Movie stars in India make American celebrities seem like B-list busts. The lifestyle is fun and exciting, but it took its toll on Hrithik Roshan, the action star from Mumbai. Instructional supply met muscular demand when the Sheru Classic Asian Grand Prix came to Mumbai, along with the best bodybuilders and trainers in the world. There, Roshan met his new mentor Kris Gethin. Kris introduced Hrithik to nutrition with taste and helped him fit back into his superhero costume for Krrish II!
The physical transformation was remarkable, but Gethin's guidance struck Hrithik at an elemental level. He realized the flaws in his life are prevalent in the subcontinent cultures. He has vowed to change the way India eats.
What caused you to first seek out Kris Gethin?
It's the initiative I had to take. I had to make a change in my life. I was living off the myth of being the fittest guy, because that is what I've become symbolic for in my country, in my news, my career.
The past year has taken its toll on my time and my state of mind. I just let myself go. I eventually ended up with a double slipped disc in my back. I was lying supine on my bed for months and feeding off all the love of my family in the form of brownies and cupcakes, chocolate and all that. Everyone kept sending it because I was sick.
Eventually, when I got up, I had a 36-1/2-inch waist. I was suffering from blood pressure, high and low: one day high, one day low.
I didn't know what was going on. I am slated to begin my father's movie, in which I play a superhero. It's part II in a series. I called for my superhero jacket, the Krrish Jacket and I couldn't get that on. I couldn't get it on and I was like, 'I'm not meant to play this right now. I'm not the guy who is worthy enough to play a superhero. I need to get myself worthy enough. I need to make a change.'
That's when I decided to search for help. I was smoking 3 packs a day. I have been smoking for the last 2 1/2 years now; everything was just going the wrong way. I knew that if I don't put a stop to it now, it's going to take over my life. That's going to be my downfall.
I searched the whole world for help. I went on the net. I Googled. I spoke to friends, and fortunately for me, there was the Sheru Classic, being held in Mumbai (9-25-11). A lot of the major bodybuilders came, and Kris [Gethin] himself was down here. Through all the feedback I got, his name was the only name that kept popping up in every conversation.
I understood that he must be good, and I got a hold of his book. I read his book. I was very impressed. I saw some potential there. Also perhaps it was a sign from God that his name was Kris and I was training for Krrish, which is the name of my people's hero. I figured we might as well try this out.
The rest is history. He came down here. He didn't know from Adam who I was, and neither did he care. All he cared about was if I was committed enough before he came down to Mumbai. Once he was satisfied, that was it, that's how we joined.
When you first sat down with him, what did you tell him your goals were? Did you just want to lose the gut you developed, or did you actually want to get big and superhero-esque? What was the program?
I'd done that before in my life. I'd gotten into the best shape. I'd go back to all the wrong ways, eating chocolates and letting myself go. I knew that this wasn't just getting into shape for a character. This was something I wanted; it had to be a lifestyle change. It had to be something that would last me all my life. That's what I told [Kris].
My mission is to make a lifestyle change. I want to wake-up every morning of my life and feel healthy, feel like I want to live, feel like my body is serving me well and I am serving it well.
You do a lot of your own stunts in your movies. Did you guys emphasize functional training as well as muscle-building techniques?
We incorporated a lot of CrossFit sessions because I have to be in athletic condition, which will also help me from getting injured. We've incorporated a lot of CrossFit, along with the weight training. A lot of cardio work, CrossFit and weight training.
You've had some difficulties with back and knee injuries, perhaps from your stunt work in the past. Was it tricky to navigate and work around that stuff?
I'm all damaged goods here. Just put me back piece by piece. I've just completed my transformation and I look at myself and I am amazed that something like this is possible. It was a 12-week transformation, but we completed it in 10 weeks.
I'm just amazed at the possibilities of the human body, and how easy it was. There was no sacrifice. Everything just flowed. I was loving my meals. They were nutritious as well as tasty. I don't think I can go back to normal (if I can say normal) kind of food again, where it's just about taste and not about nutrition. There's a double delicate, with the taste as well as the nutrition and it is all great food.
I'm eager and almost desperate to make people aware of what all is possible. People need to get educated where all this is concerned. There's just this scarcity of information. People are just lost and here is the best help that exists on the planet. I am living proof of that.
I think the notion that healthy eating is unappetizing is such a misnomer; it tastes much better than what you're used to.
It's such a misnomer; it's so sad. I wouldn't have wanted to believe that 12 weeks ago. I wouldn't have believed it until I tasted the food and actually was made to go do this. Right now it is a revelation. What were we doing? What were we thinking? Now I look at people when I pass the supermarket. I look at the food and I look at what people are buying and there are healthy options all around. And they were around in my pre-transformation days. I didn't know about them. I didn't know about the concoctions that were possible.
Can you give a few examples of the kind of meals you started eating once Kris changed your diet around? Maybe a sample breakfast, lunch and dinner that was healthy for you?
There were a lot of changes in the plan as we saw my body progress. It mainly consisted of about 100 grams of meat, there were some fibrous carbs, like broccoli, sprouts and spinach, a cup of rice or pasta, some really great flavoring. That made up my staple foods for the day. But, now that the transformation is over and I can go back, because I'm not dieting anymore; the world is open to me.
I'm having pancakes with sugar-free syrup, which is made with a protein powder. It's the best-tasting pancake in the world. I'm having the banana split with protein powder and yogurt. The possibilities and the list are really long. There are meatballs with ketchup if I want to do that.
There are all kinds of things, pasta, rice; I'm having seven egg whites with two yolks and two slices of toast. Does this sound like the type of person who is on a diet? No. Anyone can survive on this. It's amazing.
Of course, I did go through a week or two of deprivation, which was necessary because I had to diet down to get the kind of look I wanted. We went that way for two weeks, but now that it's over ... it never gets over. This is for life.
I'm going to stay on my nutrition, depending on the way I want to go. I have the control now. It's really an empowering feeling.
Do you have any of the stats? How much did you lose?
After 10 weeks training with Kris Gethin Hrithik went from a 36 1/2-inch waist to 30 inches. He lost 10 kilos, or about
"When people look at my picture, they think I look bigger now. The illusion makes me look like The Hulk."
You took some supplements. Did that help you, give you an extra edge?
I think everything Kris told me helped. I just followed his instructions and waited for the results. There was a lot of protein powders and glutamine, multivitamins, but there was nothing more than the stock vitamins athletes take.
You won't be working with Kris [Gethin] indefinitely. Do you feel like you've mastered it enough that you can now take those lessons and continue the path you've chosen for yourself?
Yes, I can, though right now I'm not going to let Kris go. I'm making him stay back for 10 more weeks. We're getting on to another transformation, a muscle-building transformation. My after picture turns into my before picture.
I feel very empowered already to take over the reins of my own nutrition plan and share it. Of course, Kris will always be there.
Despite being a movie star, you were headed down a pretty unhealthy path recently. Looking back, in 10 weeks you really changed the entire trajectory of your life, your body. What would you say to other people who think they can't do it or that it's going to take forever? What words of encouragement might you offer?
That's just because they have not been educated. They don't have the information or have not seen the examples. Whatever examples they've seen seem so far away. You see it in a book or you see pictures and you don't really connect with it as much as you would if it was your brother or your friend who had gone through that.
I have the power now. I have the platform. My fans feel real close to me. I'm hoping that when I propagate this and I tell them, try to educate them, they will listen to me and realize this is far too easy.
We've been living in a kind of Matrix with all the subsidized foods and the fast-food culture. We just got lost. The youth needs to really be re-conditioned, re-wired about what is good, what is bad and what is possible. That's the only way to help at least my country get healthier.
If you're not in the athletic world and you're just one of the guys out there, you just eat what you're fed. You have no control. You have no education.
I feel responsible now. I feel it's my duty to educate people.
Hrithik's Nutrition Plan
During the transformation he undertook with Kris Gethin, Hrithik changed his nutrition plan weekly, sometimes daily, based on his condition and body weight.
Gethin also took heed of Hrithik's blood type and insulin sensitivity. There were recurring themes, though.
Hrithik's protein came from:
His complex carbs mostly came in the form of:
Hrithik's Supplement Schedule
Hrithik's Training Regimen
Hrithik performed 20 minutes of cardio after breakfast and again after working out in the evening. He chose from among swimming, beach walking, running, Crossfit and various cardiovascular machines.
The following workouts are representative of Hrithik's training split: