Much has been spoken of Henry Cavill’s punishing diet and exercise regimes, unsurprisingly for someone synonymous with Superman, with real-life comic-book good looks. Since taking on the role of genetically enhanced monster slayer Geralt of Rivia, ‘The Witcher workout’ (involving daily fasting, cardio and weights session) has become a big search term, while his intense dehydration diet employed for shirtless scenes went viral. But behind the cape or leather armour donned for his characters, the British actor has some relatable rituals that non-superstars (or superheroes) can easily employ.
Work out beyond aesthetic reasons
Cavill confirms there’s “a lot of gym work” in his weekly schedule. When he’s shooting a movie or series, “to make sure that I can survive it,” he trains twice a day.
“Yes, it’s definitely for aesthetic reasons,” he admits, “but it’s also for the ability to actually manage an arduous shoot for seven to eight months – or whatever it may be. Working 14-hour days does take its toll.”
Regardless, his ethos is about “trying to stay as healthy as possible.” That means “clean” eating, too.
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The journey continues. Thank you to Mr Dave Rienzi for being such a wonderful guide. My physical journey over the years has been an interesting one, with plenty of pit falls and plenty of moments of reward. I've been reflecting on them a lot recently and I've been very fortunate to work with some fantastic minds. I'm thankful to them all. Recently I've been exploring some of the big players in bodybuilding, both from the past and the present. It's absolutely fascinating to see what they put themselves through, the drive and mental strength required to get to such a place physically. Phil Heath in particular has caught my eye not only for his achievements but also for his genuinely humble and informative approach to his messaging. All this while being a 7x Mr Olympia. If you haven't checked out his page it's worth a peek. @DaveRienzi @PhilHeath #GymStuff
When it comes to a healthy diet, knowledge and preparation is key
“The most important thing for diet is knowledge and preparation,” he tells us. “And it’s very difficult for us as people who are busy – running around doing our jobs – to gain all that knowledge.” His solution? “If you can find a person or company who can do the knowledge part for you, so you know what your goals are, they can at least give you the information so you can do food prep, for example.” This is “is enormously helpful”, Cavill says, allowing you to be in control of your nutrition.
“I have found food prep to be a massive saving grace for me, time-wise and health-wise, because then I know what I’m having and when.” Therefore, he can “eat as cleanly as possible when working”, and then “once a week I’ll have a meal that I really want to have and that’ll be off-diet”.
Extreme diets are only for extreme situations
Cavill will suffer for his art, but he knows it’s just that. On The Graham Norton Show he recently revealed how he would limit his water intake when filming for The Witcher. “On the first day you’ll have a litre and a half, and the second day half a litre, and then the third day, no water, and you’ll shoot on the fourth [day],” he explained.
Will this be a repeat performance? “When it comes to shirtless stuff I would absolutely do it again,” he says. “But I do not recommend it: it’s not healthy. It doesn’t feel good – but it does look good!” He tells us he only does the “the light version of it,” (apparently bodybuilders go hard). “But for me, if it sells a character to an audience then yes absolutely I’ll do it, but if it’s going to be a risk to my health, then no.”
The actor knows that he has a professional trainer observing him, “making sure that I’m okay and that I have all the right things going into my system”. For us mere mortals, it’s the opposite of what he’d recommend.
Get more from your water intake
Dehydration diets aside, Cavill is water obsessed. “I was looking to start my own water [brand],” he tells us, “I was researching various springs around the UK; I wanted it to be environmentally responsible and ethical.” He then met David and Bonita Spencer-Percival, founders of No1 Botanicals, who extract the compounds out of herbs and make pure botanical drinks with them.
Cavill’s now partnered with the couple, enabling him to drink “a lot” of the No1 Rosemary Water. “It completely replaces my regular water intake,” he reveals. “I love the stuff. The only time I don’t [drink it] is when I’m in the gym – because then I have electrolytes.”
To grasp the botanical science behind it, Cavill made a short documentary in Acciaroli, Italy, to see why the villagers are living long, happy, healthy lives. Indeed, they consume heaps of rosemary, but he assures us “there’s heavyweight science” beneath the romantic concept.
Indeed, Cavill feels it himself. “I realised quite quickly that my body was craving it. It really wanted it, and I started to feel better when I was drinking it. I noticed a massive difference when I was working on The Witcher – in prep when I had a window to do all my work for the day I was drinking this stuff and instantly felt sharper. The brain just started firing and it really, really helped.”
Make super herbs your supplements
The tangible health benefits of ancient herbal wisdom is becoming apparent to Cavill.
While he wasn’t conscious to include herbs in his diet before, “now that I’m learning about super herbs, and they are important to include” he feels. “Especially if you want to live your life to the fullest; if you want to take full advantage of everything the body and mind is keyed to do.” So, we can all play Superman?
“It’s as simple that,” he adds. “If you start putting this stuff in your body, it works better – and more efficiently.”
From: BAZAAR UK