How to Get in Shape Jihadi Style

A pro al-Qaeda magazine puts out fitness tips for extremists.

ByABC News
April 21, 2009, 1:45 PM

LONDON, April 21, 2009— -- A new pro al-Qaeda magazine for extremists is offering fitness tips to jihadists planning attacks against Americans in countries such as Afghanistan.

The first edition out this month offers workout tips to get buff with the aim "to train as hard as possible in order to damage the enemies of Allah as much as possible."

The English language e-zine, Jihad Recollections, is about 70 pages long and is thought to be produced by an American living in North Carolina. It claims to have articles written by Osama bin Laden and his second in command, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Pull-ups, walking on your hands and crawling long distances are just some of the suggested exercises that come along with illustrations of white-robed men with scarves covering their faces…perhaps not the most comfortable of work-out clothing.

Ashleigh Prince, a fitness instructor in London, told ABC that he wouldn't recommend exercising in loose-fitting clothing. "This just isn't very practical and I would advise against it as it could get caught, causing injury."

Readers are advised to avoid weights during training because they aren't available on the front line. They are also told to stay away from the gym because of the "un-Islamic" music and the presence of "semi-naked women," and to carry on even if they feel exhausted "for Allah's sake."

As well as cardio training, such as jogging, readers are also urged to strengthen their legs as they will need to "carry weapons and equipment."

The article explains the importance of being swift on your feet "especially during raids on the enemy" and cites examples of successful attacks where speed was essential.

So does the Jihadist work-out hold up? Fitness instructor Prince has a few problems with it. "I don't see the benefits of walking on your hands or crawling at all -- it would be much more beneficial to do other types of exercises to build strength, such as push-ups."

He added, "It's not really good enough not to use weights if you're looking to tone up but then it depends what your goals are and working out until you're exhausted is just dangerous."