The Arjun way : Eat All & Burn All

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Many times it is not just the need or the will but the profession we are in, that demands more from our body than what we lend. And being an actor and expect not this to happen to you is falsely never justified in any scenario. This profession demands not only being fit but is a constant see-saw of being fit to fat and vice versa. Similar has been the case with Arjun Chidambaram who is an actor in Tamil Cinema. Arjun has been working out for the past 10 years and was actively involved in sports as well. And it was just after his school that he realized that sports is no more favoring him and that is when at college he decided to turn the tables. Very clearly and successfully he accomplished this mission of fitness. But as I mentioned the profession expects you to be consistent, of course in your work, but in the part where you have to fit, healthy and strong at the same time. It wasn’t easy for Arjun either who have survived two back injuries and still stands intact. He believes that a trainer has a very crucial role to play and one must be under the guidance of a well-known and informed trainer. His mantra to live and be fit is – “Eat all you want, just work it out”. Be regular to workout and have as many cheat meals as you crave until and unless you are burning that all out. The profession of an actor requires Arjun to lose and gain weight accordingly and this is why he suggests a well-informed trainer is a must. Also, the profession has allowed him to dance apart from the gym workout and now he is looking for a change in the regime, like a total shift from the gym too, maybe, MMA or something else. It is very well to adapt oneself to different fields of workout, be it dancing, gym or martial arts unless one doesn’t give up burning that extra fat.


When and why did you choose to transform

What was your Lifestyle prior to your transformation?

I started to work out when I was in my tenth grade like I was 15. And I started drinking when I was 17 and smoking too. And my gym routine had helped me to overcome the urge to drink or smoke. I didn’t really have any transformation as such from fat to fit. I have always been a fitness freak and hence working out comes easily to me. Before doing gym for 10 years in a row now, I was involved in athletics also.

What was your turning point?

I was really thin and I didn’t like the way I looked. And I was involved in sports in my school and when I came to college I just couldn’t do any more sports because I developed this sweat allergy and that abstained me from spending a lot of time in the sun which eventually prevented me from doing my sports. At this point of time, I realized that I need to change the way I am living. But I needed to devote the same amount of time into something else ( the time I used to be in sports each day) and that is how I found a gym.

Were there any unique challenges or difficulties you faced?

I was limited to only vegetarian diet at home and for non-vegetarian I had to go out. So I was devoid of a healthy non-vegetarian diet since the one I could get outside was not preferable. The non-veg food that I got outside is all filled with masala and spicy leading to an upset stomach.

Were there any circumstances when you had to face failures?

Right now I am getting a little bored with the gym. It has been ten years since I started doing gym and currently, I am looking for something different like, maybe, MMA. I really am into changing my routine but not give up being fit.

Training Approach

How many hours do you workout in a day?

I work for 2 hours a day or maybe 1.5 hours a day.

Would you split between cardio, weight training and other workouts like swimming yoga etc?

I don’t do cardio at all. I precisely do weight training and core training. I don’t really do yoga or swimming but I dance. I am an actor and a theater artist too and hence dancing is something I do and love doing as well.

Have you faced any challenge or injuries while working out?

I have injured my lower back like twice and it took me 6 months each time to recover from it. Although, I kept on working out still during that period just that I was going easy on myself. My only concern is to not gain weight.

Diet and Supplement Plan

Please describe your diet plan

Yes, I did had a diet plan which basically is -”eat what you want”. I have been working out for the last ten years and my diet majorly contains proteins.I am a vegetarian and hence my diet includes broccoli, millets, brown bread, eggs etc. Since my household is a vegetarian one hence eggs don’t come easily at my household and similar is the case with chicken and due to that, I am made to eat out ( chicken) which has like lots of spices and fat making me reluctant to have it.  So eating regularly, like oats, helps increase your metabolism rate and removes the toxin from your body and you will feel a lot cleaner. Broccoli has a high absorption rate for proteins even better than chicken for that matter. I am also a heavy dairy product consumer. Depending on that when I cut my dairy consumption there is a lot of difference I see in myself varying from the texture of the skin, the fat percentage.

How many meals in a day?

I have 7 meals a day. I have a meal in every 2-3 hours because of my high metabolism making the food to digest very quickly. I have a heavy breakfast, and after that post gym I have eggs, carbs in lunch like brown rice , broccoli, chicken or any other general food in evening, next is a wrap or roll, the very next is dinner and the last meal of the day is post dinner. I have my supplements post workout after dinner and another dose intra workout ( if I am on a supplement diet). Also, I have ample of dry fruits. Apart from that I have coconut water of one coconut each day. I give half and hour for the post dinner supplement to digest and maybe after an hour I sleep.

Please explain Split of carbs, protein and fat in the diet .

I don’t have any such breakage in particular. But the more proteins you have the better the body and skin. More the merrier.

Could you list any cheat meals in a week/ Month and its impact.

I eat everything. My every meal is a cheat meal. If I find something interesting I eat it. I never resist or starve myself. My whole diet plan is a cheat meal. I just suggest that one should  not stuff too much of fast foods although resistance is not advisable either.

Can you list the Supplements if taken?

I take Whey Protein, BCW which is intra workout. I take one supplement intra workout ( BCW) for recovery and protein synthesis and the post workout supplement is to fulfill the protein needs.

Advice for others

What someone should not be doing and should be doing to achieve their goals according to you?

Just find a good trainer like body building experts or celebrity trainer and just stick to what they say.

What is the importance of trainer/ mentor or dietitian in transformation?

Definitely, I myself have to gain and lose weight on and off for my role as an actor. For my first movie I had to gain 8 kgs and for the next I had to lose equally .Therefore, it is extremely vital to have a trainer.

Any importance and side effects of diet and supplements which you had?

When one eats a lot of eggs the body heat tumbles up and it eventually affects your skin and body. A lot of eggs also lead to bad breath and upset stomach which doesn’t happens in the vegetarian food. The weight always keep fluctuating if you don’t eat right. But I haven’t had any such side-effects from the supplements I take. The only being when you are not on them you miss them. When I take intra-workout supplement it helps me to push more weight and on the days I don’t take them I am fine but I can’t beat my best then. Because the supplements fuels my body to do that extra workout. In terms of whey proteins , when you don’t them the texture of the skin, muscles is different as from when you are on them. Also, the pump of the muscles varies when on and not on whey proteins.

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