The Superhero Workouts That Actors Had To Endure

There’s no denying that superheroes have dominated both TV and the cinema. There have been a ton of superhero TV shows and movies this past decade, and we aren’t complaining. We love the gripping storyline and the intense action sequences that would make even John Rambo look like a wimp. Of course, at the heart of every show by Marvel or DC are the heroes that make everything blend together.

The life of a superhero in the DC and Marvel universe is hard. It’s a life filled with peril and insurmountable tasks but somehow, our favourite crusaders manage to pull through most of the time. In the MCU and DCEU, our heroes still undergo the same trials and tribulations like their comic book counterparts, but these superheroes are nothing without the actors that brought them to life.

It’s tough being a part of the MCU and DCEU because to play a superhero, you’ve got to be built like a superhero. Take a look at Chris Hemsworth, his body is chiseled like a god’s! This is not a body he got naturally, and had to work very hard to achieve that body. He’s also not the only one.

Chris Hemsworth As The God Of Thunder

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Thor Odinson in the comics is a huge hulking god. While Chris Hemsworth‘s Thor is on the smaller side, he’s still built like a superhero. With arms and a torso like that, it’s obvious that Hemsworth worked for months, years really, considering his Marvel contract. An intense CrossFit training is a must for any superhero actor. As for Hemsworth, he’s often seen playing around with a suspension band attached to his torso while he works with a medicine ball. Aside from that, he also lifts to give more shape to his arms and chest area. To cap it all off, he said in an interview that he had to eat every 2 hours.

Chris Evans As Captain America

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If there’s one MCU superhero that’s built like Hercules, it has to be Steve Rogers. In the comics and in the film, Captain America got his superhuman skills through a super-soldier serum. In real life however, Chris Evans‘ body is all natural and he worked very hard for it. Evans’ first superhero stint was the Human Torch in the original Fantastic Four. Back then, Chris didn’t have to meet the same requirements that he had to meet under his role as Steve Rogers. For Cap, Evans had to maintain his body fat at around 10-12% while he was building muscle. To achieve what many consider to be the ideal male body, Evans’ training consisted of heavy weight, and low rep workouts for his torso and legs. That’s not as easy as it sounds, as building a lot of muscle mass is harder than losing weight.

Chris Pratt As Star-Lord

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When Chris Pratt was cast as Star-Lord, not many comic geeks were too happy. As Andy Dwyer on Parks and Recreation, Pratt was more on the heavy side. With comic geeks growing angry and expectations growing high, Pratt had to work hard to completely change his body. Coming out of Parks and Recreation, Pratt had to lose a lot of fat. For the first film, Pratt worked out 4-hours a day, 5-days a week, and he had to eat 4,000 calories a day. He lost 60 lbs. in eight months! Not only that, he had to build a lot of muscle to gain his physique that he maintained till now. To lose the weight, Pratt had to do a few hours of cardio, while squeezing in bodybuilding every workout day.

Robert Downey Jr. As The Iron Man

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Tony Stark, played by the brilliant Robert Downey Jr., is one MCU hero that we rarely see without his top off. Whenever there’s something going on, he’s in his Iron Man armor, covered from top-to-bottom. Despite not having the need to flaunt his body, Downey still had to work out intensely to keep up with the shooting and the other actors. Before the release of Iron Man, Downey never had any action roles, partially because he was too skinny. In order to develop his muscle mass, he began training 40-90 minutes for several days throughout the week. Aside from martial arts, he also had to undergo heavy and light weightlifting. For his body to accept the mass he was starting to build, he had to eat every 3 hours and he had to take in 5000 calories per day.

Tom Holland As Spider-Man

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Thankfully, considering he plays a younger Parker, maintaining a petite and fit frame was better suited for the role. Holland keeps his fans updated on his workout routine on his social media accounts. While there’s less focus on bodybuilding for him, he had to exert a lot of effort into gymnastics and martial arts. Like his character in the MCU, Holland is capable of insanely high jumps and tricks! He partnered his training routine with cross training to maximize his body mass.

Dave Bautista As Drax

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ut of all the actors in the MCU, Dave Bautista is the one who had his work cut out for him. Long before joining the MCU in Guardians of the Galaxy, he was already a buff guy coming off of his pro-wrestling career. Aside from being a pro-wrestler, Bautista also trains in martial arts, including jiu-jitsu. As Drax the Destroyer, Bautista had to be topless for all his scenes. This meant he had to ensure that his body was as buff and ripped as it could possibly be. With his body fat not surpassing 10%, he managed to become even bigger for his MCU role. Baustista focused heavily on lifting and improving different parts of his body per day. One day would be dedicated to legs, another for his arms, and another for his chest. Each set was short but intense!

Stephen Amell As The Green Arrow

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Stephen Amell‘s Green Arrow is yet another fine example of the ideal male body. For the role, Amell burns as much fat as he can while building muscle. To achieve this, he had a rather demanding workout schedule that’s not for the faint-hearted. His workout routine consists of 3 full body strengthening days. For the other days, which he considered “rest days”, he engaged in various demanding activities such as jiu-jitsu, archery, kickboxing, and parkour. You know your routine is hardcore when your rest day is still mainly based in physical exertion.

Ben Affleck As Batman

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Ben Affleck’s Batman may be an aged version of the Gotham superhero but that doesn’t mean he should have the body of a middle-aged man too. While we barely get to see Batman without any clothes on in his recent films, we can tell from the shape of his suit and clothes that he’s pretty built. Affleck’s Batman is larger than the previous iterations and the actor had 2 years to achieve and maintain the body. Affleck had to bulk up and gain more muscle mass. Nutrition was a big part of achieving his body. As for his workout, it consisted of 3 blocks of exercise routines filled with heavy lifting, and body weight exercises.

Henry Cavill As The Man Of Steel

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Becoming Superman is no joke. Henry Cavill had to put in a lot of work to achieve a Kryptonian’s body. While Cavill can never achieve the strength of Superman, he does come rather close to looking like The Man Of Steel thanks to his workout routine. To build lean muscle mass, Cavill had to endure a tough Olympic weightlifting based routine. He had 4 phases for his physique: preparation, bulking, leaning out, and of course, maintenance. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that an Olympic based routine is tough. Cavill had to do complex and effective weightlifting exercises to get and maintain the body that we see on-screen.

Chadwick Boseman As Black Panther

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As one of the latest additions to the MCU, Chadwick Boseman had a lot of expectations to meet when he had to become Black Panther. Unlike most of the Avengers, Black Panther relies heavily on agility and speed over strength, and this means a slim figure is what Boseman needed to prepare for his part. To make his muscles toned, Boseman had a lot of HIIT sessions. Even before becoming Black Panther, Boseman’s body was already well built, and little work was left to be done. He instead focused on capoeira, jiu-jitsu, karate, and kung-fu so his body was capable of the demanding moves that Black Panther would have to do.

Ryan Reynolds As Deadpool

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Ryan Reynolds is one of the very few that have been a part of both the DC and Marvel movie universes. Although Reynolds was already toned for Green Lantern, his body was put to the test as he played Deadpool in 2018. Becoming the merc with a mouth wasn’t easy. Aside from getting his body more defined, Reynolds also had to make sure he was capable of doing most of the action scenes. Working out 5 days a week is not easy especially for Reynolds who just became a father at the time. Like most actors taking on superhero roles, Reynolds focused more on heavy lifting and bodyweight training.

Hugh Jackman As The Wolverine

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While many superheroes have been represented by several actors already, Hugh Jackman has given the world a Wolverine that can never be replaced. From the first X-Men to Logan, we’ve seen Jackman develop more and more into the hero we saw in the comic books. This, of course, is the result of fantastic acting, and hard training. For his last stint as Wolverine in Logan, Jackman went all out with his version of the mutant, giving it his absolute all. To get as built as humanly possible, Jackman lifted weights like a real mutant. All were heavyweights with a few reps each time. On top of this, Jackman also did a lot of cardio training to keep his body fat to a minimum.

Jason Momoa As The King Of The Seven Seas

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Yet another display of the ideal male body is Jason Momoa‘s Aquaman. On-screen, Momoa’s Aquaman is ripped and buff all around but his chest area is more chiselled than the other parts of his body. As the ruler of Atlantis, Momoa worked hard to have a body fit for a king. Momoa’s favourite workout is rock climbing and he put the activity to good use in becoming Aquaman. To build the physique that he has for the character, Momoa supplemented his favourite workout with a lot of heavy lifting, focusing on his arms and legs. In one post, Momoa says he had to do a workout counting from 10 reps to 1 rep and then 1 rep to 10 reps in total, and that’s after 2 hours worth of back workouts!

Gal Gadot As Wonder Woman

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She had to undergo a rigorous six-month training on sword fighting, horseback riding, martial arts, weight Lifting. This former combat instructor of Israeli military service is used to strenuous workouts.


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