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The Sweat Behind the Sculpt

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September 2003
The Sweat Behind the Sculpt

On screen and off when it comes to pure, high wattage stardom, none in the Bollywood world come close to Hrithik Roshan. While his film career may be experiencing a bit of an anticlimax after the super hit Kahon Na Pyaar Hein, there is no denying that the man can still overwhelm the fairer sex with his oodles of good looks. His macho square jaw contrasts with his ultra friendly soft eyes and a Colgate smile. To boot, the tall hero is sculpted like a Greek God.

Lest one assumes that all this comes without effort, Hrithik agreed to go public with his demanding workout and diet routine. Here is Hrithik in his own words:

"I do not workout daily. I exercise about four or five days a week, out of which three days I try and concentrate on cardio. Unlike popular perception, working out daily could be injurious. Your body needs some rest.

I go to a gym at ?The Club', at Juhu in Mumbai. I do about an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. For me going to the gym is very important. I do weight training mostly; but also cardio-exercises one to three times a week. I'd prefer it to be three times a week but my shooting keeps me busy and I don't get much time for this schedule.

My day begins at 6 a.m. irrespective of how late I have slept. I start my exercise with jogging and then do the workout. I concentrate on each part of my body separately and do special workouts designed for each.

I also own two separate sets of exercise equipment, one which is kept at home and the other which I take along when I travel. These are imported pressure pull machines which help me work out during my free moments even on a flight. With the help of a vacuum press, I fix this equipment to a flat surface and pull the handle to exercise the biceps. I follow the same process for my legs. This special mechanism is an essential part of my entourage, along with the dumb bells.

My dietary restrictions are few because I work out. Yet I avoid oily and fried food. I like Chinese food and Indian food, but hate milk and cannot have any milk product, except chocolate. I am not on any special diet because my exercise routine ensures that I stay fit.

Everyday, I have a special chocolate milk shake that is full of protein and recommended by my instructor. I have a heavy breakfast because I feel that's the most important meal of the day. My afternoon meal is mostly on the sets and an evening snack is optional.

Since I work late into the night, my dinner is either on the sets or I go out with friends to restaurants. I don't drink often but when I do it is Bacardi with Coke. I have a sweet tooth and love anything that has sugar but I am very careful about overindulging.

I'm very much into exercising but I love food too. I make the best eggs in the world - fabulous Spanish omelets and very good scrambled eggs but I can't give you my recipes. I haven't really cooked for two years but when I was in school I used to get ready early and then go into the kitchen and make my eggs.

But I do monitor my food habits. It's 90 per cent your diet that works and 10 per cent what you do. I eat very little oil, butter, ghee and fatty stuff. I balance my meals out protein and carbohydrates and fats. I drink lots of water and stay away from alcohol and cigarettes. I believe nothing is bad in moderation but things like smoking and drinking are difficult to moderate."

Things that Hrithik never does to stay fit: "I don't ever overstretch my body or exercise too much. Like food, I also believe moderation in exercise. Besides which, I do not take any supplements to build or pump up muscles."

Things he always does to stay fit: "Exercise regularly, and do a lot of cardios. I regularly jog on my treadmill. I'm going to buy a bike soon so I can cycle."

Advice on building muscles: "Do a lot of cardio exercises. They help build muscles and are good for the heart. Do a lot of cycling and treadmill as far as possible. This way, you will your thighs and your arms in a great shape. Do crunches for the stomach. I do about 500 a day, but even if you do 200 a day it is enough to give you a washboard stomach. Swim or go jogging if you can about two days a week, it gives your body flexibility. And do not over-exercise."

Recommended diet: "As I said I do not follow any particular diet routine. But there are a few suggestions. Cut down on oily and fried food and take a lot of fruits and vegetables, which have natural fibers in them. Take about six small meals a day, instead of two large ones. Drink loads of water since it will help flush out toxins in your body. Once a week, do a fruit diet. Eat only fruits and those who like milk can have two glasses of butter milk. Take a protein shake everyday, but consult your dietician or fitness instructor before you take them.


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