It was RanaDaggubati’s beefy look for Baahubali 2 in a newspaper that caught Ranbir Kapoor’s attention. The lean RK was asked to bulk up as he plays Sanjay Dutt in the upcoming biopic, helmed by RajkumarHirani.
Rana reveals, “I introduced Kunal to Ranbir, who is a friend and now, he has started training with him as well. Kunal is in Mumbai thrice a week training Ranbir and the rest of the days, in Hyderabad (where he resides).”
Kunaladds, “Initially, Ranbir wanted me on board for consultation and to train with someone else in Mumbai as I live in Hyderabad. I’d just guide him virtually. We met a couple of times and found that our wavelengths matched. Then, I started going to Mumbai and we’d have 16-18 sessions a month. It’s weight training with no cardio. Sanjay Dutt got his beefy look after years; for us to replicate that, naturally took some time.”
How RK bulked up
Ranbir will be seen in three distinct looks in the film — a beefy build, a lean look (the ’90s) and the time he was in drug rehab. The first shoot will have RK looking like how Dutt does now, after his release. The version with the skinnier look begins soon. Kunal says, “We couldn’t make Ranbir look that fat so we bulked him as much as we could with the help of prosthetics to make him look older. He has gained more than 13 kgs now which is all muscle and no fat. His waistline has gone down by an inch and he has been losing fat while building up. Ranbir has an hour-and-a-half of intense workout sessions. y, but the former is committed to doing whatever needs to be done. He wakes up at 3 am, has a protein shake and goes back to sleep.”
New diet direction
Ranbir’s diet was changed, too. Kunal says, “He has to eat a lot more than he used to. Earlier, Ranbir was a very small eater and predominantly, a meat eater. Now he eats a lot of vegetables. He had an erratic timetable and would eat only when he was hungry. Now he eats meals at proper times. His fast metabolism lets him get away with junk food, but I have made him skip all that. Now Ranbir eats healthy food, has frequent meals and lean meats like chicken and fish, which are grilled with specific oils. Both Rana and Ranbir have their meals cooked in macadamia oil, which I import from South Africa. It’s the best cooking oil. I have a cafeteria at my gym in Hyderabad, which provides meals to all my clients. Ranbir knew about it and sent his cook to Hyderabad twice to get trained by my chef in cooking healthy stuff.
Starving for second look
Ranbir will now need to lose weight for his second look. Kunal has a strategy ready for that. “We don’t provide the body with enough calories, so there’s catabolic shrinking without getting the surplus nutrients. The body is literally starving at this point. Yes, it’s very tough, but it’s for a couple of months. For the leaner phase, he will be needing more cardio sessions which will be for longer periods of time.”
Kunal finds RK to be a friendly star and a big foodie. “I carry haleem (a porridge with lentils and mutton) every other weekend for him as he loves to eat that. If I don’t get that, he gets upset. I am the haleem messenger boy now for him,” he adds, laughing.
Ranbir’s grandmother Krishna Raj Kapoor had invited them all over for a meal which consisted of a rich Mughlai spread of biryani, paaya, jungleegosht etc. So does Ranbir have his cheat days and eat that? “No. He ate it that day. He doesn’t have cheat days, but a good meal every Saturday night and a couple of drinks.”
Kunal says training Rana for Baahubali 2 and Ranbir for the Dutt biopic were two different things. “Both have different structures. Rana is a broad built guy with a wide back and shoulders, but smaller chest and arms. So we had to focus only on his arms and chest and never touched his back and chest whereas with Ranbir, it was not like that. He has never trained much before. While he was lean and fit, he has never buffed up, so he trained like a beginner.”