Meet Kuldep Sethi, the man behind Vijay Deverakonda’s jaw-dropping transformation in Liger

Directed by Puri Jagannadh, Liger also stars Ananya Panday in a pivotal role.

Meet Kuldep Sethi, the man behind Vijay Deverakonda’s jaw-dropping transformation in Liger
Vijay Deverakonda with his fitness trainer Kuldep Sethi. (Image credits: Vijay Deverakonda/Instagram)

Ever since the trailer of Puri Jagannadh’s Liger was released, South superstar Vijay Deverakonda’s physical transformation has been the talk of the town. The person behind this metamorphosis is one of the leading fitness and transformation experts, Kuldep Sethi.

Speaking about Vijay’s training journey, Kuldep says, “Vijay worked out for about six months. When we started, he was not in a good shape at all – so in the initial two months, we focused on building muscle mass by covering the basic exercises. In the morning, he would eat oats and brown bread with peanut butter. We also gave him 10-15 eggs. We used to give him sweet potatoes if he would get bored of the usual meals. We increased the intensity gradually. He started taking more protein and carbs to build that body. We then ensured that we cut down the fat. Vijay is playing a UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship] fighter in Liger and had to look like one. We had to ensure that he is flexible and his moves are at par with an MMA fighter.”

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Produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions, the film will also see Ananya Panday, Ramya Krishnan, and boxing legend Mike Tyson in pivotal roles. The film sees Vijay as a guy who fights various odds to reach his goal.

Recently, the Arjun Reddy actor left all jaws dropped with his semi-nude pose with just a bouquet of roses. “Vijay was in good condition by the time we decided to shoot the poster. In three weeks, we had to make him ready. I had to cut down his carbs completely. He was getting very minimal carbs, that too only from vegetables. He learned posing to showcase his muscles,” Kuldep tells us.

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He adds, “When he was shooting for the fight scenes, he was taking a good amount of carbs as he needed the energy to do the fights. Vijay, at no point in the film, will look drained. All thanks to the power of nutrition.”

“Vijay’s weaker points were his legs, shoulders, and back muscles,” adds Kuldep while talking about the challenges he had to face to make Vijay look like a fighter. “I would like to highlight that Vijay has had one or two shoulder injuries but that didn’t stop him from achieving a perfect body. He had a rotator cuff injury before becoming an actor. We had to be careful and avoid putting a direct load on his muscles. We used to warm up properly, do rotator cuff exercises and that helped us.”

Vijay will be seen sharing the screen with Mike Tyson. Kuldep tells us, “Vijay was already in great shape and we did not do anything special for the scenes.”

For the unversed, superstar Ram Charan was the first celebrity who Kuldep trained. He says, “I began my journey as a professional trainer in 2004 and a year later I started training Ram Charan. He used to visit this one particular gym where I used to work. Honestly, I didn’t even know who he was for the longest time. One of his friends recommended me to him. After training him for a week, this friend asked me if I know who Ram Charan is. When I replied in the negative, he told me that he is Chiranjeevi Garu’s son. Ram had not started working in films back then. However, the same year, in 2005, his debut film Chirutha (2007) went on the floors. I trained Ram Charan till Magadheera (2009).”

He adds, “I also train Anuskha Shetty, Raashii Khanna and Rashmika Mandanna. They are all dedicated and committed. The younger generation wants to achieve fitness.”

Liger will be released in theatres on August 25.

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