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Bane Workout: Shoulders [The Dark Knight Rises]

by guest on July 10, 2012
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Looking to get bowling ball shoulders like Bane? You’ve come to the right place. This article is part of the Get Big Like Bane series. By following this training program, you will be building mass within your deltoids -one of the three main muscle groups that make up Bane’s intimidating physique. Bane has tremendous shoulders with look like boulders at the top of his arms. This makes Bane exceptionally intimidating, especially when wearing his vest that he dons throughout most of The Dark Knight Rises.

>>> Bane Workout: Get Big Like Bane [The Dark Knight Rises]

>>> Bane Workout: Chest [The Dark Knight Rises]

>>> Bane Workout: Traps [The Dark Knight Rises]

We helped break the news when Tom Hardy was announced to become Bane. We were also sure to keep you updated on rumors and more recently, separated the rumors from the facts. Now, we’re about to show you how to get massive deltoids (shoulders) like Bane. If you find the below routine to be too challenging or have any joint or injury problems that may be preventing you from doing your best, you can check out our top 10 shoulder exercises for some alternatives.

Focus On Results Like Bane

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t try to pile on weight with any workout, but this is especially significant for shoulders. The shoulder is one of the most flexible parts of your body, but this also means that it is the least stable, particularly your rotator cuff. So perform each exercise with weight that you can complete reps with good form. After all, Bane wouldn’t be much of a bad-ass if his arm was in a sling.

Muscular Volume Like Bane

One of the best trainers in the United States of America, Dan Trink of Peak Performance, has explained hypertrophy (the increase in muscle volume)  in a very easy to understand way. It’s all about volume, variety, and muscle damage. By performing a variety of exercises and doing the appropriate volume of reps, you will be damaging your muscles which with sleep and protein, will help them recover and grow to be bigger. The ideal amount of repetitions to maximize growth is 8-10. Aim for 3 tri-sets of the below. Doing one set of each of the below exercise moves is one tri-set. Rest 90 seconds between sets.

The Bane Workout

Upright Row

The upright row builds the entire deltoid area and will also give you a biceps pump whenever you do this exercise. Just grab a barbell with an overhand and slightly wider than shoulder width grip. If you’re using an EZ Curl Bar, use the wide grip hand position. Raise your arms and pull the bar upward and parallel to your body until it nearly touches your chin. To put more resistance on your traps (another important muscle group in the Get Big Like Bane series), try pulling your elbows up a little beyond shoulder height as you complete each rep. Return to the starting position.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

This exercise targets the medial head of your delts. This is another shoulder exercise that provides great results without using excessively heavy weight. With your arms at your sides, grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Slowly raise your arms outward and upward until the dumbbells reach shoulder height in a position that parallels the floor. Return to the starting position. To add some variety and to work the medial delts from every angle, vary your workouts by doing some sets with your hands at your sides, some sets with your hands slightly in front of your thighs, and some sets with your hands behind your hips.

Military Press

The front military press is a great  exercise for building the anterior or front section of your deltoids (shoulders). You can perform this exercise from a standing or seated position. For beginners, try the seated position; however, work your way to do this standing to maximize your results. With proper technique, the military press will add thickness and power to the front of your shoulders. This emphasizes the main muscle you see on Bane in much of the production posters that have been distributed.

Burnout Like Bane

After you’ve completed your tri-sets of the exercises above, it’s time to give your muscles a burnout to get more results. Keep the weight low because you should be exhausted at this point. Perform 15 reps of each exercise below without any rest. You will only be doing this once, so give it all you’ve got and empty the tank.

Front Dumbbell Raise

This exercise puts extreme resistance on the front of your shoulders. In addition to building the anterior deltoids, front dumbbell raises put secondary stress on the medial deltoid head. Stand with your arms straight as you raise the dumbbells forward from the front of your thighs to a position parallel to the floor at about shoulder height. Again, do not attempt to do this exercise with heavy weight. You’ll be getting elite results with less weight due to resistance.

Lateral Raises

As mentioned above, simply raise your arms outward and upward until the dumbbells reach shoulder height in a position that parallels the floor. Return to the starting position. This time around, rotate your wrist slightly as though you are pouring water out of a glass.

Reverse Dumbbell Press

The reverse dumbbell press, aka the “Arnold Press” targets your anterior delts. When done properly, this exercise also puts concentrated resistance on the upper portion of your traps. You can do the reverse dumbbell press with both arms pressing the weights simultaneously or by alternating each arm. Hold two dumbbells at shoulder height with your palms facing you. Keep your back straight and don’t bounce or jerk your body as you slowly press the dumbbells overhead. As you press the weight upward, rotate your wrists so that your hands face forward at the top of each lift. Return the dumbbells to the starting position as you lower them after each rep.

Pumped up? We’d appreciate it if you could share, retweet, +1, or like this article. If you’re looking to get big like Bane, be sure to check out the  Get Big Like Bane series.

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The Confitdent Brotherhood is a collection of staffers who have worked together to help provide you with content that will make you strong, smart, and skillful.
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  • omalone1
    March 20, 2013 at 11:07 am

    G wiz. Apreciate the insights

  • Matt
    August 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    Is the burnout and high volume necessary? I thought its better to just lift heavier for 6 sets 2-3 times a week and focus on lifting more weight?? The last few sets feel like fatigue more than anything else… How many times a week would you suggest doing such a high volume training? I’m really lost here and would appreciate the help as I don’t understand this high volume approach! Thanks, Matt

    • August 30, 2013 at 11:26 am


      That’s a great question and thanks for chiming in. Generally speaking, rep ranges and weight should vary based on your goals. In this case, it sounds like you are asking how more reps will result in building muscle.

      The short answer is that the burnouts emphasize fatigue on isolation exercises. That being said these often involve a single joint and use less muscle mass than compound exercises, and are not well suited to high load training. You should perform these exercises in higher repetition ranges and make sure you use a training load that fatigues the muscle by the end of the set.

      This is a big principle for building mass. For further reading, there is a great article on T-Nation entitled “the best way to build muscle” where they elaborate on best practices. Our opinion is that when it comes to exercises that are not heavy hitting compound exercises, you should ALWAYS proceed with caution. Muscle building aside, when joint health is at a serious risk you are talking about an injury that you will feel for several years.

  • Alex
    November 26, 2013 at 9:51 am

    hi i am not really a professional i have started working out in gym for about 4 month is this program for me too?

    • November 26, 2013 at 11:55 am

      It sure can be! We recommend being conservative with weight to avoid injury. If you’re unsure about proper form, then go very light with weight and check out some of the tutorial and instructional videos here on Confitdent or on

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