All those sugar-y treats and fried foods during Ramazan pack a pound (or ten) and who better than Mr. Pakistan to help us shed that unwanted weight.
Abdul Majeed, who was crowned Mr. Pakistan in the 100kg event at the South Asian Championship, has a body most men would be envious of. Working as a personal trainer at CORE in Karachi, Majeed does not go easy on his clients. In fact, he himself goes hard on the weights and can do a bench press like he was born to lift.
For all the men out there looking to lose the pooch, Mr. Pakistan is at your service with fat-torching exercises and diet tips that are sure to spring you back into shape.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
1) Minimum carb intake
Majeed advises an increase in protein and decrease in carb intake (complex carbs, strictly speaking, simple carbs are off the table) for the body to get rid of the excess weight.
2) Hydrate, eat vegetables and fruits
Since water was compromised for most part of the day during Ramazan and vegetables and fruits automatically took a back seat, particular attention needs to be paid to these three in order for the body to gain the nutrition it lost in the previous month. Thus, replenishing the body with the needed nutrients.
3) Sleep cycle
Sleep is crucial to losing weight and exercising. Now that Ramazan is over, getting the sleep cycle back on track is very important. Try to clock-in a good eight hours of sleep. Remember: a good night's sleep = a good workout.
Workouts and diet go hand in hand, you cannot cheat on the other and still expect to lose weight.
These are short, easy-to-do workouts that only require a mat and motivation (and a set of dumbbells, if available), you can do them at home, in your office (during lunch break), even in your hotel room when travelling.
Now, the following exercises will not buff you up like Mr. Pakistan, but they will trim down your waist considerably and tone you up. Stay consistent and work hard for results. Go easy the first few days and progressively keep pushing yourself.
1) Upperbody: Standard push-ups
Make sure the neck and spine are aligned, stomach is pulled in and taut in a plank position. Arm distance should be slightly wider than the shoulders. When lowering the upper body with the arms, everything should come down in a straight line. Bend the elbows out to the side as you come down.
If you cannot do push-ups in a plank position bend knees on the mat, lift the feet up and cross them at the ankles.
Upperbody: Dumbbell press on mat
Lie straight with legs stretched out and spine firmly pressed on the mat. Stretch arms right above the shoulders. When pulling down towards the chest, bend the arms outwards. Make sure you don't rest the weights on the chest, go as low as possible without touching the upper body. Keep the neck and spine in-line. No curves on the lower back.
2) Abs: Basic crunches
Lie straight, bend the knees and suck the stomach in. Place arms behind the head for support, but don't put all the weight on hands. Pull up from the stomach as you raise the upper body to make sure to keep the elbows facing out on either sides throughout the exercise.
Look up at the ceiling, don't strain the neck, focus on the ab muscles so they do the work, otherwise you'll injure yourself. The upper body should move in unison, everything lifting together.
Abs: Crossbody crunches
As with basic crunches, the same protocol applies here; focus should be on the abs, except legs should be raised moving in a bicycle motion. Bring your elbow in to touch the opposite knee and repeat. Notice, arms are still wide open.
3) Lowerbody: Dumbbell deadlift
Shoulders back, spine and neck in-line, stomach taut. Bend straight down and as you go down bend the knees as such that they don't go over the toes. It should be a mechanical movement, the back lifting the weights and arms up, while the feet hold a steady grip on the ground.
Lowerbody: Narrow squat with a dumbbell raise
Back straight, stomach in, lower the body and keep knees behind the toes. Lift back up from the glutes (butt) and raise dumbbells overhead. Repeat. Palms should be facing each other. Do not curve your back during this exercise, it'll injure the lower back.
4) Cardio: Jump switch lunges
Again, keep your back straight, stomach taut and hands either on the hips or in front of you. Bend one knee in front and place the other leg behind you, knee and leg in-line in an L-shape. Jump and switch. Movement should only be in the lower body and maintain balance so you don't tip over on the side.
One of the most effective and hated exercises. Do a plank, jump in and bring your feet near your chest and then jump up high with arms raised above. Burpees can be modified by removing the jump at the end, you can just stand up and then jump back into a plank. If it's still too hard, do high knees instead.
These exercises range from beginner level to intermediate. Do 3 reps of 10 sets -- which means 3 repetitions of each exercise, rest, and then the same exercise again 10 times -- this workout is a total of 24 minutes based on the 3:10 ratio. You can do it twice through to get a full one-hour workout.
For beginners (or people who are largely inactive) Majeed recommends doing these workouts without weights. For a more challenging workout add dumbbells and increase reps and sets, beginners can also do this gradually, once their body gets used to the workout.
Stretching before and after is extremely important. But before stretching, do a little cardio, a run or jog to warm up the muscles.