Chris Hemsworth Workout: Get a Body Like Thor
In the midst of what seems to be an endless stream of superhero films – in which actors and actresses are getting themselves into the best shape of their lives – one of the most impressive physiques to come from this spell of movies is that of Chris Hemsworth in his role as Thor.
According to the internet, Hemsworth is an imposing 6’3. For his role as Thor, he weighed in at a lean 215lbs, which is around 98kg. This is by no means a small amount of muscle relative to his frame, but with enough time, correct training and nutrition, this overall physique can be attained.
THE REALITY BEHIND CELEB PHYSIQUES
The type of transformations our superhero celebs can make in short time frames is often astonishing and seemingly impossible to a ‘normal’ person. Training for film roles can take several months and actors like Chris Hemsworth have a small-scale army of support including trainers, nutritionists and chefs to make sure everything is planned and executed to perfection.
This means although these physiques might be attainable, it’s probably going to take a little (or a lot) longer to achieve for the average person who has a full time job, family and other everyday life commitments.
So, I guess the first ‘rule’ to build a physique like Thor is to be patient and as consistent as possible with both your training and nutrition.
WHAT OTHER ‘RULES’ SHOULD YOU FOLLOW?
Although this article is about training, in order to build a god like body nutrition is going to play a huge part, especially if you’re already carrying some extra weight.
The good news is this doesn’t have to be overly complicated if you follow this ‘simple’ five step plan:
- 1. Work out how many calories you need for weight loss or weight gain (depending on your current physique) using an online calculator. It’s probably sensible to focus on losing excess body fat first by creating a slight calorie deficit, as you can still build muscle and lose fat at the same time. For this example, let’s say you need 2500kcal.
- 2. Work out how much protein you need. Take your bodyweight and multiply it by around 1.6-2 and this will give you the number of grams of protein you need to eat. Protein has 4kcal per gram, so if you weighed 80kg and required 160g of protein, this would be 640kcal (160×4) from protein.
- 3. Work out how many calories you have left in your ‘calorie budget’ by taking the number of kcals from step 1 and subtracting the number of kcal from step 2 (2500-640=1860kcal). These are the calories you have left over for your other food ‘energy’ sources; carbohydrates and fats. How much of these you consume doesn’t matter too much as long as you stay in your daily calorie allowance.
- 4. To keep track of your calorie intake, download and familiarise yourself with a food logging app and get into good habits of logging food intake.
- 5. Although calories are ‘king’, food choice still matters to promote health and to keep control over food cravings. I like to use an 80-20 approach. 80-90% of foods should be whole, nutrient dense foods such as lean protein sources, whole grain carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds with 10-20% of your daily calorie budget being allowed for the odd treat!
From a training perspective, the most important rule is to keep your resistance training progressive. This means each week you want to try and do more reps at a given weight of each exercise, or do more weight for the same number of reps.
This will create a consistently increasing stimulus to force muscles to adapt and grow. It is important to make sure this progression (a principle called progressive overload) takes place in small jumps. Adding on small amounts of weight when we can complete all the reps and sets on our program.
There’s also going to be an emphasis on extra ‘output’, especially if you’re wanting to lower body fat levels. You can do this by doing extra exercise (adding in low intensity or high intensity cardio) or just generally being more active. For example, taking opportunities to walk more and using things like activity monitors to track your overall daily energy expenditure.
WHAT SPECIFIC AREAS SHOULD YOU TARGET FOR THE THOR PHYSIQUE?
We’ve already highlighted the need to maintain or lower body fat from extra activity and cardiovascular exercise.
In regards to muscle, there’s an emphasis on building a fairly balanced physique. Hemsworth is well muscled but he doesn’t have any out of proportion body parts – although his arms are certainly his most distinguishing feature, which makes his physique stand out as being way above average. There’s also a definite hint of more of an upper body focus to his training, especially in his chest and shoulder development. Although he certainly doesn’t appear to skip leg day either!
This means for our example program, we’re going to use a 4-day training split; three for the upper body, and one for the lower body/legs. The three upper body sessions will be two ‘push’ sessions focusing on the chest and shoulders, with one BIG ‘pull’ session to work the muscles of the back.
If you want to add in other training days, then I suggest you use this as an opportunity to add in some core work and extra cardio, an example of which I have outlined in the program below.
BUILD A BODY LIKE THOR TRAINING PLAN
PUSH 1 (DAY 1) – REPS, SETS, REST
Incline Bench Press: 8-12, 3, 90s
Dumbbell Should Press: 8-12, 3, 90s
Dumbbell Fly: 12-15, 2, 90s
Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 15-12, 2, 90s
Close Grip Bench Press: 12-15, 3, 90s
LEGS (DAY 2) – REPS, SETS, REST
Leg Press: 8-12, 3, 90s
Hamstring Curl: 12-15, 3, 90s
Lunges: 15-20, 2, 90s
Leg Extension: 12-15, 3, 90s
Cable Bicep Curls: 15-20, 3, 90s
PUSH 2 (DAY 3) – REPS, SETS, REST
Machine Shoulder Press: 8-12, 3, 90s
Flat Bench Press: 8-12, 3, 90s
Cable Fly: 15-20, 2, 60s
Dumbbell Front Raise: 12-15, 3, 90s
Cable Tricep Push-Down: 12-15, 3, 90s
PULL (DAY 4) – REPS, SETS, REST
Deadlift: 8-12, 3, 90s
Bent Over Row: 8-12, 3, 90s
Seated Row: 12-15, 3, 90s
Seated Row: 12-15, 3, 90s
Lat Pull-Down: 12-15, 3, 90s
Preacher Curl: 15-20, 3, 60s
CORE & CARDIO (DAY 5)
Planks: 60s hold x3
Hanging Knee Raises: 20 reps, 2 sets, 60s rest
Crunches: 20 reps, 3 sets, 60s rest
Side Planks: 45s hold x2
Bike Sprints: 30s max effort, 90s rest, 5 sets