Mention Hrithik Roshan and the images that come to most minds are his Greek-god looks, those chiselled obliques and the muscled torso swaying in sync with the beat, as a million sighs escape the lips of those watching.
Yet, in recent times, a slightly different image has gone out about Roshan, thanks to the proliferation of social media. Pics of the superstar chilling during his ‘off’ time between movies have shown him with drooping chest muscles, and gasp, even a paunch!
Which is probably why, when celebrity trainer Mustafa Ahmed got the mandate to train the celluloid hunk, one of the first things they agreed on was that the whole regimen of getting fit and buffed up while a movie is being shot, only to go back to binge-eating processed foods and letting the body lose it, has to go. “We both decided that he should not focus on being chiselled or aesthetically pleasing only for a particular movie, but should be in great shape through the year,” says Ahmed.
While Roshan does have a history of training both with weights as well as doing functional exercises like cardio, Ahmed introduced the star to his speciality, the primal movement regimen, which works roughly on the principle of acquiring peak body fitness by adopting the sleek movements of animals. As well as mobility drills “where we focussed on movement patterns and making him strong rather than only aesthetically pleasing,” says Ahmed.
As with all fitness regimens these days, the diet took prime place. Out went all the packaged and processed food. While some fat was added in order to keep good energy through the day, carbs were kept at a minimal level. “(Carbs) were increased only on days when the training was quite intense,” Ahmed says, adding that the diet was a pretty dynamic one and not something fixed. And while the star followed a clean diet, he did make provisions for a weekly cheat meal that he used to have with his kids.
“We pretty much played it day by day. Which is why there was no magical 12-week transformation,” he says, taking a dig at the many bodybuilders on social media offering quick-fixes through online training. “It was more like a journey to a healthier and stronger body.”
The big problem with Hrithik, of course, was his chequered medical history, his many surgeries, the bad knee, shoulder, back, etc. “But nothing stopped us,” declares Ahmed, “We managed to fix each and every injury by working smartly and with patience.”
Hrithik’s next film Super 30 is expected in cinemas on November 23rd