From 21kms to 6packs in 5 months

1 Aug

When I ran the marathon in December 2013, I was left with a weird question in my head.

Leading up to the day of the Marathon, I had never really run a full 21kms. The maximum I had was 14kms – 5 days before the marathon day.

And as a newcomer, you are given 3 hours to complete the 21km stretch. Thats 7kmph – brisk walking I’d say!

Was it possible that I didnt prepare for the marathon at all, but would have still ran the 21kms on the day?

The math (7kmph == brisk walking) suggested yes! This realization was unsettling. And as I love doing, I asked myself a tough question

So what is it that I can do, for which I will have to prepare each and every day. I cant cheat the system by suddenly “running” on a decided day, if I hadnt prepared for it for every day before it!



January 2014

The marathon training has done some good. From 85kgs I had come down to 79Kgs. However, the days post the marathon were spent in celebrating the success. And I was back to 82!

I needed to exercise

and I needed a diet plan

Basically I needed a trainer.

And it was Ajay Singh again (Groupon colleague and the same guy who shared the video that changed me!)

On 17th Jan, he shared the diet plan that would lead me to the healthiest phase of my life

6:30am: 2 bananas + 10 almonds

7-8am: Workout

8:30am: Protein Shake + Oatmeal + Apple

11:30am: 2 tbsp Lemon Juice + Veg Salad (Olive Oil Dressing) + 1 Green Tea

130pm: 2 bowls of boiled Kidney Beans + 2 carrots + 2 borwn bread toast with peanut butter

400pm: Handful of nuts + Green Tea

700pm: Protein Shake + Roasted Veggied + 1 bowl of boiled chick peas

900pm: Green Tea

Drink 8 bottles of water everyday

No sugar at all


And then he added a clear piece of instruction

Dont eat anything that is packed, processed, canned or on someone else’s plate! 


February 2014

I measured my body fat percentage on the 1st of Feb = 26%. Your abs shows when body fat reaches sub-10% levels!

Basically – I had to burn my fat.

One way was to not consume it – which is something that the diet plan ensured.

The other way to get into an intense fat-burning exercise regime – Weight Training

Weight training builds your muscles. And when you strain your muscles you body spents energy the entire day trying to recover from the “shock”. Cardio, on the other hand, stops burning fat the minute you stop doing it!

Ajay gave me the schedule – one body part a day

Monday: Chest

Tuesday: Shoulders

Wednesday: Back

Thursday: Abs

Friday: Arms

Saturday: Legs

and so it started – the race to the abs!


March 2014

BF had reduced to 18%

The abs could be felt if I dug my fingers into my stomach. But that wasnt the point

I weighed 78kgs


April 2014

This was a month I lost! Was travelling almost all of it – and wasnt able to work out.

Surprisingly, the unregimented diet that I was on during this month, didnt increase my weight or body fat. Testimony to the muscle-burns-fat logic.

It was working!


May 2014

BF reached 15% – it was getting harder to burn more.

“Concentrate on your legs. Thats the biggest muscle in the body – and can sustain the most pain. There are only two modes when you are doing legs – vomit or faint!”, advised Ajay, in his true style

That month, I lifted 100kgs on my legs!


June 2014

My personal deadline for the abs. BF had reached 12% and the first 2 packs were showing. The rest 4 were buried under what seemed like irritating-hard-to-dissolve stomach fat.

Aparently it was water, and not fat! It was time to reduce the water flab around your lower abs.


June 23 2014

I weighed 72kgs – an incredible 14kgs below my highest

Body fat had reached 10%

I stopped all salt in my diet (salt absorbs water). And reduced water content to 1 bottle a day

The first day was tasteless. The next day I called Ruchi to ask why she had added salt to my lunch.

She replied that she hadnt!

Brain >> Senses!


July 7 2014

I finalized the photographer for a shoot.

Yes – I was planning to have it all this while. Life doesnt give you too many opportunities to get shot in 6packs!


July 12 2014

Day before the shoot


Body Fat: 8.3%

No salt for the past 2.5 weeks

Abs showing


July 13 2014

Day of the shoot. Went to Ajay’s gym for “pumping” – spent an insane 2 hours out of my wits!

Sharad (colleague who got the shoot organized) and Ajay were there during the shoot. Absolutely weird and amazing experience. I realized I suck in front of the camera, am too concious and I cant carry looks that are not me!


When the photographs finally came in – I couldnt believe my own eyes. I was looking at a body that didnt feel like mine. It was a healthy body – a confident one! And one that had been an absolute pleasure to build.

I sent a text thanking Ajay for all his help. His reply was fascinating.

The best part about bodybuilding is that it is not a team effort. It is just YOU. You cant blame anyone for your failure so no one gets the credits for your victory. 

What I told you all through is something easily available on the Internet and I have shared it with several others. You have to believe and know for a fact that it is only you who decides what happens to it now.

The power of knowing that you alone control this – is a powerful one.

Because its really the same with everything else as well.


Here I am – from an era before

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And here I am today

F59A5229  final

F59A5241  final





Lessons I learnt from this phase

  • Being healthy is fascinating. There is no bigger rush!
  • Your body is amazingly adaptable. You give is less but enriched food – it readjusts. You give it no salt – it readjusts. You kill it everyday by forcing its muscles – it recuperates even faster
  • I now realize why working on your body is perhaps the most disciplined act ever. It requires commitment at a very different level. No excuses, no cheat days, no team. And no one else to feel as happy at the end of it!
  • Brain >> Senses

Amen to a life life this, forever!



Updates (based on feedback)

  • Body Fat is measured through an instrument called the Body Composition Analyzer (BCA). Here is what it looks like
  • I dont drink, so cutting down on alcohol is not applicable to me. However, for the diet to work, it is necessary to reduce alcohol and preferably remove it all together.
  • Here is the 6-pack abs workout regime I followed

Day 1: Chest












Day 2: Shoulders













Day 3: Abs

  1. Leg Raises – 20 – 15 – 12 – 10 – 8 – 8 – 8 – 8  (30 seconds rest) – LINK to the technique
  2. Hanging Leg Raises – 10 – 10 – 10 (30 seconds rest) – LINK to the technique
  3. Wood Chopper – 15 – 15 -15 each side (30 seconds rest) – LINK to the technique
  4. Crunches – 15 – 15 – 15 (30 seconds rest) – LINK to the technique
  5. Side Crunches – 15 – 15 – 15 (each side) – LINK to the technique(starts at 5:59)
  6. Side Bends – 15 – 15 -15 (each side) – Link to the technique (starts at 0:55)

Day 4: Back












Day 5: Arms






















Day 6: Legs




35 Responses to From 21kms to 6packs in 5 months



August 2nd, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Zomg ankurr!!!!
This is incredibly inspiring.
Can I also say you look 10 years younger!


atul gupta

August 3rd, 2014 at 5:47 pm

Hi Ankur

Hats off to your dedication n efforts considering you travel n hv to devote lots lots of time with Groupon.

I’m inspired by you.
Specially sticking to a diet like this for a kashmiri boy is tough.

I am also making up mind to go for it. Ican exercise but that strict diet for months n w.o. Any suppliments is real hard works result.

Again salute your effort specially ur not into modelling n all.
I’m your follower now. You are an inspiration.




August 4th, 2014 at 10:51 am

@Aastha – thanks so much! :)

@Atul – I am glad I could inspire you through my experience. Its indeed an awesome feeling to be this healthy.


Nikita Karira

August 4th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

I’ve taken a print out of this and it shall rest in my bag for me to look at for every time i feel the urge to cheat!

I have 10 more kgs to knock off and now I look upto you for a different reason altogether!!!



August 4th, 2014 at 5:00 pm

@Nikita – glad I could inspire! :)


Amey Parsekar

August 4th, 2014 at 5:36 pm

Hats off Ankur Sir. Respect.

And like you said it is the most disciplined act ever, so the real challenge begins now. Keep going.

Your are a true inspiration.

So now,

Marathon– Check
Six Packs– Check

Whats the next EPIC SHIT?




August 4th, 2014 at 6:40 pm

Amey – next thing is to become a DJ! :)



August 5th, 2014 at 1:12 am

Ankit sir, I must say I was totally surprised by your transformation, I’ve been trying myself to lose those extra pounds, was looking for some motivation and your experience couldn’t have come at a more apt timing I enrolled my name in the gym right away after reading this, and have started following your diet it’s hard to stop all the delicacies so suddenly but I look up to you and I hope to be as good as you.



August 5th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Give us moar hawt pics! When are you coming to Singapore next? Can I see the abs in person?


Vikram Singh

August 5th, 2014 at 4:34 pm


It’s amazing how you turned from Mr. Golu to Mr. Perfect :) After reading your blog and watching the video, I am all pumped up. I have been thinking about it(Jogging — Marathon) never ever dreamed about 6 pack.

But now thinks looks possible, your pics, blog and video has inspired me nuf….

Thank you for sharing.

Vikram Singh



August 5th, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Hi Ankur,

Awesome transformation, hats off to your dedication & commitment.

I have been thinking from long but hectic routine was not permitting me. Your transformation pushing me to give myself a chance..:)

Thanks for sharing bro, God bless…


Parveen Leekha

August 6th, 2014 at 12:13 am


Hats off to you.

What a resolution and then achieving it.


Keep fit.



August 6th, 2014 at 2:52 am

Thanks Vikram, Vipin and Parveen. Appreciate your kind words.


Kaushik Rajan

August 6th, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Ankur, you make the tagline “Impossible is nothing” real. Am going to haul myself off my ass now! Thank you for inspiring me.


Vishal Sharma

August 7th, 2014 at 7:46 am

Truly inspirational.
I have stopped working out from a long time.
I am glad you shared this, I have book marked it.
And its the time to hit gym again.
Thanks for motivating me.


Rashi Sharma

August 15th, 2014 at 1:25 pm

OMG! I once worked for such a hot CEO! :O #inspiration #isowannalosesome #coolestofallheis



August 21st, 2014 at 8:20 am

Thanks for sharing this Warikoo! This was a real inspiration; I have started following your routine – lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks.. hoping to keep this up until December at least!



August 21st, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Inspiring to say the least!!!




September 4th, 2014 at 11:47 am

I think pictures did the trick :-) I read it today – Have saved the schedule as a pic and it is my computer’s wallpaper now. Shall start with the training. Let’s see where I reach :-) Thanks for sharing this Ankur. Quite inspiring! I think the key word for me is – ‘Perseverance’.



September 12th, 2014 at 12:01 am

Hi Ankur, I remember reading your marathon article, I guess once you are on a roll there is no stopping… It was a very inspiring to read your journey to 6 pack-abs.



September 16th, 2014 at 5:01 pm

Knowing and seeing Ankur Warikoo in the Hindu College days and now seeing the new model avatar of Ankur Warikoo is very refreshing, encouraging and inspiring. Hats off to your dedication and perseverance for this f(a)bs achievement.



September 16th, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Thanks so much everyone for the super kind words!

@Rajesh – kaisa hai bhai – long time?


Swapnil Khandelwal

September 23rd, 2014 at 12:38 pm

What the F! This is super amazing and inspiring!!! I can just imagine how amazing it would feel to get there.

Big cheers to you!



October 13th, 2014 at 7:32 pm

Hi Ankur,

I saw you first when you came to Iffort for the initial meeting some 2.5 years back. When I saw this post and the photoshoot, I was shocked and the first few words that came to my mind were “Is this really Ankur Warikoo I know from groupon.

Amazing dedication and commitment. Hats off to you.




August 3rd, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Wow awesome ….so inspiring…

Do you have a workout exercise chart or any specific app you used to track your progress



August 3rd, 2015 at 10:54 pm

It’s there detailed out in the blog post.


Anand Aggarwal

September 4th, 2015 at 8:48 am

Hi Ankur, you have really inspired me and made me realise what i’ve been missing in life.. today when you came to our Town Hall in American Express.. You did make a change.. all that you have learnt from life.. and as to how you look at life.. it has been supremely pleasing and motivating.. Greg Plitt has been an amazing inspiration.. Wish to learn a lot from you..

thanks for making me realise.. when i really thought more than 3 points.. how i can make that change.. Truly Inspiring..



September 4th, 2015 at 9:52 am

Thanks so much Anand. For your kind words. Humbled that I could inspire you



October 5th, 2015 at 8:05 am

What is Ankur Warikoo’s love story?

Already done :)


Abin Raina

November 5th, 2015 at 3:28 pm

That is such an inspiration sir. Being a Kashmiri boy, i know there are lots of temptations with such delicious food (although not healthy) looking at you. I’m strictly trying to follow the same, in my own way. Although i don’t need six packs but i want to achieve something in life. Thanks for sharing such an amazing life experience. Cheers !!



November 18th, 2015 at 11:21 pm

How many sets and repetitions did you use to do ?



May 21st, 2016 at 12:28 am

Hi ankur
You have totally transformed in last over a decade plus now…congratulations for everything



December 14th, 2016 at 1:01 am

Excellent transformation. BTW do you drink the protein shake now also? 8 bottles you mean 8 litres of water everyday?


Prianka Kakkar

January 3rd, 2017 at 8:45 pm

To the brilliant words and ideas,you are amazing!
I wish I could be like you!
Just wonderful


Vishal Singh

April 20th, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Amazing transformation sir. It requires a lot of self-control and courage. Hats off to you. I am just curious that have you been able to maintain the same till today? How do you look like today!! I hope you haven’t gained back.

Good luck

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