Muscle Gaining Lessons from “The Dark Knight,” Batman

Last Friday I explained that there are only 4 situations where you can build muscle while losing fat WITHOUT creating that caloric deficit that is otherwise crucial for fat loss: a) newbie gains b) muscle memory c) genetics d) steroids.

Today I want to give you an example of a guy who has gained a massive amount of weight WITHOUT gaining fat – Christian Bale.

You’ve probably heard that Christian Bale gained 109lbs for “Batman Begins” after losing 63lbs for “The Machinist”. Bale went from 121lbs to 230lbs in only 6 months which ended up being MORE than director Christopher Nolan desired. So by the time filming began, Christian Bale had dropped to 190lbs.

Christian Bale: left 121lbs in "The Machinist" (2004). Right 190lbs in "Batman Begins".
Christian Bale: left 121lbs in “The Machinist” (2004). Right 190lbs in “Batman Begins”.

How Did Christian Bale Gain 109lbs Weight So Fast? Bale had been lifting weights for at least 5y before he starred in “Batman Begins”. Imdb mentions that he went to the gym 6x/week for 3h/day with a personal trainer for his movie “American Psycho” (2000). Check his physique in “Equilibrium” (2002).

Christian Bale. On the left weighing around 185lbs in "Equilibrium" (2002). On the right weighing 121lbs for "The Machinist" (2004).
Christian Bale. On the left weighing around 185lbs in “Equilibrium” (2002). On the right weighing 121lbs for “The Machinist” (2004).

Newbie gains? No. Freaky genetics? I don’t think so. Steroids? Maybe. What you can be sure of: MUSCLE MEMORY. More important: he HAD TO gain weight to get the role, and he had a personal trainer for “Batman Begins”.

Do you think you could gain 109lbs in 6 months if you lost 63lbs first? Let’s say you’ve been training for years, your paycheck depends on your results and you have a coach yelling at you in the gym. Could you do it? Of course.

Muscle memory – deadlines – coaching. That’s how he gained 109lb so fast.

I shouldn’t be telling you this, but the secret behind many of those before/after transformations you see in muscle magazines is this very Muscle Memory. Snake oil companies use it to fool you into buying their worthless supplements. And I’m going to show you an example of that next. Stay tuned.

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