Men’s Fitness Special! Meet Indian TV’s fittest stars: How they got so fit, and how you can too!
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Men’s Fitness Special! Meet Indian TV’s fittest stars: How they got so fit, and how you can too!

Arjit Taneja, Karan Vohra, Vivek Dahiya and Vivan Bhatena lay out rules and bust myths on six-pack abs, high protein diet and the fitness vs vanity debate

brunch Updated: Feb 03, 2019 14:52 IST
Arjit Taneja,Karan Vohra,Vivek Dahiya
(From left) Vivan: Denims and sneakers, Zara; Arjit: Denims, Zara; shoes, Vincenzio Robertina; Karan: Denims, Tommy Hilfiger; shoes, New Balance; Vivek: Denims, Superdry; shoes, Nike; Styling: Nazneen Parmar; Make-up and hair: Ashwin Shelar (Hair for Vivan: Kishore Thakur, Make-up for Vivan: Ritika Bhatia)(Subi Samuel)

Are rock hard abs a sign of being fit? Does size show strength? And when did vanity become a trait every stud-muffin must possess? In the ever-evolving world of men’s fitness, four television hunks separate facts from fads.

(From left) Vivan: Denims and sneakers, Zara; Arjit: Denims, Zara; shoes, Vincenzio Robertina; Karan: Denims, Tommy Hilfiger; shoes, New Balance; Vivek: Denims, Superdry; shoes, Nike, (Subi Samuel)

The longer you work out, the better your physique? Total bull!

Arjit Taneja, 26

He made his TV debut in 2011 as a contestant on MTV’s Splitsvilla season 6, and then became a model. Acting called, however, and Arjit accepted a role on Channel V’s The Serial (2013). He is known for his talent as an actor, but this Kumkum Bhagya actor has also been awarded the Most Fit Actor award in Zee Gold Awards last year. He now plays Vivaan Kapoor in Zee TV’s Kaleerein.

According to Arjit, it is no more about losing weight, but about health (Subi Samuel)

I’m very lazy and have to talk myself into doing any sort of cardio, such as going for a run, but over the last three years I’ve learned that it’s possible to carve out at least 40-60 minutes a day for a workout, and this time makes a huge change in you, both physically and mentally.I began taking fitness seriously only about three years ago. Now it isn’t just about losing weight and looking good – both of which I really do need because of my profession – but something I actually love because it helps me maintain good health, which will stand me in good stead as I grow older. I strongly believe that not working out lowers your mojo.

The fitness trick that never fails: 70 per cent is your diet, and the rest is your workout.

The fitness advice that never worked: The longer you work out the better your physique will be.

The mantra to eating right: A well-balanced diet and meals at their proper times.

Cut down on carbs in the evenings...always works

Karan Vohra, 30

Karan turned 30 this month, and spends roughly 30 days a month shooting for his current show, Krishna Chali London on Star Plus. He is the brother-in-law of the popular rapper Raftaar. A non-schooled actor who accidentally made the shift from construction business to acting, Delhi boy Karan has been working out for about 15 years, and never misses a day of the gym if he can help it – and if he can’t help it, he gets a workout somehow or the other because exercise is also a stress buster.

For Karan, it has been an intense journey which has taught him to see fitness as a future investment (Subi Samuel)

I burst my abdominal tissues while lifting weights, and have had two surgeries and many injuries related to fitness. So you can say my fitness journey has been intense. What I’ve learnt: Loading your body with any amount of stuff, be it steroids, supplements, heavy diets, crash diets, might cause long-term health hazards. Just follow simple routines, don’t stress your body too much. And plan carefully, because you need to think of fitness as a future investment.

The fitness trick that never fails: Cutting down on carbs in the evening.

The fitness advice that never worked: Just taking protein!

The mantra to eating right: Balance your diet. During the day, have healthy carbohydrates: not food fried in batter, but fruits, smoothies etc. And stay away from supplements, unless necessary.

Fitness isn’t for big muscles, it’s to build confidence!

Vivek Dahiya, 34

With an Instagram following of 1.5 million, Vivek is a hit among girls for not just his acting skills, but also his physique. He made his debut in 2014, playing a villain in Ek Veer Ki Ardaas...Veera, and along with his then fiancée (now wife) actress Divyanka Tripathi, won reality dance show Nach Baliye season 8. He now plays Karun Mahendar Thakur in Qayamat Ki Raat on Star Plus.

For Vivek, his fitness goals have evolved with age and now he takes his workouts more seriously than ever (Subi Samuel)

I’ve been training for 12 to13 years – since I was 17 years old – and can’t remember a time since then when I stopped for longer than two months. Training is an addiction for me, I think. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror if I wasn’t fit. Fitness is not just about the body, it’s also about the mind. It gives me confidence, which is crucial in anyone’s life. And as I’ve grown older, my fitness goals have evolved: I now focus more on my core than on isolated body parts, and because metabolism slows down as you grow older, I limit cheating on my diet to specific days, and take my workouts seriously six days a week.

A fitness trick that never fails: Eating an apple before working out sustains me for a good one hour at the gym.

Fitness advice that never worked: Doing cardio at least thrice a week.

The mantra to eating right: I created an elaborate diet chart detailing what I need to have at what time, and pasted it on my refrigerator door.

Fitness may start with vanity, but it should evolve to wellness

Vivan Bhatena, 40

The 2001 Grasim Mr India title holder became a household name when he played Tulsi’s son-in-law in the then super-hit TV soap Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Vivan is now concentrating on his film career after earning accolades in Aamir Khan’s Dangal, as well as dabbling in web series. He has just wrapped up Kunal Kohli’s Ramayana adaptation RamYug.

For Vivan although earlier it was mostly about flaunting his arms, today it is about strength training (Subi Samuel)

Vanity is a good reason for people to start focusing on fitness – once on that path, you realise that it’s about wellness and staying young and strong. Over the years, my fitness routine has changed. Now that I’m 40, I focus more on strength training and training my lower body more than my upper body. Earlier, it was all about showing off the arms and upper body, now it’s much more about postural strength. I also play volleyball or swim once a week with a minimum session of three hours.

The fitness trick that never fails: Eat clean and drink fresh juices, and good old water burns a lot of fat naturally.

The fitness advice that never worked: Drink lots of milk and protein shakes and you will have a six-pack.

The mantra to eating right: Eat low glycemic foods such as green vegetables, bran, most fruits etc.

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More: 5 ways the fairer sex burns it out smarter

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From HT Brunch, February 3, 2019

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First Published: Feb 02, 2019 23:20 IST