Wait, why is Superman so jacked?


Why does Superman look the way he does?

Superman is an indelible part of American culture, just hearing or even reading, his name alone likely casts his image into your head. You can perfectly picture his black hair, blue eyes, and imposing physique.

But, why is Superman so imposing? How did he get to be so muscular? Why is he so jacked? I need answers, and what’s more, I intend to find them.

Superman has been featured in hundreds of different works over the years, and his appearance has more or less remained constant. The dude is absolutely jacked. There are a few examples where he isn’t a mammoth of muscle, most notably Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, but more often than not, the guy is unbelievably big.

In Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox,  we see an Earth from a different timeline as a result of the Flash’s attempt to save his mother’s life. In this timeline, Superman was captured and held prisoner for his entire life. His imprisonment away from the Sun has not allowed his powers to flourish, and caused his physique to look like it does below.

Image Courtesy Warner Bros for Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox

After he is eventually exposed to the Sun his superpowers begin to manifest themselves and he is the superhuman we all know and love once more.

So, while it is possible the Sun is responsible for his imposing muscle mass, but I don’t believe so. I think that Superman’s lack of muscle in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, is more likely a result of his imprisonment than his lack of exposure to the Sun.

Think about it, if the Sun was really fueling Superman’s muscle mass wouldn’t he be a muscly blob by now?


I’m not just here to trash other people’s ideas about why Superman is so huge. No, I’m gonna propose some myself as well.

Theory One: This dude ate his Wheaties

Wheaties are “the breakfast of champions”, and an essential part of a balanced and nutritious breakfast. Superman is a champion, and I’m sure nutrition is important to him, so maybe, just maybe, he got insanely jacked by eating Wheaties.

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Verdict: Maybe his diet plays a role.

Theory Two: They make em big on Krypton

Whenever a kid is exceptionally big for his or her age people will often remark “they make em big (wherever the child is from)”. Perhaps Kryptonians are larger than the average human? Zod is pretty large himself after all. However, Supergirl traditionally is much more lithe than Superman, while still possessing a similar range of capabilities. So, maybe Superman is working out after all…

Verdict: Not viable

Image Courtesy Warner Bros for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

Theory Three: Superman has long been a secret Cross Fitter

It is entirely possible that Superman has been working out secretly, he does have that lair in the Arctic after all, and maybe it has a home gym. However, it is not possible that Superman is secretly doing Cross Fit because the first rule of Cross Fit is tell everyone you Cross Fit.

Verdict: Not happening.

Next: Next: Batman will be more traditional in Justice League

This brings us to what must be the truth. Superman must be secretly working out constantly. His super speed allows him to do so in secret, and still save the world as frequently as he does.

It’s not the most satisfying answer, but it is the one that makes the most sense. I mean what else could it be, that the illustrators just crafted the ideal superhero without thought of the consequences?