Flying powers and X-ray vision might be out of reach (for now), but in the meantime, you can always take on Henry Cavill’s Superman workout and diet plan. As a direct result, you’ll achieve the kind of shredded physique that the British actor flaunts in movies such as “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman,” as well as the upcoming Netflix series “The Witcher.” Indeed, one look at those chiselled abs and burly muscles and you’d think he was born on Krypton!
The truth is that Cavill was pushed beyond his very limits while prepping for his most iconic role, with help from trainer (and world-class climber) Mark Twight. Having previously worked with the cast of “300,” Twight definitely knows how to bring out the best in his celebrity clients. Most of the Superman workout went down in Gym Jones, Twight’s exclusive gym where comfort is purposefully avoided and “physical and psychological breakdowns occur.”
As you can easily guess, the Superman aka Man of Steel workout will likewise take you to extremes, since it wouldn’t live up to its name if it didn’t. There will be lots of protein consumption, mass gain, cardio, and weightlifting. You will feel like giving up and then force yourself not to, even when you think it’s impossible to keep going. Pull it off, and you’ll have your very own Henry Cavill body to show for it. Here’s how the actor made it happen.
Henry Cavill’s Diet Plan
On the heels of 2011’s “Immortals,” Henry Cavill was already cutting a mean figure. However, his role in 2013’s “Man of Steel” required more of…well…everything. By that, we mean more mass and more muscle alike. As such, the Superman diet might be best described as bulky, with frequent eating and insane amounts of protein consumption. That’s because protein doesn’t just build mass, but also helps repair muscle damage.
Meanwhile, there’s a less obvious secret to Cavill’s previous success: fasted cardio, which involves running in the morning before you’ve eaten any food. In an interview with Men’s Health, Cavill claimed that fasted cardio was “working best” of out all the things he’d done. We’ll circle back to it in the Superman workout section.
Before we dive into Henry Cavill’s diet plan, we should remind you that the man is fairly huge. Standing just over 6 feet tall and weighing around 90kg, he requires more calorie consumption than your average dude. In fact, when preparing for the role of Superman, he claimed to eat up to 5000 calories per day! All we’re trying to say is: if you don’t stack up to his metrics, don’t feel the need to eat as much or as often as he does.
On the other hand, if you want to go full Man of Steel, we’re not here to stop you. To prove as much, we’re going to share an example of Henry Cavill’s Superman diet. It’s bulking season, gentlemen, and here’s your new meal plan.
- Eggs – File this one under the “no duh” category. Cavill supposedly ate 5 egg whites and 2 yolks in a single serving.
- Steak – The actor stacked up on his protein consumption as early as his first meal of the day.
- Oatmeal protein shake – What, you thought you were done with the early morning protein? Not even close!
- No1 Rosemary Water – Touted as the “world’s first pure rosemary water,” No1 made a lot of false promises when first coming out of the gate. To think, all they had to say was “Superman drinks our product for breakfast.”
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 56g protein powder
- 2 cups grapes
- 3 tbsp barley
- 1 1/5 oz sunflower seeds
- Chicken curry with jasmine rice – This tasty meal delivers protein, flavour, and texture in every bite.
- Apple – Carbs are fine when they’re consumed with calculation and purpose. And to anyone scratching his head and saying, “all Cavill had for lunch was chicken curry and an apple?!” Remember: this is just his first lunch.
- Protein shake – Cavill reportedly drank several shakes throughout the day. This one contained coconut milk, peanut butter, maltodextrin, and whey protein.
- Chicken breast with a side of curry sauce – Why mix things up when you know what you like?
- Roasted potatoes – Here’s one side that no one with taste buds will argue with.
- 49g protein powder
- 1.5 cups yoghurt
- 1.5 tbsp barley
- 3 tbsp slivered almonds
- 1 tsp olive, flax, hemp or salmon oils
- 2 tangerines
- Bison steak – Bison is high in protein, and also lower in calories than fattier meats. Throw in the fact that it’s a natural source of creatine and you have yourself some genuine Man of Steel cuisine.
- Brown rice pasta – On Instagram, Cavill called his brown rice pasta a “work in progress.” One wonders if he ever perfected it.
- Protein shake – Just when you thought Cavill had maxed out his protein intake, he capped off the night with another shake. In addition to protein powder, it consisted of greens and water.
If the Superman diet seems a little too protein intensive or outright redundant, take some solace in the fact that Cavill was (and presumably still is) a big fan of cheat days. Throwing caution to the wind, he scarfed down deep dish pizza, among other things. Should you spend as much time in the gym as he did, then you too can help yourself to the occasional slice…or seven.
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Henry Cavill’s Workout Plan
You’re eating a stockyard’s worth of protein in a single day and now it’s time to convert all that extra mass into muscle. If you want Henry Cavill’s body, prepare to workout for up to 2.5 hours a day, 4-5 days a week. That’s what the actor was doing in preparation of both “Man of Steel” and “Batman v Superman.”
Because Cavill performed most of his routine at Mark Twight’s exclusive gym (also known as Gym Jones), the exact details were kept under wraps. What we can say with confidence is that it was definitely a Man of Steel workout, during which the actor was “breaking boundaries I didn’t know I could,” as he attested in one interview.
When pressed for specifics, Cavill shared some of the following tidbits: “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.”
He then said the following: “…we’ll just do 10 reps of a weight and then someone drops out, they do 10, someone drops out, they do 10. By the time the third person’s finished their set, you come in and do your 10, up to 100. Otherwise, training stuff, I mean, it’s huge amounts of kettlebell workouts.”
Trainer Mark Twight has also discussed the tailpipe, which plays a role toward the end of the workout. Essentially, the tailpipe is a tag-team routine that intentionally pushes you toward—if not beyond—exhaustion. Why is it called the tailpipe? Because it’s supposed to leave you feeling like you just sucked on one. It involves the following exercises:
- Row 250m
- Hold two 24kg kettlebells in the ‘rack’ position while concentrating on your breathing
- Rest for 45 seconds.
- Switch with your partner, and repeat until you’ve done three rows and three racks
Also, don’t forget that Cavill is a huge advocate of fasted cardio. This is where you run or jog first thing in the morning and before you’ve consumed any calories. Because you haven’t eaten, your body begins burning through stored (i.e. excess) fat.
While we can’t provide Henry Cavill’s exact Superman workout, we’ve assembled a strong estimation of what that workout might look like from sources like Fitmole. It breaks down into two different weekly routines, which are as follows:
Superman Workout #1: CrossFit
Lift 10,000 lbs as quickly as possible by performing just one rep of each exercise in succession. Use any weight you want and limit yourself to one rep per round. Perform the following exercises:
Perform the following sprints, resting for a full minute between each one.
- 8 x 50 yard
Using 50lb dumbbells, perform the following exercises for as many rounds as you can in 10 minutes:
- 7 DB Bent Over Rows
- 7 DB Power Cleans
- 7 DB Push Presses
Perform the following exercises in 60 seconds or less, resting 2 minutes between each round.
- 20 KB Swings – 2 pood
- Sprint 60 yards
Perform the following exercises for as many rounds as you can in 9 minutes:
- 3 Back squats (225 lbs)
- 6 Pull-ups
- 9 Push-ups
Superman Workout #2: Bodybuilding
Remember to target different muscle groups on different days.
Perform the following upper-body exercises:
- 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
Perform the following lower-body exercises:
- 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
Perform the following chest and back exercises:
- 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
Perform the following shoulder and arm exercises.
- Seated dumbbell press – 5 sets/8-10 reps
- Side lateral raise – 5 sets/10-12 reps
- Front Lateral raises – 5 sets/10-12 reps
- Any bicep curl variation – 6 sets/10-12 reps
- Any tricep extension variation – 6 sets/10-12 reps
Saturday & Sunday
Soft tissue work and rest
Cavill maintained a weight range of 186–190 pounds (84–86 kg) with an average body fat percentage of 5–7% for the majority of his role. However, he reduced his body fat to approximately 3–4% for the scenes where he appeared shirtless.
Cavill dedicated hours to daily workouts for six months to get ready for “Man of Steel,” and he was already in decent shape. To attain similar results, you’ll probably need to put in the same or more amount of training time.
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