Old Forum 19 hours fast from food & water and working out...

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Level 3 Valued Member
Ramadan is approaching in just under 2 weeks and I will be fasting from dawn to dusk for 29/30 days, that is 2:30am to about 9:20pm in London so 19 hours of fasting with not even water intake. The sleep pattern also gets messed up.

I am wondering whether or not to continue with my ROP during this time? If I do continue, will the end of the day be a good time to train so I can eat after the workout? Should I leave the swings and snatches or do them but take it really easy to avoid dehydration?

I have been training since start of Feb without break, did the PM then moved to ROP start of June. Would it be good idea to may be take a couple of weeks off in the second half of Ramadan as it generally gets tiring then?

My current thought is, try and see how I get on and listen to my body but I wanted to check in case it's a big bad idea to even try it.

As always, really appreciate any feedback.


Level 6 Valued Member
I am not an expert in this but I think the real issue is having enough calories and nutrients on board after working out so you can use them for rebuilding rather than digesting already existing muscle tissue.  Even if the latter happens to some extent, you will tend to rebuild every time you eat. But I think likely the optimal thing would be to schedule your training/workouts as close in time to when you will be eating i.e. late in the day before breaking the fast...then go chow down.  Pretty late in the day to eat but probably best for the Ramadan time period.

Again, sort of guessing. Hopefully someone else wil chime in.


Level 3 Valued Member
This could be a great opportunity to really think about food and how the body uses it as fuel.  My approach would be to drink something sugary, either fruit juice or Gatorade,  at 920pm sharp. Most people drink these type of drinks when their bodies are already loaded with glycogen from all of the carbs in a typical diet.  This is a great chance to see how your body reacts to sugars after a 19 hour fast.    Since the body will be very low on glycogen after a 19 hour fast I believe the sugars will become instant energy for you to train with.

I would start training about 15 minutes later.

I would drink a protein shake, typically whey+fruit immediately following the workout.  Whey digests very quickly and will not full u up.

@11:30pm I would eat a larger-than-normal but not totally gigantic meal of about 50% protein, 25% fats, 25% carbs.

@2:20am I would repeat this meal. You probably want to eat some foods with fiber so you can have good digestion even during this time period.

I like this plan because you are digesting a snack, a protein shake and 2 full meals over a 5 hour time period . You will be getting 3 protein meals spaced out semi-properly which is better than most people on a typical day.

Obviously there are issues with this type of eating program.  You will be sleeping with a full belly and have to keep some odd hours.   Good luck, let us know how it goes!


Level 3 Valued Member
Thanks for the replies, Stephen that's a lot of food for thought and some great tips. Though I think training after 9:20 would be harder so perhaps I should train from 8:30 on empty stomach and then break the fast with whey + fruit and from there on follow pretty munch what you have said.


Level 3 Valued Member
I'd love to hear if Pavel has anything to say about this but as long as you're not stuck on doing the program as written only, then I think you could give it a whirl. Lots of people train fasted anyway and if you can shift your sleep schedule later, then you can eat pretty hearty right before bed and possibly even in the middle of the night. Some bodybuilders take shakes and things in the night either by setting an alarm or just having it ready when they get up to pee. As a former skinny guy, I tried that method but I'm sure all I got was expensive urine. However, if you're fasting during the day, a process like that might work for you. You might also do with dropping a variety day or adding a rest day. The best part of the program is the progression. I personally don't think the rest is absolutely necessary, but I know others disagree. I'd like to see those folks try what you're about to try and see how well they stick to their plan, though. ;)

Steve W.

Level 7 Valued Member

I don't have any direct experience with training during Ramadan, and generally don't give diet advice, so I won't here, but I do have a few thoughts:

--Hakeem Olajuwon, the great NBA basketball player, strictly observed Ramadan for many years, and his career statistics during Ramadan are just about identical to his overall career numbers.

--How have you responded to fasting during Ramadan before? Even if you weren't training before, have you struggled physically or felt basically okay?

--Try to get sufficient calories during the hours when you are not fasting (I guess that's obvious).

--Your idea about training later in the day, so you can eat soon afterwards makes sense to me.

--Keep your clean and presses on schedule, but consider modifying your swings and snatches, depending on how you respond. You can reduce the time and/or effort, drop them on one or two days, and you can also split them out separately from your presses, within the same day or on different days. So, for instance, you could do presses in the morning if it fits your schedule, but save your swings until later, before you can eat again. Or you could do swings on one to three days you don't press. Dropping swings on your heavy press day might be a good option.

Hope this helps.


Level 1 Valued Member
Faisal, I would check out some of the works by Ori Hofmekler.  He created the Warrior Diet which is based around 20 hours of under-eating/fasting during the day followed with a workout and a 4 hour over-eating window.


Level 3 Valued Member
Thank you Joe, Steve and Adam.

@Adam, I have read The Warrior Diet and been following it's principles since start of May so about 2 months now and really enjoying the experience, however there is a big jump from being able to have fruits, salads and water to nothing.

@Steve, excellent points for consideration, thanks. I usually handle Ramadan quite well from a physical point of view, I avoid the common pitfalls where people see it as an excuse to eat deep fried foods and tonnes of sugar on a daily basis even before I started on the strength path.


Level 3 Valued Member
Hi Faisal,

I enjoy the Warrior Diet and most days I eat/drink nothing throughout the day.  My workouts at days end are brief, intense and very satisfying - and the meal afterwards is fantastic.  I sleep better, feel better and think more clearly on when I eat this way.  It's a mindset more than anything else.  The combo of feeling tight across my waist all day and knowing that a BIG meal is coming at days end is enough to say no to all of those office treats that seem to show up every afternoon at my workplace. 

best of luck and enjoy!



Level 3 Valued Member
Day 1 of fasting fell on my medium day of ROP, I started at 8pm did 5 x (1,2,3) with a 16kg with same number of pull-ups / chin-ups.  I felt good and performed just as well as any other day despite having fasted over 18 hours by that time. I also did 9 mins of swings with the 24kg, 150 swings. Broke my fast with water, whey protein and a big bowl of fruit. Going to have my dinner shortly.


Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks for the update. It will be interesting to see how you progress with the fasting, in terms of weight gain/loss and strength. Best of luck, I look forward to hearing how this goes.


Level 3 Valued Member
An update on my workouts and fasting...

* I have noticed that fasting has had virtually no impact on my workouts
* I seem to have dropped from 70kg to 69kg in a week but could be water weight etc

* Thursday (V2): Loaded cleans + TGUs @ 24kg (5x5 + 5x1) and Press-ups 6x5
* Saturday (H):

 C&P @ 16kg -> 5 x (1,2,3,4) - most presses I've done
Pull-ups: 5 x (1,2) and Chin-ups 5 x (3,4)
Sw 24kg x 100 / 5 mins

* Monday (L):

C&P @ 16kg -> 5 x (1,2)
Pull-ups -> 5 x (1,2)
Sn 16kg x 110 / 9 mins

* Tuesday (V1): TGUs @ 24kg 3x1 and Press-ups 5x5
* Wednesday (M):

C&P @ 16kg -> 5 x (1,2,3) - with very little rests as I was running late
Pull-ups -> 5 x (1,2) and chin-ups 5 x (3)
Sw 24kg x 150 / 9 mins

* Nutrition wise: I break the fast with a few glasses of water, a really big bowl of fruit salad, whey protein on 3 days of training then an hour later small amount of home baked bread (just flour) with some form of curry made in butter. At 2am 2 glasses of water, a banana, a handful of peanuts, a handful of almonds and a cup of black coffee with coconut oil.


Level 3 Valued Member
My opinion is.

The ROP gets quite hefty when you get to the higher rugs and ladders and the volume increases.

Why not go back on the PM, then after go back to the ROP?


Level 3 Valued Member
Aaron, I have got to 5 x (1,2,3,4) and it's fine, I think the fact that I'm using a 16kg helps, might have been harder to do with a 24kg, don't know. My let's do and see after week 1 indicates it's very do-able and the workouts have not been any harder than when not fasting, I do miss the water during the workouts though.


Level 6 Valued Member
Keep up the great work, Faisal!  You are on the edge of a big jump from 4 to 5 rungs.  As soon as you add even a single fifth rung on heavy day, your combined volume on light and medium days goes from 45 reps to 80 reps -- a significant volume increase to absorb in a single week.  Now the real fun begins!

And thanks for keeping us posted -- this sort of thread adds a lot of value to the forum, in my opinion.


Level 3 Valued Member
I would like to ask you to keep posting how you respond to Ramadan. I study Islam and I take a big interest in strength, so you make the ultimate combination right now.

Ramadan mubarak, Faisal.


Level 3 Valued Member
Thank you for your kind words and for encouraging me...

Matt, I'm thinking of keeping the next heavy on 5  x (1,2,3,4) and increase the amount in the following week but I'll see how I'm feeling on Saturday.


Level 3 Valued Member
Just a quick weekly update as of end of day 15 of fasting, yesterday. I kept the workouts to be the same as the previous week, energy levels are still good and my weight is same as the previous week, 69kg @ 175cm height. I plan to up a couple of the ladders to 5 rungs on Saturday.

I have found that working out in Ramadan has overall boosted my energy levels and I've found fasting easier this year, despite longer days, and haven't so far been getting hungry much at all.
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