Kulsoom Abdullah is the first woman to lift in sanctioned U.S. Olympic-weightlifting competitions while wearing traditional Muslim dress covering the head, arms and legs. In keeping with her religious beliefs, she trains during Ramadan.
Ramadan is a month in which participating Muslims don’t eat, drink, smoke or have sex from sunrise to sunset; it is intended to teach patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God.
When Abdullah does met-cons at the start of Ramadan, they are definitely a shock to her system, she says. Thus, she scales and takes breaks as needed.
“Weightlifting is a little bit easier because you get your breaks and you’re not losing as much water,” Abdullah explains.
Still, the beginning is rough.
“I could barely do as much as I could,” she says. “But then when my body got acclimated, I was doing OK.”
When it’s time to eat, Abdullah says she eats protein, fat and sometimes low-carb vegetables.
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Additional reading: The CrossFit-Oly Hybrid by Bob Takano, published Aug. 8, 2011.