Working Out During Ramadan

Working out during Ramadan

Ask Scooby
(resurrected from AskScooby Forum from excellent posting made by user Hamidabdul101)  


Hey, for those of you who are muslim, im sure you know, or should knwo that ramadan is coming up in about a week. 

For those of you who dont, its coming up in a week.

anyways, during it we are going to be waking up and eating around 2-3 am and going back to sleep, then eating again at 9pm or so. 

No water, no food between 2-3 am to 9pm, but your allowed anything you want past 9pm (basically when its dark you can eat Tongue)

But im wondering, what sort of workout should i do?

Should i do a workout with pure strength and little cardio vasular needs. Or can i get away with doing 100 pushups, 50 pullups, and 30 pistol squats (not all at once, spread throughout the day in tiny mini little sets)

I dont want to quit working out for a month, and its hard to workout right after 9pm meal because you feel exhausted for some reason, you just feel really sleepy, then at around 10 oclock you have to pray a really long prayer. 

And since your going to be eating quite ALOT at 9pm, i mean your eating twice a day now, at opposite ends of the clock!, you cant workout striaght away or you will feel uncomfortable and sick… so you have to wait 30 min, that gives you 30 min to workout befor prayer, which takes about another 30 min, then sleep. 

So you see what i mean. Need help. 

Anyways my innitial thoughts was to do a pure strength routine 3×5. But i really want to do that 100 pushup etc.. thing but i dont know if i can recover from it!

As you may know, our bodies have three energy systems. On based on fat burning, used during low intesity workout (intesity at up to 60% of VO2Max as far as I recall). The two others are based on glycogen (basically carbs converted to a form in which it can be stored), and are used during intense, and very intense.
Intense workout such as cardio above 60% of VO2Max, and resistance traning use the glycogen based energy systems.

As you wont be eating, you’ll be low on glycogen. This means that you want be able to push yourself as much as you usually would in resistance training, due to the lack of carb intake. And if you cant push it, then the effects of the workout wont be as good.

So low intesity cardio (i.e. fat burning) is probably the exercise which will suffer the least from the daytime fasting.

If you still want to do resistance training, what about something like 3 big compounds during the 30 min you have at you disposal before prayer?
E.g. alternating between
A. squats, benchpress, bent over BB-rows
B. DL, chin, OHP


but i learned from leangains fasting that doing heavy compounds is best as your going to get tiered from the cardio, but if you have alot of carbs in your body ready for use, then you can use those.

and to the other poster about sleeping through the day.

I could do it but i have to wake up to pray aswell. First pray is at 3-4am, i will probably eat the morning, then pray, then sleep. Then second one is at 12, third is at like 6 oclock, fourth is at 8, fifth is at 22:06

so i guess i COULD change my sleep pattern but it will be hard and wotn be as quality sleep as siblings running around etc…

And yeah i will probably do 3 big heavy compounds. But i only have bodyweight, so probably…

Pushups (increase feet elevation to handstand)

Inverted rows
Chest dips

what do you think? all of it is 3×5.


3×5 sounds about right. higher reps will indeed tire you out, leangains is correct

are you sure you cant manage an 8hour sleep window between prayers? if so then that’s perfect because it gives you time to train when you would have been sleeping sometime between 9pm and 3am