Daily Routines

Kumail Nanjiani: Daily Routine

On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.

If you’ve followed Kumail Nanjiani’s career, you know him as the witty, charming guy who always brings a good laugh, whether it’s in Silicon Valley or The Big Sick. But here’s a twist in the tale: for his role in Marvel’s Eternals, Kumail underwent a transformation that left everyone, well, stunned. Gone was the stereotypical image of the ‘funny guy’, and in its place stood a superhero with a physique that could rival the likes of Thor.

But let’s get one thing straight – this metamorphosis wasn’t just about hitting the gym and lifting weights. It was a journey that involved a disciplined approach to diet and fitness, coupled with a significant mental shift. Imagine changing not just how you look, but how you perceive yourself and how the world perceives you. That’s the story of Nanjiani’s transformation – a tale of dedication, resilience, and maybe a little bit of beet juice! Let’s dive into how this comedic actor turned into a Marvel superhero, both in body and spirit.

Diet and Workout Regimen

Kumail Nanjiani’s approach to diet is quite structured and involves a technique known as intermittent fasting. He described this in a 2021 Men’s Health interview: “I won’t eat for eighteen hours, and then I’ll compress everything into six hours of the day.” This method is not about skipping meals randomly; it’s a deliberate strategy to optimise his eating schedule, especially important when he’s not on a shooting schedule.

During his eating window, the former Silicon Valley actor focuses on protein-rich meals. A typical meal might include chicken breast, flavoured with spices from his Indian and Pakistani heritage. It’s a way to connect with his cultural background while meeting his nutritional needs. For his pre-workout, he opts for beet juice instead of standard sports drinks, favouring its natural energy-boosting properties and taste.

The comedian-turned-action star’s workout routine is equally rigorous. He incorporates electric muscle stimulation into his workouts, which involves a sensation of muscles being activated via electrical currents during exercises like lat pulldowns. This modern technique adds an extra dimension to his strength training.

But it’s not just about physical transformation for him. His exercise routine has become a mental and meditative practice. He explains, “When I’m exercising, I’m not thinking about anything else. It’s like meditation.” This mindset shift is key, marking a transition from exercising just to stay fit to using workouts as a tool for mental clarity and focus. It signifies a holistic approach to fitness, where physical exercise aids in achieving mental and emotional balance.

A Shift in Self-Image

The Marvel actor grew up with a certain image of what ‘strong men’ looked like, influenced heavily by the muscular heroes of 1980s action movies. In a 2021 GQ interview, he reflects, “We saw these guys who were like Adonises and gods and we were like, ‘Oh, that’s what strong men look like’”. This early impression significantly shaped his understanding of strength and masculinity.

However, as Nanjiani transformed his body for his Marvel role, he experienced a significant shift in how others perceived him. His new muscular physique sometimes led to confrontations, as people began to view him differently – not just as the comedian he had always been known as, but potentially as a physical threat. This change in perception was complex; while it allowed him to explore a wider range of roles beyond the stereotypical ‘nerdy sidekick,’ it also introduced new challenges.

The transformation also impacted how he viewed himself. With his newfound physique, he began to see himself not only as capable of comedic roles but also as a leading man suited for more physically demanding and diverse characters. This change was about more than building muscle; it was about breaking free from the typical roles that Hollywood often reserves for actors of specific ethnic backgrounds. His experience highlights the broader issue of challenging stereotypes and expanding the opportunities for diverse actors in Hollywood.

In short, Kumail Nanjiani’s journey was more than a physical transformation; it was an exploration of self-identity, challenging societal norms about masculinity, and redefining the roles available to actors of colour in Hollywood.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.