The Avengers Workout
The hero has evolved over the years, both literally in stature and in its meaning. What was once a common man who faced insurmountable odds, often for the well-being of another, or others, has evolved into the superhero.
With the exception of Batman, the superhero is anything but common. He possesses superhuman power, strength, and an odd assortment of other abilities that set him apart from the rest of us ‘mortals’.
Has the superhero diminished the status of a hero?
Clever writing is used to humanize the inhuman, replacing the conflict within the hero. The facing of fears that William Wallace, or David once faced.
A hero was one of us. Yet not one of us at the same time. A man with the courage to die for what he believed. Or simply for the safety of someone he loved, or even someone he barely knew.
Nevertheless, a superhero is still pretty damn exciting to watch in action. No movie (aside from The Dark Knight Rises - and yes, expect a Dark Knight Rises workout) has been this anticipated in a very long time.
Finally, men – both young and old – can head to a movie theatre and watch a brute like the Hulk, bash and batter his enemies to death and destruction. Finally we can see how these heroes stack up against each other, and alongside one other. Fats at night boost testosterone levels. As do cold showers in the evening and morning. As does a movie packed with massive heroes destroying things. Saving lives. Protecting us.
And so, I bring you the Avengers Workout. Each of the main 4 Avengers have their strengths. The Hulk’s brutish power. Thor’s hammering skills and strength. Captain America’s agility, speed, and durability. We’ll cover each of them with their own unique day. Focusing on a unique skill.
Altogether, forming a complete 4-week training system that’ll help you build ass-kicking, lean, ripped muscle.
The workout is a 4-day a week workout program. Spread your recovery days out as much as possible. The following is an ideal weekly split:
Thor: Monday, Hulk: Tuesday, Rest, Capt. America: Thursday, Rest, Iron Man: Saturday.
Focus: upper body pulling/slamming/grip strength.
If you’ve ever done sledge-hammer slams, or medball slams (similar movement), you’ll know that wielding a hammer with any significant amount of weight requires a lot of power from the lats. Thus, the ‘Thor day’ will focus on upper body pulling, but from a very different angle than you might be used to.
A. Dumbbell Pullover – Reps: 8, 6, 4, 12 - 60 seconds rest.
B1. Sledge hammer slam (or med-ball slam) 10 reps
B2. Alternating hammer curl – Reps: 8, 6, 4, 6, 8 (with a 3 second count on the way down)
60 seconds rest.
C1. Farmer’s walk – 2 lengths of 20 + feet.
C2. Sternum chin-ups – 8+ (failure with a 3 second count on the way down + a 2 second pause at the top)
C3. Ab roll-outs 10 reps
3 sets ; 60 seconds rest after each set
the Hulk Day
The Hulk is pure power. The guy’s vertical leap is immeasurable. His strength, the same. Now, we’re not likely to turn green when we get mad (although our faces sometimes turn red), so we need to train for the explosive power that the Hulk has.
Everything done today is about explosiveness. We’re lifting heavy, for lower reps, and we’re going to be taking longer rest periods. With each exercise, make sure you’re exploding – especially in those first few inches of the lift. On the box jumps, start by standing on a box or bench 12+ inches high. Drop down to the ground, immediately bounding back up to the bench.
Try and spend as little time on the ground as possible. As soon as you land, bound back up.
A. Snatch - Reps: 6, 4, 4, 6 ; Rest: 120 seconds.
B1. Deadlift – Reps: 6, 4, 4, 6 ; Rest: 120 seconds.
B2. Box jump – Reps: 3×8 reps.
C1. Push Press
C2. Power Upright Row
C3. Squat jump
Reps: 3×6-8 reps ; Rest: 60 seconds
Captain America Day
Focus: upper body pushes/stamina/agility.
Being Captain America would be pretty damn cool. It wouldn’t be too bad to be able to bench press 1200 pounds (545 kg) and run a mile (1.6 km) in 73 seconds (49 mph/78 kph). He also can’t become intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or impurities in the air. To put it simply, he’s a super-human in every sense of the word.
Today’s workout is a well-rounded upper body pushes workout. We’re going to build power, strength, but also toss in some HIIT to improve stamina without the long – exhaustive, cortisol-producing distance runs that dominate conventional ‘stamina-focused workouts’.
A. Floor Press – 8, 6, 4, 6, 8 - Rest: 120 seconds.
B1. Lumberjack Press
B3. Clap Push-ups
3 sets of 15 reps (or failure) each.
8 second sprint (all out), 52 second rest ; 10 second sprint, 50 second rest ; 12 second sprint, 48 second rest ; 10 second sprint, 50 second rest ; 8 second sprint, 42 second rest.
Iron Man Day
Focus: lower body balance/strength/agility.
Ironman, not being an exceptional physical specimen like the other members of the Avengers, is still very agile, and skilled in fighting.
To put it simply, the guy knows how to move. He knows how to be an athlete. Which is what our final workout of the week will be focused around.
A. Power Snatch - Reps: 6, 4, 4, 6 ; Rest: 120 seconds.
B1. Bulgarian split squat jump
B2. Step-up jump
3 x 12 reps each
C1. Hanging leg raise
C2. Box Jump
C3. Front squat
3 x 10 reps each
Heavy bag drills.
5 seconds all out, 5 seconds rest for 60 seconds. 60 seconds rest. Repeat 4x.
The Avengers Workout
Do this workout for 4 weeks. Makes sure you keep track of the weights you’re using and document your stats in a training journal or on WeightTraining.com (I’m an advisor for those guys, great site).
After you’ve finished this workout (which I’d suggest printing out), have a look at this video. It’s the next step to the routine you’re doing here.
Let me know what you think about the movie!