Most superheroes owe their powers to some kind of external source and many of them became superheroes in an instant. The Fantastic Four got exposed to radiation, so did The Hulk. Wolverine and Captain America were results of an experiment, Deadpool too.
If you would go down the list, you would find many examples like these. Batman, on the other hand, is a person without superpowers, if you discount the limitless wealth. He is an ordinary man with an extraordinary physique that didn’t come overnight, but required years and years of hard work and training.
Prior to Christopher Nolan’s versions, Batman’s physique was presented using rigid costumes. But Christian Bale, and now Ben Affleck, really took it up a notch and got absolutely buffed and ripped for their roles of the Dark Knight. In fact, Ben’s absolute dedication to the role even included incredible shots of his body in full training for the Batman vs. Superman movie.
Let’s break down the batman workout regime that transformed Ben Affleck from a rom-com actor to a superhero action star.
The Bulking Up Process
Batman wears a heavy armored suit that weighs around 75 pounds. Coupled with gadgets and weapons, it easily goes over 100 pounds and for that, the man beneath the mask has to pack a serious amount of muscle mass.
Ben weighed in at 230 pounds and seven percent body fat at the shooting of his first installment of the series. In the months prior to filming, he gained almost 40 pounds of muscle mass and transformed his body entirely.
Here is an example of his workout routine for a day;
The Full Batman Workout Routine
Exercises are divided into three distinctive blocks
First Block; Warming Up and Stretching
- 15-minute warm-up on an Elliptical, slow tempo
- Stretching exercises; legs, back, arms and torso
- 10-minute Rumble Roller (2 Way Glutes/Calf/TFL/Hip/VMO)
- 8-minute planking routine;
- arm extension planks
- spider planks
- inchworm planks
Second Block; Strength and Conditioning
- Dumbbell workout routine; starting with 40 and going up 80 pounds reps
- Farmer’s walk, minute routines, four series
- Reverse dumbbell lunges; alternating reverse lunges for two minutes, four series
- Pull-ups; body weight pull-ups alternating the grip, 10 rep routine, four series
- Hanging knee-ups; straight and sideways hanging knee ups. 15 rep routine, five series
- Back bridge; 20-second holds with a five-second break between the reps, three series
- Push-ups; Body and added weight, 20 reps routine, six series
- Shoulder bridge; 12-second holds with extension reps for each side.
At this point, the muscles are at their peak performance and pretty close to wiping out. In order to bulk up and get that buffed Batman physique, Ben Affleck pushed the third block right up to limits of his body. This meant he ripped muscle fibers and stimulated the growth of new ones, thus increasing muscle mass. The third block entitled doing as many repetitions of each exercise as possible.
Third Block; Fitness and Mass
- Pull-ups; added weight pull-ups with alternating grips
- Airdyne bike; 20-seconds sprints with 10 seconds break time
- Squats; full body and additionally weighted squats;
- Goblet, eight reps per series,
- Lateral, eight reps per series,
- Slow squats, four reps per series
- Dumbbell curls; 80 pounds, five reps per arm, both arms in a series, five series minimum
- Row machine; increased resistance, 30 seconds intervals with 10 seconds of rest time.
Naturally, every day switched focus to a different muscle group, but the majority of these are done with each workout.
After about six months of training, Ben’s Batman began to take shape. He bulked up enough to genuinely portray the Gotham hero, but fine-tuning was required.
He did specific exercises for his bicep and chest muscles. Slow motion push-ups and bicep extension exercises turned him into a muscle powerhouse. This adequately portrayed him as someone who can take down guys with a single punch.
Martial Arts Training
Seeing as Batman rarely uses weapons and looks to incapacitate his enemies rather to just kill them, most of the fights in the movies are a close quarter man to man sequences. Actually, it’s more like Batman against 15 or so men and bane, but you get the picture. This meant Ben Affleck and Christian Bale alike had to train proper fighting techniques. To achieve natural fluidity in motion while fighting, martial arts training is required. Here is how Ben Affleck trained for fight sequences;
- Heavy bag workout; two-minute rounds with a minute of break time, 10 rounds
- Muay Thai; kicking routine, heavy bag and focus pads, three 3-minute rounds per workout
- Boxing; focus pads and proper technique
- Jiu-Jitsu; Technique learning and sparring
Diet and Supplementation
Although there are no specifics on the dieting plan Ben Affleck used to bulk up for the shooting of the first movie, we can quite accurately assess what and how much he ate and what supplements he used. His diet must have been high in proteins and healthy fats, with at least three whole meals during the day and a couple of snacks. Bulking up requires a high intake of proteins, used to increase muscle mass, and lower intake of sugar.
As for the supplementation, we can again only speculate on what the actor used during training and filming. Protein powder (whey proteins), amino-acids (Glutamine), and probably creatine monohydrate were among the supplements he used to achieve his goal of packing additional 40-pounds of muscle mass.
Batman’s physique is impressive in almost all the movies. However, the last few movies really shined as far as the buff batman look. Both Chrstian Bale and Ben Affleck looked great. As far as superhero physique goes, his is one of the better ones, especially having in mind that it is hard-earned and gained through some sort of accident or experiment.
A physique like Batman’s garners respect and both Ben Affleck and Christian Bale did him justice and made sure that the legend of Batman stays alive. Following the batman workout will help you achieve the same look.