Training Takeaways: Henry Cavill’s Complete Workout Routine And Diet Plan - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Training Takeaways: Henry Cavill’s Complete Workout Routine And Diet Plan

It takes incredible dedication to stay in Superman shape, but Cavill proves when it comes to diet and training, he’s willing to put in the work to see results.

Given the propensity for most superhero movies that land in cinemas these days to be a box office smash and something of a historic moment in pop culture’s history, the roles are highly coveted by actors. But whereas most struggle to beef up or slim down for a role, it seemed as though Henry Cavill was born to play Superman. With the kind of jawline sharp enough to cut stone and the good looks and charismatic charm you’d expect of the superhero, Cavill needed no help from the CGI department or wardrobe to enhance his features. He already had them. And as for those bulging biceps and the kind of chiseled abs a master sculptor would do well to study, well, he had those too. 

But even since hanging up the cape of Superman, Cavill didn’t relax his ways. Roles in The Witcher and Enola Holmes once again saw the Hollywood star appear on our screens all buff and impossibly fit. It’s a good thing he can act, because Cavill would certainly run the risk of simply mesmerising audiences with his large and looming shoulders were he not so convincing on screen. It’s hardly surprising that Cavill’s latest role is that of ambassador for supplement company, MuscleTech. The 38-year-old actor has long been a master of diet and training, sticking to an intense regimen he is deeply committed to, less as a means of vanity and more as a ritual to start the day and live it right. 

If Cavill stands out as the celebrity whose physique you’re most envious of, you’re not alone. After all, we’re only human and to look at Cavill is to see a man who seems to exude super-human strength and physical prowess. Here, we break down what it takes to train and eat like Cavill, as the star shares his workout routine and diet plan. 

Henry Cavill’s Workout Plan

Throughout his career, Cavill has experimented and advocated for different fitness methods. For scenes in The Witcher, he took his cues from competitive bodybuilding and water retention, while he’s also championed functional strength training and using lower weights. When it comes to maintenance mode, he believes the key is finding something you enjoy and doing it with consistency. 

“The gym shouldn’t always be some sort of gruelling, terrible slog,” he told GQ. “I discovered recently while doing my recovery that I enjoy sprints. I can make my interval sprints as hard or as easy as I want that day in the gym, but I’m always going to feel good after them,” he said. 

He adds, “Of course, it’s also important to find something you hate and to do that all the time, too. Because then you’ll get good at that thing and you’ll stop hating it. But as far as when you’re massively under stress, when things are hard and the going gets tough and you’re forcing yourself to get up and go to the gym, make it something you enjoy doing. Life is hard enough. The gym should be our place of hard work but good feelings.”

An example of his Superman workout for bodybuilding includes the following, just don’t forget to target different muscle groups on different days:


Perform the following upper-body exercises:

-incline dumbbell press – 4 sets/5 reps

-flat dumbbell press – 4 sets/5 reps

-weighted pull-us – 4 sets/5 reps 

-dumbbell or barbell row – 4 sets/5 reps


Perform the following lower-body exercises:

-deadlift – 5 sets/5 reps

-front squat – 5 sets/6-8 reps

-front lunges – 4 sets/8 reps per leg

-calf raises – 5 sets/12 reps


Rest day


Perform the following chest and back exercises

-incline dumbbell press – 4 sets/8-10 reps

-cable crossover – 4 sets/10-12 reps

-weighted chin-ups – 4 sets/8-10 reps

-seated cable row – 4 sets/10-12 reps


Perform the following shoulder and arm exercises

-seated dumbbell press – 5 sets/8-10 reps

-side lateral raise – 5 sets/10-12 reps

-front lateral raises – 5 sets/10-12 reps

-any bicep curl variation – 6 sets/10-12 reps

-any tricep extension variation – 6 sets/10-12 reps

Saturday and Sunday

Soft tissue work and rest

Henry Cavill’s Diet Plan

Throughout his career, Cavill has worked closely with trainer Dave Rienzi for both a fitness and diet routine. In a recent interview with GQ US, the actor revealed that he is deeply curious, and has been learning more about the “why of everything”; why something is being consumed, why a particular protein is favoured over another, why it should be consumed then and not before or after a particular time or exercise. The whole process has been an incredible learning opportunity for Cavill. 


While Cavill admits that his diet changes depending on the look he’s trying to achieve – if going for mass-gains, he will consume more calories – at the moment he’s more concerned about maintenance and is currently doing a lot of fight scenes and choreography for an upcoming role. Typically when he wakes up, he has a protein shake that includes one and a half scoops of a 100 per cent grass-fed whey protein with a cup of oats and some berries. Along with the shake, he has an omelet with a bit of ham, “about six ounces of beef filet.” 

Cavill adds, “Depending on when I train, I’ll always have a post-gym shake, but then I’ll go on to meal two about three hours later.”


Cavill consumes meal two roughly three hours later after training, and typically eats chicken and white rice with a side of curry sauce. Meal three is another three hours later, and is the same but the white rice is swapped out for brown rice. 


Four dinner, Cavill tends to eat four ounces of beef with sweet potato. “I kind of like sweet potato fries because I’m not a huge fan of sweet potatoes. I have someone who preps my meals and delivers them maybe every three days – time to prep meals would be impossible with my schedule. So I just whack those sweet potatoes in the oven to crisp them up as much as possible,” he says. 

Pre-bed shake

“I have a protein shake before bed,” Cavill revealed to GQ, which consists solely of protein powder mixed with water. It’s something he once tried to cut out int he hope of losing a few more pounds, but discovered that his body would go into a catabolic state given the intensity of his training. “Actually what you’re doing is you’re losing muscularity while you sleep. So your body won’t be looking as good. And almost immediately when I went back to the pre-bed shake, I was like, ‘Yeah, the body looks better already,’” Cavill explains. 

Eating before bed might sound strange, given that so many of us have been told to steer clear of foods even an hour or two out from bedtime, but Cavill sticks by it. “The protein shakes before bed, they are a real lifesaver for me. Especially with the amount of work, the amount of output I have. It’s important to make sure that all the right stuff is getting in at the right time so you don’t lose anything and you’re not wasting any time at the gym,” he said. 


As for supplements, Cavill is a huge fan of grass-fed whey protein which he claims is a necessity. “I can’t travel without it,” he told GQ. Aside from that, he also loves Shatter Elite pre-workout. “That stuff is really good. I’m working silly hard most of the time, getting up at the crack of dawn or way before dawn and then working all the way through it. Especially when you’re really, really tired, it does give you a really good pick up and kick up the ass to get into the gym. And it doesn’t just drop you off the edge after your workout where you’re like, ‘I need to take more.’” 

By Jessica Campbell

Jess is a storyteller committed to sharing the human stories that lie at the heart of sport.

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