Ben Affleck’s Body Transformation for Batman: Real or Fake?
When Ben Affleck was cast as the new Batman for Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice many Batman fans disliked and opposed the decision. When he took up the role of the beloved Gothem City hero for the new instalments, he didn’t exactly fit the physical profile of Batman as is seen in the comics and more recent Batman movies. Affleck has never been pictured as the more muscular type of actor.
Director Zack Snyder and the producers wanted a bigger, more muscular, aggressive and badass human hero who would be more realistic facing off with an alien with superhuman abilities. As such, Ben Affleck had to get jacked and fast.
Snyder needed Affleck to pack on at least 20lbs before filming could start. Amazingly, this is exactly what Ben Affleck did. Not only that, Affleck managed to increase strength and add raw power, improving his bench-press max and deadlifts by over 50 lbs. Many fans still wonder to this day, how he pulled it off.
In this article, I’ve taken a detailed look at how Ben Affleck was able to build lean muscle fast and get ripped for the new Batman movies.
How Did Affleck Gain Muscle Mass?
When Ben Affleck was directing and acting in ‘The Town’, he weighed in at 198 pounds. To be physically feasible for the Batman movies, he had to pump those numbers up to around 220 pounds. Reports indicate that Affleck exceeded the target and went all the way up to 230 pounds with only 7.7% body fat percentage before cutting back to 225 pounds. So how was he able to realize that mass gain with limited fat gain?
Affleck had to work hard and smart. He enlisted the help of the renowned and experienced celebrity trainer Walter Norton Jr. Norton is affiliated to the Institute of Performance and Fitness. Ben Affleck may have begun training for Batman without knowing it. He had begun training with Walter Norton Jr. as he prepared for ‘The Town’.
Each week, Norton would prepare a workout regime for Affleck. Each regime would target specific muscle groups and had specific goals.
Apparently, Norton wanted Affleck to look like a heavyweight MMA fighter. Given the fact that the Snyder movies involve an older Batman who has been fighting crime for more than 20 years, the goals were just perfect. They focused mainly on heavy lifting and compound exercises for building mass.
Affleck’s special diet that focused on proper nutritional rations of carbohydrates, lean protein, and essential fats also helped him bulk up. He was consuming more than 3000 calories every day. Below is one of the typical weekly workout programs that Affleck did for the Batman role.
Ben Affleck’s Mass Building Workout
Day 1: Chest and Triceps
- Barbell Bench Press: Five sets with a rep range of 4 – 6
- Overhead Dumbbell Triceps press: Four sets with a rep range of 8 – 10
- Close Grip Incline Bench Press: Four sets with a rep range of 6 – 8
- Weighted Dips: Four sets of 8 reps and a 2-minute rest time
- Barbell Decline Bench Press: Four sets with a rep range of 6 – 8
- Weighted Pull Ups: Four sets with a rep range of 6 – 8 (Alternating between close grip and wide grip)
- Barbell Rows: Four sets with a rep range of 6 – 8 (Alternating between underhand and overhand grip)
- Standing Barbell Bicep Curl: Four sets with a rep range of 6 -8
- Seated Rows: Four sets of 8 reps and 2 minutes rest time.
- Underhand Lateral Pull-Down: Four sets of 8 reps
Day 3: Legs and Abs
- Barbell Squats: Four sets with a rep range of 4 – 6
- Affleck went heavy with the squats since they work out the largest muscle group
- Barbell Dead Lift: Four sets of 6 reps
- Weighted Russian Abdominal Twists: Four sets with a rep range of 10 – 12 (works abdominals and obliques
- Walking Dumbbell Lunges: Four sets of 10 reps per leg
- Dumbbell Step Ups: Four sets of 10 reps per leg
Day 4: Shoulders and Traps
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press: Four sets of 8 reps
- Barbell Shrugs: Four sets of 6 reps
- Dumbbell Arnold Press: Four sets with a rep range of 6 – 8
- Dumbbell Lat Raise: Four sets of 12 reps
- Dumbbell Shrugs: Four sets of 8 reps
Day 5: Cardio
Ben Affleck’s cardio workout consisted of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). He would switch between days of dumbbell squat jumps and sprint intervals.
He opted for 8 to 10 intervals with a minute rest in between. Affleck would typically work out twice a day for five consecutive days and rest for two days.
How Did How Manage To Stay Lean?
Ben Affleck’s special diet enabled him to get lean while also building muscle. He enlisted the services of Rehan Jalali, who is a nutritionist based in Beverly Hills. Affleck’s diet plan was very similar to the one he used to get lean for The Town. The diet plan involved six daily meals taken at the right time of the day. His typical daily diet would look like this:
- Egg whites
- Traditional steel-cut oatmeal
- Double protein option
- Fish or chicken
- Essential fats
- Brussels sprouts
His clean diet plan was based on proper nutrition ratios. Ben consumed 45% carbohydrates, 35% lean protein and 20% essential fats.
For carbohydrates, he opted for oatmeal, leafy vegetables, brown rice, potatoes and whole-wheat pasta. For lean protein, he went for egg whites, sirloin steak, chicken and turkey breasts, and salmon. For essential fats, he consumed almond butter, flaxseed oil, walnuts, natural peanut butter, and almonds.
Ben Affleck’s training methods also enabled him to stay lean while building muscle. He would do HIIT cardio workouts in the mornings on an empty stomach. Allocating mornings for HIIT cardio makes your body burn fat up to three times faster.
Did He Use Steroids or Supplement?
There is much debate on whether Ben Affleck has real or fake muscle for the new Batman movies. It is often tempting to attribute fast, lean muscle growth to anabolic steroids. That being said, Ben Affleck did NOT use anabolic steroids to achieve his body transformation. However, it is evident that he did use supplements since such quick gains are practically impossible without proper supplementation.
The question lies in which supplements he used in the bodybuilding process. As far as body definitions go, Ben Affleck’s can be described as natural since supplementation usage was minimal. Natural bodybuilding excludes performance enhancers including anabolic steroids, diuretics, growth hormones and insulin.
Ben Affleck did not use any of these substances. There is information available that confirms that Affleck used CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acid. CLA stimulates the fat burning process and reduces the body’s fat storage ability. Ben Affleck used CLA to target abdominal fat and expose his abs.
The take away here is that Ben Affleck’s muscles are real. Given his rigorous workout regimen that his wife attested to, it is evident that he did put in the extra amount of work needed to realize the impressive muscle gains. The use of CLA and other similar supplements does fall into the category of natural bodybuilding.
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