Fasts are diversely useful in health benefits ranging from a healthier heart to a lower risk of diabetes. Thinking of giving intermittent fasting a go but worried about how it will affect you in the gym? Keep reading to learn all about how to make it happen.
If You Can and Will
The struggle of building muscle and losing fat for many is a tedious process that requires trial and error, and more error, and then more trial. Hence, how you probably decided that fasting might be good for you, but don’t know how to make it work with working out?
It’s a tricky field because the reality is that while fasting can certainly help with fat loss, it can also reduce muscle mass as well. Many opt to incorporate strength training into a fast just for this reason. Studies show that fasting does not necessarily improve strength. It can combat it by promoting the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which can occur during a caloric deficit.
Yet still, if some of the other health benefits appeal to you, or you’d like to try it, follow these tips for strength training while participating in an intermittent fast.
1. Decide What Your Goals Are
First, decide clearly what your reasons for fasting are and what you hope to gain. Next, make a decision on the best type of intermittent fast for your goals and daily activities. Make sure you are in good health before beginning.
2. Create a Schedule
Create a schedule that you can stick to. Do any side work that you may need to determine when you will fast. If the goal is weight loss, calculate your body mass index, fat percentage, and caloric intake necessary to maintain or reach your goal.
3. Stay Hydrated
Fasts typically allow water or other non-caloric beverages. Staying hydrated is extremely important for endurance during strength training to power through your workout. Make sure to drink water before, during (minimally), and after strength training.
4. Make Sure to Replenish Sodium
This one is important if you don’t have a high sodium intake while not fasting, which is the optimal health scenario. If you’re making sure to stay hydrated, making sure to replenish sodium after a fast where you have strength training is essential. Sodium levels are important for maintaining a proper balance of fluids in your system, and sweating in combination with drinking water can work to flush it from your body.
5. Pay Attention to How You Feel
Assess your baseline before fasting and once again when you have started. Engage in strength training if you feel that your baseline is not weak, compatible with your primary benchmark and if you think you have the energy to train.
Monitor yourself while training to prevent any dizziness or exhaustion, and stop immediately if something out of the ordinary occurs. Make sure to breathe and remain attentive to what your body tells you is okay or not okay.
A Note from GR8NESS
Fasting isn’t easy, period. If you’re the average person, add on strength training, and you’re in for one challenging ride. Here at GR8NESS, we have your back, and biceps, and quads and heart, and the whole package. Keep in mind. Fasting is not recommended for everyone. Please consult with your healthcare provider before undergoing a fast.