Mahesh Bhatt’s son Rahul Bhatt, who was Aamir Khan’s physical coach for his phenomenal weight gain and weight loss for Dangal, speaks on the process.
Aamir Khan’s incredible weight enhancement to 97 kgs followed by an even more miraculous weight reduction by 20 kilos for his character of the wrestler in Dangal is the talk of the nation.
Rahul Bhatt who coached Aamir through the traumatic physical transformation says the man has the will of steel. “Only Aamir could’ve done this to himself at the risk of his health .Such drastic weight loss is not recommended after 50. But Aamir is Aamir. It was my responsibility to lay out the blueprint for his physical coaching. I have been an obese child myself, so I’ve been through that dramatic transformation personally. The one year that I spent with him coaching him throughout his weight changes was a learning experience for me. I’ve not seen such fierce dedication and passion in anyone.”
So did Aamir follow Rahul’s instructions blindly? “Not at all! Aamir has an encyclopedic mind. He absorbs and filters facts according to his requirements. He listens carefully. He can differentiate between fact and conjecture.”
The training began early every morning. “Aamir would wake up at 4 am for the work-out. There were basically three steps to his training. The psychological aspect is the most important. Then the diet and finally the training. All world-class coaches will tell you that for the body to transform, the trainee must first bullet-proof his mind. Once the mind is bullet-proofed the body can do anything. Aamir has an exceptional mind which can conceptualize, visualize and actualize whatever is required. And once he knows what he needs to do, he has no problem with the self-discipline. All he needed was to be convinced of the psychology of weight loss the rest just followed naturally. It was ‘mind over fatter’ all the way.”
Though Rahul spent close to one year with Aamir he wouldn’t say they were friends. “Though I was his PERSONAL trainer it was all very professional. I was invited deep into his personal space. A kind of confidentiality had to be maintained. I had to safeguard his privacy, and mine. Now when people are going gaga over his body transformation I feel happy and proud. His success is my success. I had to safeguard his health and make sure he was injury-free. I’ve achieved that.”
Personal trainers are now the fad in Bollywood. But Rahul feels many of them are not qualified. “First of all, I am not a trainer. I am a coach. A lot of people are in it for the quick bucks. These trainers are frequently sycophants, part of the stars’ entourage. Only an exceptional man like Aamir Khan can hire someone like me. I don’t understand PR and self-promotion. Real world-class coaches are not bothered with seeing their faces in Page 3. Passion is the genesis of genius. World class coaches have to motivate their clients into astounding body changes. You have to motivate your client, serve as a psychiatrist. Just drawing up cookie-cutter planners is not enough.”