Jays’ Bichette adds Muay Thai to training regimen

An avid mixed martial arts fan, Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette turned to a traditional combat sport for a new training technique in the off-season.

He tried Muay Thai last fall and incorporated it into his regular workouts along with swimming and Pilates.

“Honestly it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Bichette said. “It was mentally challenging to get through it. But I was lucky enough to have a trainer who pushed me really hard.

“I don’t know if that’s how every standard Muay Thai session goes but he understood that I wanted to work hard and he really pushed me. So it was difficult.”

Muay Thai is a standup striking discipline with workouts that typically include a cardiovascular component.

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“It’s a combination of kicking, punching, everything,” Bichette said. “There was a lot of cardio so it was really hard work, which I enjoyed trying to conquer.”

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Bichette started in late November at his trainer’s suggestion. The 25-year-old had always wanted to try it and was a quick sell.

“I was in and I loved it,” he said.

Bichette had two stints on the injured list last season due to a right quad strain and tendinitis in his right knee. He focused on strengthening the leg and was “excited about the shape” he’s in after training in a variety of ways.

His Muay Thai work also connected with his love for the UFC.

“I’ve had some teammates over the years that have been really into it,” he said of the MMA promotion. “I’ve started following it and now I love it. I can’t miss an event.”

On occasion over the years, UFC stars will drop in at Rogers Centre before games to watch batting practice and mingle with players.

“The only one I’ve ever met was GSP,” Bichette said, referring to legendary Canadian fighter Georges St-Pierre. “I was younger at the time so I didn’t really pick his brain or anything. But there’s probably not many better to meet than him.

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“I haven’t talked to any of (the others) but I’m sure they’d have great things to say mentality-wise (about) conquering fear because I know I’d be scared walking into that Octagon.”

The Blue Jays will kick off their regular season March 28 at Tampa Bay.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2024.

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