Welcome back to our blog series, Hollywood Muscle, where we visit some of the most iconic physiques (both past and present) to ever appear in theaters/television.
Regardless if it’s right or wrong, Hollywood has always been one of the main avenues from which we draw fitness inspiration.
We all do it. We see a jacked celebrity on a giant screen and take to google to try to figure out their training and diet regimen.
Then, if it looks reasonable, we try to emulate it and hope for similar results.
And while what works for one person isn’t always the best option for you as an individual, I personally love that source of motivation.
Today, we’re covering arguably one of the best modern physiques in film, Henry Cavill.
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Henry Cavill Mini-Biography
Henry Cavill is probably most known for his role as Superman in Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League.
Honestly, he was born to play the role. He has the perfect Clark Kent look about him. His whole look screams charming and mild-manner citizen that could rip off his guise to reveal an S on his chest.
Prior to his portrayal of Superman, he was known for several BBC television series and Showtime’s The Tudors. Since, he co-starred in the action movie Mission: Impossible – Fallout donning a super manly mustache and being a complete badass.
Currently, he’s starring in Netflix’s The Witcher, is set to portray Sherlock Holmes in 2020, is signed on for an additional Superman movie, and is undoubtedly a shoe-in to be a future James Bond.
What makes Cavill so successful in these roles, aside from his acting chops, is the physical appearance he maintains seemingly year-round and tinkers with to fulfill each persona he takes on.
Henry Cavill Workout Philosophy
Lucky for us, there’s tons of information about Cavill’s workout style online – some of which comes directly from the man himself on his official website, YT videos he has collaborated on, and his Instagram account.
If you’ve followed him on any of those platforms, you’re probably well aware of the styles of training he prefers.
Admittedly, they’re pretty different than what is typically preached on Muscle & Strength – and that’s completely ok! As mentioned earlier, what works for some may not work for others. That is why it is important to experiment with different training philosophies and find out what works best for you.
Henry Cavill has worked with a number of different trainers over the years to prepare for his roles. And his training style really differs depending on what type of role he is taking on.
It’s honestly a mix of what will make him most functional for the role, while also keeping in mind the physical appearance he needs to make that role believable. That’s why his training for Superman will be drastically different than his training for The Witcher.
The two styles he is most known for are powerlifting style workouts and crossfit workouts.
Both of which are smartly programmed for him throughout the year to make him look physically imposing while he builds strength, and shredded when he needs to be prepared for a shirtless scene.
Also, depending on the goal, he will add in fasted cardio in the mornings or “tailpipe” circuits post-workout. “Tailpipe” circuits are cardio challenges that have you feeling like you’ve been sucking on the tailpipe of a car.
For the purposes of this article, we will focus on more of his mass/strength building phases as that is much more in our wheelhouse than crossfit-based workouts.
Most notably, and according to his own website, Cavill utilizes the Juggernaut System developed by Chad Wesley Smith during these blocks of his training phase.
Henry Cavill Inspired Workout Overview
The following workout routine is inspired by the way Henry Cavill trains. It is not an exact workout Henry Cavill has performed nor is it one designed by any of his former trainers.
It has, however, been put together through sound programming practices and a lot of devoted research into the way he trains.
This program is an example of a week he would perform during a phase in his programming where he would be trying to increase his strength and size.
As mentioned, Cavill likes to utilize the Juggernaut System when training to accomplish this. Below is a graphic for how the Juggernaut Method is set up in training blocks.
Essentially, you will work out 4 times per week. Each workout is centered on one of the big 4 lifts: bench press, barbell squat, deadlift, and military press.
Your weeks are broken down into accumulation, intensification, realization, and deload weeks. Accumulation weeks are high volume weeks, intensification weeks are moderate volume weeks with higher intensity, and realization weeks are low volume and very high intensity. You follow all of this with a deload week and then move onto the next month’s rep schemes.
Your months are broken down into a 10s phase, an 8s phase, a 5s phase, and a 3s phase. It is a schematic way to program that will allow you to prepare for a number of athletic competitions – or in Henry Cavill’s case, simply to build size and strength.
The following workout is an example of an 8s phase in the accumulation stage. If you are interested in training like Henry Cavill, I’d recommend purchasing Chad Wesley Smith’s book and doing more research for yourself on how to best set up your training. (note: that is an affiliate link. If you buy something after visiting, we may earn a commission.)
If you want a program in the meantime or a basic program that will allow you to build a decent amount of muscle mass, you can use the following workout as a static program for 6-8 weeks.
Henry Cavill Inspired Workout 1
|Walking Lunge||3||15 Each|
|Banded Good Morning||3||20|
|Pallof Press||3||15 Each|
Henry Cavill Inspired Workout 2
|Decline Dumbbell Bench Press||3||12|
|Dumbbell Reverse Fly||5||20|
|A1. Barbell Reverse Curls||3||15|
|A2. Cable Rope Extension||3||15|
Henry Cavill Inspired Workout 3
|Lat Pull Down||3||12|
Henry Cavill Inspired Workout 4
|3 Way Shoulder Raise||3||15|
|Tricep Push Up||3||15|
|A1. Alternating Dumbbell Curls||3||15 Each|
Henry Cavill Diet and Nutrition
From that video alone, you can tell Henry Cavill eats like a bodybuilder – or a performance athlete at the very least.
This means he has his off-season eating phases, in-season or prep eating phases and maintenance phases.
For those looking for a comprehensive article on setting up your diet during different phases of the year, you’d probably benefit from giving this piece a read.
For a guy who is as active as Henry Cavill is, he may need to eat up to 5000 calories a day during mass gaining phases and as low as 3000-3500 during times of the year where he is trying to get leaner for filming.
For the most part, these calories are going to come from whole-food options. That means plenty of lean protein sources, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, whole grains, oats, rice, dairy products, nuts and seeds.
The only thing that changes from phase to phase is serving sizes. Also, obviously, during mass building phases, you will have a little bit of leniency to go off your diet so long as you’re within your larger caloric limit.
Henry Cavill Workout & Diet Wrap Up
That wraps up our Hollywood Muscle installment on the Kryptonian God himself, Henry Cavill.
What can’t be stressed enough in this series is that with any celebrity workout you find online, you have to keep a level of perspective when adding components of it into your lifestyle.
For a lot of these men and women, it is their job to get in incredible shape for movies. They literally get paid to do it and provided resources to make it easier on them. We’re talking the best trainers and the best nutritionists and dieticians.
Workouts and diets are also highly individualized. No two people are the same. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another and there are hundreds of ways to arrive at the same goal.
Instead of viewing these people and their methodologies as the standard, take what is useful to you and apply it to your own lifestyle. Then, view the rest as motivation and not a strict guideline.
If you have any questions about the Henry Cavill inspired workout, please feel free to leave us a comment below!