Christian Bale’s Fitness Workouts for Batman, The Dark Knight

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Batman - Christian Bale in The Dark Knight

  • Christian Bale is 1.83 m tall
  • Born: January 30, 1974
  • Married to Sandra Blažić
  • Mother: Jenny James, a circus performer
  • See also: Bale / The Fighter

Christian Bale has proven that he is more than just a pretty face in his roles at Batman. In Batman Begins we saw how his journey began, with his grueling martial arts tuition to improve his fighting skills. In The Dark Knight, his body is still in perfect condition.

Christian Bale transformed his body from a severely underweight 121 pounds to a bulky 220 pounds in around 5 months between filming the machinist, where he played an anorexic insomniac, to Batman Begins, where he played a super fit super hero.

How Did Christian Bale Bulk Up So Quick?

The short answer is intensive bodyweight workouts and long and hard weight training workouts. To bulk up as quickly as Bale managed takes an immense amount of work.

Some fitness forums speculate that he may have used steroids, however, with excellent instruction, a lot of hard work, good nutrition and recovery periods for growth, it is possible for some people to pack on muscle quickly. Christian Bale is certainly not a hard gainer!


However, Bale had a harder task than many to get his body from a skinny frame to a muscular and athletic build. Due to his restrictive dieting for The Machinist, actually starvation at one point, his metabolism was very low, which makes it much harder to fuel the body to workout hard enough to start building muscle.

“Anyone could become like Batman if they spent the time and energy required to train their bodies and minds into an ultimate fighting machine.”

Martial Arts Circuit Training

Batman is famous for his martial arts, and martial arts training would have been required to help build his fitness and strength. Martial arts are one of the best forms of interval circuit training.

By its nature a martial arts class or training session involves period of intense activity followed by gentler exercises, and also interspersed with compound weight bearing exercise.

Squats and lunges are ideal exercises for building athletic thighs and legs, while boxing and grappling is an excellent way to strengthen and tone the upper body.

One of the things that makes Batman one of the most popular comic book heroes, is that he does not have any “super powers”. Bruce Wayne is just a man who is driven to fight for justice, and utilises a combination of martial arts and high-tech gadgetry to fight crime under the mask of the Batman. Anyone could become like Batman if they spent the time and energy required to train their bodies and minds into an ultimate fighting machine.


Fighting in reality is never as glamorous as it appears on screen. There have been some classic kung-fu moments on screen when the hero is forced to perform grueling and painful exercises to become masterful fighters – such as Jackie Chan in The Drunken Master and Uma Thurman in Kill Bill Vol.2 (the cruel tutelage of Pei Mei) – but generally fighting appears easy. This is not the reality though. Real fighters have to train extremely hard to reach the top of their game. Some of the fittest athletes are professional boxers. What does this mean for would be Batmen and Batwomen? To get a body like Christian Bale, you need to work hard.

Batman’s Fitness Workouts:

The best workouts to follow to get a body like Batman would probably be a combination of Bruce Lee’s strength training and Sly Stallone’s training. Plyometric workouts used by boxers would also be required to improve speed and agility. Bruce Lee had one of the most athletic bodies of any actor ever seen on screen, and Sly Stallone’s training was designed to bulk him up to look the part in Rocky 2. Christian Bale’s physique in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight is really a good combination of these two systems. The key areas are:

  • Compound Weight Training
  • Intensive Interval Training
  • Explosive Plyometric Circuit Training

With this is mind, here is a workout routine that will get you strong, fast, agile and flexible like The Batman. The workout is split over three days, so can be repeated once a week with an extra day rest after Day 1, which involves the greatest load bearing exercise:

Christian Bales Batman Workout – 3 Day Split:

For each of these exercises aim to complete three sets of 8-12 repetitions. Ideally the final set should allow you to work to failure, or close to failure. Ensure plenty of rest between sets of exercises, unless they are supersetted.

Batman Workout Day 1:

  • Chin-ups supersetted with bent over rows
    This superset is used as a warm-up before the main compound exercises are done. Chin-ups and bent over rows are both compound movements, which work the upper body well and also provide large range of motion. Chin-ups / pull ups are a great power exercise. Unfortunately, being even just a little overweight can make the exercise extremely difficult. Modified pull ups are of course allowed, to ensure that the workout is completed. If you prefer, cable rows can be performed instead of bent over rows.
  • Squats
    Squats are considered by many to be the pièce de résistance for any successful strength training program. They are the key exercise in the MotleyHealth Core Four workout, which is designed for quick strength gain and fat loss.
  • High Pulls
    With the “high pull” a barbell is lifted quickly from the floor by extending the hips and knees. As the bar reaches the knees, the shoulders are rapidly raised while keeping the barbell close to the thighs, and then the body is extended with a small jump movement. Elbows are flexed out to the sides, pulling bar up to neck height. This is an explosive movement, similar to a clean, but without the squatting movement. Start with a light bar to ensure that you are comfortable with the movement, before adding weight. A fuller description of the high pull is available on ExRx.
  • Clean and Press
    The clean and press is a good exercise for overall mass building as well as power, most of the major muscle groups are utilized during the execution of this movement. To perform, a barbell is lifted from the floor to the chest in one continuous motion. Once it reaches the chest, the bar is then pressed overhead.

Batman Workout Day 2:

  • Sprints – Speed Training
    Day 2 is dedicated to speed training and intensive cardio/interval training. Sprinting is an excellent form of field interval training. Utilize a football pitch to help pace out your sprints. Start out jogging around a field/pitch at a comfortable pace, and then when ready sprint flat out over a set distance. The length of a football pitch (or width) is ideal. After the spring, return to jogging, recover, and then repeat. Aim to build up the number of sprints completed in a session, and then aim to increase speed.
  • Squat jumps
    The squat jump is exactly as it sounds – a squat followed by an explosive jump. In a normal squat a weight is lowered on the shoulders until the back of the thighs are almost horizontal, and then the bar/weight is slowly raised. With a squat jump, the lift is explosive, with the aim to lift the body onto the toes and leave the ground momentarily. An excellent plyometric exercise. Ideally a heavy punch bag should be used instead of a bar to avoid shoulder/neck injury.
  • Lunges
    Lunges are another excellent leg strengthening exercise. Either performed with a barbell across the shoulders, or two dumbbells (this builds grip strength). You can also perform bodyweight lunges to build up muscular endurance.

Batman Workout Day 3:

  • Dumbbell Flyes followed by Bench Press
    Start the sessions with flyes as a pre-exhaust, followed quickly with bench press. The bench press is another of the Motley Health Core Four weight training exercises.
  • Clap Push Ups 
    Clap Push-Ups are an explosive way to perform push ups. Like the squat jumps, they turn a slow steady exercise into a fast, plyometric one. Start as with a normal push up in the plank position, lower your body until the chest just touches the floor, then raise quickly with the arms, and rapidly push up so that your hands leave the floor, clap once, land your hands on the floor and repeat. If this is too much, then start with standard push ups, but perform them as quickly as possible.
  • Lateral Jumps
    Lateral jumps are a simple but intensive cardio workout. Like skipping, they build muscular endurance in the legs, allowing you to keep moving for longer – essential for martial artists and boxers. A great power exercise. To work up from this, box jumps can be added – a simple sideways (lateral) jump up onto a box (e.g. Reebok stepper)

Batman’s Bodybuilding Diet:

Diet would have played an important role in such an intensive training regime. Meals need to have a good balance of quality protein sources, and carbs in the form of salads, vegetables and fruits, while maintaining low blood sugar levels to ensure that fat is burnt and not stored.

A starvation diet is no good for building muscle and getting fit, in fact when working out intensively, calorific consumption generally needs to be higher than average.

Christian Bale is a vegetarian, so whereas most people can take their protein from lean meats, Bale would have been concentrating on high quality protein from eggs, cottage cheese, fat free cheese, milk and protein shakes. Supplementing the diet with nutritional snacks and drinks is often essential during intensive regimes, especially for vegetarians.


When working so intensively, meals need to be eaten more often, to ensure a constant supply of energy and proteins to the muscles. Bale would have had to eat every 3 hours to ensure that he was building and repairing muscle tissue, rather than wearing it down.

To conclude, with determination and a bit of knowledge, anyone can shape up like our favorite superhero Batman. Superior fitness is attainable for most people if they can maintain the grueling fitness regimes required. You too can be Batman.

  187 comments for “Christian Bale’s Fitness Workouts for Batman, The Dark Knight

  1. George
    July 31, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    In your prescription for a “Batman Diet,” you recommend that people eat lean meats. Actually, Christian Bale is a vegetarian. So, Christian Bale’s “Batman Diet” would not have consisted of lean meats.

  2. MotleyHealth
    July 31, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    Well spotted George. The article has been edited. Christian Bale is indeed a vegetarian, having given up meat after reading Charlotte’s Web when he was six years old. Vegetarians do have a tougher when looking to bulk up very fast. Unless you can stomach a lot of cottage cheese and eggs, then protein shakes are essential to supplement your diet.

  3. Jakk
    August 11, 2008 at 6:20 am

    How many sets and reps each would you advise?

  4. MotleyHealth
    August 11, 2008 at 6:54 am

    For the weight training exercises I would suggest 3 sets of 8-12 reps. The squats could be pyramided to aim for increased strength as well as hypertrophy (size). The speed training sprints and lateral jumps should be performed to the max. just increase time / number of sprints.

  5. Jethro
    August 16, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    In an interview for Stuff Magazine in 2002 Bale mentions that he actually eats fish and chicken. He expounded that his philosophy is that he won’t eat anything he wouldn’t kill himself, but actually hadn’t gotten around to killing a chicken.

    In GQ he said his Machinist diet was apples and canned tuna.

  6. Adam
    August 27, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    I was wanting to know how long you guys at motley health though it would take me to get to Christian Bale’s physique. I am currently 10.5% body fat, 6 feet 0 inches tall, and I weigh 156. I figured that the ideal weight range for my goal would be about 175-180, but I was wanting to know, with proper nutrition and supplements (only a strong multivitamin, protein shakes, and L-Glutamine) how long would it take me to achieve my goal?

  7. MotleyHealth
    August 27, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Adam, that is really difficult to predict. I think the genetics plays a major part – Christian Bale’s rapid transformation must have been partly due to him having some muscle happy genes. You have a lot of bulking up to do by the sounds of it, and at 10.5% fat it sounds like you probably do not gain weight easy?

    All I can suggest is start training and see how you progress. If you are serious about bulking up and putting on 20 pounds of lean muscle, then you are going to have to do a lot of lifting and eat a lot of protein. Train hard. Let us know how you get on, and good luck!

  8. Adam
    August 27, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Thank you very much.

  9. MotleyHealth
    August 27, 2008 at 11:06 pm

    I have just done a little further research, and from examples on the net, you may be able to gain 10kg of muscle in 4 months – genetics and willpower permitting. Training 3 times per week and optimising nutrition, and changing / modifying the workouts if you hit a plateau, and you could have a Batman body by Christmas! You are welcome to keep a journal of your progress here:

  10. Adam
    August 28, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Great! I was hoping to put on about a pound a week and that would work out with what you said. Also, wouldn’t it be better if I worked out 6 times per week?(According to the workout listed above.) Or would that be too much?

  11. MotleyHealth
    August 28, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I think that six times per week would be too much, without adequate rest your muscles will not have time to recover, and you will start to suffer from over training. The above routine is a 3 day slit routine. Professional athletes do train more, but they do a mixture of cardio and weight training, with a lot of muscular endurance training – this does not build big muscles.

  12. Adam
    August 28, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    Well that explains why after doing “Day 1″ and then following immediately by doing “Day 2″ the day afer that, that my lower body has been killing me. Thank you very much for you advice. I will stick to it, and hopefully can achieve my goal by Christmas.

  13. MotleyHealth
    August 29, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Ah, yes, I can see now that we should have made that clearer!

  14. shaun
    September 7, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Hi Motleyhealth,
    Loving this site …nice to know the workout regiments of bale,lee,stallone etc…was always curious about that…I’m 23 and haven’ worked out for more than 15 months now…im 6’1 and weigh 84 KGs . My arms and shoulders have not lost considerable mass but I have put in a heck load of weight on my belly…I have been working out for 2 weeks now on a very strict regiment.4 times a week…do you have any suggestions for me to lose my belly by Dec (im sure I have a 6 pac belowthat ) and at the same time bulk up on the muscle…going to start a whey proten shake by next week….any suggestions would be great! thanks Loving the site

  15. MotleyHealth
    September 24, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    For those interested, Batman: The Dark Knight, can now be pre-ordered on

  16. Craig Harborne
    November 13, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    I have read this article and am very interested in giving it ago, but being unemployed at the moment leaves me with restrictions such as no access to a gym or the ability to buy equipment also buying this kind of food on a regular basis can be quite expensive, is there a way i can still do these kind of workouts on a very low budget, even if it take longer?

  17. MotleyHealth
    November 13, 2008 at 9:16 pm


    You can certainly work out pretty well on a low budget. For a start, all the bodyweight exercises and running costs nothing. So you can do the sprints, squat jumps, lunges, clap push ups and lateral jumps. Replace the weight training with more bodyweight exercises, such as burpies, variations on the press up (close and wide space hands). Check out the circuit training workouts for more ideas too.

    As for food, just avoid too much junk food, refined flour and sugar, and eat a well balanced healthy diet, with some extra protein (eggs and tuna a usually cheap options).

  18. Craig Harborne
    November 14, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Thankyou i shall give give it a try and tell you how it went

  19. DN
    November 19, 2008 at 4:33 am

    I was wondering if there are alternate workouts I could perform rather then the High Pulls and the Clean and Sweep.

    I workout at my high school 5 times a week and though we have 3 rooms in our weight training facility, the one with barbells has space, but surrounded by people and not injuring someone while doing the workout will be difficult.

    Also, on the topic of protein, would you recommend teenagers to take protein shakes? Would it be alright because I read somewhere that it’s not ideal to take protein shakes as a teenager because it stops puberty.

  20. MotleyHealth
    November 19, 2008 at 11:23 am

    If you have resistance machines, then you could subsititute the high pulls for cable rows, and the clean and press for military/shoulder presses. Perform deadlifts with a free weight, this should not be too risky.

    As for protein stopping puberty, this sounds like utter nonsense. A protein shake should be safe enough, just steer clear of any offers of drugs to help build muscle!

    Finally, I would not recommend weight training 5 times a week – do some of your workouts just involve cardio? It is easy to over do it, especially while you are still growing. I know people in their 30′s that have back problems now due to too much heavy lifting as a teenager. Remember, everything in moderation!

  21. DN
    November 20, 2008 at 4:32 am

    Thanks for the alternative workouts. Would it be alright to do one day of the Batman workout and have every other day as a cardio or ab workout day?

    I was also wondering if it would be okay to include some tricep workouts within the routine?

  22. MotleyHealth
    November 21, 2008 at 12:56 am

    Def. do some triceps exercises too. The routine is only a guide, so modify it to create an ideal workout for you.

    I am in the process of writing up the second part of the James Bond workout, and this includes tricep dips, so maybe take a look. It should be online later today.

  23. RobertS
    November 21, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Hey, this site is really fantastic. I am doing Bodybuilding 1 and a half year and I always wanted to know how Bale trained for this body, and thank you really much for it. But is this really his real workout? The exercised remind me of exercise football player does, and I think it is a little bit less of all, maybe 30-45 minutes pro workout. But if its real i will try it for 4-5 months and will write if something happens ;)

  24. MotleyHealth
    November 22, 2008 at 12:10 am

    This is what we beleive that he did to get his body. We know that he used weight training, and also combat training, thus the exercises taken from Bruce Lee and Sly Stallone, with a good mix of plyometric circuit training and more intensive weight training. It does not surprise that it is similar to a footballers workout, as both aim to improve functional strength, speed and agility. We wish you all the luck in your training.

  25. RobertS
    November 22, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Thank you very much, I will try this program for some months and will tell you what happen :)

  26. MotleyHealth
    November 22, 2008 at 2:08 pm

    Remember, you can blog your progress in our community.

  27. The Ernie
    December 11, 2008 at 2:15 am

    This routine is tight!! Im goin’ try it! I wanna look like the dark knight LOL but naw seriously… I do wanna look like Batman (HA HA HA)

  28. RobertS
    December 16, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    I don’t think you will really gain many muscles in this training period like Bale did in Batman Begins but I think it is a nice program to gain strength and agility.

  29. Adam
    December 18, 2008 at 5:54 am

    Hey, I was just wanting to let you guys know that I did do the routine for about a month before school, I had to stop due to school. (I was taking 19 hours.) But for those that are interested, I can say that it does work. I now weigh about 164. When I was working out I was eating right all the time. The results, if you stick to the routine, happen very quickly. After about 2 weeks you will notice minor differences, but as I went on I got very close to a 6 pack, and then sadly started slacking off. Now that the semester is over and next spring will be a little lighter load, I will be sticking to it all the way. I just wanted to let you guys know that it did work, but I just didn’t stick to it.

  30. Adam
    December 18, 2008 at 6:06 am

    I’ve got a question. Is there another way to do squat jumps if you don’t have a punching bag?

  31. MotleyHealth
    December 18, 2008 at 10:39 am

    Hi Adam, glad that it works for you. Sounds good. Punch bags are not essential, they are just a good size and weight. You could try by stuffing a large rucksack with clothes, or just do them without weight.

  32. nlloyd
    January 26, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    hi, I was looking at the routine and am wonder after the three days do you have any days rest or just restart the program?

  33. MotleyHealth
    January 26, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Best to work one day and rest the next. Either do the workout every other day, or on set days of the week, such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with weekends off.

  34. travis
    March 17, 2009 at 12:24 am

    you know it’s absolute nonsense that you even need to focus on all these “protein” foods like eggs and cheese. How do you know he did that you just assume. There is a former rugby player who is now a fruitarian and still has amazing muscle definition and bulk. You need 5 to 6 percent protein that’s it. I would argue that protein from raw plants is better and more easily assimilated than denatured protein from a cooked steak.

  35. MotleyHealth
    March 17, 2009 at 1:08 am

    Increasing protein in diet has been shown to help build muscle mass, it is not speculation. Maybe he did just eat fruit and veg, but he would have had to consume a lot to get the required protein. As he beefed up so quickly he must have taken a supplement of some variety.

    Which rugby player are you referring to? I would be happy to do a spot on raw/fruit diet.

  36. SkinnyDude
    March 28, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    I’m really skinny right now, and am about 5’8″ tall. I’m 19 years old. I’ve started going to the gym about 1 weeks ago, and am consuming whey protein drinks after every workout. How much time would it take for me to get bigger (bigger chest, biceps, triceps–mainly upper body)? I can afford to go all 7 days of the week.

  37. MotleyHealth
    March 29, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    How long it takes really depends on your genetics. Strength training 7 days a week is not a good idea though. If you want to get bigger, you need to be doing more intensive workouts, then giving yourself time to recover. To workout out more you can split your routines to work some muscles while others are recovering, but 7 days a week pumping iron is too much for anyone. Just stick with it, and the muscles will grow. Remember that rest is as important as nutrition and lifting – muscles grow when resting, not when working!

  38. Ryan
    April 4, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    This is quite an interesting workout, I’m definitely trying the diets/muscle training. I have a pretty low body fat percentage, so my body at the moment is very toned. I’m pretty slim but I have some lean muscle but I want to gain about 20 pounds of muscle using this program.

    So do you think I can cut out the agility exercises because of my low body fat, and replace with mere abdominal and short jogs? I am mainly focused on the muscle-mass benefits from this program.


  39. Sal
    April 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Hi, this looks like a pretty good workout, I just wanted your opinion on whether I should switch to this workout from my current workout.

    Currently, I work out 4 times a week and have a rest day and another day when I’m just playing sports. At the gym, I usually do cardio for 20 mins (intensive interval training) and then a bunch of ab exercises after. I follow this up with weights and focus on a group a day (ie Shoulders, Chest, Back, Bi’s & Tri’s, and Legs). I usually do around 5-7 different exercises per group and 3-4 sets (8-12 reps and one at the end as a conditioning/endurance set).

    Do you think this is an effective method to gain muscle mass and definition and burn fat, given that I watch what I eat and eat enough protein to compensate?


  40. MotleyHealth
    April 22, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Ryan, that sounds like a good plan. It is essentially a bulking regime. Remember that Bale was very skinny after filming the Machinist.

  41. MotleyHealth
    April 22, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Sal, only you can answer this question. Things to bear in mind are – are you happy with your current progress? Do you want more muscle or to be fitter? How important are the sports, and will a bodybuilding workout interfere with sports training? If you have hit a plateau, then maybe you need to change. If you are happy with the results you are currently getting, then maybe there is no need to do the Batman workout?

  42. t-hunk
    May 4, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Yeah of course you’d need more animal sourced proteins. They have a wider range of amino acids which is generally essential. Have you ever tried gaining muscle without meat or eggs? It’s a hell of a lot harder. Not to mention even if he didn’t eat any meat he was still able to use whey as most Hollywood actors are forced too while training for a bulky role.

  43. Jay
    May 13, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Hey, I’m about 6” and probably weigh about 190lbs. I have semi-good muscle definition, but find it hard to lose fat from my stomach. I’d like to bulk up a little and lose some fat. Do you think this is a good work out for me? I’ve just finished the first three days, and it definitely feels like more of a work out to me than going on a three mile run, which is what I generally do.

  44. MotleyHealth
    May 14, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Jay, yes I think it will help, plus plenty of intensive cardio (interval training works best for burning fat). Really 3 rules to burning fat: exercise hard to burn, build muscle to increase metabolism, eat a healthy lean diet.

  45. robert
    May 22, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    tell me, my routine consists of gym training of 5-6 days emphasizing usually one muscle a day with savings legs as a two day work out, and I know this is exclusively a bulk up method. But I’ am looking to elevate my game a lot, and want to get faster. I still do run once a week for 20 min but want to resume doing sprints because I have been on hiatus for months because of a surgery but am serious about gaining speed and agility. By nature I am a small guy about 5’9″, 140 but don’t let that fool you cause i am very strong for my size and if you looked at me you would think I am more of 150 or 155. My question is would it be a good idea to undertake my normal regime for one week and the next alternate to more of a muscular endurance based work out . I believe firmly in the combination of speed and power. any feed back or criticisms would be greatly appreciated.

  46. bas
    June 15, 2009 at 7:54 am

    im 185cm and about 170- 175 lbs, and want to be about 185 pound but only gain pure muscle, how would i do this?

  47. MotleyHealth
    June 15, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Bodybuilding is certainly the answer. You need to work hard, eat well (with plenty of protein, but not too much saturated fat) and get lots of rest/sleep.

  48. Kyle
    June 23, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    I jog for about 5 miles 4 days a week, as a way of losing weight, but I’d like to start taking on this training programme at the same time.

    Would I be fine in doing both this programme and my jogging?

  49. MotleyHealth
    June 23, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Yes, this should not be a problem. The general rule is to do your strength training before cardio. You may find you need to compromise the running to start with, but no reason why you cannot do both. Athletes and sports persons do both running an weight training sessions throughout the week.

  50. Mikey
    June 26, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Hi, very interesting routine. Have you got something like that from Bale for The Dark Knight movie? This is now for Batman Begins, in TDK he doesn’t have many muscles but he was also trained.

  51. charlie
    July 11, 2009 at 7:31 am

    So what is that one shake that Christian Bale drinks in the movie thats made up of grass? Is it wheat grass?

  52. MotleyHealth
    July 11, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Impossible to know unless we speak with Alfred. It could be based on wheat grass, but it could be any type of “Green drink”. Generally green drinks are a combination of green vegetables made into a smoothie. Typical ingredients include:

    Wheat grass, Parsley, Lettuce, Celery, Spinach, Apples, Carrot, Lemon and Lime.

    Here’s a YouTube clip that may help.

  53. Ted
    August 7, 2009 at 2:29 am

    Re protein. You can absolutely bulk up without animal protein. I have been a vegetarian (no meat, no fish) for 6 years and vegan (no diary, eggs, etc) for the last 2. Have exercised since my teens (am 42 now) and always been conscious of nutrition and particularly, protein to keep muscle mass as I get lean very easily. Used to eat a lot of chicken and fish and was concerned I would lose a lot of muscle without meat protein.

    Since being a vegan I have consumed near or just below an ounce of vegen protein per pound of my bodyweight per day. Vegan protein does not include whey, but instead vegetable sources such pea, brown rice, soya, hemp. If you consume protein powder with a mix of sources, you can get the full range of required amino acids. In terms of ability to build mass, be fit and be strong, I have noticed there is absolutely no difference in protein from meat vs vegetable sources. What I did notice is that I immediately got leaner once I removed meat and dairy from my diet.

  54. G
    September 15, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    I’ve been letting my exercise regime slip for a few weeks now and have been looking for something new to get my head into. I’ve been looking at the “Bond” workout plan and this one. As a result I’ve drawn up my own personal programme which I think I can fit into my weekly routine. The one question I had was whether something like Tae Bo would be suitable for the Active Rest day or not?

  55. MotleyHealth
    September 15, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Martial arts training should be OK, just do not over do it. Depends on how fit you are. You want to be able to recover from the weight training to build the muscle.

  56. Robbie
    September 24, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Is it really possible to transform your body like this? I know Bale was fit before he became skin and bones for the recording of Maschinist. And that does help when you later start going back to the gym.
    But 40 kg of muscle in this short time? AND AS A VEGETARIAN! Well he hasn’t got me….he surely used something illegal. To build those massive muscles…you first have to bulk up and then get rid of the excess weight to get lean. doing cardio as running will NEVER help you on your way to bulking.
    Can you give me an honest answer and say that he did this NATURAL???

    And for the record….protein shakes are a mass industry…you are just as well of drinking a large glass of milk and a banana just after training…and then eating HEALTHY good dinner as soon as you get back home.
    If you are not on bodybuilder level….no extras are needed…just plain food and cut the alcohol.

    Thanks for me.

  57. Josh
    December 6, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Looking at this, it sounds as if by “this can be repeated once a week” that if I were only doing the training on this page and started on a Monday, that I would train Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday and give my muscles a rest for the other days, right?

    I also train in martial arts on a regular basis. If I were to do this workout Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I could train martial arts on Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday as long as I listen to my body and don’t over-do it, correct?

  58. MotleyHealth
    December 6, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Josh, so long as you do not train to a high intensity then you can train everyday, many people supplement martial arts with weight training. If you do too much weight training then you may not be recovered enough to do the martial arts. You should do fewer work sets on lifting with a heavier weight to build optimal strength for fighting. Compound movements will be best for you.

  59. John
    December 7, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    Im 17 and weigh 10 stone if i concentrate on this workout for six weeks how much would you say i would weigh afterwards. How much muscle would i put on, also would i lose any sprinting speed or anything like that?

  60. MotleyHealth
    December 7, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Hi John. There are really too many variables to be able to say. All you can do is to optimize your growth potential with a healthy diet high in protein, take extra protein supplements, get plenty of rest. This workout should not slow you down, the cleans and lateral jumps should all compliment your sprint training well.

  61. USN
    January 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm


    I enjoy reading through articles from knowledgeable sources and would like to ask your opinion on my current workout routine and if there’s anything you’d tweak to increase quicker. I’ve used this routine every winter for the past 4 years since I stopped playing college football for quick gains and then always quit around Aug, lost most of it, and began again.

    Monday: Morning – 15 mins cardio, 15 mins abs
    Evening – Bi’s and Tri’s

    Tuesday: Morning – light pushup/situps
    Evening – Shoulders

    Wednesday: Morning – 25 mins cardio
    Evening – Legs (Blew my knees out in college)

    Thursday: Morning – Light pushup/situps
    Evening – Chest supped w/ Bi’s

    Friday: Morning – 15 mins cardio, 15 mins abs
    Evening – Back

    It’s worked for me in the past, but I’m always up for suggestions to see if they help. I am very limited in leg training due to my bad knees. Thank you for any advice you may have

  62. MotleyHealth
    January 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Looks good and if it brings results for you, carry on. Are there deadlifts in there? If so then a good combination of big compound movements and isolation on muscles. So long as you are pushing yourself to lift more in each workout during the off-season you will continue to gain. What rep range are you doing? 5 reps per set to focus on athletic/strength is generally recommended (see here for more).

  63. USN
    January 18, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    I generally do reps of 6-8 in sets of 4. For core lifts I keep my reps to 6, sets 1-3 and usually raise the weight so I fall to 4 reps on my last set.

    I don’t do deadlifts. My leg workouts are very restricted to squat, front squat, calves, lunges and plyo, all of which with little to no weight.

    My big problem is my abs. Genetically I gain very quickly and tone very nicely, however, I’ve never been able to achieve my ideal stomach. Any suggestions?

    Also, what supplements do you recommend? Although expensive, I use mainly Musceltech because I have the money and they do help. Anything you’d recommend, excluding roids?

  64. MotleyHealth
    January 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Abs is about diet. Front squats and your ab routines should build a good solid core, but a thin layer of fat and they are hidden. Supplements – whatever works. Muscletech has a good rep and if it works for you then I would say continue. Do you ever do weighted crunches or side bends? These can target the abs in different ways.

  65. Shawn
    February 11, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Gearge didn’t you read this page it straight up says that he didn’t eat lean meats do to being a vegetarian.

  66. Sujith Rajan
    June 1, 2010 at 9:51 am


    I hope this thread is not dead by now. It was a very interesting read. I want to have a lean body. I have been working out for 7 months now and i have a pretty good upper body but sadly I have neglected my core and legs. Although I have flat tummy, there’s a layer of fat on my tummy and it looks disgusting. I want to get rid of it, below is my work out routine

    Monday – biceps – bicep with bars, dumbbells, hammer dumbbells, seated bicep curls
    Tuesday – shoulders
    Wednesday – rest
    Thursday – chest

  67. MotleyHealth
    June 1, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Hi Sujith, yeah, you need to do some squats and deadlifts at least.

  68. Mani
    July 5, 2010 at 8:37 am

    I would also look to tone up my body. I work out 5-6 days a week. I am in competitive fencing, so I do fencing drills ( slow in the beginning but intense for the most part) at least 35 minutes first thing in the morning before eating anything for the workout days, this makes up for the lower body strength training part. I do not take any supplements. However I eat carbohydrate rich diets and can gain Fat very easily. When I lose fat I also feel that I’ve lost a lot of strength too. I am 5’11.5, weighing 70kg and would like to get my fat percentage below 10%. At present I think its 13-15%. I also include ab crunches and chest exercises in my routine. Am I neglecting anything, or do I have to make changes mostly in my diet to lose fat (particularly the chest and lower abdominal area) and build muscle ?

  69. MotleyHealth
    July 5, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Hi Mani. That carb rich diet could be the reason you gain fat and lose strength when you lose weight. You need more protein if you are training hard every day to build the muscles. When you lose weight I am guessing that you are reducing calories, which means your muscles still have too little protein for growth and you are losing muscle tissue as well as fat.

    Increase your protein intake. Eggs for breakfast, chicken or fish for lunch, plus snacks such as cottage cheese will help. Reduce bread consumption, especially white bread. A lot of refined carbs are “empty carbs” meaning they are all energy and no nutrition. Make sure you eat more nutritious forms of carbohydrate, go for a variety of vegetables, salads etc.

    I think that you workouts should get you fit and slim but possibly it is your diet that is letting you down a bit.

  70. Mani
    July 6, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Thank for the advice. Ill try changing my diet then. After working out 6 days a week though, my legs do get exhausted, I was wondering if whey protein shakes might help with reduce the muscle fatigue?
    Also how many meals should I be eating each day?. For now I take only 3 meals a day with 6 hours gap.

  71. MotleyHealth
    July 6, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Are you splitting your workouts, so working different parts each day? 6 days a week is intensive exercise so you need to ensure you get proper rest and nutrition. Maybe you should not be training your legs every day. 3 meals a day with some protein snacks is a good way to do it. Make sure those protein snacks do not put you over the daily calorie limit though, make the 3 meals a little smaller to compensate.

  72. Mani
    July 6, 2010 at 3:18 am

    No, I do the footwork exercises 6 days a week (use it as a cardio) but split the chest and ab exercises to 3 times a week. I was under the impression that if i can do the drills 6 times a week, perhaps after some time the legs will develop the endurance to get used to it. But am i wrong?

  73. MotleyHealth
    July 6, 2010 at 9:35 am

    If you are training muscular endurance then you could be right, but if you are doing resistance training on the legs they will need more rest. Really you need to be your own guide. You could drop the leg exercises for one day a week, so do 2 days, rest, 3 days, rest, and see how that affects your muscle recovery and performance. Remember Bruce Lee’s advice, never train so hard that you are not in a fit state to fight. If your legs are exhausted all the time from your training how is that going to make you a better fencer? If you would like to share your fencing workout so that we know exactly what sort of exercises you are doing 6 days a week it may help to better understand why you are having recovery problems.

  74. Mani
    July 6, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    Sure, Ill try my best :-
    First 10 minutes stretching and warm up light cardio.
    My drills include 7 sets. Each set is divided into 5 subsets .During each subset i do 10 different types of lunges and keep doing the foot work, step forward or backwards before each lunge. First 2 sets i do slow, relaxed full stretch lunges. 3rd and 4th set I do first 20 slow and then 30 fast lunges. Next 3 sets I do lunges and foot work as fast as I can. Between sets I take a break of 20-40 seconds.
    Stretch again.

  75. MotleyHealth
    July 7, 2010 at 1:01 am

    I see, so bodyweight training exercises. You should be able to recover with adequate nutrition and rest. Do you get 8 hours sleep a night? Makes a big difference.

  76. Mani
    July 7, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Nopes, just 5- 5 1/2 max sleep is what i get. How does it make a difference?

  77. MotleyHealth
    July 7, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Our bodies repair much faster when we are sleeping and without adequate rest we risk over training. I suspect that your lack of sleep and poorly balanced diet is the main reason that your legs are exhausted and not recovering from 6 workouts a week. More protein, more nutrient dense carbs and more sleep required.

  78. carlos
    September 3, 2010 at 5:27 am

    hi, i was born with mild Cerebral Palsy on my right foot..which makes my right leg smaller then my left, what could i do to sculpt my legs? what about supplements that wont harm me later? do you suggest any? I’m almost 18 and I wanna look good

  79. MotleyHealth
    September 3, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Hi Carlos. You should be able to sculpt your legs if you can perform the exercises OK. Can you do squats and calf raises? If so then perform these, always try to keep the weight equal across your body (i.e. do not work your left harder, although you can support and assist with your left). Have you heard of Jordan “The Unlikely Toad” Frantz? He is a body builder with Cerebral Palsy. He shared his story on

    If you are lifting a lot then you may well need to take supplements, but to start with ensure that you are eating a healthy diet with plenty of nutritious low GI vegetables and lean protein sources – eggs, chicken, fish, plus nuts and pulses. Protein supplements will not harm you long-term, the only real risk is that if you take too much and you are not working hard enough you risk putting on fat not muscle.

  80. twaggenson
    September 5, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    this program is a 3 day split. do you do these 3 days 2 times in a week with one day rest? and if you do those squats and leg training exersices and the next day you do sprinting and squat jumps and stuff, will you not overtrain you legs then?

  81. MotleyHealth
    September 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    It is possible that there is some overtraining in this routine. Good nutrition and lots of sleep are probably required. If you are pushing yourself hard on the weighted squats then you will need more rest before the plyometric workouts and sprints.

  82. Paulo
    September 10, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    Hi MotleyHealth I was wondering about the really weight of Chris Bale in Batman, just because I’m shorter than him so I want to know his weight to calculate his body mass index and apply it on my height. Answer me please!!!

  83. MotleyHealth
    September 10, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    He was around 190 pounds / 86kg when filming Batman Returns.

  84. begformercy
    September 11, 2010 at 2:05 am

    how tall is Chris Bale?

  85. MotleyHealth
    September 11, 2010 at 2:40 am

    Dunno Paulo, why does it matter? Maybe about 180cm?

  86. ThaiSon
    November 13, 2010 at 1:43 pm


    This thread has been an interesting read and was wondering if this program accommodates for people with back problems such as mild scoliosis?

  87. MotleyHealth
    November 14, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Hi ThaiSon, we are not really qualified to speak about training with scoliosis. I would suggest that intensive and heavy lifting should be avoided. Maybe focus more on bodyweight training and cardio, such as cycling. Sometimes performing back exercises will strengthen one side more than the other and result in making the condition worse.

  88. Thaison
    November 14, 2010 at 9:01 pm


    Thanks for the honest answer I can say this makes for a trustworthy site.

  89. Jamie246
    January 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Hi people. Just a word of warning. Any more than 4 days a week (of an upper/lower split to allow muscle repair) of intense weight training is overtraining for anyone other than adapted bodybuilders. Yeah, there will be exceptions etc and people vary, but rest and eating a LOT is the key to building muscle like Christian Bale dide for batman. Im just getting back into it after a leg injury havent been in the gym for a year and have lost about 25 pounds of mass and I was pretty lean so not happy :( If your wanting to lean out, mix cardio and weights, for thin, lean guys just lift and eat a LOT of brown rice, veg, pasta, baked potatoes etc and protein (althought personally i think 15-20% of protein per meal out of the 5-6 you should eat is sufficient, theres too much written about HUGE amounts of protein) and get lost of sleep 8-10 hours a night preferably. Keep a journal of your progress to and you’ll see results in no time :)

  90. MotleyHealth
    January 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Great advice Jamie, people often forget that sleep is so important to repair and growth.

  91. Chris
    January 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    I’ve been training now for around 2 years and have done my different styles of workouts and I’m a very hard gainer for example I took 2 protein shakes of 50g per serving and 1100 calories a serving and 3 meals a day and only gained 5 kg in about 6 months. So now I have decided to go for the look will smith had in I am Legend. I am currently working out 4 times a week on the weights with a low caloric protein shake with 50g of protein a serving 2 times a day. and my 3 meals which are either chicken or something similar could I put mass on like this without any fat? I’m 6ft 2inches and 165lb. I’m also thinking of changing my workout too: Weights Size Building 3 days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) And cardio and strength training (Tuesday And Thursday)is this routine any good for my goals?Any help is welcomed Thanks Chris

  92. MotleyHealth
    January 10, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Routine sounds good Chris. Just make sure that you keep increasing the weight you are lifting to make your muscles work harder, and also keep improving your diet. Eat plenty of vegetables as well as proteins. The best answer is to just keep tweaking your workout and diet until you start gaining more muscle and not fat. Do you always have you protein shake/supplement straight after the workout?

  93. Chris
    January 10, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Yes I have one ready for the minute I finish my workout and then I have another shake just before bed. Should I have one in the morning also just to boost the protein intake.. Could you recommend any low calorie protein shakes? I’m currently taking Isopure Zero Carb which is expensive.. Thanks Again

  94. MotleyHealth
    January 10, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Maybe a whey isolate, but the more specialised products do become more expensive. Something like this may be good (not tried it myself, but the reviews on Amazon are good): OPTIMUM NUTRITION 100% – WHEY PROTEIN GOLD STANDARD “COOKIES & CREAM 912g

    Whey isolates have the fat and lactose (sugars) removed which helps to reduce calories.

  95. Chris
    January 10, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    is it worth taking a low calorie shake morning, post workout and before bed ?

  96. MotleyHealth
    January 10, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Yes, if your goal is to increase protein intake but not total calories then this is a good option.

  97. veggiedude
    January 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    Of the top ten ranked Mixed Martial Arts welterweights, there is a vegetarian, a near vegan, and someone who is trying out veganism…

  98. MotleyHealth
    January 25, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Yeah, and they are all small guys :)
    Fit, fast, lean, powerful, but not bulky.

  99. DJCastano
    January 26, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Just to clarify this, Christian Bale had 6 months, not 6 weeks, like you say in your article, to prepare for the role

  100. MotleyHealth
    January 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    You are right. It was possibly 6 weeks from the end of The Machinist to the first test screening for Batman Begins. In an interview with John Hutchins from UGO Entertainment, Christian Bale said;

    “No, it was about five months, or something. About 100 pounds in about five months or something like that. NOT advisable.” UGO Entertainment

    Interesting that he said not advisable. He also said that he found it easier to lose weight for Machinist than gain it for Batman Begins.

    “I did actually feel hideous during that time and that’s what I wouldn’t repeat again.”

  101. Sujith Rajan
    February 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm


    First of all i would like to say that you are doing a great job mate. Really appreciate it !!
    Now going on to my query for you. It goes something like this. stopped working out aroung 4 months back. I have started again 3 days back. But this time i want to focus more on my core and lower body and also on fat loss. I have am confused between 3 days split and 2 days split ie whether to do fo for upper body, lower body and cardio or uper body + cardio one day and lower body on the second day. For upper body i plan to work my chest and back on one day and shoulders, biceps and triceps on the other day. Please advise.

  102. MotleyHealth
    February 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Wither sounds like a good plan. Really it is a matter of finding what works best for you. I have recently gone back to doing a full body workout 3 times a week, rather than splits. Enjoying it. The key is to just keep doing it, eating healthy and exercising. Make it a part of your life, a part of you, then you will never stop doing it, and you will eventually achieve your goals.

  103. Jay
    February 24, 2011 at 5:49 am

    hi my name is jay. I weigh 165 and i am 6 feet tall. I work out 3 times a week and play basketball multiple nights for several hours and also run. I eat eggs for breakfest, and tuna for lunch while drinkning alot of water during the day and taking muscle milk. Will this help turn my fat into muscle and get a six pack by the summer? thanks love the site.

  104. MotleyHealth
    February 24, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Jay, you should definitely burn some fat with that regime. Also get some healthy low GI carbs, take a variety of protein sources, such as oily fish too to get the essential fatty acids. Chicken salads are good too. Keep up the good work!

  105. Ben
    March 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Hello there,MotleyHealth.

    Hi my name is Ben. Would you say this workout has to be done at a gym, or could the workout be done in the comfort of our home? Thanks for the site :)

  106. MotleyHealth
    March 11, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    If you have a barbell, and ideally a squat rack / cage, then you can certainly do this at home. I have a cage on my garage to allow me to safely squat and bench on my own. Safety is important when lifting at home.

  107. Mike
    March 14, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    im 15, 6 ft, and i weigh 150 pounds, i am naturally muscular but have some fat too. do you think this batman workout will help a teenager with by build put on muscle and lose fat? because i know Christian used this workout cuz he was skinny

  108. MotleyHealth
    March 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Yes it would help Mike. Bear in mind that as a 15 year old your body is still developing, so heavy squats and deadlifts on not recommended. Also your daily calorie requirements are already higher than average so make sure that you are receiving adequate nutrition – this means healthy carbohydrates (ideally low-medium GI fruits and vegetables) as well as healthy protein. ReadHealthy Dieting – What To Eat to learn more about eating healthy. As a guideline, a highly active 15 year old needs around 3100 Calories a day to maintain weight. Eat healthy and workout, have fun, and hopefully you will bulk up a little.

  109. Mike
    March 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    i saw batman begins and christian is pretty buff, but what i dont understand is how he had big arms but only did a few sets of chinups and no triceps exercises

  110. MotleyHealth
    March 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    It does seem to be an anomaly, we shall look into it. I suspect he did more than we have shown above.

  111. wyatt
    April 10, 2011 at 6:06 am

    Your information is sad to say the least. 1st, Bale never once even came close to 220lbs. Try 185. Also, he had daily, several hour long workouts, not 3 days/week kind of stuff, but real, intense training, the kind that you do when you are paid to do it. Also, it can never be overlooked the ergogenic enhancements that are common in Hollywood, ie, Butler in 300, Jackman in Wolverine, Mcguire in Spiderman, Stallone in, everything. Few, if any people but on 22-40 lbs in a few months of training without steroids.

  112. MotleyHealth
    April 10, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    Several sources have said that he reached 220 pounds, although he was never 220 pounds in the film as Christopher Nolan, the film director, felt that he had got too big and told him to lose 20 pounds.

    You are right in that there would be a lot more to his training than is writing in this article, this is just a brief guide to the type of weight training that would be need to bulk up like he did.

    It is not a 3 day a week plan, although for the average person that works and has other commitments then splitting over a week rather than doing daily would provide a more balanced approach.

  113. Mario
    April 16, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Hi my name is Mario and just started an intense routine that it sounds like im doing too much based on what I have read. Im 6’1 212 lbs. And in descent shape but want to be very toned. I workout 6X a week for about 45-1hr with weights two body parts each day and do cardio for 20-30 minutes 4x a week. Is this too much? I usually do sets of 4 8-12 reps

  114. MotleyHealth
    April 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    It is not too much if you are getting the results you want. Bodybuilders and athletes do more than that.

  115. imran khan
    May 11, 2011 at 10:21 am

    hello my name is Imran and I am not able to gain my weight. I am a student and because of not having time I didn’t take breakfast but I never miss taking meals. I weigh around 105 pounds and 6 ft tall. I look very skinny so please give me some advice regarding food and exercise also to increase weight.

  116. MotleyHealth
    May 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Imran. First, you have to eat more. It is impossible to put on muscle if you are not taking in a lot of healthy carbohydrate and protein. So have breakfast every day, ideally with a few eggs and / or oats. Other meals should have a protein portion each time, such as fish, chicken, tofu, beef. Follow the weight training plan and eat well. If you do not eat much meat (if you are vegetarian) then consider a whey protein supplement. But make sure that you train at least 3 times a week.

  117. dave c.
    May 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Hi, Imran, I have similar problems – I am 6’2 and weigh about 140. I have a spinal cord injury and eating is difficult for me. It is all about your diet. I have a personal trainer – I workout 3x a week have great diverse workouts, BUT if I do not eat then I do not make any gains. As my trainer says, “eat eat eat.” Good luck, Imran – I need it too HA.

  118. Hugo
    May 26, 2011 at 12:14 am

    I hit ‘the plateau’ and have been doing the workout from which bears the title “The Dark Knight workout”; every day at the gym has been a wet t-shirt contest from all of the sweat. It’s hard to lay off of the booze, but I’m in the second week of that workout and am happy w/ the results so far.

  119. MotleyHealth
    May 26, 2011 at 12:16 am

    Great stuff Hugo. And well done for laying off the booze – a sure sign you are really dedicated!

  120. Dany
    May 29, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Hello i am 5-9 and very skinny please tell me which exercise to follow and diet to eat to gain mass and become good looking in shape

  121. MotleyHealth
    May 29, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    Hi Dany, take a good long look at this: Basics Of A Healthy Diet – What To Eat. Getting both quality carbohydrates and proteins is essential for building muscle. Also plenty of exercise, weight training like the routines above, and rest.

  122. Brian
    July 14, 2011 at 8:45 am

    hi i want to start the above exercise regimine but need help with the diet i should follow and what to drink, ive read the basics of a helathy diet-what to eat page of your website but frankly dont understand it, so what do you recomend i eat and drink on this diet?????

  123. MotleyHealth
    July 14, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    One suggestion: Muesli for breakfast, chicken or egg salad for lunch, fish or steak and steamed vegetables for dinner.

  124. Sinan
    July 28, 2011 at 2:37 am

    Do you know how long each day of exercise should take? I read and heard that after 45 minutes of working out your testosterone levels begin to drop so it needs to a be an explosive workout within 45 minutes or at most to an hour. Could I please get your input on this?

  125. MotleyHealth
    July 28, 2011 at 2:43 am

    Hi Sinan, I have not done any research on the effects of exercise on testosterone and how it may affect a workout. However, a lot of people workout for more than 45 minutes, and you certainly need to do more than 45 minutes to reach your peak fitness.

  126. charlie
    September 29, 2011 at 6:41 am

    im 230 5’11. I have lost fat recently from a 6 weeks workout plan, and have gained 10 lbs. im looking for a good diet and new workout routine. one thing that does worry me about cutting carbs as well as well as fat would be allowing my body to get into a ketosis state. would it be better to consume omega-3 fats and take in green carbs or is it better to start with no carbs sans fat?

    also, my girlfriend and I have been following the same workout plan, is this ok? as far as here goals go, she just wants to lose weight and gain minor muscle mass. we also wonder about a decent diet is for both of us.

    being that I would like to loss fat and bulk up as she would like to just lose weight and gain minimal mass.

  127. Al
    October 15, 2011 at 11:49 pm

    I have been following this program, just without the sprint part. And in 3 months i have gained over 5kg and some of it is without doubt muscles. Thanks a lot. I have been in the gym for so many years without good results before i tried this. I recommend everyone that wants to gain more size to try this program.

  128. MotleyHealth
    October 16, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Brilliant Al, so glad you found it useful.

  129. ChristianB
    October 23, 2011 at 11:43 am

    do you got information about the actual workout routine from CB for “The Dark Knight Rises”-Movie?
    Or do you think there will be a release of it in time?

  130. MotleyHealth
    October 23, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Sorry, nothing yet.

  131. josh
    October 29, 2011 at 5:51 am

    hi, my question is , how to gain 20lbs , because i workout like everyday and its been very hard for me to gain .so can u help me out?

  132. MotleyHealth
    October 29, 2011 at 10:28 am

    Are you eating enough Josh? Plenty of healthy carbs and protein, and if you are training hard then a protein shake can help too. Muscles need energy and nutrition to grow.

  133. josh
    October 29, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    I try to, lol, but can I use a whey protein shake for my pre workout and my other question is about Thursday can I do just a bodyweight , such as plyometrics workout or just have a rest day.

  134. MotleyHealth
    October 30, 2011 at 1:52 am

    If course you can, sounds like a good plan.

  135. Chris
    November 5, 2011 at 5:07 am

    Thank you for putting up this plan! I’ve been doing it for about two weeks now, and was wondering if the biceps and triceps get worked enough in this routine, or if I should supplement with curls, tricep extensions, etc…

  136. MotleyHealth
    November 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Only you can know that Chris, by all means do more curls and tricep work if you need it / want it. It is just a guide really!

  137. Ryan
    December 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Hi there,

    First of all, I would like to say that this is a great article.

    I was just wondering if you could offer any advice/suggestions about my own workout routine. Everyday(wih the odd day off) I do the following routine, an hour before breakfast, and an hour before dinner(it takes me half an hour to do everything). I have being doin it for about three weeks and have put on between 2pounds of muscle. My body type is an ecto-mesmo. My workout is as follows:


    Dumbbell curls(50 reps per arm)
    Seated dumbbell curls(50 reps per arm)
    Concentration curls(20 reps per arm)
    Hammer curls (30reps per arm)


    One arm tricep extension (20 reps per arm)
    Tricep kickbacks(20 reps per arm)
    French presses(20 reps per arm)
    tricep bench press(30 reps per arm)


    Dead lifts(30 reps)
    Single arm row(30 reps per arm)


    Arnold dumbbell press (20 reps)
    seated shoulder presses(20 reps)
    Front raises(20reps per arm)
    lateral raises(30reps per arm)


    Flat chest flies (50 reps)
    Flat chest presses (50 reps)

    I also do 300 crunches a night before bed.

    I don’t know if my dumbbells are heavy enough(7.5kg) each, they give me a good workout, but I don’t know if I should be lifting heavier weights whilst doing less reps??
    I have a bowl of cereal in the morning, as well as two slices of bacon, two fried eggs, and a slice of bread for breakfast.

    I have a chicken and bacon pasta pot at lunch (1000 calories, 96% of the GDA of fat)

    I have various slices of meat at dinner time wih some greens, and some lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes.

    After my sit ups at night I have 45g of protein(in form of shake) as I go to bed.

    I am 6′ 2″ and weigh about 151 pounds. I am very toned, but I really want to put on more body mass. 

    Do you have any ideas how I could put on more muscle mass?

    I don’t know if my dumbbells are heavy enough(7.5kg) each, they give me a good workout, but I don’t know if I should be lifting heavier weights whilst doing less reps?? Should I be eating more, or changing my exercises/ doing more??

    I am sorry for being very specific, I greatly appreciate the time and effort you have put in this article.

    Many thanks,

  138. MotleyHealth
    December 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Hi George, yes, you do need to start lifting heavier weights to build more muscle. Three sets of 8-12 repetitions is a good starting point. You will be doing fewer reps for each exercise and taking a short break inbetween each set so that you can work the muscles harder by lifting more. Your routine is great for muscular endurance and fitness but can only go so far to help build muscle.

  139. Craig
    January 30, 2012 at 12:57 am

    I am a student at Univeristy and my diet consisting largrly of copious amounts of beer and fast food is clearly not good, i rarely eat well and very rarely have breakfast. Obviously the long run game plan is to look like Bale but in the mean time could I have some advise on how to lose weight, i’m about 5 ft 8, and about 12 stone. Cheers guys!

  140. MotleyHealth
    January 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Hi Craig, well, first you need to eat healthier and eat less. Drinking less beer will help too. Join up with some new Uni clubs too, get active. I used to do martial arts and be part of a hillwalking walking club too, which got me out of town / campus at the weekends.

  141. Michael
    February 20, 2012 at 3:50 am

    I had a quick question about some specific stuff I need to do to help me work out I try to eat a big protein breakfast every morning and eat once every 3 hrs a day and I also recently looked into the Atkins diet thinking it would help me with this particular workout routine. But a problem of mine is I weigh 200lbs with about 30% body fat. I was wondering if there were any specific workouts and advice that could help me with this workout. Ive always had a belly and never had any abs but its one of my goals. I kinda have a personal one to have my body in this condition before the next movie comes out July 20th. Is this possible?

  142. MotleyHealth
    February 20, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Hi Michael. Sounds like you need to cut calories. If you are eating every 3 hours you should not also be having “a big protein breakfast”. Also, contrary to popular belief, eating every 3 hours does not help you lose weight. Bodybuilders and athletes sometimes eat more often to ensure that their muscles are receiving a steady supply of protein. Slower release proteins such as casein from eggs may be more sensible for most people. If you are not training for more than 3 hours a day I think that eating every 3 hours will do nothing but make you gain more weight. Eat 3 meals a day. Exercise for a minimum of 60 minutes a day. Do cardio as well as weight training. Get fit and build some muscle.

    If after a few months, or more, you are fitter and stronger and making some good progress, then you may want to increase your workouts and may then need to supplementation of more food. But until then, you need to eat less, not more.

  143. jquig
    February 23, 2012 at 3:03 am

    id like to say this workout although showed no muscle change made a huge difference to my strength i have a high motabloism and a very andrew garfield build but after even a couple of weeks i lifted more than the rugby captain at they gym (he was not happy) both in our late teens. i had to stop this for a while after my shoulder got pulled out of place and my foot got broken but im working to do this again however i have some changes 4 (3 sets of 8 reps final set 12) and very light cardio on my days off a 5 mile along my seafront just to lower my body fat i used to be at 4% im around 10-12% now plan to get to a healthy 6-8%.
    one question i have

    when i trained from age 15 to 18 i always had my one eat anything i like day would you say this is okay?

    thanks sorry for the essay

  144. quig
    February 23, 2012 at 3:06 am

    hi is a high carb day on sunday going to change much if i stay healthy the rest of the week and do this regime with some extra cardio?

  145. MotleyHealth
    February 23, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Hi quig, glad you found it useful. Hope that shoulder and foot recover fast – did this happen in a rugby match?

  146. MotleyHealth
    February 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    If your cardio workout balances the extra carbs you should be OK. Obviously if you eat way too much then you may gain a little.

  147. jquig
    February 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    no sparring with my friend doing MMA and a car ran over my foot was a great week :(

  148. MotleyHealth
    February 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm


  149. Josiah
    February 27, 2012 at 7:42 am


    I am 5’8 and weigh about 150, I would like to weigh about 170-80 by July 20th. I have been working out and doing fairly well however I am unable to shed 10-15 pounds of fat despite eating (mostly) healthy and several days of running every week.

    I have been in-taking a lot of protein and noticed slight muscle gain though I continue to stay around 150. Do you have any recommended arm and shoulder exercises? I will be adding many of these workouts to my training.

    Thank you for having this blog and forum it has been very helpful. Interesting to see several people setting a goal before TDKR.

  150. MotleyHealth
    February 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Josiah, if you have remained 150 pounds and gained muscle, you must have lost some fat. So you have been able to shed some of the fat. Sounds like you do need to focus on lifting more and maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of protein. If you feel that your muscle development is too slow and you are losing fat then you could supplement with some whey protein, taken after weight training workouts. As for arms and shoulders, perform the usual – shoulder presses, bench press, curls, tricep extensions, lateral raises etc. You can also add push ups. Arnold presses and kettlebell swings to hit the muscles from more angles.

  151. Josiah
    March 2, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Thank you for the input MotleyHealth. I have added these to my workout and changed things up a little bit and it seems to be going better. I did end up buying a thing of whey protein and later discovered it says “Not intended for use under the age of 18.” and I am 17, will that be an issue?

    Thank you again, this site is very appreciated.

  152. MotleyHealth
    March 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Hi Josiah, your call! I cannot advise.

  153. Rahul
    July 1, 2012 at 2:54 am

    I weigh somewhere between 166-168, I am 14 and do martial arts. I’m somewhere from 5″9-5″11 and have a BMI of 24. How many calories should I consume and also if some of the exercises feel easy then do I increase the amount and by how much?

  154. MotleyHealth
    July 1, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Hi Rahul, focus on your martial arts. If you do decide to do this plan just stick to the workout as stated here, do not just do more. Increase the weights over time if too easy. See our calorie tables for guidance on how much you should be eating.

  155. ryan
    July 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Motleyhealth – I was surprised to see that no curls or bicep focussed workout was involved in the batman training considering how massive Bales arms are. Just wondering how he wouldve gotten his arms that big. Also was wondering if the 3 sets of 8-12 reps are all with the same weight or do you do you start off with a light weight to get the feel then the middle set would be your medium weight and then the final of course would be heaviest.

  156. ryan
    July 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Another question as well. Im just wondering if maybe im doing too many different workouts for each muscle. The above routine workout focussing on the pectorals suggests only flys and bench. However I do flys, flat bench, inclined bench and declined bench all in one workout. Do you think that is too much? I always feel guilty for not working every part of the muscle but im just wondering if maybe im overworking it and possibly hurting my muscle growth in the process.

  157. MotleyHealth
    July 9, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Curls would be a sensible addition to the routine. This routine is partly designed to help bulk up, but obviously for a complete bodybuilding program all exercises / muscles need to be covered. As for your benching, do what works best for you. If your current system is resulting in good gains then carry on, if not, then consider an alternative approach. As for the weights and sets, use the same weight for the 3 sets. Log your workouts and increase (or decrease) in the next workout as needed.

  158. Mark
    July 12, 2012 at 9:33 am


    I started doing this routine this week and it’s a killer!

    I was hoping to mix this in with some more plyometric and kettlebell work. In total it’d be 5-6 days of working out to try and get myself bigger.

    What would be a good set up for the routines so that each workout would be of benefit without over working?

    Where would be the best place in this routine to add bicep and tricep workouts?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

  159. MotleyHealth
    July 12, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Probably best to do the kettlebells and plyometrics on separate days if you are going to train 6 days a week. Biceps at the end of the day 1 workout, can train a couple of times a week though. General rule is to work the larger muscle groups first and work down to the smaller ones.

  160. Mark
    July 13, 2012 at 12:03 am

    If I knock it down to 5 days, where would be best to put a kettlebell and plyometric day?
    Would you say Plyometric after “day 1″ and kettlebell after “day 2″?

  161. MotleyHealth
    July 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    That could work. You may find the kettlebells a lot harder after doing the squat jumps and lunges, but then again, it could work out well. Some kettlebell classes start with lunges and squats to get warmed up for the swings. Plyometrics could be added to day 3 as you are already doing some then – clap push-ups and lateral jumps. Each day is a combination of exercise types. Really the best way is to try different methods and see what works for you, and log what you do so you know what to change and add and when to increase weights etc.

  162. Hicham
    July 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    When i do this 3 times a week should i do it Monday Wednesday Friday or Monday Tuesday Wednesday ? And what do i do when i’m resting do i just eat ?

  163. MotleyHealth
    July 25, 2012 at 12:26 am

    It really depends Hicham. If you are doing other workouts then you fit it in amongst those. You could do it 3 days in a row if you wanted, then you may be able to do the whole lot twice a week. As for what to do on the other days – again, depends largely on what your goals are. Just eat if you want to get bigger, do cardio and eat a lean diet if you are losing fat.

  164. Hicham
    July 27, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    So are you saying I should be doing these 3 workouts twice a week and 1 day rest ?

  165. MotleyHealth
    July 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Well, it depends. If you rest well and eat well then you can do so. These are by no means big workouts. They are also just a guide. You would do well to start with this and look to compliment and adjust your training to suit your own needs. Monitor and log your own progress.

  166. Hicham
    July 27, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Ok thanks and do you think in 6months it will work im already a member in a good gym so i have the equipment ?

  167. alejandro
    July 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I’m going to start this training programme, but i’m not skinny, you know, i have fat in the abs region and the hips. So my doubt is: this routine allow me to loss weight and build up? or for weight loss i should do extra work-out?

  168. MotleyHealth
    July 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Cut total calories, get protein, do more cardio.

  169. MotleyHealth
    July 27, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Hicham, if you work hard for 6 months you will see results no matter what type of exercise routine you do. As I said – monitor and log your progress. Always strive to get stronger, fitter, faster.

  170. Sol
    August 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I have a BMI of about 17, and I’m about 6 ft 1 in. I really want to build up, but it’s going to take a while before I get any proper equipment. Do you have any suggestions, like, for some quick build up, before I get equipment?

  171. MotleyHealth
    August 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Hi Sol, work on squats and push ups. See if there is something that you can do pull ups and dips on too. These work the larger muscle groups. Eat more protein and fresh vegetables and fruits too.

  172. Ryan
    August 11, 2012 at 11:22 am

    When doing weights how heavy do you want to go should they be somewhere around 60-80% or more 60-40% also could you recommend a page for mass gaining diets and any other mass gaining workouts

  173. MotleyHealth
    August 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    The weight should be so that you can do three sets of 8-12 repetitions for each exercise. Not too light that it is easy, not too heavy that you cannot complete the sets without cheating (or collapsing). These pages may help:
    How To Use Protein Timing for Maximum Muscle Growth
    Recommended Protein Sources for Fitness and Bodybuilding

    We have not written an article specifically about bulking up, but this one gives some advice on the different types of training: How To Train for Muscular Strength, Size and Power.

    We probably need to do more on this.

  174. Andrew
    November 1, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    If I’m doing this three days a week with two days after day 1 (like Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday), should I be concerned that too much time passes before revisiting the same muscle groups? Like you seem to have chest/tricep exercises only on day 3, legs and back mostly day 1, etc.. so with seven days before coming back to that exercise (bench, squat, etc.) does that undo progress I made last time, or is a week actually a good amount for the body to rest and rebuild? Thanks.

  175. MotleyHealth
    November 1, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    If you are working your body hard, lifting to near exhaustion etc. then one week is a good rest. You will be working other muscles during the week won’t you? However, saying that, you could also do this Mon, Tue, Wed, have an active rest day on Thurs (some cardio maybe?) then repeat Fri, Sat, Sun. If you can handle that much training, manage to get enough rest and try to optimise nutrition then you may be able to double the weekly workout.

  176. Andrew
    November 2, 2012 at 2:54 am

    Yes I am planning on doing the exercises to exhaustion, so I’m glad to hear that once a week is a good way to progress. I won’t have the time to commit to more than 3 days a week. As for working other muscles during the week, I plan on building something around the compound/plyometric exercises in this article- I want to focus on full-body/compound rather than isolation, so maybe round out the routine to make sure I hit hamstrings (deadlift, etc.) and abs (pretty hard). Which day do you think would be best to add a couple things for hamstrings (day 1, with the other legs lifts?), and which of the 3 days would be best to add an ab routine? Thanks for your help so far!

  177. MotleyHealth
    November 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    You could really add abs to any day really. Maybe training abs twice in the week. Depends if you will be adding weight of just doing core exercises like crunches.

  178. Anonymous
    November 16, 2012 at 6:53 am

    Hi there. I’m an aspiring filmaker/actor who is inspired by the Batman films, and wants to make a spin-off to the Dark Knight Rises. I’m gonna be Batman. I’m also overweight and in high school. I want to look the part, and be able to do stunts. How many hours a day would it take to do this workout? I’d like to go after school. I aslo have a paper route, twice a week. So I can only do the three days once a week. I’d like to do this on Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays. So how many hours does it take?

  179. MotleyHealth
    November 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    How long is a piece of string? Build up to around 3 hours a day and you will get in shape. Not all at once though, do a cardio workout then rest / eat, then some weight training, then later in the day (evening) some callisthenics. The biggest challenge would probably be making a film and being the actor! In fact, an even bigger challenge would be getting permission from DC Comics / Time Warner to allow you to use the Batman brand, which is trademarked.

  180. Charles
    December 2, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    How many eggs and cottage cheese should I eat a day

  181. MotleyHealth
    December 3, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Depends entirely on your goals and what else you are eating really. The short answer is, as much as you need!

  182. shreyas
    December 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    how to lose my belly fat??
    im 5.9″ n weigh 63 kgs…
    im lean otherwise but am having trouble losing the belly fat(lower abs)…
    suggest required diet n exercises…thank u.

  183. MotleyHealth
    December 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Hi Shreyas, take a look at our weight loss section, there is an article on this topic that should provide all the information you require.

  184. Matt
    January 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Hey i just began doing this workout and I was wondering, if on day 2, are you suppose to do squats jumps and lunges right after you finish sprinting?

  185. MotleyHealth
    January 10, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Yes, that’s right. You can take a breather for a few minutes.

  186. Patrick
    April 12, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Hi, the Batman type body is my ultimate goal, but this routine sounds like it’s a lot of bulking. While bulking is one of my goals, I’m kind of disproportionate in that I’ve got a bit of a flabby belly, a strong upper body without much tone, and then arms and legs that are both toned and steadily bulking well. Will this routine help even me out? Or will it make me gain mass without tone and make me look less in shape?
    If so, is there another routine on the site you’d suggest?

    Thanks a lot!

  187. MotleyHealth
    April 12, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Hi Patrick, tone comes with cutting fat. Increase cardio, keep at the weights, reduce total calories to promote fat loss, increase protein to ensure muscle wastage does not occur. If you have a flabby belly then you probably also have too much fat under the skin which will destroy any chance of muscle tone. Take a look at our strength section for more ideas. It is good to mix things up a little. Metcon / HIIT is a great way to burn the fat.

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