Ramadan 2023 is here alhamdulillah, we’ve made it! It’s a real time to reflect, cry with fear and love for Allah azza wa jal. A blessed month that may never come to us again, so we need to make the most of it right!?
If this is your first visit to criterionfit.com, hello! My name is Hanif, I’m a revert Muslim from London with the goal of helping Adult Men get into better shape. To learn more about me hit my about page.
Ramadan health may seem straight-forward to the man or woman that has years of fasting under their belt but you’ll realise by reading this eBook that you can optimise your eating during the small window we have between Iftar and Suhoor to have a more productive day and push back those feelings of hunger.
For the new or younger Muslim man or woman that would like to learn about food, and exercise from the sunnah, this is the book for you. No, it’s not a meal guide that tells you to eat this, that, and that, but rather a guide of the foundations to nutrition that will guide you outside of Ramadan as well.
Updated for 2023, Ramadan Health Guide is a concise book for anyone with the goal of living with balance and looking after your health, the biggest blessing after firm imaan.
The way you approach nutrition will be key to progress!
You’re doing a good thing!
Whether you’re planning to take Ramadan 2023 as the starting point for your fitness journey or you’ve been holding off on exercise due to a busy schedule, or maybe you’re getting back to pre-pregnancy shape – for the female readers, whatever your reason for deciding now to be the time to focus in on fitness training, know, you’re doing a good thing!
Our bodies have rights to care and attention just like the home in which you live in needs care and attention or it will become dilapidated. Did you know, the average heart beats over 2.5 billion times? How rich are we to have the blessing of working hearts and how short-sighted is the one that takes no care for the blessing of life!
The reality is that obesity is increasing among the youth and older generations, but the fitness industry is also steadily increasing in yearly revenue. More people are looking for ways to turn around their health through exercise and you’re one of those people so give yourself a pat on the back because you’re doing for yourself something that some people will never attempt – being real with yourself and making change happen.
You will have good days and bad days!
Gym training is no different from your work life in that you’ll have good days when you’re on fire, hitting PR after another, and then come the days where you feel like the gym goblin with low energy and poor form – you may need a rest day! Know your body and take the message your body gives you on days when you’re not feeling it.
The journey is as important as the goal!
Following on from the last point you have to remember that getting into the gym, for weight loss, for example, doesn’t and shouldn’t stop once you hit your goal weight. Yes, you may decide to tone down your training to maintain your weight or find new goals but the journey you take, the knowledge you gain, and the time you took working on yourself are just as important.
It’s a great motivator, to write down your experiences in a diary. Whenever you feel low on determination to keep training you can look back upon the pages in your journal to remind yourself how far you’ve come. Goals change but the striving you put in even on the low days will be a true show of your ability.
We all have a physical ceiling!
It’s likely you’ll start training with two guns up, blazing through 1+ hour sessions and feeling like you can do another session later the same day. That’s great determination and dedication and you want to hold onto that mindset but your body may let you down even though you want to knock out another session.
The truth is after some time training, you’ll reach a stage where you get ‘diminishing returns,’ meaning, you’ll do an exercise but don’t gain any physical benefit from continuing the exercise in the way you’ve been doing it. This is understandable when you think about an Olympic 100m sprint. Are we likely to ever see a sprinter run 100m in 4.25 seconds? No, not unless he has a friend that can help him fly on a ‘magic carpet’ as well!
When such a barrier comes to you the best thing you can do is adapt your training which can be done in a number of ways. Switching your programme or employing a Personal Trainer may be a start, changing weight, reps, sets, time under tension, and/or exercise equipment may help but there will always be a point reached where staying to what you know doesn’t work. For help, if you’re in this situation, get in touch with me by messaging me through my contact page.
The way you approach nutrition will be key to progress!
Knocking out 3-5 gym sessions a week can be hard work and if you’ve got the mission of getting to work and sit-down time with family and friends to add to that you’ll really need to fine-tune your diet. When I say diet I mean the nutritional food and drink you consume day to day. Learning what best suits your training and health goals will help you avoid a revolving door where you train hard only to eat food that knocks back your progress.
Carbohydrates, Fats and Protein are the key macronutrients we need in a balanced diet and the quantities you need will differ from the next man unless you have an identical twin that does everything you do and is staring at you as you read this right now – space please bro! Of course, you need to enjoy your food, trying new foods shouldn’t be off the table if you can afford the risk but be cautious of allergies and any aversions you may have. It can take a few good tries of a new food before it becomes palatable to your tastebuds so keep an open mind to the food around you.
Taking the above points into consideration you’ll be better placed to achieve the goals you have in fitness training. There’s no one ideal way to train or eat, what works for you is fair enough, and finding enjoyment in your training is a point we could also go into but we won’t, not in this post anyway. Whatever you plan plan it well, with help if necessary and make fitness training a part of everyday life. Live well and Ramadan Mubarak to those of you fasting this month!
It’s said you can’t rush a good thing. To me, exercise is a good thing as it probably is to you wherever you are in your fitness journey. It was around 2012 Olympics, in my first year of marriage that I really started to self-evaluate my health and by 2017 I really started getting into fitness. Before that, I was infrequent with training because I had no idea of what to do in the gym to make structured progress. I’d never had a personal training session let alone a fitness assessment, I didn’t know people go to the gym with a programme or plan to train with, I was clueless, and making a SMART goal wasn’t in my vocabulary.
I knew that I wanted to be in the best of health for part of my faith is to give my body its right to care. I wanted and still want to be around for my family for as long as possible so the work is put in. Being that I have health issues I know I must be careful about what I allow my senses to experience, the senses are what we need control over – the soul constantly calling for sensation and stimulation. I’m not all the way clear of the temptations of life but I’m more aware of what doesn’t befit my goals.
Just yesterday I got a bit closer to achieving my Personal Training qualification. I had an assessment to check how capable I am at safely coaching clients which made me more confident in my abilities. Yes, some people will complete their PT course in under 3 months or so but my road to get here hasn’t been a straight one. From moving job to job, mental ill health and the covid-19 lockdowns have all impacted the path towards PT’ing.
Wherever you are in your health, you can’t go wrong by employing a Personal Trainer that you’re comfortable working with! I say this with the knowledge I’ve gained through my course provider and as a man that has had multiple gym memberships over the years while having no idea of what I need to do to see change. I employed a Personal Trainer to give me guidance and save time, because just like any knowledge you want to gain you go to those who know the field well rather than the one who looks the part but doesn’t really have the knowledge. Having a PT with you also make the road fun and engaging because the setting can be a lonely one.
I like gym training although no gym is perfect. I go in and see people going after it which isn’t something you see outside of the gym often. I especially like to see older people in a gym because as a man of compassion with faults and things to improve, I see in them a determination to be independent, strong, capable, and desire to live well to their last breath which I hope I’ll be like in old age God willing. Over and above the aesthetic appeal of fitness training in whatever setting you enjoy should be a goal of making the activities of daily living easy to execute for as long as possible. Look good while doing good is a good look but check your sincerity!
It’s the head of Spring time now and I really hope to be Personal Training very soon, helping men like you get after those goals and tip the balance of fitness in your favour. If you’d like to know more about me and what I can offer you of training or you’d like to know where to find me upon completing my PT training, drop me a message – links on my contact page.
I understand how important your self-image is to you and I also understand that the gym setting can bring on stress and anxiety for many men, but whatever stops you from hitting complete on that gym membership need not be an issue anymore. The privacy of our clients is paramount and confidence in our techniques will see you gain the cardio and muscular strength, and size you’ve always wanted.
A kettlebell is a weight that’s well-known and used in Russia, Europe, and the world generally. Respected by Armies, functional training gyms, and strength training athletes alike, the kettlebell is a one-piece gym that will surly find a comfortable place in your home. What makes this style of training so good apart from being compact and spacially convenient is that you can meet various goals through this style of training from sculpting and toning abs to building muscle and strength or losing weight, it’s all possible.
If you’ve never tried online training you need to look no further than Criterion Fit. After your consultation, a 12-week programme will be designed for you to train with (sent monthly). Each week we will have an online meeting to discuss what has been working for you, how you’re progressing with the training and to answer any of your questions.
My name is Hanif and I’ll be coaching you toward the completion of your goal. I’m a L2 gym instructor and L3 nutritional coach, currently studying in PTing. Helping real men with real lives is what I got into fitness for! If you’re sure you want to make changes to your health and looks then I will be there for you until you feel you can fly alone.
Included in the programme:
A Weekly Consultation
12 weeks of Kettlebell Programming
1-2-1 Kettlebell top-up session (online live coaching)*
Dedicated Quick Response Email Access
money off ‘be the criterion’ merchandise
Kettlebell sent to your home address
Online live coaching is an additional £25 per session
This programme costs £240 and includes your first Kettlebell.
What a blessing coming towards us! Ramadan is only weeks away, may Allah ta’ala grant us the life to witness it and many more by his mercy. It’s a time to connect with Allah the mighty and wise by doing many acts of worship. From those acts of worship one may think little about would be giving your body its right to maintenance and care by way of nutritious food and exercise.
My name is Hanif Tagoe of Criterion Fitness and Nutrition where we help Men tip the scale in their favour in terms of health with an emphasis on exercise. And seeing as Ramadan is so close I thought I’d put together a circuit session you can do in the comfort of your home, alone or with family.
You need the following:
This workout circuit is not a personal session but rather a general session to meet the needs of a person with no health issues that may be worsened or aggravated by its use. If you have health issues please consult your GP, physiotherapist, or healthcare provider before trying this session. We take no responsibility for illness, injury, or the like, to you, or any property by way of the use of this session. This session should be followed as described, following the descending order of exercises.
This circuit should be repeated 3 times taking a 1-2 minute break between each round of the circuit. You can progress the plan if you find it easy, just add weight, reduce rest between rounds, or add additional rounds of the circuit. But, note this is only one session and it doesn’t constitute a full programme of exercising and testing all of your muscles. It is a starting point for some and something new to try for others. For a full programme designed around your goals, time, preferred way, and location of training please feel free to get in contact with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So it’s time to get it in!!!
Level change planks
Deadlift + Squat + Press (chain)
Racked kettlebell lunge
Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Fast Feet (run on the spot)
Ramadan 2023 circuit session
If you’ve enjoyed this circuit session and would like to learn more about nutrition and fitness in the life of a Muslim from a basic starting point, do check out “Ramadan Health Guide” by Hanif. It isn’t a gym plan or meal plan, it’s a guidebook to two fundamentals of a healthy lifestyle although there is much more to life, balance, and health than food and exercise. You can find your copy ready to be downloaded at BeTheCriterion.com.
The Virtue Of One Who Controls Himself At Times Of Anger; And What Takes Away Anger
2609a. Abu Huraira (may Allah ta’ala be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger
(peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: ‘The strong man is not one who wrestles well but the strong man is one who controls himself when he is in a fit of rage.’
Sahih Muslim – 2609a / (in-book reference) Book 45, Hadith 140 – sunnah.com/muslim:2609a
It’s easy for us as men to let anger spill over into action but the strong man as our prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, the strong-man is the one that can control himself when in a fit of rage.
A point I want to highlight is with regard to wrestling and such martial arts as we generally know them today. Wrestling was known to the Muslims over 1400 years ago, our prophet (peace be upon him) is said to have engaged in wrestling, those were men!
Learning an art such as wrestling will help one control their anger, exercise their body, and equip a man with a better chance of subduing an attacker. Learning any knowledge should humble us when we come to remember we didn’t invent the wheel i.e. there are people out there that will mangle you and me due to the skill in wrestling they have.
Exercise, just going for a walk or running are real and fast-acting ways towards controlling anger. From the prophetic example, there are many other ways to control anger such as sitting down if standing, laying down if sitting, making wudu, and seeking refuge with Allah (the mighty and wise) from the cursed Shaytaan. But, physical activity should still have a place in your life whatever you do to manage anger.
For the majority of us men, looking like a fitness or catwalk model isn’t even a thought we’d like to entertain. Yeah, the wife would be impressed but we don’t have the desire to stand around for women or men to be standing, staring at how beautiful we look in the 2023 drop or drip or whatever the youth are calling it these days. But, that doesn’t mean we aren’t aware of the reality, that were aging, and with age comes degradation of skills, abilities, and mechanics. Our looks are important, and there’s space for self-care but for most men, they just don’t care too much about how they look, it’s reality.
We spend the days working and traveling, few hours at home or with the children, spouse or friends, a bit of time to relax and eat, a bit of time to talk to family, maybe read something, listen or watch something… the time just doesn’t seem to be there for exercise. But it is possible and doable for all of us.
The reality is there isn’t one man on this earth that couldn’t do with a training programme in his life, that doesn’t mean that you’re mentally ready, but the fact remains; you’d benefit from a level of exercise. Fitness isn’t the light and calling of your life, let’s get that clear. I’m not the fitness guy or guru or whatever they call them selling you dreams about a fitness nirvana, that’s nonexistent. Yeah exercise will increase your quality of life, potentially your relationships, increase your networks and net worth, you’ll get better sleep through regular exercise, have better and longer-lasting intimacy with your lady, reduce the chances of heart disease, decrease the chance of loss of bone density, you’ll increase cardiovascular fitness and muscle mass – these depend on your style of fitness training of course. But if these aren’t enough of a reason to get into a fitness routine then weight loss or weight gain – once again, depending on your style of training these are things you’ll achieve with good frequency and intensity of sessions.
So, now we’ve gone into the benefits of fitness training, let’s talk about finding time. So tell me, have you heard of F45 or PureGym Sweat sessions or any of the other group class sessions you’ll find in the majority of commercial gyms? Some last 30 minutes and others 45 minutes. Those classes are very popular for busy working people, the young, the old, women, and men because they are set at convenient times. These classes are usually spaced out throughout the day and bring in big crowds. Just 30 minutes a day, consistently, you’ll see long-lasting effects on your health and fitness. And if group sessions aren’t your thing you can get in touch with me and learn about my online kettlebell training sessions
The key point is that you have to be ready in your heart and know that tomorrow isn’t promised. Making the time for a football match 2-3 times a week, not making it off the sofa is a sign that you got time for exercise. It’s 2023 now and the levels or stakes are even higher than they ever were, the food we eat and what we drink is recorded and either for us or against us. Did you take that opportunity to walk to the market on Friday with the family rather than taking the car or bus or train or whatever you take? Did you put down that cake instead of eating it, leaving it for someone else to have the next day? did you drink the can of cola or did you drink the water that was even closer to you?
Fitness lifestyle in 2023 for me is less about hitting the gym goal and being in the gym all day and all night and getting to be more mindful and reflective about how the actions I do affect my life now and in the future God willing. Working can’t be/is a major part of our lives, the majority of people are sitting in an office, sitting in a car, sitting in a meeting, and sitting on your hidden dreams and goals at the end of the day we need to be proactive and reflective in our approach to life and progress.
If somethings not working you have to examine what the causes could be. Once you’ve crossed off what isn’t an issue you’ll find what is. If time management is the issue then it’s not working, if motivation is the issue it’s not working, if confidence is the issue it’s not working. Your job isn’t the issue, your job doesn’t have you tied into the building as a night watchman as well – if that is the case then you need to talk to a solicitor – but you have hours outside of work that are free for you to travel the earth so you stay local and hit the closet gym to your job before or after work, start walking home and definitely look into the food your bringing into your home weekly.
So, these are just some thoughts I wanted to share with you on my road to a fitness and help you potentially on your road to fitness so hit me with a message or comment, call me or catch me on WhatsApp, so i’ma I get back to what I’m doing, drink my coffee, speak to you soon.
There’s probably no greater fear to a man or a newly married man than impotence, not being able to give his wife the time of her life and bring children into the world. As we age the chances of erectile dysfunction increase with 43% of men aged 18-60 saying they suffer from impotence (Co-Op Pharmacy).
You may be wondering what the causes of this issue are and how you can avoid or rectify it, so, we’ll be looking into this today. But before we get into it (uh hmm), I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Hanif of Criterion Fitness and Nutrition, helping men live balanced and fitness-infused lifestyles that deflect issues such as Impotence, Type-2 Diabetes, Obesity, and Low self-confidence.
The fast-paced life of today, especially in the West has many men battling to maintain a job and be the best at it, be the life of the party and get the girl, be the best on the pitch with the boys and be, and be, and be. It may be self-inflicted to those that refuse to compare their own worth to the constructs of “what a real man” is and I myself don’t agree with running the race of life looking at my peers as competition. The reality is, the first thing any man should do to find solace within himself is to look at the signs around him and in his own self. He was created alone and will die alone so why live your healthy days as a man in competition with others?
The meat is that the common causes of Impotence include stress, tiredness, anxiety, and drinking too much alcohol, generally. And there should be no reason you can’t get yourself over this issue however, the mode in which you achieve the goal depends on how long-term you want results.
For men seeking a quick fix, the go-to could be Viagra or any of the cheaper remakes that do the same job. Taking medication will likely be the fastest way to success but with the consumption of medication come risks such as blurred vision and loss of sight, heart irregularities and stroke, heart attack leading to death, and the worst of all a painful erection that stays around longer than you’d want it. Okay, the last one isn’t the worst of them but it would likely feel that way.
For those of us that seek to avoid medication and synthetic ingredients the following foods have been known to aid sexual virility:
Meat and Poultry
Nuts and Legumes
The foundation of good health and balance within our bodies depends on what we eat and drink as well as our amount of physical activity. The more we eat and avoid exercise and the like the greater the chance of us falling ill or in this case losing our ability to gain an erection. Yes there are many other reasons a man may not be able to gain an erection such as desensitisation due to prolonged porn watching but generally speaking, leading a lifestyle that includes fitness will help you avoid many issues. If you’d like help to lead a fitness lifestyle get send me a message [Here].
To add to a good nutritional balance the health-focused man should engage in regular physical activity and/or exercise. My choice would be to train with kettlebells and these are just a couple of reasons:
Train at home no matter the weather
Convenient to store away
Increase ease of blood flow
Gain strength and muscle size
Increase lung capacity and strengthen the heart
Increase your endurance (stamina)
Look better physically
The key point above to getting and maintaining an erection would be the blood flow around your body. Kettlebell swings although unrefined, simple, and “Ayb” to onlookers is a workout that although works your lower body, core and back, has the potential to have you sweating buckets, improving blood flow, and losing weight (if that’s also a goal to attain). Exercise is definitely a more sustainable way of getting into an alpha male state, pills will cost you in the long term and the woman of your life will love you more for putting in real work.
So, I hope this read has aroused your determination to get into the best health you’ve ever been in so you can increase the birth rate and produce pious children that become a light for future generations. The way you exercise is totally up to you and the best exercise is that which you enjoy and can keep going back to throughout your life. Health is wealth so make that investment today however you can.
If you’re interested in joining our 8-week weight-loss programme ‘The Old Medicine’ get in touch with Hanif by WhatApp on 07412667870 or email [Here]. Have a great holiday and talk soon.
We are being attacked daily by companies that want to milk us for our hard-earned money in exchange for the false pleasure of food and drink we know or should know are hindering our health and weight-loss goals. I know you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired so what if I told you that in the next 8 weeks, you’ll be 1st/16 lbs lighter!? Yes, It’s achievable when you join ‘The Old Medicine’ weight-loss programme. It’s not complex or time-consuming, our training sessions last 45 minutes and you’ll also be coached on nutrition in a fun and engaging way once a week.
The ways of old were to eat wholesome food, nutritious and simplistic. That doesn’t mean you’ll have to give up the food you love, we’ll help you with your shopping list, meal ideas, macronutrient figures, and more. Then comes physical activity in the form of kettlebell training. Kettlebells are a convenient training tool to store at home working your cardiovascular system while increasing your strength and improving body composition, no wonder so many armies and strength athletes use kettlebell training.
We’ve been helping busy, working men like yourself since 2017 and as a family man myself I know just how important time to recharge is but to be around for the long term takes effort. So if you want to finally achieve the weight and look you desire, keep the weight off, and increase in a good mood and motivation drop us an email message with your current weight and ideal weight in kg or lbs [Here].
Included in the programme:
A Weekly Nutrition Consultation
The Old Medicine Workbook
The Old Medicine Meal Guide eBook
A Weekly Online Kettlebell Session
A Monthly Personal Workout Programme
Dedicated Quick Response Email Access
Shopping List Advice
Money Off ‘be the criterion’ Merchandise
My name is Hanif and I’m a certified weight-loss coach, gym instructor, and kettlebell trainer that knows how to get results. We will help you lose weight, increase your confidence and look amazing without making fitness a drain on your time. As your coach, I will always do my very best to assist you during your weight-loss journey. This programme will see you grow in knowledge and determination to achieve your goals – you are the criterion!
This programme costs £200 and does not include a Kettlebell.
3349. Miqdam bin Madikarib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) say: ‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach, It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one third for food, one third for drink and one third for air.’” (Sahih)
Sunan Ibn Majah – Volume 4 – English Translation by Nasiruddin al-Khattab – Published by Darussalam – First Edition 2007
The ease with which we can get foods from around the world, have food and drink delivered to us same day, the line-up of restaurants open until early in the morning not forgetting the many forms of entertainment that distract us away from our purpose in life, our lack of exercise and ease of travel have all culminated into the ‘obesity epidemic’ that you’ve likely witnessed or heard about.
At this time when pockets are tightening it makes perfect sense to take a new path towards a ‘Sunnah lifestyle,’ fitness lifestyle. The ‘Sunnah’ is the way, life and rulings that our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) lived by as do his followers, to this day. His way is the best way to follow since in following him, we will be loved by Allah (the mighty and majestic).
Say, ˹O Prophet, ˺ “If you ˹sincerely˺ love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
Qur’an – Surah Ali-Imran – Ayah 31
All other ways may have some good in them (coupled with bad) but to find a balanced approach that will truly lead to success we must follow the example of the Prophet and his Companions. And what was the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him) with regards to eating except balance and taking what was necessary to keep your back upright.
Mankind fills nothing worse than his stomach because it is a bodily need that needs to be fulfilled only ending upon death, accelerated by our inability to control our desires. How many issues do we face in life due to what we consume; the way to abate these issues is by returning to a balanced lifestyle.
Fitness, fasting and moderate eating cost very little in comparison to the health bill we end up paying in taxes if we men lead from the front. Leaving your wife, children or mother to do the shopping is leaving off a responsibility; we as men must safeguard and guide our households.
Being extravagant and wasteful in eating and spending wealth shows little gratitude to Allah (glorified be he) or insight or care for what is going on in the community and country in which you live right now. Food banks are being sent luxury foods that have been overstocked while staple goods aren’t getting a look-in!
To me, the ‘fitness lifestyle’ is about living with vitality, drive, balance and determination to grow in mind and body. If my diet, training, sleep, relationships and so on are in line with the Sunnah I’m on a winning course.
If you’d like to read more about the Prophetic directive on health and food, fitness and so on, check this article by Sheikh Abu Khadeejah of Salafi Publications [Click Here].
Thanks for reading my post and if you’d like to learn about food, diet and start a training programme from your home why not join my 8-week course ‘The Old Medicine?’ Just send me a message [Click Here] with your name, age, weight and training history – we’ll arrange a free consultation.