Fit for Life
An actor fits exercise into his busy schedule to stay on top of his game.
How actor Vatsal Sheth fits exercise into his hectic schedule
He is charming, stylish, a fitness freak and sports lover. Known for his cute–boy-next-door image Vatsal Sheth is extremely popular amongst his female fans and is wowing TV audiences with his character Shaurya in Ek Hasina Thi. Here Sheth reveals the sweat that goes into maintaining his sleek physique.
“Being an actor you have to stay fit no matter what it takes. You have to adapt yourself according to the roles. I was introduced to yoga when I was in primary school and have been practcising it ever since. When I turned 20 I took up weight training and swimming. All those activities got me in shape for Taarzan: The Wonder Car which required me to perform action scenes in a racing car and even underwater stunts. There was one deadly scene that had me riding down 60 steps on a bicycle! The movie really tested my fitness levels, not just muscle strength, but also balance and agility. “To me the purpose of exercise is not to build a muscular body but to feel healthy, fit, energetic and optimistic. Heroes (2008) is the only movie where I bulked up to show off my body. “I hit the gym almost every day for 45 minutes depending on my schedule. My routine is basically split into pushing exercises - bench press, triceps push down, push-up, Arnold press, etc. – that target the chest, triceps, shoulders and pulling exercises - curl, pullup, cable row, etc. – that target biceps and back. Lower body workouts include squat, lunge, leg press, etc. “My trainer Prashant Sawant keeps shuffling my routine to surprise my body so that the exercise doesn’t get monotonous. One day he’ll say ‘let’s do 500 pull-ups’. The next day it’s 500 squats. “For several weeks my character in Ek Hasina Thi was stuck in a wheelchair. To counter the inactivity I kept moving a lot between shots. Even now I play badminton, walk around the sets. “Sports is a big part of my life. I’m a member of the Mumbai Heroes of Celebrity Cricket League (CCL). I hit the nets whenever I can, in the morning or evening. You burn a lot of calories in these practice sessions. “If I am travelling my exercise routine goes for a toss. So I take a few laps in the hotel’s swimming pool or I walk.”
“I don’t believe in starving myself to get a good body. People should know that actors don’t always sport 6-pack abs; we only go for them when the role requires us to. “I’m built like an ectomorph. There was a time when I wanted to put some meat on my frame; so for a good 2 months I gave up exercise and stuffed myself with pizza. I was still the same size at the end of 2 months! So I eat everything but I don’t take my body for granted. I carry a homemade tiffin lunch to the sets and I don’t overeat. After every meal I sit in the vajrasan pose for 10 minutes which is said to help digestion. Fortunately I don’t have any vices – I am not into boozing or smoking. But I have a sweet tooth and can’t survive without chocolate or a mithai. I feel guilty when I have 3 to 4 chocolates at one go after a meal!” As told to AISHWARYA P. VAIDYA