*warning This post is going to talk about personal hygiene and bodily fluids and as such may have a slight “ick” factor. This doesn’t mean that you can’t avoid reading this if you train with us. But we will divide this topic into parts, so we don’t gross you out… too much.
Underwear and hygiene
We don’t care what colour underwear you wear to training. We only care that you do wear some. Preferably clean ones which consist of more than a patch of material and a string, if you plan to train in shorts. Shorts + kicking = a chance of exposure, not to mention a “rip” factor. Be safe, rather than make your training buddy sorry, and please wear some suitable undergarments. This does NOT include boxer shorts, which only lessen the chance of exposure by a slight degree. Boxer shorts are classified as underwear, and under no circumstances can be a substitute for Muay Thai shorts. This rule was enforced last week, despite the student (who forgot their shorts) arguing that two pairs of boxers worn simultaneously would magically transform them into training shorts.
Appropriate attire and hygiene
The fairer sex thankfully has fewer issues with hygiene and inappropriate attire than the guys. But the ladies (who make up over 50% of JAI’s population) still have the occasional wardrobe malfunctions. We’re all for women’s rights, but in a Muay Thai situation, we feel bras are as essential for women as tops are for men. Both of them help to keep a better training environment for all.
While the wearer (or non-wearer in this case) may not agree, trust us – the rest of class will feel more at ease… and able to focus on the class and not nipp…err… other distractions.
Ladies, please don’t ask Angla or Su-Lin if you can borrow their bras for training. They want to help, and may look like bosom-buddy material – but they have to draw the line somewhere. We would be happy to direct you to where you can buy some in a pinch.
And guys, no, you can’t borrow one of the pairs of shorts or t-shirts for sale in our pro-shop even if you swear that you won’t sweat in them. We may be able to give you a member’s discount, or let you put them on lay-by if you ask us nicely.
We’re all for looking good while training. Those skorts – ladies skirts with built in shorts that lululemon came up with look pretty cool on some of our members. But the regular skirt that was worn to class the other day was a near disaster. It’s lucky we caught it out before a person holding pads got caught in the face with a foot, just because they were trying to do the right thing by looking away.
We’ve now clarified our recommended training attire for ladies new to Muay Thai as not just tights, but sports tights. One lady showed up for training in pantyhose. The 10-denier type is designed to look invisible – but we noticed she was wearing it, because of the seams around her toes. In her case, we loaned her a pair of shorts without question pretty quick.
Quick tip: white goes see-through when it’s wet.
Sweating and hygiene
We like sweat. “No sweat, no go home”, is one of the favourite war cries of our trainers. But please, no sweat all over our pads and a pool of it around our bags, waiting for the next class to take a dive in. Ever gone to do a push-up and found you almost almost drowned in someone’s sweat?
A quick courtesy wipe with a towel is a quick way to earn respect from the rest of the class. And if you find that nobody wants to partner with you, you may want to wash your training gear a little more regularly (like after every session if possible). Our students have recommended adding Detol to your wash as a great way to get rid of that lingering sweat smell.
Compression gear not only makes you look like a professional athlete and hides your pasty arms/legs. The more sweaty among us inform us that it also helps to whisk sweat away, instead of into your padholder’s face.
If you’re time poor but fashion savvy, Icebreaker wear not only supports our local economy but also means that you won’t smell like socks, if you only had time to air out rather than wash your training gear. And it’s better to smell faintly of wet wool, than reek of wet dog.
While you’re at it, air out your gloves and shinguards (in the sun, not inside your boot). Please don’t forget your handwraps and ankle guards. These are opportunities for cesspools of bacteria to colonise, so wash these regularly too, or you may end up with gloves and hands which smell of feet after training. On a happy note, we’re pleased to note that our article on glove hygiene is one of the most popular pages on our website. Unfortunately, most of the visitors to that page are from Eastern Europe which leads us to believe they not only make the best vodka but also have the best smelling gloves.
Feet, BO and hygiene
Speaking of washing, it’s not a bad idea to have a quick shower before training if you’ve been working outdoors or sweating with deadlines all day. In most cases, a spray of deodorant will NOT solve the problem. Heavy usage won’t mask it. It intensifies it. Black musk and BO = Eau de musky cheese. Something the Old Spice guy would frown upon.
Calvin Klein would also not approve of you dousing yourself in CKONE before training. Trust us on this one.
We disinfect our mats every morning, and strictly enforce our no outside shoes rules in the interests of hygiene and keeping germs out. But sometimes the dirt comes in direct from people’s feet. If you like walking outdoors barefoot, or have sweaty tooties, please wash them with soap before you thrust them near people’s bodies and faces. Yes, that will probably happen during a Muay Thai class and yes, people have complained about smelly feet in class. Having clean feet will mean people can focus on your mean kicks instead of your black heels when you’re kicking.
Please also keep your toe nails trimmed and filed to avoid any accidental cuts and scratches. This goes especially for fighters who will be sparring.
To be continued… in the mean time, please refresh yourself on our gym rules