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In May 2020, Twilight and soon-to-be Batman star Robert Pattinson made headlines around the internet. He was catching heat for his unique approach to transforming into Gotham’s caped crusader — a role that has seen erstwhile actors Christian Bale and Ben Affleck packing on 45kg in weight and 9kg in muscle, respectively — claiming that “…if you’re working out all the time, you’re part of the problem.”
It was part of a wider GQ cover interview, where Pattinson clapped back against the de rigeur requirements of actors to pile on slabs of muscle, especially for Hollywood blockbusters and comic-to-movie franchises.
In Pattinson’s defence, the comments were published during the UK’s first national ‘lockdown’ in early 2020, part of country-wide measures to shield the population against the novel coronavirus that saw gyms, fitness centres and health clubs close. Exercise equipment almost completely sold out online, too, making any form of structured exercise difficult.
Since then, however, fitness title Healthy for Men published an interview with Pattinson. In the feature, the 34-year-old shone a brighter light on his pre-Batman prep, sharing more details on both his diet and his training routine. “The actor has cut down on alcohol and has stripped back on processed meat and fried foods as a way of accelerating his physical transformation,” says the feature.
“You look at the true warriors of the superhero genre — [Chris] Hemsworth, The Rock, [Robert Downey Jr., [Chris] Evans — and wonder if you’re putting yourself in the wrong place,” Pattison said in the interview, sharing how he turned to those who have mastered the art of a Hollywood transformation. “It’s all about pushing boundaries and building up to a point where you know you can do justice to the physicality required. And past that, so much of it is letting the special effects and on-screen exchanges produce the real magic. Overall, it’s just very exciting.” (Continued below)
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In the same interview, Pattinson shared the details of his training programming, which placed a similar focus on short, sharp functional moves — including “military-style sandbag routines on the beach” — running 5-10k three times a week and combat sports. It’s been a shift in personality that Pattinson has grasped with both hands.
“In every project I’ve ever taken on, I’ve come into it wanting to learn and to achieve new things,” he said in the interview. “That’s usually in the embodiment of a character, and someone who has a different personality to me, but taking on a full physical transformation as well feels even more exciting.”
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With that in mind, here’s what Robert Pattinson’s pre-Batman beasting plan looks like:
- Circuit training
Five-minute cardio effort, bicycle crunches, dumbbell side-bends, double crunches and Superman holds
“Pattinson will run 5-10km, three or four times a week,” explains the feature in Healthy for Men
- Outdoor Fitness
“Pattinson has been seen doing military-style sandbag routines on the beach…and has always been an advocate of long walks as a way of loosening up and freeing the mind.”
“He’s also been boxing,” reads the feature. Burning around 800kcals an hour, boxing is one of the best workouts to build fitness, speed and strength. Remind you of any particular caped superhero?
This particular volume of training, Pattinson admits, comes from a place that may have been neglected during his teenage years. “It feels as if I’m going full circle and picking up on some of that physicality along the way,” he says of his training for The Batman, which is due for cinematic release in 2022. “I ignored it back then, but it’s coming back into a lot of film projects these days.”
Not a bad effort, especially for someone who admits that “a few years ago, I would have run a mile from anything with a physical edge.”
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