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Exclusive: I’m casual about my workouts - Ajay Devgn

Just like his acting philosophy, Ajay Devgn doesn’t believe in following blind rules and trends in fitness. He prefers to do things his own way. Unlike other movie stars, Ajay’s approach towards health is much more casual. He has a set regime and trainer like everybody else but Ajay doesn’t mind skipping the schedule as he continues to indulge in all that he enjoys. Being fit is a state of mind, where Ajay puts great emphasis on happiness and an organic approach. He doesn’t subscribe to mindless weight training and starving. He’d much rather eat well and work out in limits. He knows all too well that his vocation takes him through stressful work timings and the demands of looking good come at a price. But he retains his characteristic sense of cool. Well in the fifth decade of his life, he looks fitter than most newcomers around. And as always it comes easy to the exceptionally talented Mr Devgn.

“Everybodyis fit today”
It’s imperative that an actor be fit. We have to control our diets. Nowadays every actor manages this. Everyone’s watching what they eat, everyone has a good body and everyone’s working hard. That’s part of our job. We have to do it without excuses. Everyone’s fit nowadays. Even paanwalas and bidiwalas in Lokhandwala are hitting the gyms.  With me fitness becomes an added challenge because I drink too much alcohol. That’s the biggest hindrance if you aim to have six pack abs and toned muscles. But I’m not one to compromise on my lifestyle. That’s why I have to work a little harder than others.

“I like to challenge myself”
Fitness is important. When you watch yourself on screen, you want to see yourself at your physical best. I hadn’t worked out for one and a half years. It was during that phase that I felt my face had bloated up and I had put on weight. I knew in an instant that I had to lose it all. There are many occasions when you just don’t feel like exercising. Worst part is, you end up eating more during these times and then suddenly you realise you’re out of shape. The key is to get back to the regime in an instant.

During the course of my career, I’ve broken ankles, knees, damaged hipbones, ruptured arteries and veins, even a part of my arm was partially paralysed once. To date, I get bouts of neck pain from spondylitis…  It’s a price I’ve had to pay for all the crazy stunts I’ve done in my films. It’s part and parcel of the life of an action hero. When we started at the movies, there were hardly any safety precautions. We used to jump on cardboard boxes and mattresses. It’s there that I learnt to challenge myself. That’s why even today, I prefer to do my action scenes without cables and harnesses.

“You can’t remain perfect throughout the year”
I don’t have a set exercise schedule. I’m casual about my workouts. Just one and half hour every day coupled with a quality diet is good enough for me. I follow the tough regime only if I am shooting bare body scenes for a film. Then you really have to kick into action, otherwise I skip intense workouts more often than not. I strongly believe no one can look perfect throughout the year. It’s just not healthy. You can be fit but you can’t look 100 per cent flawless all the time. There are times when your body will not be healthy. Denying your body its natural cycle and tendencies is not healthy.

“I don’t follow a strict diet”
My diet is high on proteins and it’s a strict no to carbs at night. I have to negate my alcohol intake as well. Avoiding carbs in the night helps me balance out the drinking. My daily meals are divided into six smaller portions, spread out evenly throughout the day. After I’ve woken up I have some protein followed by coffee. Then there’s the daily workout followed by a meal. It’s important to eat and restore the energy loss from working out. The next meal is like a mini-breakfast and it comes an hour later. That is followed by a healthy lunch and the next meal happens at around four in the evening. The last meal of the day is dinner. I’m always accompanied by a cook and staff so I can follow my schedule during outdoor shoots as well. Also my trainer Prashant is by my side at all times.

“You can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mind”
I think being healthy and having six pack abs are different realities. Fitness is a personal thought. When you’re fit your body’s levels are controlled. Your blood level, cholesterol level etc deem you fit. Even doctors say that’s the more important thing. Weight training and excessive running aren’t natural activities for the human body. You are doing it because it aids you at your work. I think fitness should be a more organic process. You should control your diet, you should go for a walk everyday in the morning and maintain your weight. Do blood tests every six months and see if everything is fine. That is real fitness. Working out should be done with the aim of keeping your muscles healthy and functional. It shouldn’t just be about looking good. You can’t have a healthy body without a healthy mind.

Looking good has its own set of disadvantages. You have to be on a high protein diet, which in itself is not a good habit. It’s a professional hazard. Every actor is dealing with it for now. Whatever the consequences, we’ll all discover them at some point in the future. Right now, there are a lot of people doing various things to stay fit, some of which even doctors don’t recommend. And then there are the dangers of using drugs and overdose.

Thankfully I just have two bad habits. I smoke a lot and I drink too much alcohol. I’ve tried to contain the alcohol. Now I take two to three drinks a day. I don’t recommend drinks to any one. (Laughs) I drink because it helps me relax. I have no solution for my smoking. The doctors and my family are after me to quit

With trainer Prakash Sawant

Ajay Devgn’s fitness tips

Train daily for at least an hour and 30 minutes.
One hour of weight training followed by cardio gives best results.
Don’t take too much rest between workout sessions.
Focus on every body part to get the desired muscular look.
Opt for a combination of weights and circuit super sets. ?Push-ups and pull-ups always yeild good results.
Drink plenty of water when working out.

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