Kumail Nanjiani Is Absolutely Yoked Now, Which Is Fun

Marvel: Where "dad bods" go to die

Kumail Nanjiani Jacked
(Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)
By Tanner Garrity / December 17, 2019 7:00 am

Are you sitting down? Yeah? Good. Here goes:

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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. You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. I found out a year ago I was going to be in Marvel’s Eternals and decided I wanted to transform how I looked. 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. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time. So big thanks to @grantrobertsfit who started working with me at the beginning of the year and made me understand true physical pain for months and months. Then, once we started shooting, a massive thanks to @davidhigginslondon and his team (@ellispartridge, @thebeardypt, @tomcheesemanfitness) for training me almost every day and making me strong, limber and injury free. I can almost touch my toes now. (And thank you for forcing me to do cheat meals David.) Matthews Street Catering for their delicious and healthy meals. And finally, the biggest thanks goes to @emilyvgordon for putting up with me complaining and talking about only working out and dieting for the last year. I promise I’ll be interesting again some day. #thirstyshirtless (Photo by @markupson.) (edit: I left off one very important person: @lancecallahan who trained me for 6 years and helped me build the foundation I could use to do this. Thank you!)

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That’s Kumail Nanjiani. As in The Big Sick-Kumail Nanjiani. As in Silicon Valley-Kumail Nanjiani. The 41-year-old Pakistani-American actor dropped these pics on his Instagram yesterday morning, and for a short 15 minutes, aspiring photoshoppers turned green with envy. But those shredded ‘ceps and core aren’t edited one bit; Nanjiani really did transform his body from that of a coding comic to an MMA fighter, and he apparently did it one year.

Nanjiani explains in his caption on the post that he committed to a new fitness regimen a year ago, when he found out he was going to be in Marvel Studio’s The Eternals. The film comes out in November 2020, and according to Marvel comic book lore, is about a group of Earthly humanoids who live for millennia and have superhuman strength. True to form, Marvel’s thrown together one hell of an ensemble cast: Angelina Jolie, Kit Harrington, Salma Hayek, Richard Madden (best known as Rob Stark from Game of Thrones), are all in the film.

Those people are all beautiful and stupid fit, so we don’t blame Nanjiani one bit for spending 12 hard months in the gym. His clear success, meanwhile, leads to two conclusions: A) Marvel is undefeated. The previous best transformation belonged to Chris Pratt, who, people might have forgotten, used to look like a neighborhood frat brother. And B) Just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it’s easy. Nanjiani’s caption was refreshing, in its realness on how ridiculous a process actually getting one of these bodies is. He writes:”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. I’m glad I look like this, but I also understand why I never did before. It would have been impossible without these resources and time.”

Good points. Chasing down a Men’s Health cover body is one way to approach fitness, but it’s a white whale, and mentally draining in the long run. Look at how many people Nanjiani thanked in that post. Do you have six people on your dime/rooting on your fitness journey? Of course not. And due to our sedentary workplace rhythms, plus children and beer and streaming services and the simple pleasure of pizza at the end of a long week, it’s too difficult to get the over-the-top cut body without extreme discipline.

That said, you can always build your body, no matter your age or your (possibly non-existent) wellness base, and that pursuit in itself, no matter what “vices” you may drag along with it, is always worth it. If you take anything from Nanjiani’s reveal (which we now realize, people should have seen coming — go back in his feed, he’s been chiseled for months), be impressed that the body allows for dramatic physical improvement in your 40’s and beyond. No more college intramural “glory days” talk allowed. If you need advice on how to start, check out one of our guides; we’ve written extensively in the past about how it’s never too late to get jacked.

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