The Dark Knight Workout: A Look at Christian Bale and Ben Affleck Workout Programs

Christian Bale Batman Workout

We can all agree that Christian Bale is one of the best actors in Holywood today. His performances in films such as The Prestige, American Psycho and The Machinist is one of his best work, but in the same notion we can all agree that Bale’s best performance was when he is donning the black cape of Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy.

He also shows us his extreme dedication in physical fitness in each films that he is in, just look at this..

Celebrity Workout - Christian Bale Gets Super-Buff For 'The Dark Knight'!

Bale’s body evolution should be nominated to one of the world wonders. Looking to get a batman body? Continue reading to learn more about his diet and workout routine.

Christian Bale Training Goals

Bale is looking to add mass when it comes to act the role of Batman, especially after his extreme weight loss in the previous film. Bale needs to add lots of mass fast. That is why we can’t really see any extreme 6 pack abs in all of his three Batman films. Starting from Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and Dark Knight Rises.

Christian Bale Batman Diet

Since it is all about mass (especially in the beginning). Bale’s diet consisted primarily of things that we can see daily in the bodybuilding world. Lots of protein and carbs every 3-4 hours. But after Bale got to a level of mass that is suitable for the role he would switch into maintenance mode. We can clearly see that he does not get significantly bigger between the Batman movies.

Do Christian Bale use “special” supplements? Only him and his trainer can tell you the absolute truth. But in all honesty his physique is achievable, but not as fast as Bale was able to do it though. Take anything you learn with a grain of salt.

Christian Bale Batman Workout Routine

His workout routine is… bodybuilding. Shocker right? But in order to add mass fast he needs to implement a bodybuilding-style workout. You won’t see Bale doing crossfit or Zumba that’s for sure.

Ben Affleck’s Batman Workout

Ben Affleck’s training plan for both Batman vs Superman and Justice League are focused on one thing- Mass. Affleck knew he needed to become as muscular as humanly (ehem) possible, this is the consequences of portraying a superhero that is known for superior strength and skill. In order to achieve this, Zack Snyder has given him the freedom to create an individual training plan that not only makes him muscular but also fit. To prepare for the role of Batman, Ben Affleck hired two personal trainers, Walter Norton Jr. and Jamie Damon. The goal was to be as muscular as possible and at the same time to have a low body fat percentage.

Image result for ben affleck batman workout

In Batman vs Superman he will have a co-star in Henry Cavill, who works with well-known coach Mark Twight (who, among others, has Gerard Butler for the movie 300) get into the best shape of his life to portray the loveable Superman as we know it. Knowing that he would be extremely compared to the movie with Cavill, Affleck wanted to impress everyone with his physical transformation. Here is the training program that you should look at and possibly try if you are looking to be both muscular and athletic while also minimizing body fat. Giving you that “superhero” look.

The Batman Dark Knight Training Plan

Monday: upper body

  1. Bench press 4×10
  2. Military Push Press 4×12
  3. Arnold Press 4×12
  4. Shoulder Dumbbell Press 4×12
  5. Pull ups 3×10 Superset
  6. Dips 3×12 Superset
  7. Biceps Curls 3×12 Superset
  8. Hammer Curls 3×12 Superset

Monday is focused on the upper body and this program will hit every check mark if you are looking to build strength, endurance, and size at the same time. Just make sure to rest 1 minute after doing each exercise to ensure you are not blowing your load too quickly

Cardio: HIIT

Pick your choice of cardio training, preferably Tabata or some sort of interval training involving calisthenics and/or sandbags. Aim to finish the cardio session in 30 minutes to make sure you’re not burning too much calories.

Tuesday: back / lower body

  1. Wall Squat 2×10 for 1 minute (Not a typo)
  2. BW Squats 2×10
  3. Lunges 2×10
  4. Deadlift 4×4 @ 70%
  5. Deadlift 3×3 2 @ 80%
  6. Deadlift 4×2 2 @ 90%
  7. Rowing 3×8-12
  8. Box Jumps 3×15

Focusing on the legs and back. Deadlift percentages are based on your 1 rep max, which is the maximum weight that you think you can handle exactly once. Affleck has changed between dumbbells and barbell lifts as part of his training. Rowing machine is a great exercise tool as it is extremely safe and at the same time extremely effective. If you don’t have one nearby then you’ll have to use a treadmill

Cardio: Off

Wednesday: Legs

  1. Wall Squat 3×5 for 30 seconds
  2. Hindu Squat 3×12
  3. Lunges 3 20
  4. Lunge with barbell 3×20
  5. Squats @ 60% 3×8
  6. Squats @ 75% 3×5
  7. Squats @ 85% 2×3
  8. Explosive Box Steps 3×30
  9. Box jumps 3×30
  10. Squat Jumps 3×30
  11. Kettlebell Swings 3×8-12

Say goodbye to your legs. If you managed to get through the workout without cussing or your legs shaking like jelly then you are one strong mfr. Since this is a hard day there won’t be any cardio. You could do some ab training if you still have energy afterwards

Abdominal training:

  • 60 sit-ups
  • 60 V-ups
  • 60 reverse crunches

Thursday: upper body

  1. Bench press 3×8-12
  2. Barbell Push Press 3×12+
  3. Arnold Press 3×8-12
  4. Man Makers 3×12-15 Superset
  5. Dips 3×12-15 Superset
  6. Front Lift 3×12 Superset
  7. Seitheben 3×12 Superset
  8. Biceps Curls 3×12 Superset

Strong Finish: Ben Affleck made a strong finish on each of his Batman workouts. For this he has put himself in push-up position and held this position as long as he could. His outstretched arms have challenged his trainer to endure this position for as long as possible.

Cardio: Dirty 30’s

Dirty 30’s consist of a total of 3 exercises. In the beginning, you should find out how many repetitions of each exercise you can make in 50 seconds. Then you have one minute per exercise to make that number of repetitions. The faster you do the repetitions, the more break you can enjoy afterwards. However, if you can not do the required reps in a minute, then the break will be lost before the next set of practice continues. You should do 3 sets for each exercise and then continue with the next exercise. Be sure to increase the number of reps per exercise to keep the challenge high. The following three exercises should be part of the Dirty 30’s:

Friday: Back / barbell training

  1. Deadlift 5×5
  2. Clean & Press 5×5
  3. Front Squats 5×5
  4. Barbell Push Press 5×5
  5. Barbell Rowing Prevented 5×5
  6. Barbell Squats 3×20
  7. Front Squats 3×12
  8. Barbell Push Press 3×12
  9. Rowing machine 8 1 minute sprint

Today, the Ben Affleck Batman workout mainly revolves around barbell exercises. In addition to the back, Affleck’s workout has focused primarily on the shoulders to create an authentic superhero look. However, to get massive, muscular shoulders, Ben Affleck had to train this muscle group hard and with many repetitions.

Cardio: 12 Steps of Death

This cardio program consists of 12 repetitions and 12 sets per exercise and is equally as challenging as it is effective in terms of burning fat. The following exercises are part of the program:

  • Deadlift with own body weight (12 repetitions)
  • Pull-ups (12 repetitions)
  • Pushups (12 reps)
  • Ball slams with medicine ball á 10 kilos (12 repetitions)

Depending on your fitness level, it may well take you a while to actually be able to complete this program with the required number of sets and reps. Do not give up and stay tuned until you make it!

Saturday: Legs

  1. Wall Squat 3×5 30 seconds
  2. Goblet Squat 3×12 1 minute
  3. Lunges 3×20 meters
  4. Lunge with barbell 3×20
  5. Squat @ 60% 3×8
  6. Squat @ 75% 3×5
  7. Squat @ 80-85% 2×3
  8. Explosive Box Steps 3×30
  9. Box jumps 3×30
  10. Squat Jumps 3×30
  11. Kettlebell Swings 3×8-12

Abdominal training:

  • 60 sit-ups
  • 60 V-ups
  • 60 reverse crunches

The transformation of Ben Affleck

Through this workout, Ben Affleck has built an impressive superhero body. First he started to build muscle mass with the help of the training plan shown above. Shortly before shooting (2 months), he started a strict diet to reduce excess fat and gain a defined body. During the diet phase, Ben Affleck made a lot of cardio to stimulate fat burning, but he also did not completely refrain from strength training to maintain his existing muscle mass and burn extra fat through strength training.