Kartik Aaryan’s trainer reveals actor’s workout plan for Chandu Champion: ‘He couldn't do a single push-up initially’ | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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Kartik Aaryan’s trainer reveals actor’s workout plan for Chandu Champion: ‘He couldn't do a single push-up initially’

ByNeeshita Nyayapati
Jun 14, 2024 06:06 AM IST

In an interview with Hindustan Times, national-level boxer Tridev Pandey shares the challenges Kartik Aaryan faced getting into shape for Chandu Champion.

Actor Kartik Aaryan looks ripped in his upcoming sports drama Chandu Champion, directed by Kabir Khan. The film, based on India’s first Paralympic gold medallist, Murlikant Petkar, saw the actor transform himself completely to fit the part. Kartik’s fitness coach, national-level boxer Tridev Pandey, talks to the Hindustan Times and tells us what it took for the actor to get into the skin of the character. (Also Read: Kartik Aaryan on living with ‘outsider' tag: It is going to stay with me, and I am okay with it)

Kartik Aaryan in a still from Chandu Champion.
Kartik Aaryan in a still from Chandu Champion.

‘I met Murlikant before training Kartik’

Tridev, who hails from Varanasi, has been a national-level boxer for 14 years. When the team of Chandu Champion reached out to him to train Kartik, he was game on one condition. “I found out Kartik needed to show his body on-screen and had to get into shape. I told Kabir sir I needed time to do that and teach him boxing so it looks natural on-screen. Luckily, he was game for it,” explains Tridev.

Tridev Pandey on training Kartik Aaryan for Chandu Champion.
Tridev Pandey on training Kartik Aaryan for Chandu Champion.

The fitness coach began reading up on Murlikant to prep Kartik for the role. “I even met Murlikant once to take tips,” he says. And when they started training, Kartik admitted to him he didn’t know the basics of boxing. “Instead of jumping into the sport, I wanted him to get fit first. That way, he could be as agile as the director needed him to be without the need for a body double. The idea was not just to have a cosmetic six-pack,” he adds.

‘Kartik weighed 90 kg, couldn’t do a single push-up’

When Tridev met Kartik, he saw that the actor had a lot of work to do to play an athlete who could swim, throw javelin, slalom, play table tennis, shot put and box. “I’ve seen so many sports dramas made in India, but no one shows proper boxing. That’s because, unless the actor knows the sport inside out, they can’t give their best. It took us time but with Kartik, I think we achieved that,” Tridev explains.

Tridev Pandey on how Kartik Aaryan transformed for Chandu Champion.
Tridev Pandey on how Kartik Aaryan transformed for Chandu Champion.

He says it took them 14 months overall to get Kartik where they wanted him to be. “He weighed 90 kg and couldn’t do a single push-up when we met. But agility, mobility and reflexes are a boxer’s best friends. By the time we were done training, he had followed a calorie-deficit diet, was 72 kg and could do push-ups with 50 kg weight on his back and pull-ups with 27.5 kg weight around his waist. Kartik even learnt 50 different variations of skipping. All this without the need for steroids or injections. I’m proud of that,” adds Tridev.

‘Kartik trained like an athlete’

Tridev says the boxing part came much later on; in the first few sessions, Kartik didn’t even wear boxing gloves. “I’ve trained other celebrities too, in general, if not for roles. When they’re with me, I tell them to forget they’re a star and to train like an athlete. Kartik did that and the skills he learnt here will help him all his life. People think boxing is all about the upper body, but it’s not. It’s all about the power your lower body generates. Once Kartik got in shape, we worked on that,” he says.

Tridev Pandey on how Chandu Champion needed the best of them all.
Tridev Pandey on how Chandu Champion needed the best of them all.

Through the years, Tridev has trained numerous celebrities - like Sanya Malhotra from Pataakha and Jawan, Shweta Tripathi for Mirzapur 3 and more. But he says, training Kartik was by far the most challenging thing he has done so far. “Chandu Champion is the kind of film that revolves around Kartik’s ability to box, swim or wrestle. He’s moving around the entire project and it needed all of us, even his trainer, to give our best for it to work. Usually, actors come to me to train for particular action scenes, but this was unique,” adds Tridev.

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