Kumail Nanjiani Diet and Training Program

Kumail Nanjiani Training Program

Kumail Nanjiani is a Pakistani-American comedian, actor, screenwriter, and podcast host. He is best known for playing Dinesh in the hit HBO comedy “Silicon Valley.”

Marvel Studio’s “Eternal” was arguably the “Big Sick” start’s most physically demanding assignment to date. But since Nanjiani grew up obsessed with comic books, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands. 

Otherwise known for his comedy, Nanjiani shocked the MCU fans when he posted photos of his transformation on Instagram. 

“I never thought I’d be one of those people who would post a thirsty shirtless, but I’ve worked way too hard for way too long so here we are,” said the Big Sick actor. “I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked.”

Nanjiani plays the role of Kingo, a samurai with cosmic powers disguised as a Bollywood actor. He underwent an intense transformation program to get in shape for “Eternals.” He sported six-pack abs and muscular arms and shoulders for the movie. 

The best part about Kumail Nanjiani’s transformation for “Eternals?”

The bulk-up was neither the producer’s idea nor a studio directive. Nanjiani proposed his physique transformation so he could stack up to other buff superheroes from the MCU like Chris Hemsworth from “Thor,” Chris Evans from “Captain America,” and Hugh Jackman from “The Wolverine.” 

But before we pull the curtains on Nanjiani’s top-secret diet and training program that helped him transform his physique for the role of Kingo in “Eternals,” here is a little confession by Marvel’s first South Asian hero:

“I would not have been able to do this if I didn’t have a full year with the best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world.” — Kumali Nanjiani.

Kumail Nanjiani Stats 

  • Name: Kumail Ali Nanjiani
  • Height: 5’8″ 
  • Weight: 159 pounds
  • Birthday: Feb. 21, 1978
  • Birthplace: Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan
  • Accolades: CinemaCon, Winner, 2017

Kumail Nanjiani Diet Program

Nanjiani roped in Grant Roberts to help him with his transformation. He trained at Robert’s “Granite Gym” in Beverly Hills — one of Hollywood’s most exclusive training facilities. 

Since Nanjiani had to shed a few kilograms for his role as Kingo, he was instructed to follow a low-carb diet five days a week. However, the comedian ate a high-carb diet for the last couple of days of the week to refuel his muscles. 

“Basically, it’s five days of low-carb, then over the weekend, you eat as much as you want. But I’m trying to figure out the food thing right now because I wasn’t eating enough.” — Kumail Nanjiani

Diet Principles 

No matter how hard you train in the gym, you are not going to see results until you are eating the right food and giving your muscles enough time to recuperate from your workouts. 

Additionally, you cannot transform your physique while making food and training decisions on the fly. If you want to build a Greek god-like physique, you need to make certain lifestyle changes. These are the dieting principles Nanjiani followed to transform his physique:

1. Follow a Personalized Training Program

Every person has a unique lifestyle and reacts to different food differently. If a diet program worked for someone, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you too. 

Roberts revealed that Nanjiani’s transformation program was completely personalized. It began with assessing his pre-transformation lifestyle and body composition using tests like a 3D scanner. 

Based on Kumail’s reports, his nutrition emphasized protein, water, healthy fats (omega 3) consumption. 

2. Maintaining a Calorie Deficit is Key To Abs

If one of your goals is to build a shredded six-pack — like it was for Nanjiani — you need to be watching your diet closely. Besides eating a good amount of protein (at least 1 gram per pound of body weight), you need to ensure you are maintaining a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you eat).

Eating the recommended amount of protein will ensure you are building muscle mass. On the other hand, a calorie deficit will help in burning excess body fat and keeping it off. 

3. Count Your Blessings — and Calories

Nanjiani followed a carefully calibrated diet that required him to track his calories throughout the day. Logging all your meals might sound like a lot of work, but it will help you stay on track with your goals. 

Nanjiani revealed that he was so obsessed with eating clean and meeting his daily macro goals that his nutritionist had to force him to take cheat days. 

“I’m still kind of afraid of gaining the wrong kind of weight because I’m very vain.” — Kumail Nanjiani 

Kumail Nanjiani Diet Plan

Compared to his superhero counterparts, Nanjiani followed a rather straightforward diet. He ate four small meals throughout the day which helped him maintain a high metabolic rate. Here is what his daily meal plan looked like:

  • Breakfast: Eggs and Avocado
  • Lunch: Chicken Breast, Brown rice
  • Dinner: Salad/fish with rice
  • Snacks: Protein bar/shake

Food to Eat

Kumail’s diet focused on getting him diced for his MCU role. His trainer zeroed down on the foods he was allowed to eat during his transformation period. Here is what Nanjiani ate for a good part of the year to achieve his dream physique: 

  • Eggs
  • Salad
  • Rice
  • Protein bar
  • Chicken breast
  • Avocados
  • Fish
  • Brown rice

Foods to Avoid

Food items that the Silicon Valley star was not allowed to eat included: 

  • Fried food
  • Sugar
  • Refined flour
  • Processed food
  • Desserts

Note: Since Kumail had the freedom of eating a cheat meal every week, he ate some of the food items mentioned in the “to avoid” list once a week. 

Kumail Nanjiani Training Program

Nanjiani originally decided to transform his body when he came to the realization that he would be able to play a wider range of characters if he had a better physique. 

The comedian never spends more than an hour inside the gym. He gets the best bang for his buck by keeping his workout intensity high and incorporating a lot of variety in his training. 

Cutting his body fat in half wasn’t something he accomplished on his own. It’s important to remember that Kumail Nanjiani is a wealthy celebrity.

Kumail Nanjiani had a set of trainers and a team to support him through his journey. His instructors all have various backdrops — he had a coach centered on stretching and massage therapy for recovery, weight training and strength focus, running and cardio, and a main coach to wrap it all up.

However, you do not have to be disappointed if you cannot afford an army of transformation experts. A look at Nanjiani’s diet and workout routine tell us that his physique transformation results can be reproduced without burning a hole in your pocket.

Training Principles

Here are the training principles that helped Kumail Nanjiani get in the best shape of his life:

“(Kingo is) not just any superhero—his secret identity is that he’s a Bollywood movie star. Those guys are super-jacked, so I had to really, really get into shape.” — Kumail Nanjiani

1. Incorporating the Old School and New Techniques

Nanjiani’s trainer combined new and old-school techniques to help him get in the best shape of his life. The pair incorporated heavy foundational lifts and electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) into his free weights workouts.

EMS uses electric current to get muscles to contract. The unit’s electrodes (also placed on the skin near the target muscles) cause rhythmic contractions. 

EMS can improve muscle activation and strength if the user attempts to contract the muscle simultaneously. Not to mention, training while hooked to the EMS makes you look like a cyborg.

2. Set a Realistic Goal

Most fitness noobs never achieve their goal physique as they falter at goal setting. Establishing a realistic goal is key to having a successful transformation. 

If your fitness goal is to “build muscle” or “lose fat,” chances are you are going to give up before you see any meaningful progress. You should define your goals and give yourself a deadline to increase your odds of hitting your target. 

Finally, and most importantly, make sure your goal is realistic and achievable because nothing is more disappointing than the feeling of not meeting your goals even while having given your 100%. 

If you want to build muscle mass and a six-pack, your goal should be — “gain five pounds of muscle mass in eight weeks while dropping down to 10% body fat.”

3. Train to Shock Your Central Nervous System

To ensure you do not hit a plateau, you need to constantly shock your muscles into growing. If and when your body gets accustomed to your training style, your stop making gains. 

“Kumail responded very quickly — as most people do — when introduced to training that shocks the system, whether it be for fat loss or muscle gain or — as in Kumail’s case — both,” said Roberts. 

Kumail Nanjiani Workout Split

Nanjiani trained five to six days a week at the gym for nearly a year to ensure he is not leaving any stone unturned in achieving a superhero physique. This is what his training split looked like:

  • Monday: Back and Traps
  • Tuesday: Chest and Abs
  • Wednesday: Legs and Calves
  • Thursday: Shoulders and Abs
  • Friday: Back Squats, Legs, Calves, and Cardio
  • Saturday: Biceps and Triceps
  • Sunday: Rest Day

Kumail Nanjiani Training Routine

Monday: Back and Traps

  1. Warm Up: 10 Minute Incline Walk on Treadmill
  2. Hex Bar Deadlift: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  3. Hex Bar Farmers Walk: 4 sets of 50 meters
  4. Barbell Shrug: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  5. Straight Arm Cable Pulldown: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  6. Dumbbell Shrug: 3 sets of 12 reps
  7. T-Bar Row: 3 sets of 12 reps
  8. Triset:
    1. Hammer Strength [or Machine] Pulldown: 4 sets to Failure
    2. Close Grip Cable Row: 4 sets to Failure
    3. Face Pull: 4 sets to Failure

Tuesday: Chest and Abs

  1. Warm Up: 10 Minute Incline Walk on Treadmill
  2. Bench Press: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  3. Incline Dumbbell Press: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  4. Cable Chest Fly: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  5. Dips: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  6. Triset:
    1. Incline Dumbbell Hex Press: 4 sets to Failure
    2. Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly: 4 sets to Failure
    3. Standing Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly: 4 sets to Failure
  7. Hanging Knee Raise (w/ Twist): 3 sets of 30 reps
  8. Sit-up (w/ Twist): 3 sets of 30 reps
  9. Side Plank: 3 sets of30 seconds (each side)

Wednesday: Legs and Calves

  1. Warm Up: 10 Minute Incline Walk on Treadmill
  2. Back Squat: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  3. Walking Weighted Lunge (w/ DB or BB): 4 sets of 50 meters
  4. Hamstring Curl: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  5. Seated Calf Raise: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  6. Leg Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
  7. Calf Raise on Leg Press Machine: 3 sets of 12 reps
  8. Triset:
    1. Goblet Squat: 4 sets to Failure
    2. Cable Pull-through: 4 sets to Failure
    3. Box Jump: 4 sets to Failure

Thursday: Shoulders and Abs

  1. Warm Up: 10 Minute Incline Walk on Treadmill
  2. Seated Dumbbell Press (or any form of Overhead Press): 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  3. W Press: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  4. Lawnmower Row: 4 of 6-20 reps
  5. Behind-the-back Cable Lateral Raise: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  6. Triset:
    1. Dumbbell Front Raise: 4 sets to Failure
    2. Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 4 sets to Failure
    3. Rear Delt Raise: 4 sets to Failure
  7. Hanging Leg Raise: 3 sets of 25 reps
  8. Sit-up: 3 sets of 25 reps
  9. Plank: 3 sets of 60 seconds

Friday: Back Squats, Legs, Calves, and Cardio

  1. Warm Up: 10 Minute Incline Walk on Treadmill
  2. Back Squat: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  3. Walking Weighted Lunge (w/ DB or BB): 4 sets of 50 meters
  4. Hamstring Curl: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  5. Seated Calf Raise: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  6. Leg Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
  7. Calf Raise on Leg Press Machine: 3 sets of 12 reps
  8. Triset:
    1. Goblet Squat: 4 sets to Failure
    2. Cable Pull-through: 4 sets to Failure
    3. Box Jump: 4 sets to Failure

Saturday: Biceps and Triceps

  1. Warm Up: 10 Minute Incline Walk on Treadmill
  2. Preacher Curl: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  3. Reverse Grip Cable Pushdown: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  4. Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curl: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  5. Skull Crusher: 4 sets of 6-20 reps
  6. Concentration Curl: 3 sets of 12 reps
  7. Chin-up: 3 of 12 reps
  8. Triset:
    1. Overhead Cable Extension: 4 sets to Failure
    2. Cable Hammer Curls (w/ Rope): 4 sets to Failure
    3. Cable Kickback: 4 sets to Failure (each arm)

Sunday: Rest Day

Other Diet & Workout Program You Should Check Out:


When it comes to supplements, Kumail Nanjiani kept it simple. The Marvel hero used the following supplements in his transformation program:

1. Pre-WorkoutA pre-workout supplement can help delay fatigue and improve focus and muscle pumps. You should take a pre-workout supplement at least 30 minutes before a workout.

2. Whey Protein: Helps build muscle mass while aiding in weight loss. It is one of the most popular supplements in the fitness and bodybuilding communities. 

3. Multivitamins: A great supplement to ensure you are meeting your daily micronutrient needs. Additionally, they can help improve your immunity, energy levels, mood, memory, reduce stress and anxiety, and maintain muscle strength. (1)

4. Protein Bar: A protein bar is a substitute for a protein shake. It is more convenient than a protein powder as you do not have to carry a shaker bottle and water with you. 

5. COD Liver Oil: Helps reduce inflammation, heart disease risk, muscle, and joint inflammation, improves bone and eye health. 

Wrapping Up

Kumail Nanjiani went from “boy next door” to one of the most shredded and vascular Marvel superheroes of all time. It took him almost 52 weeks to achieve his goal physique, which reiterates that physique transformation is not a sprint but a marathon. 

Working on your physique every day of the week for the whole year might sound like a lot of work, but it will all be worth it in the end. Best of luck!


  1. Macpherson H, Silberstein R, Pipingas A. Neurocognitive effects of multivitamin supplementation on the steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) measure of brain activity in elderly women. Physiol Behav. 2012 Oct 10;107(3):346-54. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.08.006. Epub 2012 Aug 23. PMID: 22939764.


Post a Comment