7 min read

How to design your own Superhero Transformation Workout Program!

Getting bigger, stronger, faster or just getting lean and tone. You are the boss! You decide how you want to look and feel! Here is a guide to design your own workout transformation program.

Step 1: Start with the end goal in mind

What is your physique goal? Is your goal to look like Ryan Reynold in Green Lantern or Hugh Jackman in Wolverine or even Chris Evans in Captain America. Maybe your goal is to just look like Joshua Tan in Ah boys to Men 3: Frogman, that's perfectly fine, if you have the end in mind before you start.

Step 2: Setting a Timeline

Having a timeline is important to help us stay focus and track our progress. But how much time do you need to achieve your goal? 4 weeks? 4 months? or 4 years?

Depending on where you are now, we will first focus on packing on some muscle before shredding that fat away (Note that it is possible to do both at the same time, especially if you are new to lifting). If you are new to lifting, you can probably gain 1 kg of lean muscle per month. Dropping fat is easier, you can aim to drop around 0.5 kg of fat per week, or 2 kg per month.

The numbers may not seem impressive because we are not calculating any glycogen or water loss here, if we did it would get too complicated.

So, let's say you are 35 years old, standing at 175cm and look like Joshua Tan (BMI around 22.8, Body fat around 12% in ABTM3) now and want to look like Ryan Reynold (BMI around 24.4, Body fats around 7% in Green Lantern), you will need to put on around 7 kg on muscle mass and drop 3 kg of body fat.

To gain 7 kg of muscle, it'll take you around 8 months - 18 months depending on how dedicated you are in your program.

Afterwards, based on the amount of fat you need to lose, we'll just deduct 0.5 kg and that's the number of weeks needed to get to your ideal physique.

On average, you'll need around 12 months to get from Joshua Tan to Ryan Reynold.

That's if you don't get injured in the process, as progressive training is required to pack on muscle mass, but that also increases your chance of getting an injury, hence, getting an experienced trainer is recommended.

Step 3: Workout plan

To pack on size, you need to get stronger. Depending on your physique goal, the superhero physique has a wide strong upper body but legs that aren't huge (larger than most people - no chicken legs).

There are 4 lifts that you want to get good at: the deadlift, chin up, bench press and standing shoulder press. Focus on these compound lifts to achieve that superhero physique.

Base on your commitment level (frequency of training and duration of each training session), slot those 4 exercises in accordingly.

For example, if you are willing to commit to 3 days a week, 1 hour each session - GREAT!

Spend more time on the muscle group you want to grow. If you want to have larger chest and shoulders, spend an hour working on your standing shoulder press and bench press each, then work on both the chin up and deadlift on the 3rd training session.

So, your split days will be Chest Day, Shoulder day, Deadlift and chin up day.

The next thing you want to do is to keep breaking new personal records.

Keep adding volume to your workout! Record and keep track of your lift to make sure you are getting stronger.

Step 4: You are what you eat!

Nutrition is as important as your workout if you want to achieve a superhero body. This doesn't mean you must only eat chicken breast with broccoli! That's quite sick. Generally, you want to increase your protein intake to 0.8g of protein per lb of bodyweight.

So, if you weigh 70 kg, you should consume around 120g - 125g protein (70 kg x 2.2 = 123 lbs) a day.

A simple search on google or fitnesspal will show you how much protein you have in each meal. It can come from eggs, milk, soy, beans, beef, chicken, fish or Nuzest. The source doesn't matter as long as you achieve your protein intake at the end of the day.

Using tools such as fitnesspal can be very helpful as it tracks your calories, carbs and fat intake as well.

To gain weight, you want be on a calorie surplus. This means you are consuming more calories than you burn. A rough estimation on how much you burn daily is to multiply your weight by 33 Calories a day.

For example, you weigh 70 kg, you'll burn around 2,300 Calories a day. To gain weight, simple add on 10-20% to create a surplus. So, after adding 400 Calories, you need to consume 2,700 Calories a day.

To lose fat, just reduce your calories by 10-20% to create a deficit.

Step 5: Recovery

Recovery is very important to ensure you perform your best each session. Low quality training will only result in poor gains and may lead to more injuries. Stretch your muscles before and after every workout and release any tight muscle. Remember to get enough sleep as well.

Last but not least, be consistent with your training program. Keep track of your progress and stay focused!


This article was originally posted by Coach Justin, a Certified Personal Trainer & Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Read more here.