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Health & Fitness: Sweat it out with Vidyut Jammwal

Gym truths, fitness mantras and exercise routines to get the perfect physique, just like action hero Vidyut Jammwal

His beefed up image in movies like Force and Commando made fitness buffs and the movie-goers sit up and take notice. If you too have been noticing the toned physique of the actor who regards Jackie Chan and Sylvester Stallone as his fitness idols, a peek in his workout routine is bound to be an eye-opener.

Vidyut Jammwal
Pic Courtesy/ Haider Khan

Martial arts matters
Jammwal who has been training the martial art form of Kalaripayattu since he was three years old, builds his fitness regime around his martial arts practice and believes in fitness being a way of life. “Martial arts help us discover our truth and thus achieve the highest mental and spiritual state. It’s the only form where you’re in a state of movement without breaks. It creates a sense of discipline, determination and a strong sense of focus,” he explains.

Vidyut Jammwal

Jammwal recently conducted a workshop on martial arts for self defence for women in the city and has plans to organise more sessions this month. As for his workout session with the art form, he makes use of stretching and kicking, jumping through specially designed and created obstacle courses, practising weapon training using swords, sticks of different sizes with different forms and movement and creating realistic stunts with various permutations and combinations. “A definite part of my training is close to 20 rounds of a 30m rope climb that I ensure I complete in the minimum possible time,” he divulges.

Vidyut-Jammwal

Mix it up
The actor who believes in following a mixed bag of workout routines to keep oneself engaged, has also been practising anti-gravity yoga and suspension TRX since a while now. “I’m someone who’s extremely well-versed with and a follower of newer regimes that are introduced in India, and globally too. So, once I was introduced to TRX, I decided to find a way to unify the expertise of both and make it an addition to my current workout regime. Anti-gravity yoga, a cutting-edge form of traditional Salamba or Supported Yoga requires the body to partake in asanas while being suspended. With suspension based TRX training, one uses the body weight and gravity as resistance when suspended from rings, ropes, harnesses, flexi hammocks and trapeze bars,” he says. These exercises increase core strength, increase the body’s ability to adapt and cope and makes the body extremely athletic. Jammwal dedicates 40 minutes a day to suspension training.

Work out while out
Travelling is a common reason why people abandon working out. However, Jammwal believes, “If you’re driven by the idea of being fit, you will follow it no matter where you are. I go for sprints and long distance runs. Most of the core strength building exercises including chin-ups, push-ups and sit-ups can be done anywhere. So, it’s really not like my workout is limited to the gym.”

Vidyut’s tips for city buffs
>> Exercise before work or during lunch hour. It’s just about making 45-60 minutes for yourself.
>> Schedule workouts such that they coincide with your favourite shows or with films you catch on TV. It’s a great way to ensure your mind is occupied and not thinking about the pain and boredom usually attached to working out.
>> Wake up early two mornings a week, and ensure you make the most of that time being one with your body, minus distractions.
>> Priortise your schedule and use the time spent on unnecessary tasks for your workout.
>> Find alternatives to the unhealthy food you snack on. Consider light biscuits, khakras, low-calorie bhels, even a fruit.
>> While leading a sedentary life, ensure you get up every half-an-hour and take a walk around the office. It’ll not only help avoid the inertia attached to the constant sitting but will also serve as a break factor and give you thinking time.
>> Your regular meals may not have all the nutrition. Consider meal supplements — select a calcium and Vitamin D intake, which could be tough to get through natural foods.

Diet plan
I don’t eat three meals. Instead, I eat at regular intervals, as and when I am hungry. I start my day with a litre of water followed by breakfast that comprises white oats with muesli, fruits, especially kiwi, along with skimmed milk. Being a vegetarian, tofu is a large source of protein. I ensure I eat enough carbs, sugars, and salts in the required amount as the body needs all these elements. I also include dry fruits — almonds, walnuts, figs, pistachios, raisins, dates and cashewnuts in my diet as it provides natural sugars, which the body needs. I listen to my body as it’s the body that ultimately needs the energy to perform. Also, hydrating the body at regular intervals with enough water is very important. I avoid drinking water during meals and avoid for an hour before and after.

Vidyut Jammwal's exercise routine

In a week, I follow five days of martial art training and two days of weight training, for an average of six-seven hours a day in three-four hour intervals.
>> Warm Up: 20 minutes
>> Running/Sprinting: 400m
>> 3 rounds of 10 pull-ups, 15 push-ups, 20 squats, 50m of handstand walks.
I move into the rest of my regimen comprising of martial art training — gymnastics, acrobatics, street stunts, tricking. Weight training includes extensive lower body training, squats, lunges, calves along with upper body workout that includes roman rings, parallel bars and push-ups.

When I move from weight training days to cardio-based martial arts training, I usually make my warm up more intense:
>> Warm up: 20-30 minutes
>> Run 800m, 50-lb dumbbell squat and clean lunges: 30 reps each. Two sets of 30 burpees.
Separate focus: Lower body workouts, especially, legs and calves with squats and jumps. Most people who weight train tend to focus more on the upper body than the lower, not realising that the entire body needs to be strengthened for it to operate at its best.

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