Christian Bale definitely did a great job for the success of the revamped Batman movie series. Did you know that before he got the Bruce Wayne role, he was once set aside for the sidekick role of Robin (that was given to Chris O’Donnell) for Clooney’s Batman stint? With the latest and “final” appearance of Christian Bale as the Dark Knight, he continues to immortalize the “Caped Hero of Gotham City” on the movie screen not only with his acting prowess, but also his batman-like physique. What did he do to get muscular for the role? Aside from checking out our site and hanging out on our Facebook page, of course.

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What Was Christian Bale’s Workout for the Role of Batman?

It wasn’t easy for Christian Bale to take on the role with the weight he had for the movie “The Machinist”. After filming the movie, where he dropped 60 pounds, he had to gain weight for his official Bruce Wayne role. Weight gain and muscle routines were all included in the official Christian Bale Workout and Diet for the movie Batman. Here are some of the exercises included in his weight and muscle gain routine.

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“The Dark Knight” was one of the most anticipated movies in film history when it came out in the summer of 2008. Part of the reason was one of the lead actors, Heath Ledger, passed away while the movie was still filming. Ledger played the role of “The Joker” and was the enemy of main actor, Christian Bale, who played “Batman.” “The Dark Knight” went on to make over $158 million in the opening weekend and has the fourth-highest domestic gross in movie history.

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Bale has led the most recent Batman franchise, playing the role in all three of the movies including “The Dark Knight,” the second installment. The Welsh-born actor has appeared in other films such as “The Machinist,” “The Fighter” and “American Hustle.” For his role as Batman, he needed to have an impressive physique to portray a superhero. Batman doesn’t use guns and mainly focuses on using his own strength and fighting skills.  Bale began his physical transformation for the first installment, “Batman Begins.” His transformation was large and that’s an understatement. Bale had just finished filming “The Machinist” where he weighed a sickly 124 pounds.

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For “Batman Begins,” he gained nearly 60 pounds in a six-week period to beef up and play the role of Gotham City’s greatest resident. To play “The Dark Knight” his weightlifting program was vigorous and involved seven days of training every week. That strength training regimen paid off as Batman was as muscular and chiseled as possible and defeated his enemies, regaining control of Gotham City.

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The Dark Knight Workout

batman christian baleBale’s training program, courtesy of Bodybuilding.com, was extensive and his daily sessions sometimes lasted up to two hours, including cardio. He followed a split-body workout plan that targeted each major muscle group once per week. Following each workout, Bale performed cardio for 30 minutes. Weight lifting took place on a Monday to Friday schedule and the two weekend days served as just 30-minute cardio sessions. So how did Bale develop a chiseled physique?

He emphasized a few different weightlifting techniques including the use of supersets and drop sets. His regimen focused on a high-volume approach and performing exercises until failure.

Note:  Exercises are numbered in order they should be performed. If the exercise has just a number (e.g. 1), perform it normally. If there is a number followed by a letter (e.g. 3A/3B), that indicates performing a superset. If there is a number, letter and asterisk (e.g. 3C*), perform a drop set.

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Monday – Chest/Triceps

1:  Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown – 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12 reps

2:  Barbell Bench Press – Medium Grip – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

3A:  Incline Dumbbell Flyes – 2 sets until failure

3B:  Pushups – 2 sets until failure

3C*: Cable Crossover – 1 set until failure

4:  Smith Machine Close-Grip Bench Press – 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12 reps

5:  Bench Dips – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

6A:  Cable Overhead Triceps Extension – 2 sets until failure

6B:  Triceps Pushdown – Rope Attachment – 2 sets until failure

6C*:  Lying Triceps Press – 1 set until failure

Perform 30 minutes of cardio following weightlifting.

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Tuesday – Biceps

1:  Barbell Curl – 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12 reps

2:  Barbell Bench Press – Medium Grip – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

3A:  Concentration Curls – 2 sets until failure

3B:  Hammer Curls – 2 sets until failure

3C*:  Standing Biceps Cable Curl – 1 set until failure

4A*:  Cable Crunch – 3 sets of 10-20 reps

4B*:  Crunches – 3 sets of 10-20 reps

4C*:  Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise – 3 sets of 10-20 reps

Perform the final three core exercises as drop sets and do them without rest. Following each round, repeat after resting one minute. Perform 30 minutes of cardio following weightlifting.

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Wednesday – Quads/Hamstrings

1:  Barbell Squat – 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12 reps

2:  Dumbbell Lunges – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

3A:  Leg Extensions – 2 sets until failure

3B:  Dumbbell Squat – 2 sets until failure

3C*:  Leg Extensions – 1 set until failure

4:  Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift – 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12 reps

5:  Lying Leg Curls – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

6A:  Hyperextensions – 2 sets until failure

6B:  Superman – 2 sets until failure

6C*:  Lying Leg Curls – 1 set until failure

Perform 30 minutes of cardio following weightlifting.

 

Thursday – Lats/MidBack

1:  Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown – 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12 reps

2:  V-Bar Pulldown – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

3A:  Bent-Arm Barbell Pullover – 2 sets until failure

3B:  Straight-Arm Pulldown – 2 sets until failure

3C*:  One-Arm Dumbbell Row – 1 set until failure

4:  Bent Over Barbell Row – 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12 reps

5:  Seated Cable Rows – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

6A:  T-Bar Row w/Handle – 2 sets until failure

6B:  Seated Cable Rows – 2 sets until failure

6C*:  Bent Over Barbell Row – 1 set until failure

Perform 30 minutes of cardio following weightlifting.

 

Friday – Shoulders

1:  Seated Barbell Military Press – 4 sets of 6, 8, 10, 12 reps

2:  Side Lateral Raise – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

3A:  Reverse Flyes – 2 sets until failure

3B:  Side Lateral Raise – 2 sets until failure

3C*:  Upright Barbell Row – 1 set until failure

4A*:  Cable Crunch – 3 sets of 10-20 reps

4B*:  Crunches – 3 sets of 10-20 reps

4C*:  Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise – 3 sets of 10-20 reps

Perform the final three core exercises as drop sets and do them without rest. Following each round, repeat after resting one minute. Perform 30 minutes of cardio following weightlifting as well.

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Saturday and Sunday

Perform 30 minutes of cardio each day.

Not many are cut out to do this workout. It is physically-taxing, requires a great deal of motivation and discipline as well as a determination to push through barriers. Bale definitely felt soreness on some days following this rigorous training program but kept on powering through. And that’s why he is Batman. Are you ready to work out like “The Caped Crusader?”

A hero is defined by his enemies

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A legend is defined by his friends

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