So with the latest instalment of the Avengers (Avengers 2: Age of Ultron) recently being released on DVD and Blu-Ray, I thought now would be a good time to discuss the superhero physique. The main question people will be asking is what can they do to get a similar physique to that of superheroes. Well let’s have a look…

Firstly, there are many types of superhero physique, let’s look at two of the more popular ones:

ThorThor always seems to be going sleeveless, especially in the latest movie. As well as keeping true to the original comic book character, you can see that the outfit accentuates Hemsworth’s shoulder and arm development, more so than his chest and back. Perhaps for his role, he would train his shoulders and arms more than his chest and back.


Captain AmericaCaptain America. As the result of a lab experiment to make a ‘super human’, he has to look the part. Evans’ physique is different to Hemsworth’s as he looks to have a great deal of chest and back development.


Looking at both characters together, it looks as if Evans has a bigger chest than Hemsworth, but this is just perception. Hemsworth is obviously taller, but also has a bigger chest (48 inches to 47). So how did they get this kind of physique?

Well, prior to acting in the Avengers roles, both actors already had athletic physiques. However, a full time role in acting means they will spend a great deal of time adapting their looks to fit the new character roles. They will have access to the best coaches, equipment and nutritional advice as well as being highly motivated – they are getting paid to do it! So what can you do to aim for this kind of physique?

Here are my 5 top tips:

  1. Strength is key! Packing on muscle isn’t an overnight process, even putting on 8-10kg could take a year. However in order to support these gains, you have to get strong. For example, benching 120kg for reps is going to build a lot more muscle than maxing out at 80kg. Get strength first, then the size will come!
  2. Aim for progressive overload. Always look to improve your max lifts. Push more and more every week and hit new PBs either by increasing weight or reps. By doing this, you’re less likely to plateau in training. However, it can also be taxing. Train 3x per week to allow for recovery time.
  3. Don’t prioritise too much. It doesn’t matter if you want big arms and shoulders or a big back and chest, you need to train your whole body effectively. If you don’t train your body completely, you will develop imbalances and ruin the look you are trying to achieve.
  4. Remember to stay as lean as possible. The superhero physique does not focus on mass alone, in fact it focusses more on leanness. A decent set of shoulders look so much more impressive on a thinner waist – the classic V-taper. Also, keep your diet in check so you don’t end up looking like the Blob from X-men!
  5. Be consistent. Consistency is key in most things, building a great physique is no different! If you train consistently you will see the benefits.

Do you have a physique you are aiming for? Let me know in the comments below!