Training and eating correctly for body composition related goals during Ramadan is obviously not an easy task. However, should you choose to do it, we are here to help as best we can with this article detailing Training and Nutrition During Ramandan!
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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 in a measured and sensible manner (especially on hotter days, and the longer fasts toward the end of the month). We are not telling you to keep exercising and following nutrition during the holy month against you or your family’s wishes; we are just advising best practice should you want to maintain or enhance progress over the holy month.
- For the daily schedule of fast, prayers and more during Ramadan (for London), please click here.
- The holy month starts on May 6th, and finishes on the 6th 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 gets longer gradually throughout the month, meaning the period where you can eat and drink reduces accordingly.
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 not train during the fasted period. If you have to, please message us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, and we will assist you as safely and as best we can.
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. Beverages like Gatorade, Lucozade or basic electrolyte drinks would also be advisable (especially if you are training almost immediately after breaking your fast for the day).
You can of course train later during the eating window, but ensure there is time to have a substantial post-workout meal and plenty of fluids 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, as this will aid faster digestion. 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 whole food options, but ideally leave at least 60 minutes before exercising if possible;
- Overnight oats
- Protein Smoothie
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.
For this reason we would suggest tracking your intake if possible via the MyFitnessPal app. We show you how to use this here.
This means you needn’t track macros or worry about the amount of meals you can squeeze in. Simply track your calories for each eating window, and try to keep it just below your daily target, whilst getting a reasonable amount of protein and fibre (1 gram of fibre for every 100 calories you consume during Ramadan is a good target).
If you are using our male fat loss plan, the Cutting Guide, or the female option (the Bikini Guide), aim to stay within your target calories, and to consume at least half of your daily 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 (even if you account for supposed increases in growth hormone), and that it is not optimal for muscle gain. We would not focus on improving your muscle size or strength during Ramadan, 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. Stick to the rep ranges you find most comfortable, and consider repeating the same 1-2 weeks of sessions over the month. This will allow you to gauge your fatigue and more effectively train across the month compared to variable rep ranges, durations and training styles or lifting protocols.
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 (if intending to do both on the same day), immediately after resistance training.
Listen to your body, and don’t push on if you feel dizzy, weak or lethargic.
Keep cardio to a maximum of 30 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 giant sets. Essentially keeping the reps between 6-12 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:
What would you drink during training?
Yes, we would opt for at least a litre of water, with 20-40g of dextrose and 5g BCAAs.
This is to keep you both hydrated and fuelled up when training.
Remember to follow us and post your workouts, progress and meals on Instagram. If you use the hashtags #LDNMuscle and #LDNM we can see your lovely creations, which we regularly re-post to help spread the LDNM Community far and wide!