Superman Workout Week 2: Man of Steel Cutting Phase

The Superman Workout Week 2 continues with the cutting phase Henry Cavill used for Man of Steel & Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The Superman actor started with a prep phase, focused on muscle building, and finished with the fat-burning routine (below).


These Superman workouts are focused on being fat burning workouts, but that doesn’t mean they skip on weight lifting. Just the opposite. Cavill’s transformation into Superman, in Man of Steel & Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice uses heavy lifting, HIIT cardio and intense training circuits.

Henry Cavill’s trainer, Mark Twight, says lifting is still the primary objective. Cavill continues weight training in order to maintain the muscle weight he gained, while reducing his caloric load.


Superman Workout Week 2 Routine

Here’s the Superman Workout Week 2 routine Henry Cavill used to get in shape for the Cutting Phase of his superhero workout.

The Superman Workout Week 2 schedule looks like this:

  • Monday: Strength
  • Tuesday: Recovery
  • Wednesday: Power-endurance
  • Thursday: Recovery
  • Friday: Strength
  • Saturday: Power-endurance
  • Sunday: Rest/Recovery

The Man of Steel cutting phase for the Superman workout lasts for 1-1.5 hours, 6 days a week. Henry Cavill did this workout for six weeks, leading up to the shirtless scenes in Man of Steel. Cavill used Sunday as a rest day, but sometimes did more cardio that day.

Monday Workout: Week 2

The Monday workout for Week 2 is a strength workout, followed by HIIT training. Start with a leg warmup of squats, then start performing deadlifts, and then finish the routine.

Cardio1 10 Min-Warm Up
Wall Squat2530 sec
Air Squat21030 sec
Goblet Squat2530 sec
Deadlift3530 sec@ 65%
Deadlift4560 sec@ 75%
Deadlift5390 sec@ 80%
Seated DB Press3860 secHeavy
Rowing Machine630 sec30 secInterval
Cardio110 Min-Cool Down

Finish with a rowing challenge, where you do 6 intervals of 30 secs rowing/resting. Sprint during the active 30 secs, pushing yourself toward a personal best each time.

For the rowing interval training, try to beat that distance in each of the following sets. Rowing is used because of the safety factor involved; rowing is one of the least likely exercises to get actors injured. That’s why it’s used so extensively by Cavill during the Superman workout.

The percentages of your deadlift are based on your “max” lift – (how much weight you could lift, if you only had to do it once).

Tuesday Workout Week 2: Cardio

The Tuesday workout for Week 2 is a recovery workout. Cavill would do a 60-minute cardio workout. Choose from one of the following, or use your favorite aerobic activities:

  • Jogging
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Bike Riding
  • Elliptical/Treadmill

Get in 60 minutes of cardio at a low-intensity. Your focus should be on cardio activity at an easy pace. Doing so prevents the body from stressing into thinking it needs to store all the fat it can.

Trainer Mark Twight says:

The Tuesday refueling day is meant to replace glycogen spent on Monday and to prepare for a hard power-endurance effort on Wednesday.

Wednesday Workout: Week 2

For the Wednesday workout in Week 2, the Superman workout does power/endurance training. This type of training typically involves weightlifting, aerobic and bodyweight exercises.

Ring Push-Ups31530 secs
One-Arm Arnold Press3530 secs
DB Bench Press412Superset w/next-
Plank Pull41060 secs
Man Maker310Superset w/next-
Farmers Walk330 sec60 secs
Hanging Leg Raises4301 min
Cardio110 minCool Down

For the Ring Pushups, just do normal push ups if you don’t have access them. But, Cavill would use rings to help use his own bodyweight to define his chest, shoulders & core.

To increase resistance, he would place a box (box jumps) under his feet. Finish the pushups with a static hold. Do this by holding yourself in pushup position, arms extended, for as long as you can.

Instead of Hanging Leg Raises, Cavill worked his way up to doing the advanced version: Straight Leg Hanging Knee Raise to Hands. Cavill also worked up to a 10–>1 “rep ladder” for the hanging knee raises exercise. For the Farmer Carries, you may not have room in your gym. Cavill would sometimes do Dumbbell Shrugs, instead.


Thursday Workout Week 2: Cardio

The Thursday workout for Week 2 is another cardio workout. Do a 60 min (easy pace) cardio workout, with recovery in mind, choosing from:

  • Jogging
  • Rowing
  • Swimming
  • Bike Riding
  • Elliptical/Treadmill

Cavill uses a low-carb diet, along with this low-intensity workout, to intensify his weight loss. Henry Cavill used these workouts to promote a fat burning metabolism. You aren’t trying to go real fast on recovery days. The idea is a slow, fat burning cardio workout on Thursday.

Friday Workout: Week 2

The Friday workout in Week 2 focuses on strength training. You work your way up to doing heavy front squats.

Cardio1 10 Min-Warm Up
Wall Squat2515 sec
Air Squat21015 sec
Walking Lunge21030 sec
Front Squats2845 sec@ 65%
Front Squats3490 sec@ 75%
Front Squats52120 sec@ 85%
Seated DB Press3830 sec
Man Maker31530 sec
Vertical Sit Ups41030 sec
Timed Run11.5 Mile-

Front squats are used to improve posture. Mark Twight explains the proper technique for this exercise, saying:

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder apart, toes pointed outwards, up to 30 degrees…Sit back with weight on the heels, drive the knees outward, and push your heels through the floor.

For the Vertical Situps, you can use bars (like in the video) or simply have a partner hold your legs down parallel to the floor. With the timed run, the goal is to beat your personal best each time.

Saturday Workout: Week 2

The Saturday workout is a power/endurance workout where you do 55 reps of 5 different exercises in a circuit format (meaning you do one set of each exercise in that circuit, then move right onto the next one).

Air Squat10BodyweightCircuit 1
Pushups10BodyweightCircuit 1
Walking Lunge10Bodyweight Circuit 1
Sit-Ups10Anchor FeetCircuit 1
KB Swings1044 lbs.Circuit 1
Bench Press10135 lbs.Circuit 2
Goblet Squat1053 lbs.Circuit 2
Pullup10BodyweightCircuit 2
Box Jump1024" boxCircuit 2
Deadlift10135 lbs.Circuit 2

Do 10, then 9, then 8, then 7, etc. 6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of each, immediately moving onto the next exercise in the circuit. (Never do more than 1 set of an exercise, move onto the next one in the circuit). After the circuit is complete, rest one minute.

Do the circuit again (10 reps, the next round you do 9) until you’ve gone down to just one rep of each. Finally, move onto Circuit 2 and perform the same routine.


On Sunday, Cavill usually rests, but sometimes will work out. If there’s an area or muscle group that still needs work, he will go for it. Henry Cavill’s workout trainer, Mark Twight, says:

With Gym Jones workouts, the philosophy is that a day of rest is sometimes needed. You can go all 7 days, to gain more benefit, if you’re up for it.

Superman Workout Basis

The Superman workout basis comes from the Interval Weight Training (IWT) method. This style was adopted by Gym Jones trainer Mark Twight for the Superman workout. Henry Cavill’s fat-burning workouts are loosely based on this type of routine.

IWT training is similar to the style of workouts you see in CrossFit, and they include:

  • Short: (1-4 minute) bouts of training, and is performed using barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, bodyweight, or with a cardio machine.
  • Intermittent: (1 minute) where the routine varies between heavy lifts and cardio, and is limited to 1-minute circuits.

The basis of the Superman workout Henry Cavill uses is molded by three distinct exercise routines or circuits:

  • Phase I: Explosive Strength/Cardio Circuit
  • Phase II: Power Strength/Cardio Circuit
  • Phase III: Bodyweight Strength/Cardio Circuit

Phase I: Explosive Strength/Cardio Circuit (Do entire circuit 3-4 times, then reward yourself with 5 minutes rest):

  • 1 set: 8-12 reps @ 70% max
  • 2 minutes of intense aerobic activity
  • 2 minutes rest & repeat circuit

In this phase explosive strength lifts include things like (power clean, hang clean, clean & jerk, hi-pulls) etc.

Phase II: Power Strength/Cardio Circuit (Do entire circuit 3-4 times, then reward yourself with 5 minutes rest):

  • 1 set: 8-12 reps @ 70% max
  • 2 minutes of aerobic activity
  • 2 minutes rest & repeat circuit

In this phase, you use power-based exercises like back squats, deadlifts, front squats, shoulder press, etc.)

Phase III: Bodyweight Strength/Cardio Circuit (Do the entire circuit 3-5 times).

  • 1 set: 6-12 reps w/ bodyweight
  • 1 set: 6-12 reps w/ bodyweight
  • 1 minute rest & repeat circuit

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

For Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Henry Cavill is continuing to use this workout. To get ready to face Ben Affleck as Batman, Cavill will reprise his role as Superman, and hopes to look better than ever. Here’s the 1st sneak peak at the trailer for Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Superman Workout: More Reading

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  1. Hi,
    I would like to ask about Superman cutting phase workout week 2.
    In week 1 we have shoulder DB press but in week 2 – no. In week 2 there's no emu shoulder exercises? Why?
    Maybe it's mistake?

    • Good Catch. I'm still working on the tables for week 2. Planning on finishing week 2-6. Yes, there should be DB press in week 2. They really strived to develop Cavill's shoulders, as that's an essential part of the Superman (or any superhero) physique.

    • Of course, all the extra cardio you can do is great for you. The only consideration I have is: how sore are you? If you're never sore, try to increase the weight. Also, make sure you're doing all the exercises with proper form.

      If you're sore all the time, then I would suggest more protein in the 2 hour period after your workout. Also, I would suggest against sports while recovery is in process.

      In the Superman workout, recovery is really important. They train hard, and value recovery as just an important factor as weight training and diet. Twight will increase his clients calories, and make sure they get 10 hours of sleep at night to recover fully.

      If you're having trouble sleeping that much, I suggest a supplement called ZMA (Zinc Magnesium). Hugh Jackman took this for recovery during the Wolverine Workout.

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