As you've just landed on this article, you've almost certainly seen the Man of Steel or Batman vs Superman…two films where Henry Cavill is JACKED.
Henry bulked up to a hefty weight of 100kg (1), whilst remaining lean at around 8/9% body fat.
Naturally, this has led to people on social media questioning whether he used anabolic steroids to bulk up for the role.
So, did Henry Cavill take steroids for the role of Clark Kent…or does he simply have genetics from another planet? 😉
Henry's personal trainer for these two movies is a man named Mark Twight, the guy famous for designing the 300 workout.
After Man of Steel appeared on screen Henry said this about Mark,
“He asked me a lot of questions about my goals. Then he asked, ‘would you like to do steroids or HGH to get you where you want to go?'. I immediately said no.' And he said, ‘Good, because if you did, I wouldn't train you.”
However, many people have lied about their steroid-use before *cough lance armstrong*, so lets take a look at the real evidence.
Henry's transformation IS Possible…
Mark was training Henry for 11 months. However he would begin filming in just 5 months.
In this 5 month time frame Henry gained 20lbs of weight (2) and maintained his gains for the next 6 months. He transformed from looking like an athlete, to a natural bodybuilder.
2 years previous to the Man of Steel, Henry played Theseus in Immortals.
Here's his transformation from Immortals to Man of Steel:
In this time frame, he looks to have gained approximately:
- 15lbs (7kg) of lean muscle.
- And 5lbs of fat, going from around 7% body fat up to 9%.
15lbs of muscle doesn't sound like a lot, but gaining this amount lean muscle tissue makes a BIG difference to how your muscles look.
Henry also accomplished the following lifts, according to his trainer Mark Twight:
Deadlift: 435 lbs (197kg)
Push press: 245 lbs (111kg). For bodybuilders thinking ‘wtf is a push press', it's basically a barbell overhead press.
Back Squat: 365 lbs (166kg)
Strong lifts indeed for a guy weighing 100kg.
…He's got some improving to do though if he's going to beat his PB of 70 quintillion tons.
First of all I'd like to point out that this transformation IS possible for a natty.
You can see that he's gained a decent amount of muscle; but there's nothing drastic about gaining 15lbs of muscle in 5 months IF you work your ass off.
This is gaining 3lbs of muscle per month, which is definitely possible without the help of anabolic steroids.
If you go from doing low volume, circuit training to 2.5 hours a day of heavy, intense compound lifts that you've never done before, you're bound to pack on muscle.
By low-volume circuits I'm referring to the training he did for Immortals.
Cavill's Immortals Workout (3):
Low volume circuit training = a recipe for a lean/athletic figure.
But this workout doesn't have anywhere near enough volume to pack on any serious muscle mass and look like a bodybuilder.
Cavill's Workout Split for Man of Steel (4):
- 1st workout: total body
- 2nd workout: chest/shoulders
- Upper body/back
- Back & biceps
- Legs & back
- Upper body
- Upper body/HIIT
- Total body
- Upper body
Monday: Total Body
Tuesday: Upper body/back
Wednesday: Back and biceps
Wednesday: Legs and back
Thursday: Upper body
Friday: Upper body/HIIT
Friday: Total body
Saturday: Upper body
This is high frequency/volume training. High volume training is excellent for gaining muscle mass.
…Just ask Olympic gymnasts who train for up to 6 hours a day.
So how did Henry get away with training for 2.5 hours every day without overtraining?
He ate like a king and slept like a baby.
Henry shoveled down 5,000-6,000 calories a day when bulking up. Eating low calories whilst doing such high volume in the gym would've been a recipe for disaster…and no doubt would've led to overtraining.
Eating this amount of calories would've put him in a calorie surplus, promoting muscle growth. Also it would've prevented his central nervous system from frying out, due to excessive stimulation that comes with lifting weights.
Overeating is proven to have a sedative effect on the brain (5), with excess food increasing levels of the sleep hormone – melatonin. This makes it increasingly difficult to overtrain, due to less stimulation on the CNS.
Henry was ordered by Mark to get 10 hours of sleep every night (6). Doing so allowed him to maximize his natural testosterone/human growth hormone levels, which are secreted during your sleep. Cutting your sleep short will blunt such hormones and increase cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
So because he slept like a baby each and every night, this would've decreased the chances of him overtraining and increased his body's anabolic hormones, priming him for growth.
Henry and his trainer Mark are claiming natty and I believe them.
People underestimate how powerful high volume training is for packing on mass.
Henry did 2.5 hours of heavy lifting 6x a week for 5 months straight.
…Throw into the mix a whopping intake of 6,000 calories every day and you're bound to blow up.
Plus he has NO steroid side effects such as:
- Flushed skin
- Out of proportion delts/traps etc.
Henry's transformation is a great example to nattys, on the type of mass you can build, when you work your butt off for hours in the gym every day and eat BIG.
Want to get bigger?
- Increase your training volume (haven't got time? Make time!)
- Eat more food damn it!
If you think Henry was on steroids…
Lift weights for 2 and a half hours every day for 5 months, whilst eating 6,000 calories and see what happens.