Hrithik Roshan’s journey from fat to fab!

Hrithik Roshan went from out-of-shape to totally ripped.

His magical transformation from flabby to fabulous in 3 weeks caught the attention of many an out-of-shape reader and had them wondering, “if he can do it, why can’t I?”

We reached out to fitness expert Fareed Majeed for his informed opinion. Here’s what he had to

The fitness craze

If you happen to be in the business of looking good, business is booming! Qualified training professionals, passionate gym owners, corporate packages, personal training, there exists out there a very mobile, agile and supremely competitive industry waiting to transform your ‘just not quite there’ physique into a statuette of physical beauty.

Celebs do it all the time, don’t they (it’s definitely on the increase). They suffer multiple injuries because of their intense schedules, fall off the fitness wagon, and then come back stronger than ever, thanks to intelligent training, hard work and a cleaner lifestyle.

And it is commendable that they do so and inspire so many of us.

Getting into shape in 12 weeks is a very hard task, and truth be told, anyone waiting to embark on a physical transformation program should be ready to put in the hard work. It is often said that if 10 different people are given the same training program, every one of them will come out looking different, i.e, exhibiting a different degree of ‘change’. There exist genetic mutants who can put on 10 kilos of pure lean muscle by just looking at a set of dumbbells, and then there are those diligent, passionate trainees, who sweat blood, eat right and give their workouts everything – and lose a few inches here and there, but for the large part look the same.

Does that sound like you? Are you mimicking a training program just because someone else (probably someone very famous, very rich, and quite obviously, very good looking) did it and got great results? Here are a few pointers for anyone starting out on a transformation:

Are you looking towards a fitter future?

1) It’s all about the lifestyle. How bad do you want to change?

Success in life or at the gym most often boils down to this one simple question – how bad do you want it? Are you willing to eat clean, or are you just out-sourcing the decision to a trainer who, in the end, will not be able to help you because you need to hang out and get sloshed with your buddies?

No one, no trainer, program, coach or mentor can help you with your health and fitness if you don’t want to be helped. Remember, looking good is a by product of eating clean, nutritious food, training smart and diligently, and committing to your decision to live a healthier life. Ever hear of that friend of yours who’s been working out, training and eating ‘right’ for years, but looks the same? Don’t be that person!

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2) You have to build systems around your health. Simply put, what are you willing to put in, and/ or give up for your goals?

Make time for your workout

Imagine this: You have a driver, a cook, house help and a lady who does your laundry and ironing. Technically you should have all the time in the world to do what you want to do with your life, because, you’ve outsourced what can be outsourced, right?

The answer is yes – only if you leverage these systems to your benefit. Is your training and lifestyle sustainable? Say you don’t have a cook – then you need to shop and pre-cook certain meals over the weekend, a sure chore if you lead a busy lifestyle. It is supremely easy to blame a job, a busy spouse, kids or, in one anonymous case, an entire city (this is true!) for your lack of health, but seriously, you have to take charge!!

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Healthy food needs to be part of your weight-loss efforts

3) Remember that the real ‘transformation’ happens between your ears – don’t just focus on the external behaviour, you have to get at the belief system that drives the behaviour.

Hrithik Roshan transformed everything about himself – he ate differently, slept, drank enough water and stopped smoking to get into great shape. We’ve all seen the before and after pictures now, haven’t we? If you think that you can go back to eating what ever you want after you get back into shape – go ahead, just be prepared to throw all your hard work out the window.

A healthy, fit and energetic body has to be maintained. I’m talking about the simple stuff: enough water, physical activity, sleep and food. It’s really hard to feel great and look good if you party every day of the week, sleep for 3 hours, smoke, and drink your liver off! Does this mean you’ll never be able to indulge? Definitely not, but again – moderation is the key. 5 years of smoking and eating too much will leave a mark, but some cream on your coffee once in a while will do you more good than bad.

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4) Everything works. For about 6 weeks.

The people who’ve gotten the best results are mostly those who’ve been sitting on a couch for 25 years, and then have suddenly, gotten on ___________ (insert your choice of training program, equipment, or diet fad here, please.) Most of the fitter people I train find me after they have hit a training plateau, and cannot break out of a rut. It’s almost an unsaid rule – if you don’t vary your training, progressively overload your physical capacities, and stay focused, the rate of return starts diminishing fairly quickly.

Find a good training partner, a coach/ trainer who believes in your goals, or an organization committed to actually supporting your needs.

Take an interest in your health first and then your fitness, and never alienate the two! In the end, it is all about being able to do what you want, and making the most of your body and mind!

Read more about weight-loss plateau and how you can overcome it

Written by Fareed Majeed, Fitness Expert

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Image: AFP