Batman is a beloved hero in the DC Comics franchise. But one major thing differentiated him from the rest of the Super Friends. He didn’t actually have any superpowers. Rather, he relied on his own body and mind (okay, and some pretty cool gadgets) to get the job done.
The takeaway for gym-goers? You don’t need superhuman strength and speed to build your body into a lean, mean fighting machine. Read on for four ways to follow Batman’s lead in order to achieve superhero-worthy success with your workout routine.
1. Incorporate HIIT.
Batman didn’t have a lot of time on his hands. After all, he was running a successful family business while moonlighting as Gotham’s Dark Knight. Like Batman, you’re probably working with limited time as well. One of the best ways to make the most of the time you do have is to leverage High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Suitable for most workout modes from walking and running to swimming and cycling, this type of workout alternates between intense activity intervals and less intense intervals. Not only has HIIT been proven to be incredibly efficient, but it also improves aerobic capacity and endurance to near-superhuman levels.
Other benefits of HIIT are that it boosts your metabolism, supports cardiovascular health, and promotes weight loss without muscle loss — because, really, where would Batman be without his muscles?
2. Work with a personal trainer.
Batman didn’t pull off all of his accomplishments on his own. Alfred Pennyworth (dubbed “Batman’s Batman”), Mr. Fox, and “Boy Wonder” Robin provided physical and mental support for the action hero. Likewise, personal trainers can help people aspiring to improve their physical and mental fitness by providing essential support and services.
While your personal trainer won’t hook you up with a grappling gun or Batmobile, he or she can provide you with the metaphorical tools you need to succeed in your fitness endeavors. From optimizing workouts to your unique needs to advising on basic nutrition, personal trainers offer an invaluable partnership for gym-goers either looking to start new workout routines or take their existing programs to the next level. (Sign up here for a personal trainer session. )
3. Use your bodyweight.
Sure, Batman had devices and gadgets to help him out, but at the end of the day, he depended on one thing above all else: himself. Basic bodyweight exercises, including push-ups, planks, squats, lunges, crunches, dips, pull-ups and chin-ups, offer easy ways to build strength without bulking up and can be done anywhere at anytime.
In addition to facilitating the development of leaner muscle mass, bodyweight training is also linked with healthier blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels, lower stress levels, better sleep, more energy, reduced joint and bone pain, increased insulin sensitivity and resting metabolic rate, and reduced risk of stroke and overall cardiovascular mortality. In other words, integrating bodyweight exercises into your workout routine is one of the best ways to make sure you — like Batman — live to fight another day.
4. Take a yoga class.
The concentrated movements used in yoga strengthen the core and sculpt the body while creating long, lean muscles. Batman was nothing if not an imposing presence, and yoga workouts are also ideal for improving your posture to help you stand taller and straighter as well.
In addition to physical benefits like increased flexibility, muscle tone, and agility, yoga can also help build mental toughness, one of Batman’s most distinguishing characteristics. Says board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified yoga instructor Natalie Nevins, DO: “Stress can reveal itself in many ways, including back or neck pain, sleeping problems, headaches, drug abuse, and an inability to concentrate. Yoga can be very effective in developing coping skills and reaching a more positive outlook on life. Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention, and sharpens concentration.”
In other words, yoga can help you not only get a Batman body, but also a Batman brain.
Just because we’re not all legit superheroes doesn’t mean we can’t look — and, more importantly, feel — like them. These four tips can help you build a better body and mindset that will be ready to take on whatever challenges are headed your way. Sign up for a trial pass at Brick Bodies to start your sojourn to superhero-dom today.