With Bollywood heroes from Salman Khan to Ajay Devgn, Hrithik Roshan, John Abraham and even Tushar Kapoor flaunting their rippling muscles and impressive six-packs in their latest movies, heroes and youngsters down South as well are jumping on the bandwagon. It’s muscle mania now.
Gyms are now bustling with both young and not-so-young clients and the gym owners are laughing their way to the banks. Personal trainers charge anything between Rs 30,000 and Rs 40,000 per month.
Celebrity fitness trainer Kunal Gir, whose clientele includes actors RaNa and Venkatesh, asserts that the definition of “getting into shape” has changed.
“A person who is just slim is no longer considered fit. He has to have a developed chest and biceps to fit the description. I feel the standards of looking good have risen a few notches through the years. Thanks to Bollywood stars flaunting their six-packs, Tollywood heroes and youngsters are hitting the gym like never before,” he says, adding, “Tollywood has always looked up to Bollywood for inspiration when it comes to style, clothes and roles. Now, it’s the same with bodybuilding. Stars like RaNa, Allu Arjun and Ram Charan are heavily into fitness training.”
Celebrity fitness trainer Kuldeep Sethi echoes, “Fitness is catching up big time and my clientele is not restricted to youngsters. Many middle-aged men have begun to hit the gyms. Most Hyderabadis aspire to have a body like that of Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan,” he says.
RaNa, who is weight-training for his role as a police officer in the upcoming movie Department, says that this bodybuilding trend in Bollywood has made the youth conscious about their health and fitness. “Thanks to this trend, youngsters are devoting time to gymming and are looking good,” says the actor. “Ours is a visual medium and we have to look good and fit,” he adds.
College student Anoop Venkat has been working out regularly for two years and his friends disapproved of his weight training regime until recently. “When I started working out two years ago, my friends were against it and complained that there is no need to spend so much time in the gym. But, recently, two of them started working out regularly,” he says.