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Part of the reason Superman doesn't always get the respect he deserves is because people find he is both "over powered", and thus things are never a challenge for him, and that he has things "too easy" with all his abilities. More respect is given to warriors like Batman [who had to hard earn all of his peak human abilities], Wonder Woman [a warrior who has trained since childhood] and especially other super powered world protectors, like Goku [possibly the greatest fictional martial artist ever, and in many ways a Superman homage/analog].

The basic idea/ joke is this:

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But... this isn't necessarily true, is it?

For one, Clark spent literal years training himself in the use of his powers. In all versions [Golden, Silver, Bronze, Modern, Post-Crisis, New 52] Clark mentions practicing or training, almost daily, to better control and refine his powers, even subconsciously. Mind you, this is done to become more proficient with these abilities, yes... but more so to keep them in check so that he doesn't hurt someone or cause random property damage with a simple touch.

Still counts as training, though...

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Secondly, he's been known to somehow "depower" himself and train with Batman and Wild Cat in fighting. And he has definitely sparred regularly with Wonder Woman, at or near full power, because she is one of the few beings whom he can cut a little loose with and not hurt. She's trained him in hand to hand and armed combat, seen here....

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and here...

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and here...

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and here....

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To be fair, this is all sparring or fight training, so it's more "skill building" than "physical training for gains", though. It's still important yes, but not quite the same as "building more strength, stamina, power, speed, etc". Nor is either of them pushing their limits, so it seems.

Unless one counts his training in the Kryptonian Torqasm arts---- which are more akin to Yang style combat Tai Chi and Hatha yoga. So yes, there would presumably be some physical gains in stamina, flexibility, and strength there... but it's not quite the same as resistance training. Again, it's more akin to martial skill building.

This doesn't mean that he Doesn't do conditioning training, though.

The only real scan I can find of him actually "pushing his strength" was the one below...

enter image description here

And I know there's a page from the 50s with him lifting some massively over-sized dumbbell with one hand in the Fortress of Solitude, but I'm not even sure that counts as canon anymore.

In Smallville, especially in the later seasons where he's "The Blur", we see Clark in the Fortress constantly pushing himself in mental and physical training, and even combat training, to intensify and master his powers, but that's about the best I've found as being close to canon.

Hell, even in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman we see Clark playing sports, exercising, and in one instance doing boxing training to justify his well built physique, and to "keep himself sharp", as he puts it.

I've found no other references in the comics, though.

So...

Are there any canonical Post-Crisis or current comics which show Superman training to make himself stronger, faster or enhance his abilities?

Note: Occasions where he has lost his powers don't count.

  • 1
    I never understood why superheroes are always depicted with bulging muscles. Seems to me they could be scrawny or flabby and paunchy and their superstrength would be the same. – user14111 Oct 16 '19 at 10:46
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    @user14111 a) it's more "realistic" b) the artists enjoy it c) the readers enjoy it – OrangeDog Oct 16 '19 at 11:42
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    @OrangeDog example for points b and c : Power-girl :p – Shreedhar Oct 16 '19 at 12:25
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    @Shreedhar No, Similar, but not a "Dupe"; that question was about him "keeping fit, but This one specifically asks if he trains to get stronger or further enhance his abilities. This is why I included all the examples of him training for skill building; even with his great power, Superman has to consciously improve himself in some way to be a consistently effective hero. I know his alien DNA gives him "near physical perfection", but exercise can increase those capacities, and push his limits making him more effective or powerful. That's what I'm looking for examples of. – Russhiro Oct 16 '19 at 12:34
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    @RussRainford thus the "?" mark.. I wasn't completely sure of it. – Shreedhar Oct 16 '19 at 12:41

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