The Ultimate Superhero Workout Guide:
Everything You Should Know
With Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame making $2.79 billion dollars at the box office, it’s clear that superhero movies are more popular than ever before and so are the “superhero workout”.
Fans of all ages have loved watching their favorite heroes come to life on the big screen. Each of the actors portraying a superhero had to go through months of grueling physical preparation for their roles.
These training programs are now referred to as the “superhero workout” and have fitness junkies lined up to give them a try. They want the bragging rights and the body of a superhero.
Keep reading below to learn more about the different types of superhero workouts. We’ll tell you what to expect and how to adjust your diet and lifestyle while training.
Bodyweight vs. Weight Training for Your Superhero Workout
Everyone has different body compositions and workout interests. What works for one doesn’t cut it for others. You need to pick the right superhero training program for your needs. And make sure it’s something you enjoy doing all of the time.
Before selecting a program, decide whether you want to lift weights, use functional bodyweight movements, or a combination of the two. Our recommendation is to try a little bit of everything to be well-rounded, but at the end of the day, it’s your choice.
When you consider muscle fibers, there’s really no difference between the resistance from a weight or your body. The fibers will tear and then repair themselves in the exact same way.
The main difference is that once you get used to bodyweight exercises it shifts to more endurance and less muscle building. Lifting allows you to keep adding more weight to targeted areas of your body.
On the other hand, the main benefit of bodyweight exercises is that they can be done anywhere on your schedule. You don’t have to go to a gym to complete them.
Here’s another important distinction between bodyweight vs. weight training: if you want to get massive like Superman or The Incredible Hulk, you’ll need to lift heavy. Bodyweight exercises will get you fit but in a more functional, athletic way.
Understanding the difference between these two types of exercising can help you to select the right superhero workout routine.
Incorporate Supplements Into Your Superhero Workout
No matter what routine or goals you have in mind, you need to improve your diet. This can be done by eating better and adding sports supplements to boost your performance.
Your goal needs to be burning fat while building muscle. Rather than just relying on a calorie deficit, you should eat a steady supply of nutrient-dense foods and supplements.
Pay close attention to your macros, which include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. They all work together to support your metabolism and they need to be balanced in order to be healthy.
Besides eating better while working out, you also need to increase your protein intake. This could take the form of lean proteins like low-fat chicken, fish, cottage cheese, or eggs. But, it could also be taken as a supplement. Most people achieve this by taking protein powder.
The powder can be used in milk, water, or special smoothies with other supplements or ingredients. Some snack bars are also infused with protein powder for a quick muscle building boost.
Here are the main reasons for taking protein while you workout:
- Builds and repairs your muscles faster
- Balances your blood sugar between meals
- Higher protein intake helps burn fat
- Protein gives you the energy to complete your next workout
- Getting enough protein boosts your immune system
There are numerous other benefits to increasing how much protein you consume. If you’re trying to build muscle mass, you should get 1.5 to 2.0 grams per kilogram each day. What does this mean exactly? If you weigh 165 pounds, for example, you’ll need 150 grams of protein daily.
Bulk up With Thor’s Bodybuilding Program
Is your goal to become massive like Thor the God of Thunder?
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth played Thor in multiple stand-alone films as well as in the MCU franchise. Thor is known as being one of the strongest Avengers, so the 6’4″ Hemsworth needed to pack on the muscle for this role.
Hemsworth said in previous interviews that diet was one of the most important aspects of his bodybuilding program. He described being very efficient with the food he ate.
His diet included lean proteins, brown rice, vegetables, and fruit to help break down the protein. During the workouts, he ate every three hours.
So what was Thor’s training routine? Hemsworth did a ton of weightlifting but balanced it out with functional movements and martial arts training to ensure he didn’t get too stiff. He’s a big fan of boxing and Muay Thai workouts for cardio and mobility.
Below is a sample of the Thor bodyweight and iron circuit:
Training program: Day 1
- Pull-ups 3 x 15
- Sit-Up 3 x 20
- Push-Ups 3 x 15
- Front Box Jump 3 x 10
- Bodyweight Squat 3 x 15
Training Program: Day 2
- Barbell Squat 3 x 15
- Barbell Bench Press 3 x 5
- Standing Military Press 3 x 8
- Barbell Deadlift 3 x 5
- Hammer Curls 3 x 5
Give Thor’s workout a try if you want to get huge, just make sure to eat plenty of protein and nutrition-dense foods.
You’ll want to go heavier when lifting in this program. Switch out movements when needed but make sure you’re hitting the most vital muscles.
Follow Ant-Man’s Superhero Body Training program To Get Cut
Before describing the workout Paul Rudd did before the first Ant-Man film, let’s point out the fact that the 46-year-old Rudd barely worked out before the film. Following a careful superhero plan and diet, he was able to get cut to play Scott Lang.
Ant-Man’s abilities come from the suit he wears. He gains super strength when miniaturized. Rather than looking massive like Thor or The Hulk, he needed to be fit.
CrossFitter Brendan Johnston and trainer Richard Louis crafted a plan to make Rudd functionally fit and symmetrically aesthetic.
The result was that the actor became a better well-rounded athlete who was stronger, faster, and agile. He also looked the part of a Marvel superhero.
Rudd did six rounds of two circuits, resting only one minute at the end of each:
- Dumbbell Bench Press (10 reps)
- Dumbbell Bent Over Row (10 reps each arm)
- V-Ups (25 reps)
- Double Unders (30 seconds)
- Dumbbell Fly (10 reps)
- Weighted Pull-up (10 reps)
- Medicine Ball Slam (20 reps)
- Oblique Crunch (25 reps each side)
In general terms, this is the kind of workout program to do if you want to stay fit and enhance your athleticism. Rudd packed on a little muscle and but it was more about athletic performance for Paul. Using extra weight isn’t much of a concern so pick what you’re comfortable using.
Perform Like a Gymnast With Spider-Man’s Fitness Routine
Spider-Man is one of the most famous comic book heroes in print or on-screen. Actor Tom Holland, who is also a trained gymnast, needed to be physically prepared to bring this character to life across the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Unlike the other MCU actors who let stuntmen or CGI handle their action scenes, Holland actually volunteered to do some of his own stunts in the Spider-Man movies. He was capable of doing many of the movements the hero was expected to do on screen.
What makes Spider-Man’s preparation unique is that besides being stronger than a normal human being, he also has super agility to swing between buildings and perform incredible physical maneuvers. Spider-Man’s fitness is deep-rooted in gymnastics.
The goal when training Holland to be Spider-Man was for him to gain 14 pounds of muscle with no increase in body fat.
Holland did a four-exercise circuit for five rounds, resting 30 seconds between each exercise:
Sample Spider-Man Circuit
- Heavy Deadlifts (8 reps)
- Incline Press With Pronation (10 reps)
- Dip Bar Straight Leg Raises (15 reps)
- Weighted Dips (12 reps)
Holland also stuck to a simple diet that already reflected what he’d been eating. They had him eating fist-sized servings of macros: one of protein and two of both carbs and greens.
According to this description of Holland’s superhero workout, he was also treated to daily physical therapy treatments.
Regular people probably don’t have access to this kind of recovery. If they plan on following the Spider-Man workout, they should set aside time to do plenty of quality recovery work on their own.
Start Training Like a Superhero!
This article should help you to pick the right superhero workout for your fitness level and goals. Above we sampled the three workouts done by the actors playing Thor, Ant-Man, and Spider-Man, but there are a ton of others you can explore online.
Each training program is slightly different based on the look each actor needed. That gives you the option of choosing between workouts emphasizing bodybuilding, functional training, strength, endurance, or a combination of them all.
And remember that the first thing you need to change is your diet. Start eating lean proteins, greens, and good carbs in healthy portions.
Consider adding supplements to your diet to improve your performance and recovery. Visit our online store to browse high-quality protein products, BCAAs, preworkouts, creatine, and more.