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Henry Cavill Superman Workout

Did you say Superman is dead? 

Check this out:“Man of Steel” soars again… $226 million worldwide gate breaks June record!

The reviews and box office receipts are in, and British actor Henry Cavill is proving to be a worthy successor to George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, and Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel.

Perhaps the best Superman ever…

Prior to donning the famous red cape and S shield as Superman, Cavill (born May 5, 1983) was best known for the role of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk in Showtime’s The Tudors (2007-10).

Even before his turn as Kal-El/Clark Kent, viewers were impressed with Cavill’s killer bod.  However, under the guidance of Mark Twight, owner of Salt Lake City’s Gym Jones, he was able to take it to next level – gaining fifteen pounds of muscle over ten months of training – to chisel out an even more amazing physique.

“It was tough, really tough. When you feel you can’t push any harder or you can’t lift any more weight, you think, ‘Well, hold on a second, I’ve got to look like Superman’.”[1] ~ Henry Cavill

So, what did it take for this mild-mannered actor – passed over for the roles of James Bond (Daniel Craig), and Twilight’s Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) – to take the Superman physique to new heights?

Certainly, some traditional muscular strength exercises (e.g. Olympic presses, wheelbarrow runs, etc.) were part of the overall package.  However, under Mark Twight’s “tailpipe” training routine, Henry frequently used a killer four-exercise, one-hundred rep routine that did not include rest – just eight (8) deep breathes through the nose between the sets and at conclusion.

Nothing like a destabilizing workout to burn fat, kick up the metabolism, and get super-ripped!

Here are the details of the program.  Warning – this is an advanced workout, especially with heavier weights and the no-rest requirement.  Beginners should start with 10-15 repetitions and a one minute rest between sets.  As they get stronger, ramp up the intensity to ‘Superman’ heights…

So without further ado, here it is:

Henry Cavill’s “Man of Steel” Superman Workout

super man workout

1. Goblet Squats (25 repetitions): Quadriceps.

There aren’t many better quadriceps exercises that the Goblet squat, also called the Kettlebell squat.

Using a kettlebell or dumbbell, stand with your feet just beyond shoulder width (N.B. With the kettlebell, hold handle with both hands; with dumbbell, cup the upper bell with both hands.).  Hold vertically next to your chest, elbows pointing down.

Squat down between your legs until your hamstrings are on your calves. Keep your chest and head up and your back straight.

At the bottom, pause briefly and use your elbows to push your knees out. Rise back to the start position, and repeat for all twenty-five (25) repetitions.

Remember, keep your back naturally arched, push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body as far as possible.

2. Kettlebell Swing (25 repetitions): Hamstrings.

Contrary to popular belief, the kettlebell swing is not primarily a shoulder exercise.  There is some shoulder action required, but the “hammies” and lower body (calves, glutes, lower back) benefit most.  Once you have the technique down pat, look forward to a tightened core, more speed and increased flexibility!

Bend at your hips and hold the kettlebell (or dumbbell) with both hands at arm’s length down in front.  Rock back slightly and “football hike” the kettlebell between your legs. Then squeeze your glutes, thrust your hips forward forcefully, and swing the weight to shoulder height (about 90° rotation). Allow momentum to swing the weight, don’t over-swing the shoulders, and avoid lunging forward!  Reverse the move between your legs, and keep swinging.  Don’t over-swing or arch your back on return – that will cause lower back pain!

3. Squat Thrust (a.k.a. Burpee) (25 repetitions): Full body.

This exercise and its burpee variations cover the killer ‘C’s of fitness in one shot: cardio, core, and conditioning.  Stand with your feet slightly beyond shoulder-width apart. Bending at your hips and knees, squat and lower your body until you can place your hands on the floor. Kick your legs backward into the regular pushup position, then immediately reverse the move and quickly stand up from the squat.

To add difficulty, perform one push-up before returning to the standing position.  You can also turn the squat thrust into a jump squat by jumping out of the squat position before landing on your feet.

4. Jumping Jacks (25 repetitions): Calisthenics and cardiovascular system.

This primary and high school gym class favorite never goes out of style, even with movie stars!  Stand with feet together and hands by your sides. Raise your arms above your head and at the same time kick your legs out to the sides.  Without stopping, reverse the movement and keep going until reaching your goal.

I’ve always worried about my weight, I like feeling fit. I just don’t want people to start saying, ‘Oh no Superman’s put on a few pounds’. That suit is tight!”[2] ~ Henry Cavill

Bullied as a youth for being overweight, Henry “Fatty” Cavill has risen to unprecedented heights as the latest Hollywood superhero.  No doubt his ripped physique has the approval of his gorgeous girlfriend, ex-MMA fighter and actor Gina Carano (“Fast and the Furious 6”).

Rumored to be next in line after Daniel Craig for the James Bond series, the tall, dark and handsome Brit will undoubtedly look to stay in shape as meatier roles keep coming his way.

[1],[2] Emma Brankin, “Superman’s Supergirl: Henry Cavill’s New Love is American gladiator Gina Carano.”,
http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/supermans-supergirl-henry-cavills-new-1955898  http://www.mirror.co.uk  16 June 13.
Adam Campbell, “The Superman Workout: Discover how Henry Cavill sculpted the body of a superhero.” http://www.menshealth.com/deltafit/superman-workout  http://www.menshealth.com 18 June 13.
Mark Jefferies, “Henry Cavill’s workout revealed: Watch Superman star get his muscles into peak condition”, http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/henry-cavill-workout-revealed-watch-1962095
http://www.mirror.co.uk 18 June 13.

Chris Cannon
Chris Cannon

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