Blame it on lock-down, or newly discovered culinary skills, many of us are carrying a few extra kilos on our untoned frames these days. With summer on our doorstep, and hopefully a return to outdoor living, we need to get our beach bods back, quickly.

Who better to set us back on course than leading fitness trainer Hany Emam?  Here we go with his top tips and home workout routines for both men and women.

HE: As you know, men and women are different, from our skeletal frames to our tendency to gain weight in certain areas, and our ability to lose it when needed. Women tend to store fat around their hip and thigh areas, whereas men often gather more belly fat. Women also have a higher percentage of body fat according to normal BMI index, with a healthy range of 20 to 25%, while for men it drops to 10 to 15%. 

When you are out of shape with recent weight gain that needs to be taken off, there are factors to be considered. The better shape you were in, the less time it will take to get back into shape. Your muscle memory remains for a long time after your muscles have faded, you just have to remind it and get those muscles, blood vessels, and lungs back in shape to make it happen again, along with shedding that excess fat.

While myofibrils may not build up immediately, it’s possible to gain much of the lean mass you got back through fluids in the muscle fibers soon after starting training again. Of course, it will take more time the longer you go without exercise. For cardio, it takes less time to break down your fitness; it could take years to lose all your muscle.

10 Top Tips

1. Don’t stop eating!

Your body needs fuel to keep your metabolism metabolizing. Get as much high quality, nutritious food into your system throughout the day as you can. Aim for five to six small meals.

2. Swap your carbs for better carbs.

Switch your carbohydrate intake to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains instead of filling up on bread, pasta and pastries, and make sure you are getting enough healthy fats like seeds and nuts and avocados. This will give you enough calories to build the muscle you need while kicking your metabolism into gear to lose the fat you want.

3. Don’t scrimp on protein, even if you’re scrimping on other things.

Increase your protein intake to help sustain muscle during weight loss. Especially when losing weight quickly, your body can lose muscle mass which will affect the toned look you’re seeking. The protein leucine (in whey, animal proteins, and dairy) has a direct effect on muscle to prevent this muscle loss.

4. Stay hydrated.

Muscles are 70-80 percent water and dehydration leads to muscle breakdown. In order to increase the production of new muscle tissue it’s essential to keep yourself properly hydrated with water and maintain the right electrolyte balance (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium).

5. Try interval training.

If you’re someone who normally tends to do lots of cardio it should be easier to lose fat without sacrificing muscle if you switch to intervals, i.e. moving all-out for one minute and then slowing way down for two. (Do this for thirty minutes, three times weekly.) In an hour-long Pilates workout, you speed up and slow down, and alter resistance on each exercise to create the ultimate interval workout.

6. Make your muscles multitask for a longer calorie burn.

By choosing exercises that target different muscle groups you can employ more muscles at once without exhausting any individual muscle too quickly. Through working more muscles at once, more hormones are released, stimulating more calories to be burned throughout the day.

7. You won’t bulk up from lifting weights.

Bulking up like a bodybuilder is really difficult, and requires changing the foods you eat, when you eat them, and lifting extremely heavy weights, among other things. With light to moderate weights, you won’t. Instead, while strength training builds muscle, it also boosts your metabolism, burns calories, and accelerates weight loss.

8. Chill out.

Stress elevates the cortisol hormone, which is responsible for your body storing fat and diminishing muscle. Get enough quality sleep, laugh more, breathe, stretch and relax.

9. Bring a trainer to your living room or home gym.

There are some great mobile apps available, so take advantage of them.

10. Accept that it won’t be easy.

In order for improvement to occur, you must vary your movements and workout elements, and always move with awareness and control. Your body will not change until you are determined to push it to change.

*Some of this content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Men’s workout

  • Crunches
  • Heel touches
  • Elevated crunches
  • Plank
  • Russian twist
  • Side plank
  • Cobra

Women’s workout

  • Squats
  • Glute bridge to leg raise
  • Donkey kicks
  • One leg row
  • Lunges
  • Side plank
  • Sumo squat

Work at maximum intensity for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 rounds.

Contact Information

Hany Emam
Certified Elite Trainer (I.S.S.A)
Master Trainer Cycling RealRyder® International LLC Aqua Cycling Instructor
TRX (GSTC) Group Suspension Training BOXERCISE Instructor First Aid & C.P.R American Red Cross