You might never be able to fly or shoot lasers out of your eyes, but with hard work and dedication you can train like a superhero. The secret is to utilize a wide range of exercises and skills that will raise your strength, speed, and stamina to near-superhuman levels. Start lifting weights to build strength and pack on muscle mass. Increase your endurance by performing regular cardiovascular exercise. In your free time, polish your other skills like martial arts, parkour, and acrobatics so you can move with the swiftness and agility of a crusader of justice.
Getting into Shape
Lift weights 3-4 times a week. Focus on complex movements that target multiple muscle groups at once, like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups. If your goal is to put on muscle mass, try doing 10-15 repetitions per set of each exercise. For a more power-based approach, it’s better to keep your reps in the 3-5 range.
If it’s your first-time giving weightlifting a shot, start with just the bar or the lightest set of dumbbells and gradually add resistance until it becomes a challenge.
Perform calisthenics or bodyweight training regularly. It’s possible to get a good workout in even when you’re not allowed in gyms right now. Exercises like pushups, pull ups, and dips are perfect for building upper body strength, while squats, lunges, wall-sits, and box jumps will condition your legs. To get that superheroic six-pack peeking through, end your workouts with core like sit ups, crunches, V-sits, and hanging leg lifts.
Do some cardio. Cardiovascular exercise gets your blood pumping, your muscles warm, and your lungs working overtime. Pick an activity and move until you work up a sweat. Try to add a few minutes to your workout each session. By challenging yourself gradually, you’ll find your stamina getting better and better.Running is one of the simplest ways to your amp up your fitness level, but you have many options available to you, from swimming and cycling to kickboxing and rowing.
The key is to keep your heart rate elevated without overdoing it. If you’re gasping for breath or find it difficult to carry on a conversation, you might be pushing yourself too hard.
Hit a punching bag. Kickboxing is not only a great total body workout, it’s also a good opportunity to practice your superhero punches and kicks. Start by working on basic punches like your jab, cross, and hook, then move onto front, side, and roundhouse kicks. In the second half of the workout, you can mix it up and begin putting together your own unique combinations.
Even superheros need to rest. If you want to train like a superhero, you also need to incorporate rest into your fitness routine. Sweating and straining will only get you so far. The harder you work, the more important it is to give yourself time to recover. When you’re first starting out, try exercising for 2 days in a row, then take the third day off. As your physical condition improves, you can begin spacing out your rest days more, or staggering your activities so that you’re alternating between strength training and cardio.Even advanced athletes should schedule at least 1 or 2 days off every week. Without proper recovery, you’ll just be breaking down your muscle fibers more and more and never giving them time to build themselves back up.
Mastering Other Physical Skills for Ultimate Superhero Performance
Learn a martial art, acrobatics, or climbing techniques to really amp up your superhero skills! Plus, it can just be fun to dabble with some new ways to improve your balance, stamina, and special maneuvers to really train like a superhero and feel like one.
Sign up for lessons at a reputable school in your area. Some of the most popular martial arts styles taught around the world include taekwondo, Shotokan karate, kung fu, judo, and boxing.
Pick up some basic parkour and acrobatics techniques. Start by playing around with simple maneuvers like cartwheels, jumps, and forward and backward rolls. Once you get the hang of these, you can move on to more difficult skills like cartwheels, handsprings and standing flips. Superheroes are known for their dazzling displays of aerial artistry, and with patience and practice, you can be, too.
Practice climbing. Join a rock climbing center, or look for low objects like rocks and trees to scale when you’re training outside. Not only is climbing an essential part of every superhero’s repertoire, it’s also a great form of exercise in itself, as it requires strength and muscular endurance. For your own safety, don’t attempt to climb anything higher than you’re comfortable standing on.
Make time to stretch. Stretch out your entire body at least 3-4 times a week. Show some attention to each of the main muscle groups, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and lower back. Stretching promotes flexibility and improves blood flow to your tired muscles, helping them recover faster.
Those with especially tight muscles may find it beneficial to stretch for 10-20 minutes every day.
Don’t forget to limber up before an intense workout. A few minutes of light stretching will increase your range of motion and make you less likely to get injured.
Making Healthier Lifestyle Choices
Eat a balanced diet. I’m sure superheros eat their veggies too! In order to train like a superhero, you also need to take a look at your nutrition. Make sure all the major food groups are represented on your plate at each meal. You’ll need lean protein, fresh fruits and veggies, complex carbohydrates, fiber, and healthy fats like Omega-3s and 6s to build a strong, capable body. Aim to eat 3-4 small meals a day, and snack on healthy offerings like yogurt and nuts in between if your stomach starts rumbling.A good rule of thumb is to consume between ½-1g of protein for each pound of body weight daily in order to build and maintain muscle. If you weigh 130lbs, for instance, you should be taking in anywhere from 65-130g.
Keep sweets, salty or deep-fried items, and other junk food to a minimum as much as possible.
Check out some healthy recipes here.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Most people need about 2 liters, or half a gallon, to stay hydrated and keep their bodies functioning properly. If you’re particularly active, you may require more. Gulp down 1-2 glasses when you first roll out of bed in the morning to kickstart digestion, then make an effort to take regular water breaks throughout the day. While you train like a superhero, make sure to stay hydrated all day.
A good way to tell if you’re adequately hydrated is to check the color of your urine when you go to the bathroom. Clear urine means your fluid levels are normal, while a dark or cloudy color could be a sign that you’re running dry.
If you have trouble getting enough water, try carrying a water bottle around with you. That way, you’ll have something to sip on whenever you get thirsty rather than turning to less beneficial beverages like soda.
Get plenty of sleep. Aim for a solid 7-8 hours per night whenever possible. Don’t underestimate the importance of a little shut-eye—most of your body’s healing and growth takes place while you’re fast asleep. A good night’s rest also keeps your brain operating a top capacity, which means you’ll be able to think clearer, react faster, and make difficult decisions more easily.Turning off your digital devices half an hour before bedtime may help you drift off easier.
Take short naps (no longer than about 20-30 minutes at a time) to recharge when you’re unable to get a full night’s sleep.
Want to train like a superhero at home?
- Since most gyms are not open for business just yet, investing in a set of free weights will be handy when working out in the privacy of your own home.
- If you have a limited amount of time to train throughout the week, look for ways to consolidate your different training to fit your busy schedule. For instance, a martial arts class could serve as cardio, or a rock climbing session could fill in for an hour in the weight room.
- YouTube can be a great resource for finding free tutorials on basic workouts, circuit training, yoga classes, acrobatics techniques, and pretty much any other type of workout you desire.
- Read comic books or watch superhero movies to inspire yourself and stay motivated when you’re feeling burned out.
- Be persistent. It’s not possible to totally transform your body overnight. With enough discipline, however, even your most fantastic fitness goals are within reach.
Work out with a friend or keep a cell phone nearby at all times while training so you’ll be able to call for help in the event of an injury or accident.
Remember, you’re only training like a superhero, not trying to be one. Never attempt to use your newly-developed abilities to interfere with actual crimes. These are best left to the authorities!