He’s one of the most iconic figures in superhero/pop culture history.
He’s a badass without “super powers” who uses his wits, financial resources, and (of course) athletic prowess to fight crime as a vigilante.
And, due to the inspiration of his superhero identity, he’s often misunderstood. A characteristic many gym-goers can often relate to.
We’re talking about Batman, of course.
Batman is a superhero character a lot of fitness enthusiast aspire to be like. It’s easy to see why.
The character has always been portrayed as being fit – Aesthetically pleasing even. From comics to the silver screen, the man behind the suit is always absolutely shredded with well-defined muscles.
And he got there through hard work.
He wasn’t injected with super serum. He’s no god. He’s not a mutant. Planet Earth is his one and only home. He’s rich, but doesn’t get his heroism from fancy jewels or jewelry… well, aside from gadget belts and bracelets.
He’s human. He’s jacked. He’s badass. And because he’s human, Batman’s physique is easily a relatable goal for most people looking to get jacked themselves.
Before we get into some workouts that’ll help you look like you’re capable of fighting crime in the middle of the night, let’s talk about some of the portrayals of Batman in the past (and future).
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The Many Different Portrayals of Batman
The world was first introduced to Batman in 1939.
Since, the character has been depicted in many comic books, books, tv shows, cartoons, and movies.
We will primarily focus on movies, specifically on the actors who brought the superhero to life on the silver screen.
It all starts with Adam West. Not the most physically imposing Batman, but given the era, he was certainly in fantastic shape. His initial portrayal of Batman will be forever remembered.
In 1989, Adam West passed the torch to Michael Keaton’s portrayal of the character. Keaton’s Batman is argued as one of the best renditions of the superhero. And, given the success of his movies, it’d be hard to argue considering they came at a time long before the popularity of superhero movies.
From there we get Val Kilmer’s Batman and George Clooney’s Batman. Both received some criticism, but both hit the box office during my childhood, so they get a pass via nostalgia.
Next up on the timeline is Christian Bale. Bale’s portrayal also comes with a huge body transformation as he prepared for the role. However, what I remember the most about Bale’s movies are the villains. Between Heath Ledger and Tom Hardy, we get one of the most sadistic and one of the most physically imposing baddies we had seen in a superhero movie at the time.
From Bale, we move onto Ben Affleck. Affleck’s movies came at a rough time during the DC universe which is often overshadowed by the success of Marvel. However, the thing I’ll always remember about Affleck is how he prepared his body for the role.
Affleck really went all in and added a lot of muscle size and density to play Batman. And, to me, that’s pretty admirable.
That leaves us with the Batman we have yet to see, Robert Pattinson. It’s safe to say, we’re all pretty excited to see how that plays out. And we’ll be curious to see if Pattinson goes the route of many Hollywood superhero stars by adapting his training to align with the character he’s about to play.
Now that we’ve discussed all of the actors who have played Batman, let’s get to the main point of this article – teaching you some workout programs that can have you looking like the superhero!
Just as each actor has brought a different acting style to their depiction of Batman, many have also brought a different physique.
This 14 week Batman workout routine will use 3 phases. Each phase will be inspired by an actor who has starred as Batman.
The first phase is inspired by Ben Affleck. The goal of it will be to help you build strength and size.
From there, we’ll move onto more of a hypertrophy style phase inspired by Christian Bale’s look as Batman.
Lastly, we’ll wrap up by working on definition in a phase inspired by how we imagine Robert Pattinson will train for his upcoming role.
Each phase will be explained more in-depthly further down. That said, please keep in mind that these programs aren’t the actual programs performed by the actor.
And the routines are simply well-rounded templates that do not factor in your individual needs and/or workout/injury history. They may need to be altered to fit your needs.
Phase 1: Build Strength like Batman (Weeks 1-5)
The first 5 weeks of the workout will be focused on building strength and size. The goal here will be to utilize as heavy of a weight as possible while maintaining solid form with every single repetition.
Since the focus will be building strength, rest periods will be fairly lengthy. The recommended rest duration for the heaviest compound movements is 3-5 mins. For all other exercises it is recommended you rest for 2 mins.
This part of the program is necessary to build your foundation for the remainder of the program. Most view strength training as an unnecessary component of building muscle, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Focus on getting stronger during this phase and watch as you increase muscle size quickly.
For the sake of having a theme or goal for the first 5 weeks, imagine utilizing this program to transform your physique similarly to how Ben Affleck transformed his physique to play Batman.
Affleck’s Batman was one of the more muscular portrayals of the character. And he utilized strength training to build that size.
Day 1: Ben Affleck Batman Inspired Workout
|A1. Sled Push||4||10 Yards|
|A2. Heavy Loaded Carry||4||10 Yards|
|Walking Lunge||3||15 Each|
|Seated Calf Raise||4||6|
Day 2: Ben Affleck Batman Inspired Workout
|T Bar Row||4||6|
|A1. (Weighted) Pull Up||3||8-12|
|A2. Push Up||3||15|
|B1. Dumbbell Row||4||8-12|
|B2. Dumbbell Bench Press||4||6|
|C1. (Weighted) Dips||3||8-12|
|C2. Dumbbell Curls||3||12|
Day 3: Ben Affleck Batman Inspired Workout
|A1. Sled Drag||4||10 Yards|
|A2. Sled Push||4||10 Yards|
|Lateral Lunge||3||10 Each|
|Jump Rope||1||8 Mins|
Day 4: Ben Affleck Batman Inspired Workout
|Bent Over Row||5||5|
|Incline Bench Press||4||6|
|Seated Dumbbell Press||4||6|
|A1. Lateral Raise||3||10|
|A2. Cable Face Pull||3||15|
|Lat Pull Down||3||8|
|B1. Hammer Curl||3||12|
|B2. Overhead Tricep Extension||3||12|
Phase 1 Batman Workout Notes:
This phase focuses on heavy compound movements. As mentioned, your goal should be to go as heavy as possible on all of your lifts and maximizing the weight used through increased rest periods.
Try to progress by adding weight to the movements each week if you’re capable of doing so.
Any letters used in the workout represents a superset. Perform both exercises one right after the other before taking your rest period.
If you do not have access to a sled, the leg press and hack squat machines are suitable alternatives to the sled based exercises listed.
This phase is simply a template, you’re more than welcome to modify it however you see fit to better reach your goals.
Phase 2: Build Muscle like Batman (Weeks 6-10)
Once you’ve built a foundation of strength, we’ll move right into the second phase of our Batman workout. This phase will put more focus on maximizing hypertrophy.
Thus for those of you looking to draw inspiration from a former Batman, look no further than Christian Bale’s transformation. He added slabs of muscle preparing for his role as Batman and created one of the most memorable Batman physiques ever seen.
Rest periods will be slightly lower during this phase. For your heavier compound lifts toward the beginning of the workout, you’ll want to utilize a 2-3 min rest period. On all other exercises or circuits, limit rest to 60-90 seconds total.
This particular phase follows a push, pull, legs split on a 3 day cycle. While there are only 3 days listed, it is recommended that you work out 5-6 days per week. The goal would be to perform the workouts in a 3 days on 1 day off fashion.
Also, really focus on building a mind-muscle connection during this phase. Don’t just go through the motions here, really emphasize feeling each and every rep while maintaining perfect form.
Day 1: Christian Bale Batman Inspired Workout
|Push Press||5||8, 8, 6, 5, 3|
|Barbell Bench Press||5||8, 8, 6, 5, 3|
|Feet Elevated Push Ups||3||12|
Day 2: Christian Bale Batman Inspired Workout
|(Weighted) Pull Ups||5||8, 8, 6, 5, 3|
|T Bar Row||5||8, 8, 6, 5, 3|
|Underhand Lat Pull Down||3||12|
|EZ Bar Curl||3||12|
Day 3: Christian Bale Batman Inspired Workout
|Squats||5||8, 8, 6, 5, 3|
|Romanian Deadlift||5||8, 8, 6, 5, 3|
|Standing Calf Raise||3||15|
|Seated Calf Raise||3||8|
Phase 2 Batman Workout Notes:
There’s still some heavier work to be done in this phase. However, not nearly as much as in phase 1.
Phase 2 focuses on pumping up the volume slightly and a few additional isolation lifts to help you build lean muscle everywhere you want to.
While Christian Bale’s workouts likely focused more on Olympic lifting, these workouts are slightly more suitable for someone who isn’t familiar with Olympic movement patterns (i.e. most of the general fitness population).
Again, try to continue to progress with the weight you use during this phase. Add weight whenever possible and track your workouts so you can remember how each set felt upon completion.
Feel free to modify this phase to better fit your individual capabilities and/or the equipment you have access to.
Phase 3: Lean Out Like Batman (Weeks 11-14)
Lastly, we’ve got phase 3 – which will be our leaning out phase.
This phase will include 5 workout days and will be inspired by Robert Pattinson and the physique we’re expecting him to bring to the role.
After 10 weeks of building both strength and size, this phase will test your muscular endurance while also burning plenty of calories.
It’ll be more bodyweight focused and incorporate several supersets and circuits to improve upon cardiovascular health.
I’m sure you’ve noticed up until this point there hasn’t been much direct core work. That will also change during this phase so you’ll have some solid abdominal definition as you lean out.
Day 1: Robert Pattinson Batman Inspired Workout
|A1. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press||3||8|
|A2. Dumbbell Lateral Raise||3||10|
|A3. Dumbbell Row||3||10|
|B1. Pull Up||3||8|
|B2. Standing Cable Row||3||10|
|B3. Cable Curl||3||12|
|C1. Plank||3||60 Secs|
|C2. Push Up||3||15|
|C3. Ab Crunch||3||15|
|C4. Mountain Climbers||3||12 Each|
|C5. Side Plank||3||30 Sec Each|
Day 2: Robert Pattinson Batman Inspired Workout
|A2. Air Squat||3||10|
|A3. Walking Lunges||3||12 Each|
|B1. Sled Push||3||10-15 Yards|
|B2. Goblet Squats||3||10|
|B3. Bodyweight Leg Curl||3||12|
|Jump Rope||1||10-15 Mins|
Day 3: Robert Pattinson Batman Inspired Workout
|A1. Inverted Row||3||12|
|A2. Feet Elevated Push Up||3||12|
|A3. Planks||3||60 Secs|
|B1. Shoulder Press||3||8|
|B2. Bent Over Rear Delt Fly||3||10|
|B3. Overhead Tricep Extension||3||12|
|C1. Deadbugs||3||8 Each|
|C2. Bicycle Crunch||3||8 Each|
|C3. Oblique Crunch||3||8 Each|
Day 4: Robert Pattinson Batman Inspired Workout
|A1. Landmine Goblet Squat||3||8|
|A2. Landmine RDL||3||8|
|B1. Walking Lunges||3||15 Each|
|B2. Farmer's Walks||3||30 Secs|
|Jump Rope||1||10-15 Mins|
Day 5: Robert Pattinson Batman Inspired Workout
|A1. Seated Shoulder Press||3||10|
|A2. Dumbbell Row||3||10|
|A3. Push Up||3||10|
|A4. Dumbbell Curl||3||10|
|B1. Seated Cable Row||3||12|
|B2. Lat Pull Down||3||12|
|C1. Ab Crunch||3||15|
|C2. Lying Floor Leg Raise||3||15|
|C3. Scissor Kicks||3||12 Each|
Phase 3 Batman Workout Notes:
This portion of the program is intense and will really challenge your muscular and cardiovascular endurance.
Rest is to be kept at a minimum with no rest in between any exercises listed with letters (as those represent a circuit or superset). In between circuits and supersets, rest for 45-60 seconds. For any standalone exercises listed, such as the back squat, rest for 90 seconds.
On all core circuits, keep rest to a minimum. 20-30 seconds of rest should be plenty.
As in other phases, this portion of the Batman workout is simply a template – you are more than welcome to make alterations anywhere you see fit to make it suit your individual needs.
Final Thoughts on the Batman Workout
The Batman workout routine listed above lays out all of the workouts you’ll need to transform your physique to the point where you’ll look like a superhero yourself.
What it doesn’t cover is lifestyle adaptations you’ll want to adopt to maximize your results from the program.
A lot of people mistake the workouts as being the most important part to achieving a superhero look. However, it takes a much more rounded approach.
Step one is going to be modifying your diet to fit your goals. If you’re beginning the program overweight, you might want to lose some body fat by eating in a slight calorie deficit (~300-500 calories below maintenance) with this routine.
If you’re looking to add lean muscle with this program and you’re starting out on the skinnier side, you’ll want to eat in a calorie surplus (~300-500 above maintenance) with this program.
To get your maintenance calories, use a daily calorie counter such as our daily calorie calculator tool.
From there, you’ll want to get most of your calorie intake through whole foods:
- Lean meats
- Healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, grass fed butter, etc)
- Whole grains and oats
- Fruits and veggies
- And low fat dairy products
And unlike Batman, who fights crime all night, you’ll want to be in bed getting quality sleep. 7-9 hours each night in as dark and cool of a room as you can create should do the trick. Also, turn off the tube and crack open a book for 15-30 mins before turning out the lights.
Lastly, try your best to minimize stress as much as possible. Sure, we’re not all loaded with cash like Bruce Wayne, but try your best to do whatever it takes within your control to limit financial, personal, and work stress.
A good way to start things off is taking time to meditate each day. You could also start journaling so you can get in-tune with your own headspace. There’s plenty of unique and helpful tactics out there – so do your research and maximize this area of your life.
That about wraps the Batman workout up. If you have any questions about the phases within the workout or anything else laid out within the article, please don’t hesitate to leave us a comment below!