With the very recent release of Man of Steel on DVD and Blu Ray it is my pleasure to write about the condition Henry Cavill was in for the role as Superman in this movie. If you have seen the movie there are endless scenes of him looking fit and aesthetic with muscles popping from the grueling workouts his trainer must have put him through. So let's have a look at his workouts, diet and supplementation to see exactly how he got his awe inspiring look.
Henry was coached by Mark Twight who was responsible for all those Spartans looking shredded whilst going into battle against the Persians, yeah I am talking about the movie 300. Now we all know how good they looked with their abs looking like cheese would just grate itself on them, so Henry was in good hands. However, for this movie there is something really important to note for him staying in awesome shape. He had to maintain looking lean and fit like a superhero for 6 months. The shooting of the movie wasn't straight forward when you compare it to say a bodybuilder or model who is preparing for a shoot. You can stay lean for a couple of days or maybe even a week and look full, muscular and healthy. So this was very unique for Mark to work with Henry as it was like nothing else he had done before. In essence, Henry had the same muscular physique on the first day of filming which was in February as he did on the last day in August.
The Diet and Supplementation
It goes without saying that diet is more important than anything else. You can train, train and train some more but if you don't eat the right foods you won't ever become a man of steel. Henry being 30 years old would need to make sure he was consuming the right nutrients to evolve into his superhero status! He needed to add mass and size but still stay lean so there was an emphasis on eating more calories whilst keeping everything healthy. As far as supplements goes, he used multi vitamins and essential fatty acids to help with digestion and boost his immune system. With the amount of training he was doing it seems sensible that these were included in his with his diet so that he wasn't sick and unable to train. Henry was also using magnesium to help him sleep at night which meant better recovery and less tired, achy muscles. During Henry's phase of gaining weight and putting on more muscle who was using a post workout protein formula which was dense in calories. I am not sure what protein he used, I'd like to think it was something along the lines of Optimum Health ;), but what I do know is that coconut milk, yoghurt, fruit etc was placed into the shake to add additional calories.
Ok, I get it, this is the bit you have been waiting for and in honesty it is the cool part. But please remember, without the correct nutrition it is a losing battle. Mark worked with Henry for 11 months and used different training principles to adapt his shape into the finished product. Predominantly Henry was performing bodybuilding load, set ,reps structures into his training, especially during his bulking period so that he could shock his body. Henry needed to grow and the best way to do this was performing compound exercises which work many muscles in your body. With this said it possibly comes as no surprise that exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench press were main moves he performed in regular training sessions. Kettle bells, dumbbells, ropes, swiss balls were also used within his training sessions to make them fun and promote functionality. Another point to remember is that Henry is not just standing still whilst being papped by a camera for hours on end. He is an actor, moving around and therefore has to stay functionally fit as well as looking muscular and aesthetic.
The Man Of Steel Workout
Yes, your very own Man Of Steel workout that you can use when you next hit the gym, garage or local park to grow some serious muscle.
KettleBell Swing - Holding a kettlebell with both hands or one, have a wide stance and push back with your hips into a small partial squat. From a standing position you will approximately push back with the hips into a 45 degree stance and thrust forward with your hips whilst holding onto the kettlebell and swing this forward. Your arm will raise to shoulder height working the shoulders and forearms. Repeat this move 10 times and move on to the other side.
Deadlift - Max out on Olympic Barbell Deadlifts which will work pretty much every muscle in your body. You will see in the video below Henry performing this exercise :)
Squat - You can't grow without performing a squat. You need to train your legs and the beauty of it is when you do, your whole body wants to grow and adapt. Make sure you perform either Olympic Squats or a Front loaded barbell squat to maximise gains.
Shoulder Press - Henry lifted lots of weight above his head to bulk up his shoulders and keep his wide frame. If you are used to using dumbbells try this exercise with Kettlebells and notice a difference. If you find yourself shaking a bit more when using them, don't fret, this is simply your core muscles engaging!!
KettleBell Bent Over Row - Working the back muscles with a kettlebell row. Adopt a shoulder width stance and step back with one leg. Place your hand on the knee of the leg that is forward and slightly lean over it. With your other arm, grab hold of the heavy kettle bell and row this into the side of your waist. This is a great back building exercise :)
So there you have it, after 12 - 16 hour days filming, training and eating the right foods, Henry stayed in shape and did an incredible job. The next time you exercise incorporate some of these moves into your session and really push yourself to feel the effects. Oh and before I forget, the S you start to develop on your chest after your workouts, don't worry, it is perfectly normal ;)
Image above by Oli Riches https://www.facebook.com/olirichesdesigns