How do you bulk up for the body of a Norse god? The Chris Hemsworth workout, which the Australian actor went through only three months before he took on the role of the hammer-wielding god of thunder Thor, will definitely answer that question for you.
Before Hemsworth went on to star in 2011’s favorite superhero blockbuster film, he was a fairly unknown small-time actor. He played a small part in 2009’s Star Trek and a regular supporting role in the Australian soap Home and Away. He certainly had a stable physique, thanks to the fact that he is also a star surfer regularly riding the beach waves in Sta. Monica, California. He also boxed and played Australian Rules Football. But even his six pack abs and his surfer’s body was no match for Thor.
The Chris Hemsworth Workout Philosophy
It’s an enormously daunting task to pack on 20 pounds of pure, dense muscle to a lanky 6’3” surfer’s body. But Hemsworth himself says there is really nothing absolutely special about his workout routine.
He told John Scott Lewinski of AskMen.com:
“[The routine] was nothing fancy. It was a lot of old-fashioned bodybuilding and force-fed nutrition. We used a lot of pulling exercises, and Kenneth (Thor’s director) set up a wood-chopping area for me to prepare. Those were important to wield the hammer correctly”.
One thing different in the Chris Hemsworth workout, however, is sleep. When he wasn’t eating or slaving at the gym for exercise, he was getting as much zzz’s as he can. It’s an essential part of the Thor workout, as sleep reenergizes the body and repairs the small damages that happen to the muscle during intense exercise. More importantly, it is during sleep that the body releases its arsenal of growth hormones, the secret to accelerating muscle growth.
The Chris Hemsworth workout was, to say the least, not easy. The 27-year-old actor had to keep up with the constant changes in his exercise routine so his muscles were always stimulated. He had to stay on his toes.
The routine focused on a variety of compound exercises, which are exercises that engage several muscles or muscle groups at one time. Unlike isolation exercises, which focus on only one muscle group at a time, compound exercises provide a faster, full-body workout and allows you to lift heavier loads with less fatigue, thus building greater strength and putting on more muscle.
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The Chris Hemsworth Workout
Perform the following exercises one after the other. Do eight reps and repeat with other side. Once you’ve finished them all, rest for one minute and repeat three times.
- Sledgehammer Slam. With a sledgehammer in your hands, stand a foot apart from an old tire. Turn your upper back to slightly to the right, making sure to keep your hips steady. Keep your core steady as you bring the hammer down to the center of the tire. Do eight reps and repeat with other side. It beefs up the upper body and the arms.
- Lateral Hop. Bend your knees slightly, keeping your chest straight and hips back. Forcefully hop from your right foot and land on your left foot. Pause and hop back to your right foot again. It strengthens your core and builds up the legs.
- T-pushup. For a full-body workout, take a pair of dumbbells and lower yourself into the pushup starting position. Lower your body to the floor and, as you lift yourself up, twist your torso to the right and raise the right dumbbell so that it is in a straight line with your shoulder. Lower the dumbbell and repeat with the left dumbbell.
- Mountain Climber. This exercise also engages the entire body. Take the pushup position. Light your right knee as close to your chest as possible, bring it back, and do the same with the left knee. Do eight reps and repeat with other side.
The Thunder God Diet Plan
Gaining that much weight meant Hemsworth had to eat as much as well. In an exclusive interview with FitSugar.com, the actor succinctly described his diet and how he reacted to it: “Chicken breasts and protein shakes, boiled chicken… clean meats, the right carbs. Sickly stuff.”
He also steered clear of sugar and stocked up on fruits and vegetables for their antioxidant content
And how much of these does he exactly eat? Hemsworth told Men’s Health magazine’ Lara Rosenbaum, “I feel as if I’ve been busy, but all I’ve been doing is eating all day. Eating when you’re not hungry and taking in that amount of food is exhausting.”
You can just imagine how much it takes to take on the Chris Hemsworth workout, but it pays awesome in the end.