Henry Cavill’s Superman Workout

When you think of Superman, how do you imagine him? First of all, this hero has super strength, right? Filmmaking technologies can add flight, laser eyes, and high speed, but the proper Superman superstrength physic better be obtained manually. And, so, Henry Cavill, the latest Superman actor had to buff up considerably for this role! 

Henry Cavill is a famous British actor, but the start of his career was not painted by big muscles and heavy lifting. His roles were mainly romantic and a bit of a daredevil. 

For the role of Superman in 2013, Henry Cavill had to gain impressive mass. The actor admits to having undergone an excruciating training routine. For the first Man of Steel movie, he’s trained under the watchful eye of Mark Twight. The program combined the elements of strength and hypertrophy training to increase muscle mass and strength while retaining good definition. 

According to the actor, during those four months of training with Twight, he mentions learning that boundaries are only psychological. He mentions: 

“That’s what Mark taught me – one of the many things – don’t listen to the lies; your barriers are breakable.” 

Interview source.

The celebrity trainer definitely knows how to build a perfect body for an actor. He’s previously coached preparing for 300, building the physique for actors with bare torso most of the movie runtime. 

Henry Cavill’s Workout 

henry cavill working out

The exact workout plan is known to Henry Cavill and Mark Twight alone. Though the actor had discussed the types of exercises, he was regularly doing in various interviews. 

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He’s also mentioned that his role preparation phase consisted of around 2 hours of exercises 4-5 days a week. 

According to Henry Cavill, the main focus was on the following:

  • 100 front squats in body weight
  • pull-ups
  • deadlifts
  • cardio 
  • rowing machine 
  • Olympic lifts 
  • tailpipe 


While most exercises are well-known and well-practiced in the gym and at home, the tailpipe may confuse you. It can become a game-changer for your current workout routine. Of course, it won’t make you a Superman, but it can deal with the plateau if you are stuck. This fast-paced training focuses on the “supersets” of sprint rowing and kettlebell rack holds. 

How to do tailpipe like Henry Cavill (it is done with a partner)

  1. Partner A sprints on a rowing machine, 250 m as fast as you can go. 
  2. At the same time, Partner B holds two 53 pound KB in each hand.
  3. When Partner A finishes rowing, they switch positions. 

This completes 1 set. Usually, Twight’s athletes do about two-three sets of the tailpipe. The resting time between sets is 45 seconds. 


Mark Twight highlights that it’s pointless to be afraid of cardio when building mass. ANd he introduced cardio sessions to the actor’s routine. Henry Cavill himself is a firm believer in cardio. Fasted cardio was the key ingredient in building the physic for Geralt, which means that he runs in the morning before his meal of the day. The actor had stated before that it was the most effective thing he’s ever tried. 

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Cavill introduced regular fasted cardio in preparation for his role in The Witcher and continued it afterward. He’s mentioned in the interview to Men’s Health. Though, the character demands a slightly leaner build than Superman. Thus, the more cardio, the better.

Overall, before his roles, he would do just 20 minutes of running first thing in the morning. It is a mentally enjoyable exercise as well, unlike gruesome HIIT training. During running, he keeps his heartbeat around 125-135 bpm. 


The majority of weighted exercised for Superman training were done with the help of kettlebells. The actor mentions that kettlebells are an essential part of the training. Thus, I suggest you also incorporate some of the most effective kettlebell exercises into your routine: 

  • kettlebell swing
  • sumo squat 
  • kettlebell reverse lunge 
  • Russian twist with a kettlebell 
  • kettlebell incline fly 
  • thruster
  • kettlebell press-up with row 
  • kettlebell clean and press

Henry Cavill’s Diet

henry cavill superman

The Man of Steel needs his protein to build those “buns of steel”! As I’ve mentioned before, muscle growth requires protein!!! You can also read about Jason Momoa’s diet and just how much chicken a day he eats to get enough protein in another celerity workout guide. 

Do not be shocked by the following fact! And, please, do not try to follow the example! Henry Cavill claimed to consume up to 5000 calories a day in preparation for Superman! 

However, this is a man of incredible mass and energy expenditure a day. He can afford such huge portions. An average athlete cannot! 

But if you are on the road to building muscle, be sure to consume lots of protein, just as Henry Cavill and Jason Momoa do! 

On average, to build muscle, you have to consume around 1g of protein per pound to build muscles. Henry has taken the dietician’s advice to mind and mention consuming the following protein-rich food:

  • lean meats
  • eggs
  • cottage cheese 
  • yogurt
  • nuts
  • and fish 

He also supplements those grams of protein he cannot gain naturally with protein shakes! According to numerous research papers I’ve read, I can recommend you whey protein as the most effective among the wide selection of protein sources. 

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P.S. As you can see on Henry Cavill’s IG picture from above, he actually has a huge bottle of whey protein as well!


Irene’s fitness journey began in 2017 with attending classes to improve her health and researching the anatomy of working out. After years of investigating trendy and “up and coming” fitness regimes, she is ready to share the tips and advice she’s learned from athletes and expert trainers of the field.