Henry Cavill in 2013's Man of Steel is the latest actor to portray Superman. For the role, Cavill added about 35 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-1-inch frame.
If this inspires you hit the gym, give this Superhero Superset Workout a try. It's a hybrid of German volume training (GVT) and traditional strength training, performed at a pace designed to take a high metabolic toll on the body.
The program was put together with a focus on compound movements to engage the major muscle groups, plus accessory exercises to hit the smaller muscle groups. You can perform it at your workout facility with minimal equipment. Feel free to adapt the exercises to fit your specific gym setup and any physical issues you have.
Superhero Superset Workout Routine
- Perform the workout 3 times per week with rest intervals of 45 to 75 seconds between sets. The shorter the rest periods, the greater the intensity.
- To execute a "superset," perform exercises with the same letter designation back-to-back with no rest between them. Once you've completed a paired superset, move on to the next combination of exercises in that day's program.
- Choose a weight for each exercise that challenges you but that allows you to complete the assigned numbers of repetitions.
- Work at an intensity high enough to induce an adequate hormonal response (natural HGH/testosterone release) and instigate adaptation in your muscles. As the saying goes, "You get out of it what you put into it."
- A1. Push Press - 4x8
- A2. Bodyweight or Weighted Pull-Ups - 4x8
- B1. Barbell Back Squats - 5x10
- B2. Dumbbell Bench Press - 5x10
- C1. Barbell Step-Ups - 3x16
- C2. Dumbbell Upright Rows - 3x12
- D1. Med Ball Leg Raise Toe Touches - 2x20
- D2. Leg Wipers - 2x30
- E1. Supermans - 2x10 with 3 count hold
- E2. Burpees - 2x25
- A1. Skater Jumps - 4x20-30
- A2. Bodyweight or Weighted Chest Dips - 4x8
- B1. Hexbar or Barbell Deadlift - 5x10
- B2. Seated Rows - 5x10
- C1. Walking Lunges - 3x24
- C2. Dumbbell or Barbell Shrugs - 3x12 with 1-count hold at top of movement
- D1. Abdominal Roll-Outs - 2x15
- D2. Landmine Rotations - 3x30 (if no landmine apparatus is available, put a barbell in the corner of the room to perform similar movement)
- D3. Mountain Climbers - 2x100
- A1. Kettlebell or Dumbbell Swings - 4x12-15
- A2. Bodyweight or Weighted Chin-Ups - 4x8
- B1. Front Squat - 5x10
- B2. Dumbbell Incline Press - 5x10
- C1. Back Hyperextensions - 3x12
- C2. Dumbbell Lateral Raise - 3x12
- D1. Weighted Decline Sit-Ups - 2x15
- D2. Weighted Decline or Russian Twists - 2x30
- E1. Alternating Superman Plank - 2x30
- E2. Medicine Ball Burpees - 2x25
After four to six weeks of the Superhero Superset Workout (along with smart eating habits), you should be worthy of an "S" on your chest.
Please note: During the beta release of the program via our company Facebook page, I received several emails from collegiate baseball strength coaches asking if they could or should initiate a mesocycle of this program for their teams. Although I see no problem using it for position players, I cannot recommend it for pitchers due to the shoulder exercises involved. Overhead-throwing athletes and those with shoulder impingement issues should take precautions with any overhead press or upright-row movement.
- The 5 Best Supersets for Athletes
- How to Pair Exercises for a Chest and Back Workout
- Exercise of the Week: Core Strength and Stability Superset
Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock