Man Of Steel: Henry Cavill’s Workout For This Summer’s Blockbuster

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Henry Cavill is a fast rising star on the acting scene. Having made a name for himself in a small role in The Count of Monte Cristo and the more popular Immortals, he is about to set the box office alight with this summer’s monster, The Man of Steel. What really stands out on the actor, aside from his classic good looks, is his outrageously proportioned and toned physique.

Achieving a body like his is not out of reach, though most of us will not know the kind of financial motivation movie stars get. Cavill used to have a fairly slim and soft looking body, which is good news, as an indication of hard work and not genetic freakishness for his current body.

You can see the transformation from Henry’s post chubby body, to his impressive (slim) physique in the Immortals, to his bulkier frame in Superman Man of Steel here.

The Henry Cavill Superman Workout
Post-Immortals, Henry was already in great shape but needed to pack on more mass while remaining relatively lean. To get the body, he employed the services of Mark Twight, the guy who got Gerard Butler and the gang in shape for the movie 300. The actors from 300 used circuit type training to get their physiques (see video below).

You really can incorporate any kind of goal into circuit training. Say you wanted to focus more on gaining muscle than on strength, well you would change the rep ranges to lower, perhaps the 10-15 range and have the rest decreased a bit. Or say you wanted to focus purely on strength, then you would have heavier weights, lower reps, and even higher rest between.

The advantages of circuit training are numerous and the core of it is really that you burn a ton more calories doing circuit training while simultaneously building strength and muscular endurance. So your pretty much getting to do your weight training and your cardio all in one with added intensity and benefits to each. It’s awesome for dramatically changing how you look in a short amount of time cause you can build muscle and lose fat at the same time, but it’s not perfect.
Circuit training, although potentially effective at gaining muscle isn’t as good as simple doing a proper weight lifting routine, and same goes for strength. If you are simply after optimal strength gains then performing a power lifting type routine is the way to go. Circuit training really shines in it’s multitude of functions, being a jack of all trades rather than a master of one.

One of the workouts used for ‘Man Of Steel’ was called the “Tailpipe”, a workout not terribly different from the 300 workout.

NOTE: THE TAILPIPE is performed at THE END of your regular workout. So you will be doing a full heavy duty weights workout with the Tailpipe tagged on the end.

The Tailpipe is a 100 rep lung burner, that’ll torch fat and leave you gasping for air. The method behind the Tailpipe is it’s all about recovery and exercise together as one. One of it’s secrets is right after performing an exercise you take 8-10 very controlled breathes in and out of your nose to really circulate the oxygen through your body, and then go straight into the next exercise. Each exercise is done 25 times with recovery (breathing) in between.

A 16kg/35lb kettlebell or dumbbell is recommended for the exercises that use a weight. (lighter if you are a newb). Do the following exercises as demonstrated below for your Tailpipe workout:

1. Goblet Squat

2. Kettlebell Swing

3. Burpees

4. Jumping Jacks

The type of workouts Cavill performed were circuit training just like for the Immortals workout, but instead of just going for that ripped look the addition of free weights and eating a ton led to him gaining a lot of muscle in the process. If you begin your workout with free weights, focusing on the parts you want to build, and then afterwords finish your workout with the circuit training you can experience this same effect. You are essentially breaking the muscle down at the beginning of the workout, then right after you are burning excess calories while flooding the muscles with blood and nutrients.

There are a multitude of ways you can do this type of training, but an example of a routine would be for an upper body day:

Bench press-3 sets of 8 reps

Dumbbell shoulder press-3 sets of 10 reps

Weighted Chin Ups- 3 sets to failure

Barbell rows -3 sets of 12

Immediately followed by a circuit of 25 reps each. Kettlebell swings, Jumping jacks, Bodyweight squats or with a small amount of added weight, and push ups. You would perform each for 25 reps then take 8-10 deep breathes and go straight into the circuit, after a minutes rest you would repeat it for 5 times.

This is an extremely taxing workout and should only be done 3-4 times per week with a ton of rest in between. As yet, the only part of the weights/cardio workout Henry undertook that has been revealed in detail is the Tailpipe. So the workout program performed to build mass immediately before the tailpipe is going to be guesswork until Henry or his trainer release more details.

The use of supplements, like Whey Protein and Fish Oil, are important to accompany this intense program, most important of all is PROTEIN! Your body needs it to build all that muscle. Ideally, following supplementation use fully along with your heavy duty workout, the tailpipe and good nutrition will see you making major changes to your body.

The Diet
Before filming began on Man Of Steel, Henry was interviewed by Total Film Magazine about the diet he was using to become the ultimate super hero.

“I’m on 5000 calories a day… You’ve got to eat protein first, then a little bit of carbs… you’ve gotta keep your hunger levels going,”…”I’m training two and a half hours a day, pushing my body beyond its normal limits, putting on a lot of muscle mass and just making myself look like Superman.’

5000 Calories is a hefty amount to be eating for beginners (of which Cavill is not). You could probably smash back 5000 calories of fast food in a day no problem, but to keep your body performing at it’s best and fat at a minimum, fresh fruits, veggies, lean meats and protein will need to be strictly adhered to. When building mass, a minimum of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is required. Aim for 1.5 grams.

Good protein source include:

Dairy (cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.)

You can see Cavill has gained a huge amount of muscle in his upper body using this technique and his whole physique has changed. His body has even more a a V now and his lats and arms have grown a lot in size.

Also note that he has less definition than while playing Theseus, he still has some but it’s more of a flat smooth look. This is due to all the calories being consumed and that more muscle glycogen is filling his muscles at all time. It takes a lot of time and energy to get this kind of look, though not nearly as much as he put out. Remember stars and celebrities have deadlines for these movies and they have to get a certain look in a certain amount of time.

If you had to look like this as fast as possible it’s going to take some drastic measures. You are going to have to workout at least 2-3 hours almost every other day while eating a very high calorie and high protein diet. You would have to put forth just as much effort as Cavill.

But if you want to be realistic and get this look over time then it’s much much easier. 4-6 hours of lifting per week is enough for most people to get this type of look. Add in the circuit training and you will keep your bodyfat levels low as well.

‘Man Of Steel’ will be released June 14th. Here is the latest trailer:


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