There is no greater joy for a gym trainee than the compliment “You look like Superman”. And when it comes to Superman, Henry Cavill, the main actor in Superman or “Man of Steel”, may not be as strong, fast or have X-Ray eyes, but his muscles sure look superhuman. And this is the workout that has transformed Henry into a “Superman”.
Superman’s workout routine focuses on a few different components:
– Bodybuilding resistance training
– Olympic lifts and functional training
– Cardio training
The creator of Henry Cavill’s Superman Workout is Mark Twight, the trainer that designed the 300 workout. The total preparation time for the movie took 10 months of grueling workouts where Henry would train 4-5 days a week. Every workout lasted around 2-2.5 hours.
He admits that during this time he was really pushed the limits and got to levels he never though was possible before.
The main goal of the program was to increase muscle mass while staying lean enough to retain a high level of muscular definition.
Henry Cavill’s Superman Workout Routine
Because Henry trained in Mark Twight’s gym, the exact details about his workout are kept private and were not published. However from a few interviews and videos released you can get a pretty good picture of what his workouts looked like. Like we mentioned earlier, it was hard work and workouts that revolve around resistance training, functional training and cardio.
In one of his interviews he said – “A couple of weeks ago it was 100 front squats in body weight. We’ve been quite fond of doing the 100 repetition stuff recently and heavy as well. I’m trying to think of the other good stuff. But generally, the guys work out with me now.””
Henry’s Cavill functional workout – Workout #1
Mark Twight believes that high intensity exercises combined with compound movements will increase the strength, explosiveness and improve overall performance. That’s why Cavill’s workout has a lot of functional movements, explosive movements and they were regularly done with high reps.
– Bench press
This is a circuit where you need to do just one rep of each exercise. Pick a weight you want and do one rep of squats, one rep on the bench press, one rep of deadlifts. That’s one circuit. Perform as many circuits as you need to get to 10 000 LBS and do it as quickly as possible.
– Sprints, 8×50 yards – 60 seconds of rest between sprints.
– Dumbbell Bent Over Rows x 7 reps
– Dumbbell Power Cleans x 7 reps
– Dumbbell Push Presses x 7 reps
This is a circuit again. Do as many circuits as you can in the timeframe of 10 minutes. Cavill used 50lb dumbbells for this circuit.
– 70LB Kettlebells Swings x 20 reps (you might want to use lighter weight if this is too heavy)
– Sprint 60 yards
Perform the following exercises in 60 seconds or less, resting 2 minutes between each round – 8-10 rounds.
– Back squats (225 lbs or lower the weight) – 3 reps
– Pull-ups – 6 reps
– Push-ups – 9 reps
Perform the above circuit as many times as you can in 9 minutes.
Henry Cavill’s bodybuilding workout – workout #2
Of course, You cannot build muscle and get that aesthetic shape without some kind of specialization resistance training. This is why Cavill also does bodybuilding workouts. The bodybuilding workouts are usually structured as an Upper/Lower split.
Upper body – strength workout
– Incline dumbbell press – 4 sets/5 reps
– Flat dumbbell press – 4 sets/5 reps
– Weighted pull ups – 4 sets/5 reps
– Dumbbell or barbell row – 4 sets/5 reps
Lower body strength workout:
– Deadlift – 5 sets/ 5 reps
– Front squat – 5 sets/6-8 reps
– Front lunges – 4 sets/8 reps per leg
– Calf raises – 5 sets/12 reps
Chest and back hypertrophy:
– Incline dumbbell press – 4 sets/8-10 reps
– Cable crossover – 4 sets/10-12 reps
– Weighted chin ups – 4 sets/8-10 reps
– Seated cable row – 4 sets/10-12 reps
Shoulders and arms hypertrophy
– Seated dumbbell press – 5 sets/8-10 reps
– Side dumbbell raises – 5 sets/10-12 reps
– Front dumbbell raises – 5 sets/10-12 reps
– Biceps curls (alternate between dumbbells and barbell on different days) – 6 sets/10-12 reps
– Triceps extensions – 6 sets/10-12 reps
– Foam rolling and rest
– Foam rolling and rest
Henry Cavill’s cardio workout
Cavill is a huge advocate of fasted cardio and he reportedly included fasted cardio in the mornings for 20 minutes. You can also do 20 minutes of cardio right before the functional training to warm up. Some cardio options you could perform include jogging, swimming, rowing on the rowing machine, cycling or spending some time on the elliptical machine.
Henry Cavill’s Superman Diet
All this work burns a lot of calories so you need to eat a lot just to sustain your current weight. If your goal is to build muscle, you will need to increase the amounts of protein and carbs even more.
Being just over 6 foot and 200lbs Cavill needed to eat a lot of protein, carbs and fats to build muscle. What does a lot mean ? Well, for “Superman” a lot means eating around 5000 calories every day. All this food cannot be eaten in 3 or even 4 meals simply because it’s too much food to eat at every meal. This is why Henry has 6-7 meals a day.
According to his words he used to eat about:
1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
20% of your calories from fat.
Fill in the rest of your calories with carbs.
Cavill usually eats 80% whole clean foods like chicken meat, lean beef meat, fish, eggs, pasta, brown rice, fruits and vegetables. Around 20% of his calories come from his favorite foods like pizza. With 2.5 hours of training a day plus the cardio, one can afford to eat a pizza here or there. Just don’t binge eat junk foods and sugars.
Below is a typical day of eating:
5 egg whites and 2 yolks
200g-300g of steak
Oatmeal and a whey protein shake.
Some water for hydration.
2 scoops of whey protein
A piece of fruit
A handful of nuts and seeds
200g-300g chicken and a cup of brown rice
Apple or some other fruit
Protein shake with some carbs (maltodextrin) and some peanut butter – Cavill reportedly drank several shakes throughout the day.
1.5 cups yoghurt
1.5 tbsp barley
3 tbsp slivered almonds
1 tsp olive, flax, hemp or salmon oils
200g-300g of bison steak
Brown rice or pasta
Protein shake with some greens.