Henry Cavill is Superman, yes—but the legend of the British actor’s physique isn’t limited to his role as the Man of Steel.
He’s become one of Hollywood’s most dependable hardbodies, even without the good fortune of being named Chris. Cavill’s powerful arms even became a rare non-superhero physique meme when the Mission Impossible: Fallout trailer dropped, showcasing a mind-melting moment when he appears to reload his biceps mid-fight, sprouting 5 o’clock shadow and creating a breast pocket on a shirt that previously had none. This was more likely an editing mistake than a power up, but it looks absolutely awesome.
Cavill has had to train hard for those muscles. The actor opened up to Men’s Health for a wide-ranging cover story, and he shared that he was teased growing up for being “a chubby kid.” Now, he’s built up a meme-worthy frame with Dave Rienzi, who is also Dwayne Johnson’s strength and conditioning coach (yes, even The Rock has a coach). Rienzi has worked with Cavill through Superman shoots to now, as the actor takes on the lead role of Geralt in Netflix’s fantasy epic The Witcher.
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The journey continues. Thank you to Mr Dave Rienzi for being such a wonderful guide. My physical journey over the years has been an interesting one, with plenty of pit falls and plenty of moments of reward. I've been reflecting on them a lot recently and I've been very fortunate to work with some fantastic minds. I'm thankful to them all. Recently I've been exploring some of the big players in bodybuilding, both from the past and the present. It's absolutely fascinating to see what they put themselves through, the drive and mental strength required to get to such a place physically. Phil Heath in particular has caught my eye not only for his achievements but also for his genuinely humble and informative approach to his messaging. All this while being a 7x Mr Olympia. If you haven't checked out his page it's worth a peek. @DaveRienzi @PhilHeath #GymStuff
The MH team caught up with Cavill and Rienzi in the weight room to get a behind the scenes look at the actor’s Witcher routine. Every morning, Cavill started his day with fasted cardio. Cavill also hit the weights hard, whenever he was able to fit in a workout with his busy shoot schedule.
Importantly, Cavill notes that the exercises he and Rienzi highlighted for MH aren’t meant to be performed all together as one complete routine. “Those are moves that we put into workouts, depending on which muscle group or muscle groups we’re working that particular day,” he told the MH crew. The list covers his whole body, from the posterior chain to core to biceps.
Cavill is also quick to point out that not everyone is Superman—and that’s perfectly okay. “The most important thing to remember is that you are you,” he says. “Everyone has a different genetic makeup, everyone is at a different stage of fitness or training or even has a different amount of calories going in. So you do you, and just make sure that every workout is as hard as you can do it.”
If you want to train like Cavill, mix these exercises into your workouts on the appropriate training days, with posterior chain movements in lower body sessions and arm movements for upper days.
Romanian Deadlift with Hip Circle
4 second negative, 2 second pause
Hyperextension on Glute Hams Machine
2 second hold at the top
Oblique Static Hold
3-Way Shoulder Raise
Half-Iso Alternating Dumbbell Curl
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