Messy gym routine during Ramadan? Here’s how to maintain muscle

Here are tips to help you maintain or even build muscle during the holy month. (Shutterstock)

Much of the weight we lose during Ramadan is actually muscle weight, because muscle tissue is broken down for fuel when we go for long periods without food. Below are tips to help you maintain or even build muscle during the holy month.

Compound exercises

When an exercise involves pushing, pulling, squatting or deadlifting, it is usually training more than one major muscle group, making it a compound exercise. Compound exercises recruit the maximum amount of muscles, and allow you to safely use heavy weights.

Typically there is one larger muscle group that does most of the work, and one or more smaller muscle groups that are recruited secondarily. This makes such exercises particularly good for building muscle and strength.

Rest

When you are weight-training, it can be hard to remember how important it is to rest between sessions. Your body needs time to repair itself after workouts. If you push yourself too hard, you may get too sore for several days or even incur an injury. Although getting to bed early is hard during Ramadan, still try to get seven to eight hours per day. Sleeping well is essential for maintaining muscle and strength healthily.

Weight-training

Maintain a regular weight-training routine of two or three times per week. When your goal is to maintain or increase muscle mass, training every day is counterproductive. Your muscles need a chance to repair themselves between training sessions. Without adequate rest periods, you will not achieve the results you want.

On the days when you are not weight-training, you can incorporate an active rest day such as yoga, swimming, walking or foam-rolling. These activities can keep your joints mobile and prevent injury in the long term.

Protein

Muscles need protein to get big and strong, and when you are working on building them up every week; you have to fuel them with a lot of protein-rich food. Be creative with your protein sources; not all of your fuel has to come from meat. Eggs, fish, liver and bone broths are other great sources of protein. Milk, cheese and yogurt can also contribute to your protein intake.

Aim for 60-80 grams of protein per day. Here are examples of how to count your grams:

- 21 grams of meat is same size as a deck of cards
- 11 grams of cottage cheese equals half a cup
- 1 egg equals 7 grams

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48
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