Hi, Lab Rats!
Welcome back to the Lab Trainer Revealed. This time we have a short chat with Coach Steve Pipe on his time in Bangkok, his Muay Thai experience and how he gets in shape before those big matches.
I’ve been here at The Lab now just over two years. I’m a coach as well as the manager of the Sukhumvit branch. I’m teaching group fitness classes as well as one-on-one personal training sessions with private clients. My specialty is weight-loss conditioning but I’ve also I work with youth groups and all kinds of different people really.
I’m originally from Auckland, New Zealand. Kiwi boy. I moved to Bangkok in 2014 so I’ve been here now for nearly 3 years.
I probably have to say the Muay Thai gym because I spend a lot of time training there and that’s what I do mostly in my free time. Another spot would be Octave bar for the nice views and chill vibes.
Growing up in my area of New Zealand, there was a lot of bullying and me and another friend of mine always seemed to be a little bit smaller than everyone else in terms of physical size, so we got picked on quite a bit.
I remember eventually one of my friends joined a training camp with a nearby gym to get fit. Then one day this really big guy came to pick on him and he punched him really hard in the face and this massive guy fell straight down like a sack of potatoes. After that, me and my three best friends were like we have to go join, so we all went and signed up. We all stuck with it and went on to become New Zealand champs and pursuing it further.
It was quite surreal, I didn’t even feel like I actually hit him. It was almost like my hand just went through him. I was almost in disbelief because I had two fights previously to that fight and my competitor was a very experienced fighter and I hit them with the hardest shot and he just went flying away. In my former fights that day I had struggled as the shots just kept coming.
I was training six days a week, a combination of compound strength training. I did a lot of work here at The Lab, like deadlifts, overhead press and a lot of work using the barbell. I also did a lot of what we call ballistic movements. For example, holding a medicine ball or weight and simulating the movement of a punch to build up the punching power in my hands.
I combined that with pad work. I would skip for about 20 to 30 minutes every day with a weighted rope before doing 45-minute rounds of pad work. I’d also do sparring and wrestling, overall just a very intense daily workout.
If I find myself doing too much fighting or cardio I’ll tell myself to ease up and I’ll start to do more strength-based exercise. I believe our bodies respond incredibly well to variety and different types of training. If you just do one thing over and over your body has a tendency to get broken and worn down but if you mix it up, the body really thrives.
My training mantra is all about balance. I really like to try many different types of strength training in my personal fitness and also my group classes and PT. I’m all balance and testing new physical challenges constantly.
The first is that no matter how beaten or broken down you are, if you can visualize yourself achieving your goal or if you can imagine it, you can do it. I wholeheartedly believe that.
Number 2. I’ve recently learned a lot about the benefits of loosening the connective tissue and ligaments in our joints with a foam roller. The process of breaking down the tightness in these areas really allows the blood to flow more freely and helps mobilize your entire body.
I learned how to shoot a spear gun and managed to catch a king fish with the help of my friends. I got quite proficient with it in my free time. Whenever I’m back home I like to just go out and go free diving and be a hunter/gatherer. I like to live off the land and I try to avoid buying any meat or animal products, only consuming what I manage to catch on my own.
I’ve also really gotten behind the power of good nutrition. For example, when I was back home, I ate quite a bit and put on weight during the festive season. When I came back I was about 74 kilograms and my fight weight has to be 64 kilos, so I had a bit of weight to lose. With the help of DK from Nutrichef, which is one of the lab’s partners and offers really great nutritious foods, I went from 74 right down to 63.7 in the space of two weeks.
It was a combination of consuming super clean food from Nutrichef and lots of cardio and just being very prepared for the two weeks. Lots of water, electrolytes, and rest. There were a lot of other factors involved that helped me shed the weight quickly but having that food there and ready to eat gave me a lot of energy to push super hard at training. Also, the fact that it was so clean just stripped all the fat off my body while keeping the muscle intact.
When I’m fighting the diet is very strict and there’s no alcohol at all. There are no unhealthy foods. No fast food, no take away, it’s all very clean and nutritious. So when the fights are all done and dusted it’s really nice to just have a week of eating whatever you want. I usually relax with my diet and do a cheat week after a big fight.
When I was 16 or 17 I can remember going on to YouTube when I just started training Muay Thai and I looked up Buakaw Banchamek. A lot of people will know him by name, he’s a very well known Muay Thai fighter. I’ve always looked up to him.
Thanks Coach Steve for giving us insight into your intense fight training! For more info on our trainers, check back soon or feel free to drop us a comment or question you’d like to send The Lab’s coaches.