Superheroes—and in the case of film adaptations, the people who play them—may be the consummate role models of society, but there's just something about their wicked counterparts that is also worthy of emulation.
In recent years, the bad guys have gotten their due on-screen, most evident when Suicide Squad was released back in 2016. The viewing public started to fall in love with supervillains and antiheroes like Deadpool or Bane or Magneto because they allowed fans to to embrace their dark side.
Aside from reinforcing one's moral compass, the likes of Erik Killmonger and Thanos are serving another purpose for their fanboys. The Hollywood alter egos of these evil characters have also become the gold standard for physical improvement. Fitness for these baddies is just as important as world domination.
Bane from The Dark Knight Rises (Tom Hardy)
Hardy revealed to The Daily Beast that he was feeling the effects of his drastic transformation to portray The Dark Knight Rises antagonist. Men's Health detailed a press-up complex (eagle, kong, diamond, square, rectangle) that enabled him to put up an additional 30 pounds of "mass, muscle, and strength." Those imposing pecs will come in handy for Venom.
Winter Soldier from Captain America film series (Sebastian Stan)
Bulking up seems to be a trend here. In an interview with Men's Journal, Don Saladino talked about making Bucky do some heavy lifting, explaining, "I am not saying it needs to be strenuous to the body, where your system is freaking out. It just needs to feel heavy." On chest day, Stan undergoes a weights program that involves a lot of dumbbell and barbell work.
Erik Killmonger from Black Panther (Michael B. Jordan)
As if he wasn't chiseled enough for Creed, Jordan got extra jacked to play Black Panther's arch nemesis. Corey Calliet thought of the words "savage" and "massive" while training the American celebrity. He shared to Men's Health, "[We did] a lot of old-school bench presses, lat pulldowns, deadlifts—nothing fancy, just really contracting the muscle."
Joker from Suicide Squad (played by Jared Leto)
The actor-singer was dead serious in "getting bigger" for the role of the twisted clown, according to Billboard. Brendan Johnston, who led the Suicide Squad boot camp, subjected Leto to bodybuilding sessions and weighted calisthenics to achieve that MMA fighter built. Johnston told Men's Journal, "He (Leto) was throwing a lot of punches throughout the day."
Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War (Josh Brolin)
Would you believe that this man, who is also set to play Cable in Deadpool 2, just turned 50 this month? We're back to getting swole, which means getting in the weight room. Brolin's routine, according to Men's Health, is centered around engaging the triceps and biceps to make the arms and shoulders pop. He adds, "No sugar. No bread. No pastas."