With the recent WonderCon comic book convention and upcoming Avengers film, it got us thinking: What does it take to be a superhero? Let’s put aside the fact that we may not have Tony Stark’s millions or Thor’s cool hammer, can we get superhero fit?
Well.org: How much would you have to work out to be Batman fit? What does a Batman fitness program look like?
Dave Asprey: The irony is that Batman is the original biohacker! He’s found expert ways to maximize his (super)human performance so that he can kick butt saving lives. Because Batman subjects himself to extreme stresses in his line of work, his free time in the Batcave is best spent using tools like neurofeedback and HeartMath analysis to ensure his body is performing and receiving to its peak potential.
If Batman needed to work out between saving lives, Batman’s fitness program would involve high-intensity interval training a few times a week, with some time spent allowing muscle recovery and stretching out on a Bulletproof Vibe (whole body vibration plate) in between.
Adam Cobb: Batman fit happens when you move well, eat well and think well daily and take each one of these areas to the next level, or as I like to say, eight days a week.
The Batman fitness program looks like four days of strength training focused on: Monday and Thursday consist of PPCC or pull, push, core, conditioning.
Found this on Bruce Wayne’s wall in his secret weight room:
10 Pulls (any variation of a pull-up) – Batman does them with a 30-pound weight vest on.
30 Pushes (standard shoulder width, wide, close and staggered hand position) – Batman does 30 explosive push-ups and takes a sip of water at peak explosion on rep 15 for fun.
20 Core (upper, lower and obliques) – Batman only does hanging straight-legged raises.
60 Conditioning (60 seconds of intense cardio, treadmill, jump rope, etc.) – Batman does only Jacobs Ladder.
Tuesday and Friday consist of explosive strength training using the TRX, bands, balls and balance pads.
Follow the same format of pull, push and core – four exercises each with a rep range of eight to 15 – and conditioning after training consisting of 45 minutes of elliptical, tread, row or jumping from one dark alley to the next (keep heart rate between 130-145).
Wednesday and the weekends consist of conditioning/cardio including plyometrics or AM cardio.
The secret weapon: one day a week minimum for a 90-minute massage and daily meditation.
W: What kinds of martial arts/training would you have to know to kick butt like Black Widow?
DA: It’s all about being in a state of flow. Whether you’re the Black Widow or Bruce Lee, exceptional martial artists are masters at creating flow; the state of hyper-focus where time slows down (or conversely speeds up). The Black Widow is a skilled martial artist; there is more to be gained from the mind than exercising the body. The Black Widow quiets her mind, anticipates the defeat of her opponent (thereby triggering flow) and gets down to business.
AC: The school of Bruce Lee. Seriously, a combo of MMA, balance training and a deep practice of meditation would kick the Black Widow’s butt.
W: What’s the closest thing to a Super-Soldier Serum you can think of?
DA: Glutathione Force is my Super-Soldier Serum of choice – it’s the result of a never-ending search for the single most powerful supplement you can take to increase your performance, fight aging and improve brain function all at the same time.
Glutathione is the most powerful antioxidant in your body. It is found in every cell and protects the body from inflammation, toxins and pathogens. When your body doesn’t make enough glutathione, normal health functions and your immune system are critically compromised. To give your body what it needs to kick ass, Upgraded Glutathione Force is designed to be eight times stronger than any other liposomal glutathione on the market today.
AC: A Super-Soldier Serum looks like eight to 16 ounces of green veggies six times a day, with BCAAs and glutamine pre- and post-workout.
Side Note: Super soldiers drink their body weight in fluid ounces of water each day.
W: How plausible at this moment in science and technology are we to having a real-life Iron Man, Captain America or Six Million Dollar Man?
DA: The reality of technology-enhanced humans is already around us, and the Bionic Man concept that was a thing of science fiction [is] knocking on the door of society. With the rise in computing to quantum levels, the emergence of nanotechnologies and the efficiency of high-performance electrical/electronic components, the Six Million Dollar Man is virtually here. Check out this link I posted on that exact topic on Facebook … about an awesome new robot suit, or “hybrid-assisted limb,” in development.
AC: I not only think it’s plausible but I think it’s present. I wouldn’t be surprised if B613 (Scandal reference) has the new superhero waiting to be revealed.
When Kevin Hart is flying over the Pacific with a jetpack on his Instagram account, it’s easy to imagine “Superthing” ready for duty.
W: What might a superhero’s diet look like?
DA: This is the epitome of the Bulletproof Diet – to eat foods that are high in nutrients and healthy fats (but low in toxins, anti-nutrients and glucose) to destroy brain fog and crush fatigue. Superheroes are masters of their domains, with total control over willpower: How do they do it? Superheroes eat for maximum performance with Bulletproof foods that fuel the brain and the body, avoid inflammation-causing Kryptonite foods like starches and nightshades and [have] at least a cup a day of Bulletproof Coffee! Superheroes must understand their unique genetic makeup so they can provide their bodies with food that will allow them to do superhuman things. Note: While this is true for Batman, it’s also true for every single human on the planet – that’s why I wrote The Bulletproof Diet!
AC: Superheroes are moving all day long, serving and saving people, so it’s much less about what they eat vs. when they eat. Keep your inside engine running hot (aka your metabolism).
The when is every two to three hours, sometimes they eat while saving someone. Superheroes know that food is fuel. A typical plan looks like this:
5 a.m. – green juice, Power Shake consisting of protein powder, coconut milk, avocado, blueberries, maca, cinnamon, almond butter
7 a.m. – one cup steel-cut oats and eight-egg omelet with spinach
10 a.m. – apple, almonds
1 p.m. – sweet potato, kale and turkey
4 p.m. – celery/cucumber hummus (superheroes love hummus, my Lebanese grandmother told me so)
7 p.m. – fatty fish, quinoa, asparagus
10 p.m. – Power Shake
10:30 p.m. – magnesium + vitamin C + omega-3 + D supplement to sleep, repair, restore and absorb water for full hydration
W: How could someone train their senses to the levels of Daredevil or Spider-Man?
DA: High-performance athletes are no stranger to “Spidey Senses.” It’s the innate sense of knowing what’s about to happen. There have been studies done to show the predictive nature of the human nervous system … the bottom line is there are a multitude of ways to hack intuition. Meditation tools like neurofeedback, audio technologies like Holosync and yogic breathing techniques help superheroes experience a sense of connectedness and intuitive thought processes by literally quieting the mind enough to hear what the subconscious is saying.
AC: They could go to Duke Integrative Medicine and practice meditation, mindfulness and visualization for two years OR starting today they can start practicing behavioral flexibility: how to have more variety and choices in how you process information, think and act. Spider-Man doesn’t just focus on growing intellectually but experientially as well. This means, you can visualize a successful day AND you must go out and execute. It’s one thing to have a breathing practice yet another to remember to use your breath in times of stress. When Spider-Man has Venom attacking him, believe me, he owns his breath, which in turn allows him to own his body and maneuver the way he must to be victorious against any enemy. When Spider-Man practices breathing, he breathes in for four seconds, holds for two seconds and releases for six seconds. It’s a 426 breathing pattern. Try training your senses today by practicing this 426 breathing pattern five times, which equals one minute and do this three times daily and watch all your senses improve.
W: With apparent complete disrespect to Sherlock Holmes, Batman is often referred to as “the world’s greatest detective.” How would someone go about increasing their deductive or reasoning abilities to this level?
DA: If only Sherlock Holmes had had brain-training games! Well, right away, Sherlock Holmes was a drinker. Although he may have a keen detective sense, he may have been overriding those senses through the things he was putting in his body. Sherlock Holmes never struck me as a man big on sleep – but it’s the No. 1 performance hack there is. If you want to start functioning on a higher level, start by looking at your sleep performance. If you aren’t getting a good night’s rest in all of the states of the sleep cycle, start there. Alcohol in particular inhibits our ability to reach good REM (rapid eye movement), so for Sherlock Holmes, or anyone trying to increase their mental acuity … take it back to the basics. Our bodies are naturally engineered to operate at peak efficiency if we provide them with the proper fuel. But just like a race car can’t run on pump gas, neither can we when our physical and mental loads exceed that of the fuel we put in it.
AC: There are three things someone can do to be the best Sherlock Holmes/Batman detective out of their friends and for their family.
1. Listen Up. Listen to things not said. Pay attention and remember the basic communication equation: words make up 7 percent, tonality 38 percent and physiology 55 percent.
2. Observe People. When you ask someone a question and they consistently look up and to your left, they are making up their answer, aka playing you for a fool. Notice, does their breathing rate pick up or slow down, and last one on this, Batman is a pro at this one. When doing real detective work, if asking a question to someone and their lower lip has lines, they are relaxed; if they have no lines then that’s caused by stress and inflammation, could be a guilty party.
3. When you enter a room or when you’re driving, play a game. Always know how many people are around and one unique feature about them or their car, or check out lumosity.com.
W: Being a superhero is hard work for mind and body. What are some body-soothing and stress-relieving techniques you recommend for this high level of training?
DA: What we create as our apparent reality is actually fully influenced by what we think. Being a superhero is hard work for the mind and body if we believe that to be true; but for them, it’s all in a day’s work, nothing out of the ordinary. Stress is not a condition, it’s a perception! While we all feel stress at different times of our lives, the real key is to remember that stress is self-imposed. A simple morning ritual like a short HeartMath EmWave2 meditation session each day can do wonders for relieving stress from any sort of high-level life – not just athletes or Zen monks, I’m talking about students, parents, executives, nine-to-fivers … literally everyone!
AC: I tell my athletes and superheroes that self-care isn’t selfish. Foam rolling for 10 minutes is mandatory pre- and post-workout. Epsom salt baths at night are a great way to allow the muscles to recover. Massages are mandatory on my program and a cold plunge is recommended when needed. Last but certainly not least, 20-minute naps keep you at superhero status.
W: Without the assistance of limitless financial resources, advanced technology, a butler, sidekick or some sort of cosmic ray, what are some tips for the average Joe to be more superhero like?
DA: Do you see the trend here? When it comes to diagnosing any problem, whether you’re a biohacker or a plumber or a pediatrician, the answer lies in tracing the problem back to the root. The problems that we face are often self-imposed, even if we don’t know it. Having trouble concentrating and feel like you’re in a fog all day? There are probably clues in the quality of food you’re eating and sleep you’re getting. It doesn’t take any money or any special science to take a look at our daily habits and work on chipping away at the worst ones. Feed the body good food. Nourish the mind with non-doing. Find inspiration in your daily life. Average Joe to superhero all starts in the mind.
AC: Movement creates momentum and regardless of resources we can all move for 30-60 minutes every day. I believe you can have a superhero figure with push-ups, planks and a jump rope routine. Your meal today provides your momentum tomorrow, which means the more you prepare, use Tupperware and plan your meal prep, the more success you will have. Remember you can eat the right foods and do the right exercises, but unless you take the time and space to get your mind right, practice breathing and meditation, you will never have your spider senses when you need them.