Celebrity fitness coach Samir Jaura, who is Farhan Akhtar's personal trainer, recently trained the actor for his sports drama 'Toofaan'. Samir has worked with several Bollywood stars including Priyanka Chopra for 'Mary Kom', Manoj Bajpayee, Shahid Kapoor and Kartik Aaryan.
Jaura, in an interview with The Free Press Journal, speaks about his celebrity clientelle, Farhan's fitness transformation for recently-released 'Toofan' and more.
Samir shares that actor Manoj Bajpayee was the first Bollywood celebrity he trained.
"We used to reside in the same building. I started my journey as a professional fitness trainer 24 years ago. So, he often spotted me walking up and down the stairs, three to four times a day, with a gym bag in hand. One fine day, he asked me if I worked out twice or thrice in a day. He didn't know much about fitness training as a profession and he was very inquisitive to know about the details of my profession. To my surprise, he asked me if I could train him and that's how my Bollywood journey started," he recalls.
When asked about his fitness journey, Samir says, "I was a very fat kid. I weighed around 120 kgs. People poked fun at me in seventh and eighth standard for my weight. I decided to overcome this, help myself and help people who are going through the same situation, that's why I got into fitness."
Speaking about what does the process of training an actor for an upcoming film involve, he says, "Every celebrity is different. Everybody has a different body type and their requirements are different, hence, their training is different. The process is different for different people so there is no fixed period of time for a celebrity to transform his/her physique for a particular film."
The fitness coach who has trained several celebrities says that 'Toofan' was one of the most difficult films he has worked on.
Asked what has been his favourite celebrity transformation, Samir Jaura names Farhan.
He says, "It will be quite unfair to answer this question because every actor is different and their body types and requirements are different. But, I have spent a lot of time with Farhan so I am slightly tilted towards him."
"That in no way means I am trying to sabotage other actors. It's solely based on the fact that I have known Farhan more than any actor for the longest time," he adds.
Talking about Farhan's intense training for the role of Aziz Ali - a goon who becomes a national level boxer, Samir says, "Learning boxing was very hectic. He started everything from scratch so it was difficult to conquer this. It has to be convincing to the audience as well so the training was quite intense."
"For the first transformation, we worked for 4 months. The prep time before the film started was 4 months and within that period we had to gain the required look and also learn boxing. The boxing coach trained him and I was responsible for bringing out the required look. Because he was learning already boxing, it didn't become something he had to start from scratch. He just took a month and a half for brushing up his techniques," he reveals.
Jaura who has previously worked with Farhan Akhtar for Indian track and field sprinter Milka Singh's biopic 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag' says, "Toofan was a little tough because running is something everybody has done at some point in their life, but boxing is a very specific sport that most people don't do in India. Farhan had to understand the intricacies of boxing from scratch. Boxing is very strenuous."
Talking about his bond with the 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' actor, Samir says, "Since I have known Frahan for the longest time, I could connect with him really well. There's one similarity between us that we are very passionate towards our respective works. Whenever we both are working on a movie, it emerges in an enhanced way because we both share the same zeal towards our work."
While rumours suggest that Bollywood stars take certain steroids to bulk up for movies, Samir says he doesn't believe in it.
"I don't rely on taking steroids. One might get muscular and a bulked up body after taking steroids, but when it comes to strength, it won't work. There's no point in taking steroids in the first place. If your workout is quite intense, you can take proteins but only after consulting your trainer," he says.
The fitness freak advices people to keep a check on their eating habit and says, "Obesity is very prevalent these days and it leads to many major diseases. If you are a beginner, you can start off by basic stretching and then further move to higher levels of it. Try at least walk or jog if you can't exercise. You should have control over what you are eating. Keeping a check on your eating habits and working out regularly will help in the long run."
Samir Jaura, who's also Farhan's personal trainor, is currently training actors Kartik Aaryan and Arjun Mathur.