Joined: 11 March 2006
Strenuous kickboxing sessions helped Khan boost his fitness. We explain how it can work for you too
A decade ago, a 10 times less dapper Saif Ali Khan co-acted in Main Khiladi Tu Anari with Akshay Kumar. While Kumar beat up a dozen, Khan's character, a reel hero, watched meekly. Cut to today, Khan is readying to play the badass-who-beats-up-thugs again, in Agent Vinod.
Other than his yoga sessions with his lady love, kickboxing has helped beat his physique to shape. Ziauddin Khatib of the Indian Kick Boxing Association, Khan's trainer and a pioneer of the martial art in India, shares the actor's wham-bam regimen.
Why the kicks
Kickboxing is a high-intensity total body workout. The explosive, compound body kickboxing movements boost metabolism and turn your body into a fat-melting furnace. The techniques put your entire muscular structure under intense stress.
Khan's already fit status and regular weight-training regimen helped. Kickboxing mainly improved his cardio and made his body more flexible. Flexibility improves circulation and ensures injury-free workout, game or routine.
Kickboxing pioneer Ziauddin Khatib (left) trained Saif Ali Khan in the martial art form which helped improve the latter's flexibility and concentration
Kickboxing is an anaerobic activity that requires one to maintain high energy levels. A fighter's intention should be to eat foods which will provide the strength, best maintained by sources of high energy and low fat content.
' Hence, carbohydrates (all types of grains, potatoes, corn) are vital, for they slowly release energy for a sustained period of time, replacing lost glycogen stores and increasing stamina during fights and training.
' Protein helps repair muscles, aids muscle groW*H, prevents long-lasting damage and also acts as a further energy source, preventing the body from using its much-valued muscle for energy. Thus, it is crucial you have eggs, legumes and selected meats.
' While excessive fat can obviously cause unwanted weight gain, kickboxers need some fats to maintain important internal bodily functions. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats are both needed for production of prostaglandins, a type of hormone that keeps the body in working order. The foods fish liver oils, sunflower/olive/peanut oils, cheddar cheese, whole milk and egg yolk.
' Khan's diet design was thus: 45 per cent carbs, 30 per cent protein and almost 15 per cent fats. He was instructed to increase water intake to avoid dehydration, a crucial component for this strenuous sport.
Though Khan would train four-five times a week, beginners must practice kickboxing every alternate day