We Caught Up With Hrithik's Trainer Kris Gethin Before Vikram Vedha's Release
We Caught Up With Hrithik’s Trainer Kris Gethin, Leading Up To Vikram Vedha’s Release

The Welsh bodybuilding champ and transformation expert has been working with Hrithik for over ten years now

Carrying out body transformations isn’t easy — and certainly get harder the older you become. For Hrithik Roshan, who is now pushing 50 and working on Fighter fresh after today’s Vikram Vedha release, it’s an uphill climb that certainly needed someone truly world-class when it came to designing his workout regime.


Enter Kris Gethin. Ever since meeting Hrithik during the physically demanding shoot of Krrish 3, the Welsh transformation expert and hardcore bodybuilder has become a major name in developing Bollywood’s biggest physiques, with a wealth of experience on nutrition, exercise, and more.

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We caught up with Gethin earlier this month, hoping to explore his decade-long journey with Hrithik, his storied workout philosophy, and well-reputed career behind the strongest bodies in Bollywood — read on for more.


(This interview has been edited for clarity.)

Credits: Kris Gethin

How did you start your own fitness journey?

I started my own fitness journey over 25 years ago. Now, for ten to eleven years, I was racing motocross, sustained a lot of injuries, and I went to physiotherapy to help alleviate my pain and recover. I was doing resistance training in order to rehabilitate myself, and I really enjoyed the way that it made me feel because now I was starting to get alleviated of the pain from the injuries that I’d sustained.

I was also enjoying the content that I was reading about training and nutrition and supplementation, so I decided to go to college for three years to study international health and sports therapy. That was in the mid-nineties and I’ve been a personal trainer ever since, and also participate in various activities.

I’ve been a natural bodybuilder. I’ve come second in the Natural Body Building championships. I’ve competed in Ironmans, triathlons, and ultramarathons… motocross, downhill mountain biking. I love snowboarding every year. So, I participate in quite a lot of sports that are centrally fitness related.

What’s Hrithik’s favourite way to work out?

I’d say he likes versitality in his workouts. Today, for instance, we swam and did various drills in a swimming pool. We also went to the gym and hit the back and biceps. Sometimes we’ll go down to the beach for some running.

We do boxing work, pad work, agility drills — there isn’t one particular way that he likes to exercise, I think he collectively likes to do a lot of things, and it’s collectively that he excels.

It was monsoon season here in India, and it was raining really, really bad. We decided to head out and do some sprints and boxing on the beach — it was really coming down hard with rain, but it’s nice, you know. Skin is waterproof, I like to say.

Whenever the elements are against you, you have the opportunity to control those elements — so that’s what we did.

Credits: Kris Gethin

Who has been your favourite and most disciplined Bollywood client?

So I started working with Bollywood clients, starting with Hrithik Roshan in 2011. I was flown over to India to do a book launch, because I released a book in 2011 and one of the places that I was doing a book launch was here in Mumbai.

Hrithik read that book. He was about to postpone filming for Krrish 3, because he was dealing with a lot of back issues, he put on a lot of weight. I did a consultation with him here in India and realized that this guy was serious. He’s very intuitive, he knew exactly what he wanted, and I could see that he is a very dedicated individual.

So then, I started working with him. It was supposed to be a 12 week transformation, but we transformed in about 10 weeks. And when everybody saw the transformation that we’d gone through, everybody wanted me as their trainer.

So, you know, people like Ranveer Singh, Arjun Kapoor, Karen Johar. Um, who else was there? Mahesh Babu, uh, John Abraham, those just a long laundry list of, uh, clients that wanted to work with me. So, uh, that’s how the Bollywood. transformations begun, uh, back in 2011, a long time ago.

Credits: Kris Gethin

Are there any unique challenges that come with training clients for films?

Yes. So if, for instance, there’s a client needs to be in shape for various scenes throughout the film, it doesn’t happen all on one day — you have them usually spread out over various weeks. So I will speak with the actor and speak with the director to see exactly what sort of shot they’ll be doing on a particular date.

That gives me a bit of an understanding of what the physique needs to look like for that particular shoot. So if it’s a romantic setting or a music video, then I know the physique needs a be a little bit symmetrical, more balanced and not quite as full and muscular. So that’s the look that we go for, but then if it’s an action sequence, uh, or there’s a fighting scene and the top is off, then I need to go for a bigger physique.

That’s a little bit drier, a little bit more separated and a little fuller. So we’ll carb-load and train differently, specifically for that scene. I have to insist that we have around 10 days between each scene, because I have to deplete my client’s body in order to load them with a lot of carbohydrates to bring out the fullness, the separation, and dry out the physique from all the subcutaneous fluids.

So there’s definitely a process to it and it can be a little bit complicated, especially when you’re overseas and you’re a little bit unsure of the food that is available. Sometimes we’re in the middle of the desert, so we don’t have any gym equipment to train with.

So, we have to get very, very creative in instances like that, but I like the challenge.

What would you most want to change amongst India’s fitness community today?

The thing that I’d like to change the most I’d say is the concept of supplements being bad for you, because in all reality supplements can help your longevity. They can help with your health span, they can help with your performance.

A lot of people in India think that supplements are bad for your health. They think that supplements are a steroid, so this is a big misconception in India. I don’t know why it, you know, it’s, it is definitely not a misconception in other countries that I’ve experienced, but in India, I get that question all the time.

As long as you’re taking legitimate supplements specifically for you and your health, it’s only going to have positive effects, not negative effects.

I’ve been taking supplements and my clients have been taking supplements — a lot of us for over 25 years. I have my blood work done every six months. I check my BI biological age every year. I’ve been able to reduce my biological age every year and increase my health span.

My blood work is absolutely perfect and I take supplements to ensure that happens. Of course, the diet has to be number one, your activity, your sleep, and your hydration, and then comes your supplements. That’s the icing on the cake.

Credits: Kris Gethin

What’s your personal favourite way to exercise?

My favorite way to exercise is anything that puts me in a meditative state. I call it active meditation — something that allows me to kind of be heightened to my own senses and switching off from other senses, such as your phone, computer conference calls, meetings, travel, all of which is usually business related.

I’ve done a 10 day Vipassana recently, and even that was an exercise in itself for the mind. It isn’t always just physical exercise, I think it’s very important that you exercise your mind in a way that’s gonna create more, more happiness and more gratitude.

How do you generally unwind after a hard day’s work?

I like to read every night. That’s my routine. And I enjoy reading. That’s like a pastime where I can kind of escape and then I’ll meditate for about 20 minutes before bed, with a positive mindset and a relaxed mindset, and then I’ll meditate as soon as I wake up. I don’t switch on the phone for about an hour after waking either.

I think it’s very important that you set your mindset for a positive outcome and invite positivity into your universe. So I’ll meditate first thing in the morning and that’s the one thing that I absolutely love about India is that it’s dedication to meditation and yoga and his spirituality. So I have a meditation instructor here that helps me several times a week.

The rest of the time I do it by myself, but there’s something definitely spiritual that I love about India.

Lead Image: Kris Gethin

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