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Get In Superhero Shape: Get Batman's Endless Stamina And Spider-Man's Agility

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Get Batman's endless stamina

Being a billionaire is not a superpower. If that was all it took, you’d see a lot more oil magnates wearing capes and beating up carjackers. Bruce Wayne’s real strength comes from his years of martial arts training abroad, getting beaten up by the League of Shadows’ elite cadre of ninjas. In Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, his fighting techniques are based on keysi, a self-defence style designed for taking on multiple opponents.

Its signature technique is the pensador or ‘thinking man’ position – holding your hands to your temples so you can throw elbows while protecting your own head. Not surprisingly, keysi emphasises being in fight-winning cardiovascular shape. Try punch bag intervals – 20 seconds of punching, then ten seconds’ rest, repeated for eight rounds

Get Spider-Man's agility

Your friendly neighbourhood web-slinger isn’t the most physically imposing of superheroes, but Spider-Man’s signature style of fighting meant Andrew Garfield, previously best known for his role in The Social Network, needed to get both athletic and fast. To do it, he spent up to seven hours a day training with coach Armando Alarcon, doing a combination of wire work, parkour, injury-proofing Pilates, gymnastics and plyometrics.

If you want to put a Spidey spring in your step, warm up for your lower-body sessions with broad jumps, suggests trainer Tom Eastham. ‘It’s basically a standing long jump – you take off and land on both feet. Do three sets of five and you’ll fire up your fast-twitch fibres before lifting.’ Oh, and give your workout playlist an overhaul – apparently Garfield listened to Arcade Fire and The Pharcyde to get into the superhero mindset.

Joel Snape
Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.