Celebrity fitness trainer Samir Jaura began his career around 30 years ago, when fitness was barely a thing – in Bollywood or otherwise. Body sculpting (or grooming, for that matter) were not on actors’ minds. Cue image: a shirtless Anil Kapoor from the early 90s. Cut to 2021, where every actor, whether male or female, is fitter than the last. If you don’t have six-pack abs, you don’t even make the cut-off list. While some actors like Sara Ali Khan have gone through a spectacular body transformation process to enter the industry, others like Farhan Akhtar, Aamir Khan, and Rajkumar Rao have undergone several transformations for particular roles.
Body transformation is where Jaura’s expertise lies. Having been Farhan Akhtar’s personal trainer for 17 years, he has helped the actor through career-defining films such as Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Toofan. “After Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, body transformations for the primary character came into existence in Bollywood. After my collaboration with the makers of the movie, I was considered a pioneer in this niche,” he recalls. The main aim of body transformations in cinema is to achieve different types of physical looks for the cast without using any kind of prosthetics or VFX.
Currently, Jaura is training actor Kartik Aaryan for his upcoming remake of Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, tentatively titled Shehzada. “In an action film, an actor needs to be tough, not just look the part,” says Jaura. So, apart from the look desired by the director, Rohit Dhawan, the duo is also working on Aaryan’s strength, flexibility, agility and endurance.
In real life, a person may have various reasons to undergo a body transformation, ranging from the desire to lose weight, professional bodybuilding goals, cultivating a better relationship with their body image, or for overall health and fitness reasons. If you’re hoping to embark on such a journey of your own, Jaura has a few tips to share.
We asked him to curate five simple exercises that a beginner can start with for the first leg of their body transformation process. These workouts don’t require you to have any equipment and can be easily done at home by yourself – although seeking guidance from a trainer is always a pro.
Kartik Aaryan’s fitness trainer Samir Jaura shares 5 simple exercises to start your body transformation journey
Push-ups are a great body-weight workout for building upper body strength. They work on muscle groups in your chest, shoulders, triceps, etc., and can also be beneficial for your core and lower back. You can also graduate to doing weighted push-ups if you’re extremely comfortable doing the regular ones.
2. Pull ups
Pull ups do more than just strengthen your back, arms, and shoulders – they also build your grip strength, which can come in handy for any sport or activity that requires hanging, such as parkour, climbing, bouldering etc.
Squats, whether weighted or body-weight, are great for toning your lower body, strengthening your core, and for reducing a general risk of injuries. When done intensively, you can burn lots of calories with this exercise.
Jumping rope or skipping is a go-to cardio exercise for many experts and fitness enthusiasts. Why? It’s simple, effective, and a whole lot of fun. Here are a few skipping exercises you can start with.
5. Mountain climbers
Ab work is extremely important when it comes to body transformations. As a compound exercise, mountain climbers act as a wonderful mix of cardio as well as muscle training. They also increase your heart rate, which enables your body to burn more calories than usual.
While following a fitness plan and working out regularly is important, Jaura insists on the significance of rest and recovery in the success of anyone’s body transformation. He recommends eight hours of sleep before every workout. Apart from this, he also advises focusing on your nutrition. “Beginners should find out what their body type is and follow a nutrition plan accordingly,” he says.
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