They are all young and successful with promising careers ahead. But there’s something else that Bollywood’s young brigade has in common — lean and athletic physiques. Look closely and you will realise that none of the youngsters — Aditya Roy Kapur, Sushant Singh Rajput, Sidharth Malhotra, Varun Dhawan, Arjun Kapoor and Ayushmann Khurrana — come close to the bulky and muscular bodies that stars such as Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Suniel Shetty, Sunny Deol, Ajay Devgn and Hrithik Roshan boast of.
Case of convenience
For someone like Aditya, a lean physique is “closer to how common people” look. “Perhaps our characters become more relatable. But I must say it takes a long time to acquire a bulky and muscular physique. So, in a way, it’s also a case of convenience,” says the Aashiqui 2 actor, who plays cricket or football thrice a week to keep fit. “Right now, I am not happy with my body (smiles). I have to go down from a waist size 34 to 32,” he says.
For someone like Varun, maintaining a lanky physique isn’t really a challenge since he started off with a film (Student Of The Year; 2012) that required him to be lean (since he played a teenaged student). For his second film (Main Tera Hero), in which he plays a college boy, he has been maintaining a fitter body by doing a lot of mixed martial arts and lightweight training with Prashant Sawant, who also trains Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn. “I have been working hard to get more
flexible too,” says Varun.
Lean is healthy
Varun’s co-star and friend Sidharth makes a valid point by stating that lean, mean physiques are dependent on how old you are. “Leaner looks healthier. And I strongly believe that it has to do with age. Since all of us are below 30, we can’t be bulky. Generally, too, we associate a good body with leanness,” says Sidharth, who plans to gain a couple of kilos for his next, Mohit Suri’s The Villain.
Sushant feels that maintaining a lanky body has been a different experience because, initially, he found gyms boring, so he mixed his workouts with martial arts, horse riding, ballet and tennis to maintain a fitter look. Not many know that he also learnt a rare form of martial arts called Wing Chun Kung Fu. “An actor’s body should be super flexible, which can be mouldable as per a film’s demand. But it’s a different matter if you only want to be an typical Hindi film hero, says Sushant, who is shedding weight for his next, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy.
For Arjun, who went from 140 kg to 87 kg, being fit is not about six-pack abs. According to the Gunday actor, it’s a lifestyle choice and that’s why it is much more than merely looking good. He can surely vouch for it considering Arjun was asthmatic at 22 and couldn’t even run for more than 10 seconds at a stretch. Then, of course, Salman Khan came into his life and helped him shed all the extra kilos for his debut film.
And Arjun has company. Back when he was a VJ, Ayushmann too was more muscular than he is now. “When you are doing real cinema, you must look like a protagonist in a natural manner,” says the actor, who played a guy-next-door in Vicky Donor (2012). “If I am playing a cop, I will surely beef up, but if I am playing a
regular boy, I have to have a lean body,” says Ayushmann, who calls himself a compulsive jogger and runs thrice a day.
Sidharth too comes up with a practical answer: “With lean bodies, you can do different parts, including action and dance. Look at Akshay (Kumar) sir. However, not many realise that it’s not easy to maintain a lean body since our job entails a lot of travelling, working odd hours and erratic meal timings,” he says.
Weight: 86 kg
Height: 6ft 1in
Films: Gunday, 2 States, Finding Fanny Fernandes, Gutka
Weight: 68 kg
Height: 5ft 9in
Films: Nupur Asthana’s next, Hamara Bajaj, Bombay Fairytale
Aditya Roy Kapur
Weight: 85 kg
Height: 6ft 2in
Films: Habib Faisal’s next with Parineeti Chopra
Weight: 76 kg
Height: 5ft 10in
Films: Main Tera Hero, Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Sriram Raghavan’s next
Weight: 80 kg
Height: 6ft 1in
Films: Hasee Toh Phasee, The Villain