How to Become Batman

It's possible—but don't expect to keep it up
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2008 9:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – We all want to be Batman. But how do we make it happen? An interview with neuroscience professor and martial artist E. Paul Zehr in Scientific American provides some tips: Three to 5 years of strength and conditioning training, 10 to 12 years of learning self-defense skills, and up to 18 years of martial arts training to put it all together. A nocturnal body clock, 10% body fat, and a few billion dollars can't hurt, either. Oh, and skip the steroids.

But even if you are a fabulously wealthy crime-fighting machine, don’t expect to stay at the top of your game for long, Zehr warns. Boxers and running backs usually can’t keep it up for more than 3 years. “It's really hard to become Batman in the first place,” he says, “and it's hard to maintain it when you get there.” How many of us could do it? "If you found the percentage of billionaires and multiply that by the percentage of people who become Olympic decathletes, you could probably get a close estimate."