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On The Table Read Magazine, “the best entertainment magazine in the UK“, Live Rugby Tickets share their research into how Marvel fans can work out,  exercise and train like a super hero.

Train Like A Superhero

Superheroes have ultimate levels of fitness and athleticism — from Thor’s thunderous strength to Spider Man’s agility — the bar has been set high for any actor or actress cast to play them.

Inspired by Marvel’s Kraven The Hunter, which saw Aaron Taylor-Johnson undertake a huge physical transformation, Live Rugby Tickets did some research into what it takes to become your favourite Superhero by analysing the workouts that helped the actors get into superhuman shape.

Popular Superheroes And Their Workouts

Rank Actor Superhero Combined Monthly searches Workout type
1 Dwayne Johnson Black Adam  6,100,000 Weightlifting, Fasted Cardio
2 Chris Hemsworth Thor 5,200,000 Old School Bodybuilding
3 Ryan Reynolds Deadpool 4,400,000 Cardio, HIIT, Weightlifting 
4 Henry Cavill Superman 4,100,000 Olympic Weightlifting, Cardio
5 Tom Holland Spider-Man 4,000,000 Weightlifting, bodyweight movements
6 Scarlett Johansson Black Widow 3,997,000 Gymnastics, Yoga, Olympic Weightlifting
7 Robert Pattinson Batman 3,900,000 Circuit Training, Boxing, Cardio
8 Jason Momoa Aquaman 3,500,000 Weightlifting, Climbing
9 Chris Evans Captain America 3,073,000 Weightlifting
10 Natalie Portman Jane Foster 2,712,000 Cardio, Boxing, Weightlifting, Pilates
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Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam

Topping the list is Dwayne Johnson, who stars as Black Adam in the DC universe, accumulating 6.1 million monthly searches. It’s no secret that Johnson is in incredible shape, from his wrestling days to his recent action roles. However, Black Adam is a character that requires a superhuman frame to fill the suit, and to achieve this new level of size, a combination of fasted morning cardio followed by an evening weightlifting routine was Johnson’s formula 6 days a week.

Throughout weightlifting routines, a “giant-set” would be utilised, which consists of a variety of lifts with as little rest time allocated as possible. This is to ensure the maximum volume for muscle growth.

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Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Chris Hemsworth as Thor ranks in 2nd place, with 5.2 million monthly searches! Hemsworth uses traditional bodybuilding methods to get into shape, in which 5 days a week minimum would be spent in the gym. 

Luke Zocchi, who is Chris Hemsworth’s personal trainer states, “We stuck to a regime of push/pull. It would be split into five days: push for a chest day, pull for back, legs, shoulders, and arms”. This alone was not enough as Zocchi reveals that a diet of 4,500 calories daily was consumed to maintain the size that Hemsworth had achieved.

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Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool

Rounding off the top three is Ryan Reynolds, who plays the iconic Deadpool, with a combined volume of 4.4 million monthly searches. Reynolds has featured in several superhero movies in his career, from a cameo in X-Men to Green Lantern – none of which have come close to the success that Deadpool achieved.

Reynolds seemingly changed his routine from the Green Lantern as his trainer, Don Saladino,  revealed that they introduced much more carbs into his diet, in unison with HIIT training and weightlifting to help the actor gain vast amounts of muscle whilst maintaining a superhero figure.

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DC Batman Universe Nº 15 Superman

Henry Cavill as Superman

In fourth place is Superman, played by Henry Cavill, amassing 4.1 million searches. Portraying Superman is a role that allows for no corners to be cut. Henry Cavill took this very seriously, employing a combination of Cardio and Olympic weightlifting to help him achieve his superhuman stature.

His routine reportedly consisted of implementing phases of training where he would target different areas of exercise, similar to the strict routine of a bodybuilder that is structured by bulking and cutting to put on as much lean mass as physically possible.

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Tom Holland as Spider-Man

In fifth place is Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland. In order to prepare for this role, the actor gained a whopping 14 lbs of lean muscle. To do this, his trainer revealed that he followed a circuit every day that consisted of heavy lifts and body weight movements.

The circuit was as follows: deadlifts, incline press, leg raises and weighted dips. This combination was manufactured to ensure that Holland gained muscle, but remained flexible and agile enough to master the movements of Spider-Man.

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Workout Like A Superhero

In striving to keep fit, it is great that we can take inspiration, and feel motivated, from watching the characters that we all know and love. From what we’ve learnt here, the important takeaway is that there is no cheat to getting fit quickly, as all of the stars we’ve investigated stick to strict regimes fueled by good food, and that most importantly, consistency is key.

Stefan Balkenende from LiveRugbyTickets

Methodology

1. Live Rugby Tickets sought to find out the most popular superheroes and their workout routines. 

2. Firstly, a list of twenty-two superheroes were collected using Marvel, DC, and IMDb.
3. Ahrefs was then utilised to find the monthly searches of each superhero, collectively with the monthly searches for each actor/actress who played them.
4. These two numbers were collated to determine the most popular, and then the list was ranked from most to least popular.

5. Data for the top ten superhero workout regimes was collected using Mensjournal, Muscleandfitness, Womenshealthmag, Grazia and MensHealth.
6. Data collected on 21/06/23 and is correct as of then.

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