Fasting & Health Fasting and weight lifting

tractor

Woodpecker
Orthodox
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(stolen from the Christian memes lounge)

I was considering posting this in the health section but I think this topic would be particularly interesting for the Ortho bros here who pump iron from time to time.

Orthodox people fast. Like a LOT. If done properly, fasting should elevate your spirit at the expence of flesh which has direct consequences for your muscle work.

So what can someone do during the Great Lent (and other fasting days, like Wednesday and Friday) in order to maintain strength and fitness?

Do you adjust you workouts at all? And if yes, how?
  • Should the low rep max effort routine be completely avoided if you live on vegetables? Or is it reasonable if you take soy (uhh...) powder?
  • Does it make sense to avoid training for mass altogether?
  • Are whole body kettlebell workouts would be generally a better option for prolongued fasting periods?
 

NickK

 
Banned
Orthodox
I tried doing it and failed during the Nativity fast, which is actually a much easier fast than Lent, since you can eat fish almost every day.
If you guys have a secret, I'd like to know about it.
Until then, I plan to cut aggressively during Lent without lifting, just aero.
 

Pelern

 
Banned
It depends how you fast I would imagine. I think you should be able to get away with one day a week of fasting on one of your rest days.

Any more than that and you might run into issues getting enough calories..

If it's just a one time fast where you fast a couple times a week for one week, you shouldn't lose too much mass during that week, though you might want to cut back on your workouts a bit for that one week
 

Aizen

Kingfisher
Orthodox
I work out fasted everyday. This includes heavy deadlifting. The trick is to do it in the morning, it's not as hard as you might think. If you're doing an extended fast however (multiple days long), I would use those as off-days. As long as your consistent outside of these days it shouldn't be an issue.
 

bucky

Hummingbird
Other Christian
Not a religious fast, but I do an intermittent fast of at least 16 hours almost every day. Like Jiggy, I work out in the early morning. Typically I'll get up around 5:00am and start my work out sometime between 6:00am and 7:00am, then have my first meal of the day around 10:00am or 11:00am. It's not difficult at all, but I do have a caffeine-based preworkout before training that has maybe 20 or 30 calories, so I'm not sure if that would count as a fast for Orthodox religious purposes.
 

tractor

Woodpecker
Orthodox
I work out fasted everyday. This includes heavy deadlifting. The trick is to do it in the morning, it's not as hard as you might think. If you're doing an extended fast however (multiple days long), I would use those as off-days. As long as your consistent outside of these days it shouldn't be an issue.

Is fasting in your case means intermittent fasting (skipping breakfast or only eating one huge pile in the evening)? In these cases, I wouldn't make any adjustments either.

The issue is what training routine would make most sense if you don't eat eggs, dairy and meat for 40 days. I understand it's not the best period to grow mass. So I rather expect to maintain some strength so I wouldn't have to be in pain after I resume the normal routine.
 

tractor

Woodpecker
Orthodox
If it's just a one time fast where you fast a couple times a week for one week, you shouldn't lose too much mass during that week, though you might want to cut back on your workouts a bit for that one week

Fasting a couple of times a week is almost every week (Wednesday and Friday). I accustomed myself to it. I defined my workout load and schedule with this in mind but the Great Lent is quite a challenge... (I'm on the old calender so I haven't started yet).
 

tractor

Woodpecker
Orthodox
What milk protein substitute would you recommend?

I don't want to take soy. Other alternatives I found are pea, hemp and brown rice protein. Are those any good?
 

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
I have a blessing from my priest to drink whey protein powder during fasts, since it's for health-related purposes and has nothing to do with pleasure or enjoying the flavor. So the best answer I can give is "ask your priest."
 

tractor

Woodpecker
Orthodox
I have a blessing from my priest to drink whey protein powder during fasts, since it's for health-related purposes and has nothing to do with pleasure or enjoying the flavor. So the best answer I can give is "ask your priest."
I actually found pea protein pretty good. But regardless of supplements, I think the overall idea of weight lifting during the Great Lent and other long fasts is always a trade-off. First of all, I found it pretty hard to overall eat less and exercise (even whole body kettlebell training). On the other hand, the goal of fasting is to care more about your spirit and less about your flesh. And weight lifting beyond normal strength maintenance contradicts the point of fasting, in my opinion. So I accepted that during long fasts I may loose some muscle mass and may need to go back to slightly lighter weights after the fast is done.
 
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