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Batman V Superman: Battle for Best Body

The superheroes square off in the action-packed blockbuster, but behind the scenes, Affleck and Cavill compete for the most shredded physique.

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World's Finest

“In [Man of Steel], Henry didn’t have another superhero to be next to, apart from General Zod,” says Twight. “In this one, because he was going to be next to Batman a lot, the general consensus was that he needed to be a little bit bigger.”

Naturally, this meant Cavill was encouraged to eat more. During The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Cavill kept his calories under control. But during the break before Batman v Superman, his body possessed, in the words of Twight, “a lot of desire for super compensation.” And Twight let him…compensate. Translation: Seconds and thirds were had.

SEE ALSO: How Henry Cavill Got Superhero-Shredded

“His diet was in the 5,000-calories-a-day range, which is typical for anyone of his size in the gaining phase,” says Twight. “He still ate relatively clean, but he loved it because he had a lot of latitude.”

They paired this nutrition plan with grueling two-hour workouts in the gym. Pretty soon, Cavill’s measurables rose. “Six months into Batman v Superman,” says Twight, “his numbers were through the roof.” His deadlift neared 500 pounds. He was front-squatting 335 pounds. He did a lot of shoulder work, because there’s never been a superhero who didn’t have broad shoulders and a narrow waist. With Twight’s assistant, Michael Blevins, Cavill even spent time doing gymnastics work, like tumbles and handstands.

CAVILL TOPPED OUT AT 220 POUNDS AND GAINED AN EXTRA 12 POUNDS OF MUSCLE COMPARED WITH THE SHAPE HE WAS IN FOR MAN OF STEEL. HIS DEADLIFT NEARED 500 POUNDS, AND HE FRONT- SQUATTED 335.

“We hit a lot of PRs compared with [training for the first movie],” says Twight. “And some of that, too, was not only improved physical ability but also the psychological changes of being confident enough to go after a heavier weight. You know, he was willing to take a little bit more of an aggressive attitude to the weight. And he was so much more physically capable on this one.”

The result was impressive. On Man of Steel, Cavill got up to 199.8 pounds and was cut down to 190 pounds for shooting. On Batman v Superman, Cavill topped out at 220 pounds and was walking around at 202 pounds, with 7 or 8% body fat. Which means he gained an extra 12 pounds of muscle compared with his shape for the first movie—when he was already rather big. As for whether there was a friendly rivalry between the two actors to see who could lift the most or look the best, both Norton and Twight say not really. “It’s normal guy behavior to think, ‘I want to be bigger, I want to look better,’ ” says Twight. “And so certainly that kind of thing would come up. But comparing numbers, it’s just not feasible for a variety of reasons.”

Wonderwoman

But Twight had other things on his mind at that point anyway. Because in addition to prepping Cavill, he was also tasked with getting the film’s jaw-dropping starlet, Israeli model and actress Gal Gadot, in fighting shape to play Wonder Woman. Twight calls this nine-month process—including three months with her, one on one, in Tel Aviv— “challenging and immensely satisfying.” One of the primary challenges: convincing the slender 5'10" Gadot that it was OK to add a significant amount of weight. Twight says it required her to make a transformation in self-image and body image.

SEE ALSO: The Wonder Woman Workout

“Anytime you present someone with a really radical change, it’s hard to get them to buy in 100% to the idea,” says Twight. “So we took it in incremental steps. We went from a model to a high jumper, in terms of an athletic look. And then once she was comfortable with that, then we’d go a little bit further.”

Interestingly, the key to Gadot’s transformation was the same as the one for Cavill and Affleck: training and eating right every day, for months and months at a time. “The real thing is consistency,” says Twight. “It just has to be something that you are paying attention to all day, every day. And the training itself isn’t enough unless other behavior changes. So, yeah, everybody loves to put on the size, but what makes Henry look like Superman is the fact that he is very lean also. So every muscle that he built, you can see. And that’s the hard part to maintain.”

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