Two movies released in this November (Varanam Ayiram) and last november (Om Shanti Om) had one thing in common, in addition to a famous song featuring the name Shanti. The hearthrob hero sports a six-pack abs, creating a 'six-pack sensation' among a lot of young guys in North and South India, unlike what nobody has managed to do so before.
In Bollywood, Sanjay Dutt was the first to own a super-muscular body and later Salman followed; but, due to their frequent removal of shirt, their achievement was in fact ridiculed. Then, Hrithik happened. His biceps and pecs were a craze that time, and he had a disproportionate body shape, with stick-like legs and no hips. John Abraham managed to defeat Hrithik for possessing the perfect body. Saif Ali Khan started bulking up, and even the chocolate-hero Aamir Khan had a superb body in Lagaan, but devoid of the six-pack abs.
The major transition happened with all the leading stars suddenly getting carried away by the abs wave. Shah Rukh always contended that he never used to work out but still maintains a good body. His friend Farah Khan is a clever lady. She knew what women want. So, she made Shah Rukh hit the gym and develop the six-pack, and re-invented his sex-symbol image in 'Dard-e-disco' song. And, according to the latest news, Aamir too has been working very hard in sculpting his whole body for creating a overall well-toned structure.
Tamil heroes were understandably quite slow to catch up on the physique. Kamal, Satyaraj, and Arjun were the only ones with a decent body shape till last decade. The young heroes of this generation aren't quite bad in this sense. Gautam, after winning the women's hearts by creating a beautiful love angle to a cop's story in KK, went one step ahead and asked Surya to develop the six-pack. I must say it has worked; the female crowd in the movie hall here on the first day was substantially higher than usual. Their whistles, comments and gasps upon seeing a dashing Surya were suggestive of the arrival of the new trend.
Due to all the big names in Bollywood and the aspiring stars from Kollywood (Surya, Vishal, et al.) focussing on something which was totally neglected so far, it is obvious that the number of gym-going desi guys will increase. It is bcos, for the first time, they see their significant other admiring a star for the unconventional reasons apart from handsomeness, style or acting skills. The pressure is definitely on, which, I think is a very good thing. Similar to the ways the guys expected the girls to look beautiful and slim like the actresses (Namitha is an exception ;)), the guys are forced to shed the pot-belly, waist-tire and double-chin in order to look appealingly good to their significant other.
Creating a six-pack is the ultimate challenge for any gym-goer. The reasons are two-fold: to burn off all the adamant fat on the belly and to build the abs muscles. All of us have the abdominal muscles which form the 6-pack; only, they are very small, and are hidden underneath the years-old fat. The body likes to store fat at the abdomen region, since that is closest to the digestive track and also a lot of vital organs in the region need to be protected in the absence of a major skeletal shield. So, there are three major steps towards 6-pack: burn off nearly all the fat, so that there is nothing to hide the muscles; strengthen all the muscles above the abdomen, which will lead to more mass and hence more pressure on the abs muscles to support the body above; do the specific work-outs like crunches for attacking the abs muscles.
Each of the above 3 processes is extremely hard and requires an extremely important mix of diet, work-out, and rest. Yours truly's gym visits will substantially release before the release of heroes such as Hrithik, Vikram and Surya; it is almost like a project with a deadline. Only, the deadline will come and go and new deadlines will be formed, without much effort. Even with a waist size of 30, it is very hard for me to make even the top two of the 6-pack visible for a few days. Nevertheless, I view it as an interesting hide-and-seek game between oneself and the body, in the 'fat vs muscl'e competition.
In the very first episode of the Vijay TV show "Kutram: Nadandhadhu enna?", there was the mention of extreme diet, steriod-usage for muscle buildup and injury due to overworking. Hope the young generation is aware of that, during their quest in bodybuilding. Considering the population of Taminadu of over 6 crores in which men at the young adult age group form a minimum of 3 million, only about 0.01% (~300) would be having a good 6-pack... here is wishing that % to substantially increase in the coming years ! :)