'Your fitness doesn't depend on the kind of exercises you are doing.'
'Mostly it is about food.'
'It's about 75% of food and 25% workout.'
At 44, Gautam Rode has the look and physique to die for.
Every time the Delhi-born actor flexes his muscles and flaunts his toned bod, you feel inspired to hit the gym and get back in shape.
But did you know Gautam is a vegetarian?
In fact it's only recently that he's started eating egg whites.
"It's about 75% of food and 25% workout," Gautam tells Rediff.com Contributor PS Aaryan Khanna as he shares his daily diet plan, favourite workouts and more.
Were you always such a fitness freak?
I was in the 10th standard when I started working out.
I had never even thought of becoming an actor in my life, at the time.
I had thought that I would, later on, become a stockbroker or something.
Apart from my school, I was interested in sports and gym.
When you are in your prime, say in college, most people would go partying, clubbing and drinking and all of that.
I used to always hit the gym. That kept all the wrong habits away. I fully respect fitness.
What's the fitness mantra you believe in?
Honestly, I consider it to be a different identity, and that is how much seriously I take fitness.
Because if you are fit, you can do everything in your life. All illnesses will stay away.
It is not just that an actor should do it (stay fit). Every one of us should be fit, in one way or the other.
I am not saying (you should) 'have six-pack abs or muscles'.
Be fit in your own way. Some people do yoga, dance or Pilates.
I am completely into gym and weights.
Your fitness doesn't depend on the kind of exercises you are doing. Mostly it is about food. It's about 75% of food and 25% workout.
What's your daily diet like?
I have been a vegetarian all my life, but I started eating egg whites about 4-5 years ago for more proteins.
I start my day with gluten-free oats and a scoop of whey protein in water or skimmed milk that I have, with a lot of nuts and seeds.
Later, I have one apple or one fruit about one and half hours after having my breakfast.
My lunch will be either gluten-free rotis or quinoa. Sometimes it's brown rice with greens or dal, rajma or chole.
After two hours of having my lunch, I have sprouts and a glass of juice if I want to.
Around 6-6:30, I have gluten-free bread with a peanut butter scoop, which is also without any sugar. I have it with black coffee.
I work out late. So I have my pre-workout where I have prunes or soup.
After the workout, if I am hungry, I have assorted vegetables or quinoa with assorted vegetables.
I have green tea throughout the day. So, this is basically my life.
On days when you are not able to go to the gym, how do you stay fit?
It's been 2 years that I have been working out at home only. I don't go to the gym these days.
Gyms are running full. Even if it is my society's gym, it is fully packed, and no one is wearing a mask. I feel scared. That is why I got a treadmill at home.
I have my dumbbells. I already have an entire gym setup, which I usually used to carry to different sets when I was shooting for TV. But now I am no longer shooting for TV.
Digital shoots are not so long so I don't take my gym everywhere.
I have dismantled it and kept it in one of my flats. But I still have dumbbells, my bench, the treadmill and the other stuff that I use at home.
Is it possible to build a great body without going to the gym?
You definitely cannot gain that kind of muscle. For those kinds of characters, when I am playing, I do have to go to the gym.
But right now the roles that are coming my way, don't demand that kind of muscle. Otherwise, I love to go to the gym.
Whenever I am shooting somewhere and I am staying in a hotel, a good hotel generally has a gym. That is a blessing for me. So I go there.
I am the only person using it (laughs). There I don't feel scared. I can remove my mask and work out freely.
Is a vegetarian diet enough to get a six pack?
Just tell them to see my pictures (laughs). If they see my pictures, they will get the answer (laughs).
Have you ever been advised to take supplements or steroids to get in shape in a short duration?
I am totally against steroids. I don't promote this at all.
My idea is to be natural. It takes time to build a physique and structure.
If you are a youngster, start early.
How early would you recommend youngsters to start hitting the gym?
I started when I was 16. I am not saying start at 16. At least start at 18, once you finish school.
My case was totally different, as I was addicted to it.
Start doing it once you are in college, rather than doing the thousands of wrong things that you can get yourself into and the wrong habits.
I must say if you get into fitness when you are young, you will build an excellent structure that will stay with you all your life.
As you grow older, you cannot work out that much. It is a blessing for me that I started very young. That structure is still there with me.
How do you maintain your body?
If you have to attain that, you've to stop (consuming) salt.
Earlier I used to stop (consuming) salt for 10-11 days. But now with age, I cut down salt for like 2-3 days, or even 1 day at times.
That's why I am saying that for getting there, you have to build that structure which will stay with you all your life. At least till the time, you don't get a role or something (that requires you to put on weight).
If I have to gain 10 kg for a role, obviously I will not have a six-pack abs.
So after I'm done, I will have to go back to my routine.
I try to maintain myself as much as possible, and if the role demands I can get back to that shape within 20 days or max, 30 days.
Earlier it used to be 10-12 days, but as you grow older, the number of days also increases.
A fitness tip you'd like to share with our readers
Start your fitness routine as early as possible. If you haven't started yet, start today.