Sonu Sood at the Westin, Al Habtoor. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Bollywood actor Sonu Sood is on a war path.

The Kung Fu Yoga star, who will be in Dubai on March 17 to celebrate the Indian festival of colours Holi with his fans, wants to prove that an attire or your surly attitude towards fitness shouldn’t stand in your way of demolishing fat.

On the day of our meeting, Sood is dressed in a crisp white shirt, tailored pants and aviators. He resembles a sharp-suited corporate executive who’s an ace at number crunching, but it’s another kind of crunches that he’s interested in tackling.

“There are many who believe that their busy work schedule and meetings make it difficult for them to squeeze in a workout. I am going to prove them wrong,” said Sood, unbuttoning his cufflinks and rolling up his sleeves. We are at the gym at the hotel Westin in Al Habtoor City which is equipped with lethal-looking, gleaming machines. He’s convinced that workouts can be performed even in between conferences and deadlines. All you need is an iron will for an iron body.

“There’s absolutely no excuse for not working out. Are you telling me that you cannot spare 20 minutes in 24 hours to dedicate yourself to staying fit? Just seeing these machines is making me want to work out right now,” said Sood, who has one of the fittest bodies in Hindi cinema. In the blockbuster Dabangg, Sood was the anti-hero Chedi Singh, whose well-oiled gleaming torso gave Salman Khan a tough competition.

“When it comes to workouts and cleaning eating, I don’t make excuses… I love samosas and junk food, but I rarely eat them,” said Sood, who is a staunch vegetarian. The only exception are egg whites that he religiously eats for his protein intake.

“Everybody knows this: but no matter how many hours you work out, it’s your diet that’s very important. You need to fuel your body with the right amount and the right type of food,” said Sood. Here’s a round-up of how Sood kills it on the fitness and health front. We spent an hour with Sood at the gym to get to the bottom of his fitness routine and food intake. Here’s what we gleaned.

Sood on ...


His workout regime

“I work out seven days a week. For me, working out is like brushing my teeth. You just get to it every day. I head to the gym at 7.30am and train there till at least 10.30am. These are non-shooting days and I even put in four hours of training on certain days. During days I have to film, I do at least 90 minutes of exercise.”


The most effective exercise for weight loss

“Outdoor jogging is good for your body, but if you live in a city like Mumbai it isn’t easy. But in a city like Dubai, it should be easy. I feel bored jogging on a treadmill and would always choose the outdoors to run. Rowing is another full body workout. Why not conduct your meetings here so that you can squeeze in some workout with work too?”

His favourite machine at the gym:

“The abdominal crunch machine. If you are wondering why you’re not achieving those six-pack abs, then you should devote more time to this machine. I work out on the abdominal crunch machine for at least twenty minutes every day. If you have been naughty with food or you have eaten something inappropriate while travelling, then spend more time in this corner. I put in at least 700 repetitions per session. It can be in different forms such as crunches and leg raises. But don’t write this machine off.”


Getting some mean biceps…

“Take 10kg dumb bells. They are not very heavy and are perfect for doing the basic bicep curls. I do seven lower half curls, seven upper half curls and seven full curls. I do four repetitions of those. Even hammer curls help in getting a quick good peak. And remember that you need to breathe while doing these motions. The exercise with holding a dumb bell perpendicular to the ground is equally effective. Don’t throw your arm and don’t keep moving your torso during this. Also include should press in your routine.”

Body weight training:

“I have been training my body for 16 years and I am constantly trying to reinvent myself by trying out new trainers and techniques. Strength training and using your body as a machine is a great way to burn fat and get your dream body. Those spider man walks and bear crawls using your own body weight is good for you. HILT is another way to get your body into the fitness gear.”


His diet chart:

Meal 1: 1/2 cup oats cooked with water and cinnamon; 4e gg whites scrambled with spinach, peppers, onions, and olive oil

Meal 2: whey protein, and almond milk smoothie (post-workout)

Meal 3: Spinach salad with tomatoes, peppers, avocado and 150gm paneer 1/2 sweet potato; one cup green tea.

Meal 4: Apple and protein shake

Meal 5: 200gm steamed broccoli with bell peppers, asparagus, babycorn, kale & 30 gm quinoa

Meal 6: 5 Scrambled egg whites


His top training tips

*Always start ur weekly fitness routine targeting your weak muscles or exercises you are least likely to perform (Hello burpees and mountain climbers)

*Incorporate body weight exercises in your daily fitness routine such as push-ups and pull-ups.

*Do not shirk away from challenging exercises such as the formidable human flag, dragon flies and pistol squats. They keep the fire burning in your soon-to-be-flat stomach.

*Keep a check on your food intake.

*Stay away from crazy diets such as the zero-carb diets or high protein diets without knowing the science behind it. You must educate yourself behind the why, when and how much of nutrition to decide what’s apt for you.

*Last, but not the least: Do not give up and keep performing because giving up is not an option. It’s a hide out, Sooner or later, you can achieve your health and fitness goals.


Don’t miss it

You can see Sonu Sood’s fit body in person on March 17 at the Dubai Autism Rocks Arena as he celebrates holi with his fans along with actors such as Hrithik Roshan, musicians Vishal and Shekhar and more. The tickets for Bheege Chunariya Holi 2017 cost Dh150 and above. Log on to www.platinumlist.net