at all!

Understanding what fighter reaction training is and isn’t is key to picking the most appropriate methods to boost your fight reactions…

Further notes and resources at

May 20, 202212:34
How To Coach Fighters Between Rounds with Damien Trainor

How To Coach Fighters Between Rounds with Damien Trainor

It's critical a fighter's corner team understands how to coach fighters between rounds... It not only makes the difference between winning or losing a closely fought fight, but can make or break a fighter's performance entirely.

Although there are certainly best practices, such as keeping your instructions to the bare minimum and focusing only on the priority information to avoid information overload... It's not as simple as "one size fits all".

Different fighters have different personalities and require different approaches depending on how the fight is going!

In this episode, Damien Trainer shares a wealth of knowledge on cornering fighters, both as a fighter at the highest level himself and as a coach looking after his own fighters between rounds too.

Further notes and resources at

May 06, 202203:36
How Much Muay Thai Training Is Really Needed?

How Much Muay Thai Training Is Really Needed?

Many fighters and coaches misunderstand just how much Muay Thai training is really needed to achieve the best performance possible.

Generally, Thais don’t understand how to program progressive training.

They throw everyone into largely the same regimen, regardless if they’re beginners or seasoned pros.⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣And those that can’t keep up, or become injured as a result are deemed “lazy”.⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣Even Damien Trainor shared with me in our podcast together, that after feeling like he was burning out in Thailand, he had to take a day's rest – and then nobody at the camp would speak to him for 2-weeks!⁣⁣⁣

And Liam Harrison has shared his thoughts on this too, explaining his experience while living in Thailand…

That many top 10 stadium-ranked fighters in their late teens are giving up by the age of 21, because the training was killing them!

And founder of Sumalee Boxing Gym, Dr. Lynne Miller goes on to explain how traditional Thai culture makes for slow progress when it comes to taking onboard newer philosophies.

⁣⁣⁣Overtraining is real, and so are overuse injuries.

And there’s a boneyard (of discarded fighters) that you don’t see.⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣I’m not saying don’t train hard...

I’m saying pay attention to your body and don’t break yourself trying to match those that have…⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣a) Incrementally adjusted to tolerate high training volumes over years of training, and⁣⁣⁣

⁣⁣⁣b) Are genetically more robust than the majority.⁣⁣⁣

And the truth is…

⁣⁣Even Thais come undone when they’re training changes too much – even in as little as 5 mins work!!

Shownotes and further resources at

Apr 09, 202209:03
Why More Shouting In Muay Thai TRAINING Than Fighting?

Why More Shouting In Muay Thai TRAINING Than Fighting?

Why is there typically more shouting during strikes in Muay Thai TRAINING than in fighting?

In this episode, I’ll share my thoughts on this specifically, and on breathing during Muay Thai in general... 

Full show notes including links to downloads and further resources here:

Feb 06, 202205:10
For Fighters, Is ONE Run Enough?

For Fighters, Is ONE Run Enough?

Many fighters struggle to adapt their training program to suit their personal weekly schedule... 

A schedule that’s VASTLY different to a full time fighter out in Thailand.

In this short podcast, I explain more by way of a worked example from Jamie. 

Podcast episode show notes and further resources at

Jan 20, 202203:23
Muay Thai – Setbacks?... ALREADY?!
Jan 09, 202203:15
Pre-fight Fear, Introverts Shifting State, & Champs Need More Than S&C
Dec 23, 202105:57
Scientific Fight Training... Is It Pointless?
Dec 05, 202103:35
The Truth About Muay Thai Training 'Best Practice'
Nov 06, 202105:38
How To Overcome The Fear Of Hitting People – Muay Thai
Aug 04, 202111:00
Fighting Father Time & Remaining a Muay Thai Badass
Apr 21, 202106:55
What's Your REAL Max Heart Rate?
Mar 17, 202104:07
2 Weeks Out – How Structure Muay Thai S&C
Mar 02, 202104:13
Starting Late – Starting Anyway – Finishing Ahead!
Feb 28, 202107:22
Adjusting Strength and Conditioning Training For Little or No Muay Thai!

Adjusting Strength and Conditioning Training For Little or No Muay Thai!

In this (whiteboard) podcast episode, I go into some detail on how I’d recommend changing the strength and conditioning element of training if you’ve little or no Muay Thai training going on right now!

All podcast episodes are available at

Subscribe and join the most informed Muay Thai performance community out there!

Feb 09, 202109:28
Do I Fight Peak Even If I've No Fight Date?

Do I Fight Peak Even If I've No Fight Date?

Paraphrasing a recent question…

"I have seen your videos on different training blocks… I have been training Muay Thai for 6 months and I’m not going to be fighting any time soon, so is it necessary to do the speed block and peak-week if I’m not competing?"

Here's a short podcast episode to share my thoughts on this one...

Jan 24, 202106:45
Hip Impingements and High Kicks?
Jan 18, 202105:32
Low Intensity Muay Thai Training?
Jan 13, 202104:24
Jonathan Haggerty's Mindset, Shin Bones, & Heart Rates!
Dec 13, 202005:49
Elevation Training Masks, & Breathing Pure Oxygen— Proven or Playing?
Nov 18, 202006:13
Struggling With Motivation? UNSTOPPABLE Muay Thai Mojo!

Struggling With Motivation? UNSTOPPABLE Muay Thai Mojo!

Don’t only rate your training session by the physical performance, such as distance covered, time to complete, maximum weight lifted, number of sets and reps, heart rate etc.

Also rate your mental focus for the session. Ultimately, this IS the most important factor.

Things like illness, injuries, lack of time, or a dog needing to take a dump, all interfere with you perception of what was a productive training session…

When in reality, as long as you are following a progressive training program, all you need to do is three things:

1) Show up

2) Focus on the critical points of the training session

3) Apply sufficient effort

If you’ve done this, you’ve maintained momentum, regardless of what any of the other measures of your session may have been.

Give yourself a ‘pat on the back’. Mentally reward yourself for staying on track regardless of circumstances (good or bad).

Full article at

Oct 11, 202008:56
Corona Efficiency – Tips for Returning to the Gym in 2020
Jul 17, 202008:56
Are Muay Thai Students Getting Ahead of Their Trainers?
Jun 19, 202004:16
Are You Training, Practicing, or Spoiling?
Apr 05, 202008:49
How To Train After You’ve Recovered From Novel Coronavirus COVID-19
Mar 26, 202004:13
Breaking Limits in Muay Thai
Nov 21, 201911:14
I won the fight, but nearly lost everything

I won the fight, but nearly lost everything

I won what turned out to be my last fight, but was taken by ambulance to hospital immediately afterwards to spend the night under observation.

Of all my fights, this one felt the most physically gruelling… my trademark strength and physical fitness had suddenly abandoned me – as if my opponent was wearing Kryptonite...

Full text transcript at

Jun 11, 201907:10
What Other Exercises Should I Use With Your Optimal Fight Camp Blueprint?

What Other Exercises Should I Use With Your Optimal Fight Camp Blueprint?

I’m often asked, “What other exercises should I use with your Optimal Fight Camp Blueprint?”

If you’re listening to this and you’ve not seen the free blueprint and the supporting three part video series, here's the link:

Please get involved at whatever level you choose, and help me in my mission to take the sport of Muay Thai to the next level and build the next generation of complete fighters.

This means helping you (or your fighters) reach the top of the sport, and one day become champions.

Mar 24, 201903:03
Astonishingly EASY (S&C) Goal Setting Logic!

Astonishingly EASY (S&C) Goal Setting Logic!

Astonishingly EASY Goal Setting Logic! Video, text transcript, LINKS and more at Following the last Heavy Hitters Podcast (looking at post-fight reviewing and goal setting), this video explains my logic for selecting what your next Muay Thai S&C goals should be! And it's simpler than you think!!
Sep 30, 201804:18
15 Winning Questions To Ask Yourself After Every Fight (So You Never Lose)
Sep 14, 201809:09
Reflecting on Muay Thai S&C After Speaking to Dr Yessis

Reflecting on Muay Thai S&C After Speaking to Dr Yessis

Recently I spoke to legendary sports scientist, educator, and S&C coach Dr Yessis on Lawrence Kenshin's podcast... And ahead of that going live, here are my reflections on Muay Thai S&C as a result of that chat! Full text transcript and more at
Sep 01, 201806:41
You DON'T Need More Training Time!
Aug 17, 201806:56
The 5 Exercise Categories in a Resistance Training Session
Aug 03, 201808:33
My Own Funeral?

My Own Funeral?

My OWN funeral? And I seem pleased about it??
"Once the fear of regret is greater than the fear of failure, then you can really start living."

Jul 20, 201806:55
Muay Thai... Strength First!
Jul 06, 201807:47
How to make it BIG in Muay Thai!
Jun 22, 201807:27
Muay Thai Balance Drills and Exercises
Jun 08, 201807:01
Discussing Carbs For Fighters

Discussing Carbs For Fighters

Carbs For Fighters 1-Page reference sheet:

My last podcast, discussing the Keto diet for fighters, proved really popular. And I hadn’t intended to, but it looks like you all wanted a follow up… "if I recommend that carbs are important to a fighters performance, what type, how much and when, etc.. etc…" So in today’s podcast, here are my thoughts on Carbs For Fighters!
May 26, 201806:11
Discussing Keto (Diet) For Fighters

Discussing Keto (Diet) For Fighters

I shared a post on our facebook page of Joe Rogan’s podcast with Dr Andy Gaplin discussing the keto diet, and I commented, “As a combat athlete, your primary fuel source will always be carbs – nothing else releases energy fast enough!”

Now there are a ton of opinions on this! And I thought in this first dedicated podcast, I’d explain why, with my current level of understanding, I believe this.
May 12, 201805:31