How To Get The ‘Animal’ Body
How To Get The ‘Animal’ Body

Shivohaam, the man who’s trained some of the biggest stars in the country—and most recently Ranbir Kapoor for his beastly bod in Animal—shares the inside track with us

There’s a gentle, inexplicably calming aura to celebrity fitness trainer, Shivohaam. He’s popularly known as the OG of CrossFit in India, besides being the man behind drastic celebrity body transformations in Bollywood. Case in point: If you’ve scanned through Ranbir Kapoor’s beastly avatar for Animal, snaps of which went viral almost, you must know Shivohaam aka Dheepesh Bhatt has had a big role to play in it. From working alongside the actor on his fitness goals for Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar to transforming his lean physique into the beast one sees in Animal, it is safe to say that the journey has been nothing short of inspirational. In a freewheeling chat, Shivohaam drops the secret we’ve all been wanting to know 


Take us through the training module that Ranbir Kapoor underwent for Animal. What were the key focus areas? 


Before we started Animal, we were shooting for Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar, in which the requirement was a beach body. So, we didn’t want to get massive, but we still wanted to maintain muscle and get absolutely ripped. 


For Animal, it was a different requirement. We had to gain a lot of size; muscle definition wasn’t a priority but we didn’t want to lose it all. We wanted Ranbir to look like a beast. Hence, for Animal, it was all about hard-core, old-school weight training. Heavy lifting, compound movements, supersets, giant sets, clusters, tempo… you name it, and we did it. It was intense but intense was what we needed. We put on an additional 12 kgs and most of it was muscle. So, we did achieve our goal. 


Your word of advice and caution for those wanting to get started with functional training? 


Form, technique, and intensity. To approach training in the right way, one should first work hard on their technique: Make sure all the movements are being performed with good technique so that when you lift heavy, you don’t injure yourself. 


Consistency: Making sure that not just at the start of the set but throughout, you maintain the same form irrespective of that tiredness kicking in. 


Intensity: Once you are consistent with your technique and form, you can maintain consistency in your movement. Now it’s time to start adding weight and increase intensity. 


Don’t try to jump into the deep end. This is not that kind of a challenge. Take your time. 


How can one reap maximum benefit out of core workouts? Are there supplements that help? 


Core is not just the six-pack but basically the internal muscles that hold us upright and maintain stability in our movements, especially around the shoulder blades, back and hips. Working on your core strength and stability will 100 per cent reduce chances of any workout injury. 


No, there are no supplements which help with improving core strength in particular. 


Kapoor reportedly underwent ‘a clean diet’ for his physical transformation. We’d like to know more. What was his diet and nutrition like? 


You can tell by a person’s face when he’s been eating clean and living clean, and you can surely tell from Ranbir’s that his eating habits and lifestyle are both very disciplined and clean. 


When it comes to food, he was allowed everything. A proper balanced diet with a small treat every now and then. A good portion of protein, carbs and fat. Towards the end though, we did a cycle of carbs a lot to tweak his appearance. But all in all, he ate everything he likes, and luckily that’s all the good stuff. 


Fail-safe ways to keep one’s fitness levels up 


Exercise like you brush your teeth. Do it every day, without fail and once done, forget about it. 


Myths about ‘beasting up’ that you’d like to bust? 


Eat all you want and you will beast up.  Yes, you will, but in the bargain, you will also end up gaining unwanted fat which you don’t want. You want muscles, you want size, but you also want to look aesthetically pleasing. 




Your message to youngsters who want to up their flexibility and fitness? 


– 5 to 10 minutes of dynamic stretching pre-workout 


– Once a week or more, 30 minutes mobility drills  


– Minimum 4 hours of conscious exercise every week. Break it up as you like  


– A little bit of weights, some functional, and a pinch of core workouts will do the job 


Since you’ve been a strong advocate of meditation, what are some of the apps/ techniques you’d suggest to beginners? 


No one can jump straight into meditation. Meditation happens as a result of extreme concentration. These are the words of my Satguru Yogiraj Siddhanath Gurunath. Initially, a person can start with some basic breathing exercises. Once they are able to breathe for a certain amount of time with intent, then they can choose what kind of meditation practice they would like to follow. 


What are Kapoor’s strengths and weaknesses? 


Strengths: Dedication, punctuality, does what is needed, no questions asked, works super hard, listens. 


Weaknesses: Honestly, I haven’t come across any as yet. 


It’s often said that the body does what the mind approves. In that case, what would be your thoughts about someone who’s just getting started and not seeing results as yet?  


Patience, it takes time. There is no need to go head-on and break yourself every day. There is always a smarter way of doing things. Find a programme that works for you and your temperament, and then stick by it. The results will show. 


How many hours a day did you guys’ train to help Kapoor achieve the Animal body?  


Maximum two sessions a day. One session of 80 to 90 minutes and a second session of 30 minutes. But this is only for a short period. 


How different is it to go through a body transformation in your 40’s as compared to in your 20’s (Kapoor is 40)? What are the new challenges? 


Well technically, at 40, you are in your prime. Muscles are more mature and so is your mind if you train it too. Transformations are possible in both age categories, just that the body will look different when you are in your 20’s as opposed to in your 40’s. Also, transformation depends on your past experience with training. If people, who have had previous experience training, follow a good programme along with a check on nutrition, they will be able to get the physical transformation they want as compared to someone who has no experience at the gym previously. 


What are the top five things one should keep in mind if they start their fitness journey in their 40’s? 


– Start with a very simple, basic programme of the bro split 


– Make sure to add mobility drills 


– Watch your food 


– Make the necessary changes in your lifestyle  


– Make sure to, without fail, add some form of breathwork and mind fitness into your programme 

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