We all remember that New Year's resolution we made to work out more. We have every intention of keeping that resolution, sure, but sometimes it's hard to get excited about a workout. After doing the same work out for a long time and seeing the same results (or lack thereof), it becomes harder to get yourself to the gym.
So let’s spice up the routine with something a little super. We’ve seen the movies: actors will go from playing commonplace men you could easily pass on the street to playing men that can conquer the universe! How is it possible? How are these guys able to completely transform their bodies for the big screen?
Well, part of the answer is that they’re paid to do it. If we were all paid a ridiculous amount of money to get in shape, we’d work harder. But they also have professional trainers, dieticians, and a lot of free time; not exactly resources we’re all fortunate enough to have. However, these God-like men have been kind enough to leak their workouts and we should be taking full advantage of that.
This list is more than a compilation: it can be a comprehensive plan for the next decade. The list is arranged so that the least rigorous plans are oriented closer to #1, while the ridiculously intense plans are closer to #15. Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different. When working out, you should always be safe and know your limits. Acknowledge what your body is capable of and start slow.
With that in mind, it’s time to hit the gym. Here’s 15 of the best superhero workouts.
15 Hulk - Mark Ruffalo
Kind of ironic that we’d start out the list with one of the largest superheroes in existence, right? No worries, we’re not talking about the big green guy; we’re talking about Mark Ruffalo ("spoiler alert:" The big green guy is mostly CGI). Ruffalo had conversations early on with Avengers director Joss Whedon about what Bruce should look like on a calm day. Mark wanted to live the way Bruce would: living a peaceful life to keep his rage in check. That kind of rules out power lifting and heavy cardio.
14 Spiderman - Andrew Garfield
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Andrew Garfield? He wasn’t in that great shape, was he?” Think again. Garfield did a lot of his own stunts and he wore that suit like a glove; he was shockingly in shape.
13 Quicksilver - Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Aaron had a unique situation in that he was filming Avengers 2 almost concurrently with Godzilla. He used TRX core training (developed by the Navy Seals and utilizing suspension and body weight) combined with movement-based exercises to give him a more athletic look. He was exercising in a way that paralleled his stunt work on set.
12 Hawkeye- Jeremy Renner
Hawkeye is sometimes forgotten when he stands alongside his Avenger brethren: next to Captain America and Thor he can be a little dwarfed. But focus on Jeremy Renner and you will see that he is in remarkably good shape. What’s more his workout is achievable in any gym.
The key to success in Renner’s workout lies not in a unique regimen or weird workout fads. For this workout to get you in S.H.I.E.L.D. shape, you’ve got to focus on three things aside from the workout itself.
11 Deadpool - Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds has been dreaming of playing Deadpool all his life and he wasn’t going to take any shortcuts when getting into shape for the role. Though Reynolds didn’t deny himself any particular foods (because Wade Wilson would never go on a diet), he did adhere to an intense workout plan.
10 Iron Man - Robert Downey Jr.
True, a lot of Robert Downey Jr.’s work as Iron Man is in front of a green screen, talking to his computer system ("spoiler alert:" that’s not really him flying around in a CGI suit). However, there are still occasions where we see Tony Stark having to be one tough cookie outside of the suit, and Robert did not slack off. Robert’s been sticking to the "Wing Chun" technique to stay in shape. Never heard of it? It was made famous by Bruce Lee; you’ve heard of him, assuredly.
9 Daredevil - Charlie Cox
The Netflix superhero might not have been the first to pop up into your thoughts, but Charlie Cox has been doing a lot of work to get in great shape for this blind hero. Cox placed most of his focus on lowering his body fat percentage and getting a lean, athletic look. It’s also good to note that Charlie’s designed his workout as any other normal guy would: it won’t take all day, it won’t cost a fortune, it won’t necessitate a trainer, and it won’t interfere with you having a productive day post-workout.
8 Falcon - Anthony Mackie
Sam Wilson, best friend of our favorite, Captain America, doesn’t really have super powers: he’s just got super technology, super training, and a super fit body to make it all work. Anthony Mackie always wanted to play a superhero, but he never realized until filming just how intense it would be.
7 Batman - Christian Bale
We all loved Christian Bale as The Dark Knight: he is arguably the best Batman we’ve ever seen. This is due in part to a great director (thanks, Mr. Nolan) and amazing casting (Tom Hardy as Bane, am I right?), but we’ve got to give credit where credit is due. Christian Bale took the role seriously and held himself to seriously high standards when getting into shape for the role.
6 Green Arrow - Stephen Amell
Here’s another superhero you probably forgot about when you clicked on this list. Green Arrow is a snide, sarcastic bad-ass, but Stephen Amell wasn’t joking around when it came to his workout. He focused on building a good lean, fit frame: not too muscular, not too thin.
5 Captain America - Chris Evans
Chris Evans pushed himself harder than ever before to get into shape for Captain America. In interviews, he even admitted to puking at the gym from pushing himself too hard. When you're trying to reach that First Avenger status, be safe and healthy.
4 Wolverine - Hugh Jackman
3 Superman - Henry Cavill
We all want an out-of-this-world body like Kal-El’s. It’ll take a lot of time, dedication, persistence, and perseverance, but it’s not out of reach. Most of what Henry Cavill did to prepare for the role you can do in your own gym.
2 Batman - Ben Affleck
We haven’t seen how well he’ll play the role yet, but no one can say that he hasn't been working tirelessly to look the part. Though Affleck used the same personal trainer as Henry Cavill, the routines and the products were clearly very different.
1 Thor - Chris Hemsworth
If you’ve been able to get through all of the other workouts in this article, it might be time to give Chris Hemsworth’s a try. That said, this one’s a doozy.
One of the biggest struggles with this workout is going to be keeping your body fed well enough to keep the muscle on. Hemsworth was eating “buckets” of protein every day; he even had to wake up in the middle of the night to drink protein shakes! His workouts weren’t overwhelmingly long, but they were insanely rigorous; his heart rate was at elevated levels from the moment he started to the moment it ended. There is no room for rest in this regimen - you will be going strong and hard the whole time. However, by the time you finish it, you’ll be feeling pretty God-like. Click here for the full diet and workout routine.
Sources: popworkouts.com, mensfitness.com, bodybuilding.com
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