When the first look of the movie Padmavati was released, every one was in awe of the way the three lead characters looked. But it was Ranveer Singh’s ripped look that stood out the most. He looked so menacing and savage that he was almost unrecognisable. Many even compared him to Hollywood’s fittest Jason Mamoa who played the character Khal Drogo on a popular American series. And would you believe us if we tell you that he attained the Khilji body in just 6 weeks. We spoke exclusively to Mustafa Ahmed, the one who transformed Ranveer Singh into Padmavati’s Alauddin Khilji to know more about the character’s journey. Here is what he has to say:
Did Ranveer Singh have a look in his mind before he started his physical training for the role?
Ranveer’s primary idea was to look and remain fit. So we both worked towards attaining a toned and healthy body. Having said that, we kept the look and feel of his character in mind while training.
Was there any particular body part he focussed on?
He was looking at lower body strength. In the past, he had a lower back issue due to which he was bedridden, so we had to be extremely cautious about that.
Was it easy or tough to train Ranveer, considering he is always bubbling with energy?
The only trouble we faced was managing training during his shoot schedule. Time was a constraint for us. When it comes to his energy, there’s no issue at all. In terms of training, he is not difficult to train at all. He had good energy through the course of the training.
How much time did he take to reach his aim?
You’ll be surprised to know that he took about six weeks! With right eating and correct training, we managed to achieve the desired look in a short span. The only problem he faced was maintaining it. Once you get that kind of body, it is difficult to sustain it. We got the physique in six weeks, but maintaining that body and look was hard, and that is where we struggled. We didn’t want him to lose muscle mass or gain too much weight. Therefore, maintaining it for the next four to five months was a big challenge.
What kind of diet did he follow?
We first eliminated all kinds of sugar from his diet. Secondly, we eliminated processed food, canned food or any kind of food which can last on the shelf for for more than 72 hours. He was eating decent amount of proteins, almost between 125-155 grams of protein every day. This was because we had to get to a certain kind of body weight and look. Next, he consumed proper amount of carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa etc. But his carb consumption depended completely on his shooting schedule. For example, if he was shooting an action sequence, he required complex carbs to retain and sustain energy. Then we included decent amount of protein. Other than this, we also included an appropriate amount of healthy fats to keep him healthy and energised. He was taking four meals a day and one snack. He’s a moderate eater who likes to eat frequently. We did allow him one cheat meal a week, which was his mother’s home cooked food because he loves it so much.
Was this only during the course of the movie or even after it?
We have dropped down protein considerably since he doesn’t require it so much anymore. Now he consumes only as much he requires. Moreover, he has stuck to no sugar, no processed foods even now.
What was his exercise regime like?
We had to focus on everything. For instance, mobility. Since there were many action scenes which included sword fights and shooting for long hours, he required that kind of strength. Our morning session included 20 minutes of cardio and 20-25 minutes of mobility drills. Then we would do strength training which included deadlifts, squatting, body weight exercises, HIIT etc. We balanced and did everything in moderation. He’s a strong guy and he enjoys weight training alot. He also enjoys playing sports. We tried to centre his cardio sessions around football, swimming etc. We wanted an all-rounder fitness for him and not only from one area.
A lot of people have compared Ranveer’s look with the character of Khal Drogo from a popular American TV series. Was that his inspiration?
That is absolutely right. While Ranveer was briefing me about his character and what he should look like, we both had agreed on this popular character to be his inspiration. And we were so thrilled when everyone else could see it as well. We had planned for a particular look and it came exactly like that! Ferocious, scary, dark!
What do you have to say to people who blindly want to follow celebrity workouts?
The only thing I tell them is that you are not going to go ahead and live their life or act in movies like them, so what is the need to follow their workouts. I also believe that certain stars need to take responsibility, which most of them do and advocate the philosophy of losing weight in a healthy manner. You have to follow a fitness regime according to your lifestyle. A six pack is not a sign of good health. You should look at functionality. You should not chase great physique. You need to chase fitness, great looks and physique are by-products. People do it the other way round.
It is widely reported that along with rigorous workouts, celebrities also focus on supplements to achieve the desired body. How true is it?
I believe that it is due to time constraint and because celebrities can’t sit and eat frequently that they start taking supplements. But I also do know when there is no need, they would not take supplements. People who are vegetarians, they do require some kind of supplementation to complete their protein requirement. Not that it’s impossible for vegetarians to get protein but it is difficult. For regular people, if you manage to eat clean and right, you will remain healthy with your natural foods. There is no harm in taking supplements.
Celebrities undergo extreme transformation for their movie roles. How does it harm their body?
It is of course not healthy. And I term it as ‘controlled chaos’ because you really need to manage your body. You need to convert your body in the healthiest manner and draw a line. Check all your health parameters and keeping this in mind go for an informed choice. You should really research before dropping or gaining weight. Therefore, the trainer who is guiding you needs to control these changes in your body. It is risky and hence you require a well-informed team.
Who is the most dedicated star in the film industry when it comes to commitment to fitness?
I have worked the longest with Hrithik Roshan and he is extremely dedicated. His team is updated and his chef knows his requirements. He does not miss any workout. He trains twice a day. His level of dedication has not dropped in the last two years. Even for that matter, Ranveer is also very dedicated. He would come for training after a long day of shoot. But he’s definitely committed to his body.
On Padmavati controversy…
The only thing I can say is that people should give the movie a chance before they judge it. They have really worked hard on it.