How To Get Built Like Bane

So you want to know How To Get Built Like Bane?

Well, let me first just say that last Friday I went to the new Batman, The Dark Knight Rises and besides it being a superhero movie (I’m a nut for superhero’s and superhero movies) it was one of the best movie-movies I’ve ever seen.

The acting was good, the action was non-stop, and the overall story was highly entertaining and impressive.

The Dark Knight Rises was hands down the best Batman yet and of course, it keeps you on your toes at the end.  I won’t spoil anything though…

So, in this post I just wanted to follow up on a few questions I got over the weekend in regards to “How to Get Built Like Bane”.

I knew people would be asking about how Tom Hardy managed to gain 30 lbs for his role in the new Batman movie, so I’ll be outlining the main details below.

Personally, I don’t think Bane’s build was all that impressive in the movie.  He had more of a “thick” muscular build then a totally “jacked and shredded” build.  What was more impressive was the amount of muscle Tom Hardy gained (30 lbs) in order to look good for the role!

So with that, let’s start off by talking about what it takes to gain 30 lbs of muscle.


It’s a pretty simple cut plan.  Not much to it, but I will lay it out for ya…

***IMPORTANT NOTES – This is going to be focused mainly towards guys out there that are at about 10-12% bodyfat or lower.  If you’re higher then that, I would recommend you get leaner first before you try to start bulking up.  The main reason for this is that when you have a more lean frame, it makes it easier to gain QUALITY MASS vs. unwanted fatty mass***

***If you need to get lean rather quickly, I would look into adding some Hardcore Finishers to the end of ALL of your workouts and cutting way back on your starchy carbs (sweet potatoes, yams, quinoa, oatmeal, processed carbs, sugars) and just focus in on eating the Regular Meals” I list below***

Your TOP Priority

Now, in order to gain a TON of muscle, the number one thing you must put your focus in on before anything else is your NUTRITION.

Most guys think that it’s all about the workouts and the supplements where those two aspects only make up about 20% of your overall results.  80% of your results are going to comes from your nutrition.

Before I go any further, keep in mind that what I’m outlining below is geared towards gaining a crap ton of muscle and not much else.  I currently utilize fasting into my lifestyle and if gaining muscle is your number one goal, fasting probably wouldn’t be your best option.  I just wanted to make this clear before I go any further.

So, when I talk about nutrition in this case, you’re number one focus for when you want to gain a sh*t ton of lean mass must be on increasing the amount of quality calories your taking in as well as the amount of starchy carbs your taking in.

I’m mainly for eating a Paleo Based Diet, so when I talk about increasing your starchy carbs, your BEST choices for starchy carbs would be sweet potatoes, yams, quinoa, and pumpkin.

It’s important to note that there are a TON of different types of “Paleo” out there that don’t accept sweet potatoes, yams, and quinoa as full fledged Paleo.  For me, I accept those types of starchy carbs into my Paleo lifestyle and I think they are just fine.

If you want to get away from Paleo, you could add in other starchy carbs such as brown or white rice, oatmeal, legumes, lentils, and even beans.

I would highly recommend avoiding any type of pastas, breads, and other processed starchy carbs like those by all means.  Those are NOT high quality sources.

Lean Mass Gain and Nutrient Timing

The best time to take in the starches I mentioned above would be right after a training session.    One of my favorite ways to add in starchy carbs quick is through mixing it into your post workout shake.  I for one love adding in pumpkin to my shakes and have even done sweet potato (Don’t knock it until you to try it 😉 )

If that’s not your thing, you’ll want to make sure to have a bunch of quality starch carbs with your first meal after training which should be consumed within a least 2 hours after you finish your training session.

Now if you’re trying to really slap on the mass fast, an additional option that would be smart to add in would be to have a “post-post” workout meal.  This would basically be the same or very similar to your regular post workout meal and the reason for adding it in would be to increase your overall calories.

I’ve had some of my clients add in an extra “Lean Mass Shake” to their post workout nutrition which in short, easily adds in an additional meal to your day very quickly and easily.

Here’s a example of a solid “Lean Mass Shake”:

If you want to add in even more calories into your shake, consider adding in a few tbsp’s of Almond Butter.

Now, adding in more starchy carbs is only half the battle when it comes to mass gaining nutrition.  On top of that, you need to make sure you have a solid base of nutrition to add to it. This will make all the difference in KEEPING YOU LEAN as well as making sure that the mass that you are gaining is LEAN mass, not fat mass.

To show you what I mean, here’s a sample daily meal plan for a TRAINING DAY…

Pre-Workout (1-2 hours pre-workout)

  • 3 eggs OR 6 oz. of lean protein (chicken, fish)
  • large bowl of spinach and kale mix
  • 1-2 tbsp Udo’s Oil (just drink separately)
  • top with almonds, sunflower seeds, or walnuts

Post-Workout (SOLID MEAL – 30 mins to 2 hours post workout – If need to add in even more cals, have TWO of these a day AFTER your training session)

  • Lean Protein (chicken, eggs, fish)
  • Large mix of greens / veggies (kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Large sweet potato
  • 1-2 tbsp of Udo’s Oil
  • Pop a few capsules of some high quality Omega 3 Fish Oils

Post-Post Workout Meal / Shake (See above)

Regular Meal (x 3 more times during the day)

  • Lean Protein (Steak, Chicken, Fish)
  • Large mix of greens / veggies (kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Healthy Fat Source (nuts, seeds, nut butter, avocado)

It’s important to note here that the meals that are HIGH in starchy carbs should only be consumed AFTER workouts.  On days where you don’t train or REST, I would recommend just eating your “Regular Meal” option for ALL of your meals that day.

What About Supplements?

Ah Yes!  Everyone wants to know if there’s a special supplement out there that will magically make you look like Bane as well as take out most of the hard work you’ll have to put in in order to get to where you want to go, but the truth is, there’s NOT.

There are however supplements that will help “aid” in the muscle building process.  (I share the formula for overall SUCCESS below)

  1. High Quality BCAA – Help recover from workouts faster as well as help with soreness.  I recommend Athletic Greens Brand – BCAA’s
  2. High Quality Protein Powder – Besides being highly convenient for adding in protein and calories fast when you need it most, a high quality protein powder is essential for post workout nutrition.  I’ve jumped from various protein powder’s over the years and as of now, my favorite brand is Progenex.  If you’re looking to gain more mass, I would look into the “More Muscle” protein blend by Progenex.
  3. High Quality Fish Oil – Omega 3’s have an endless list of benefits including controlling blood sugar, improving heart health, skin, and hair, but the best benefit by far is the anti-inflammatory effect Omega 3’s have.  I feel that is there’s a supplement that’s a “must have” it’s a solid Omega 3. The brand I currently use is Athletic Greens Omega 3. 

How To TRAIN To Get BIG Like Bane

Now that we got the most important part out of the way, it’s time to talk about the meat which is How To Train To Get Big Bane.

The basic way I would have you train would be to do a 4 Day spread of 2 upper and 2 lower body days.  If we were talking about a 3 month time frame, the way I have my program Iron Muscle laid out would be the exact way I would have you train…

For the shake of this post, I’m going to keep the training section to just a sample week.

The main focuses of your training would be the following:

  • Focus on one BIG LIFT / MOVEMENT in each session (deadlifts, squats, press, weighted upper body pull)
  • Train for STRENGTH, POWER, and VOLUME (use sets of 3-5 reps and below for STRENGTH, FULL SPEED reps of 10 or below for POWER, sets of 6-20 for VOLUME)
  • Train like an Athlete!  Keep your movements functional for the most part – you can add in additional isolation “mirror-muscle” movements (curls, lateral raises, tricep extensions) in if need be or if you need to focus on a very weak and lacking area.
  • ALSO – Since Bane has a pretty jacked BACK,  for the upper body days, I added in additional back / trap focused work.

With these points in mind, here’s what a very simple and basic set up of what a week of training would look like:

Day 1 – Lower – Power / Strength

  • 1A) Deadlifts – heavy 5 x 3-5 reps
  • 1B) Broad Jumps – fast and explosive 5 x 5 reps
  • 2A) RDL’s – moderate 3 x 8-10 reps
  • 2B) Core Movement – bodyweight 3 x 10-15 reps
  • 3A) Glute Ham Raises – lightly weighted 3 x 10-15 reps
  • 3B) Kettlebell Swings – moderate 3 x 15 reps

Day 2 – Upper – Strength / Volume

  • 1A) Strict Military Press – heavy 5 x 3-5 reps
  • 2A) Pull Ups (Palms Facing) – moderate 4 x 5-8 reps
  • 2B) DB Bench – moderate 4 x 8-10 reps
  • 3A) DB Push Press (Palms Facing In) – moderate 3 x 8 reps
  • 3B) Bent Barbell Rows (Wide Grip) – moderate 3 x 6 – 10 reps
  • 4A) DB Muscle Clean – moderate 4 x 8-10 reps
  • 4B) Dips – bodyweight 4 x 10-15 reps

Day 3 – Lower – Strength / Volume

  • 1A) Zercher Squats – heavy 5 x 3-5 reps
  • 2A) Barbell Walking Lunges – moderate 4 x 6-10 reps / leg
  • 2B) Core Movement – bodyweight 4 x 10-15 reps
  • 3A) DB Goblet Squats – moderate 3 x 10-15 reps
  • 3B) Back Extensions – bodyweight 3 x 10-15 reps
  • 4A) Sled Drags OR Truck Push – Forward and Backwards – moderate 3 x 100 feet

Day 4 – Upper Power / Strength

  • 1A) Weighted Pull Ups – heavy 5 x 3-5 reps
  • 1B) Plyo / Clapping Push Ups – bodyweight 5 x 5 reps
  • 2A) Floor Press – moderate 4 x 6-10 reps
  • 2B) Med Ball Slams – moderate 4 x 10 reps
  • 3A) Power Hang Shrugs – heavy 4 x max reps
  • 3B) Band Pull Aparts – moderate 4 x 25-30 reps
  • 4A) Close Grip Push Ups – bodyweight 3 x max reps
  • 4B) Farmer Walks – heavy as possible 3 x max distance

Optional Day 5 – “Gun Show” Work

  • 1A) Barbell Cheat Curls – heavy as possible 3 x 5-8 reps
  • 2A) DB Rolling Tricep Extensions – heavy to moderate 3 x 8-10 reps
  • 2B) Towel OR Rope Curls – moderate 3 x 10-15 reps
  • 3A) Jungle Gym XT Suspended Skull Crushers – bodyweight 3 x sub max reps
  • 3B) Jungle Gym XT Suspended Recline Curls – bodyweight 3 x sub max reps

Additional Notes:

  • To stay athletic, I always add in at least one day of sprinting via hill sprints or just straight up 30-40 yard sprints, agility work, or some other sort of HIIT cardio.
  • The best day to add these HIIT cardio days in would be on one of the UPPER body focused days or you could throw them in BEFORE your LOWER body focused days.
  • I would strongly recommend NOT doing anything else but stretching and foam rolling on your off days, especially if you want to gain mass fast (most people try to do too much – the key is RECOVERY = NO recovery = no gains in lean mass)
  • Make sure to add in additional core work at the end of your sessions.  I typically throw in 3 additional core movements at the end of my workouts which is an easy way to add them in (hanging leg raises, wheel roll outs, plank variations)

Bottom Line, here’s how you will SUCCEED…


SOLID CONSISTENT NUTRITION + SMART TRAINING + HARD WORK + MORE CONSISTENCY = RESULTS (to increase results by as much as 10%, add in the High Quality Supplements I mentioned above)

So there you go!

This is how I would personally train Tom Hardy to Get Built Like Bane if I had the chance.  There would be a lot more to it then just this, but for the most part I would keep it pretty basic like I outlined above.

Either way, I hope this post helps those of you out that are looking to gain some serious mass.

If you’re looking to gain mass while also staying athletic, I’ve got a “hidden” program called Iron Muscle which is specifically geared towards building lean mass through athletic based bodybuilding. 


In my next post, I wanted to discuss a very interesting part taken from The Dark Knight Rises concerning FEAR and How YOU can use FEAR to become super SUCCESSFUL.

***If we can get over 30 comments on this post, I throw it up.  If not, I’ll keep that one to myself…

Live and Train Aggressive!

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  • Odhran

    Great post Travis buddy. I agree about banes physique being impressive in terms of size but not ripped. Look forward to the next post.

    PS batman was epic, seen it last night for the first of three planned trips :)

    • Admin

      Yeah 3 times is about right!

      Thanks for posting

  • Zach

    I’ll definetly like and share this post. Good stuff man. As soon as the movie ended I was thinking the same thing, how do I get built like Bane lol.

    • Admin

      Thanks Zach!

  • Jordan DeGeorge

    Great post Travis, I also thought Bane had a pretty thick look to him which isnt as impressive as lean mass. What was impressive was how fast he still moved despite all that extra size. Some of that may have been “movie magic” but i know Christopher Nolan tries to avoid “enhancements” any time they can just use real footage. Looking forward to the next post, Thanks

    • Admin

      That’s interesting.

      Big guys that can move are impressive and DEADLY…

  • Maverick

    Oddly enough, that look is the most impressive to me–probably because the guys I know who are built like that all tend to be insanely strong.

    One thing you didn’t address is rest periods. I’m in a mass-gaining phase myself right now, and given that I’m doing a lot of high-volume, high-weight work(8×4 and 6×6 days for squats and bench), I have longer rest periods. They tend to start around 60-120 seconds, then slowly stretch into 3-5 minutes by the time I’m done with the sets. I know you yourself are an advocate of shorter rest periods, but do you think the same when the purpose is just mass gain?

    • Admin

      For mass gain, I wouldn’t recommend anything over 60 secs break.

      Shorter Breaks = More Lactic Acid = More HGH Release = More Muscle

      If you’re training more for STRENGTH, then I would recommend a longer rest period.

  • Vince

    Awesome post Travis, you should’ve gone for Bane!! You would’ve looked way more agile and aggressive than Bane.. He looked too slow for mine… Thanks for all the awesome tips, a great read!!!

    • Admin

      Ha ha!


  • matt Jones

    cheers for this travis. Awesome read. I still havent seen the movie yet but plan on seeing it hopefully this week some time.

    • Admin

      It’s a MUST SEE Matt

  • Josh L

    great read brother. Keep up the amazing posts, I look forward to reading all of them

  • Ryan

    I think we all have some sort of fear/anxiety that we battle. I am very interested in reading your thoughts on the topic.
    I look forward to the movie and your next post.

  • George

    Awesome post man. Always been a huge Batman fan. Looking forward to the next one.

  • billy

    Great stuff. 30lbs of muscle is my goal so this is perfect! Will let you know how it works.

    • Admin

      Sounds good Billy. I look forward to it!

  • ryan

    This post was awesome.

    • Admin

      Thanks Ryan!

  • Steve

    Speakin the truth, love it. Keep up the good work.

    • Admin

      You know it Steve.

  • tj

    Great post Travis! How would one go about transitioning from a 2 day template to a 4 day one like you suggest for being built like Bane?

    • Admin

      Just add in two more days. Not sure what you are doing now, but I would try to split it up so that you were training M, Tues, then rest on Wed then back on Thurs and Friday. Also, I would try to focus on having an upper lower split as I outlined in the post.

  • Miguel

    Yo travis…great post….
    I’m all fr muscle building, smetimes genetics and not consuming 3500 plus cals is hard sometimes..I’m all for performance and I stop focusing on physique…
    Been a shot dude 5’5 I don’t want to look like a short stalky

    I been fasting to stay lean and eat mostly primal 75% of the week…been good so far..

    What’s your choice on pumpkin!

    • Admin


      I go with canned pumpkin. I usually get organic but I’ll get regular canned pumpkin as well.

  • Ronnie

    Thanks Travis….Very useful info on mass gaining….It’s a training course by itself…….

    • Admin

      Yeah it works! Simple and Effective!

  • Mark

    Great Post and insight on a sample workout/nutrition to get bigger and stronger!

    • Admin

      Thank you Mark

  • Clarence

    Between this post and the movie, I’ve never been more motivated to get lean! Although I actually like the fact that Bane is big without actually being too ripped. It brings a sense of realism to how physically powerful he is. That’s nothing but beef patties and working out 110% H.A.M., probably no supplements! Have to respect that. But I know in real life being leaner and more ripped is a better way to go. Can’t wait to dissect the directions given in this post when I get home

    • Admin

      Amen to that Clarence. LEAN and RIPPED is the way to be.

  • Cory Sloan

    That’s some great stuff Travis! Your always putting out some badass informtion. Awesome post, I can’t wait for the next one.

    • Admin

      Thanks bro!

  • Joseph

    Thanks Travis! This what I’ve trying to do for long time. I’m defiantly using this info for future workouts.

    • Admin


      I know this will help you.

  • bill d

    Travis, I’ve been watching you on YouTube for some time now and am impressed with your knowledge and dedication/enthusiasm. May I say it? You’re 29 years old. I’m 51. I’ve been doing these Spartacus workouts for about a year but only focusing on nutrition for about 4 months. Needless to say I’ve made the biggest gains in the last four months. Now I get that nutrition is everything. Re: training hard- I’m a firefighter who has a knee injury, shoulder injury and two back injuries. This job is death by a thousand cuts. It doesn’t stop me from working out but it puts a crimp on some of my flexibility. I go to our gym at the firehouse or in my backyard at home and I always push myself. I do, however, need to be careful. Let’s face it. Some of your workouts would put me in the hospital. I’d appreciate it if you’d address the older guy who wants to be in as good a shape a he can be but realizes he’s not 29 anymore:). Thanks.

    • Admin


      I like to see that you’re traiing hard and takig your nutrition seriously now. Keep that up! As far as my workouts go ANYONE can do them. Just be smart about it and train at YOUR level. If you have to scale things back or take more breaks for rest, do it. Bottom line is your pushing yourself as bet you can but within YOUR limits. Train 110% H.A.M. but smart about it 😉

  • Alex

    Great post as always, Travis. Bane was pure evil and one big dude. He definitely went H.A.M…Physique-wise, I think Tom Hardy looked much better in that MMA movie “Warrior” that came out about a year ago. Nonetheless, the sheer size he packed on to portray Bane was really impressive. I’ll definitely be seeing the movie at least once more while it’s in theaters. Lookin’ forward to your next post.

    • Admin

      I agree Alex. Adding that much mass takes some serious work but Tom looked a ton better in Warrior…

  • Chris Wise

    Bane is a bad ass, but I want to be jacked and shredded, not like Bane. More like deadpool or captain america. I wanna look like I could tear you to pieces, not just be able to do it if it came down to it. I think your workouts are the key to unlocking that hidden power in all of us and unleashing the beast. The best part is at the end of it all…..we get to look like beasts. Look forward to hearing your piece about fear. Keep the posts coming. I love reading this stuff.

  • eric

    Awesome post!! You really breakdown how to get the exact results I’m looking for – I like to mix in a finisher each at the end of these – just to “polish” off the workout…

  • http://yahoo kevin

    great post travis, ineed to train like that myself, i will be
    buying the book.

  • Larry

    Right on the head, Travis! Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition…we know it, just need to implement it. Once I truly focused on nutrition, I started seeing improvements training did not provide. Keep up the good info.

  • casey

    Good post, I agree that its impressive that he gained 30 lbs but I also think a leaner more cut up look would be better.

  • Rajat Desikan

    Good post Travis…Good workout too…covers almost all bases
    Are you not gonna include any finishers to jack up his conditioning? After all, Bane has to fight Batman :)

  • Matt

    Awesome post & program, Travis. Iron Muscle is exactly what I’ve been looking for; I’ve been doing a strict bodybuilding routine for the past six months but ‘all shown, no go’ definitely does mot sit well with me and I’ve been aching to get back to stuff that counts. Batman comes out here in a few days and I’m dying to see it. Hey, why is it that guys like us always love super-hero movies?

  • scott

    Your website is unreal and your training is some of the best I have come acros, Hardcore no BS just hard training. You also can walk the walk and not just talk about it. Your a true inspiration.

  • Gary

    I wanna gain 24lbs of muscle – So this is the plan for me – Thanks Travis!!

  • Steve C.

    Yo Trav, I bought iron muscle about six months ago and had the most phenomenal results. Ill probably cycle it back into my regime for mass gaining in the winter. Your methods prove themselves time and again. you could easily charge double for that program and it will still be well worth the money. –

  • Shane

    Thanks for the free tips. I want to buy your program but I can’t afford it right now. Plus I don’t have a credit card so I would have to borrow a friends. So I ‘d appreciate any free tips you give until I buy it. I’m def gonna buy the books.

    • Admin


      Just keep reading through my past posts. There’s plenty of free tips…

  • Andrew

    Hey Travis,

    I was wondering if you could explain as to why whole wheat pasta’s are off limitis for mass gain. They’re high calorie and have a decent amount of protein; so I was wondering why it’s bad if I have a huge portion of pasta post workout. Otherwise, this routine looks unreal and I can’t wait to try it out.


    • Admin

      Because whole wheat pasta is nothing else then a ton of processed crap. It also contains a ton of gluten. I would stay away from that crap.

      Although a great source of calories, you would be better off by using some spagetti squash in it’s place

      • Andrew

        Okay, will do. Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it!

  • james

    nice post bud,

    there was an article written here in the uk about toms training a few months back, the article detailed that he was trained by an ex royal marine pt and that he performed 3 x 20mins sessions per day most exercises were bodyweight variation, it didn’t say how many days a week he trained

  • Mikimiki

    Sorry m8 but is this performed in superset for example deadlifts and broad jumps? Cheers!

    • Admin

      Yes. Deadlifts first then immediately broad jumps.

  • Matt

    Which of those work outs give you the monster traps that bane?

    • Admin

      Not just one… Combine them all for max results. Workout 4 is the most targeted for your traps.

      Heavy clean shrugs will light your traps up.

  • seo2websites

    Tom Hardy pulled it off so well, no wonder he worked so hard it to get that look and body…and I loved the character BANE! STRONG & SCARY! OMG especially the mask and tom hardy bane coat

  • Michael J. McDonald

    Awesome workout Travis and your so right about nutrition.