Prithviraj at Aadujeevitham in Rajisha in June: Intensive Physical Training of Actors

Fitness experts tell TNM about celebrity-inspired diets and workouts, while adding that there’s more health and fitness awareness in the film industry than ever before.

Malayalam actor Prithviraj Sukumaran is in the midst of intense physical and mental training, preparing for his role in the highly anticipated upcoming film Aadujeevitham. Just like videos of risky stunts that come with statutory warnings, Prithviraj physical training is also only possible under expert supervision. The actor’s celebrity trainer and fitness expert, Ajith, told TNM that the diet has been physically and mentally taxing on the actor.

“We had developed a diet plan in which his caloric intake was reduced gradually over several weeks. Physical training centered around strength training, proper nutrition and supplements,” he says.

Ajith also adds that since the Aadujeevitham Filming took place in remote locations in Jordan, Algeria and is currently taking place in the Sahara Desert, the crew had to make do with the resources they had in terms of equipment and space to practice . “Previously, we had to train for almost 30 days in a very basic setup in Gokarna. Similarly, training while touring other countries was not easy. But Prithviraj sir was determined,” shares Ajith.

Like Prithviraj, several actors including Ram Charan (RRR)Silambarasan (Vendhu Thaninthathu Kaadu), Jr NTR (RRR), Anouchka Shetty (Size zero, Baahubali), Rajisha Vijayan (June), Ariya (Sarpatta Parambarai) and Bhumi Pednekar (Dum Laga ke Haisha) underwent a physical transformation in order to prepare for a role. Time and time again, the actors have left their fans stunned by the level of discipline and hard work they put into preparing for their roles. But with the ever-changing dialogue around fitness and wellness, one wonders if the methods celebrities are using to look the part are sustainable and healthy.

Fitness and Durability

Malayalam actress Fara Shibla gained almost 20kg in three to four months as she prepared for her role in Kakshi: Amminipilla. She plays the protagonist Kanthi, who is disliked by the man she just married, because of his weight and also because he was forced into marriage.

Speaking to TNM, Fara explains that she didn’t diet while gaining weight for her role. “I ate chocolate bars and desserts to gain weight. During the film, I weighed 87 kg but I followed a sugar-free and carbohydrate-free diet and came back to 63 kg in the following months,” she says. She goes on to say that while losing weight was an organic process, gaining weight involved unhealthy eating, which impacted her health. “I had hormonal issues and developed pigmentation during filming,” she says.

Given that the process satisfied her as an actress, Fara shares that if another physically demanding role came her way, she wouldn’t mind going on a diet that could negatively impact her health. “Production houses are not always equipped with the resources to do this in a sustainable way when deadlines are tight. Also, even in personal life, fitness is a journey with ups and downs,” says Fara.

She adds, “It’s very hard to find good roles because we keep getting typecast once we’ve done a certain type of role. If I hear a good script about a plus-size woman that stands out from the other stories we’ve seen on screen, I’ll be happy to pick it up,” she says.

It’s ironic that even when movies are funded by bigger production houses who appoint teams of fitness experts – including doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists and others – to help actors through the process, headliners rarely get the chance to say no to unrealistic goals. Kiran Dembla, 45, a celebrity bodybuilding champion and fitness trainer who has trained actors like Tamannaah Bhatia, Anushka Shetty and Ram Charan, among others, told TNM that actors might try to achieve their fitness goals in the time limit. fixed by the directors instead of passing up the opportunity to act in a certain film.

“Especially when the film is directed and produced by big names in the industry, it’s only natural that movie stars don’t want to turn these opportunities down. Production on the film comes to a halt if the headliner isn’t available, so there’s a lot of pressure on the actors,” says Kiran. Videos and photos of rigorous workouts posted by actors such as Samantha, Arya, and Silambarasan, among others, which are going viral online, indicate the extent of the preparation that the actors undertake for their upcoming projects.

The silver lining is that over the years there is more health and fitness awareness in the film industry than ever before. Actor Anushka Shetty, who practices yoga, decided to gain weight organically in order to play the lead role in the film. size zero, which revolves around the life of a tall, spunky, independent woman who doesn’t let her body image affect her mental health, until the man who attracts her chooses another girl. The rest of the film is about how she stumbles upon unscientific and dangerous weight loss measures. Anushka, who gained 20kg for the role and then lost weight to prepare for her role in Baahubali, chose natural methods for the same.

Junk food, although unhealthy, is often the go-to choice for gaining weight. Kiran, who trained Anushka and Tamannaah before the Baahubali shoot, says, “Anushka decided to gain and lose weight by following a balanced diet. Even for Size zeroinstead of choosing fatsuits like other actors have done in the past, she wanted to look the part and make sure the portrayal is authentic.

Kerala-based celebrity trainer Bheegaran, whose clientele includes actors Jayasurya, Parvathy and Rima Kallingal among others, observes that thankfully the dialogue around fitness is no longer limited to bodybuilding. “Heroes had to train and gain muscle, while heroines had to maintain a small image. But lately, actors, filmmakers and production houses have become aware of the dangers of following unscientific or short term,” he says.

READ: Meet Hyd’s bodybuilding champion Kiran Dembla, one of the few women in the field

ALSO READ: Meet Malayalam actor Shibla who put on 20kg for a role and then lost it all

Media report

Reports focusing on celebrity fitness regimes have been used by production companies in promotions and also attract large audiences. With fad diets and extreme workouts gaining popularity, trainers point out that media reports can be misleading if they lack all the information about a celebrity’s physical transformation. It is important to note that unscientific diets and workouts pose serious threats and have a huge impact on well-being.

“After having watched Dangal, I remember telling my trainer that I wanted to undergo a similar transformation. It is natural for the audience to be influenced by the actors. But they often don’t understand that celebrities train for years together. So they would be comfortable working on different routines in a short period of time,” says Bheegaran. He also uses the example of actor Prithviraj to explain how training for several years helped him keep up with the intensive training of Aadujeevitham.

Ajith, who doesn’t exclusively train actors, points out that the diet and exercise routines designed by trainers are highly personalized. Painting a picture of how any diet should be looked at on a case-by-case basis, he shares that a ketogenic diet (high-fat, low-carb diet) or a vegan diet might not work for people accustomed to Indian diets. and native food.

Agreeing with Ajith, Kiran says physical training should be holistic and focused on overall well-being. “It is understandable that the media shares information about celebrity workouts because they are attractive and also inspire many to think about their well-being as well. At the same time, the media has a responsibility to present all the facts “, she shares.

“Ideally, media reports should either be comprehensive so that they are not misleading to viewers/readers, or be devoid of detail, so that people are inspired and moved by the actors’ practice sessions but not them. not imitate without seeking professional advice”. said Ajith.

Incorporating sustainable and healthy lifestyle changes can be an uphill battle in a time when we’re one click away from fast food, but Ajith observes that personalized fitness training can be designed to stave off such temptations.

“Even if people are on crash courses and low calorie diets, they can get back to their normal routine within days or weeks. People need to find sustainable plans so they don’t become weak at the end of a crash “instant weight loss/gain,” Bheegaran told TNM.

READ: Death of Puneeth Rajumkar: Docs explain link between exercise and heart attacks

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