Ramadan is a religious period of time for Muslims whereby participants fast between sunrise and sunset. This involves abstaining from food and drink during daylight hours. Ramadan is a time to focus on other aspects of your lifestyle, that doesn’t necessarily mean not to train, but to prioritise what’s important to you.
For Active Nation supporters here are some key considerations to take on board.
What Training to Do
It’s not essential to stop training – if you choose to that’s fine, but if you wish to continue that’s fine too. Just adapt your focus for that period. Here’s some top tips.
Aim for maintenance in the gym – do minimal cardio as this will deplete your energy stores quickly.
Reduce the volume of the workout by 50% by completing less reps.
Reduce the number of sessions in the week and also the length of each session.
Focus on the quality of the reps and exercises, the technique rather than volume of reps and consider a focus on compound movements for this period.
When and What to Eat
If possible train after Iftar, making this a relatively small meal before the training session.
This enables you to also consume protein after training and importantly ensures you are well hydrated in preparation of the gym session. Drink calories whilst training (eg protein shakes or juices) – this helps keep you fuelled overall and helps maintain calories during the fasting period.
Consider adding electrolytes to liquids (eg energy drinks / lucozade etc), and generally look to increase the mineral content in your water with supplements.
Eat your largest meal after training, with approximately 50% of your daily calorie allowance. If you are unsure of your daily calorie allowance our nutrition partners My Health Revolution can provide additional support on this.
Choose foods that are dense in nutrients and vitamins eg vegetables, rice, nuts, lean meat and so on.
Sleep after your post workout meal, then wake earlier for Suhoor so you can have a good protein based meal – this will help keep satiety levels high for the day but also helps retain muscle mass as well.
Think about when and how you sleep so that you can eat, pray and manage sleep deprivation.
It’s Your Choice
Ultimately Ramadan is about being with family, prayer and acknowledging this mindset is important in setting expectations of what can be achieved in the gym. Training is potentially not the primary focus of this period but you can sustain strength and fitness during this time if you wish.
Utilising Active Nation On Demand home workouts is a great way to still benefit from exercise within your own home and during the evening and nights.
Training fasted is entirely a personal preference, but you need to factor in training sessions around being able to refuel the body, in particular with water and liquids.
Ultimately listen to your body, if you need to rest then do so, your training goals won’t go anywhere!!
My Health Revolution are partnered with Active Nation to provide personalised and individual support around nutrition and weight management via an online programme. Get in touch if you would like to know more.