A Hollywood staple over the last few decades, Christian Bale illuminates the stage with a deep connection to the role and his incredible efforts to mold his body to look like his characters.
In this article, learn how to adapt the Christian Bale workout to your bodybuilding or fitness routine to get killer results.
What Is the Christian Bale Workout?
The Christian Bale workout is a five-day training template that emphasizes compound strength movements. You’ll hit about one muscle group per day.
Day 1 Christian Bale Workout (Back)
- Military Press: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Standing Barbell Rows: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Shrugs: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Wide Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 25 reps
- Power Cleans: 3 sets of 6
- Deadlift: 3 sets of 10 reps
Day 2 Christian Bale Workout (Arms)
- Concentration Curls: 3 x 8
- Dumbbell Curls: 3 x 8
- Triceps Extensions: 3 x 10
- Lying Skull Crushers: : 3 x 10
Day 3 Christian Bale Workout (Shoulders)
- Lateral Raises: 3 x 8
- Overhead Presses: 3 x 8
- Side Raises: 3 x 8
- Closed Grip Pull-Ups: 3 x 25
Day 4 Christian Bale Workout (Legs)
- Leg Curls: 3 x 10
- Leg Press: 3 x 10
- Front Squats: 3 x 10 reps
- Back Squats: 3 x 10
- Power Lunges: 3 sets of 25
- Calf Raises: 3 x 25
Day 5 Christian Bale Workout (Chest)
- Bench Press: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Cable Flyes: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Wide Push-Ups: 3 sets of 25 reps
Day 6 (Optional)
- Light cardio for 30 minutes
- A few sets of ab exercises, like crunches, if desired
When Should You Use the Christian Bale Workout?
Christian Bale’s physique can best be described as lean and chiseled. He’s not built like the hulk (or even Jason Mamoa). So following a Christian Bale workout routine really only makes sense if you don’t mind being smaller and more ripped than jacked.
He’s 6 feet tall and 176lbs, giving him a BMI of 23.9. This is in the range of lean healthy but also on the higher end, which makes sense given his muscle mass.
Christian Bale has famously modified his body for several seminal roles, including American Psycho and Batman. . His portrayal of Batman is usually the physique people are going for.
What is Needed For the Christian Bale Workout?
To complete the Christian Bale workout routine, you’ll need:
- Barbell for deadlifts
- Pull-up bar
- Squat rack for squats
- Bench press for bench presses
- Cable machine
- Cardio machine (treadmill, elliptical)
Having a gym membership would be ideal, as you can modify some exercises (rows, for example) to be done on machines instead of using weights all the time. If you need to scale pull-ups, you could also use the lat pull-down machine, for example.
You’ll also probably want to get some supplements, especially protein powder, to help get the best results. Following a similar Christian Bale diet (discussed below) will help you hit your goals.
How to Do It Properly, Technique, and Common Mistakes
There are plenty of exercises to master when doing the Batman Begins Christian Bale workout. Here are some of the compound movements that can result in issues if you don’t master the technique first.
- Load the bar on your back with a weight that feels comfortable.
- Position your feet hip width apart, with a slight toe angle pointing outward if desired.
- Bend at the hip dropping the butt towards the back wall. Your knees should follow suit.
- Once your thigh hits parallel, drive through the heels to return to a stand.
- Line your feet up shoulder w-dith apart. Position your toes underneath the barbell.
- Make a “proud” chest to engage your back and chest muscles.
- Flip grip the barbell with your dominant hand underneath the bar.
- Drive through the heels to bring the barbell off the ground; lock it out at the top. Cue yourself to “sit back” as you stand up with the bar.
- Gently return it to the floor and repeat.
Programming (How to Add It to Your Workout, Life, Routine)
Scale the Christian Bale workout up slowly. If you haven’t been lifting weights, start light and ramp up over the course of 2 to 4 weeks. Think about it this way. When he was filming any of his Hollywood movies (The Machinist, Empire of the Sun, Batman, etc.) he had several months to get his body prepared for the role. Allow yourself the same time frame to notice results.
If you’re not currently as lean as Bale, it would be advisable to count macronutrients. The Christian Bale diet for movie roles emphasizes high protein consisting of egg whites, protein shakes, and cottage cheese. Eating veggies and clean carbohydrates like rice or sweet potatoes at meals will help your diet plan fuel your workouts.
Christian Bale Workout: Adjacent Workouts Moves, and Tips
If you’re considering the Christian Bale workout, you might also consider any program that uses functional, compound lifts to build lean muscle and keep you lean. It skews more towards bodybuilding routine than CrossFit, but the emphasis on barbell and dumbbell movements make it sort of a hybrid of both.
Building a strong back is absolutely essential for getting that physique. Lots of pull-ups or lat pull-downs, and an emphasis on building your legs, which assist in back strength, will be key.
Did You Know?
We’re guessing you aren’t trying to mimic his physique from Vice, where he portrayed Dick Cheney, but Christian Bale seriously modified his lifestyle habits to achieve his look in that movie, too.
He gained about 30 months, studied Cheney’s movements for months, and even tried to build muscle around his neck and shoulders to give his appearance a more “bullish” look.