There’s no denying that Baahubali is nothing less than a grand visual wonder which has taken Indian Cinema to greater heights and raised the bar in the aspects such as movie making, production values, and richness in every element. And to top it all, the passion of every individual artist is obvious not only by their dedication in performance but also the transformation they had undergone for the movie; none so more than Daggubati Rana.
Let us delve a bit deeper into how a lean looking Rana around the Dum Maro Dum time had this amazing transformation into a monstrous looking antagonist Bhallala Deva for Baahubali: The Beginning. It was not surprising to learn that he had garnered a great number of fans with that beautifully carved body right from the first look. And now, he is back with an even stronger, heavier, and an up scaled body for Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.
During the road to discovery of how this excellent transformation came to be, his fitness coach Kunal Gir shared some of the secrets behind the making of Baahubali’s Rana along with their camaraderie. The first one was that he had known and been training Rana since way before he entered the movie industry. Quoting Mr. Kunal “My first meeting with Rana was in 2008, it had him asking me to give him exercises that would help him lose weight. Yes, he was quite overweight then.
That was when he discovered that Rana is naturally passionate towards maintaining fitness and he grew even fonder of it when he started Baahubali. Now with his character demanding even bulkier Rana for Baahubali: The Conclusion, he is all set to grace his fans with a look that’s not only mind-blowing, but also truly inspirational.
Talking about the regimen for achieving Rana’s refined look in the part two, Kunal says, “Yes. He has already won a great amount of appreciation and applauds for this look. We wanted to make him look not just bulkier for the movie, but also better than his look from the first part. And to achieve that, we made him concentrate on enhancing the fitness levels of his arms and chest instead of just his back and legs. He would train every alternate days on his arms and chest.
The technique he used on the arms here is called Blood Flow Restriction training (simply called BFR). Quoting Kunal, “Here we would tie bands around Rana's arms which would restrict the blood flow making the arms looked pumped up. With the bands being tightly wrapped, the blood could flow into his arm, but could not flow out and staying there for sometime making his biceps look bulked up. It's an age old technique followed since 25 years and we do it scientifically that has produced great results all the time.” This technique enabled Rana gain three inches more on his muscular arms in just one year which is considered an excellent achievement by his trainer as it usually takes a lot more than that to get such result with regular exercises.
To enhance and ideally build the chest area, Kunal made Rana exercise a lot more using dumbbells and chains. It too has proved to be an effective strategy as it worked out quite well in their favor. Despite weighing just 95 Kgs now (13 Kgs less than his weight during the part 1), Rana looks heavier and symmetrical, all thanks to an excellent and elaborate regime by his trainer Kunal.
Kunal is currently training Ranbir Kapoor making him an important part of some major projects such as Sanjay Dutt’s biopic as well as Ayan Mukherji’s Dragon.