Uri star Vicky Kaushal: By the end of six months, I was tired of eating
Ectomorph Vicky Kaushal in a candid chat with mid-day talks about how he gained 15 kilos for his upcoming film Uri
It's easy to dislike Vicky Kaushal. Seated before us as he chronicles the process of gaining weight for the Friday release, Uri, the actor instantly passes off as that friend in every group who draws envy, given the food privileges that he affords.
"I don't gain weight, so I can eat anything," he says, digging into a plate of rice as we interrupt his lunch. "Before prepping for the film, I could have any amount of any junk food that I desired, including burgers and pizzas." His fitness sessions too, he confesses, were never compulsive routines around which his days were chalked out. "I didn't have to hit it with vengeance. I'd go to the gym to de-stress, and love to do so in the evenings. Sweating it out after the day is over, going home to shower and then dine with the family, that's the kind of end to a day I enjoy."
Evidently then, ascertaining that the 15 kilos he gained for the film was attributed to muscle mass (and not pizza), employed a fair amount of toil. "I couldn't eat junk food to gain weight. It had to be structured and nutritious meals. By the end of six months, I was tired of eating," says Kaushal, breaking down his six-meal diet, and six-hour training routine for Aditya Dhar's directorial offering.
Waking up to eat
There were three different meal plans put into place to sculpt my body. In the first one, I had to eat six meals a day, which means I had to wake up at 5 am to consume six meals by 12 at night. If I didn't wake up, I missed a meal, and that would reflect on the body. Eating a large portion of carbohydrates and proteins every three hours took a toll on my body. I had to consume a lot of protein, which implies I ate 200 grams each of chicken, fish and mutton, apart from eight eggs, everyday. Such a diet needed to be compensated with a large amount of vegetables, smoothies and juices to keep the body cool. For carbohydrates, I'd have oats and brown rice.
The dreaded Keto diet
I was put on this in the second month of training. Being a true-blue Punjabi, it was very hard for me to think of food without carbs. Mujhe roti chahiye. But the diet was important to cut down my fat percentage. I didn't enjoy this phase too much. I remember direly waiting for it to end.
A six-hour fitness routine
If you want to transform your body, you need to know that it won't happen overnight. You have to put your body into a routine, and only then will it react to your plan. The transformation demanded a lot of discipline. Eating, resting and training was a full -time job that I did for four months. I'd wake up at 6.30 am to go to the gym. We'd do a two-hour weight lifting routine so that I could bulk up. At noon, there was an hour-long Mixed Martial Arts session since the film has hand-to-hand combat sequences too. Finally, we'd have three hours of military training from 7 pm to 10 pm every day. The Sikh Regiment at Cuffe Parade.
Rakesh Udiyar on putting Kaushal on three different diets
Carb + Protein
Initially, my teammates Mangesh Bare and Amol Kyatam, and I, wanted to understand how Vicky's body reacts to the diet I was formulating. It was a six-meal plan, where carbs were included in the first three meals only. I realised that despite eating a lot, he wouldn't gain weight easily. He gained only about four kilos, and then got stagnant.
Vicky wanted to gain muscle mass, not fat. We put him on Keto to get rid of the water retention that could arise owing to the first phase. He needed a lot of energy. He'd consume an 800-calorie smoothie comprising bananas, yogurt and berries, twice a day, before any activity. During this phase, he gained significant weight.
Carbs + Protein
Once we had achieved what we had to with the Keto diet, we introduced carbs again. This kind of play with carbs, what we call carbs-cycle, is an aspect of body-building. It's because of this that he looked strong. So even though he was big, you could see the definition in his abs. That's the kind of look that was required for the part her was set to play.
He trained with me daily. We followed body-builder Dennis James's format, Menace Time Under Tension. In order to make muscles look bigger - a phenomenon we call hypertrophy - we made him lift enough weights to execute eight to 12 repetitions in each set. It was intense.
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