Henry Cavill’s rigorous training for his role in Superman and The Witcher

The British actor who brings Superman to life really has the physique of the character. We tell you how he did it.

Henry Cavill's rigorous training for his role in Superman and The Witcher

Last update: 25 April, 2022

That Henry Cavill’s carved body comes from intensive training is not new or unsuspected. To achieve the physique of Superman this British actor had to follow a rigorous routine that resembles that of Olympic weight lifters.

But then he had to keep the muscles. Because the recording schedules of the movies and the shooting of the series The Witcher they do not allow him to follow what is stipulated by his coach.

So how does Henry Cavill make his training pay off? Is it possible to take some advice from his experience to apply in our less committed routines?

What did Henry Cavill need and what goals did he have?

Today it is logical to associate the image of Henry Cavill with Superman. He is the actor tasked with embodying it for our generation. And it is likely that in the future he will always be linked to this character.

When it came to conditioning his physique for the role, he took guidance from Michael Blevins, who proposed a plan based on the Olympic weightlifting routines. This is weightlifting, a well-known way of building muscle mass in gyms.

However, you cannot have defined muscles the size of Superman From overnight. It is necessary to consider overlapping phases that build new tissue above other functions that we are acquiring in the metabolism.

This is the principle of most Olympic athletes in almost any discipline. They often create training cycles that combine intensity with rest, then move on to a new cycle that builds a better physique from what was achieved in the previous one.

This is what is known in sports theory as training periodization. According to sports science researchersis the most suitable model to reduce injuries and achieve athletic goals.

Specifically, Henry Cavill used training to gain 10 kilograms of muscle mass and to reduce his body fat to a minimum of 4%.

Henry Cavill’s phased training

Let’s break down Henry Cavill’s periodized training to get the physique of Superman and the one still holding on The Witcher. Some ideas will come in handy to apply in your own routines.

Lifting weights is good for building muscle mass, but the technique must be respected so as not to injure yourself.


At this point, the British actor’s trainer proposed to develop aerobic capacity before moving on to building muscle mass. It is not something usual, since most start in the gym with machines and weights.

The idea was that his muscles didn’t look like just immobile squares. The intention was that he also had agility, despite the fact that many believe that you cannot have both.

Increased cardiovascular capacity, in fact, is the base power to move large muscles. But let’s not get confused. It’s not just about going for a few minutes. According to scientific studiesthe running that promotes muscle hypertrophy is the one based on resistance, that is, in long jogging sessions of at least one hour.

muscle mass gain

The second phase for Henry Cavill was intensive training to increase muscle mass. Here it was based on the weightlifting routine used by Olympic athletes.

His trainer, to maintain the cardiovascular effects of the previous phase, created blocks of routines that involved a circuit. In this way, the actor had to move between sets to continue developing aerobic capacity.

According to his statements and what we know from his social mediaweightlifting was done with very high loads that were descending. The total weight load at the end of the day was about 4,500 kilograms.

This was combined with squats and deadlift exercises, which follows the same principle as weightlifting. There are many kinds and variations of the deadlift, but the evidence is clear about its benefits for the lower body when done with proper technique.


When Henry Cavill’s training resulted in an additional 10 kilograms of muscle mass for his body, he moved on to the definition phase. This moment is highly desired by many gym adepts, because is about tick the lines of the muscles in an aesthetic way.

Of course, there is no way to do it following the weightlifting routine. Here you move on to explosive movements that burn a lot of calories and reduce the fat between the muscles.

That’s how it is. If you did not know it, the definition appears when the fat leaves; not with excessive hypertrophy. You can spend years in the gym with high loads without showing the muscular limits if the percentage of fat is high.

Henry Cavill used sprints, which are short but intense runs, as well as elements of crossfit.

The edges of the muscles come into view when the percentage of fat is low.


Once the actor begins filming the movies and the series The Witcherthe time devoted to the gym and aerobic exercises is reduced. Can no longer sustain the same routinesso you have to vary a bit to achieve the support of your physique.

In this sense, in his spare time filming, he follows a basic sequence that anyone could implement in the middle of their day:

  • Romanian deadlift 3×10.
  • Gluteus hyperextension 3×10.
  • Side plank 3×30 seconds.
  • Varied shoulder raises.
  • curls of biceps with dumbbell 3 × 10 for each arm.

Superman is not just gym

Let’s not fool ourselves. Henry Cavill hasn’t built a physique of steel just in the gym or by running up the stairs fast.

To achieve muscle mass gain and definition of the edges, a consistent diet must be implemented, rich in proteins of high biological value and reduced in simple carbohydrates. You also have to sleep a lot. The actor rested 10 hours a day so that the body was able to hypertrophy the muscles.

You may not reach the body of Superman, but there are valuable teachings that we can use at a lesser level. Training in phases, not neglecting the aerobic part and choosing maintenance exercises consciously are good keys.

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Henry Cavill’s rigorous training for his role in Superman and The Witcher

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