Weight Training During Ramadan
With Ramadan shortly behind us, if you are Muslim the long periods of fasting would have been a massive challenge in terms of energy to train, cramming in nutrients and not losing the hard earned gains.
This year saw up to 19 hours of daylight which can be a tough ride for even the more hardened fasters out there, fasting also includes no water.
Many would admit defeat for the short period and accept that muscle loss and perhaps even unwanted fat gain is just part and parcel of this religious period, however, there are ways to minimize losses and actually maintain those gains. You just have to be slightly smarter.
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Firstly, you may have to ditch those Rich Piana 8 hour arm workout sessions alongside Mike O’Tren. During fast you will not have the energy to keep up their self-indulgent conversations let alone the tricep pull downs. No, it is best to keep your workouts fairly intense but short and sweet. Swap 12 or 15 reps for 3 or even 5, up the weight and try to maintain strength rather than volume and ultimate mass.
Ditch all of the accessory lifts and stick to an abbreviated routine of the big basic compounds like chest, deadlifts and the squat. You may find with more rest that you benefit even more from this downtime.
Keep your sessions to 40 minutes max and twice weekly or even every fourth day, then post Ramadan you’ll have the strength to get straight back into it.
However, the hardest part of fasting is the nutrition. There’s only a short window available to get all of the nutrients required and the volume too.
In many cases the usual plates and Tupperware of nutrient dense, wholesome and raw foods are just not convenient and with less food throughout the day it can cause stomach shrinkage which means it will be difficult to consume the normal amounts you are used too.
Slow releasing energy foods are key such as oats, nuts, wholemeal and yoghurts. However, with Ramadan comes the traditional greasy and starchy foods like somasa’s.
Supplements can be key in being able to quickly and effectively provide the proteins and carbs your body will be craving, therefore it is key to have a shaker to hand.
Other easy to eat and digest foods yet high in proteins are protein pancakes with fruits like dates and seeds, all being washed down with plenty of water.