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Ramadan – How To Maintain Your Gains

What Lifters Should Know About Ramadan!

Posted by begadsaeed - June 26th, 2015

What Do I Need To Consider During Ramadan?

During Ramadan, you would probably be fasting for 16 hours, and only eating for 8 hours.For this special month, there are some things that may suffer because of the Ramadan rituals. For those of us into fitness, it is namely our gym time and our nutrition that will suffer the most from the irregular eating hours. Special family gatherings take place during Ramadan, and while these are typically times to eat, the food may not 'fit your macros', and because you have been fasting for so long, just eating some food is all you think about. I am being honest guys!


Unfortunately, a lot of people who are doing sports or hitting the gym, end up quitting during Ramadan because they just don't have the energy or motivation to continue working out.
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Now, when it comes to actually working out during Ramadan, yes it can be a bit dangerous because of your long periods of fasting. This is slightly different to Intermittent Fasting, because during Ramadan, you can't have water during your 16 hours of fasting. This reduces the water levels in your body, which could lead to dehydration that may cause (bad) breaking down of muscles or fibres during your workout.


Nutrition & Fasting

During the hours of fasting, glycogen levels are reduced by almost 50% in the muscles even without doing any workouts. This kind of lowering in levels leads to transferring amino acids into sugar. You will then use more fat as a source of energy, but there is also an effect on the protein levels used to maintain energy as well.
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And a lot of research showed that there is a major improvement in a person's vitality during fasting workouts. Your activities and movements enables anti-oxidations procedures, while you may also experience:

  • Increased metabolism and better efficiency for your liver
  • A reduction of fats and a balance in your bodyweight
  • More production of red blood cells which will increase the hemoglobin that will carry oxygen, leading to a better performance
  • A stronger immunity system

When Not To Workout

For the most part, working out during Ramadan is safe, but there are some things you should keep in mind.


DO NOT workout when the sun is at its peak – the hottest part of the day. This goes for anyone really, not just people partaking in Ramadan. During this time, after several hours of fasting and with the sun beating down, your body will be tired and needs SO MUCH water, so the better time to train is at night after fasting.


The Optimum time to workout may also be before breakfast, because you will eat basically immediately after you finish. Therefore you have a better chance of maintaining your GAINS, so long as you keep doing things relatively healthily for the rest of the day too. Or, if you want to workout after breakfast, then aim for about 2 hours AFTER you have eaten, to complete your digesting phase.


What Kind Of Workout Should I Do During Ramadan?

That really depends on what you used to do before Ramadan. If you were that person who goes hardcore with your weightlifting, then try to limit your time to no more than 45 minutes, make sure to vary your workouts and maybe even go for a muscle split routine if you haven't been doing that already.


Does Fasting Affect Me Negatively?

There is plenty of research out there in support of Ramadan and fasting. There is no negative effect to any athlete, so long as...

  • Your meal plan includes good sources of Protein, carbs, fibres & iron
  • Your sleep is on point, and you are getting around 7-8 hours each night
  • Your workout intensity is minimised due to your total fasting methods

Does Weight Lifting During Ramadan Cause Unwanted Muscle Damage?

As long as you structure your training around your 8 hour eating window, there is not need to be worried about your muscles breaking down in a negative way. Make sure to get some food in after your workout, and before your workout if at all possible too. Make sure your macros stay on point, and drink plenty of water when you can. Don't over-do it in your workouts, and if you feel dizzy during your workout, stop immediately and eat something food to replenish your energy. If you have any kind of headache, chest pains or fast heart beats, stop immediately. Avoid drinking caffeine products, because you will likely just make your body lose more water this way. This is all pretty basic stuff, but it's important to reiterate it from time to time.


So, enjoy this month, stay safe, and train good.

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MEMBER COMMENTS

NilsFearons

I fast 16/8 every day but not in the same hours. it really helps curb my appetite!

AnabolicAliens

I bet this article will help a lot of people who fast! Great work!

begadsaeed

Speically its Ramdan month, lots of members are fasting for it

Fox84

awesome article @begadsaeed i just learned something new today

begadsaeed

Thanks bro. I hope I deliver always

ycaner

Thanks for tips man.

begadsaeed

You are welcome brother.

jmboiardi

Begad - Numerous studies have found fasting is critical for optimal health and longevity.  People in our world of copious food supply seem to forget that the human digestive system was not designed for constant food intake.  Like other systems in the body, it too needs time to repair and regenerate.  Fasting also signals the body's normal process of cell apoptosis - programmed cell death - that is the body's way to prevent cancer and clean up dead or useless cells.  It can't be optimally triggered during a constant state of food digestion.  


Intermittent Fasting - which I have been practicing for over 1 year - aligns exactly with what occurs at Ramadan.  Ancient cultures have known for millennia the benefits of fasting and this is just another cultural example that we can all use in our daily lives.

begadsaeed

yea bro! this is totally right

Scott_Herman

These are a lot of great tips @begadsaeed!  Lots of members have been asking fo this!  Great job bro!

begadsaeed

We got out members back bro💪🏽

Idris

Maintain, eat, sleep, lift weights and crank up the music!

begadsaeed

Yeahhhh brooo👊🏽👊🏽💪🏽

JoeHurricane

People seemed to want some advice around Ramadan @begadsaeed...and you delivered! Nice!

begadsaeed

Thanks bro. 💪🏽

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