Pages Navigation Menu

SUPERMAN IV with Christopher Reeve


When Christopher Reeve asked me to train him for “Superman IV” I was excited! I had met his first trainer, David Prowse, at an event in Denver years before the 3rd sequel of his iconic film classic. David had trained Chris for the first “Superman” film since the George Reeves theatrical release in 1951. Superman was the second comic book superhero to hit the movie screens after Captain Marvel in 1941. It was Superman however, that created a movie and comic book dynasty of sequels, featuring the comic book character.

David Prowse was a British weight lifter, who competed for Britain in the Commonwealth Games in Perth, Australia. David was most known for playing Darth Vader in the original “Star Wars” with the voice of James Earl Jones. At that time studios would hire physical training specialists (boxing trainers and weightlifters) to work with actors to increase their muscular size and aerobic endurance specific for a role. Superman had to look strong so the studio hired a professional strength specialist.

By the time “Superman IV” was ready to shoot, times had changed since the release of “Staying Alive” and personal training had become a standard business involved with the actor. I helped revolutionize the state of fitness training for a movie role, so when meeting with Chris he already had 3 Superman movies under his cape! He had the upper hand with the director and producers on how his character should look.

Christopher Reeve attended The Julliard School in 1973 in a class of only 20 students selected. Chris was an actors’ actor! He was a pro and wanted the character to look and feel the part of a superhuman Superman. He said the character of Superman should not look like he’s been training at Gold’s Gym, so he requested a variety of activities: tennis, circuit strength training, windsurfing, swimming and running (today’s fitness cross training) to prepare for the role. His only requirement to the training was a “fun factor”. If it wasn’t fun, he didn’t want to do it! Christopher called it “the fun factor.” It is the cornerstone to lifestyle fitness activity. The best fitness activity for you is the one you will do and the one you enjoy!