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Kumail Nanjiani’s “Eternals” workout

Kumail Nanjiani’s training helped him complete one of the greatest Marvel transformations of all time for Eternals. Try the muscle building routine for yourself.

In mid-2019, Kumail Nanjiani shot the last episode of his HBO hit comedy Silicon Valley. The show followed a group of nerdy app creators as they navigated the breakneck world of big tech. Not much changed over the course of the six seasons, except that Nanjiani’s character, the insecure programmer Dinesh, had become an absolute unit by the finale – his biceps suddenly bulging out of polos.

The bulk-up was neither the producer’s idea nor a studio directive for Eternals (in theaters November 5th) starring Nanjiani Kingo, a cocky, cosmically driven warrior who lives undercover as a Bollywood star. The only green light Nanjiani needed to get in shape was from himself.

Underground operation

The transformation took place in Beverly Hills’ Granite Gym, a dimly lit basement that Grant Roberts, the coach behind Nanjiani’s incredible transformation, had quietly built into one of Hollywood’s most exclusive exercise facilities.

Although Eternals are a group of immortal beings with superhuman powers, Marvel was perfectly happy with Kingo being the “more normal looking” one, says Roberts. But for Nanjiani, who grew up obsessed with comics, this is Gig was a great opportunity to portray a South Asian superhero in a Marvel franchise. He wanted a physicality that could compete with Superman or Thor.

Breaking the mold – and the internet

Nanjiani endured punishment sessions five days a week in the year before the Eternals. “Instead of worrying about how to keep it slim consistently, we focused on adding bulk before we got a proper cut.” At the first analysis, Roberts says Nanjiani had solid biceps and a strong back, but, uh, still plenty of room for improvement. “I don’t mean to be offensive, but it probably had the softest core I’ve ever seen,” says Roberts with a laugh. “I have no idea how he could even stand up!”

Roberts combined new and old school techniques to strengthen Nanjiani by incorporating electronic muscle stimulation into his work with free weights and heavy core exercises. Always warming up started with the Power Plate, a vibrating platform that stimulates natural reflexes and shakes dormant muscle fibers. The workouts targeted no more than three parts of the body, so each area was dynamically attacked.

After six months, Nanjiani went into a sculptural phase. Michelangelo used a chisel to carve curling six-packs, but Roberts prefers the cable machine.

To maintain symmetry, Roberts had Nanjiani snap shirtless selfies every few weeks to assess progress. On the set, Marvel had a chef prepare Nanjiani’s meals, and Roberts virtually trained him to preserve his hard-earned winnings.

“People have the misconception that once you’re physically in a certain place, you can just go sailing,” says Roberts. “But it takes a lot of effort and sacrifice to get that kind of physique.” As for the sacrifice, the biggest thing for Nanjiani was cutting down on his favorite baked goods.

With Eternals in the can, he’ll be able to enjoy a treat or two again, but don’t expect him to fall back into his old habits. “I’ve seen a lot of actors who went on this journey and lost their drive, but it’s different with him. We still train every week. I am very proud of what he has achieved and I think this is just the beginning. “

Kumail Nanjiani’s “Eternals” workout

Directions

This is Kumail Nanjiani’s modeling workout. In some cases, drop sets are used where the number of reps decreases and the weight increases to encourage hypertrophy. Complete the prescribed sentences for each movement, giving yourself 45 seconds of rest in between.

Reject cable chest press Marius Bugge

1. Reject the cable chest press

Sets 1-2 (easy): 20 reps
Set 3 (medium weight): 15 reps
Sets 4-5 (maximum weight): 10 reps

Set a bench 15 degrees in the tilt position in the middle of a cable machine with handle mounts on the lowest setting on either side. Grab the handles, lie back, and bend your arms wide with your palms facing out. Push your arms up, squeeze your pecs at the top, then lower them down (you will feel a stretch).

Flye incline cable to the chest press

Flye incline cable to the chest press Marius Bugge

2. Stay cable flye to the chest press

Sets 1-2: 12 flyes / 8 presses
Sets 3-4: 10 flyes / 6 presss
Sets 5-6: 8 flies / 4 presses
Set a bench 45 degrees to the tilt position in the middle of a cable pull machine with handle mounts on the lowest setting on either side. Grab handles, then sit down with arms outstretched, elbows slightly bent, palms facing each other. Contract your chest muscles to bring your hands together. Press the top together, then slowly lower it. Perform the prescribed repetitions, then change the hand position to a wide-angle chest press.

One-armed crossbody cable flye

One-armed crossbody cable flye Marius Bugge

3. One-armed crossbody cable flye 4 x 15 repetitions

On a cable machine, set a handle attachment just below chest height. Stand away in a staggered position. With your right foot in front, grasp the handle with your left hand with a neutral grip. Place your right hand on your chest to feel the activation. Support the core and keep your shoulders straight. Begin the movement from a chest extension position. Perform a wide, curving cross-body flye that extends past your centerline. Move slowly, holding concentrically on each rep.

Dumbbell sweater

Dumbbell sweater Marius Bugge

4. Dumbbell sweater 3 x 12 repetitions

Lie face up on a bench, feet flat on the floor, hold a heavy dumbbell, arms outstretched. Bend your elbows and contract your triceps to bring the barbell directly behind your head. Increase the intensity by straightening your elbows to do a triceps extension, and then vice versa.

Triceps Extension and Triceps Kickback

Triceps Extension and Triceps Kickback Marius Bugge

5. Triceps Giant Triset x 3 sentences

Attach a straight bar to one side of a cable crossover machine and two handles on one clip on the other, both in the topmost shot. Start with the straight bar and use heavy weight. Hold the bar at forehead level with an overhand grip with your elbows bent. “Throw” the weight down with a swing to complete the triceps extension x 12 reps. Moving to the other side, grabbing the handles with an underhand grip, hinging on your hips, then stretching through your triceps for reverse pull tricep kickbacks x 12 reps. Twist your hands in an overhand grip for triceps pushdowns x 8 reps.

Partial repetition biceps curl

Partial repetition biceps curl Marius Bugge

6. Biceps Giant Triset x 3 sentences

Attach a straight bar low to the cable machine and grip it with an underhand grip. Starting in the middle of a bicep curl, arms bent 90 degrees, do partial x 7 bicep curls from bottom to half. and pull the bar up your torso by pulling your elbows backwards (don’t shrug your shoulders). Stop at chest level once the elbows are fully flexed. Immediately switch to the full biceps curl x 7 reps and take a step back to take up the original starting position.

Rope Cable Preacher Curl

Rope Cable Preacher Curl Marius Bugge

7. Rope Cable Preacher Curl 4 x 15 repetitions

Attach a triceps rope deep to a pulley machine. Grasp the ends with both hands and sit firmly on the preacher’s bench with your elbows and upper arms. Start with your arms outstretched, then roll the triceps rope towards your face until it is fully flexed with your hands on each temple. Hold the contraction for a full second.

Lying cable peak curl

Lying cable peak curl Marius Bugge

8. Cable tip curl lying flat 2 x 25 repetitions

Attach an EZ-Bar to a cable machine at shoulder height and place a flat bench under the bar. With a tight grip, do a slow curl towards your forehead, keeping each rep fully flexed for 3 seconds.

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