When Ben Affleck landed the role of Batman, he knew he would need to get bigger. So, to transform into a superhero, he got ripped with muscle building workouts designed to add more mass.
Keep reading to the very end because you’re about to learn how you can make your very own Batman transformation and get a powerful and muscular body that draws attention.
Transitioning Ben Into The Dark Knight
Ben turned to personal trainers Walter Norton, Jr. and Jamie Damon (Matt Damon’s cousin) to help him get into perfect Batman shape. But, Director Zack Snyder wanted Ben to be slimmer than the other actors who had played Batman in the past.
Snyder’s vision was for the superhero to look more like an MMA star instead of being big and bulky (think of Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth). So, Ben started off with mass-building workout routines, and then when he got close to filming, he transitioned to a cutting routine.
In combination with his muscle-building workouts, Ben also did a lot of cardio workouts so he could get leaner. He did popular cardio workouts like The Jonestown Sprint Workout, Tailpipe Workout, Dirty 30’s Workout, and Sparrow’s Dozen.
Every week, Norton created a new routine for Ben with specific goals, targeting each muscle group relentlessly. This approach led to Ben overachieving his target numbers.
For a little context, Affleck had worked with Norton in the past to get lean for The Town in 2010. At that time Ben weighed 198 pounds. By the time he starred in Batman V. Superman, Ben went all the way to 231 pounds, which he and Norton ended up “dialing back” to 225.
This time around we did more bodybuilding. We wanted him to be strong but we wanted to add mass. The volume was higher. We lived on a lot of the basics, 80-pound dumbbell curls, heavy-loaded carries, and farmers walks with 60-pound weights
In my opinion, being 225 lbs and lean requires elite-level dedication and training, which few people on planet earth can achieve.
That being said, I don’t think Ben became as lean as Snyder had wanted and Christian Bale’s representation of Batman was truer to Snyder’s vision.
Ben Affleck Batman Workout Diet
Affleck’s nutritionist Rehan Jalali has said that the actor’s diet plan focused on having a proper balance of nutrients including 35% lean protein, 45% carbohydrates, and 20% essential fats. Affleck avoided dairy products and restricted his daily sodium intake to around 1,500-2,000 mg.
Ben meticulously followed Jalali’s diet regimen, getting carbohydrates from oatmeal, leafy vegetables, and brown rice. And he got his lean protein from chicken, turkey breast, egg whites, and salmon. He also drank protein shakes before and after workouts.
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Ben Affleck Batman Workout Plan
Ben worked out with Norton six days a week for almost two years to build superhero bulk, which is somewhat similar to Rob Mcelhenney’s workout program. Here’s a two-day example of the workouts Norton created for the actor.
Block 1 (32 minutes): Warm-up & Movement
- Elliptical (Strength Program): 15 minutes
- Rumble Roller (Hip/TFL/VMO/2 Way Glute/Calf): 9 minutes
- Plank with Arm Extension: 10 seconds (then 8 reps of 2-second extension for each side)
- Spiderman: From a plank, bring you right foot next to your right hand. 3 reps for each side (hold for 2 breaths)
- Inchworm: From touching your toes with straight legs, walk your hands out to a plank, then walk your feet back under you, 5 reps (hold for 1 breath)
- Calf Stretch: 15 seconds (each leg)
Block 2 (40 minutes): Torso & Strength
- Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk: 4 walks with appropriate weight for 1 minute
- Alternating Hanging Knee-Up: 11 reps (for each leg)
- ½ Kneeling Row: Kneel on your right knee in front of a cable machine, row with your right arm, 4 sets of 12 reps on each side
- Back Bridge: 2 reps of 15 second hold (5-second pause between)
- Alternating Dumbbell Reverse Lunge: 8 reps (for each leg)
- Pull-Up: 6 sets of 4 reps (hold for 4 seconds up and 4 seconds down)
- Shoulder Bridge: 10-second hold (then 8 reps of 2-second extension for each side)
Block 3 (22 minutes / Doing As Many Sets As Possible): Strength & Fitness
- Airdyne Bike Sprint: 20 seconds
- V-Grip Pulldown: 15 reps
- Seated Row Handle Grip: 12 reps
- Alternating Dumbbell Open Curl: 5 sets of 5 reps (each arm, then 5 reps together)
- Goblet Squat: 8 reps
- Lateral Squat: 6 reps (each side)
Block 1 (30 minutes): Warm-up & Movement
- Airdyne Bike Sprint: 10 reps of 5 minutes at 75% (finish with 15-second sprint, then 45-second rest)
- Soft Roller (Upper Back/Lat/Quad/Glute/Ham Junction): 8 minutes
- Brettzel Stretch: 2 reps for each side (hold for 5 breaths)
- Kneeling Lat: 1 rep each side (hold for 5 breaths)
- ½ Kneeling Quad Stretch: 2 reps for each side (hold for 5 breaths)
- Brettzel: 2 reps for each side (hold for 5 breaths)
Block 2 (32 minutes): Torso & Strength
- Off-Bench Oblique Side Crunch: 8 reps dynamic (followed with hold for 8 seconds)
- Valslide Body Slide: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Back Bridge with March: Hold bridge for 8 seconds (then 4 knee raises on each leg)
- Dumbbell Shrug: 5 sets of 6 reps
- Rear Delt Machine: 4 sets of 15 reps
- 1 Leg Hip Lift: 3 sets of 8 reps for each side (hold for 2 seconds)
- Tricep Pushdown: 4 sets of 10 heavy reps, then 10 lighter reps
Block 3 (36 minutes): Strength
- Dumbbell Deadlift: 4 sets of 6 reps
- Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 sets of 10 reps (count 3 seconds from up to down position)
- Pec Fly: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Ball Leg Curl: 4 sets of 6 reps (hold for 2 seconds)
How to Create Your Own Batman Transformation
So obviously Ben Affleck was in awesome shape for his role as Batman, but the muscle-building resources he had available to him including his personal trainer and dietitian isn’t something that the average person can take advantage of.
So how can you make your own Batman transformation? Here are 3 tips to follow:
Eat Enough Calories to Grow
If you want to gain a ton of mass, not only do you have to workout, but you have to dial in your diet to actually build new, lean muscle tissue.
That’s why you need to eat in a caloric surplus so your body has the fuel it needs to get bigger.
A simple formula you can use to calculate your daily caloric intake to get bigger is to multiply your current body weight by 17 to 19 calories per pound.
For example, if you’re a man that weighs 180 lbs, your calculation would look something like this:
180 lbs x 18 = 3,240 calories
If you’re a woman that weighs 112 lbs, your calculation would look something like this:
112 lbs x 17 = 1,904 calories
Keep Your Protein Intake High
It’s not enough to just eat more calories because your body requires the right kind of fuel to make sure that it actually builds muscle instead of body fat.
That’s why you need to keep your protein intake higher than the average individual.
A lot of research has been conducted on this topic and the agreed-upon range is somewhere between 0.8 g and 1.5 g per 1 lb of body weight.
To be safe, you could consume closer to 1 g per 1 lb of body weight.
For example, if you weigh 180 lbs, you should try to consume close to 180 g of protein per day.
Train with Heavy Weights Multiple Times Per Week
When you’re eating in a caloric surplus, your body’s ability to recover from one workout to the next increases.
So if you want to put on lean muscle mass, you need to take advantage of this increased recoverability and provide more workout volume for each major muscle group.
Now this can be achieved by simply adding more volume to each exercise which is OK, but if you add more volume by alternating exercises throughout the week, you get to take advantage of workout frequency which has shown to produce better muscle gains.
For example, a simple upper/lower routine can be alternated across 3 workouts per week like this:
- Sunday – Rest
- Monday – Upper body workout
- Tuesday – Rest
- Wednesday – Lower body workout
- Thursday – Rest
- Friday – Upper body workout
- Saturday – Rest
- Sunday – Rest
- Monday – Lower body workout
- Tuesday – Rest
- Wednesday – Upper body workout
- Thursday – Rest
- Friday – Lower body workout
- Saturday – Rest
Can You Handle the Ben Affleck Batman Workout
Now, thanks to this signature Ben Affleck Batman workout, Ben is doing a stellar job of taking over the mantle of one of the most famous superheroes in the DC comics universe, but what about Marvel?
Marvel definitely has some iconic heroes that have grown in popularity in past few years and the actors that have taken the roles had to make some amazing transformations.
For example, Chris Evans went through a similar process when preparing for the role of Captain America.
And here’s something else you’ll notice…
There’s actually a very repeatable system to making a dramatic superhero transformation (and it’s simpler than you think).
- It doesn’t require spending multiple hours per day at the gym.
- It doesn’t require you to eat bland, tasteless foods either.
- And you don’t have to continually stuff your face with 6-evenly space meals either.
If you’d like to learn more, you can check out Superhero X12 and plan your very own transformation.
Build a Superhero Body Without Training Like One
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