Henry Cavill Workout: Transforming Superman Man of Steel

The Henry Cavill Workout transformed him into Superman in Man of Steel. The Superman workout focuses on olympic lifts, functional training, and metabolic body movements. The Henry Cavill Workout was designed by Mark Twight, the trainer famous for the 300 workout.

The Henry Cavill workout lasts for 2.5 hours a day. It was a 5-6 day routine that lasted 10 hard months. Henry Cavill gained over 20 pounds of muscle with the Superman workout. Henry Cavill worked out with kettlebells, dumbbells, and bodyweight.


Henry Cavill Workout Routine

The Henry Cavill workout routine is broken down into 2 separate workouts, in the sense that he did 2 different body parts a day. But, all 2.5 hours of the Henry Cavill workout was performed at the same time. Henry Cavill then focused on proper diet, filming, and recovery for the rest of the day.

Henry Cavill Monday Superman Workout Routine

The Gym Jones team, lead by trainer Mark Twight, supervised the Henry Cavill Workout for Superman. They had Henry Cavill go through a grueling 2.5 hour workout almost every day. Here is the Henry Cavill workout for Superman in action:

1st workout-Henry Cavill Monday Superman Workout Routine:

Total Body Workout

  1. 2x Clean + 5x Kettlebell Squat @ 70% body weight (One combo every 30 seconds for 5 minutes)
  2. 2x Two-hand KB Clean and Squat (One combo every 30 seconds for 5 minutes.)
  3. 100 Front Squats (Body-weight, break into sets of 25 if you need to)
  4. 3 sets of 15 reps Box Step-up
  5. 3 sets of 15 reps Deck Squats
  6. 20x Frog Hops + 40m Bear Crawl (Do 4 rounds of this combo, rest 2 minutes between sets)
  7. 3 sets 20 reps: Man-Makers (with dumbbells)
  8. 3 sets of 20 reps: Sit-Ups

(See 1:05 of this video for a glimpse at Henry Cavill doing a Kettlebell Squats.)

Henry Cavill was playing World of Warcraft when he got the call from Zach Snyder that he got the job. Zach Snyder made sure that he went to Gym Jone’s Mark Twight, the designer of the Henry Cavill Superman workout. Henry Cavill talks about how the initial interview went:

He asked me a lot of questions about my goals. Then he asked, ‘Would you like to do steroids or HGH to get you where you want to go?’ ‘I immediately said no.’ And he said, ‘Good, because if you did, I wouldn’t train you.’

2nd workout-Henry Cavill Monday Superman Workout Routine:


Upper Body Chest / Shoulder Workout

  1. Any Cardio Machine 10 minute (warm up)
  2. 10 more minutes with Rowing machine @ easy Pace (warm up)
  3. 6 sets of: 10x Bench Press (alternating arm, with kettlebells)
  4. 4 sets of: 12x Military Push Press
  5. 4 sets of: 12x Arnold Press (The Henry Cavill workout used alternating, one hand dumbbells)
  6. 2 sets of: 25x Squat Assisted Push Press
  7. 4 sets of: 12x Hammer Curls

“Jonestown Sprint:”45 secs of each exercise. 2 sets of each (perform as a circuit).

  1. Plank Push Ups
  2. DB OH Hold
  3. KB Swings
  4. Dead Hangs
  5. Ball Slam
  6. Wall Sits

The Superman workout used olympic rings, kettlebells, and other equipment to perfect his body. Henry Cavill says about the Superman workout and trainer Mark Twight:

Mark has opened my eyes to seeing past what I thought was my limits. He understands what I’m going through physically. He understands me, what I go through physically. That’s what makes him such a good trainer.


Superman Workout: Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebells are great because they work your entire body. In addition to focusing on the body part you’re working, you have a tendency to activate your core with kettlebells. Also, if one part of your body is weak, it will be tougher to work with kettlebells until that part is strengthened.

If you don’t have access to kettlebells, try to get some or use dumbbells. Here is Henry Cavill of Superman: Man of Steel talking about getting in shape and random stuff about the Superman movie:

Henry Cavill Workout Tuesday Routine

1st workout-Henry Cavil Workout Tuesday Routine:

Upper Body & Back

  1. 20 Push Press (Dumbell)
  2. 20 Burpee Pull-up
  3. 10 Push Press (Dumbbell)
  4. 12 Burpee Pull-up
  5. 10 Pull-Ups
  6. 3 sets of 50 Wall Ball @ 20lb.(9kg. or a medicine ball that challenged you)
  7. 3 sets of 50 Ball Slam @ 25lb.(11kg or a medicine ball that challenged you)

(sub: lat pull-downs and more pullups if you don’t have medicine balls) When Henry Cavill was on-set, he was seen doing pull-ups between takes (video on page 3).

Trainer Mark Twight says about starting this upper body and back workout:

Start the journey with 20x Push Press, dip the hands and knees slightly, drive the bar overhead to full extension. Once finished rack the bar and set up under the Pull-up bar to do 20x Burpee Pull-ups. After the final Pull-up, drop off the bar, grab the barbell and do 10x Push Press.

Dirty 30’s

Dirty 30’s: (Do following 4 exercises, you have 1 minute to complete each. Find an amount of reps that’s challenging for you to do in 50 secs. Then, in the other 2 sets try to continue to get everything done in under a minute. The idea is to reward you, if you move fast, by giving you some rest. But, it gets harder as you go longer. Use remaining time to rest. 3 sets.)

  1. Sled Pulls  (0:25 in this Superman workout video)
  2. Chinups
  3. Burpees
  4. Situp Medicine Ball Throws

The Henry Cavill workout used used kettlebells placed in a tub, to do the sled pulls. Use whatever you can make/find to get this done. If you want to be less functional (the Superman workout is about mimicking things that he would do in real life) then you can do Seated Pulley Rows instead.


Also, Mark Twight would sometimes sub Mountain Climbers for one of the exercises above. So, if you can’t do one of the exercises listed above, here is Mark Twight (Superman workout trainer) showing you how to do Mountain Climbers.


2nd workout-Henry Cavil Workout Tuesday Routine:

Legs Workout

  1. 3×5 Wall Squat (explanation @ 47 secs in | warm up)
  2. 100x Squats (bodyweight, break down into sets of 25 if needed)
  3. 3×5 Goblet Squat (while holding kettlebells, see 0:27 of this video for a quick glance)
  4. 3x 20 meters Walking Lunges (sandbag weighted)
  5. 3×20 Split Jumps
  6. 2x Dead Stop Back Squat @ 80% of Max
  7. 2x Explosive Triple Broad Jump (Five Sets, Full Rest between each)
  8. 30sec Box Jump + 60sec Explosive Box Step-up (Four Rounds)
  9. 30sec Jump Squat +60sec Quick Step (Four Rounds)
  10. KB Swings to failure with 50 lb. kettlebell (23kg)
  11. Farmer Holds, 60-65% of body weight (Five sets, rest 3 minutes between set)

See 1:08 of this video for a glimpse of Henry Cavill doing Walking Lunges with a sandbag. Director Zach Snyder, who also did the 300 movie, says about the Henry Cavill workout with Mark Twight at Gym Jones:

I love Mark Twight’s [Superman workout trainer] approach to the actors and physicality. When we were doing 300, you see actors who make the workouts part of their acting. That’s what Mark loves to get at. And, it’s fun for me.

Mark Twight, the Henry Cavill workout trainer, says about Director Zach Snyder:

Zach understands physicality in a way other directors don’t. It’s a little bit unusual for us to train actors. We started training some fighters, that developed into training athletes, and then actors.

Here’s Part 2 of Soldiers of Steel. Mark Twight, the Henry Cavill workout trainer, shows part of the workout that he uses with the National Guard. This one focuses on the warm up: