Actor Simu Liu recently graced the cover of Men’s Health magazine for his role as the MCU’s newest superhero in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Liu worked through a tough routine with his trainer, Bart Kwan, for a video to highlight his workouts—and it caught the attention of YouTubers CantoMando (best friends Sheldon Ho, Mike Wu, and Edward Leung).
“Ever since we were kids, we’ve wanted to be superheroes,” the guys say in the video. “Unfortunately, we don’t have the body of one. So when Simu Liu, a.k.a. Shang-Chi, shared his superhero workout online, we realized this was our chance.”
So the group starts a 30-day transformation journey. The program they were working off looks something like this:
Simu Liu’s Superhero Workout
- 1A. Banded Trap Bar Deadlift: 5 sets of 5 reps
- 1B. Box Jumps: 5 sets of 5 reps
- Sled Push to Sprint: 5 rounds of 20 yards
- Rotational Med Ball Slam: 3 sets of 5 per side
- 4A. Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps
- 4B. Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 3 sets of 15 reps
One important note before getting into the video: the workout Liu and Kwan shared with MH, which the CantoMando guys replicated every day for 30 days, is only on day out of the actor’s training plan. While the workout does hit multiple muscle groups, Liu is mixing in other exercises and dedicated stunt work to go along with the plan he shared in the video. If you want to try Liu’s workout yourself, you’d do better to fit it into a balanced routine with other days focused on other exercises and muscle groups.
On Day 1, they start on Air Assault bikes for 5 minutes, just like Liu. Except, they could only get through 2 minutes.
“This is NOT easy,” they say as they huff and puff on the bikes.
By Day 7, the guys are feeling it. They all share the same sentiment: “My arms are so tired,” followed by, “Yo, I’m actually dead.”
By Day 8, they also talked about the diet changes they were set to make, turning down unhealthy foods for healthier picks. They kept at it, and kept going to the gym. By Day 10, they felt like they were actually making progress with the workouts. By Day 11, they realized they forgot to factor in rest days, and they were all “hella sore”. They decide to take three days of rest… which also killed their momentum. They ended up skipping four days total.
To get back on track, they got inspiration from Shang-Chi himself: they reflected on how they met Simu Liu a couple years back at a school event, and to see how far he’s come, was the spark they needed. By Day 16, they were back in the gym.
“There is so much focus, discipline, and hard work that comes into trying to be a super hero,” they note.
After the 30 days, the results were pretty impressive, and compared to where they started, each guy looked to have transformed from their discipline.
“The biggest thing we’re taking from this challenge is when you set a goal, you stick to it, no matter what. That’s what it takes to become a superhero. You add oil, no matter what,” they conclude.
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