What He Did: After dropping more than 60 pounds (mostly through a diet of coffee and apples) to play an insomniac in The Machinist, Bale had to bulk back up to superhero proportions. He proceeded to train and eat his way from 120 pounds to 220. Incredibly, director Christopher Nolan felt Bale had become too muscular for the role, and asked the long-suffering actor to lose 20 pounds again.
Why He Did It: Bale landed the title character in Batman Begins, which began shooting a mere five months after he finished on The Machinist.
What He Ate: Bale’s meals followed a ratio of one part fat, two parts protein, and three parts carbohydrate. A vegetarian, Bale avoided conventional protein sources such as chicken and beef and instead gorged on eggs, cottage cheese, and protein shakes. He ate every three hours throughout the day.
His Workout: Compound movements made up the heart of Bale’s training, including power exercises such as cleans, snatches, and squat jumps so that he could be as explosive and agile as the Caped Crusader himself. Below is one of his workouts.
Chinup Superset with Cable Row (4 sets of 10–12 reps each)
Power Clean (4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6)
Snatch-Grip High Pull (4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6)
Plus: Bale reportedly wanted to take his weight down as low as 100 pounds for The Machinist, but the producers, fearing it would be too dangerous to his health, refused to let him.
Bale says [On his role as Batman]: “ You just couldn’t pull it off unless you became a beast inside that suit.”