Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Meet the beefy vegetarian

Veggies can't bulk up? A fully green Vivek Oberoi piles up the muscles
In his forthcoming avatars as a hefty villain in the Krrish sequel and an intimidating pathan in Zilla Ghaziabad, Vivek Oberoi is set to bust the myth that vegetarians can't sport an enviable body. While the actor enjoys doing martial arts, yoga with his wife and swimming, his personal trainer Vijay Sarmalkar tests his limits of endurance in the '4X workout' - an intense 30 minute punishing routine that is as effective as a three-hour gym session.

Viraj says, "When you start working out, the muscle-building process starts. You have to rest it for recovery and then replenish it either with carbs or protein. The protein can be vegetarian or nonvegetarian because the body recognises it as amino-acids. If you have whey protein post-workout or during the day, the chances of recovery are high."

What has complicated matters is Vivek being injury-prone - he had persistent neck and wrist injuries - while shooting action scenes in the past couple of years. Recently, he gained weight when he was out for three months. Viraj revealed that his lower-chest and legs are major problem areas. Vivek concurred, "It took six months for Viraj to sort out my injuries. We did a lot of therapeutic training. During workouts, the pain would return. Viraj combined weight training and physiotherapy to heal my injuries. It increased my confidence levels and I started feeling good."

As for Vivek's chest workout, Viraj says he does not give him too many dumbbells because set two and three are more difficult. At the beginning of a workout, the muscles are fresh. But after 30 minutes, the energy drops. I prefer to train him in the problem spots because they are fresh and I can hit them hard. His lower chest is an issue so I concentrate on his upper chest since it is big and no one notices his lower chest." Over the week, Vivek's workouts focus on chest and triceps that include barbell press and dumbbell curls. The cardio sessions and leg workouts include leg curls, leg press, leg extension and seated calf raises among others.

Turning vegetarian helped his body recover faster post-workout, Vivek says. "Earlier, I would avoid doing my leg workout. But, Viraj has been instrumental in letting go of my fears. As I turned vegetarian, my concern was whether it will affect my joints and injuries. But I love eating all sorts of nuts that have nutrients which are good for your joints, skin, hair and body. I am fresher, energetic and my immunity level has gone up."

In Zilla Ghaziabad, Vivek plays Gujjar Singh who has washboard-abs. To achieve the look, Viraj says, he wanted Vivek's chest to look more prominent and beefy and not just with a six-pack. In the Krrish sequel, he is fitter, more agile and his six-pack will be more prominent. He has to look smaller but compact. And because he is able to retain sufficient body mass, he will still look big at 75 kilos than most of his peers." Though Vivek has limited cardio options, Viraj does not have to worry much about him and says, "He is very committed to his diet. If you're not, then workouts fall flat."

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