How to be an athlete in 18 months – would have been a better title for Farhan Akhtar’s new movie. What has most people talking about is not Milkha Singh’s great athleticism (and I apologise) but Farhan’s amazing physical transformation. It has made viewers jump right out of their theatre seats and do some hypertrophy strength training (HST) and made thousands maybe even millions commit to super freaky health regimes. I can bet that gyms have seen a surge in new memberships and trainers are laughing all the way to the bank.
So what was is that made a 5’9″ ‘ectomorphic’ read skinny and with chicken legs Farhan Akhtar transform into this gorgeous gladiator like athlete? For those who are dying to get that body here is a brief capsule on what it’s going to take. It is going to require some serious dedication, lifestyle change, pushing yourself to the limit and then some more, bio feedback and a savvy team of trainers, sport science professionals, physiotherapist, nutritionists, and a cordon bleu chef to make your meals. Now since most of have easy access to all of the above, step two is working out three times a day for two hour sessions that equals to busting your chops six hours daily and following a strict no carb, lean protein diet which includes fresh fruits (low glycemic ones) and vegetables.
By now it’s clear that you have to quit your day job to make time for the work out sessions and no you cannot pick up the night shifts at the local BPO because it is imperative that one sleeps a good eight hours every night to achieve this physical perfection.
The gamut of exercises to be done IN A DAY are the following – one-and-a-half- hours of sprinting and running, 1.5 hours of abdominal crunches and hanging from a rope or climbing one in order to effectively use gravity and your own body weight to strengthen muscles. And lastly some serious HST weight training and Tabata (in no way related to the dense Italian carb Ciabatta) to rapidly increase muscle mass without the use of steroids. Common HST exercises are jump squats with bar bell, sissy squats (seriously don’t be fooled by the name) and donkey squats (no actual animal to be lifted, to be done with bar bells as well).
The diet followed by Farhan which fuelled his work outs and provided high grade nutrition did not cross 3500 and 1800 calories respectively in this two phased transformation plan. The first phase is where he bulked up to play the part of a beefy soldier (yummy) and the second phase of the lean and super fit world class runner/athlete. Farhan drank five litres of water daily to ensure that he stays hydrated and that his body efficiently eliminated toxins. This is a very important part of a healthy regime that many over-look on their road to fitness – however given the acute shortage of both water and toilets in urban India I would be a bit hesitant to consume more that two litres a day.
After 18 months of strictly following the regime above I would suggest you head straight to Bollywood, Hollywood or Mollywood whichever maybe your calling because remember you have given up that day job and they aren’t calling you back any time soon. And if 25,000 crunches a day is beginning to sound a bit excessive then try to see if the gym manager can be persuaded to give you a refund – for that bhaag my friend bhaag.
By Richa Kaura