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13 June 2013

Dude, So and So Got SO Fucking Jacked For That Movie: Henry "Fat Cavill" Cavill

Superman would have been awesome had the Soviets dominated in WWII... except that Shuster and Siegel likely would have been deported and liquidated by Stalin with most of the rest of the Jews in Russia.

I've made no bones about my dislike of DC's most famous character, the squeaky-clean, has-every-fucking-power-in-the-book, unstoppable, relentlessly boring Superman.  As a character, he's uninspiring, but his appearance is banal to the point where he should be a middle manager at a small manufacturing company who owns no pants but dockers and no shirts but short-sleeved, plaid button-downs and drives a wood-paneled, powder blue minivan to work every day, rather than being a newspaper reporter.  While I think Shazaam/Captain Marvel is actually the progenitor of the Dudley Do-Right ethos Superman's championed since the early 1940s, Superman's personality compounds the anti-appeal of his appearance to create what has to be the most genuinely unlikeable character since Archie (who is apparently also getting a feature film soon).
More likable.

Though it should surprise no one, the people who have played Superman on the silver screen were generally bland and remarkably unmuscular that one wonders if the people doing the casting were aware of the generally muscular appearance of superheroes in general.  In chronological order from the 1940s World's Fair onward, behold the physical wrecks who've played the iconic man of steel:

1940: Ray Middleton, rocking a slightly modified 'S' because no one knew who the fuck Superman was in 1940, and entirely bereft of visible musculature.

1948-1950: Kirk Alyn, who would have benefited greatly from the invention of Spanx, had they existed in the 1940s.

1951-1954: George Reeves, who ate a bullet out of shame after seeing his legs in the mirror.



1961: Johnny Rockwell, a man with a physique so pathetic his pilot Superboy tv show never even aired.

1966-1968:  Who better to play a muscular, super-strong alien with every superpower known to man than a 34-year-old, showtune-singing, chubby fuck named Bob Holiday?

1975:  Left with no way to make Superman suck more, David Wilson played a Superman whose musculature was replaced by a mad scientist with a voice that could only be described as a combination of Fergie and Jesus.


1978-87: Christopher Reeve, before he proved he was not "super" anything, other than crippled.

1979: Tayfun Demir in the odious but hilarious Turkish Return of Superman, who seems to have had his arms replaced with pipe cleaners after some horrible industrial accident.

1988-1989:  John Haymes Newton, who at least had the decency to have visible abdominal development as Superboy.

1989-1992- After allowing a person who clearly did semi-regular situps play Superboy, the studio, ashamed of their mistake and searching for answers, recast the role with a pigeon-toed, metrosexual, former soap opera star, Guido named Gerard Christopher to atone for their sins.


1993-1997:  Dean Cain, simultaneously proving it only takes a pro football player 5 years to lose his physique entirely and that Superman can be played by a guy who's clearly one of those "Asianals" Andrew Dice Clay likes to mock.

2001-2011:  Tom Welling, proving once more that no one in Hollywood gives a shit about source material and that the CW is the worst thing to happen to humans who can see and hear.

2006: Brandon Routh, the first Superman to do "rope yoga", whatever the fuck that is.  Those of you to have the misfortune to see this film know Routh's unimpressive swimmer's build was the most impressive thing about the pile of uninspired dogshit that was Superman Returns.

2009: Matt Bohmer as the first gay Superman.  Who knew Superman was a twink?  All joking aside, I find it amusing that a 150 lb Superman looks far more "super" than the fat fucks who played the role from the 1940s to the 70s.

All physical wrecks, until now...

2013: Henry Cavill takes a steaming shit on precedent and actually lifts weights to play the first jacked Superman.

The tide of suck seems to be going out, however, as Zach Snyder appears poised to make Superman cultural relevant and interesting again.  Snyder cast Henry Cavill in the role of Superman based in large part on the fact that Cavill was already fairly jacked for his role in an unpronounceable Russian director's completely unwatchable film, The Immortals. Having not created a suit for the movie yet, Snyder dug up Chris Reeve's corpse, peeled off the Superman suit from his rotting body, and handed it to Cavill for his screentest.  After proving that not even the gooey bits of a quadrapalegic's rotting flesh could keep him from looking like a badass in a 40 year old Superman costume, Cavill got the part.

Seriously, don't bother watching this, even on Netflix instant.  The Immortals is truly godawful.

Though Cavill was cut up like a bag of dope for the Immortals, that wasn't always the case-according to the dudes at Men's Health, Cavill's nickname growing up was"Fat Cavill"(Chang, Superman).  In spite of addictions to Elder Scrolls and Skyrim (I'm not making that up), Cavill managed to not be a disgusting fatass as he grew into adulthood, he wasn't really rocking a physique that belied his standout performances on rugby and field hockey pitches when he auditioned for the Immortals.  In his tenure on the show The Tudors (the show on which he was working when he auditioned), Cavill could only be described as skinny fat, echoing in most regards your average weightlifting message board poster's physique.  After getting the nod for the role in spite of being a pasty white, toothpick armed doughboy, Cavill trained his ass off for the role.


The physique for which most Fittitors strive.

Trained by Mark Twight, progenitor of the 300 workout, 6'1" Cavill lifted six days a week on an extremely restrictive diet with the rest of the cast to build muscle and lose fat.  Cavill eventually dropped 25 lbs for the role and hit an all-time low of 6% bodyfat for the Immortals, for which he credits the fact that he worked out with cast members and  who eventually went on to become a star athlete who excelled at rugby, field hockey and cricket, says training for the role of the Greek warrior Theseus in "Immortals" rivaled the Labors of Hercules in their brutality.  Prior to hitting the weights for the role, Cavill put in five straight months training with martial artist Roger Yuan just to get into shape.  Day in, day out, for that period, Cavill trained for four to five hours a day with a combination of bodyweight movements, cardio, chapala yoga and kung fu before he was able to begin weapons and fight training.  According to Cavill's cast member Luke Evans, with whom Cavill trained, their trainer would  "wake [them] up at seven in the morning and before breakfast we'd run up and down 21 flights of stairs in the hotel three times. Also, you're constantly feeling hungry because you're only eating what your body can burn off - you don't want to store anything. You're just like a processing machine" (Morris).  Having survived the conditioning phase, the cast began training with circuit weights at 4A.M. six days a week for over an hour at a time before moving on to weapons and fight training, skirting the line between eye-bleeding intensity and pants-shitting insanity.  Though there are no details on what the workouts were exactly, they're rumored to be of the variety a certain group of Kool-Aid-drinking "elite athletes" do on a daily basis.  According to Men's Fitness UK, the workouts consisted mostly of high intensity compound movements, with the addition of some rehab work to prevent repetitive stress injuries from fight and stunt training (Hit and Myth).  The only thing that got him the workouts was, surprisingly, the sense of camaraderie he had with his cast mates and extras, all of whom participated in the daily workouts and ate roughly the same diet.

"There was a sense of team and camaraderie," Cavill, 28, recalls. "We all sweated together, we all bled together, we all ate the same highly inefficient food and just kept on going and supported each other."
"Because they were doing it—and if they could do it, so could I. It's not the end of the world that your feet hurt. Push yourself" (Chang, Superman).


Though the majority of their training was free-weight based, all of their workouts ended with a circuit of some kind to burn out the actors.  One such workout was the brainchild of Gym Jone's Mark Twight, while the other was created by the aforementioned Ricky Blanchard.  The purpose of these circuits was two-fold- one, they were intended to condition the actors for 14 hour physical workdays in which they had to look as fresh as the scene required, and two, to get the last bits of bodyfat off of them, so as to appear as the Greek warriors with which we're familiar from Greek art.



You know the Greeks took shit seriously if their statues had abdominal vascularity.

Twight's workout is nothing Earth shattering, though his recovery method, known as the "tailpipe technique" might prove useful to the average trainee.  The tailpipe is a breathing exercise intended to help trainees manage fatigue, which is of primary concern to the special operations trainees and action movie actors Twight typically trains. The method works like this- right after you complete an exercise, take eight calm, controlled breaths through your nose.  Don't fiddlefuck around with your mp3 player, dance in place, or engage in a bit of the ol' jib-jab with your training partner- just breathe.  The second you've completed your last exhalation, move on to the next exercise in the circuit.


The circuit, as I mentioned, is hardly incredibly innovative, but according to Cavill is highly effective.  Grab a 35 lb. kettlebell and do 25 reps of each of the following movements:


Goblet Squat

Kettlebell Swing
Squat Thrusts (clearly, you won't be holding the kettlebell for these)
Jumping Jacks (you won't be holding the kettlebell for these, either)



Blanchard's circuit was a bit more intense and utilized a Tabata protocol to condition Cavill's balls off while building strength at the same time.

Warm-up
5 rounds 1 minute jumping rope, 1 minute rest

Round 1
30 seconds work, 10 seconds
Weight plate halo
T-bar row
Dumbbell clean and press
Mountain climbers on upside down Bosu ball
Gym ball jackknife with hands on Bosu
Side to side pushups on Bosu
Dumbbell swings
Medicine ball wall toss
2 minutes' rest

Round 2
Repeat the circuit from the first round with 40 seconds' work, 10 seconds' rest (Hit and Myth)


Like Tom Hardy in Warrior, Cavill credited the diet equally with the soul-crushing workout regimen for his ripped as a prolapsed anus's sphincter condition.  Cavill's diet was created by one of the trainer fors the cast of The Immortals, Ricky Blanchard, and is surprisingly high in carbohydrates and relatively low in fat and protein.  They did carb cycle, however, so the diet below isn't entirely accurate- Blanchard explained Cavill would spend one to two days on a lower carb diet, then kick up the carbs for a day to replenish his glycogen stores.  Without doing that, Blanchard said, there would have been no way for Cavill to make it though the long daily sessions of weightlifting and fighting.  According to Men's Fitness, here's a general day in the gastronomic life of an Immortals cast member:


Monday 

Breakfast: Oatmeal with dried fruit and almond milk. 1 serving of fruit.
Snack: Natural protein bar. Sports recovery drink
Lunch: Salad of your choice but must include chicken breast, 30g avocado and 90g low-fat cheese. Low-fat dressing.
Snack: 60g nuts.
Dinner: 125ml vegetable  soup. 180g salmon with lemon sauce, asparagus and wild rice.
Snack: 250ml fat-free cottage cheese. 30g nuts.

Tuesday

Breakfast: Protein shake (blend 1 banana, 50g berries, 1 scoop protein powder, 250ml almond milk).
Snack: Hummus with carrots
Lunch: 250ml vegetable soup. Salad with chopped turkey.
Snack: 1 green apple. 2tbsp almond butter.
Dinner: 180g chicken breast with 2tbsp honey chili sauce, quinoa and snap peas.
Snack: 20g casein protein.

Wednesday

Breakfast: Egg white omelet. Handful of strawberries.
Snack: 225g cottage cheese.
Lunch: Tuna salad with greens. 250ml soup.
Snack: 8 almonds. Carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice drink.
Dinner: 225g swordfish with mango and ginger sauce, wild rice and 1 medium artichoke.
Snack: Fresh pineapple with 225g cottage cheese.

Thursday

Breakfast: Muesli with almond milk. 1tbsp protein powder. Carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice drink.
Snack: 240ml low-sodium V8 juice. 2tbsp peanut butter.
Lunch: Stir-fry 170g scallops with 250g Chinese vegetables, garlic, onion and ginger in 2tbsp olive oil.
Snack: Protein shake (blend 1 banana, 250ml carrot juice, 1 scoop protein powder).
Dinner: 225g turkey burger with coleslaw (no bun). 250ml gazpacho.
Snack: 20g casein protein.



Friday

Breakfast: 250g fat-free plain Greek yoghurt. 1 banana.
Snack: 225g unsalted nuts. Carrot, apple, celery and ginger juice drink.
Lunch: Veggie burger with sautée vegetables and salad. 125ml vegetable soup.
Snack: 20 pistachio nuts.
Dinner: Tuna salad with plenty of greens. 250ml chilled cucumber soup.
Snack: 225g cottage cheese. 30g mixed nuts.

Saturday

Breakfast: Scrambled egg white or egg white omelette with mushrooms. Handful of strawberries. 170g cottage cheese.
Snack: 1 tomato. 50g fat-free cheese.
Lunch: Soup and salad of your choice (include 2tsp sesame seeds).
Snack: 50g turkey jerky. 280g almonds.
Dinner: 280g halibut with 4tbsp pesto, wild rice and courgette.
Snack: 20g casein protein.

Sunday

Breakfast: Egg white omelette with spinach. Handful of strawberries.
Snack: Fresh pineapple with 30g cottage cheese. 225g unsalted nuts.
Lunch: 280g steak with salad of your choice (include avocado).
Snack: 1 apple with 2tbsp almond butter.
Dinner: Beef and broccoli stir fry. 250ml miso soup. 1tbsp protein powder.
Snack: 225g cottage cheese. Handful of mixed nuts.



Blanchard, who clearly has some sort of cottage cheese fetish, appears to have put the cast of The Immortals on a starvation diet the likes of which has not been seen outside of a sorority house in years.  According to Cavill, the diet worked wonders but the cast paid the price, getting sick every time a stiff breeze blew past due to the heavy workload and light diet.  As such, Cavill did what any red-blooded man would do and got good and hammered on the weekends to unwind from the brutality of a spartan diet and training regimen that exceeded 6 months in length.  "When you train with guys and you're all eating nothing in order to be lean, there are those weekends," Cavill, 28, recalls. "There's no point in going halfway. You're going to wake up with a terrible hangover and think, 'OK, thank God, I got that out of my system'" (Chang, Henry).  On their once weekly cheat days, Cavill and Evans would hit up a steak restaurant for "a great rib-eye steak, chips and couple of pints"(Morris).  I've no idea precisely what Cavill drank, but should you wish to follow his example you might want to stick to clear liquors and stout beer to keep your carbs low, and to supplement with a multivitamin, ZMA, liver support like Liver Stabil or Liver Armor, a protein shake, and a gallon of water before bed and through the night to minimize your hangover the next day.




Having already gotten ripped for the Immortals, Cavill changed his training and eating strategy considerably for Superman in an effort to gain as much fat free mass as possible for the role.  Retaining the services of Mark Twight, Cavill started putting in long hours at the gym and at the dinner table.  Though the exact details of Cavill's Superman program remain shrouded in secrecy, Cavill did have the follow to say about his programming:



  • he trained two and a half hours a day on average, five to six days a week (Man of Steel)
  • for the first two months of training, he lifted on his own and tried to gain as much size and strength as possible, using what basically amounted to a powerlifting routine.  He kept the weights as heavy as possible and his reps low in an effort to build a dense physique, focusing on cleans, squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, and bench presses (Dutta; Man of Steel)
  • the last four months of training were spent with Twight, trying to gain more mass while leaning out as much as possible (Ibid)




Cavill gave a little insight into the exact programming Twight had him doing in one interview, wherein he stated "Mark Twight, the chap from Gym Jones, has been putting me through the ringer big time. An example of the sort of workouts we’ve been doing recently? A couple of weeks ago it was 100 front squats in body weight. We’ve been quite fond of doing the 100 repetition stuff recently and heavy as well."  In keeping with his previous sentiments about group training, Cavill stated that it helped his progress considerably in his quest for mass as well.  "For example, if Mike Levins, who’s the assistant trainer, Mark Twight, and myself are training, we’ll just do 10 reps of a weight and then someone drops out, they do 10, someone drops out, they do 10. By the time the third person’s finished their set, you come in and do your 10, up to 100. Otherwise, training stuff, I mean, it’s huge amounts of kettle bell workouts" (Man of Steel)




Interestingly, Cavill revealed that he had a special six-week period of training specifically for his shirtless scene, as he insisted there be CGI abs in the movie.  Though he was less forthcoming with the details than the NSA's been about their recent rape of the Constitution, it would seem from his description of that 6 week period that he was training and dieting even harder than usual, as he admitted he was a mean son of a bitch during the training and hungry all the time.  Cavill revealed in an interview for the Immortals that his trick for looking pumped onscreen is that he constantly carries resistance bands with him on set to keep his pump.  It sucks, apparently, because he's exhausted, starving, and usually lifted before they shot each day, but it worked.  For Superman, it appears he added random sets of pullups to his pump up regimen, as I've seen more pics of Cavill doing pullups hanging off of any overhead ledge or bar that happened to be nearby than I have vids of Ashley Blue being throatfucked until she puked (and trust me, that's a lot).  The ultimate payoff, however, was the fact that movie theaters are hiring cum swabbers out of porn shop's "video arcades" to clean the seats after female audience members view the scene, and Zach Snyder hooked him up with a badass meal immediately after the shoot for the shirtless scene wrapped.  "The biggest treat was after a six-week phase when I was getting in shape for shirtless scenes.  After that, Zack Snyder bought me an amazing apple pie and a tub of ice cream. Then I ordered a pizza as well, and didn’t even go home — I just sat in a trailer afterwards and ate it. I passed into a food coma after that" (Shortlist).




Swapping his bulking diet for the cutting diet was the hardest part of the shoot and training, according to Cavill, because until he started cutting he'd been eating 5,000 calories a day in his quest to pack on mass as quickly as possible.  The diet definitely worked, as some sources stated Cavill put on twenty five pounds of rip in his six month training period.  Unlike his pro-ana Immortals diet, Cavll's Superman diet consisted of large quantities of lean meats, eggs, fruits and veggies, with starches comprising the smallest part of his diet.  According to Cavill, "You’ve got to eat protein first, then a little bit of carbs" in order to stoke the furnace and keep your hunger levels high to continue eating (Dutta).  Nothing Earth shattering there- eat more meat, eat less crap and you'll gain muscle faster than before.




As usual, the takeaway from a "So and So" seems to be- eat a ton, train a ton, sleep a ton if you want to look superhuman.  Doing what everyone else is doing isn't going to cut it.  45 minutes of half-assed training a day four times a week isn't going to cut it.  "Cutting out carbs a little" isn't going to cut it. If you want extreme results, you have to apply extreme effort- quit whining about who's taking what, who's got the best genetics, and why you don't have the time or energy to get what you want.   If a dude who's nickname growing up was "Fat Cavill" could do it, so can you.






Don’t listen to the lies, your barriers are breakable- Fat Cavill

Sources:
Chang, Samantha.  Henry Cavill: I worked out at 4 every morning to get my 8-pack abs.  Examiner.  13 Nov 2011. Web.  11 Jun 2013.  http://www.examiner.com/article/henry-cavill-i-worked-out-at-4-every-morning-to-get-my-8-pack-abs-for-immortals

Chang, Samantha.  'Superman' star Henry Cavill sculpted body down to 6% body fat.  Examiner.  16 Oct 2011. Web.  11 Jun 2013.  http://www.examiner.com/article/superman-star-henry-cavill-i-sculpted-my-body-down-to-6-body-fat-for-immortals  


Dutta, Nirmalya.  Man of Steel: How Henry Cavill got in shape with the Superman Workout.  Health.India.com.  13 Jun 2013.  Web.  13 Jun 2013. http://health.india.com/fitness/man-of-steel-how-henry-cavill-got-in-shape-with-the-superman-workout/


Henry Cavill.  Shortlist.  4 Jun 2013.  Web.  13 Jun 2013.  http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/films/henry-cavill


Henry Cavill on his training for the Immortals.  Hurtin Bombs.  9 May 2011.  Web.  11 Jun 2013.  http://hurtinbombs.com/post/5338493075/henry-cavill-on-his-training-for-immortals


Hit and Myth.  Men's Fitness UK.  Apr 2012.  Print.


The Immortal Workout.  Men's Health.  Web.  27 May 2013.  http://www.menshealth.com/celebrity-fitness/immortal-workout


Man of Steel Workout.  Movie Workouts.  11 Jun 2013.  13 Jun 2013.

http://www.movieworkouts.com/man-of-steel-workout

Miller, Chris.  Eat like a star of Immortals.  Men's Fitness.  23 Feb 2012.  Web.    http://www.mensfitness.co.uk/exercises/celebrity-workouts/2020/eat-star-immortals


Morris, Andy.  Diesel celebrates Luke Evans!  GQ.  24 Apr 2011.  13 Jun 2013.  http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/entertainment/articles/2011-04/28/gq-film-diesel-celebrate-luke-evans


Total Film.  Henry Cavill talks Man Of Steel and James Bond. Total Film.  3 Aug 2011.  Web.  27 May 2013.  http://www.totalfilm.com/news/henry-cavill-talks-man-of-steel-and-james-bond

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24 comments :

  1. Jamie, have you read Superman: Red Son?

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    1. It's a what-if Superman story if he crash-landed in Soviet Russia instead of the States. I think you'd like it.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. wie hoch ist dein alterslimmitt fuer testosteron booster?

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    1. Es hat kein alterslimit. Wenn Mann alt ist, je mehr er es braucht.

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  4. The greek/roman statues are really fucking awesome.

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  5. I actually like the Max Fleisher era Superman cartoons from the 1940s. They didn't try to flesh out his personality at all which was good. He'd just show up, kick ass, rescue what's-her-name and then fuck off. That's how every Superman story should go. It also doesn't hurt that he wasn't so ridiculously powerful yet at the time.

    For what it's worth Dean Cain won an episode of American Gladiators once.

    I thought the Brandon Routh Superman was gay.

    That kettlebell circuit looks like something for little kids.

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    Replies
    1. Unless that circuit was done with a 100 lbs KB, I totally agree.

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  6. I feel like i've just read an article in Mens Health magazine. Thank fuck i don't pay for this.

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  7. Awesomeness as per usual. I didn't realise what a load of shit looking supermen were before him. Can't wait to see the film.

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  8. Remember that "Fat Cavill" was paid to eat and train all day with his personal trainer and personal trainer's assistant (what does that guy do anyway?). Kinda loses inspiration value when the rest of us do it with a full time job and family to look after. I find so & so's like Jackman and Statham more interesting since I get the impression that they at least have continued to learn and develop their physique through their careers and enjoy working out, whereas guys like this Cavill and Tom Hardy probably get straight back on the beer and pizza as soon as the movie is done.

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    1. Totally agree with this.

      That being said, the So and So series is funny as hell and good entertainment. Doesn't boost my respect for these guys at all, but at least shows all the dumbasses that thing "Brad Pitt in Fight Club" mode is hardly the end all be all to a good physique. Obviously though, the people that truly deserve praise are guys like Chuck Sipes, Bob Peoples or Norb Schemansky who worked 8-12 hour shifts in manual labor jobs and still trained 4-6x a week, which pretty much goes for any old school lifter anyway. Fortunately, Jamie already shows us plenty of those guys, and with good reason.

      Speaking of which Jamie, have you ever found more information on Dezso Ban? Other than his terrific drug-free training article and a few tid bits here and there by Ditillo (though this one: http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2008/08/dezso-ban-anthony-ditillo.html details him half decently), he's virtually a ghost. He's a hell of a Baddest Motherfucker contender though, and his program is a fucking man maker.

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    2. Nope. there's pretty scanty information on that guy.

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    3. Regarding those articles, you should try to track down that guy that lives in a cave and do a DVD with him. A training one.

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  9. Brah...do you even lift?

    http://instagram.com/jaysalvati

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  10. They have puny bodies but the first, second and fourth supermen have steely gazes no longer found in the western world. And their outfits are less gay.

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  11. I see people sharing this piece on facebook and such and being quoted on other blogs. I have always thought of you as an angry recluse living in some cave in Alabama, but I guess now you've got to accept you're mainstream. Good job, Jamie.

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  12. Article link below from daily mail with video on his training for superman

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/usshowbiz/article-2343309/How-Man-Steel-body-Superman-star-Henry-Cavill-flexes-incredible-muscles-workout-video.html

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    1. There's a picture in that article of Cavill pressing two tiny dumbbells over his head, with the accompanying caption describing them as 'huge weights'. Not that I think that's an accurate representation of Cavill's training, but it's a good insight into the pussification of society in general in terms of what they perceive to be impressive.

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  13. Good article and chronology.

    But seriously! you had to make fun of this guy's misfortune?
    "Christopher Reeve, before he proved he was not "super" anything, other than crippled"

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