“I don’t allow Hrithik to have a cheat meal. He usually has sugar cravings, like chocolate or cake or anything sugary,” Kris Gethin told indianexpress.com in an exclusive interview
Kris Gethin has been training Bollywood A-listers like Hrithik Roshan, John Abraham, Ranveer Singh, and Arjun Kapoor, among others, since 2011. In a career spanning over two decades, Gethin — who is also a transformation expert — has also trained pro athletes, bodybuilders, motocross, etc. In between all these training sessions, he likes to compete in Ironman Triathlon, Ultra Marathons, and Spartan. While Gethin appreciates the increased awareness about fitness, he feels that today’s generation is seeking ‘instant gratification’ which is “definitely not health”.
In an exclusive interaction with indianexpress.com, Gethin spoke about his journey, the role the pandemic played in making people understand the importance of fitness, people’s obsession with weight loss, and training Hrithik for his upcoming movie Fighter — slated to release in January 2023, in which he stars opposite Deepika Padukone. Excerpts:
I have been a personal trainer since the mid-90s, and in my career of over 20 years, I have trained pro athletes, bodybuilders, motocross, etc. As a transformation expert, I have also transformed hundreds of people with online resources like my website — krisgethin.com, and millions via my transformation video series.
I would say inspiring. I think today’s generation is inquisitive about fitness, working out, and performing better. But, at the same time, it’s concerning as the younger generation seeks instant gratification. They get inspired by looking at pictures and videos on Instagram and they want immediate results. This is definitely not healthy and many people end up getting injured in this process. Another problem that I have come across is cookie-cutter fitness programs designed by personal trainers. I truly believe that in fitness, you cannot follow a one-size-fits-all approach. The programs have to be designed keeping in mind your body type, preferences, lifestyle, time constraints, goals, etc. This is the philosophy that we follow at our gyms as well. So, I think some aspects are good and some can be better.
Did the pandemic, in any way, lead to more people jumping on the fitness bandwagon?
Definitely, I think more people are now inclined towards fitness. A lot of people are building home gyms, working out at homes, they’re controlling their environment, especially, here in India. I’ve noticed when I go walking on the beach at 6:30 in the morning, there are a lot of people who are exercising – some of them are running, walking, and some doing yoga. In fact, some are doing sports classes on the beach. This scenario is truly different from what it used to be 10 years ago. At that time, beaches were mostly empty. I think the pandemic has made people realise the importance of health, which is why they are paying more attention (to their health) and are taking advantage of the outdoors for the same. However, at the same time, I still think that there are a majority of people who are still following unhealthy habits like eating junk food, and drinking. So, I believe we do have a long way to go.
It is my constant endeavour to encourage and educate people to do it the healthy and right way for longevity. My advice to them is if you want to sustain it in the longer run, you have to follow the right process and have to give your body the time it requires to achieve the goals that you want to achieve.
Tell us about your association with Hrithik Roshan?
I was flown to India in 2011 for one of my book launches, Body by Design (now called Guide to Your Best B0dy). A copy of that book was gifted to Hrithik by my friend and now business partner Jag Chima. After reading that book, Hrithik wanted to consult with me. So, our initial conversations happened over the phone. Then, sometime later, I flew to India to give him an in-person consultation. At that juncture, Hrithik was bedridden for three months because of a ruptured disc. He was eating a lot of food and following unhealthy habits. So, we started working together and in a span of 9-10 weeks, he was completely transformed for the movie Krrish 3.
Tell us about your experience of working with the actor?
Hrithik has not undergone a major transformation in the past couple of years. This is the reason why I came to India to help him prepare for his upcoming movie. In the last couple of years, I have helped him get in shape online but not in person. But, this time we are truly going to take his body to the next level for Fighter. In the process, we are dealing with a lot of injuries but we are working around them for this transformation.
What does his current workout routine look like?
A lot of times, we train two body parts in one training session, but sometimes, it’s just one. We train for three days regularly and then take one day off. The duration of his workout session is almost an hour for each workout session. Then, he does a steady-state cardio workout every day for about 20 minutes.
…and his diet?
Hrithik is eating six meals a day and is currently consuming about 4,000 calories per day. He is eating a lot of food right now, as we are building muscles at this point in time. The majority of his meals are made up of protein. The sources of protein are poultry, fish, egg whites, protein powder, etc and, then, there are carbohydrates which are coming from potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, and oats. He’s eating a little bit of roti as well along with vegetables and some healthy fats like nuts, egg yolks, and some olive oil. Then, finally, he is consuming a protein shake. So, at this juncture, his diet mostly consists of six meals a day along with one protein shake.
What is Hrithik’s cheat meal like?
I don’t allow Hrithik to have a cheat meal. He usually has sugar cravings, like chocolate or cake or anything sugary. But, sugar is very addictive and I don’t like to give him the taste of sugar. In fact, there have been a lot of studies on rodents that prove that sugar is more addictive than heroin.
How important is mindset when it comes to fitness goals?
It is of paramount importance. Without the right mindset, you’re not going to attain any goal in life, whether it be your career, relationship, spiritual goals, or fitness goals. One thing that I have noticed as a trainer is that you are as much of a psychologist as you are a physical trainer — you have to get inside the mind of the person that you are training to create discipline. I believe that fitness is driven by discipline and not motivation because motivation fails a lot of time. When we are not feeling good or tired, emotion sets in and that dampens our motivation. Hence, to achieve your goals related to fitness or anything in life, you have to rely on discipline, motivation may or may not exist.
All set for a rapid fire, Kris?
My favourite activities are weight training, camping, going to music events, and motocross events. I also like to mountain bike. I compete in Ironman Triathlon, Ultra Marathons, and Spartan. In addition to that, I have a couple of international companies that I run and none of it seems like work. It’s all taken time out for myself. I also read almost four books a month and that is all that my playtime consists of.
I think 17-18 is the optimum age to start training as you finish growing by that age bracket. So, around this age, anyone can start doing more resistance and weight-bearing exercises.
I usually beat my lazy days by having an ice bath first thing in the morning or a cold shower. I don’t like to always rely on caffeine. So, taking an ice bath usually beats a lazy day for me.
It is extremely important. Especially, in a world that’s driven by social media where we are constantly comparing ourselves to others which can make us feel vulnerable and inadequate. Also, the diet we consume in today’s day and age impacts our mental health. When we consume these inflammatory foods like fried foods, refined vegetable oils, sugar, etc, all this inflammation in our body leads to a chemical imbalance in our brain. So, it is of utmost importance to prioritise mental health.