Batman, step aside!
You would all have to agree that handling The Penguin, Joker, Riddler, Bane, Two Face, Cat Woman and Mr Freeze are all pretty big tasks, right? Just imagine how demanding the physical requirements would be! In fact, you would need to be a well-rounded athlete to survive.
Batman’s Athletic Qualities
Below are the qualities you would need to possess if you were to take over as Batman:
- Speed – You would need speed to run after Cat Woman (she’s a slick one), throw a punch at Bane (without him ducking), and get back to the Batmobile in time in case the Joker slipped away from one of your vice grips.
- Power – You would need power to make sure that there was a bit of heat behind that punch to Bane’s gut. Nothing would kill your confidence faster than if you were to throw a good punch and your opponent shrugged it off as if you were swatting a fly! You would also need power for something like a ‘take down’ if you needed to stop the Riddler dead in his tracks.
- Strength – To have power, you need a baseline, and that baseline is strength. Batman’s strength would also need to be high in case of a wrestle with Mr Freeze, or if the need for him to hang from a building was to arise after one of Joker’s sneaky traps.
- Strength Endurance – Strength endurance would be required if Robin was to take his sweet time in saving Batman whilst hanging from a building.
- Endurance – Even though Batman’s suit and weapons are designed to be as light as possible, they would still be quite heavy, so the fitness required to carry this around all day and still be able to fight bad guys, would be quite demanding.
- Flexibility – From throwing a kick to Two Face, to ducking under Cat Woman’s side kick, flexibility would need to be at its peak.
- Recovery – Batman’s recovery time would need to be at an all-time high as he fights back to back each night, and multiple times throughout the day. His ability to recover would need to be second to none because if he was to suffer from the slightest fatigue, his performance would drop, and his life would be at risk.
To me, this all sounds and looks like GPP. GPP stands for ‘General Physical Preparedness’ which means having a good foundation for everything – good speed, good strength, good power, etc.
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How to be fit enough to take over as Batman
Ok, so you’ve been called upon to be the next in line to take over Batman’s duties; Bruce Wayne is getting old and is in much need of a rest. You have 4 months to get into shape and be the savour and protector of Gotham. Here is how you should go about it…
First, let’s break down each quality (speed, power, strength, etc.) and determine how we should go about improving each one of them.
Speed – To improve your speed, you should sprint.
Power – To improve your power, you could do some jumping, bounding or power throws. For example: A med ball explosive chest pass, or an Olympic lift such as a power clean.
Strength – To increase strength, you should do some form of heavy lifting. When I think of full body strength, the deadlift always come into mind; the deadlift really is a full body lift. Plus, if Robin ever gets injured and needs to be picked up and carried over to the Batmobile, the deadlift is just that.
Strength Endurance – Put simply, strength endurance is the ability to produce force over a period of time. Naturally, kettlebell swings, complexes and prowler work all come into mind when we want to improve our strength endurance.
Endurance – When I think of true endurance, the good old long run, swim or ride comes into mind. We’re talking about true fitness – no 10 minute WODs, or metcons here. I’m talking about a long, 2 hour plus run, swim or ride.
Flexibility – To improve flexibility, you need to stretch. I’m going to go with static stretching simply because after a long day of fighting crime, static stretching will not only help you increase your flexibility, but it will also help with recovery, and it will relax the mind – this is very important, otherwise you’ll go insane.
Let’s put the program together.
Your weekly schedule:
- Sunday – Heavy fitness
- Monday – Light power/strength
- Tuesday – Light fitness
- Wednesday – Heavy power/strength
- Thursday – Medium fitness
- Friday – Medium power/strength
- Saturday – Recovery
You’re going to alternate each day between fitness and power/strength based work. What I mean by ‘heavy’, ‘light’ and ‘medium’ is a method used in the RKC system where we rotate our overall training volume to allow high training frequency without getting burnt out. Put simply, heavy means the most volume, light means the least, and medium is somewhere in the middle.
Batman Workout Routine:
This will be one of your biggest days of the week. You’re going to go on a long trail run – anywhere between 2-3 hours long.
This will be your lightest day of the week for your power and strength work. You will simply do the following:
- Power: Explosive Med Ball Chest Passes – 3 x 3
1a. Pull Up – 2 x 5.
1b. BB Bench Press – 2 x 5.
- Strength Endurance: Kettlebell Swings – 10 x 20
1a. and 1b. simply means you will super set the two exercises – do a set of pull ups, rest, do a set of bench presses, rest, and repeat.
There is no leg involvement today because you will simply be too sore from yesterday’s run. Literally just work up to a decent weight and then do 2 sets of 5.
This will be just a light fitness day since there will still be some fatigue lingering around from the run on Sunday. Just go for a light ride for about an hour, and dedicate another 30-60 minutes later on in the day to stretching.
This will be your hardest day of the week in the gym.
- Power: Hang Clean – 5 x 5
- Strength: Deadlift – 5 x 5
- Strength Endurance: The Long Cycle Kettlebell Clean and Jerk – 5, 10, 15, 20, 25.
Perform 5, rest, 10, rest, 15, rest, and so on.
Your legs, especially your glutes, will be fairly sore so the swim will aid the recovery process. However, it is a medium session, so you want to aim for around 3000 metres. For example: 15 x 200m.
- Power: Jumping is important for overall athleticism, so just do some basic box jumps for 4 x 4.
- Strength: The legs have taken a fair pounding, so introduce some single leg training – single leg work is also important for overall athleticism. Bulgarian Split Squat 4 x 5.
- Strength Endurance: Prowler – 10 x 40 metres.
Finally, you need to dedicate this day to mobility and flexibility work to get ready for tomorrow’s big run.
So there you have it, that’s what you need to do to be physically ready to become the next Batman. If you follow this plan, I can assure you that you will keep Gotham safe.
Author: Grant Lofthouse
A trainer, RKC, Primal Move Fundamentals Instructor and the owner of Cardio Haters Training. He has been featured in Australia’s Women’s Health & Fitness as well as Muscle & Fitness magazine. For information check out his site www.CardioHaters.com