Workout Routines

Henry Cavill's 'Justice League' workout routine

Train like Superman himself and get a body that’s super ripped.

Henry Cavill's 'Justice League' Workout
Ben Watts
Ben Watts
Duration 45
Exercises 6-9
Equipment Yes

Gone are the days when an actor playing Superman—“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!”—could get away with stuffing his spandex suit with scrawny arms and flabby abs. Nowadays, movie superheroes have to appear powerful enough to actually perform those acts—well, as much as is humanly possible, anyway.

Henry Cavill did just that for last spring’s Batman v Superman, and will do it again in 2017’s Justice League, with a body that both looks and performs like it’s from another planet. His trainer, Michael Blevins (gritandteeth.com), gave us a few sample routines that represent the kind of training Cavill used. Try them yourself and see what feats you can accomplish.

How it works

“Our goals are superficial in nature: to appear impossibly lean and muscular,” says Blevins. But, he adds, while most trainers do this with old-fashioned physique training, he works on Cavill’s athleticism, so he can not only look superhuman on-screen, but also run, jump, and apply his strength when a scene calls for it.

This is done mainly with CrossFit-style training—circuits and timed workouts that include gymnastics, Olympic lifting, and plyometrics. Ultimately, the combination builds functional strength and endurance on top of the muscles that fill out the suit and tights.

Directions

Perform each workout once per week, resting a day between each session. 

Day I: Do the exercises in each group (marked A–C) as a circuit, completing one set of each move in sequence. For each circuit, set a timer and complete as many rounds as possible in five minutes, resting as needed. Note that Exercise 3 is a stand-alone, and then sets of 4A and 4B are alternated for 5 minutes.

Day II: Alternate sets of the exercise pairs (A and B). When all sets are complete for one pair, move on to the next. 

Day III: Perform the exercises as straight sets, completing all sets for one move before moving on to the next. Set a timer and try to complete the workout in as little time as possible.

Day I Chest, hamstrings, and total-body burn

Exercise 1A.

Rower You'll need: No Equipment How to
Rower thumbnail
-- sets
Row 300m reps
-- rest

Exercise 1B.

Clean and Jerk You'll need: Barbell How to
Clean and Jerk thumbnail
-- sets
12 with 175 lbs reps
-- rest

Exercise 1C.

Wall Ball You'll need: Medicine Ball How to
Wall Ball thumbnail
-- sets
As many as possible with 20-pound ball reps
3 minutes, then go on to 2A - 2C rest

Exercise 2A.

Explosive Stepup You'll need: Box How to
Explosive Stepup  thumbnail
-- sets
As many as possible (each side) reps
-- rest

Exercise 2B.

Clean and Jerk You'll need: Barbell How to
Clean and Jerk thumbnail
-- sets
12 with 175 lbs reps
-- rest

Exercise 2C.

Weighted Burpee You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Weighted Burpee thumbnail
-- sets
As many as possible with 20-lb dumbbells reps
3 minutes, then go on to 3 rest

Exercise 3

Burpee You'll need: No Equipment How to
Burpee thumbnail
-- sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4A.

Push Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Push Press thumbnail
-- sets
10 with 30-lb dumbbells reps
-- rest

Exercise 4B.

Sumo Deadlift High Pull You'll need: Barbell How to
Sumo Deadlift High Pull thumbnail
-- sets
5 with 30-lb dumbbells reps
-- rest

Day II Core and arms

Exercise 1A.

Handstand Hold You'll need: Wall How to
Handstand Hold thumbnail
3 sets
Hold 30 sec. reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 1B.

Wall Walk Up You'll need: Wall How to
Wall Walk Up thumbnail
3 sets
5 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 2A.

Ring Dips You'll need: Dip Station How to
Ring Dip  thumbnail
5 sets
5 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 2B.

Dragon Flag You'll need: Bench How to
Dragon Flag thumbnail
5 sets
5 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 3A.

Chinup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Chinup thumbnail
5 sets
5 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 3B.

Toes to Bar You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Toes to Bar thumbnail
5 sets
5 reps
60 sec. rest

Day III Legs, arms, and cardio

Exercise 1.

1,000-Meter Shuttle Run You'll need: No Equipment How to
1,000-Meter Shuttle Run thumbnail
-- sets
Run and change directions 3 times reps
-- rest

Exercise 2.

Kettlebell Snatch You'll need: Kettlebells How to
Kettlebell Snatch thumbnail
-- sets
100 total reps
-- rest

Exercise 3.

Toes to Bar You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Toes to Bar thumbnail
-- sets
50 total reps
-- rest

Exercise 4.

Power Clean You'll need: Barbell How to
Power Clean thumbnail
-- sets
50 total with 135 pounds reps
-- rest

Exercise 5.

Bar Hop You'll need: Barbell How to
Bar Hop thumbnail
-- sets
100 total reps
-- rest

Exercise 6.

Burpee Box Jump-Over You'll need: Box How to
Box jump thumbnail
-- sets
50 total reps
-- rest

Exercise 7.

Rower You'll need: No Equipment How to
Rower thumbnail
-- sets
1,000m total reps
-- rest
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