Most of us have a Batman fantasy. We’ve all seen the movie, and even if we haven’t, we know what he looks like, sound like, and, most importantly, how he moves. In fact, a 2016 study found that people rated the Dark Knight as the most physically attractive superhero (next to Ironman). The main reason behind this? It’s simple. Batman is very strong, he’s very athletic, and he has very good taste in costumes (just look at his closet). As a result, a lot of us want to look like him, and now that he’s gracing our screens once more thanks to the blockbuster Suicide Squad, it’s the perfect time to develop a workout plan to help us achieve our goal.

The Evolution Of A Classic Batman Workout

If you’ve ever read a biography or watched a documentary on Batman’s early days, you’ll know that the Dark Knight was influenced by European fencing, particularly by the Italian masters. According to Legends of the Knight, Robin Hood’s Merry Men trained with Batman in the early 30s and he adopted their exercises because of their “military precision.” Over the years, Batman’s workout regimen has changed quite a bit to reflect this influence. Now, before we get started, it’s important to note that just because Batman’s workout plan is different than what you’re used to doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. In fact, the reverse is usually true; lots of old routines can be adapted to work for anyone, provided you know how to change a few things around.

Here’s a look back at Batman’s classic workout:

The Chest

Back in the 20s and 30s, a large portion of Batman’s workout focused on building his chest. After all, he needed to have plenty of lung capacity to be able to shout “boo!” at criminals and jump off buildings (fun fact: Batman is the inspiration for the Wushu martial art). During his training in the early 1930s, Batman used to do chin-ups (a traditional Chinese exercise) for hours on end, aiming for as many repetitions as possible. To this day, Bruce still follows this routine, as seen in the 2009 film The Dark Knight. He also continues to use weight training as part of his regimen, building on the chest and triceps with heavy lifting and lots of squats.

Other routines focus on the back, arms, and legs, with very little effort put into his chest. During the Great Depression, it was common practice for artists and photographers to show off their athletic prowess by posing for magazines and newspapers. Back in those days, it was considered very stylish to look like an agile, muscular man. Hence, the emergence of the so-called “scrawny millionaire” stereotype. Since then, however, the focus has shifted to building a strong back and legs, with workouts like the famous “yoga position” becoming all the rage (more on that later).

The Stretches

When it comes to working out, most people are familiar with the term “stretches.” After all, we usually hear people saying “I need a stretch” when they’re coming down from an exercise high. While the origin of the phrase is unknown, it’s likely that the runners and football players among us are responsible for its invention. During those early days of his training, Batman would do lots of stretches before and after his workouts, aiming to increase his range of motion, prevent injury, and improve his flexibility (great for avoiding attacks from behind). The Dark Knight would also regularly perform various arm stretches while driving his motorcycle, which in winter became quite the task.

Although some of these stretches are designed to increase flexibility and mobility, others are there to promote strength and muscle tone. For example, the crowfoot (flexibilitas arborea) is used to increase ankle and foot mobility, while the frog leg stretch (semper firmus) is meant to strengthen the muscles in the front of the thighs. If you want to emulate Batman’s classic workout, you’ll need to incorporate all of these stretches into your routine, aiming for 15 to 20 minutes of dedicated yoga every day.

The Warm-Ups

Once you’ve finished your stretches, you’ll need to do some warm-ups. Just like your body heats up during and after exercise, your muscles and joints need to be warmed up before you start moving around. This is especially important if you suffer from arthritis or other forms of joint pain. While you should do some light stretching before your workouts, afterward you should do a series of dynamic movements to increase your range of motion, decrease stiffness, and promote relaxation.

In addition to this, you’ll need to do some arm exercises and stretches for your upper body, before moving onto your legs. Once you’ve completed your upper body routine, it’s time for the final stretch and cool down, which should include some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation. Just like when you’re finished exercising, your body needs to be cooled down and prepared for the day after. Keep your hands raised high, breathe deeply, and feel refreshed.

As you can see, doing Batman’s workout isn’t as complicated as it seems. All you need is the desire to emulate the Dark Knight (we know you have it) and the determination to make it happen (don’t give up!). With a bit of research, inspiration, and hard work, you’ll be able to develop your own workout plan that will make you look and feel like the Dark Knight. So, what are you waiting for? Get started already!