We test and review fitness products based on an independent, multi-point methodology. If you use our links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Read our disclosures.

Superheroes have never been hotter than they are today. 

Marvel, the obvious industry frontrunner, has released more than thirty interconnected films to date, grossing nearly 30 billion dollars; that’s just the films alone! Who knows how much they’ve made on merch? Children love superhero-themed clothing and action figures, but superhero swag is very popular with adults, too.

How many people at your gym exercise in Under Armour that features Iron Man’s armor and Arc Reactor, Hulk’s shredded upper body, or Captain America’s trademark stars and stripes?

RELATED: Arm Workouts with Weights

But comic book fans don’t just want to wear their costumes. Many want to look like their favorite superheroes, whether they’re looking to nail the lean physique of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, the massive biceps of Chris Hemsworth’s Thor, or the shredded figure of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine.

RELATED: Chris Hemsworth Workout Routine

That’s why GGR teamed up with Mike Romaine from Superhero Jacked to present you some of the best superhero workouts available. We’re providing a blueprint that will help you get results and finally achieve your dream physique, just like the superheroes on the silver screen!

Medical disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for medical advice. For health advice, contact a licensed healthcare provider.

comic-book-covers
via shutterstock

Loki Workout

Chris Hemsworth’s superhuman size seems to eclipse Tom Hiddleston in the Thor films, but Loki still is in excellent shape despite lacking his big brother’s brawn. Loki’s not known for his physical formidability, preferring to use cunning and duplicity to maintain the upper hand, but he does possess “superhuman physical traits,” according to comic book lore.

So, if you want to look lean and mean like the God of Mischief, here’s the routine for you.

ExerciseSetsReps
Back Squats2 to 33 to 5
Weighted Dips3 to 58 to 12
Hanging Leg Raises3 to 512 to 15
Chin-Ups3 to 58 to 12
Kettlebell Swings3 to 58 to 12
Lunges3 to 58 to 12
Push-Ups3To Failure
Plank330 to 90 seconds

The Loki workout incorporates some strength training using free weights, namely the back squat but predominantly relies on bodyweight-based exercises. 

According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research1, a calisthenic-focused workout routine is effective for reducing body fat and increasing lean muscle mass, which is ideal if your goal is to look like Loki.

Unfortunately, the workout won’t bestow his trademark intellect upon you, so you’ll have to train that separately!

Thor Workout

Everyone knows that Captain America leads the Avengers, but not everyone knows that the title of “Strongest Avenger” goes to none other than the God of Thunder, Thor. Comic book lore establishes that fact, but the massive muscles of Chris Hemsworth in the Marvel movies are enough to lift the hammer and drive that point home hard!

“If your goal is to be as strong as Thor,” says Kate Meier, CPT, USA Weightlifting L1 Coach, and GGR Head of Content, “performing a low number of reps with heavy weights works best.”

Man doing bent-over barbell rows

After all, studies show2 that strength gains are greatest when lifting 80% of your one-rep max or more for between two and five reps. 

Keeping this in mind, here’s the workout that’ll render you worthy of wielding Mjolnir.

ExerciseSetsReps
Barbell Bent-Over Row2 to 32 to 5
Barbell Bench Press2 to 32 to 5
Dumbbell Single-Arm Row3 to 58 to 12
Barbell Biceps Curl3 to 58 to 12
Kettlebell Swings3 to 515 to 20
One-Arm Kettlebell Snatch3 to 515 to 20
Kettlebell Goblet Squats3 to 515 to 20
Turkish Get Up35

“Perform your reps slowly and with control during the barbell and dumbbell portion of the workout,” says Kate, “resting as needed. For the kettlebell portion, cycle through each exercise consecutively, similar to a CrossFit WOD, and take minimal rest.”

RELATED: 100+ CrossFit WODs For Hypertrophy

The kettlebell strength workout is meant to be performed with high intensity, but the last movement, the Turkish Get Up, is a slow, deliberate movement that should never be rushed. For that reason, save it for last, and take your time to make each rep perfect.

Spiderman Workout

Your favorite superheroes are superhuman beings, but that doesn’t mean we can’t equate them to actual athletes who have similar builds. Loki most resembles a swimmer, Thor a linebacker, but what about your friendly neighborhood Spiderman?

Spidey looks and fights like a gymnast, combining superior upper body strength with agility and lightning-quick reflexes, thanks to his patented Spidey-Sense. 

So, the Spidey workout will be calisthenic-heavy, with an approach used by gymnasts.

ExerciseSetsReps
Air Squats3 to 520 to 30
Mountain Climbers3 to 520 to 30
Burpees3 to 58 to 12
Handstand Push-ups3 to 58 to 12
Superman Holds330 to 60 seconds
Glute Bridges3 to 520 to 30
Lunges3 to 520 to 30
Pull-ups3To Failure

Unfortunately, the workout won’t help you with web-slinging or scaling walls (you’ll need a radioactive spider for that) but supplementing the workout routine with rock climbing and bouldering may help in that department!

Captain America Workout

Captain America is the team’s fearless leader and moral compass. He’s not as smart as Tony Stark or Bruce Banner, as strong as Hulk or Thor, or as resourceful as Black Widow, but the Super-Soldier Serum combined with his integrity, idealism, and unwavering dedication to justice make him a force to be reckoned all the same.

The only thing more iconic than Cap’s patriotic garb is his shield, and we fitness folk can’t help but notice how much it resembles your run-of-the-mill weight plate.

PRx Crumb Rubber Bumper Plates

So, we’re going to think outside the box and beyond the barbell to create a Captain America workout fit for the First Avenger.

ExerciseSetsReps
Plate Overhead Press3 to 58 to 12
Plate “Bus Drivers”3 to 58 to 12
Plate Biceps Curls3 to 58 to 12
Standing Plate Chop3 to 58 to 12
Upright Rows3 to 58 to 12
Russian Twists3 to 520 to 30
Farmer’s Carry3 to 530 to 60 seconds

You don’t have to default to the 45-pound plate if it’s too heavy to move through each exercise. Using a moderate weight for 8 to 12 reps is ideal for hypertrophy, according to various studies3, , some as recent as 2021, so move through the workout with moderate loading, a moderate rep scheme, and minimal rest for the best results.

RELATED: Best Weight Plates For 2023

Wolverine Workout

Before the MCU was a thing, Hugh Jackman portrayed the iconic animalistic X-Man mutant known as Wolverine, and the fans were smitten with the Aussie actor’s authentic portrayal of the fan favorite.

So, how would we train like Wolverine himself?

“The Wolverine workout should help you build muscle and strength without sacrificing athleticism,” says Kate, “because Wolverine is as quick as he is powerful. That’s why our Wolverine workout plan mixes compound lifts with high-intensity exercises to achieve that.”

ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift2 to 32 to 5
Burpees3 to 58 to 12
Barbell Bent-Over Row2 to 32 to 5
Push-ups3 to 58 to 12
Sprints3 to 510 to 20 seconds
Russian Twists3 to 520 to 30
Shoulder Taps3 to 520 to 30

“Make sure your sprints are actual sprints,” says Kate. “It’s not steady-state cardio. For 10 to 20 seconds, run as hard as you can, and rest for a good minute before the next round.”

Hulk Workout

The Incredible Hulk has the size and strength that makes bodybuilding champs look puny by comparison. Bruce Banner has heavy doses of gamma radiation to thank for his giant green physique, but we’ll have to do things the old-fashioned way.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press 2023-06-02 at 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press3 to 52 to 5
Dumbbell Bench Press / Dumbbell Chest Fly3 to 5 Supersets8 to 12
Box Jumps2 to 38 to 12
Back Squat3 to 52 to 5
Leg Press / Lunges3 to 5 Supersets8 to 12
Military Press3 to 52 to 5
Deadlift3 to 52 to 5

“Using superset workouts is a way to work antagonistic muscle pairs,” says Kate, “ so, while you’re working one muscle group, the other one is recovering for the next round. This is one of the best ways to maximize your results in the least amount of time.”

Oh, and make sure you go heavy on these. The Hulk is massive, so a heavy weightlifting training program featuring compound lifts and progressive overloading will be the best way for you to reach your goals on this one.

RELATED: Complete Guide to Compound Exercises

Deadpool Workout

Deadpool was a fairly obscure Marvel antihero before Ryan Reynolds portrayed the fast-talking, fourth-wall-breaking fan favorite, and we’re talking about Reynolds’ Deadpool portrayal of the character, not X-Men Origins: Wolverine version. 

Hopefully, the upcoming film that plans to reunite the dynamic duo of Jackman and Reynolds will fully expunge the bland cinematic flop that was Origins from our memories, but time will tell.

Wade Wilson has a super serum to thank for his great strength and regenerative abilities, but we’ll be afforded no such luxury. If we’re looking to get that chiseled six-pack Reynolds is sporting in the Deadpool films, we’ll need to combine weight training, cardio, and some direct ab training as well.

Here’s the workout that’ll help get you into Deadpool shape.

ExerciseSetsReps
Mile Run11
Bench Press3 to 53 to 5
Overhead Press3 to 53 to 5
Mile Run11
Chin-Ups / Triceps Dips3 to 5 Supersets8 to 12
Air Squats / Lunges3 to 5 Supersets8 to 12
Deadlift3 to 53 to 5
Russian Twists3 to 520 to 30
Planks3 to 530 to 60 seconds

“The Deadpool workout provides more cardio stimulus than many of your other bulk-based heroes,” says Kate. “This comes with some great cardiovascular benefits, including increased stamina and muscular endurance.”

RELATED: Cardiovascular Exercises

You’ll need the extra breath when throwing out one-liners to your enemies the way Deadpool does, but please be advised. This workout will not make you as funny as Ryan Reynolds.

Hercules Workout

Wait a minute—isn’t Hercules considered a Disney hero? Sure, but comic book connoisseurs are well-acquainted with the demigod hero based on Greek mythology.

What all these iterations of Hercules share in common is a massive upper body and incredible strength that far surpasses that of a mere mortal. After all, he’s the son of Zeus.

“For the Hercules workout, we’re primarily concerned with upper-body exercises since he’s most known for his frame,” says Kate. “Lower-body exercises are very important, too, but those should be left for another training day.

bench press hammer strength bench

Here’s the Hercules upper-body blaster workout.

ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift3 to 52 to 5
Lat Pulldown3 to 58 to 12
Dumbbell Row3 to 58 to 12
Dumbbell Hammer Curl3 to 58 to 12
Front / Lateral Raise3 to 5 Supersets8 to 12
Bench Press3 to 52 to 5
Military Press3 to 52 to 5
Skull Crushers3 to 58 to 12
Cable Chest Fly3 to 58 to 12

Mockingbird Workout

There are plenty of strong female heroes in the comic book universe, from the legendary Wonder Woman to the newly-minted fan favorite Black Widow. Mockingbird is among the more obscure and highly-underrated female heroes.

Mockingbird’s powers are very similar to Cap’s, including super strength, speed, espionage abilities, and proficiency in armed combat and hand-to-hand martial arts.

To emulate a hero who seemingly does it all, Kate’s recommendation is an all-purpose training approach complete with functional lifts, calisthenics, and cardio.

ExerciseSetsReps
Back Squat3 to 52 to 5
Mile Run11
Pull-ups3 to 58 to 12
Hanging Leg Raises3 to 58 to 12
Triceps Dips3 to 58 to 12
Air Squats3 to 58 to 12
Dumbbell Bench Press3 to 58 to 12
Mile Run11
Crunches3 to 58 to 12

Superhero Workout: Final Thoughts 

It’s not enough for some of us to simply wear our favorite hero’s logo on our T-shirt. We want the real deal. We want to look like them, live like them, and tap into what makes each one of them special.

But if we’re going to enjoy the same superior fitness of our favorite comic book superheroes, we need to train like them too.

Work some of our superhero workouts into your training program, and you’ll be looking and feeling like nothing less than super in due time!

Superhero Workout: FAQs

What is the superhero physique diet?

Just like you’ll tweak your workout depending on which superhero you’re most interested in resembling, your diet will also vary.

Generally speaking, aim to eat an appropriate amount of calories and a combination of lean proteins, healthy fats, simple carbs, and vegetables. 

Some supplements, like the best whey protein, BCAAs, and a daily multivitamin, could help, too.

RELATED: Taking Protein After A Workout: Benefits, Timing, And Advice From A Dietitian

How to get ripped like a superhero?

Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, and more have gone shirtless in Marvel movies to showcase their impressive physiques, leaving many fans worldwide wondering what they did to get so ripped.

Workout plans like the ones we put together above are integral for building lean muscle mass, but none of that muscle will matter if your body fat percentage is too high.

To get ripped like your favorite heroes, you’ll need to combine a comprehensive workout plan with a well-rounded diet. Consult a coach, personal trainer, or certified nutritionist for more information, including a personalized plan to set you up for success.

How many calories did Chris Evans eat?

Jaws dropped when Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers emerged from the chamber in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger to reveal his virtually flawless physique.

Evans allegedly ate 3,000 calories daily to achieve this muscular build, combining lean proteins, healthy fats, fewer carbs, and plenty of vegetables.

How to get a body like Hulk?

The Incredible Hulk stands at a gargantuan eight feet tall, weighs nearly a metric ton, and has an iconic green complexion that no healthy human should have, so it’s safe to say that most of us will never have a body like Hulk.

So, you’ll probably never look like the Hulk from the comics or Mark Ruffalo’s CG Hulk, but you might resemble Lou Ferrigno’s version from the 1970s by training hard and eating like a bodybuilder.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

References

1. Cuddy JS, Slivka DR, Hailes WS, Ruby BC. Factors of trainability and predictability associated with military physical fitness test success. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(12):3486-3494. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e318217675f

2. Campos GE, Luecke TJ, Wendeln HK, et al. Muscular adaptations in response to three different resistance-training regimens: specificity of repetition maximum training zones. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2002;88(1-2):50-60. doi:10.1007/s00421-002-0681-6
3. Schoenfeld BJ, Grgic J, Van Every DW, Plotkin DL. Loading Recommendations for Muscle Strength, Hypertrophy, and Local Endurance: A Re-Examination of the Repetition Continuum. Sports (Basel). 2021;9(2):32. Published 2021 Feb 22. doi:10.3390/sports9020032

Further reading

Titan TITAN Series Adjustable Bench Review (2024): Major Stability at a Budget Price Cover Image
Titan TITAN Series Adjustable Bench Review (2024): Major Stability at a Budget Price

Has Titan just released a premium adjustable bench with a killer value? Read more in our Titan TITAN Series Adjustable Bench review. Read more

No Gimmicks Here: 10 Simple Exercises For Weight Lifting at Home Cover Image
No Gimmicks Here: 10 Simple Exercises For Weight Lifting at Home

Superheroes have never been hotter than they are today. Marvel, the obvious industry frontrunner, has released more than thirty interconnected films to date, grossing nearly 30 billion dollars; that’s just the films alone! Who knows how much they’ve made on merch? Children love superhero-themed clothing and action figures, but superhero swag is very popular with adults, too.How many people at your gym exercise in Under Armour that features Iron Man’s armor and Arc Reactor,  » Read more about: Superhero Workouts: Build a Superhero Physique and Mindset   » Read more

Conquer the Incline: The Ultimate Guide to Treadmill Hill Workouts Cover Image
Conquer the Incline: The Ultimate Guide to Treadmill Hill Workouts

Level up your cardio routine with treadmill hill workouts. Learn why and how to make incline training a key component of your fitness routine from an expert. Read more

The Barbell Row: How to Do It and Why You Should Do Them Every Week Cover Image
The Barbell Row: How to Do It and Why You Should Do Them Every Week

Follow our easy guide on how to do a barbell row, plus reasons why you should incorporate this exercise into your routine. Read more