As good as The Avengers: Endgame is, it's like most previous Avengers and MCU films in that it does have a tendency to make the viewer feel slightly, shall we say… physically inadequate. Chris Evans' Captain America practically bursts out of his fetching blue costume, Robert Downey Jr is in great shape for an old guy, and even Paul Rudd's Ant-Man is at the top of his athletic game. However, it's Chris Hemsworth's hammer-wielding Thor who's truly buff (unless you prefer a more Hulk-like physique, of course).
Good news: put down that popcorn and stop slurping that Fanta, because we've got just the man to assist you in the quest to achieve a superhero body. Luke Zocchi is a long-time personal trainer, and friend, to Thor the Thunder God himself, or at least his Earthly incarnation, Chris Hemsworth. And so, Luke was selected as part of the team of experts Thor himself called upon when creating his new fitness app, Centr.
Luke’s Centr workouts carefully blend HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), HIRT (High Intensity Resistance Training) and strength movements to get the heart rate pounding and all the major muscle groups engaged.
As a result, Luke claims you’ll burn fat quickly while building lean muscle definition. Plus, it creates a killer afterburn effect – meaning you’ll keep scorching calories after the workout has finished, and even into the next day.
All of the movements are designed for a superhero and they are exercises Luke has performed with Hemsworth when preparing for the role of Thor. Although the amount of resistance the ripped actor can manage are likely way out of any beginner's league, so take it easy in the early days.
This is an intermediate workout that will build definition all over, with a special focus on your arms, so if you are just starting out, check out this guide that we put together. Or, if you need to lay some foundations for your guns, check out this superb workout for building beastly biceps.
Luke says: "Dig deep and give it your all. When you feel like giving up just think, ‘what would a superhero do?’".
This session is rep based, so aim to complete 10 repetitions of each move listed below at a weight that makes those last couple of reps difficult/impossible to perform with good form.
Follow each set of ten reps with a 30 second rest period. Complete a total of five sets but make sure your form is solid for the final few sets. If you're struggling, drop the weight gradually and focus on keeping everything tight and engaged.
If you are unsure of any of the moves below, it pays to do a little research on the interwebs for some demonstration videos, or check out some of our previous workout guides below.
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Bicep Curl to Press
This exercise will call upon almost every muscle group in the body, so be prepared for a racing heart rate and a deep burn towards the final few reps. Press-ups with dumbbells work best with Hex dumbbells or those with a flat platform to stop them rolling away.
Begin standing with feet hip-width and hands holding dumbbells by your sides. In one fluid motion, squat down and place your dumbbells on the floor, under your shoulders.
Explosively kick your feet backwards so the body is in a push-up position. Complete a push-up by engaging the core back and shoulders before explosively pulling your feet back under your body.
Return to a standing position and press the dumbbells straight above your head as you do so, again engaging the core, shoulders back, muscles tight. Lower the dumbbells to the starting position and repeat. This is one rep.
Adopt the plank position with your weight supported on your forearms and toes, your elbows beneath your shoulders, and your core muscles engaged (squeeze your butt muscles and tense your abdominals).
Take your right arm from the floor, placing your hand below your right shoulder. Push up with your right hand while raising your left arm and placing it beneath your left shoulder.
The top position resembles a narrow push-up. Return to the start position. This is one repetition. Complete the next repetition by leading with your left arm, then alternate.
Dumbbell Renegade Row and Push-Up
Adopt a high plank position, with hands positioned beneath your shoulders, feet apart (the wider they are, the easier the exercise will be), a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles and a dumbbell in each hand. Again, Hex dumbbells will aid stability here.
With your core muscles engaged (squeeze your glutes and tense your abdominals), complete a push-up. At the top of the push up, row the right dumbbell by pulling it up and back with the shoulder muscles. Return it to the starting position smoothly, controlling the negative (as the pros say), in line with your belly button, then complete the same with the left shoulder.
This is one rep. To reduce the difficulty, perform the exercise on your knees and make sure you aren't rowing with too heavy a weight. It is preferable to perfect form, engaging shoulder muscles and abs, rather than lifting anything too heavy.
Dumbell Bent-Over Rear Fly
Get in position by standing with knees slightly bent, and hinge from the hips to tilt the back so it is flat and parallel with the ground below.
Grip the dumbbells and hold them beneath your chest with arms fully extended but not locked out. Refrain from arching your back here, keeping it nice and flat to prevent injury.
While tensing your stomach muscles, raise each hand up and to the side of your body at the same time, keeping the arms as straight as possible and forming a T-shape at the top of the motion. Do not raise dumbbells above your back and make sure this motion is controlled, rather than swinging a weight up.
Slowly lower the arms to the initial stage and repeat. Lower the dumbbell weight if it is too heavy to perform with correct form.
Dumbbell Hammer Curl and Reverse Lunge
Stand holding dumbbells by your sides, with your palms facing toward your body. Step your right foot back behind your body and lunge down, your right knee brushing the ground and left knee staying in line with your ankle, forming a nice right angle with the floor.
At the same time, raise both dumbbells up to shoulder height, while keeping your elbows tucked in. Squeeze the biceps at the top of the motion for maximum pump and then lower as you return your right foot to the starting position.
This is one rep, complete the next rep with your left leg and keep alternating legs between reps. Ensure the knee doesn't creep over the toes while lunging to avoid injury.
Lay flat on your back and hold your arms and legs straight out away from the body, with hands and toes pointed, 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 until the end of the workout and then congratulate yourself with a pat on the back and a protein shake.
Chris Hemsworth’s personalised digital health and fitness program is available from the App Store for iPhone and Apple Watch or online at centr.com