Meet Kuldep Sethi, a celebrity fitness trainer turned actor

Kuldep Sethi with actor Ram Pothineni and director Puri Jagannath.

Hyderabad: Celebrity fitness guru Kuldep Sethi’s grandfather was a wrestler and always encouraged him to be fit and eat healthy desi food.

From athletics to working at a corporate company as a fitness trainer, and now running a successful gym in the city (360 Degree Fitness) along with Sunitha Reddy and training several Telugu film stars including Ram Charan, Anuskha Shetty, Varun Tej, Vijay Deverakonda, Chiranjeevi, Raashi Khanna, Ram Pothineni, Pragya Jaiswal, Kalyan Ram, Sundeep Kishan, Sai Dharam Tej and Kartikeya Gummakonda – Kuldep has come a long way.

“Back when Ram Charan was debuting in films, I was bringing great results to a lot of people. He decided to meet me and train along with me. He was so humble that he didn’t tell me who he was until I got to know one day. I transformed him within a month and then Chiranjeevi became my second celebrity client,” shares Kuldep, who was a pioneer in functional training in Hyderabad.

Not only is Kuldep behind Sundeep Kishan’s transformation in his recent outing A1 Express, but is also training Vijay Deverakonda in his much-awaited Bollywood debut Liger. The 40-year-old himself has forayed in films as an actor as well. “Acting has always been my passion apart from fitness. I wanted to be secure financially before venturing into films. I have been a huge fan of Amitabh Bachchan since my childhood days. In 2019, I went to Bangkok and Mumbai to train in acting. Then I gave my auditions for a negative role in iSmart Shankar and luckily got it. My second film was A1 Express, and I begin shooting another movie this April,” shares Kuldep, who has spent 16 years in the fitness industry.

When he first entered the industry, it was a challenge to get people off the machines and get them used to functional training. “I’ve always believed in training at grounds and never bothered about treadmills and other machines. It was a period of education for a lot of people and even trainers who were too robotic. It was difficult to teach them how to use their whole body to train,” he says. Transforming celebs is another challenge Kuldep loves to take. “Their timings are not fixed and they travel a lot. They have morning or night shoots, and have to work under the sun. So, their diet is so also different,” he adds.

Giving people advice to stay fit and healthy during Covid-19 times, he concludes, “I have dedicated my entire life to fitness and I can confidently say that consistency is the key. Also, stay away from ‘internet trainers’ who give bad training and nutrition advice on Instagram and WhatsApp. How can you transform someone, if you have not transformed yourself? Don’t fall for shortcuts and weight loss programmes as you might injure your body.”

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