How To Transform Your Body Like Ben Affleck In Batman vs Superman

From Michael Keaton to Ben Affleck, many different actors have taken the iconic role of Batman. However, when Affleck was preparing for his role in “Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn Of Justice,” the producers and director of the film wanted something a little bigger. While most of the Batman actors have done a fine job, most of them have not been particularly ripped. For this movie, they wanted a Batman that looked like a heavyweight fighter.

This attitude may have been motivated by the well-chiseled physique of his co-star, who certainly did a good job of portraying the man of steel. When placed next to him, Batman had to look intimidating, and that was no easy task. The task was made even harder by several factors, but the results speak for themselves.

In this article, we will take a look at Ben Affleck’s Training methods so that you can try to recreate his results if you choose. Even without the expensive top-tier personal trainer that Ben Affleck had, you can definitely achieve similar results with similar work.

Origin Of The Batman Workout

The most distinctive feature of this workout is quick gains. The process of turning Affleck into Batman was complicated by the fact that he was shooting another movie (“Gone Girl”) at the same time. Affleck’s character in “Gone Girl” wasn’t supposed to look like a comic book superhero, so they had to do a lot of work in a short time.

While Affleck was shooting scenes for “Gone Girl,” his trainer (Walter Norton Jr.) focused on keeping him in healthy shape and building up a good base of muscle. They had to be careful not to go too far, limiting the results of the training.

However, once the shooting for the other film was over, Norton put Affleck on a harsh 6-day regimen that had him working out for 90 minutes to 2.5 hours per day. Conscious of the fact that Ben Affleck isn’t as young as he used to be, Norton took care not to put too much strain on the joints while still creating the size and strength that were needed.

The Batman Workout

Like most professional trainers, Walter Norton doesn’t want to give away all his best knowledge for free. As such, he and Affleck have refrained from publishing the entire workout that was used to turn the puffy-looking hung-over guy from “Gone Girl” into the strapping superhero that defeated Superman. However, they have been good enough to publish a part of the training routine, which should still be very helpful.

This training method makes use of blocks, which might be described as extended supersets. A block is a group of exercises that must be performed within a certain time limit. You can distribute the rest periods however you like, as long as you make the deadline. Each day will have three training blocks, and these can be done as needed. It sounds as if Affleck did all three blocks in relatively quick succession, but there is no reason that you could not spread these three blocks out in whatever way is convenient for you.

Day One:

The first day’s workout will be an even mix of strength and agility training.

Block One: Warm-Up And Agility Training

Time Limit: 32 minutes

  • 15 minutes on the elliptical trainer
  • 9 minutes with the rumble roller
  • One-arm plank with arm extended: 10 seconds
  • One-arm plank with arm extended: 2 seconds for each rep, 8 reps for each side
  • Spiderman crawling: 3 reps for each side, holding each rep for two breaths
  • Inchworm drill: Do five reps, holding each rep for one breath
  • Calf stretching: 15 seconds for each leg

Block Two: Strength And Torso Development

Time Limit: 40 minutes

  • Dumbbell farmer’s walk: Do 4 walks of one minute each
  • 22 Hanging knee-ups, alternating between legs
  • Single-knee rowing: Using a rowing machine on one knee. 4 sets of 12 reps each.
  • 2 back bridges, holding each one for 15 seconds with a 5-second break in between
  • 16 Reverse dumbbell lunges, alternating between legs
  • Pull-ups: Do 6 sets of 4 reps each. Hold each rep for four seconds, and hang for four seconds before doing the next one.
  • Shoulder bridges: Hold the bridge for 10 seconds.
  • Shoulder bridges: Hold for 2 seconds with an extension, then switch sides. Do 8 reps for each side

Block Three: Strength And General Fitness

Time Limit: 22 minutes

  • 20 Seconds on the Airdyne sprint bike
  • 15 Lat pulldowns with a V-grip
  • 12 Reps on a seated rowing machine
  • Dumbbell open curls: 5 sets of 5 reps each, both arms
  • Dumbbell open curls: 5 sets of 5 reps each, using both arms at once
  • 8 Goblet squats
  • 6 Lateral squats (each side)

The Batman Workout

Day Two:

The second day’s workout will focus primarily on strength, with a little bit of agility training thrown in for completeness.

Block One: Warm-Up And Agility Training

Time Limit: 30 minutes

  • 10 Reps on the Airdyne sprint bike, with each rep consisting of a five minute run. 45-second rest between reps.
  • 8 Minutes with the soft roller, concentrating on the upper back and upper legs
  • 2 Brettzel stretches on each side, holding each stretch for 5 breaths
  • Kneeling lat pulldowns: 1 rep each side, holding each rep for 5 breaths
  • Kneeling quad stretch: 2 reps each side, holding each rep for 5 breaths
  • 2 Brettzel stretches on each side, holding each stretch for 5 breaths

Block Two: Strength And Torso Development

Time Limit: 32 minutes

  • Oblique side crunches (no bench): 8 reps followed by an 8-second hold
  • Valslide Body Slides: Do 4 sets of 12 reps each
  • Lateral dumbbell raises: 4 sets of 12 reps each
  • Back bridge with march: Hold for 8 seconds, then raise each leg 4 times
  • Dumbbell shoulder shrugs: 5 sets of 6 reps each
  • 4 sets of 15 reps on the rear delt machine
  • Single-leg hip lifts: 3 sets of 8 reps each, both sides
  • Tricep push-downs: 4 sets of 10, then remove some weight and do one more set

Block Three: Strength

Time Limit: 36 minutes

  • Dumbbell Deadlifts: 4 sets of 6 reps each
  • Dumbbell bench press: 4 sets of 10 (3-second duration for each rep)
  • Chest flys: 4 sets of 12 reps each
  • Medicine ball leg curls: 4 sets of 6 reps each (hold each rep for 2 seconds)
  • Working All The Muscle Fibers

You might notice that this workout contains many exercises in which dynamic reps are used in combination with holding exercises. There is an obvious reason behind this pattern. You see, muscles are composed of fibers. When you look at an anatomy chart, all those lines you see along the muscles are meant to show the different fibers of which the muscles are made.

There are two types of muscle fibers: Fast-twitch fibers, which are used for quick and explosive movements, and slow-twitch fibers, which are used for sustained effort. Think about it like this: When you lift something, you are using your fast-twitch fibers. When you hold it up for a while, you are using your slow-twitch fibers. By utilizing both of these fibers, better growth can be achieved in a shorter amount of time.

The Batman Diet

Like most professional actors, Ben Affleck has a personal nutritionist, and there is no doubt that his nutritionist helped him to prepare for his latest “Batman” roles. While filming this movie, Affleck stuck to a strict macronutrient balance consisting of:

  • 35% lean protein
  • 40% carbohydrates
  • 20% essential fats

Of course, this is easier said than done. In order to maintain this balance, he cut out all dairy products. Dairy products are often quite high in protein, but they are also very high in fat. Therefore, these foods did not fit the macronutrient profile described above.

Why The Sodium Restriction?

Affleck’s nutritionist also told Affleck to restrict his sodium intake to no more than 2000 mg per day. That meant avoiding all sorts of high-sodium foods like ham, most canned soups, shrimp, and french fries. Some people don’t see the connection between sodium and fat because it isn’t immediately obvious.

For one thing, salt will cause your body to retain water and gain weight. However, it also reduces the health of your gut bacteria (sometimes called “gut flora”) and leads to a greater amount of fat storage on the body. When the bacteria cannot cope with the task of digestion, they will end up sending more of those calories into your fat reserves.

The Importance Of Quality Carbs And Lean Protein

Of course, someone who is engaging in an intense program of physical exercise definitely needs enough carbs to maintain their energy throughout the day. While an excess of carbs contributes to obesity, this is mostly due to the consumption of low-quality carbs. For instance, fried potatoes are a source of carbohydrate energy, but they also contain a lot of added fat and not a lot of nutrient value. Thus, Affleck got most of his carbs from vegetables, brown rice, and oatmeal while doing this workout.

As for lean protein, there are many potential sources. Egg whites, for instance, are a great way to go. Most of the fat that is found in an egg is located in the yolk. Therefore, eating egg whites will give you almost as much protein with very little fat. Poultry tends to be lower in fat than red meat, so emphasize meats like chicken and turkey.

Salmon is also a great source of protein and omega fatty acids, and Affleck used it as well. Of course, not all of us can afford to eat salmon every day, so we need to consider that. It is probably safe to assume that all fish are acceptable for this diet. Not all fish have the same high levels of omega fatty acids that are found in salmon, but all of them are high in protein and relatively low in fat.

An Example For You:

Here is a sample meal that is meant to fit with the principles outlined above.

  • Pre-Workout: Protein supplements and water
  • Breakfast: 2 egg whites, 1 cup of oatmeal, a banana, and a tablespoon of flaxseed oil
  • Morning Snack: A protein bar (any kind)
  • Lunch: 1 portion of chicken breast (baked or grilled), one sweet potato (medium size), and a tablespoon of flax oil
  • Evening Snack: an apple and a handful of unsalted almonds
  • Dinner: 1 portion of salmon or chicken breast (baked or grilled), 1 portion of steamed brussels sprouts, and a portion of broccoli or spinach


This workout is definitely not for the faint of heart. As we explained above, Ben Affleck had to put on a lot of muscle in a short time due to his other acting commitments. However, he managed to do it, and there is no reason that you cannot achieve big gains in a short amount of time. In all, Affleck’s trainer had just four months to prepare him for the role of Batman, and Affleck gained about 24 pounds of muscle in that time.

This is also great news for middle-aged fitness enthusiasts, who may feel that biology is keeping them from fulfilling their goals. However, we can see that it’s definitely possible to be buff and trim well into middle-age. If this article has inspired you to hit the weights and pump like a superhero, then we have done our job. You can thank us by following us on Facebook using the link below.

The post How To Transform Your Body Like Ben Affleck In Batman vs Superman appeared first on Gaspari Nutrition.

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1 comment
  • Is this the routine he used during gone girl or after he finished filming gone girl.

    Owen on

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