Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Workout

The “RISE” Workout

Given it's the biggest Blockbuster coming out this summer, and the fact that I've been a Batman fan since the womb, I decided to take my first dabbling into creating a fitness regimen based on the experiences I've gained over the past two years. It's really become more than a hobby, a pass time, or something to do because I feel obligated. Fitness has become a way of life and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

NOW! The reason it's called “The Rise Workout” isn't just to coincide with the movie. That's part of it. As are the two components that make up this workout. But the KEY factor here is mental determination. Any Joe-shmo can lift weights at a local gym and any Sally Sue can go for a jog. But if you want to get into Superhero shape, that takes more than muscles. It takes will power and determination.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Batman lore, SPOILER ALERT Bane is responsible for breaking Batman's back. Did I ruin the movie? I don't think so. We already know Bane is going to mess Batman up and Batman is going to have to come back bigger and badder than ever to take him down. That premise is what I want to drive you and where the importance of “The Rise Workout” title should be placed. You must break yourself down before you can build yourself back up. As Batman must reevaluate who he is and what it means to be Batman, you're going to need to do the same of yourself. Who are you? What do you want out of your life? Do you want to know what it means to set high goals and reach them? It's possible. I promise. I've done it. But you're going to have to RISE to the challenge to push yourself harder than you ever have to come out on top as the new you.

Sounds extreme, I know. I would say that it isn't for beginners, but that's not entirely true because anyone can do anything they set their mind to. But for those of you relatively new to fitness or relatively new to extreme workouts, take it slow and work your way up. Seriously. Take breaks when you need to, drink LOTS of water, and don't injure yourself. Start with the weights you can handle and add weight as time goes on. Don't try to be a hero (ha) right away. This is the training it takes to become the hero. As of day one, you're just Bruce Wayne. No more special than anyone else.

So, are you ready!? Now is your moment to accomplish something you never thought you could. Now is the time to RISE from the ashes of your former self and become a Hero. Today you're just you, but become a legend.

I've broken the workout into two characters. Batman and Bane. (Yes, I know Bane is a bad guy but he's in stupid shape, so we like him.) You take your pick who you'd like to be and what shape you'd like to see. Batman is lean, Bane is bulk. There's even a little surprise character workout you'll find at the very bottom that is for the ELITE only. (You've been warned.)

The Batman workout is a full body workout that will give you tone, definition, and some added size. But Batman isn't huge, he's buff but incredibly fast, agile, and resilient. And most importantly Batman is smart. This workout is meant to break you down and build you back up both physically and mentally. When your body says stop, you keep pushing. Just because Batman gets injured doesn't mean he's not going to save that woman from being mugged across the street. So just because it hurts doesn't mean you give up. When you think your max is nine, you do ten. Batman is about zoning in on your goal and fighting through hell to achieve it. I don't care if it's one extra rep, one extra pound, anything. Whatever your best was last week, this week you beat it. Ladies, this may be entirely what you want to stick with. If you're not at all interested in bulking up, as in Bane, then Batman is for you. These workouts are approximately 40 minutes.

Bane is for bulk. That's as simply put as it needs to be. Bane is a slugger and a demolition machine. He doesn't care about form, finesse, or style. He has one goal: Destroy. Batman fights like a ninja, Bane fights like a wrecking ball. This is why Bane is designed mainly for men. It's a lifting regimen meant to put on muscle mass, no joke. Gals, don't feel discouraged. You can do whatever you'd like. But keep in mind that this workout is meant to SERIOUSLY put on size. Any of these exercises can be used to tone up, so if you'd like, take them and use the weight that you can do and do the reps that you can do. If your focus isn't on being huge, you're not going to load on the pounds each week and that's perfectly alright. But guys, if you want to beat Bane, you must become Bane. Plain and simple. Because of the lifting nature of this workout, Bane requires either a gym membership or an impressive at home weight collection. Pulley systems and bands alone don't count. You can't Bo-Flex your way through Bane. It is not the same. I promise. Bane lifts weights. Heavy weight, moderate reps, three sets each exercise. Break for 1 minute between sets and between exercises. These workouts are approximately 60-75 minutes.

Remember, as is the relative rule of thumb with all workouts. Light weight, high reps = tone. High weight, moderate to low reps = mass.


The program is six days a week. Yes, six. If you want to watch Saturday morning cartoons then you've either got to wake up early enough to workout before them, or have the motivation to get up off the couch after them to push through your workout. I prefer early morning, that way you rev up that metabolism and get it out of the way. But, as always, it's up to you.

The program is 12 weeks. Once you've completed the program, then feel free to go back and pick and choose exercises tailored to you. But the program itself is designed to be, for now, as it's written. If you've got the time to do both, do your best, but I promise you that that will be hell on earth and I'd recommend it ONLY to experienced folks who are comfortable with their body and their limits. We want to push our limits, but we don't want to hurt ourselves. And remember to eat PLENTY of food. Find out your daily calorie needs and meet them. Seriously. DO NOT under eat. This plan requires, for me, about 2,500 and up calories of food a day. That doesn't mean junk food, it means good, healthy, solid food that will serve as your bodies foundation.

Here's the basic breakdown. Depending on the character workout you're doing, you'll find what workout is required of you that day.

Batman or Bane

Batman or Bane

Batman or Bane

Batman or Bane

Batman or Bane

Batman or Bane

Stretch/Yoga/ Rest

Now Mr. Wayne, are you ready to begin?

Batman – Monday
  1. Cardio warmup - 10 minutes. (Bike, treadmill, elliptical, row. But change it up. If you jog the treadmill Monday, use the elliptical tomorrow, row Wednesday, etc. If you only have access to jogging or if you don't have a gym membership, that's fine. Jog it out for 20 minutes, but give it some oomph please.)
  2. Stretch – 5 minutes
  3. Interval Training. You two two Intervals each comprised of four exercises, 45 seconds per each exercise. Three sets of 4 exercises. 30 second break between sets. So you're exercising for three minutes straight, pushing yourself as hard as you possibly can without breaking between exercises. Once you've finished your set of four, break for 30 seconds then get back to it until you run through that entire interval. Break for 30 seconds between intervals.
    • Power Jumps
    • Dumbbell Power Clean
    • Medicine Ball Overhead Throw
    • Burpees

  • Kettlebell (Or Dumbbell) Swing
  • Stationary Sprint to Lunge (Sprint for an 8 count, then do 4 lunges, then repeat)
  • Medicine Ball Woodchopper (Cross body, mimicing a cable woodchopper)
  • Floor Sprints

4. Cooldown Stretch – 5 Minutes

Batman – Tuesday

  1. Cardio warmup - 10 minutes. (Every 2 minutes do 1 minute of Jumping Jacks)
  2. Stretch – 5 minutes
  3. Intervals
    • Mountain Climbers
    • Side Floor Sprints
    • Football Sprints to Low Plank (Sprint for an 8 count, hit a low plank and hold for 5 seconds, then jump back up and repeat)
    • Moving Pushups
    • Basketball Jumps
    • Ski Abs
    • In and Out Abs
    • Pushup Jacks

4. Cooldown Stretch – 5 Minutes

Batman – Wednesday

  1. Cardio Warmup – 10 Minutes
  2. Stretch – 5 Minutes
  3. Intervals
    • Heisman
    • Pike Pushups
    • Floor Tricep Dips
    • Frog Jumps
    • Switch Kicks
    • Stance Jacks
    • Burpees
    • Standing Side Crunches

4. Cooldown Stretch – 5 Minutes

Batman – Thursday (Stretch/Recovery Day)
  1. Cardio Warmup - 10 minutes.
  2. Stretch – 20 minutes
  3. TIP: DO NOT skip this day. Seriously. Just because it's a stretch day, don't blow it off. You need this to improve your flexibility and help your muscles recover. If you skip it, you're only hurting yourself. This will help you improve on EVERY other day you do. Stretching is important.

Batman – Friday
  1. Cardio Warmup - 10 minutes. (Every 2 minutes do 1 minute of Jumping Jacks)
  2. Stretch – 5 Minutes
  3. Intervals
    • Kettlebell (Or dumbbell) Swing
    • Medicine Ball Overhead Throw
    • 5 Dumbbell Curls to floor 8 sprints
    • Wide Leg Floor Sprints
    • Dumbbell Clean and Jerk
    • Calf Jumps
    • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    • Heisman

4. Cooldown Stretch – 5 Minutes

Batman – Saturday
  1. Cardio Warmup - 10 minutes.
  2. Stretch – 5 Minutes
  3. Intervals
    • Diamond Jumps
    • Power Pushups
    • Medicine Ball Reach and Slam
    • High Knee Jump Rope (Mock the jump rope motion if you don't own one)
    • Oblique Pushups
    • Floor Sprints
    • Side Pushups
    • Power Jumps

4. Cooldown Stretch – 5 Minutes

Monday – Bane
  1. Warmup – Pike Pushups – 2 sets of 15 reps
  2. Military Press – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  3. Seated Dumbbell Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  4. 1 Arm Side Lateral Raises - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  5. Front Lateral Raises - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  6. Seated Rear Deltoids Raise - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  7. Rocky Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  8. Reverse Flies - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  9. Smith Machine Shrugs (Or Barbell Shrugs) - 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Tuesday – Bane
  1. Warmup – 2 sets of 15 pushups
  2. Barbell Bench Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  3. Incline Barbell Bench Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  4. Dumbbell Bench Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  5. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  6. Decline Dumbbell Bench Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  7. Pec-Deck Flies - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  8. Chest Pullover - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  9. Lying Dumbbell Flies - 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Wednesday – Bane
  1. Barbell Squat - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  2. Leg Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  3. Leg Extensions - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  4. Lying Leg Curls - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  5. Calf Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  6. Seated Hamstring Curl - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  7. Single Leg Seated Hamstring Curl - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  8. Sated Calf Press - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  9. Hip Abduction - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  10. Hip Adduction - 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Thursday – Bane
  1. Warmup – Pullups – 3 sets, push to failure on each set.
  2. Bent over Barbell Rows - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  3. Mid-Back Shrugs - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  4. 1 Arm dumbbell row - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  5. Wide Grip Lat Pulldown - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  6. Seated Rows - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  7. Straight Leg Deadlifts - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  8. Upright Rows - 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Friday – Bane
  1. Warmup – External Rotation – 2 sets of 15 reps, light weight
  2. Preacher Curl - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  3. Low Dips - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  4. Barbell Curl - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  5. Overhead Tricep Extensions - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  6. 1 Arm Preacher Curls - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  7. Throw the Bomb (Single arm overhead tricep extensions) - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  8. Dumbbell Curls - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  9. Tricep Pulldown (Pully machine with a rope) - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  10. Forearm Curls - 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Saturday - Bane
Cardio - 45 minutes. (Jog, treadmill, elliptical, row, anything. But get that heart rate up and sweat your ass off for 45 minutes.)


The Man of Steel

For The Man of Steel workout, you do both Bane and Batman every day (except Saturday, just do Batman). It's as simple as that. Again, this is not for the feint of heart. This is usually what I do and it kicks my butt. My “Batman” workouts are a little longer, usually about 45 mins – 1 hour. So total, you're looking at over a 2 hour workout. But if you're serious about doing The Man of Steel and don't have over 2 straight hours to devote to it, break it up. Do Batman in the morning and Bane after work or vice versa. However you'd like to get it done, do it. But doing both won't make you either Batman or makes you Superman!


  1. I'm about to get crazy fit...

  2. What a great workout. I love cardio and kettle-bell and also do these effective and enjoyable exercises regularly to get fit and healthy body.

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