Chris Hemsworth is admired for a lot of things, one being his physique. Somehow, he managed to look muscular playing Thor (and soon, Hulk Hogan) without looking like a a gym rat on juice. How does the Chris Hemsworth workout build a Thor-like body? It's not as complicated as you might think.
Chris Hemsworth made headlines again, this time around thanks to an Instagram post that was liked almost 4.5 million times by now and showcases just how jacked he's got for his upcoming Netflix movie where we'll portray the young Hulk Hogan. The 'Chris Hemsworth workout' plan seem to deliver great results every time he needs to bulk up for a role.
Naturally, people flocked the internet to find out how he got so thicc (with two 'cc') again, after almost starving himself to death in 2015 to play the role of Owen Chase in the move In the Heart of the Sea. Chris is tall (6"3', roughly 1.9m) so he needed to work extra hard pack on muscle initially, but for any subsequent 'bulking up' sessions, he had the benefit of regaining muscle mass, which is admittedly not as hard as building muscle from scratch. That said, it is not a piece of cake either way.
It is hard not to draw comparison between Chris Hemsworth's and Henry Cavill's physique. Both actors are tall and although Chris tend to be leaner on screen, both of them can put on serious amount of muscle mass in a short period of time, probably thanks to their intense workout regime and strict diet plan. Read more about the Henry Cavill workout and diet here.
The Chris Hemsworth workout plan requires access to at least some of the best home gym equipment or a gym which is not always available to all. If you only have access to limited amount of weights at home, we recommend having a look at the Mike Tyson bodyweight workout: it is brutal but it delivers the results. You will need to work out a lot, though, whereas Chris worked out an hour tops a day, according to his PT Luke Zocchi of Centr fame.
Talking about Centr: in our Centr review, we noted that although using the app won't transform your body overnight, it "addresses a very important part of the health journey successfully: the lack of motivation and structure. By giving you workout suggestions and meal options every day, Centr takes off the weight from your shoulders of having to put your own plan together."
It is worth mentioning that the Centr app features the same 'team of experts' who gets Chris in shape for his role so you can rest assured they know what they are talking about. Of course, you won't get their undivided attention like Chris but the workout and diet plans in the app seem comprehensive enough.
Chris Hemsworth diet
According to Man of Many, the Chris Hemsworth diet consisted of lot of healthy carbs, such as quinoa, brown rice and sweet potatoes, ample amount of protein, like egg whites, chicken and protein shakes, as well as some lipids which can be found in fatty fish and nuts. Recently, Chris went full-vegan and bulked up on a vegan diet for his later roles as Thor.
Understandably, not only Chris ate all of the above but he had loads of them. In this respect, his plan is similar to that of Henry Cavill's: tons of food, lot of protein and health carbs. While Henry was having steaks and eggs for breakfast for months, Chris opted in for having three chicken breast, 100 grams brown rice, broccoli, kidney beans and a glass of fat-free milk for lunch. That's around 900 kcal and a whopping 100 grams of carb and protein for one meal.
As always, bulking up is not about having fancy food and industrial amounts of mass gainer for each meal. Consistency and resilience is way more important, both in diet and and the workout. When you 'cheat', you're not cheating on anyone else but your gains. Drinking alcohol often and not getting enough rest can all hinder progress so if you are planning on packing on some muscle, you'd better limit your alcohol consumption.
Chris Hemsworth, just like Henry Cavill, seemingly went way over the recommended 'two grams of protein per body kilogram per day' intake. This is not an issue: you can eat protein freely as long as you are not eating only protein. Our bodies haven't got protein reserves, unlike fat- and carbohydrate-reserves, so eating too much will just empty out of your system if not used.
Chris Hemsworth workout plan
According to Zocchi, Chris' PT of choice, for the role of Thor, they mainly worked on the upper body/arms to pump those muscles up as much as possible for the role. It's not like leg day was skipped, but the emphasis was definitely on the arms, upper back and pecs. Plus, to keep a lean physique ready for the role, Chris also did some aerobic exercises.
One final note before we break down the Chris Hemsworth workout: these actors bulk up for the roles but after, they tend to shed the extra pounds. It's not like Chris Hemsworth walks around between Thor movies bulked up, which in his case was around 215 pounds of bodyweight. Carrying that much muscle can be tiring in itself, not to mention the dietary requirements to maintain those muscles. Between roles, Chris is around 185 pounds, a more manageable weight considering his height.
Each workout consists of two circuits: a bodyweight circuit and one where heavy weights are used to build strength.
Chris Hemsworth bodyweight workout
Chris' bodyweight circuit consisted of five exercises and provided him with a full body workout. Here are the exercises he did, according to Man of Many:
3 sets / 15 reps
Now, many of us struggle doing one pull up, let alone three sets of 15. For those, we recommend using the best resistance bands to help build muscle and get used to the exercise. Resistance bands come in many different strength options, ideal for gradual progression.
3 sets / 20 reps
Interestingly, Chris' workout includes sit ups, an abs exercise that has fallen out of grace in recent times. Nevertheless, when done right, sit ups can activate the main part of your abs and don't even have to damage your back/spine either.
3 sets /15 reps
We ❤️ push ups here at T3. Push ups are amazing exercises that train the pecs and the triceps, but also the core and the shoulders. Probably the best bodyweight exercise you can do for arm/pecs gains with no equipment.
3 sets / 10 reps
Luke Zocchi likes his plyo moves and this is a great example of that. Box jumps work the quads and hamstrings beautifully, although you might curse quite a lot when doing them.
3 sets / 15 reps
Another basic yet brilliant bodyweight exercise, squats work the quads and the glutes hard. Doing three sets of 15 should be enough to fire up the lower part of your body.
Chris Hemsworth weighted workout
If you want to pack on muscle quickly, you must up the resistance. Adding weights to your training is the perfect way to gain muscles quickly.
Barbell back squat
3 sets /15 reps
Barbell back squats build leg and glute definition quickly. DOMS is pretty much inevitable but the results are worth all the hassle. Make sure you rest the barbell on the traps, not on the neck and that you keep the spine neutral (straight). Go deep.
3 sets / 5 reps
The bench press doesn't need any introduction. Chris' workout went heavy to build strength: use larger weights for these sets than you would usually do. And get someone to spot you.
Standing military press
3 sets / 8 reps
Standing military press is perfect for building shoulder and triceps muscle. Go slightly heavier than your usual weight and really squeeze the core as you press up. Try not to arch the back too much, keep a neutral spine.
3 sets / 5 reps
Go heavy on this one too. Deadlifts build overall strength and work almost all muscles in the body. The perfect complimentary exercise for the bench press.
3 sets / 5 reps
Box off the workout with a few hammer curls. Finishing the workout with the smallest muscle is a good idea, by now, the body is pretty exhausted and only capable of smaller efforts. That said, use heavier weights for this exercise too. Core engaged all the way through.