Mumbai: Ever wondered what it takes to get a chiselled body like Virat Kohli? Not only the Team India skipper has been a major catalyst for a fitness-crazy culture in the national team but he also continues to inspire his followers to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, there is a lot of effort and hard work that goes on behind the scenes to achieve a figure like Kohli. Starting from a kid with chubby cheeks to now a worldwide fitness-icon, the stylish cricketer opened up on his entire diet plan and workout routine.
Why is he a fitness freak?
The dashing right-hander believes a fit lifestyle is a key to a healthy mind, which also makes one feel good about themselves.
“My reason was totally different. It had to do with playing at a certain level in professional sport. I realised in the process that when I started getting fitter, I started thinking better. I had more confidence, clarity, focus and determination. And I started feeling that inside me as soon as I changed my physical regime. That’s when I began to think that everybody should be doing this. Getting fitter makes you confident overall. It makes you feel good about yourself. You need to feel good to have good thoughts. And then came about this idea of pushing people towards fitness to make them understand why this is so important,” he recently said in an interview by the Times of India.
What goes into his stomach?
Junk foods are big no when it comes to Kohli’s diet, who prefers to eat a lot of healthy, organic and homecooked foods. Not like he does not indulge in cravings, but small quantities do no harm.
“I always prefer a protein-rich sandwich over a burger. A rest day cannot be a cheat day that negates whatever you have achieved during the week; small quantities of whatever you crave, eaten slowly, works best,” he was quoted as saying by Mumbai Mirror.
When he is on the field, he regularly snacks on roasted chana (peas) to fuel some energy.
Kohli sticks to a high-protein diet, a must for athletes to gain lean muscle mass and maintain low body fat levels.
For breakfast, he prefers his usual three-eggwhite omelette along with peanut butter that is spread on brown bread toast. Followed by lunch, where he enjoys chicken along with spinach. And after a hard day of training, his last supper of the day also includes a protein-heavy diet of pink salmon or mutton chops alongside soups, salads and lightly-sautéed vegetables.
Healthy fats also constitute an important part of his diet that sees him regularly consume fish oil capsules along with his meals. Kohli also carries his own nut butter and ensures he consumes a good amount of fat in his diet.
“I always carry a packet of healthy snacks or a box of nuts with me at all times. Often, I munch on wheat crackers and wheat thins, which come in small and convenient-sized packets for you to slip into your handbag.”
What is his training like?
His strict diet plan is complemented by a hardcore workout to keep his body toned. Even during the off-season, Kohli ensures to invest in as much time in his training as he usually does when he is actively playing cricket.
“During the off-season period, it is all about working on building muscle mass. The workouts require much more work. I concentrate mainly on my lower body and strengthening my legs and back, which are required for my sport. I focus on functional exercises that my sport requires rather than the ones that make my body look good. During the season, I mainly focus on maintaining and building my fitness and stamina levels.”
Kohli is massively dedicated to his workout routine that consists of weight lifting, power running at short intervals using treadmill and bike sets.
“When I am travelling, these three exercises are my basic routine. My closest alternatives to them are looking for a mix-and-match of equipment to resemble my daily workout. If there is a barbell or any lifting plates available, then I am sorted for my lifting set. In the absence of a treadmill, I enjoy doing cross-country runs and love a good cycle ride in whichever city I am.”
How does he stay motivated during workouts?
There are times even when Kohli feels low to hit the gym, but the music keeps him going.
“Take for instance the beginning of your first hectic week of training. Four days into your workout schedule, you might just not feel up to it. It happens to everybody. Music helps me synchronise my mind with the exercises I have to or even want to do. Motivational music is very subjective and personal to every individual.”
Kohli customises a playlist made of his favourite tracks to keep his workouts of high-intensity with short breaks, avoiding even the smallest of distractions.
“Each person would be motivated and energised to a different genre of music as compared to someone else. I would recommend finding your own set of tracks that motivate you and structuring them in a fixed playlist so you know which track is coming next. This will let you effectively get through your arduous workout in a smooth way without stopping in between to change a track. You can modify your playlist before you begin your workout too.”