Young Bollywood actor's fitness routine is anything but conventional

Updated: Aug 07, 2019, 17:24 IST | Sonia Lulla

The young Bollywood actor is no gym rat. Ditching the monotonous set up for practices that are more natural and wholesome, this brood has a solid athletic training backing it

Young Bollywood actor's fitness routine is anything but conventional
Tara Sutaria

Tara Sutaria, on channelling her inner ballerina 

Bollywood debut: Student of The year 2

I took to ballet at the age of five, and, till the age of 18, learnt it dedicatedly from Tushna [Dallas, the late founder of School Of Classical Ballet And Western Dance]. While today there are classes across the globe that specialise in the barre technique, which is great to strengthen the core, [I was exposed to it] early on, and that strengthened my muscles from a young age. Ballet training, if started early on, is always beneficial, and something I recommend every [child] take to. Not only is it great to build and enhance the posture, but, it also teaches one to be disciplined from a young age; whether that is with regard to the meals you consume, or your lifestyle. Dance helps you stay physically, emotionally and mentally balanced.

I’ve also learnt Latin American dance for 10 years, and jazz and kathak as well. Any form of Indian dance is great for the legs. For me, dance is the ultimate form of fitness. I don’t believe in going to the gym. Given that a lot of my friends are now dance teachers, I head to their classes to learn. Sometimes, my dance training runs for two hours in a day. On other occasions, it can extend to the entire day. I train at least three times in a week, and [complement] it with pilates.

Mrunal Thakur, on being ever-ready to elope

Bollywood Debut: Super 30

Mrunal Thakur

I cannot work out alone. When training in a group, there is always a task at hand that one is motivated to finish, come what may. I was introduced to a running group by a friend, and found the experience of running in town, beside the sea, one that is joyous. When the road is good and not riddled with potholes, the experience is enjoyable. We started with running three kilometres, and progressed to doing 12 kilometres, as a group. We pick a Saturday or a Sunday for our runs, and follow it up with a healthy brunch. When running with friends, a healthy competition is always at play. One is motivated to run that extra half or one kilometre, when the person would otherwise not be able to do so. Sometimes, even things like telling each other: ‘Let’s just go till that red car’, goes a long way in upping miles. Often, we switch our routine to interval training, where we alternate between jogging at a moderate speed and then sprinting. That kind of training has different benefits. I feel great that I am running with people who aspire to participate in the Iron Man challenge. That’s motivating. Running is also a great way to explore the city. I enjoy doing so in Powai, and hope to head to Aarey [milk colony] now. I complement my running routine with kalaripayattu, Zumba and callisthenics.

Mrunal Thakur with group

The maximum distance Thakur has covered with her group

Alaia F, on her love for dance and gymnastics

Bollywood debut: Jawaani Jaaneman

Alaia F

I’ve been training in dance for a few years, but, a little over a year ago, I realised I wasn’t getting better. I doubled up on it and started learning four different forms of dance, including Bollywood, hip hop, kathak and contemporary. I would dance for nearly seven hours a day, and it was very rewarding. Dance has been among my favourite forms of training. Bollywood [dance] and kathak serve as great cardiovascular [workouts] and help me build my stamina. Contemporary is great to tone up the muscles, and enhance strength and balance.

It was through contemporary dance that I realised that flexibility, balance and core strength were my strong points. So, I also began to learn gymnastics recently to enhance these qualities.

Alaia F

In the eight gymnastics classes that I did before heading to London to film Jawaani Jaaneman, I saw noticeable improvement in my core strength, flexibility and balance. I even managed to achieve a full split; something I have wanted to do for long. It’s also a great workout. I’m always a puddle of sweat when I leave class. I also practise pilates. I alternate between kathak and gymnastics training, and perform pilates almost every day. I don’t like going to the gym.

7 hrs
Number of hours Alaia invested in dancing daily

Meezaan, on his love for sports

Bollywood debut: Malaal


During my schooling at Dhirubhai Ambani, I would always be the person that my teachers would turn to when they needed to send anyone for inter-school competitions. In the third grade, I took to football and joined the [school] team. I also practised sports like running and high-jump. I like box cricket too. It was in the eighth grade that I took to basketball, and turned out to be pretty good at it. I also played the sport at the state level. Given my work commitments, the time given to sports has of course reduced today. But, throughout my journey, I have never needed anabolic steroids to build my body, and that’s because of my athletic background.


I wouldn’t have been able to build this frame without steroids had it not been for my history with sports. What I love about sports is that, unlike training in the gym, your mind is completely occupied by what you need to do. You’re not counting repetitions. That’s torture. I’ve found a way to enjoy training in the gym too; whether that implies doing so with the right partner, listening to good music or pre-planning the schedule.

Ananya Panday, on her quick feet

Bollywood debut: Student Of The Year 2

Ananya Pandey

Following Student Of The Year 2, I dance more than I did in the past. Even though I would dance before the film came my way, doing so with Tiger Shroff took [my interest] to another level. I try to dance every day, practising either kathak or contemporary. When taking to kathak, I dedicate an hour to it and execute it three to four times in a week. On the days that I learn contemporary, I stretch for an hour before the class to enable my body to open up for the routine. My trainer, Shazeb Sheikh, has his own style of movement that he teaches me.

Because my flexibility is so poor — I can’t even touch my toes — I also practise yoga, and pilates under the guidance of Yasmin Karachiwala. Given that my struggle with my weight is different from others, in that I find it hard to gain weight, Yasmin enables me to meet the requirement if a film demands it.

Karan Kapadia, on his year-long date with MMA

Bollywood debut: Blank

Karan Kapadia

I went to Bangkok to train in different forms of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) over a six-month period, but ended up extending it to a year. I primarily practised muay thai, and also learnt capoeira and jujutsu. The idea behind this intensive training was that when I perform action in films, my movements must look natural. In the muay thai classes, we’d commence training with skipping with a weighted rope. If we would stop even one time in five minutes, we wouldn’t be permitted to attend class. You could only attend the class if you matched their demanded attitude. Jujutsu, in my opinion, is a defensive form of MMA, even though people think it’s offensive. It’s essentially about [evading] tough positions. Over the 90-minute class, we’d learn two holds that we then had to master. Capoeira is a non-contact form of MMA. It essentially helps in enhancing flexibility. The toughest of the lot was muay thai. We’d commence class by learning the basics, like throwing a punch or a kick. Later, we’d learn different combinations. I’d end up throwing up in class because it was so tough. The training sessions ran for seven hours a day. I still practise muay thai.

Karan Kapadia

Duration Kapadia trains every day

The cheats

Prachi Desai

Prachi desai

The food you love to eat on a cheat day: Cheese risotto and mint chocolate chip ice-cream.

How often do you indulge in a cheat meal: Every now and then. There’s no specific day.

Cheat meal vs cheat day: It is usually a cheat meal.

Do you compensate for it:
I work out about six days a week when not shooting, so I don’t push myself. If I want to compensate for it, I limit my dinner to soup and some protein.

In Abraham's fridge

John Abraham

Vegetables (thoroughly cleaned)

Jam (without sugar)

On my gym playlist

Sidharth Malhotra

Brothers Anthem
Eye Of The Tiger
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

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