Photo courtesy: Centr

Since Chris Hemsworth starred in Thor (2011), he’s been celebrated for his physique as well as his acting. The fourth Thor movie, Thor: Love and Thunder, opens today, and the 38-year-old Aussie will again flex his muscles as the God of Thunder. The 6’3″ Hemsworth has to get jacked again and again as his body fluctuates for roles. You can see a more-average-sized version of him in Spiderhead, which recently launched on Netflix, contrasting with the superhero-sized version of him on big screens now. Hemsworth talked about his training for Thor: Love and Thunder with Extra:

“This was particularly hard because the target weight we aimed for was quite a ways above where I’d been before. This was probably the biggest and fittest I’ve ever been. We had 12 months where I was at home just training and puppeteering the body and manipulating. We’d try more swimming, then try more martial arts, and adjust calories. It was a really fun exploration. I got really big and fit, but then just had to hold it for four months [while shooting], which was very hard….[L]ook, I enjoy working out, I do. It’s become a hobby now, it allows me to kind of live a full life and play with my kids, surf, and do all sorts of stuff. So it was a chore at one point, and now it becomes an addiction. I love it, I do love it. I don’t like working out necessarily to get to Thor-size. That is brutal on my body, and just the amount of food and so on.”

Chris Hemsworth workout
Hemsworth training to play Thor / Instagram

CHRIS HEMSWORTH’S WORKOUT

Chris Hemsworth and his long-time trainer (and friend since childhood), Luke Zocchi, devise a plan to hit the target lean bodyweight via exercise and diet.

Zocchi explains:

“It’s just heavy weight-lifting, training at least once a day, sometimes twice a day. People are surprised [we] don’t normally train over, like, an hour in a session. It’s normally an intense, heavy workout. But we’re normally done within an hour because we’ve just pushed him that hard over that hour. But it’s an intense hour. It’s not like we’re standing around and taking photos for Instagram.”

In addition to weight-training, Chris Hemsworth mixes in high-intensity interval training (HIIT cardio), boxing, swimming, yoga, and other forms of fitness. When it comes to weigh-training, Hemsworth and Zocchi favor circuits (exercises for different bodyparts done without resting) or giant sets (exercises for the same bodypart done without resting) to crank up the intensity and achieve a more athletic and less-bulky look.

In May on Instagram, Hemsworth shared a circuit of seven exercises done with just a 45-lb. barbell, which he performed without rest (10 reps per exercise; 20 reps for lunges, counting both legs), and prescribed going through the circuit 10 times in a row. For many reading this, the exercises may seem easy with just an empty barbell, and that’s probably true of the overhead presses, squats, and rows; but 200 total reps of 45-pound lunges will strike almost everyone like a lightning bolt as the circuits pile up. And 800 reps in a workout is a lot more than you’re probably used to. (A typical bodybuilding workout is under 300 reps and often no more than 200. Did we mention all those lunges?) This is a marathon but at the pace of a sprint. Hemsworth cautioned: “This ones a monster, not for the faint hearted, go at your own pace and give it a crack!”

CHRIS HEMSWORTH CIRCUIT WORKOUT

Reverse Curl 10 reps

Narrow-grip Shoulder Press 10 reps

Overhead Triceps Extension 10 reps

Squat 10 reps

Barbell Row 10 reps

Lunge (holding barbell on opposite side) 10 reps per side

Standing Barbell Twist 10 reps

Focusing just on one bodypart but again without resting between exercises, Chris Hemsworth recently shared a chest giant set on Instagram:

CHRIS HEMSWORTH CHEST ROUTINE

Incline Dumbbell Press 12 reps

Seated Machine Chest Press 12 reps

Cable Fly 12 reps

Wide-arm Pushup 10 reps

Four times through. No rest between exercises. Rest one minute between each giant set.

Chris Hemsworth workout
Hemsworth crunches cable flyes / Instagram

CHRIS HEMSWORTH’S DIET

Eating can be a chore when you need to fill out a 6’3″ frame with lean mass. “When we go into prep for movies like Thor, it’s a massive increase in food,” Luke Zocchi told Page Six. “He eats, like, six to eight meals a day….We’ve kind of got a structure. He found if he eats a really big meal he, like, feels too heavy, so they’re 450-calorie meals broken up into the eight. We try to eat every two hours and get 450 calories in [each time].”

Chris Hemsworth diet
Zocchi meal of pan-seared seabass, chickpeas, quinoa, tomatoes, kale / Instagram

Zocchi explains that Hemsworth’s meals, prepared by his personal chef, are high-protein—steak, chicken, or fish—with low-glycemic carbs, typically white rice, quinoa, or sweet potatoes. At other times, meals will be only a protein shake.

TYPICAL CHRIS HEMSWORTH MEAL

6 oz. grilled skinless chicken breast

252 calories, 50 g. protein, 0 g. carbohydrates, 1.7 oz. saturated fat

1 cup white rice

205 calories, 4 g. protein, 45 g. carbohydrates, 0 oz. saturated fat

Trainer-to-the-stars Luke Zocchi talked about what happens each time Chris Hemsworth beefs up to play Thor again: “I usually just keep running him food all day. I’m like his grandmother just giving him food.” That is, if grandma gave grandson only high-protein, nearly fat-free, sugarless food, because the God of Thunder has to grow muscle but never add fat. After all, there are always more supervillains to conquer.

Chris Hemsworth Thor workout
Thor: Love and Thunder / Marvel Studios

How much can Chris Hemsworth bench press? Check out: Celebrity Bench Presses