Chris Hemsworth is one of the most envy-inducing deities in Hollywood. The Aussie charm, Hugo Boss suits and impeccable comic timing all help, but when you’ve been playing a superheroic god for the best part of a decade, you also need a body that looks like it could actually save the universe.
When it comes to fitness, the actor isn’t one to sit idle. The Chris Hemsworth workout, as we’ll find out, is brutally efficient – but looking like Thor isn’t all about what you lift.
“To take it to Chris Hemsworth’s level you need to be consistent across the board on training, nutrition and recovery,” says Luca Zocchi, the man tasked with getting Hemsworth into god-like shape and resident trainer at Centr, a fitness app led by the A-list actor himself.
“Nutrition is key to achieving the look we are going for. On a Marvel film where we are training to look like Thor, the hardest part is the nutrition. Getting in all those calories so he can be in surplus and put muscle mass on but not eating too much food, because then it will turn into fat.”
Zocchi recommends working out your maintenance calories for the day [for a man in his 20s it should be around 2500 calories] and then increasing that by 10 percent.
“Recovery is then the last piece of the puzzle,” says Zocchi. “You have already done the work and given your body the nutrients it needs, now you need to get a good sleep in so the magic can happen. This can come down to lifestyle. If you choose to stay in on a Friday night instead of drinking half the night away and only getting four hours’ sleep, you’ll see the benefits in your training and results.”
Of course, eating all the food and living like a saint is a challenge but the real hustle is always going to done at the gym. Which is why we asked Zocchi to break down a typical Chris Hemsworth workout. Warning: it ain’t easy.
The Thor Workout
There aren’t many muscle groups excluded from this workout. The compound exercises test multiple body parts in every move for maximum efficiency, though you should see improved definition in the arms, chest and shoulders especially.
For each exercise complete 10 repetitions of each allowing yourself just a 30-second rest between them. These six exercises equal one round. You should aim to complete five rounds in total. Looks like a superhero task? That’s because it is. Expect to feel sore if you want to look Thor.
Burpee Curl to Press
Stand with your feet hip-width apart with dumbbells down by your sides. In one fluid motion, bend down and place your hands and dumbbells under your shoulders as you jump your feet backwards to a push-up position.
Complete a push-up before completing the burpee by jumping your feet back under your body, standing back up and raising the dumbbells straight above your head as you do so. Lower the dumbbells to the starting position. This is one rep.
Take the plank position with your weight supported on your forearms and toes, your elbows beneath your shoulders, and your core muscles engaged (squeeze your glutes and tense your abs). Take your right arm from the floor, placing your hand on the floor below your right shoulder.
Push up with your right hand while raising your left arm and placing it beneath your left shoulder. Your position should resemble a narrow push-up. Return to the start position. That’s one rep. Complete the next rep by leading with your left arm, then alternate.
Dumbbell Renegade Row And Push-up
Start in a high plank position with a dumbbell in each hand. Your hands should be positioned beneath your shoulders with your feet apart (the wider they are, the easier the exercise will be) and a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. With your core muscles engaged, complete a push-up.
At the top of the push up, row the right dumbbell up to your chest and back down, then go onto your left. This is one rep. To reduce the difficulty, perform the exercise on your knees.
Dumbbell Bent-Over Rear Flys
Standing with your knees slightly bent, bend yourself forward from the hips so your back is straight. Hold your dumbbells straight down, touching each other below your chest. Remember, don’t to arch your back.
While tensing your stomach, raise each hand up to the side of your body at the same time, forming a T shape. Don’t lift the bells above the level of your back. Slowly lower your arms and then repeat.
Dumbbell Hammer Curl And Reverse Lunge
Stand upright holding your dumbbells by your side and with your palms facing toward your body. Step your right foot back behind your body and lunge down, your right knee touching the ground and your left knee staying in line with your ankle.
At the same time, raise both dumbbells up to shoulder height, while keeping your elbows tucked in. Lower the dumbbells as you return your right foot to the starting position. This is one rep. Complete the next rep with your left leg.
Lie down flat on your back, the arms and legs extended, pointed and hovering slightly above the ground. The key with this exercise is to tense your abs and glutes to move with control rather than momentum.
So, with control, slowly begin to rock back and forth. Raise your upper body off the ground as you lower your legs, then rock back the other way just before your legs touch the ground. Maintain lower body contact with the ground for the duration of the movement. Rock forward, then back – this is one rep. Repeat.
Luke Zocchi is a resident trainer for Centr, Chris Hemsworth’s personalised digital health and fitness program, which is available from the App Store for iPhone and Apple Watch or online at centr.com