With the rise in popularity of exercise among women in Cairo, some women are using Ramadan as a chance to start a new, healthier routine that they hope will last after the fasting month ends.
Here at Cairo Gyms we asked ahmed_ekhtiary, Manager at Gold’s Elite Katameya Heights to give us some key tips for fasting women looking to start or continue training during Ramadan. (Ahmed is pictured here with avid gym goer and Arabic Language teacher katya_bella_)
Tip 1: Its Mental – yes you can!
Don’t get disappointed when at first it seems very difficult – your body will adapt to fasting, the goal is to do your best,
The general recommendation (remember, we’re only talking in generalizations, here) is to decrease intensity during the first days of Ramadan as your body gets accustomed to the fasting.
Ahmed says “ease into it, its unlikely that you’ll encounter anything worse than short-term discomfort and inconvenience. Have goals but don’t set your expectations too high and aim instead for continuity and safety”.
Tip 2: There is no right time to train – just do it!
There is no right time to train, we all lead different lifestyles have different adaptations to fasting and different social or family responsibilities. Bear this in mind and find the time that best suits you and your lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be the same time every day, but do plan your week in advance and schedule your training. Even if you don’t feel like, Ahmed rightly says you´ll never regret it. Schedule it, show up and do your best.
Tip 3: Set Realistic Goals
Female fat loss is absolutely possible during Ramadan and should take a two pronged approach:
* Seize this opportunity to be in a calorie deficet. This means between Ifar and Suhoor you need to eat less than your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) this will enable you to access your internal energy stores – aka fat. A trainer can help you pinpoint your TDEE using an Inbody machine available to members at any Golds gym.
* Secondly you need to give your muscle the stimulus they need to grow, so it’s a good idea to lift 75% of your 1 rep max, as it is Ramadan you can cut volume but try to lift heavy.
Tip 4: Super Supplements!
Don’t be afraid to use supplements to help you reach your nutrition goals, and support your training. With a small window of time to eat and drink, it can be hard to reach your protein quota (2g protein per kg body weight to protein muscle) with out adding supplements.
Women incorrectly believe that supplements will cause them to look masculine or gain weight, neither is true. Remember many waif thin models as well as overweight people use supplements to mange hunger and provide a boost of protein.
Bonus Tip: Finally remember always stay hydrated and have fun while you work out. It should be a pleasure not a punishment.