"Farhan had zero experience in boxing."
Bollywood actor Farhan Akhtar is due to appear in the highly-anticipated film Toofaan.
The film is a sports drama, in which Akhtar takes on the role of a professional boxer alongside Mrunal Thakur and Paresh Rawal.
Akhtar has spent a significant amount of time preparing himself for his latest role, including working with a personal trainer.
Celebrity fitness trainer Drew Neal has helped Farhan Akhtar to achieve his current physique and fitness level.
His training roots are in combat sports, which made him the perfect person to teach Akhtar to box.
According to Neal, Farhan Akhtar had no prior experience in boxing before taking on his role in Toofaan.
Therefore, the actor had to work twice as hard to portray his character authentically.
Speaking of their training, Drew Neal told GQ India:
“Before we met, Farhan had zero experience in boxing.
“So, I had to turn him from a complete beginner into someone who could portray a skilled boxer on screen.”
“To complicate things further, Farhan had three different physical looks he needed to achieve for Toofaan.
“This meant that his training had to run alongside his nutrition requirements and body-conditioning sessions.”
When helping Farhan Akhtar to prepare for his role, Drew Neal wanted to ensure boxing became second nature to him, so he would not have to focus on acting out the part so much.
According to Neal, achieving this goal takes years – but he and Akhtar had less than a year.
Therefore, Farhan Akhtar both achieved and maintains his current physique and fitness level by boxing with Drew Neal.
According to Neal, boxing and kickboxing are suitable for anyone and have a variety of benefits.
“What separates combat sports from other forms of fitness is the confidence and skills that people can gain from it.
“You also end up burning loads of calories, while releasing built-up tension in a safe and secure environment.”
Boxing improves your flexibility, agility, coordination, speed, strength, endurance and overall fitness.
Drew Neal believes that, as he has demonstrated with Farhan Akhtar, anyone has the ability to box.
For beginners starting out, Neal recommends exercises such as skipping and burpees to help improve your fitness.
He also recommends doing focus pad work with a trainer to help with coordination and speed.
However, if you prefer to train alone, Neal believes shadow boxing can help improve your skills.
Speaking of how it is done, he said:
“In shadow boxing, you simply move around and practice different striking moves from boxing or kickboxing.
“It can be done in an open mirror.”
Drew Neal also said that, if you prefer to have something physical to focus your boxing on, bag work is the exercise for you. He said:
“Hitting a heavy bag is a great way to release stress and is perfect for building up strength and muscular endurance.”
Farhan Akhtar’s upcoming film Toofaan will be available on Amazon Prime Video from Friday, July 16, 2021.