Training and eating correctly during Ramadan is obviously not an easy task, but should you choose to do it, we are here to help as best we can! Please share this article to anyone who may find it helpful!
Your safety, and the way you practice Ramadan, is most important to us – so whether you are using our transformation guides or not, please conduct yourself as you see fit. We are not telling you to keep exercising and following nutrition during the holy month against you or your family’s wishes.
For the daily schedule of Ramadan, please click here.
The holy month starts on Tuesday the 15th of May, and finishes on Friday the 15th of June.
The fasted period is between 18-19 hours each day, with an eating window of 5-6 hours per day; roughly from 21:00 to 03:00 each night.
The fasted period lengthens gradually throughout the month.
We would advise against high volume and higher intensity training (than normal) during this period, and treat it as a maintenance or rest period. One month of reduced quality of training and eating will not slow progress to a degree that should worry you – especially with our advice.
Listen to your body, and do not compromise your safety or that of others around you where possible, and ease off if you feel weak, lethargic or ill in any way due to exercise.
For a longer, more detailed article on Ramadan, please click here.
Please note: the previous Ramadan article may be in reference to dates and timings from 2016 – simply adjust the timings and days to fit those for Ramadan 2018.
When can I train?
We would suggest training at least 15-30 minutes after breaking your fast, and consuming a higher sugar, lower fat meal, and lots of water.
You can of course train later during the eating window, but ensure there is time to have a substantial meal before the fast starts again.
What would an ideal pre-workout meal look like?
We would opt for a meal based around simple sugars and lots of liquid. Having a lower fat content here may also be wise. Some options can be found below:
- 30-50g of dextrose, 5g of BCAAs and a pinch of salt in 1-2 litres of cool water.
- (Low fibre) fruit salad; dates, mango, banana, grapes, etc. 5g of BCAAs and a pinch of salt in 1-2 litres of cool water.
Of course you can have more solid food options, but leave around 60-90 minutes before training;
I’m trying to lose fat, what is most important for me?
Time and time again the scientific data has shown that calories are most important in regards to fat loss, with protein and fibre intake next on the hierarchy.
This means you needn’t track macros or worry about the amount of meals you can squeeze in and your macros. Simply track your calories for each eating window, and try to keep it just below your target, whilst getting a reasonable amount of protein and fibre.
If you are using our male fat loss plan, the Cutting Guide, or the female option (the Bikini Guide), aim to stay within your calories and consume at least half of your protein target if possible. Tweet us, or message us on Facebook and Instagram for more assistance!
I’m trying to build muscle, is this sensible during Ramadan?
Studies have proven that fasting is not anabolic, and that it is not ideal for muscle gain. We would not focus on improving your muscle size or strength, but simply on hitting your target calories and at least half your daily protein target during the eating window.
With regards to your gym sessions, stay away from one max rep work (very heavy lifting), and aim to maintain your strength as a priority.
If you are using our male muscle and strength gain plan, and require more assistance, please message us!
What about cardio?
You can perform cardio, but keep it to the same session as weights, immediately after training.
Listen to your body, and don’t push on if you feel weak or lethargic. Do not complete cardio during the fasted period if at all possible.
Keep cardio to 10-20 minutes at a moderate pace, and trial a small amount of HIIT intervals – if you can tolerate these then you can build up to 5-10, but again, sensibly proceed with caution.
What about my weight training?
We would avoid high rep work, short rest periods and supersets. Essentially keeping the reps between 6-15 reps per set, and resting for 60-120 seconds is most ideal.
Listen to your body, and don’t push on if you feel weak or lethargic.
Post workout meal suggestions?
Here we would go for high carb, high protein and lower fat – in order to replenish you most effectively after training. Any of the below meals would be suitable:
- Protein porridge
- Simple smoothie recipes
- Protein pancakes
- Savoury Chicken and rice
- Lean Chilli with white rice
How many meals would you have?
Ideally, one simple meal/drink before the session, a post-workout meal and a large meal before fast begins.
The last meal before fasting commences would be higher fat, protein and fibre, in order to slow digestion and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Some examples can be found below:
Would you drink anything during training?
This is to keep you both hydrated and fuelled up when training.