Known for his niche roles in films and series, Prateik Babbar has been giving his followers on Instagram some serious fitness goals. Recently initiated into mixed martial arts, he has been training hard for his upcoming projects. We caught up with this dynamic performer in between takes.
What’s your fitness routine?
I’ve been weight training for 15 years and that is still going on. But for the past year, I’ve been into mixed martial arts (MMA) and I’ve been practicing jujitsu, kickboxing, muay thai, and boxing. I alternate days between weight training and MMA, and then give a break of a day or two from everything. For instance, on Monday I could do a leg workout, Tuesday would be MMA, Wednesday for the back, and Thursday MMA again.
I am also focusing on stretching to become more flexible. I am currently working on a full split too (laughs). Yoga is something that I want to get back to at some point.
How did you get into MMA?
I’ve always been a fan of mixed martial arts. It’s a combination of all the combat sports you can think of— karate, judo, jujitsu, muay thai, tai Kwan do, kung fu, boxing, and kickboxing. Growing up, watching UFC fights and the Conor McGregor era, I was always tuned into this stuff. And then I eventually started training in 2019. My life’s mission is to receive a black belt in jujitsu. It’s a very difficult sport, but I love how it’s all about grappling, chokes, rolls, and throws.
From your experience, what have been the many benefits of MMA for you?
Discipline and focus above all. There is a sense of hunger too — I am so hungry to learn more because I am new to it. And there are so many levels. It also helps you in your daily mindset — it strengthens you, centers you. It makes you understand the physicality of a human body and how it can be used in combat or self-defense. It gives you a deeper connection with your body and mind. T
With respect to these different levels, you have to practice for many years to achieve that. Each belt has different stripes that you have to acquire. For example, you get four stripes on your white belt in six months, or one year or five years, depending on how good you are. I am obsessed with that, I really want to progress. That’s why I am practicing jujitsu like a maniac these days.
View this post on Instagram
Talk to us about your boxing journey
I started training in boxing in 2019 though I have been watching boxing for years. It is a different kind of adrenaline. It is a great form of release too.
Where do you train and with whom?
I train closely with a 27-year-old, Mumbai-based professional mixed martial artist who is incredible. He is a jujitsu purple belt and a close friend, so we work well together. The MMA community is very small but there are people who do follow martial arts seriously and know the places to train at. I sometimes go to a gym.
Are you following a particular diet right now?
I am pretty much always on a diet, and then I let myself go once a week. I am always eating grilled stuff and watching my sugar and carbs.
And finally, tell us about your current projects
At the moment, I am shooting for Bachchan Pandey with Akshay Kumar. As soon as that is done, I’ll work with Madhur Bhandarkar for his show India Lockdown, which talks about how the lockdown affected different kinds of people. Then I get back into Season 3 of Four More Shots Please as well as a very special project, which will release on Netflix in September, if all goes well.
All images: Courtesy Prateik Babbar