We all know what it takes to be a superhero – but what does it take to play one? As the world gears up for the release of the much-awaited ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ this month, let’s not forget the effort that went behind the scenes into making Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, the lead actors, ready for the part and look the way they do.

Muscle & Fitness magazine did an exclusive story for their March issue that takes a closer look at the exercise regimes followed by the two actors and their respective trainers. Affleck’s trainer, Walter Norton Jr has been his coach even for films like ‘The Town’ and ‘Argo’. But it was fairly apparent that playing Batman, one of Hollywood’s most elite superheroes, was going to require a much more advanced level of training. For one, director Zack Snyder was thinking big.

“After all, if Batman (a human being with no actual superpowers) was going to stand a chance against an alien who can fly, freeze stuff, and turn back time, he was going to need major muscle. Like, comic-book muscle,” wrote Shawn Donnelly in the exclusive feature.

To create a Batman that looked formidable enough, you can bet there’s plenty of weight training involved, and a lot of bulking up. “You have to be in the weight rооm dаy аftеr dаy аftеr dаy, so it сеrtаinly was а рrосеss,” said Norton. The duo worked six days a week for durations ranging from 15 mins to 2 ½ hours daily. “He аddеd а lоt оf wеight tо his glutеs аnd his lеgs thаt hе hаdn’t hаd bеfоrе. His саlvеs gоt а lоt biggеr. Сеrtаinly hе’s gоt а grеаt frаmе,” said Batman’s trainer about him. You can check out Affleck’s weekly workout schedule here.

For the training session that began in the summer of 2013, Affleck eventually worked himself to “a formidable 228 pounds, with a mere 7.9% body fat.” Celebrity nutritionist Rehan Jalali likewise ensured that the work wouldn’t go to waste. Affleck’s daily diet looked like this: egg whites and oatmeal in the morning; salad, double protein, and vegetables at lunch; fish or chicken at dinner with brussels sprouts, cauliflower, or broccoli.

Norton noted that it was Affleck’s discipline to his training that ultimately ensured results. “It’s funny, people always talk about how it’s easy for celebrities to get in shape because they have a support team,” he told Muscle & Fitness. “But the work can be done only by you. Nobody else can do it for you.

Even as Affleck went the extra mile for his first appearance as the Caped Crusader, Henry Cavill had already made the Superman role his own in ‘Man of Steel’. But as we will see in the next installment of this series, he made sure he had all the right training to counter Affleck’s fit Batman.

Main image: Ben Affleck as Batman / Warner Bros

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