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The Dark Knight Workout

Getting Ripped and Finishing Strong!

The Dark Knight Workout: Getting Ripped & Finishing Strong!

His workouts and nutrition program mirrored that of most of us in the fitness and iron game. Mr. Bale's physique and screen presence had to be perfect for this summer's biggest blockbuster. Here's how he did it!
Christian Bale Had To Reveal An Impressive Physique.
"Christian Bale Had To Reveal An Impressive Physique."

It isn't hard to want the life of a celebrity. While most of them may have fame and fortune, a ripped physique is still not the norm. No matter the line of work, attaining a lean physique still takes considerable work and mental fortitude.

I often laugh when I hear people say that the only reason celebrities look great is because they have more money, personal trainers, and time. Well, in some cases, these things can often spawn a worse physique! Having a lot of time and money on your hands can lead to over eating, laziness and being complacent. We as humans all have the same physiology and therefore can all benefit from the same techniques to attain the leanness we all envy.

In his upcoming epic movie, "The Dark Knight", Hollywood superstar Christian Bale had to reveal an impressive physique. After all, he had to fit in a skin-tight suit, maintain six-pack abs, and still have a screen presence of being tough. Not easy to do.

Surprisingly though, his workouts and nutrition program mirrored that of most of us in the fitness and iron game. Mr. Bale's physique and screen presence had to be perfect for this summer's biggest blockbuster. Here's how he did it!

Nutrition

The goal of this summers "Dark Knight" was to have a very lean yet muscular physique, similar to the goal of many of us on Bodybuilding.com. Hence, his diet was set up to take advantage of the anabolic window to support muscle growth and limit fat gains.

To do this, most of his carbohydrates were consumed in the morning upon wakening and after his workout. Times when glycogen would be at it's lowest and absorption of nutrients would support muscle rather than fat gains. His choice of carbohydrates would mostly consist of those that were low on the glycemic index and would therefore keep insulin levels and energy more stable.

Workouts

Christian Bale is known for his ability to transform his physique for various roles. For the Machinist he dropped to double digits on the scale. In fact, many were worried that he wouldn't be able to gain enough weight to play the role of the "dark knight."

Mr. Bale not only pulled it off, but brought forth a physique that many would be lucky to develop over years of training! For anybody to accomplish this, they must possess desire and knowledge. It's one thing to really want a great body, but knowing how is just as important.

Great Body On A Tight Schedule

XXX
"Christian Bale In The Machinist."

So he only had a few weeks to get the job done and we can all relate. Granted, we may not make 20 million dollars for attending our next reunion in ripped shape, but at least we can hold our head high and know we truly accomplished something.

While it isn't advised to cut or gain weight quickly, it can be done within reason. Many don't advocate this because it is d@mn near impossible. Dropping weight fast often leads to considerable muscle loss and a scrawny physique. Gaining weight fast often leads to little muscle gains and a lot of fat. So, if we are playing against the odds and trying to get in great shape fast, we better be 100% on the money.

Workout Setup

To make significant changes in your physique it helps to have been there before. "Muscle Memory" is one our greatest allies. If you were muscular and lean before, it is much easier to get there again, hence another reason to get in great shape, even if it's just once! Christian Bale had been there before and knew his body possessed the ability to become lean and muscular.

The Dark Knights Objective And Goals

Attain A Lean Muscular Physique In Less Than 8 weeks

  1. Do not sacrifice muscle for weight loss-obtain a balance and watch the mirror!
  2. No cheating on nutrition-must be 100% perfect.
  3. Treat each set and rep like it's our last.
  4. Each cardio session must be planned and pushed through.

The Nutrition Plan

  1. Consume just enough calories to gain or preserve muscle while still losing fat.
  2. Keep insulin to an absolute minimum, knowing it is most valuable at breakfast and post workout.
  3. Consume most carbohydrates in the form of green vegetables and low on the GI scale, such as rolled oats, ezekiel bread, and green vegetables.
  4. Protein must be high-at least 1.25 g/lbs of bodyweight

The Training Plan

  1. Train to failure on each set-this will activate the most high threshold fibers to initiate growth.
  2. Favor more volume than intensity as the extra time in the gym will burn more calories. Over training is not a major concern... we have a movie to make!
  3. Reps in the 6-12 range with various tactics such as supersets and drop sets.
  4. Use mostly compound exercises to stimulate the most muscle.
  5. Train 5 days per week with cardio 7 days per week.

Workout Setup

This will hold true for all workout days.

Set 1 Setup 4 Sets x 6, 8, 10, 12/ Rest 2 Minutes Between Sets

The high threshold fast twitch fibers will be activated right away with the heavy weights. The higher reps that follow will stimulate other more endurance oriented fibers. Wake up the fibers early and reap the rewards later.

All weights should be chosen accordingly, so that the reps listed are able to be performed. As an example, don't pick a weight you could get 12 reps with for your 4 rep set. Also, don't forget to warm up thoroughly!

Batman Charges Into Action On His New Bat-Pod.
"Batman Charges Into Action On His New Bat-Pod."

Set 2 Setup 3 Sets Of 10-12 reps/Rest 1 Minute Between Sets

Now since we have awoken the giant, we will continue to punish you with higher reps and more intensity. Now we are going to do 3 sets of 10-12 reps with one minute of rest in between. Again, pick an appropriate weight. For example, the first set pick a weight that will allow 12 reps, but maybe you could have gotten 14. This way by the third set you will really have to struggle to get 10!

Set 3 Setup Two Supersets & One Drop Set/Rest Just Long Enough To Catch Your Breath

Sorry, no pain... no gain! We have a deadline here and you don't want to look good. You have to look great! Two supersets and one drop set will finish off this body part.

30 minutes after each lifting session on a treadmill, bike, or elliptical. This will definitely continue the fat burning as your lifting session will significantly reduce your stored glycogen, which makes fat that much easier to tap into.

Don't forget to consume a fast digesting carbohydrate and protein source after your cardio session to start the rebuilding process. Also, I highly recommend taking in 10-15 g of BCAA and glutamine in the morning upon awakening and after your weight session to preserve muscle and protect your health.

The Dark Knight Workouts

Monday: Chest/ Triceps
Superset
Superset
30 minutes of cardio


Tuesday: Biceps
Superset
Abs: 3 triple drop sets. Do all three exercise without rest. Then repeat after 1 minute rest. Do a total of 3 sets with 10-20 reps per exercise!
Cardio: 30 minutes


Wednesday: Quads/Hamstrings
Superset
Superset
Cardio: 30 minutes


Thursday: Lats/ MidBack
Superset
Superset
Cardio: 30 minutes


Friday: Shoulders
Superset
Abs: 3 triple drop sets. Do all three exercise without rest. Then repeat after 1 minute rest. Do a total of 3 sets with 10-20 reps per exercise!
Cardio: 30 minutes


Saturday and Sunday

Cardio: 30 minutes each day

Nutrition Plan

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 4
After Workout, before Cardio
Meal 5: After Cardio
Meal 6: Bedtime

Conclusion

There you have it! The ultimate guide to your "Dark Knight" workout. Undoubtedly Christian Bale had to train this intensely to transform his body for this summer's most anticipated movie.

This workout will force your muscles to change and give you just enough protein and carbohydrates to build muscle, lose fat and keep you healthy. If you can get through six weeks of this, and are still standing, you might not recognize yourself. You might even star in a major motion picture... don't blame us though!


Related Articles

About The Author

Eyad competed in the Body-For-Life Challenge 2006 following stroke in 2005. Today he continues improving his physique and that of others...

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darrylgates

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darrylgates

Amazing I'm going to Try this!!

Nov 30, 2011 1:49am | report
 
Eskibo

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Eskibo

Whats the point in doing pyramid sets directly after reverse pyramiding? I would stick to reversing, as that makes more sense. Normal pyramiding is a waste of energy.

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Jan 18, 2012 4:31am | report
 
Michaelda16

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Michaelda16

Iv put on mad size with this workout! i love it.

Apr 11, 2012 9:50pm | report
 
Kevin64

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Kevin64

Are the supersets to failure?

May 2, 2012 1:12pm | report
 
HugoBgood

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HugoBgood

6 weeks on this to get lean, 8kgs down, 6 weeks on a muscle gain,6kgs up, second time around on this workout, freaking spot on. Thanks a lot guys.

Aug 17, 2012 10:02pm | report
 
joseza82

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joseza82

so it's normal to lose weight? i've lost 4 kgs in 3 weeks... i was 78kg now i'm 74, i look too **** skinny, should i continue with this? i'll gain weight later on?

Sep 6, 2012 3:19am | report
jordachep

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jordachep

weekend diet stays the same?

Aug 27, 2012 4:14pm | report
 
HugoBgood

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HugoBgood

I keep the diet the same but would load on some carbs during Sunday night, just to get the energy levels up for Monday. This is not by any means a scientifically tested method, but found that my energy levels take a dive towards the end of the weak, and a pizza on Sunday night seems to be what i need to get it back up there.

Aug 31, 2012 3:25am | report
Wrdsk

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Wrdsk

Great workout. Started this three weeks ago and I already see some definition in my biceps and chest. Updated wieght is 275, starting wieght was 296 in July. Friends say I look great " are you on a diet" no " a change of lifestyle "
You can do this!!!!!

Aug 31, 2012 6:37am | report
 
sionique

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sionique

Does the diet keeps you full? it seems like crazy small meals for big guys

Nov 6, 2012 11:30am | report
Wrdsk

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Wrdsk

Sorry for the late reply. Yes I've had no problem, when I first started I couldn't eat everything and had to cut back for the first month. Keep in mind up until I started this I was inactive, so it took awhile for my body to adjust.

Jan 14, 2013 8:53pm | report
rltoscano

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rltoscano

Day: Thursday.

Do I really need to repeat bent overrows two times? At the beginning and at dropset?

Can someone help me? Thx a lot :D

Sep 13, 2012 3:00pm | report
 
mickydturk

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mickydturk

Hi there guys n girls, I have been trying to do this workout for the past month or so. I have had some amazing results to building lean muscle. This really is a great workout and recommend it to those who want lean muscle. One thing though, with this work out I got fatigued a few times due to the intensity of the work out and had to rest a few days between the routine. If you want something hectic this is it

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Oct 31, 2012 7:56pm | report
 
mainboss

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mainboss

what is SS

Oct 31, 2012 10:13pm | report
mainboss

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mainboss

what is ss

Oct 31, 2012 9:54pm | report
 
The Crush

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The Crush

It's not defined in the article, but looks like "Super Set". That is essentially doing one exercise and then immediately doing the next exercise without a break. They can really get the heart going.

Nov 2, 2012 10:58am | report
sionique

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sionique

Hi guys... I am planning to start this work out next week, I think I can handle the training and the cardio... but I am feeling that I'll be hungry all the time with such little food.... any advice from your experience?
Thanks!

Nov 6, 2012 8:14am | report
 
Wrdsk

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Wrdsk

I don't know about you but for me,someone who was very overweight, this workout knock me on my arse!! It's tough, but stick with it. The results are awesome!!!!
I answered your other question above. Thanks

Jan 14, 2013 8:57pm | report
Kanonrs

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Kanonrs

anybody can tell whether the series 4 x 6, 8, 10, 12 are of the same weight or the weights are larger at the beginning and lower at the end or beginning with lighter weights for heavy in series

Dec 13, 2012 6:44am | report
 
Wrdsk

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Wrdsk

I've been doing the same weight for all reps 6/8/10/12 but by the time I get to the fourth set, I can barely push out the last 4

Jan 14, 2013 8:50pm | report
maujarvis

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maujarvis

You start with heavier weights, and work yourself down in weight. The point is to max out in during each set.

Jul 7, 2014 12:59pm | report
Antwanblaze

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Antwanblaze

I'm starting this workout today. I should be able to push my body to the max being a former collage track runner. We will see how this goes

Jan 28, 2013 2:32am | report
 
MrPaulP

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MrPaulP

I need reply asap! Starting tomorrow the nutrition plan and workout and I have all supplements but, Im not sure does "scoop" mean regular scoop which is approx. 1 dl or scoop which comes in the package of current product. For example in Xtend is small spoon about 15ml. So I add 4 dl or 60ml?

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Feb 17, 2013 8:08am | report
 
Denijs

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Denijs

Do you guys follow the nutrition plan everyday? Or is it meant as an example?
Really want to start this program and come into top shape

Apr 10, 2013 1:27am | report
 
Denijs

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Denijs

Wauw i'm two weeks in and you can really see the difference, even with some cheating in the meal plan.
Instead of the scivation Xtend I take glutamine, amino super tabs and creatine and in stead of the vitargo I take Waxy maize starch otherwise it's unaffordable for me as a collegestudent.

Apr 30, 2013 7:43am | report
 
Showing 1 - 25 of 30 Comments

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