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Lifting Weights on an Empty Stomach – Is it Safe?


The majority of people can’t lift weights on an empty stomach, but some people are completely fine to pump those irons even in a fasted state. Is this safe and do we recommend it? Keep reading this blog to find out.    

Lifting weights on an empty stomach is safe as long as the weights that you’re lifting are not too heavy. The same thing can be applied to other machine-based exercises if you’re only doing it for only about half an hour or so. However, if you’re trying to hit a new PR, then it’s best to eat something so you have the energy to go at it with all your might. 

a guy lifting dumbbells

If you decide to stick with your fasted weight training routine then your workout performance will be compromised to some extent depending on a few factors such as training time, training interval and training intensity. What you’ve previously eaten will also come into play because you’ll likely perform better during a fasted workout if you have stored energy from eating a big meal the other day compared to working out with barely any food in your system.

nordic lifting barbell gungnir bar

Working out without eating is like going to a war without any weapon. In a gym setting, one of your best weapons is the energy that you get from your pre-workout meals and although you can finish and survive your workouts on a fasted state, you’ll be better off if you at least have eaten a banana, some oats, a slice of whole grain bread or your favorite trail mix of dried fruits and nuts to keep you going.

The right pre-workout meal can certainly go a long way and help maximize your performance and this is the reason why we don’t recommend weightlifting on an empty stomach even though it’s safe when taken certain circumstances into consideration. We’re all for quality workouts here at Nordic Lifting and empty belly workouts will just limit and hinder your capacity to achieve your fitness goals.

a guy lifting dumbbells

Before we end this blog post, we just want to add that it’s still a matter of preference. Some people will be able to do as many reps; exercise as hard; and function normally even during fasted training days. There are others who can’t lift as much weight and tend to accomplish more when they eat enough food with a mix of protein, healthy fats, and carbs before hitting the weights. It really comes down to figuring out which works for you and how your body reacts. We suggest that you guys try it both ways and find out for yourself which feels better to you.

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