Superheroes and Superstrength: How You Can Get as Buff as Those Guys in the Movies

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It might be hard to get motivated to get off the couch and head to the gym to try to add some muscle (or get ripped) if you don’t have the lead role in an action movie, but if you can summon up the grit to get started, you may be able to build a body that any superhero can be proud of. And if you’re looking for some techniques that the superstars use to get buff, here are some great ideas to get you started:

It might be hard to get motivated to get off the couch and head to the gym to try to add some muscle (or get ripped) if you don’t have the lead role in an action movie, but if you can summon up the grit to get started, you may be able to build a body that any superhero can be proud of. And if you’re looking for some techniques that the superstars use to get buff, here are some great ideas to get you started:

The 300 Workout:

The actors of the hit movie 300 used this method to bulk up their muscles and get that hard Spartan look. The routine requires 300 reps of a variety of exercises in order to not only build muscle, increase muscular endurance, but to also quickly cut body fat. According to Men’s Health, the 300 workout includes high reps of pullups (50 total), barbell deadlifts (50), pushups (50), box jumps (50), floor wipers (50), and single-arm clean-and-press with a kettlebell (50). And that’s just the beginner’s version of the routine, with the intermediate version adding weight and a couple of variations on the exercises. Sounds pretty simple, right? But we forgot to mention that you don’t get any rest between any of these exercises, which will tax your body like nothing else. Here’s a little taste:

The Superhero Workout:

In honor of the superheroes on the big screen, Men’s Fitness put together this workout, which claims to be able to “hulk up” your chest and shoulders, and includes lifts and drills for pumping up your forearms like Wolverine, getting fast like the Flash, and increasing your agility like Spider-Man. The workout includes gymnastics flys (on rings), barbell hang clean and presses, plate-pinch curls, reverse curls with a thick barbell, hammer curls, pistol squats, hill sprints, box jumps, shuttle running, and some slalom rope skipping. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it might help build a comic book worthy set of guns.

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Hardcore Calisthenics:

No, this isn’t anything like the wimpy calisthenics from your high school gym class, but it will also build muscle like nothing in your gym class could. It’s the perfect workout for those without a gym membership or home equipment, and as long as you have access to a park with a jungle gym, you can get your groove on by building muscle and cutting fat while those little kids chase each other around. Here’s a little taste, from Calisthenics Kingz:

If you’re looking for more of an entry-level routine, here’s Hannibal for King of Barstarzz to get you started:

P90X:

If you haven’t heard of P90X or Beachbody yet, you haven’t been watching enough TV… The P90X workout is the brainchild of the fitness trainer Tony Horton, and consists of 12 different workouts using targeted training for developing muscle and “supercharging” your metabolism, along with a nutrition plan to help support your body’s transformation. The system claims to be able to radically change the way you look and feel in just 90 days, and although P90X is a system you have to purchase, it does come with a 90-day money back guarantee, so you aren’t stuck with something that doesn’t work for you.

Kettlebells:

They look like iron bowling balls with a handle, and were formerly only seen in the hands of old-timey strongmen and Russian gyms, but the kettlebell is making a comeback in the fitness world. One of the top instructors is Pavel Tsatsouline, who is known as the guy who brought kettlebells back to popularity, and his organization has been turning out certified Russian Kettlebell instructors to help train the masses. Kettlebells combine full-body movement, strength, balance, and cardio work, and while they may look a little dangerous, if you take on this type of routine, you’ll look more than little bit dangerous yourself.

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Speed Rope:

A good speed rope workout doesn’t take a whole lot of space, equipment, or time, and it can take your workouts to a whole new level. Speed rope workouts can build agility, speed, and strength, and when done correctly, can make you look like you stepped off the set of Rocky. One of the best instructors around is Ross Enamait, who shows you how it’s done here:

The above choices of workout methods just go to show that you don’t have to join a gym and pump iron to get buff (although that works, too), but that you can also choose a type of exercise that is not only fun, but that works for you. [Image: JD Hancock]

The above choices of workout methods just go to show that you don’t have to join a gym and pump iron to get buff (although that works, too), but that you can also choose a type of exercise that is not only fun, but that works for you. [Image: JD Hancock]

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