By Zainab AbdulAziz

A veteran of fitness from the top gyms on both the American East and West coast, Attiyah has trained top tier clients in the world of show biz, business moguls and Fortune 500 CEOs. The former fitness model and consultant has recently brought his expertise to Cairo in a bid to introduce a new style of fitness to Cairenes, one that focuses on functional and power training.

Attiyah believes that fitness is evolving in Egypt – rather than just being a seasonal effort to get fit for the summer, health and fitness awareness is on the rise. We caught up with the ripped guru to debunk some fitness myths, get some pointers on clean eating, and get all the details on a 25-minute power training routine for upper and lower body workout with kettle bells.

MYTH #1: Train to Look Good

A majority of people train to look good, and it is certainly a fantastic bonus but shouldn’t be your primary goal. Men want the six packs and the strong arms, but if people approach training mentally then the looks come easier. If you set temporary goals like getting washboard abs or rock hard biceps, the fire dies out once you achieve that. Health benefits are for life. Training as a lifestyle pays off forever – your immune system is stronger, sex drive is boosted, stamina is higher, and your energy levels will last into your 60s.

MYTH #2: Women Can’t Lift

Don’t fall for the trap that lifting weights bulks you up! You need to lift weights to change your BMI (Body Mass Index) – the more you have muscle mass, the less you have body fat. Lifting weights makes you stronger, but also shapes your muscles to give your body healthy curves.

MYTH #3: Cardio Burns the Most Calories

You’re wasting your time jumping on the treadmill or elliptical machine for an hour. This raises your cortisone hormones and makes your body store more fat, while breaking down your muscle tissues, which leaves you skinny, but without shape. It is more beneficial to do high intensity bursts of cardio, mixed with lifting weights and eating right.

MYTH #4: Men and Women Lose Fat Differently

Yes, genetics play a factor, but both men and women lose fat all over the body when they train properly. The cells in our body store fat for use later, and everyone has a different fat percentage depending on their lifestyle. Women tend to store fat in their tummy, hips and back of the arm. Men tend to store fat on their chest, arms, hips and waist.

MYTH #5: You Need Supplements

Supplements are a billion-dollar industry. You don’t really need supplements to achieve what you’re setting out to do. Most of the fitness models and trainers you see just train really hard and eat super clean. What is whey protein? It comes from milk and is heated down to powder, which incidentally kills off the nutrients. What’s a ‘Fat Burner’ or a ‘Pre Workout’? It’s caffeine to boost your heart rate – just drink an espresso! Amino acids come from food – eat chicken, beef, or salmon. Eat clean, train hard.

MYTH #6: Increasing Meal Frequency Boosts Metabolism

There is no proven science that says eating 5 meals a day will boost or regulate your metabolism, in fact, you aren’t giving your digestive system any rest – you’re making it work all day! Intermittent fasting is proven to be healthier, so fasting up to eight hours a day isn’t a bad idea if your meals are clean and not full of junk.

Cheat-Sheet for Clean Eating

You need to include food with micronutrients daily like folate (vitamin B9), iron, magnesium, vitamins A and D – here are some options to build meals from:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lentils, beans, spinach
  • Seafood, beef, lamb, turkey
  • Kale, kidney beans, broccoli
  • Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds
  • Brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower
  • Carrots, sweet potatoes, mushrooms
  • Eggs, fatty fish like salmon or tuna

Omar shows us the right way of doing pushups, thrusters, bent over rows and kettlebell swing exercises


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