Sidharth Malhotra: Good rest is better than bad workout

Updated: Nov 06, 2019, 08:24 IST | Sonia Lulla | Mumbai

A steady appetite for sports, weight training and functional regimes means Sidharth is always ready to meet the taxing demands of his characters

Sidharth Malhotra. Pic/ Instagram
Sidharth Malhotra. Pic/ Instagram

Sidharth Malhotra understands that amends to one's physique are easily discounted when you are genetically less likely to pack on the kilos. "When someone is tall, it's tough to fill up the body and look bulky," says the actor. They say the camera adds 10 pounds, but when such artistes add even 30 pounds, it inevitably appears like a mere 20, given their lithe and agile frame. It's possibly because of this tendency that despite constantly bulking up and breaking down muscle for his cinematic endeavours, it's hard for Malhotra to showcase a dramatic alteration. That, however, is not the case with Marjaavaan. Looking bigger than he ever has since the release of Brothers (2015), Malhotra admits that a fair deal of old-school weight training, and a generous diet, were behind the making of his body.


"When you are shooting for 15 hours a day, you aren't left with time to train or rest. So, I had to wake up at 5.30 am to hit the gym by 6.30 am and execute power movements like squats, dead-lifts and shoulder presses. Olympic movements helped me develop a fuller frame, and achieve the required structure, with less movements. I'd divide my routine into pulling and pushing exercises. That would help me train pretty much each muscle, in two days. So, I was covering all body parts in minimal time, which was crucial, given the schedule."


More hours on set implied less time to rest, and eat. "If you have more time available, it's easier to space out your meals, because you need to give the body a gap between them. Without that, you tend to feel sluggish, making it hard to execute action sequences. But, if you eat fewer meals, you're compromising on the calorie intake [and hence muscle development]. Also, when you don't get adequate rest, the body suffers. Good rest is better than a bad workout, and for this film, I struggled with muscle recovery, due to the lack of it."


Switching from a beefed up avatar to an agile frame for his next, Shershaah — based on Vikram Batra's life — implied that Malhotra had to up the amount of cardiovascular training, and polymeric exercises, in his routine. If his Instagram posts are anything to go by, this format seems to be up his alley. "A soldier needs to do all kinds of plyometric and functional exercises, so we'd incorporate kettle-bell training and box jumps into my routine, because a soldier doesn't have access to the gym. When I trained with the Indian army, [I noticed that they did] a lot of cardiovascular and functional moves, because they have to be ready for anything. We shot in Kargil, in high altitude, where the oxygen level is less. Because I don't smoke or drink, or have any habit that hinders my stamina, I had no issue [pulling off the required training], even though other actors struggled. I was climbing mountain terrain for 15 to 20 days [at a stretch]. That's something I could pull off because I've grown up playing sport, and performing different forms of exercises. If I had practised only one form of activity, I wouldn't be able to do this."


When he isn't prepping his body for a role, his routine is widely dictated by his mood. "I like to mix it up. I have access to a swimming pool, a martial arts class, the gym and a functional [set-up]. But, more often than not, I'm prepping for a film. If I must play a regular character who isn't supposed to look athletic, I take to functional training, yoga and swimming. For Kapoor And Sons, I was only doing yoga, and had also turned vegetarian to look like a regular guy. For Brothers, I had a month to prepare. I had a lot of bare-bodied shots in that film and was even fuller than I am today."

The Cheats

Shruti Hasan

Shruti Haasan

What’s your cheat meal: Rice, potatoes and South Indian meals like sambhar.

How often do you indulge: Once or twice a week.

Cheat meal Vs cheat day: Mostly, it’s just one big cheat meal, but if I’m on a vacation, it’s a cheat week.

Do you compensate for it: When I’m training hard, I tend to be more particular [with my meals]. [I’ll compensate] by eating a light dinner, like soup or salad. I have a heavy breakfast and generally have smaller portions in the day.

Inside Vir Das's fridge

Vir Das

Kaju ki barfi
Peanut butter

Fitness tip works for

Shamita Shetty

Shamita Shetty

I find that doing car-diovascular activities the first thing in the morning goes a long way in helping me stay fit

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  • 1/17

    Born on January 16, 1985, Sidharth Malhotra hails from Delhi, India. Born to a Punjabi Hindu family, Sidharth's father Sunil is a former captain in the Merchant Navy, and Rimma Malhotra is a homemaker. After completing his schooling at Delhi's Don Bosco School and Birla Vidya Niketan, he graduated from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi. In this picture, Sidharth Malhotra is seen with father Sunil Malhotra and mother Rimma Malhotra. (All photos/Sidharth Malhotra's official Instagram account)

  • 2/17

    Sidharth Malhotra became the talk of the town with his chiseled physique and perfect jawline after his Bollywood debut - Karan Johar's Student Of The Year. The actor began his career as a model at the age of 18, but dissatisfied with the profession, he went on to work as an assistant director to Karan Johar in the 2010 film My Name Is Khan. He made his acting debut with a leading role in Johar's teen drama Student of the Year (2012), for which he received a nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut.

    Pictured: Sidharth Malhotra with his mother Rimma Malhotra in a photo from his childhood.

  • 3/17

    After bagging Karan Johar's teen drama, the actor signed his second film, Hasee Toh Phasee, which was released in 2014. His third film - a Mohit Suri-directorial, was a romantic thriller. Ek Villain was perceived to be plagiarised from the Korean film I Saw the Devil, although Suri dismissed the allegations. The film eventually emerged as a major commercial success. The box office performance of the film established Malhotra as one of the most successful among the new generation of Bollywood actors.

  • 4/17

    But this was not all for the actor. Filled with his own ups and downs, Sidharth Malhotra has also faced the box-office's flak in 2015 when the actor appeared in the remake of the 2011 American film Warrior titled Brothers directed by Karan Malhotra and co-starring Akshay Kumar, Jacqueline Fernandez and Jackie Shroff. Despite high expectations from trade analysts, Brothers received negative reviews and underperformed at the box office.

  • 5/17

    Talking about failures and critics, Sidharth Malhotra said in an interview, "Well, I think film reviews don't really help an actor to grow or improve creativity because their words and comments are black and white... They are always inching towards negative or positive. And I understand that for them, they mostly concentrate on the business potential of a film. Only constructive criticism can help us to grow as creative people, as actors. Therefore, I take any constructive assessment seriously when it comes from insiders of the fraternity."

  • 6/17

    Sidharth Malhotra further added, "These things matter for me to go to the next level. So, I take criticism seriously, depending on where it is coming from. Kapoor & Sons earned more than Rs 100 crore at the box office and people and critics showered their praise on me. And then Baar Baar Dekho happened. Now you understand... I do not live on my success and failure. It's really temporary."

  • 7/17

    "Our film 'Brothers' earned around Rs 85 crore at the box office. It is not a small number. So, calling the film a failure would be a little unfair. But I accept that we couldn't live up to the expectation set by 'Baar Baar Dekho'. Such things happen... As a young actor, I will choose the script that won't work at times and I will learn something out of that as well," Sid concluded.

  • 8/17

    In his seven-year-long career, Sidharth Malhotra has been featured in a romantic comedy, a thriller, a sports drama and a murder mystery. Talking about his various choices and working in different genres Sidharth said that his films clearly show his greed for good content. The actor says he always wanted to explore new things in his career and is happy with the way his journey in films has turned out to be.

  • 9/17

    In an earlier interview, Sidharth Malhotra said, "This is the period where I am hungry for content more than the money aspect of what I would get from a film. If your filmography is interesting and has enough variations and you are not trying to sell something typical, whether it does well or not is secondary, what matters is exploring new things."

  • 10/17

    "I have never done films for money, brands of course (is for money). I have never buckled with a producer or director for a film. I did films because I wanted to be part of a film. I have never made an issue of what I get paid as an actor. For me it depends on the budget of the film, you want to be more sensitive as well to the producer, it is a business after all," Sidharth added.

  • 11/17

    "It is not a film where you look at the numbers (box office collection), I know it is unavoidable. The film was made on a tight budget, we have other revenues of recovery like satellite rights or digital rights. So the box office profit will be done by the weekend. It is not a film to boast money-wise, as the numbers are not going to be (high). The film is all about these three characters and their performances," Sidharth said in an interview during the release of his film, Ittefaq, which released in 2017.

  • 12/17

    After working in 11 movies in nine years, Sidharth Malhotra says he has matured as an actor and can emote better onscreen with his understanding of the craft. Sidharth, when looking back, says there is a certain growth that he has achieved as an actor.

  • 13/17

    "There is a certain sense of understanding of the craft that I have gained over all these films. I think, as an individual, I can feel the change of energy and confidence that I have from my debut film to the present time. Now, I am more equipped to handle various shades of emotions that I have earned from the experience of life," Sidharth Malhotra said in an interview.

  • 14/17

    Sid went ahead saying, "I have been staying here in Mumbai for a long time now. I have seen life... experience counts. The more I worked, the more I understood how to translate emotion onscreen. My body language has improved in action sequences with every film; from 'Ek Villain' to 'A Gentleman' I have become more confident. Dance and music are important parts of our films and, earlier, I used to not enjoy dancing and lip-syncing that much; I think now I have improved in that as well."

  • 15/17

    "If the fact that I've tried out different roles is not true, then I don't know what is. Each of my roles has been unique. I have [revamped myself] with every film. I've attempted different scripts because it's important to do so. In the future, people will remember us [actors] by our characters, not the genre we've been associated with," Sidharth Malhotra added.

  • 16/17

    "I think people love to see good faces on screen. I don't consider myself as more than an average-looking guy. I don't believe there is something exceptional in the way I look. I lived a regular lifestyle 25 years running as much as I can. We work all our life to get this fame which we should enjoy. I am very much enjoying all the perks that I get as a celebrity," Sidharth Malhotra signed off.

  • 17/17

    Here's wishing a very happy birthday to Sidharth Malhotra!

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