I t isn’t too much of an exaggeration to say that if you don’t find Gautam Gulati on sets, you’ll find him working out. The actor, who recently played the role of Ravi Shastri, in the Emraan Hashmi-starrer Azhar, believes in being prepared. “I don’t know what’s coming my way next. So an actor must always look good and be fit,” he tells me. And the 28-year-old, who won hearts with his role in the TV series Diya Aur Baati Hum and snapped up the title of Bigg Boss 8 last year, is not kidding about being ready for any kind of role—he spends five hours a day, honing his body. “I’ve always been naturally fit; I had a six pack while in college. I wanted to maintain that, so I took up working out seriously,” shares Gulati, who swears by his Nike and H&M tees, Zara tracks and Asics shoes to keep him looking sharp while sweating it out.
Bo staffs and back flips
His workout routine will leave most of us gasping for air. From gymming, swimming and yoga to running and gymnastics, Gulati incorporates it all. “I don’t like to waste my time. Even when I go on holiday, I want to come back with a skill. In London, I discovered Barry’s Bootcamp, a very different kind of workout. Next, I want to take up martial arts and learn the bo staff,” says the fan of John Abraham and Bruce Lee, who watches Lee’s videos to keep himself motivated. Currently, he is training with Tiger Shroff’s martial arts team, to master gymnastics. “Gymnastics makes your body strong, but it was tough at first because I took it up late in life. However, since I don’t do too much of weights, I was still flexible. Now I can do some nice back flips,” he smiles, adding that he hopes to sign on a movie soon where he can show off his skills.
The big three
Gulati, who had turned vegetarian to achieve Shastri’s lean look for Azhar, is now back to eating natural proteins (think chicken and fish). He is not a fan of protein shakes or of eating six meals a day. “I’m a Punjabi and I like my three big meals,” he laughs, elaborating, “I bring home-cooked food to sets and in between meals, I drink a lot of juices.” But that doesn’t mean there are no cheat days. When he visits his home in Delhi, he indulges in butter chicken and dal makhani, and on the rare breaks he takes in Mumbai, it’s pizzas, chocolates and Nutella. As he signs off, stating that he hopes his role in Azhar will open more doors for him in Bollywood, he is in a bit of a hurry: he’s late for gym.
—Surya Praphulla Kumar