The sets are splendid, the action scenes are power-packed and the special effects are grandiose. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion has stumped everyone. But, more than that, what pleases the eye is the robust, rugged and toned bodies of the Baahubali actors. Do you want to get a fit body like those stars?
Get your dose of inspiration from Kunal Gir, who has trained Southern superstars such as Rana Daggubati, Tamannaah Bhatia, Rakul Preet Singh and Sudheer Babu! Spilling fitness secrets that will help you get the perfect figure, he doles out workout tips in an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com for both men and women.
“Body building can be a canvas through which people can see their true self. The transformation helps them to become more effective and productive in other parts of their life as well. Sacrifice bad habits, unnecessary socialising and be dedicated to a plan — all these virtues are extremely essential before you begin!” Gir says.
PAIN IS GAIN
“The threshold of that pain starts with people who have not worked out before. But it’s important to understand that pain is actually very essential if you want change. So, if you’re not ready to bear that pain, then there will be no change. It’s actually ‘good pain’.
I tell my clients one thing — suffer from the pain today, and become stronger or stay busy all your life, become weak and suffer from that pain towards the end of your life.”
“My advice to a newcomer who wants to build a physique after seeing Dagubatti’s body in Baahubali 2, would be to try to go to the gym for 6 months. That’s the first commitment you need to make,” Gir says.
“Do not think that things will happen in a month or two. It takes time to start developing the habit. And the physique only comes out of that habit. Body building, no matter how little amount of muscle you want to build, it takes a lot of effort.
A physique is something you can’t buy, borrow or inherit. You have to acquire it on your own. You have to work hard relentlessly and it will not stay with you if you’re not regular. You lose it, like Aamir Khan now doesn’t have those muscles.”
“Body building is a true test of your own self – how consistent and hard working can you be? A lot of people take it as a project. They’re like, ‘Give me 3 months, and I’m going to become Salman Khan.’ That’s never going to happen. You may have done ridiculous things to get into shape, even taken drugs to lose weight, but it won’t last.
The same physique that got you noticed by your friends, might lead you to embarrassment and sometimes depression.”
“First you build a physique, then you destroy it and eventually you get stuck in the cycle. It’s like you have unnecessarily hiked your standards, and now you cannot keep up to it. If you’re thinking that way, don’t even bother. I tell my friends and family, that only do things which you can sustain,” says Gir.
“Looking fit and being fit are two different things. You may be slim, but not fit. Fitness comes out of being extremely strong. Now, will you be able to lift a 100kg weight off the floor? When you do that, your stamina automatically starts improving. It’s not about what your body can look like, but also what your body can do.
I would recommend sprinting – run like you used to run in school. Slowly walk back and run again. Do these small things every other day and it will dramatically improve your stamina.”
“Abs are not built in the gym. Sometimes, when you see labourers wander around, you can see abs. It’s not because they do certain exercises… it’s because they do not carry fat. So, abs are always there in every body. Now, the only reason we don’t see them is because there is a layer of fat over it. The layer of fat is not going to burn away because you did some good exercises. It has to be complementary with a diet.
Once you improve your diet, it will start showing because your fat will start melting away. Most people try to build it with crunches and leverages but if there is still a layer of fat over them, no matter how well you are training in the gym, it will always be hidden underneath. I would suggest you go for sprints and have a good diet.”
LOSE THE FLAB
“People always try to target a particular area — to lose the flab on their arms or fat on their tummy and hips. Now, that is a myth. Fat reduction is not possible. Fat belongs to the whole body, it does not belong to one area.
Even if you do exercises, muscles are working, but the fat is right where it was. When you diet, you restrict your energy to calories, that’s how the body burns fat.
The location of fat is genetic…depends on person to person. It’s something you can’t control as it is genetically reprogrammed. Women tend to store on their arm and hips, men tend to store it on their tummy. But, where you store fat is irrelevant because you can’t do anything about it other than following a good diet.”
“I recommend everyone to eat proteins and vegetables. Milk proteins are a must for every human being. Whether you want to be a body builder, or don’t want to be. These are two things your body needs for optimum health,” says Gir.
“A lot of people confuse survival with health. ‘I don’t have any ailments, so that means I am having a good diet,’ is what you can hear most people say. Wrong. You are merely following a diet that is keeping you alive. It is essential to be physically and mentally fit. A lot of vegetables and protein in your diet can solve all your health issues.”
“I don’t recommend fruits, because fruits have sugar. Eat more vegetables and protein-based food,” he adds.
“Remember a simple funda: Do not eat anything that comes from a packet. If it’s man made, then you shouldn’t consume it, but if it is nature made, then you must eat it. You’ll be a lot healthier if you follow this mantra. Bring the change to your lifestyle.”
THE REAL PICTURE
The health and fitness coach, who has over 15 years of experience in body-shaping and fitness also reveals what it really takes to get into the grind.
Is it possible?
Can common people get a body like Rana Daggubati? “Very unlikely,” Gir retorts, and shares the three crucial reasons why it’s not possible.
REASON ONE: “You have to understand that actors have a lot going on. A. It is a built-in motivator for presenting themselves on screen. A common man who has a 9-to-5 job and even looks better than Rana can never be under that kind of limelight. So, motivation already comes down a bit. That’s one thing.”
REASON TWO: “The second thing is they are properly made to get into that phase. There’s a lot of money riding behind these projects. That becomes their financial decision as well. It’s not just a physical decision. You have a 100-crore project riding on your image, so you will have to spend a lot of money, time and effort to build that image.
REASON THREE: “And, the third thing is along with the money comes in expert advise. That also needs a lot of money. Most people cannot afford it. Also, people do not have so much of time to dedicate themselves to fitness.”
The positive streak
Shedding light on the positive streak, he adds, “But, not to say that I haven’t had clients like that. I have had people from engineering background, doctors and industrialists who’ve made a good physique! What I’ve seen in such people is that this whole process makes them stronger from the inside. They have the patience to wait for the results which comes out after months of training.”
Femininity and fitness
How different is fitness for men and women? “For men, they have the freedom to take fitness to whatever heights they want to… as far as the actors are concerned. The actresses, on the other hand, have a society based limitation as to how they should look. Now, a girl can get extremely strong and very fit if she wants to…but in Telugu cinema, she will be rejected by the audience. I’ve trained Rakul, and she’s pretty fit and in shape, but she was telling me that there’s always a fight. Because the director keeps telling her, “don’t get so lean”. In Tollywood they want actresses to be a bit more chubbier. I’ve also trained Samantha Ruth Prabhu, and they’ve all had the same concern. If you get too fit, you’ll be rejected.”
While Gir has trained Tamannaah too, he underlined the fact that it was not for Baahubali 2. “I used to train Tammannah long ago. For Baahubali 2, I have not trained her, I trained Anushka Shetty a bit though. With Tamannaah, what happened was, when I used to train her, she was really fit and good at training, but she used to say this look doesn’t go well with the role. So, then actresses consciously put on weight. But, with men it’s not like that. Women fitness is still at its nascent stage in the film industry. We can see great fitness among actresses in Bollywood, but it’s still just the beginning.”