Dark Knight Calisthenics?
April 10, 2007 10:03 AM   Subscribe

What would Batman's daily workout be?

This question originally stems from a debate with a friend, but has since become a miniature project. I thought I'd consult AskMeFi.

What exercise/diet regiment might Batman/Bruce Wayne employ to achieve that crime-fighting physicality and physique? You can be as creative as possible and focus on whatever aspect(s) you deem most important.

Bonus points for:
1. Basing your answer in the comic books/graphic novels/movies/animated series. You could even reference specific training Christian Bale went through to get in shape for 'Batman Begins' (I haven't been able to find this information, though).
2. Keeping your answers specific and based in reality. My friend and I might adapt your answers into a real-life summer workout. I'm serious.
posted by eswusp86 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (25 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I think it would be something like High Intensity Training, because Batman would want a workout that added a lot of power but did not take away from his time fighting crime on the streets of Gotham.
posted by parmanparman at 10:13 AM on April 10, 2007

Krav Maga? Wolverine does it..
posted by fire&wings at 10:15 AM on April 10, 2007

I can't speak to the whole workout, but I would wager that

Gravity Boots

would be employed.
posted by de void at 10:17 AM on April 10, 2007

I know for a fact he did push-ups in the comics. He did them with his hands on the ground facing outwards horizontally. Probably because it is easier to draw the hands when they are facing that way, haha.
posted by banished at 10:28 AM on April 10, 2007

Gymnastics. He'll need it for all that flagpole jumping and balcony leaping. I'm envisioning him writhing around laser beams to best accentuate his ass, a la Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment.
posted by DU at 10:29 AM on April 10, 2007

This recent AskMe question may be helpful.
posted by box at 10:35 AM on April 10, 2007


posted by caddis at 10:38 AM on April 10, 2007

I'd guess it would involve some Crossfit type stuff that's really popular among military/special forces types. He'd probably also go to Gym Jones. In fact, I'd take a look at this post to get some other ideas. That's some brutal fitness stuff, not just Hollywood smoke and mirrors.
posted by Heminator at 11:00 AM on April 10, 2007

From the book Batman:Dead White

He at least does "bench-press reps (300lbs)" (working until failure - 8 reps) as well as "leg lifts and some gymnastics, try to get that backflip-perfected-have to put the costume on so the body weight would be right".

Yes, I am lame. I read tie-in novels
posted by beautifulcheese at 11:03 AM on April 10, 2007

Yeah, the gravity boots were in the movie Batman (I think the first or second one with Michael Keaton)

I also think I remember some mention of powerbars / suppliments because hes too busy fighting crime to eat.
posted by JonnyRotten at 11:04 AM on April 10, 2007

So never that, what does Batman eat to stay so fit and be full of energy?
posted by The Behatted Wild Man of Greenfield at 11:09 AM on April 10, 2007

So never that, what does Batman eat to stay so fit and be full of energy?

Good question, since he's always telling Alfred that he'll "eat later" when his butler brings a sandwich down to the cave. I figure he must live on a diet of meth.

To answer the original question, we see Bats do a lot of weight training, gymnastics training and sparring, but not a heckuva lot of pure cardio like running or cycling.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:16 AM on April 10, 2007 [2 favorites]

I would imagine that regularly going out and knocking around some thugs would at least be good for some cardio.

So never that, what does Batman eat to stay so fit and be full of energy?

I can picture Bruce Wayne as a sort-of bulemic, going home after his swanky appearances, and inducing vomiting to clear the way for some flavorless, highly-engineered protein shake.
posted by mkultra at 11:23 AM on April 10, 2007

OK, I submit this link even though it's not specifically Batman-related, but you *did* say:

1. Basing your answer in the comic books/graphic novels/movies/animated series.

It does have to do with graphic novels.

2. Keeping your answers specific and based in reality. My friend and I might adapt your answers into a real-life summer workout. I'm serious.

And this is something that real people do/did. So. Here it is.

The 300 Workout
posted by iguanapolitico at 11:36 AM on April 10, 2007

Although, after re-reading, you say "basing your answer in THE comic books/etc," when I thought you meant "basing your answer in comic books/etc," as in, the genre. Oops. My head is hung in shame.
posted by iguanapolitico at 11:37 AM on April 10, 2007

I've got nothing to back this up, but if I had to guess, I'd guess that he includes some sort of stadium training in his regimen. Enhances power, leaping ability, reflexes, endurance and balance, and it's also pretty quick (30 or so minutes 3 times a week). Email me if you're interested in specific workout regimens, but be forewarned, they're effing savage.
posted by saladin at 11:40 AM on April 10, 2007

This is easy. He's doing the 300 workout. I know Heminator provided some links, but here's a link directly to the Gym Jones page that describes the workout and training they did for the movie 300.

It has to be the most brutal, destructive, spiritual, and amazing workout ever designed. It's so damn motivating, and I read it every time before I go to the gym.
posted by unexpected at 11:43 AM on April 10, 2007

posted by Doohickie at 11:44 AM on April 10, 2007

2. Keeping your answers specific and based in reality. My friend and I might adapt your answers into a real-life summer workout. I'm serious.

I'm sorry to rain on your parade, but Batman has only aged about seven years, yet he's been around for 68.

Ask yourself: When does he sleep? Eat? Train martial arts? Program the bat computer? Tune up the batmobile? Invent new gadgets? Supervise his trainees? Check up on his enemies? Read newspapers and technical journals? Maintain his Bruce Wayne identity? Attend JLA meetings? In short, how does he find the time to do all the things you see him do?

In the comics you see him weight-training, doing gymnastics, and martial-arts (sparring with partner and solo training), so that's the basic answer.

But once you start adding it all up, to build and maintain the variety and advanced levels of skills he has, you'll quickly realize that there just aren't enough hours in the day to be Batman. Just for fighting, the guy has studied and/or mastered about every martial art on earth. How long do you think that would take?
posted by Gamblor at 11:47 AM on April 10, 2007

Seconding Gamblor. Beat me by 23 minutes.
posted by clearlynuts at 12:10 PM on April 10, 2007

By the way, I'm not saying don't do things like weight-training, gymnastics, and martial-arts. By all means, go for it. That's a great regimen. I'm just saying, nobody could really be like Batman, because his skills are complete fiction. But you could still be a kick-ass, fit an flexible fighter. I highly recommend trying mixed martial arts, but that's probably a question for another thread.
posted by Gamblor at 12:16 PM on April 10, 2007

I would guess looking at Bruce Lee's physical and nutritional habits (the wiki link is pretty poor, but you get the idea) may be a useful real-life counterpart. He focused and refined his efforts and diet very carefully, through research and experimentation in order to get the most benefit from the least training. However, he also was reputed to train and multitask extensively: for example doing dumbell curls whilst reading. This is the kind of approach I imagine it would take to reach something like Batman levels of 'crime-fighting physicality and physique'.
posted by MetaMonkey at 1:11 PM on April 10, 2007

I'm thinking Venom. He's all like "No dude, I kicked the venom" but duh, seriously. It's got to be Venom.
posted by seanyboy at 3:24 PM on April 10, 2007

Best answer: To start, Wayne trained for over fifteen years in various forms of martial arts, including Krav Maga, Ninjitsu, and Kung Fu, in some cases at the feet of people who are considered the best martial artists alive, and in one case is actually immortal. He also started martial arts training at 12 and acquired a third-degree black belt by 17. Odds are you've missed that chance. That covers most of the more fantastic and/or impossible stuff.

According to DC Batman guidebook, the four principles he trains in most are strength conditioning, martial arts, biofeedback and yoga. That's pretty broad but I would think if you actually applied all four of those with a devoted schedule you'd be pretty damn fit.

Batman is said to be 6'2" and weigh about 210, and I'd venture it goes without saying he has less than 1% body fat, so you can do whatever extrapolations are necessary for your height to assess body weight.

In the Loeb/Sale series The Long Halloween which is now considered by most as canon, Batman's training on the Wayne estate is not as much gym equipment related as a series of physical environment tasks, including swimming, smashing rocks, chain pulls, rock climbing, and splitting logs. Again, this is easily stuff you can do, and in fact most of the "World's Strongest Man" events.

I think the highest I ever saw a comic say he could bench is 700. In any normal training regimen I think it's safe to say that's preposterous so I wouldn't suggest you try it. But obviously a heavy weight regimen is going to be essential.

Finally, you really do have to factor in the oft-untouched factor that Bruce Wayne is severely insane. This isn't really a trait you can acquire or augment, but if you're seriously considering what factors into Batman's sheer ability to do what he does to be him, it's necessary to weigh in your "have/have nots" file. Batman's logical psychosis has an incredible advantage to his training in the form of a near-total abandonment of restraint. As many have suggested, Batman does have an actual super-power, and that's sheer willpower.

As far as diet goes, Batman's diet isn't really touched upon in the comics that much, except Alfred does most of the cooking for him, and he quite clearly eats meat (I would imagine he would have to; there's not enough soy in the world to compensate for what he does in a day). However, and this is the part you're probably going to dislike the most, but they both fit into the willpower element: Batman does not drink alcohol, and it's suggested he doesn't have sex, or at the very least doesn't have sex very often.

Hope that helps, but even if it doesn't man did I have fun having an excuse to say all that. ;)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:01 PM on April 10, 2007 [10 favorites]

I'd venture it goes without saying he has less than 1% body fat

Unless Bruce Wayne came up with some new medical techniques -- not that I'm putting it past him -- at 1% body fat, he'd be dead. Most sources say 2-5% is essential for survival (for guys). Incredibly fit male bodybuilders might occasionally get down to 5-8% for competitions, but they can only stay at that percentage for hours, possibly days.

posted by booksandlibretti at 9:10 PM on April 10, 2007

« Older Help me face my Apple-II-related fears.   |   Help me be crafty by quilting... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.