If you’ve had a chance to see “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”, you were probably struck by Bruce Wayne/Ben Affleck/Batman’s intensive workout scene. And if you haven’t had a chance to see it, I should start out be mentioning that this article has minimal spoilers. You already know that Batman fights Superman, and it shouldn’t ruin anything to let you know that the Dark Knight goes through a heavy-duty workout to prepare for the faceoff. Which makes sense—you’d have to be pretty built to take on the Man of Steel.
Anyways, the workout.
As you’ll remember, Batman goes into the dankest, darkest gym in the world—i.e. the Bat Cave—where he precedes to mess around with a tractor tire by dragging it with a rope and whacking at it with a sledge hammer, does a bunch of pullups with kettleballs chained around his waist, pushes a sled topped with buckets of chain, and puts himself through a number of tough-looking physical tasks in general, presumably all befitting a pre-Superman fight workout.
So, why the old school, minimalist routine? I think it’s safe to assume that Bruce Wayne can afford some top-shelf equipment.
As far as I can tell, there are two reasons he went with his crossfitesque methods. First, because they look cool, and hey—it’s a movie. Second, because these sorts of movements put a great deal of compound stress on the body. And as I’m sure you know, compound movement=better results=potential Superman ass-whooping.
He’ll Never “Tire” Out
First off, the tire.
Tractor tires have become a fairly popular workout tool for a number of reasons.
First of all, you can use them for several different movements, from flipping them to dragging to jumping to—as the Bat showed us—chopping. All of these motions incorporate a wide-range of muscle groups, delivering a more comprehensive workout.
Second, the variety of workouts offered by a tire ensures that you won’t get bored, which can be a real problem when it comes to staying motivated.
Third, tires can be easy to come by. You can pick one up for next to nothing at most junkyards. I’m going to assume that Bruce Wayne had them lying around in a pile of spare Batmobile parts.
You probably understand the benefits of doing a weighted pullup. More weight means more muscle exertion which translates into more growth.
Usually when you see people doing weighted pullups, however, they’ve strapped on something fairly light because their simply trying to push themselves to pull-up a bit more than their body weight. So why did Bruce Wayne use huge chains and kettleballs?
Because he’s Batman, that’s why. And no 5lb. ankle-weight is going to help in the preparation for fighting the Son of Krypton.
Sled Full of Chains
Sled training is another workout that is used by more people than just Batman. In fact, a sled an extremely popular tool amongst die-hard fitness enthusiasts. Why?
- It’s easy to use.
- You can make it as light or as heavy as you need.
- You can do a wide range of workouts.
- It delivers a total-body workout.
- It’s self-limiting, meaning you can either move it or you can’t, eliminating the need for spotters and reducing the likelihood of injury.
- It’s great for fat burning, muscle building, and conditioning.
I think in Batman’s case there was another reason, as made evident by the prevalence of chains throughout his workout—he had all those chains and he didn’t know what else to do with them.
In the end the Batman routine has three clear benefits: it puts significantly more stress on the muscles leading to bigger gains, it can be done using things that are lying around the house (or cave), and it looks cool on film.
As for whether or not they will get you whipped into Superman-stomping-shape, I’ll let the movie answer that question.