While beauty is just another adjective, it would fit well to call her ‘the strongest woman of T-Town’. She made her sparkling debut in 2010 with the Telugu film industry and walked ahead to conquer it. She stole hearts with incredible performances, humble bubbly attitude & kind heart. From films to Philanthropy she aced it.

A self-disciplined fitness buff, Samantha says she is obsessed with being fit by believing that it’s fun to work out. She never misses her workout session for even a single day - “being fit is very important as it makes everyone feel good from within. It’s as important as appearing presentable, and glamorous.” ‘Samantha Akkineni’, opens up in a candid conversation on her love for fitness - an idiosyncratic romance with fitness.

How does your day usually start - on your day off!

Well, I know I don’t look like I could be lazy, but I’m really lazy especially on my day off. I’m a home bird and love spending ‘me time’ or with family.

What do you eat/drink before hitting the gym? Or do u believe in hitting the gym on an empty stomach?

I do a lot of weight training, it needs a lot of energy - for me exercising on an empty stomach definitely doesn’t work. I usually snack on eggs or a protein shake before I workout. In fact, my protein shake is vegan so I find it extremely easy on my stomach. It has all greens and feels like I’m indulging on a scrumptious salad.

Are you a foodie or a calorie counter? How often do you cheat on your guilty pleasures?

I’m a complete foodie. In fact, Chaitanya can answer this very well for me because he’s shocked sometimes at the amount I eat and can eat. I love to eat. I’m actually obsessed with food right from a very young age. That’s because of both my elder brothers, would steal my food, and I’d be left with little. So I would gobble everything with the fear that they’ll take my food away. Those were fun days! My favourite food is spicy food. Prawns and biryani are my favourite foods to cheat on.

Rank in order of fitness level - Nagarjuna garu, Chaitanya and you.

I think the fittest of all of us is Nag Mama. He has maintained himself so well for his age. He’s going to be 60 this year and he’s extremely disciplined. He does everything in the right proportion be it a workout, having food or anything. He’s a really good role model when it comes to fitness. The next I’d say is Chaitanya because he too is very conscious and watches what he eats all the time & then me.

If you weren’t a female actor, what would you be?

Well, I think I would have probably been doing some boring desk job. So, my life is quite far from being glamorous in reality. It looks glamorous to the outside world but is so not. So yes, definitely some boring job.

One fitness rumour about yourself that you wouldn’t mind?

That I’m the strongest female actor.

What’s the heaviest you have lifted?

So, I had done a deadlift of 103 Kgs. But I haven’t been able to beat that again. In fact, I really look forward to a role that challenges me physically. I’m inspired by the fitness routines of the female American Super Heroes.

How important is hydration? how do you keep yourself hydrated?

Well, I think drinking water is something many of us tend to ignore. That’s the worst part and when we do that it shows up on the skin, lips, and energy levels. In fact, I can easily tell when I’ve not had enough water in the day - I won’t be able to push my self to work. Water really is important.

So, what’s your daily diet like?

My daily diet usually starts with a vegan protein shake that I have before my workout. We are huge fans of millets and high protein food during the day. My lunch and Dinner is usually the same. I love millets because you can actually eat Indian curries with it and it’s really easy to digest. I think everyone should have millets in their diet. They’re not just healthy but very tasty too!

Breakfast - Avocado and eggs
Lunch - Fish or lamb with millets
Dinner - Same as lunch
Snacks - Sweet potatoes or eggs

How about your workout routine, what is it like?

I don’t do any cardio - Since I do a lot of weights, it’s like 1 rep of really heavyweight is as good as 30 minutes of cardio. And I do a lot of variation in my weight training.

You don’t indulge in too much partying because of your tight schedule. But what’s the best hangover cure according to you?

Well, firstly don’t get a hangover! Find the right kind of drink that probably does not gives you a hangover, something that agrees with ur body. It’s absolutely alright to party, but in moderation. Anything in small proportions is not bad at all. It’s important to control yourself & stay hydrated.

Some motivational words for those who are struggling with the first month of working out?

When you exercise and get used to it, it becomes like therapy. It makes you feel happy and you become more organised. When you want a CHANGE in yourself and the way you look you have to put in an effort! So, I like weight training and believe me it’s a great way to be self-motivated. Many people have a misconception that weights make women look masculine. But I think it makes women look more feminine. It’s strength training, and “I believe that with strength comes a lot of confidence.” It’s a habit that you must cultivate to keep yourself happy.

How do you manage to cope with stress? What would your message be to all the young people who deal with stress every day?

I love to workout, and that’s all I do to de-stress. You can actually use all that anger energy into your workout. It’s such a benefit ultimately. It’s really soothing. For me again it’s all about weights. I just love weight training because all the frustration gets released and it calms me down. I feel great after a solid workout.

How do you compensate for your workout when you can’t hit the gym?

A jog. When I don’t hit the gym I jog as a substitute for my workout

What do u do when a co-star stresses u out and ur really annoyed with him on set!

Well, that’s not something that applies in my case because I’m quite easy on the sets. It takes a lot for someone to stress me out. I’ve learned to adapt quickly over the years and my empathy level is very high. Every film set that I’ve been on has had a different set of people. Everyone comes with a different set of egos and insecurities. I think adapting is the best way and just find a way to get your job done. And in most cases, I’ve noticed that when you don’t seem like a threat to others competing with you, life becomes much simpler. But thankfully I’ve never had such issues with co-stars. All my co-stars have been amazing people and fun to work with.