Finding Fitness Inspirations in On-Screen Comic Book Superheroes

Nowadays, superheroes come in almost all shapes and sizes.

On one hand, you have the likes of Henry Cavill, Hugh Jackman, and Chris Hemsworth, or these big, burly men who quite literally like popped out the pages of comic books. On the other hand, there are the likes of Chris Pratt, Seth Rogen, and Paul Rudd, or these geeky, somewhat wacky goofballs who use their wit and charm to fight evil.

There are even, of course, those CGI protagonists such as Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and The Hulk.

Ultimately, we relate to these heroes in such a way that we follow their respective moral codes, as well as the stars who portray them in terms of their work ethic in bringing to life these well-loved comic book characters.

Playing comic book superheroes in film is no easy task. It’s not enough that actors and actresses can fit into these intricate costumes and act like their life depended on it.

Part of portraying the role is to transform their bodies to look and function like a real life hero, because as we all know it can be challenging for everyone involved to interpret and shift from written to visual art.

In an article on mobile gaming website Pocketfruity, Tyler Davis, a character designer and visual artist, talked about the formula of today’s superhero films. Based on the piece ‘The Influence of Comics and Cartoons on Gaming’, Davis pointed out that when these fictional narratives are translated to movies, they’re written in a more appealing fashion. Often times, unessential characters, details, and storylines are ignored to make these films more – for lack of a better term – marketable.


Now that we’ve tackled what goes on behind the scenes – all the planning, the training, and the conceptualizing – it’s time to focus on the actual training process of actors and actresses. Indeed, preparing to be an on-screen comic book protagonist requires a lot of hard work and tons of patience. These stars aren’t just considered by many as fitness inspirations (or fitspirations) because of their looks and acting prowess, some of us see them as role models with supreme work ethics in the gym.

Training and Diet

For one, aside from following a bodybuilding-type protocol centered on high-weight and low-rep movements, Chris Hemsworth went on a protein-rich diet to bulk up for Thor. He basically stacked up on chicken breasts, steaks, and fish, as well as vegetables and brown rice. As for his training regimen, Hemsworth enlisted the help of fitness guru Michael Knight. Knight divided his routine into two parts: first was the aforementioned bodybuilding exercises, the other mainly focused on total-body circuit training to remove excess fat while gaining and maintaining muscle. For their parts, Henry Cavill and Hugh Jackman also went through the same process of eating right, going the Olympic weightlifting route, and training cardio excessively.

All in all, playing on-screen comic book protagonists entails huge amounts of dedication not just in memorizing scripts and delivering lines, but also in staying true to the aesthetics of said superheroes. Anyone can be inspired, study these fitness philosophies, and apply it in the gym.

Luis Diaz

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