Become “The Man Of Steel” With Henry Cavill’s Superman Workout Routine

Everyone wants to look like Superman, at least in terms of muscle mass and definition. If Superman were a real person, you can bet that everyone would be asking him about his workout. Unfortunately, Superman isn’t real, so we need to look for the next best thing.

To this end, we might look at Henry Cavill, the man who has played Superman in the last three films (Man Of Steel, Batman Vs. Superman, and Justice League). There is no doubt that his physique is impressive, which was necessary for this role. It’s not easy to make yourself look like a comic book superhero, but Henry Cavill seems to have done exactly that.

The Henry Cavill Workout

Having chosen a good example, we need to find out how Henry Cavill created the chiseled physique for which he is now famous. We are fortunate here because he has given some interviews, in which he described the kind of workout routine that he used to attain that superhero build. Fortunately, he has also decided to disclose many of the specifics on his website. This will make it much easier to emulate his workout and (hopefully) his results.

The basic principles that Cavill has outlined and described are good ones, and can obviously be employed in more than one way. However, we are going to stick with the routine presented on Henry Cavill’s website. His method seems to be based around the use of both high-rep and low-rep sets. When it comes down to it, this is the most distinctive feature of Henry Cavill’s workout.

The trainer who helped Henry Cavill to prepare for the role of Superman has decided to keep the exact routine secret. Since his livelihood depends on these methods, the secrecy is understandable. However, Cavill has been good enough to provide two different workout options, and so we will explore both. They are designed with the same principles as the proprietary workout that he used.

Cavill Workout: Option 1


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This workout is described as a “football workout,” which is probably the case because it emphasizes a mix of strength and speed.

Day One

This workout might be described as a “10,000-pound lift.” At this point, you might be wondering if this workout was actually designed for Superman, but don’t worry: You will lift 10,000 pounds, but not all at once. You might need to do a little bit of math here, but it shouldn’t be too hard.

You will do three exercises as part of this 10,000-pound lift:

  • 1 Squat (any kind)
  • 1 Press (any kind)
  • 1 Deadlift (any kind)

You can do any amount of weight that you deem proper. However, you must only do one rep per round for each of these exercises. You do one squat, one press, and one deadlift: That’s one round. You can do as many rounds as you need, and take as much time as you need. However, the total amount of all your lifts and squats should add up to 10,000.

How hard is this? Let’s consider an example. Let’s say you are doing 100-pound squats, 100-pound bench presses, and 75-pound deadlifts. That adds up to 275 pounds per round. 10,000 divided by 275 equals about 36 rounds. That’s quite a bit to do, but remember that you can stretch those reps out over an entire day if necessary. Still, you should remember that this workout is meant to be done as fast as possible. Also, with each round consisting of only three reps in total, it shouldn’t be that hard to do 35-40 rounds in a day.

Day Two

Today is sprint day. This workout will be much more simple than the one you did yesterday. You will need to perform 8 sprints, and each one should be about 50 yards. You should only take a 60-second rest period between each sprint.

Day Three

Today is a rest day. Maintain good nutrition, and try not to sit around all day, but don’t do any dedicated training.

Day Four


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Today’s workout will be a timed one. You will do as many reps as possible within ten minutes. As before, you will do these exercises in rounds, and each round will consist of the following:

  • 7 bent-over dumbbell rows
  • 7 dumbbell power cleans
  • 7 dumbbell push presses

For this workout, Cavill was told to use 50-pound dumbbells, so we recommend that you use the same (if possible). If you can’t handle the fifty-pounders, get as close as possible, and work your way up to the bigger dumbbells.

Day Five

This time, we will be using mixed rounds with a time limit that is even shorter than before. For each round, you will have 60 seconds to do the following:

  • 20 kettlebell swings
  • A 60-yard sprint

Repeat this for five rounds, and you are done. Today’s workout isn’t easy, but at least it will be very quick!

Day Six

This is another rest day. Repeat the instructions from day three.

Cavill Workout: Option 2

This one has been described as “the juggernaut option,” probably because it places its emphasis on pure strength and muscle growth.

Day One

Start by using a complex warm-up routine consisting of the following:

  • Jumprope
  • Arm swings
  • Foam roller

Now start doing bench presses with 180 pounds of weight. Do three reps, and then add 20 pounds and do three more reps. Finally, bump it up to 210 pounds and do as many reps as you can (8 is recommended). To sum it up:

  • Bench press: 3 reps, 180 pounds
  • Bench press: 3 reps, 200 pounds
  • Bench presses: 8+ reps, 210 pounds

Day Two

For today, we will be focusing on agility as well as strength. Although this method is meant to emphasize strength and growth, you don’t want to become muscle-bound. A little bit of agility training can do a lot to keep those muscles flexible.

First, do your warm-up as before. Now, do the following:

  • 20 box jumps
  • 30-yard bear crawl at maximum speed
  • 10 burpees

This will be one round, and you should try to do three rounds before you stop.

Day Three

Today is a rest day. Maintain good nutrition, and try not to sit around all day, but don’t do any dedicated training.

Day Four

Repeat the instructions for day one, but substitute overhead shoulder presses for the bench presses.

Day Five

Repeat the instructions for day two, but substitute lateral jumps for the box jumps, and substitute lunge-walking for the bear crawl.

Day Six

This is another rest day. Repeat the instructions from day three.

Why You Need Both High-Rep And Low-Rep Training

What About The Training Schedule?


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We are told that Cavill used a 2-day/1-day cycle when working out. That means two workout days followed by one rest day. That makes sense, as there is evidence to show that muscles will break down if they are worked continuously without rest. Rest days are very important for muscle recovery and the prevention of strain and injury, in general.

Some people opt for an every-other-day workout schedule, which certainly gives your body enough rest days to maintain your optimal safety level. However, muscle growth will be impeded with a schedule like this. To understand this, you have to understand that the process of muscle growth is regulated by a process referred to as “muscle protein synthesis.” We recommend that you do a quick search using this term, and you will find that everyone agrees on one point: Muscle growth is a direct result of greater muscle protein synthesis.

Only Active Muscles Can Grow

When a person is active, their muscles tend to behave in an active manner. They take protein from the food you ingest and turn it into strong muscle tissue. When a person is inactive, the opposite occurs. The body goes into a “hibernation mode” in which it is more concerned with saving energy than with building muscle. From a hibernation perspective, this makes sense, but we aren’t trying to hibernate like a bunch of squirrels, now are we?

We can really see the proof of this concept when we look at scientific studies conducted on people who have been inactive for long periods. For instance, this study found that prolonged inactivity led to a drastic decrease in muscle protein synthesis. This, in turn, led to a drastic increase in the rate of muscle loss. Bottom line: Only active muscles can grow, while inactive muscles will be consumed by the body for energy. That’s why a 2-to-1 workout schedule is a great idea. You get twice as many workout days as rest days, while still allowing enough time for muscle recovery.

The Henry Cavill Diet Plan

Henry Cavill’s diet plan has also been published on the same website linked above, and the information given is much more specific. The first thing we can see is that Cavill went on a high-calorie diet, consisting of 3500-5000 calories per day. However, that doesn’t mean that he just went out and ate all kinds of high-calorie food.

Instead, he mostly got his extra calories from meal replacement shakes. His trainer chose shakes that were particularly high in protein and good fats (like omega fatty acids) while advising the actor to avoid high-sugar foods and empty carbs. He also told Cavill to avoid fast food, which is good advice for anyone who cares about their health.

Here is the diet plan that has been published:

Day One, Meal One

  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 whole eggs
  • Half a cup of oats
  • 1 apple
  • 1 dose of multi-vitamin/fish oil

Day One, Meal Two

  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 1 portion of chicken breast
  • 1 cup of broccoli

Day One, Meal Three

  • 6 ounces of tuna (any kind)
  • 2 slices of wheat bread
  • 1 banana
  • 1 pear (optional)
  • 1 meal-replacement shake with whey protein

Day Two, Meal One

  • 1 10-inch flour tortilla
  • 1 6-ounce serving of chicken breast
  • Half a cup of lettuce (chopped)
  • Half a tomato (chopped)

Day Two, Meal Two

  • 8 ounces of Vitamin D milk
  • 1 cup of stone-ground oats
  • 1 scoop of whey protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1 sweet potato

Day Two, Meal Three

  • 1 cup of cottage cheese
  • 1 small cup of yogurt (can be mixed with the cottage cheese)
  • A serving of almonds

You should bear in mind that these are only sample diet plans. Everyone has different food preferences, so you might want to change a few things here and there. However, you should only switch out foods that have a similar nutrient profile.


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I don’t always workout, but when I do, I workout with Superman. #Superman #GymStuff @FlexGymBudapest

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As a final note about this workout, we should refer you to this interview with Henry Cavill. The article is paywalled, but the excerpts give us an important piece of information.

Cavill says that his training regimen is very intense. While training for his role in “Man Of Steel,” he pushed himself very hard, according to this interview. He says that he did things that he didn’t believe possible, indicating that he really did train hard. Thus, we need to tell you that this workout routine will only work if you give it the intensity and the dedication that it requires. In the end, there is no way to circumvent the need for a serious effort.

We hope that you have enjoyed this article and that you will help to support our work by following us on Facebook using the button below. We will leave you with these words: “Laziness is kryptonite.”

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