Henry Cavill's Superman Diet & Workout Routine

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: July 1, 2024
FACT CHECKED by James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
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Henry Cavill is a British actor known for his role as Superman in quite a few movies. What made him perfect for this role was his almost superhuman physique.

Having several clients and readers who are fans of Cavill, I decided to explore his workout and diet routine.

After spending around four weeks looking through his interviews, social media posts, and YouTube videos, I pieced together his Superman workout and diet routine.

Let’s dive right into it.

Quick Summary

  • Cavill has two workout plans: a CrossFit training routine and a weight-training routine.
  • Cavill’s diet is high in protein (with chicken, steak, and protein supplements) and very low in carbs (like sweet potatoes and rice).
  • He takes supplements like protein powder, rosemary water, and pre-workout.
  • Cavill's training and diet are role-based, tailored specifically for his movie roles to maintain an ideal physique.

Henry Cavill’s Stats

  • Age: May 5, 1983 (40 years old)
  • Height: 6’1” (185.4 cm)
  • Weight: 198 lbs (90 kg)
  • Chest: 46 in (116.8 cm)
  • Waist: 32 in (81.3 cm)
  • Arms: 18 in (45.7 cm)
  • Hips: 33 in (83.8 cm)
  • Thighs: 22 in. (55.8 cm)

Henry Cavill’s Workout Plan

Henry Cavill working out in a gym

While Cavill hasn’t revealed all the nitty-gritty behind his workout, we’ve put together a good estimation of his training week based on his social media posts.

He has two workout plans—a CrossFit routine and a weight-training routine—which he picks based on what movie he’s training for.

I. Henry Cavill’s CrossFit Training

Cavill’s CrossFit workout plan is five days of training and one day of rest.

Monday: Powerlifting Session

Cavill dedicates Mondays to heavy compound movements to build muscle mass.

Here’s a quick breakdown of his Monday workout routine:

  • Barbell back squat: 5 sets x 5–8 reps
  • Bench press: 5 sets x 5–8 reps
  • Deadlifts: 5 sets x 5–8 rep

Tuesday: Power Cardio

Close up of a man doing cardio

After a day of heavy lifting, Cavill follows up with a day of interval sprints to condition his muscles.

Cavill’s power cardio routine consists of 10 rounds of 50-yard sprints with 60 seconds of rest between each round.

So, it looks like this:

  • First round: 50-yard sprint
  • Rest: 60 seconds
  • Repeat: 9 more rounds

While some might argue that doing a power cardio session directly after strength training could be more beneficial, research shows that doing so might decrease your performance during the cardio session [1].

So Cavill has taken the smarter route by dedicating an entire day to pure cardio.

Wednesday: Rest

After two days of intense training, Cavill took a breather on Wednesday to recuperate his muscles.

However, he still does his morning cardio routine to prevent strength loss, increase protein synthesis, and enhance hypertrophy [2].

Related Articles:

Thursday: Back & Legs

Close of of man working out his legs

On Thursday, Cavill combined back and compound leg movements. He keeps things simple with three exercises.

Instead of going heavy, he uses only 50 lbs (~23 kg) and combines all three exercises into one superset.

Here’s what one superset looks like:

  • Dumbbell bent-over row: 7 reps
  • Dumbbell power clean: 7 reps
  • Dumbbell push press: 7 reps

He repeats this superset for as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes.

Given that Cavill plays a lot of fight scenes, these exercises help him develop the muscular endurance needed to pull them off.

Friday: Full-Body Workout

On Fridays, Cavill does a full-body workout with kettlebell swings and sprints.

Here’s what it looks like:

  • Kettlebell swings: 2 sets x AMRAP in 60 seconds
  • 60-yard sprint: 2 sets

Saturday:

“You can have the most extraordinary abs in the world, but if you’re not lean enough, you can’t see them. But to make particularly aesthetic abs or a strong core, then yes, planks have worked for me.”

- Henry Cavill, American Actor

II. Superman Weight-Training

Close of of a man lifting weights

When getting ready for his Superman role, Cavill hits every muscle group with the following 4-day lifting routine:

Monday: Upper-Body Exercises

  • Incline dumbbell press: 4 sets x 5–8 reps
  • Flat dumbbell press: 4 sets x 5–8 reps
  • Weighted pull-ups: 4 sets x 5 reps
  • Dumbbell/barbell row: 4 sets x 5–8 reps

Tuesday: Lower-Body Exercises

  • Deadlift: 5 sets x 5 reps
  • Front squat: 5 sets x 6–8 reps
  • Front lunges: 4 sets x 8 reps (per side)
  • Calf raises: 5 sets x 12–15 reps

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Chest & Back

Muscular man exercising in a gym
  • Incline dumbbell press: 4 sets x 8–12 reps
  • Cable crossover: 4 sets x 10–12 reps
  • Weighted chin-ups: 4 sets x 8–10 reps
  • Seated cable row: 4 sets x 10–12 reps

Friday: Arms & Shoulders

  • Seated dumbbell press: 5 sets x 8–10 reps
  • Side lateral raises: 5 sets x 10–12 reps
  • Front lateral raises: 5 sets x 10–12 reps
  • Preacher curls: 6 sets x 10–12 reps
  • Dumbbell tricep extensions: 6 sets x 10–12 reps

Saturday & Sunday: Rest

youtube

Workout Principles

Close up of gym equipment

Based on Henry Cavill’s exercise routines and a few interviews, we’ve fleshed out four of his primary workout principles.

These include:

  • 6-day weight-training: Cavill hit all muscle groups throughout the week with six workout days.
  • Role-based training: Cavill doesn’t stick to one workout routine. He trains based on his movie roles. For example, if he has to play Superman, he lifts heavy.
  • Daily fasted cardio: Cavill begins every morning with fasted cardio. While there’s no evidence showing that doing this burns more calories, it’s still a great way to start off the day [3].
  • Eight hours of sleep: Cavill aims for 6–8 hours of sleep every night to optimize his recovery [4].

Henry Cavill’s Diet Plan

Balanced healthy meal

In an interview, Cavill said he normally consumes over 5,000 calories a day to maintain his muscle mass. Building lean muscle is anything but easy, so both workout and diet need to be on point.

Here’s an outline of his diet based on several interviews, social media posts, and some celebrity gossip:

  • Breakfast: 5 egg whites and 2 yolks, 1 steak, an oatmeal protein shake (one and a half scoops of protein powder), and 1 glass of rosemary water.
  • Snack #1: Protein shake (56g of protein), 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 2 cups grapes, 3 tbsp. barley, 1 oz. sunflower seeds.
  • Pre-workout lunch: Jasmine rice with chicken curry, 1 apple.
  • Post-workout snack: Protein shake with coconut milk, peanut butter, maltodextrin, and whey protein.
  • Second lunch: Chicken breast with curry sauce, roasted potatoes, or sweet potatoes.
  • Snack #2: Protein shake (49 g of protein), 1.5 cups yogurt, 1.5 tbsp barley, 3 tbsp slivered almonds, 1 tsp olive, flax, hemp, or salmon oils, 2 tangerines.
  • Dinner: Bison steak, brown rice pasta, plain brown rice, or white rice.
  • Snack #3: Protein shake (with greens, whey protein, and water).

Diet Principles

Close up of a pink smoothie

While Cavill hasn’t strictly stated any diet principles, here’s what we got from his interviews, social media posts, and videos:

  • High protein intake: Besides eating protein-dense meals, Cavill consumed several protein shakes throughout the day.
  • Cheat days: Cavill would scarf down a deep-dish pizza on his cheat day. While this may seem counterintuitive, research shows that the occasional snack could lead to faster weight loss [5].
  • Role-based diet: Cavill eats based on his movie roles. So, he’ll consume over 5,000 calories when training to build muscle and far fewer calories when preparing for Superman roles so he can look leaner.

Does Cavill Take Supplements?

Yes, Cavill takes supplements. His primary supplement is whey protein, which he takes several times a day.

His other supplements include the following:

  • Pre-workout
  • Fat burners
  • BCAAs
  • Rosemary water

Choosing the best whey protein for your needs can make or break your success, so make sure you opt for the right one.

FAQs

How Many Hours a Day Does Henry Cavill Work Out?

Henry Cavill works out for 2.5 hours a day, 4–5 days a week. However, he only trains like this when preparing for a superhero role.

How Many Calories Did Henry Cavill Eat?

Henry Cavill eats anywhere from 1,500 calories to 5,000 calories. When training for Man of Steel, he ate only 1,500 calories a day for six weeks to get lean.

Why Does Henry Cavill Do Fasted Cardio?

Henry Cavill does fasted cardio because he may believe it leads to higher fat oxidation and more weight loss.

How Much Muscle Did Henry Cavill Gain?

Henry Cavill gained 18 pounds of muscle. He did this in preparation for his role as Superman.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4327368/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23213030/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4242477/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31469710/
  5. https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/nutrition/the-skinny-on-cheat-days
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About The Author

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC is an ex-National Soccer player turned MMA and Kickboxing champion, with ACE CPT and PN1-NC certifications. His advice is rooted in education and experience, ensuring that readers receive scientific and battle-tested insights. His mission is to empower his clients and readers to realize their potential and become the best versions of themselves.
Learn more about our editorial policy
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer & Senior Coach
James Cunningham, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Sport & Exercise Science from University of Hertfordshire. He's a Health & Performance Coach from London that brings a unique blend of academic knowledge of health supplements and practical exercise experience to the table for his readers.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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