A Workout for “Watchmen”

Anabolic Steroids / Bodybuilding Blog

A Workout for “Watchmen”

When Watchmen was released in 2009, it helped to make actors like Patrick Wilson and Malin Akerman into stars.  It also meant that the actors were going to have to be in shape.

Playing superheroes isn’t easy, but when you’ve got a good workout routine you can easily convince the viewer that you are Nite Owl or Silk Spectre. The trick is to do the right workout to get the right results.

Superheroes are slim and toned.  They don’t build a lot of muscle mass so they do some extra cardio to make sure they don’t bulk up.  Just imagine if Batman only hung by his ankles and did psycho vertical crunches all day — he’d be a behemoth!

The ideal superhero can kick ass and still run away when things go bad.  In order to do that you have to keep your body on its proverbial toes.  You have to add some cardio into your workouts, and it’s a good idea to be trained in self-defense  — but that’s another story.  Most of all, you have to be committed.

How does a superwoman workout?

Malin Akerman Slimmed Down

When Malin Akerman got in shape before shooting Watchmen, she trained with a Navy SEAL — and who better to kick you into shape?  His idea was to change up her routine everyday to make sure her body didn’t settle into a rhythm.  She just needed tone.

Her routine included an obstacle course and this simple circuit that allows you to change the weights and reps from day to day.  After you’re done with basic training (or an obstacle course) come home and see how this circuit works for you.

Standing Push-Press

Remember to use the weights that coordinate with the day.  If you used heavy weights yesterday, you should use lighter weights today.  If you did 20 reps yesterday you should do 10 today with a heavier weight.  Always keep your body guessing.

Take a dumbbell in each hand and hold then at chin level.  Press your right arm up and lock your elbow.  Bring your arm down and push up your left arm.  Alternate arms to complete the workout.

A good baseline is 15 reps.  Start there and work your way up and down from 15 to get better results each day.

Medicine Ball Slam

Take a medicine ball that’s heavy enough to accommodate your plans for that day.  If you used a lighter ball yesterday, then you should use a heavier ball today and do less reps.

With the ball sitting on the ground squat down and pick it up.  Raise the ball over your head as you stand up.  Next you will slam the ball down on the ground with all the force you can muster.  Pick the ball back up and repeat the process.

Again, a good baseline is 15 reps.

Mountain Climber

Squat down on all fours, but keep your toes on the ground.  You’re going to kick one foot forward and then the other. This will make you feel like you’re running, but your hands keep you in one place.

A good baseline for the mountain climber is 20 reps on each leg.


No weights here, but it’s the one constant in your routine.  Change the number of reps you do everyday to keep your body guessing.

Begin standing and immediately squat down.  As you squat down you want to kick back your legs and place your hands on the ground.  Do one push-up and jump back onto your feet.

Repeat the exercise until you are finished, but remember that you must do a proper push-up.  Using bad form and/or raising up your butt will greatly change how effective your workout is.

The Nite Owl Gets in Shape

Patrick Wilson starred as Nite Owl in Watchmen and he had to get in shape as well.  Wilson wanted to gain muscle so that he could fill out a superhero’s suit, and weight training did just that.

However, Wilson didn’t want to abandon cardio.  That meant there had to be a fine balance.  If you’re doing cardio and weights in the same session you need to keep a couple things in mind.

  1. Always do your cardio before you do your weight training.
  2. This will allow you to use more energy during your weight training.  That makes your lifting more effective.
  3. If you’re combining weights and cardio you need to be well-nourished and well-hydrated before your workout.

Start your workout with a nice run on the treadmill or with a couple laps around the gym.  If you like the pool then jump in and swim a few laps.  You could also go for the elliptical or even try an obstacle just like Malin Akerman did.

Once you’ve dried off the sweat go right to a simple weight training circuit to put on the pounds like Patrick Wilson did.  No one told Wilson to put on the extra weight, but he knew he had to look like a superhero.

Try this circuit with dumbbells or a bar and see how fast you can get into superhero shape.

Military Press

Keep the weight at chin level and press the weight up over your head.  Lock your elbows to make sure you’ve completed the rep.  lower your arms back down and start over.

Complete 20 reps before moving on.

Bicep Curl

Hold the weight underhanded with your arms extended.  Flex your biceps and lift the weight up to your chest and back down.

Complete 20 reps before moving on.

Bench Press

Lay down on the bench with a spotter by your side.  Use a weight you’re comfortable with and take the bar in hand. Push the bar up to extend your arms and lower the bar down to your chest.  Push the bar back up and repeat the process.

Complete 10 reps before moving on.


You can do this exercise at a machine, on the monkey bars at the park, or on any elevated bar you can reach.  Grasp the bar underhanded.  Pull your chest up to the bar and bring your chin over the bar.  Relax and lower your body down.

Complete 10 reps before moving on.


Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart, straighten your back, and lower your butt.  Bring your nose all the way to ground and push your body back up.

Complete 10 reps before moving on.

You can alternate free weights and body weight exercises as well as adding more of each.  The idea is to make sure you are using weights right after you do your cardio.

The cardio gets your body ready for an intense workout, and keeps you alert.  If you want to skip the cardio you’re more than welcome to, and that will allow you to pack on even more weight.

Whether you want to gain weight or lose weight and build muscle you can easily do it superhero style.  Do an obstacle course like Malin, or combine workouts and do cardio and weights like Patrick.

In no time you can look like your favorite superhero, or, better yet, your favorite villain.

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