The Batman Bodyweight Workout

Please tell me you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises.

You know, the final movie in director Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy.  If you thought I’d let a movie like that go by without an article, then you are reading the wrong nerdy fitness website.

If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry – this article will avoid any major spoilers. Not only that, but it will take a different angle than you’re expecting to see. Yes, Batman is a badass, but today’s article is going to be different.

If you’re like me, you can relate to Bruce Wayne as Batman – of all the superheroes out there, he’s one of the few that wasn’t bitten by a radioactive insect, didn’t come from a distant planet or galaxy, wasn’t born a mutant, and didn’t subject himself to some bizarre experiment to gain “super powers.”

Sure, he might have spent millions upon millions of dollars on his equipment, but Bruce Wayne is a normal guy, like you and me.  Take away the bat suit, the batmobile, and the batpod,…and you’re left with a guy who’s trying to save his town and fight for something greater than himself.

He constantly pushed himself to be stronger, faster, and more agile.

Here’s how you can do the same, without picking up a single weight.

How Bruce Wayne got strong

prison bars

At some point in The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce Wayne ends up in “prison.”

He has no hope for breaking free, Gotham is falling apart, and there’s nothing he can do but watch his city crumble.

What did he do to start turning around his situation?

What any Nerd Fitness rebel would have done when the sh** hits the fan:

He started exercising, even though he was confined to his cell.

Stuck in prison, just “getting healthy” wasn’t enough for Bruce…he needed to build a tremendous amount of power, strength, and agility in order to escape.

So, Bruce started training exclusively with body weight exercises to build strength and kick some serious ass.

The Batman Bodyweight Workout

batman red white and blue

Okay, so you’re ready to train like Bruce Wayne, and you don’t have any weights.

I reached out to my friend Ryan over at Gold Medal Bodies to create a kickass Batman Bodyweight Workout that will have you kicking ass, crushing criminals, and saving Gotham in no time.  This is a relatively advanced workout, so start with something like the Playground Workout or Rebel Strength Guide and work your way up to this once you’re feeling ready.  Watch the videos, read the workout, and then proceed to kick ass!

Batman Bodyweight Intro Video

Watch the exercise videos below and choose an exercise at your level that corresponds to what you will do in the workout.

For example: where it says Pull-Ups, if you can’t quite do a Pull-Up, start with the Jump Pull-Up with Tuck. However, if you can crank out the Pull-Ups, you can start working on Ice Cream Makers.

Batman Bodyweight Workout 1

Day 1

  • Squat Jump
  • Push-Ups
  • Headstand Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Handstand

Day 2

  • 180 Degree Jump
  • Front Lever
  • Back Lever
  • Planche

Once you get proficient at a level, go up one level for that exercise and work on mastering that within the workout.

Don’t try and jump up to the next progression too quickly. Focus on form and performing each rep as cleanly as you can. That is what will get you strong and help you master the moves. Be sure to:

  1. Perform no more than 5 reps per movement for up to 3 sets.
  2. Work on performing holds for 5 to 8 seconds per set.
  3. Perform all sets of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise.
  4. Give yourself at least a day of rest in-between the workouts.

You can even add in sprints or intervals on your off days for extra stamina work if you would like.

Sample Workouts

Beginner

Day 1

    • Rolling Squat Tuck-up Jumps
    • Side to Side Push-ups
    • Modified Headstand Push-ups
    • Jump Pull-Up with tuck / Pull-Up with Tuck-Up
    • Handstands against wall

Day 2

    • 180 Degree Jump Turns
    • Tuck Front Lever Hold
    • Tuck Back Lever Hold
    • Low Frog Hold
Advanced

Day 1

    • Rolling Single Leg Tuck-up Jumps
    • Exploding Push-ups (Standard to Wide to Right Front/Left Back to Left Front/Right Back)
    • Headstand Push-Ups
    • Ice Cream Makers
    • Free Standing Handstands

Day 2

    • Single Leg Jump 180 Degree Turn
    • Front Lever Hold
    • Back Lever Hold
    • Floating Frog Hold

Get strong without picking up a weight

batman garage door

Maybe you hate gyms.  Maybe you travel like crazy.  Maybe you just enjoy exercising outdoors.

No matter your reason, You CAN build muscle and size or simply lose weight and get in shape with just bodyweight exercises.

As a former gymrat, I didn’t believe it was possible either, until my situation forced me into exclusively bodyweight training for months upon months – I reached out to my buddy Vic and enlisted his help in creating a workout routine that used only body weight exercises.

Three months and fifteen extra healthy pounds later, I became a believer.  

These days, I feel comfortable in a gym, on a playground…or trapped in a third world prison (don’t worry Mom, hasn’t happened yet!) – I know I’ll be able to get in a great workout anywhere.

There you have it, a workout that would make Batman proud.  Please keep spoilers out of the comments for those that haven’t seen it.

-Steve

PS – HUGE Thanks to Ryan From Gold Medal Bodies for putting together these workouts and videos for today’s article.  If you’re an aspiring gymnast, make sure you check out their stuff!

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photo source: batman action figurebatman red white and blue, prison bars, batman garage door

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  • Physics

    Look at Gymnast, majority of them barely touch weights, yet they have awesome physiques. Just shows the power of body-weight training.

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  • Joji558

    I’m having some trouble with the frog hold stuff, putting all my weight on my wrists and then having them bent like that is extremely painful, are my wrists supposed to hurt way more than any of my muscles or am I doing them wrong?

  • Emily

    Bodyweight exercises are a great way to add some definition to your body.  But it’s definitely not something to do if you want to put on a lot of mass though.  For those that like doing bodyweight cardio exercises, burpees, mountain climbers, and high knees are excellent exercises to get some cardio in without hitting the gym (learned these from Insanity :D).  Here is a pretty comprehensive list of bodyweight exercises (about 60 of them) along with demonstration videos and GIFs for those who want to take a look.

    http://fitz101.com/60-plus-great-bodyweight-exercises-you-can-do-anywhere/

  • Ben

    Bodyweight training in prison, huh?
    You could have at least been honest and admit that you ripped this entire idea off of Convict Conditioning!!!

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  • Isaac Dozier

    i like your workouts a lot. these ones are especially nice. Keep posting, i enjoy reading your articles.

    bodyfitnest.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1319894743 Harry Jackson

    I like but batman could bench press 1000 lbs he mostly did martial arts gymnastics and aerobics, plus ninja training theoretically they are weighted for 5 years b4 they can even throw a punch. But I do like these routines.

  • http://twitter.com/Scrumpy_bumpkin Elizabeth Coates

    So epic on so many levels! I had a go at it in the gym,and enjoyed it so much I have purchased a pull up bar and will scare/impress my boyfriend with my bat skills. Just need a Batwoman costume…

  • John Lestrange

    I see you say to only do five reps and no more than three sets. So that’s 15 push-ups total. That seems kind of low. Are you sure about those numbers?

  • John

    its a strength building workout, so I think it means do a push up progression that challenges you to complete the full amount of repetitions.

  • John Lestrange

    So does that mean I can do as many as I can for each set?

  • John

    yes, up to 5 reps. You should be doing a variation that taxes you enough that you wouldn’t really be able for much more than 3×5.

  • Erick Arias

    Do we repeat day 1 and day 2? Or Just do day one and 2 and we’re done?

  • John

    You do it like:
    Monday: Day 1
    wednesday: Day 2
    Friday: Day 1

    then the second week,
    Monday: Day 2
    Wednesday: Day 1
    Friday: Day 2

    and repeat.

  • Brad

    So are you supposed to take a day off between every day of working out (between days 1 and 2), or do you perform workout days 1 and 2 back to back and take a one day rest after doing so? Thanks!

  • Taran

    So when it comes to the full Ice Cream Maker (the last progression) what is 1 rep? A pull and a front lever or a pull up and 5 levers?

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  • Tom Christian

    So I love how Bruce was working out to jump to escape from the cave, yet they never show him working legs……

  • Rafael Silveira

    can i get a bigger arm? because i have good legs and poor arms.