Some superheroes are known for their near-magic abilities, like x-ray vision, being stretchy, and the ability to swoop through tall buildings on just a thread of webbing, but then there are those know for their sheer strength, such as is the case with Thor. Though the character has been around for quite some time, it’s Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal that seem to have really brought it to life. And he was clearly well-suited for the role, with is god-like greek build of massive biceps, pecs, and all other muscles to match. Though it looks like the character Thor simply inherited it all through his genetics, being the son of Odin, a god of the gods like Zeus, in real life there was a lot of real hard working out going on to transform Hemsworth into Thor.
- WDP (09/13/2011)
- Prime Video, PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
- Running time: 114 minutes
- Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Colm Feore
Chris Hemsworth got a lot of exercise as a youth, though not through formal workouts. He grew up in the Australian Outback and was no stranger to cattling, buffalo, and crocodiles. Hemsworth is, nevertheless, the son of an English teacher and a social services counsellor. In the fitness realm, Hemsworth’s zeal in taking on the challenge of getting greek fit is notorious. The routine is one few would dare approach, especially actors, and that even fewer would succeed in. No fancy fitness strategies here. On this endeavor, Hemsworth followed the lead of a Navy SEAL by the name of Duffy Gaver, whose old-school approach to building muscle enabled Hemsworth to pack on an impressive 20 pounds of lean mass.
Chris Hemsworth Workout
It’s one thing to be fit, lean, and ripped, and quite enough to have the physique of Thor. Throughout the successive Thor movies, Hemsworth and his trainer Gaver followed the same template and just customized the routines a bit according to Hemsworth’s needs at the time. There were never any fancy moves or equipment used in his routines. It was all about good old weightlifting in the form of supersets and trisets (1). This 5-day-a-week routine features 34 moves. Each day was devoted to a different body part and the days off were taken in a row.
The first routine of the week is the back routine. Starting with five supersets of pull-ups and push-ups, about 20 reps each, doing less reps on the pull-ups at each round, the workout continues with four sets of hammer strength two-arm rows with 12 reps in each set. Then he does the same sets and reps with the dumbbell row before finishing up with four sets of Swiss ball hyperextensions, with the rep counts of 25, 20, 15 and 15.
On the second day Hemsworth works his chest, starting with a long eight sets on the barbell bench press. The reps for the sets are 12, 10, 10, 8, 8, 6, 4, 4, and 4. Then he does four sets of 12 reps on the incline dumbbell bench press and four sets of 15 reps on the chest press. Hemsworth finishes up this workout with a superset of weighted dips and cable flys – four sets of 12 reps and four sets of 10 reps respectfully.
Day three is leg day, and it’s the only lower body workout in this program. He does seven sets of barbell squats, starting with 10 reps and reducing the number of reps with each set, followed by just one set of leg presses done to failure. From there, it’s four set of 20 reps with bodyweight lunges. He does three sets of 20 reps on the single leg curl for each side in a triset with standing calf raises, which is also done in three sets of 20 reps.
The last two routines for the week are the shoulder routine and a day just for arms, to which can be credited Hemsworth’s impressive biceps and triceps. These he does in similar fashion to the rest of the routine, doing a variety of classic moves in around three to four sets of 10 to 20 reps. There’s also a bonus workout: abs. The abs routine is a circuit of moves, including holding plank for 60 seconds, doing 12 hanging leg raises, 60 seconds of side plank, and 12 reps of toes to bar on the pull-up bar. Each rep is to be performed slowly so as to avoid momentum and put the focus on form and resistance.
Chris Hemsworth Diet
As challenging as Hemsworth’s Thor-ready workout routine is, the star claims that his diet is the biggest key to the successful crafting of his god-like physique. Of course, when some people are told to eat like a god they may assume that it means feasting on a variety of the richest foods and the best that the Earth can provide. Hemsworth reports that he simply didn’t get the same quality of results when his diet was less strict and he was training just as hard (2).
With the kind of muscle mass Hemsworth has, it’s probably easy to guess he followed a high-protein diet. The intriguing part is that it’s all plant-based. No meat for Hemsworth. His Thor diet is a vegan diet. Actually, veganism isn’t something that Hemsworth was doing all the time. It’s an approach that he tried out after getting ready for his first Thor movies, starting right as the filming of Avengers commenced (3). He tried the vegan diet and he liked the results, so he’s stuck with it ever since, eating six meals a day and getting his protein from beans and veggie burgers.
Why You Should Be More Like Chris Hemsworth
Though Hemsworth has pretty much stayed with the same routine from the start of his career as Thor, he did refine his results by refining a few of the things that he did. The biggest change was his diet. There was once a time when he thought animal protein was the only way to go, but he was proven wrong by his own experiment. Hemsworth’s Thor workout routine is proof that you don’t need a lot of fancy tactics to get fabulously fit. The same classic moves that have been in use for years work well. What really makes the difference is the amount of dedication put into following the plan through and monitoring the results.