A Guide To Training & Exercise During Ramadan

Between interrupted sleeping patterns, fasting and a lack of liquids, maintaining a normal workout plan during Ramadan can be hard.

However, with careful planning and consideration, you needn’t let this time of year throw you off course. In fact, finding the time to exercise during the holy month will help to keep energy levels up, your mind clear and your metabolism stable.

So, what’s the key to training during Ramadan? Well, the truth is, there’s no one-plan-fits-all approach. Much of what you should do will depend on you, your current fitness routine and your goals.

Here’s some top tips to help you optimise your workout plan during this special time of year…

Ramadan Workout Plan


Ramadan is the Arabic name for the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, and is one of the holiest Islamic months. During Ramadan, Muslims worldwide seek to better themselves spiritually, emotionally and mentally. 

Throughout the holy month, Muslims fast during daylight hours. Fasting during this time is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, fundamental rules which Muslims believe are compulsory acts ordered by God.

The Islamic calendar follows the lunar calendar, and this year, Ramadan began on Thursday 23rd March and will end on Friday 21st April.


Ideally, you want to aim to train an hour or two after consuming plenty of fluid and a small meal consisting of protein, carbs, and a little healthy fat. During Ramadan, that would mean exercising either after a small Iftar (the ‘break-fast’ consumed at sunset) or, if you’re ambitious, early in the morning after Suhoor (the pre-dawn meal).

Understandably, it’s not feasible for everyone to train at these times for various reasons. Making time to work out after Suhoor could mean losing out on precious sleep (and jeopardising your recovery), and while training after a small Iftar is probably the most doable, it would mean forfeiting quality time with loved ones.

While you needn’t compromise your training altogether, it’s likely you may have to draw back. With that being said, the best way to approach your training during the month of Ramadan is to aim for maintenance.Gym During Ramadan


The first rule of nutrition during Ramadan - regardless of your fitness goals - is to consume a range of good quality whole foods, including quality protein and vegetables. 

If your goal is to build or maintain muscle mass, you need to be eating enough calories and stimulating muscle growth via resistance training. Maximise your calorie intake by shifting from high-volume, low-calorie foods to low-volume, high-calorie foods. You can do this by stocking up on healthy fats like oils, avocados, egg yolks and nuts, as these provide twice as many calories per gram as protein and carbohydrates. You’ll also want whole-grain carbs, including oats, whole-wheat pasta, bagels and tortillas. 

Oats, whole grains and other high-fibre foods, such as lentils, green veg, fruit and nuts release energy more slowly throughout the day and keep your blood sugar levels low. They also promote greater insulin sensitivity - ideal for those looking to burn fat.

Meanwhile, high-quality proteins, such as fish, beans, milk, whey and yoghurt will help to regulate your metabolism, prevent or slow muscle breakdown during fasting and reduce your cravings, keeping you feeling satiated for longer.


The general recommendation (remember, we’re only talking generally, here) is to decrease volume and intensity during the first week of Ramadan as your body gets accustomed to fasting. 


When it comes to cardio, we recommend a light-intensity session, limited to 30 to 60 minutes of slow, steady distance every other day. Remember, you will be dehydrated, so your body will use your fat storage as a source of energy, especially if you do cardio before Iftar. You’ll also need to include a good warm-up and cool down too, as a dehydrated body is more likely to fall victim to injuries.

Bear in mind that you’ll be at the tail-end of a draining fast and, possibly, draining workday, so make sure to check in with how you feel before and throughout your training session. 


Again, the key is modifying your intensity; try keeping a diary to document what you do and how your body feels. Then, see how you respond and adjust accordingly. How much you can do during this fasted month will depend on your previous levels of fitness and goals. 

When you start your resistance training, we recommend choosing exercises that target the upper body before the lower body to avoid any drop in your blood pressure during or after. You’ll also want to focus on flexibility to avoid any mobility-related issues you might face, especially when you adopt your normal workout routine after Ramadan.

READ MORE: How To Improve Your Flexibility & Range Of Motion 

Fasting and Exercising | Exercise During Ramadan

We’re not about to tell anybody how to experience Ramadan. But we’re always happy to take the opportunity to remind you to treat yourself with kindness and to allow yourself to step back from training if you want to spend some time focused on other areas of your life. Besides, the weight room will always be there. 

However, if you do feel yourself being drawn to the gym, remember, take it easy, listen to your body and assess and adjust your goals accordingly. Quality sleep should remain a priority, as should doubling down on increasing your hydration between Iftar and Suhoor. You can do this by having high water content-based fruits and veg, such as cucumber, watermelon, oranges, avocado, tomatoes and apples.

Ramadan Mubarak!