When an actor has to tone down his beefed up look for a role, the first step may be to quit weight training. But when Ashish Chowdhry was asked by director Indra Kumar to lose his sinewy built and cross-dress to play the part of a girl in Double Dhamaal, the actor was naturally aghast. After having trained non-stop for a year to get his chiseled physique, the actor followed an unusual ‘beer diet’ for two months to move away from his manly built.
As oxymoronic as it sounds, the beer diet, Ashish reveals has a bit of a scientific connection to it. “We know women have oestrogen, which doesn’t help in muscle building, the way testosterone does. Alcohol, I’m told, causes a rise in oestrogen levels and suppresses testosterone.
As a result, it slows down muscle-building,” explains the actor, who’s trained under Vinod Channa. In the following months, the actor included a bottle of beer a day to ensure speedy muscle loss so he could suit the part of a girl in the Ashok Thakeria and Reliance Entertainment produced comedy. “I had to make sure that not just my arms, but also my legs look like a girl’s,” he smiles. With dietary changes, Ashish bid a temporary good-bye to high protein diet to reduce muscle mass.
Now that shooting for the girlie portions of the film are over, Ashish is back to his strenuous workout. Interestingly, it was his co-star Sanjay Dutt, who encouraged him to restart his regimen with vigour. “About a week ago, he told me to start training my lower body and resume on the upper body as soon as I’m done with the girl’s portion. I’m back to my high– protein diet and have quit alcohol again,” he adds.