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The effects of practicing resistance training in a fasted or fed state during Ramadan intermittent fasting on maximal strength and hematological parameters


  • Raoua Triki University of Manouba
  • Ali Aloui University of Manouba
  • Iyed Salhi University of Manouba
  • Matthew Stults-Kolehmainen Yale - New Haven Hospital
  • Abderraouf Ben Abderrahman University of Manouba



dehydration, blood component, exercise, fasting, Ramadan intermittent fasting


Introduction: Muslim people often continue physical training during the month of Ramadan, not only for competing but also for recreation and health purposes.  Choosing the optimal time of day for resistance training (RT) during the Ramadan intermittent fasting (RIF) would be important to avoid any negative impacts of fasting. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the effect of time-of-day (i.e., in a fasted state) of RT during Ramadan on muscle strength and hematological parameters.

Methods: 36 Muslim recreational weightlifters participated in this study and completed whole-body RT (12 rep × at 75–85% 1RM for 8 weeks).  Participants were divided into: FAST group  (n=18) training in the late afternoon before breaking fast (between 16h and 18h), and FED group (n=18) completing the RT in the late evening after breaking fast (between 20h and 22h). Maximal performance of squat (1RMSQ), deadlift (1RMDL) and bench press (1RMBP), and hematological parameters were analyzed 24 h before the start of Ramadan (T0), on the 15th day of Ramadan (T1), on the 29th day of Ramadan (T2), and 21 days after Ramadan (T3).

Results: Significant group × time differences were reported for 1RMSQ (p =.03; ES = 0.23) and 1RMDL (p =.01; ES = 0.32). Post-hoc analyses indicated significant pre-to-post improvements in FED at T2 for 1RMSQ (p =.03; ES= 0.27) and 1RMDL (p =.04; ES= 0.36) when compared to T0, with no significant changes measured in FAST. No significant time x group effect was reported for hematological parameters. Additionally, no significant pre-to-post measurements were observed for hematological parameters for either group.

Conclusion: Practicing RT in a fed state seems more effective in comparison with a fasted state to improve muscle performance and prevent negative impact of the fasting period. Moreover, RIF has no adverse impact on muscle strength and hematological parameters.


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