Try Chris Hemsworth's Centr workout and diet plan and maybe you'll become Muscular Thor

Luke Zocchi and Sergio Perera, PT and chef to the Thunder God, reveal how to get superhero abs and pecs so you can really FILL that Spandex

Chris Hemsworth Centr health and fitness app workout plan diet plan bulking
(Image credit: Chris Hemsworth)

With Thor: Love and Thunder just announced, all eyes are on Chris Hemsworth to see if he can bulk up yet again for the role of Thor. Chris' body transformation for the movies is a constant source of amazement from casual viewers to bodybuilders alike. According to the man himself, he puts on around 20 lbs (roughly 9 kg) of lean muscle on top of his already not-exactly-scrawny body so he can look the part.

It's an odd situation right now, as of course in Avengers: Endgame, Thor was rather more full-figured and built for comfort, but Chris Hemsworth is most famous as Muscular Thor, and for having a healthy, balanced lifestyle. To manage the transformations he has to go through to reprise the role of Thor, Hemsworth calls upon various experts in the fields of health, nutrition, mindfulness and training. These inciude Luke Zocchi and Sergio Perera, with whom he created Centr, a health and fitness app that aims to  translate years of get-fit experience into smaller, more digestible chunks everyone can follow.

Please note:  We would tend to describe this plan as quite hard, but then that's why we don't quite look like Thor, yet. But you should be okay with your go-getting attitude.

The Thor workout

Luke Zocchi, real life personal trainer, was responsible for the workout plan that gave Chris the arms and shoulders of a God. The 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 high-protein, low-carb Bulk Powder could help you stick to a Keto diet

Luke Zocchi, Chris Hemsworth’s real-life PT, wants to get you in shape

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.

Bicep Curl to Press

Killer curls for beastly biceps

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.

Walking Planks

Master this plank variation for an intense workout

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

A good set of dumbbells is all you need for this routine

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

Master technique before loading up the weights

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

Good lunge form engages all the major leg muscles

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. 

Hollow-Outs

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

The Thor Diet

Sergio Perera, chef and food expert, worked with Chris Hemsworth before the Centr app was launched to get him gain weight in a sustainable and healthy way.

"We [Chris and Sergio] both believe it’s really important to keep variety in meals so you can get the results you’re after without sacrificing your health, performance or tastebuds," he says. "You have so many more options for ‘clean’ eating than you may realise."

Naturally, Chris had to eat loads in order to gain muscle mass, but this doesn't mean he had to consume 7 portions of cold rice and chicken each day. Having a variety in your meals and keeping an eye on macros and vitamins is equally as important as having high amounts of protein.

It is also advised to spread out the calorie intake so your body is fuelled evenly throughout the day. In the below sample diet, the first meal is at 8 am and the last one is at 9 pm, so food is consumed in a 13 hour window.

Drinking plenty is paramount to be successful in your diet but chugging down 7 cups of tea or coffee won't cut it. On the contrary, these drinks have caffeine in them which has a mild diuretic effect, driving liquids out your body. If you want to energise yourself, get some fresh air if you can and drink green tea. And lots of water.

Chris and Sergio rustle up a healthsome smoothie

(Image credit: Chris Hemsworth)

Below is a sample diet for five days that Chris used in his intense training phase. It contains a lot of different sources of protein as well as low-fat dairy products, greens and low-GI fruits.

Monday

8am – Green power shake with protein

10am – Bowl of yoghurt with mixed fresh berries, chia seeds, almonds and honey

12pm – Workout

1pm – Post-workout shake consisting of vegetable protein, ice water, BCAAs and 1g of Vitamin C

2:30pm – 8oz grilled chicken with crispy sweet potatoes and a rocket salad with seeds, nuts and salted apple. Lemon and olive oil dressing on the side

5:30pm – 2 rice crackers with Vegemite, tuna and cherry tomatoes

7pm – 8oz white fish with grilled mushrooms and a raw broccoli salad

9pm – Half of a small paw paw/papaya with yoghurt and berries. Magnesium/zinc supplement

Tuesday

8am – Green power shake with protein

10am – 3 fried eggs on a slice of wholegrain toast with Vegemite and avocado

12pm – Workout

1pm – Post-workout shake consisting of vegetable protein, ice water, BCAAs and 1g of Vitamin C

2:30pm – 8oz eye fillet (fillet mignon), grilled pumpkin salad with spinach, herbs, cucumber and ½ cup of steamed rice

5:30pm – Chicken and vegetable soup with barley

7pm – 8oz white fish, leafy green salad with radicchio and balsamic dressing. A side of roasted mixed cruciferous vegetables

9pm – BCAAs with Magnesium/zinc supplement

Wednesday

7am – Green power shake with protein

9am – 3 scrambled eggs on a spelt wrap with tomato salsa

11am – Workout

12pm – Fresh tuna sashimi salad with bitter and leafy greens, avocado, walnuts and a half cup of sushi rice

3pm – A homemade frozen green bar (a blended mix of spinach, cooked and frozen cauliflower, chia seeds, dates, spirulina, bee pollen, banana, almond flour, pumpkin seeds and cucumber)

6:30pm – Grilled lamb chops, cauliflower mash, grilled zucchini and roasted carrots

9pm – Yoghurt with some honey and BCAAs with magnesium/zinc

Thursday

8am – Almond banana shake with flax oil, bee pollen, a pinch of sea salt and vegetable protein

10am – 2 fried eggs on a slice of spelt bread with warm spinach

12pm – Workout

1pm – Post-workout protein BCAA shake

2pm – 6oz grilled ribeye steak, grilled romaine and vegetable salad with ½ a cup of wild rice pilaf

4pm – Beef jerky snack with nuts and dried fruit

7pm – Steamed snapper fish with tomato, onion, roasted brussel sprouts and a small baked potato with Greek yoghurt

9pm – BCAAs and magnesium/zinc supplement

Friday

 

8am – Raw cacao and frozen berry shake with coconut oil, chia seeds, dates and vegetable protein

10am – Savory porridge with olive oil, parmesan and two poached eggs

12pm – Workout

1pm – Post-workout shake

2pm – Sesame chicken salad with leafy greens, sprouts, pickles and ½ cup steamed rice

5pm – A homemade frozen green bar

7pm – 8oz grilled mahi mahi, grilled asparagus, roasted tomato and a non-dairy Caesar salad

9pm – BCAAs with magnesium/zinc supplement

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