Ever since Thor burst through the skies and onto our screens, the Chris Hemsworth workout has been one of the hottest searches on the Goog. It wasn’t necessarily the impressive superhero physique that made everybody pay attention, rather the sheer scale of Chris’ epic transformation. TRAIN Mag caught up with Chris to get the lowdown on his workout, diet and secrets.


Chris Hemsworth’s fit lifestyle away from Hollywood

Even if you don’t have an upcoming movie on the horizon, it’s worth planning for your future self by making sure the form fits the function.

“Something like The Huntsman requires less bulk and more athleticism,” says Chris Hemsworth.

“That leads to a little less isolation lifts and more bodyweight circuits, boxing and Muay Thai drills.

For Thor, my workouts alternate between heavy weightlifting, bodybuilding work to lighter timed fitness and more resistance and functional type stuff. With the bodybuilding, for each exercise we usually do four sets, and ranges are anywhere from 8-12 reps.

“We train six days a week for about an hour, but never much over an hour, but we go hard during that time frame. I do train when I’m not playing Thor, but I’m less bulky because I eat less and my workouts are more rounded and less centered around being muscular. I usually put on about 20lb of muscle to play Thor.”

We salute you for your valiant contribution to those comic book ideals, Chris!


chris hemsworth workout


The Chris Hemsworth workout : Thor’s Thunder God routine to build muscle


DAY 1 – Back

5 sets x 20, 15, 12, 10, 10 reps

5 sets x 20 reps

Hammer strength machine rows
4 sets x 12 reps

Dumbbell rows
4 sets x 12 reps

Swiss ball hyperextentions
4 sets x 25, 20, 15, 15 reps


Day 2 – Chest

Barbell bench press
8 sets x 12, 10, 10, 8, 8, 6, 4, 4, 4 reps

Incline dumbbell bench press
4 sets x 12 reps

Hammer strength chest press
4 sets x 15 reps

Weighted dip
4 sets x 10 reps

Cable flyes
4 sets x 12 reps


Day 3 – Legs

Back squat
7 sets x 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 3 reps

Leg press
1 x drop set to failure

Walking lunges
4 sets x 20 reps

Leg extension
3 sets x 20 reps

Single-leg curl
3 sets x 20 reps

Standing calf raise
3 sets x 20 reps


Day 4 – Shoulders

Military press
7 sets x 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 3 reps

Arnold press
4 sets x 12 reps

Barbell shrugs
4 sets x 12 reps

Dumbbell lateral raise
3 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell front raise
3 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell rear delt flyes
3 sets x 15 reps


Day 5 – Arms

Barbell biceps curl
3 sets x 10 reps

Skull crusher
3 sets x 10 reps

Ez-bar preacher curl
3 sets x 10 reps

Dumbbell lying triceps extension
3 sets x 10 reps

Dumbbell hammer curl
3 sets x 12 reps

Rope pressdown
3 sets x 12 reps

Barbell wrist curl
3 sets x 20 reps

Barbell reverse wrist curl
3 sets x 20 reps


Thor – muscle with agility

Having played Thor in multiple Marvel universe outings, there’s a hefty dose of expectation, which is all the motivation he needs to keep on keeping on. “It’s all about looking the part, and thanks to how he has looked in the comics all these years, that means I have to pack on muscle,” explains Hemsworth with his trademark smile.

“With Thor, it’s very important for me to be as powerful and strong as I can be while maintaining that element of agility. You want to look blocky, but never move like a rusty stone.”


Evolution of the Thor workout routine

In years gone by, Hemsworth has stuck to lifting and circuit-based cardio to get into condition, but like every body, adaptations are made, so that demands a new strategy.

“While very much revolving around weightlifting, with Thor my workout is sort of split in two parts,” he explains. “The first part is a classic bodybuilder-type workout, based around high-weight, low-rep moves designed to build size.”

“The second part is functional training and CrossFit-inspired work, really to help with my movement and agility and to shift stubborn fat while maintaining muscle.”

The variable nature of CrossFit makes it an ideal go-to exercise source for anyone looking to maintain muscle and be a better athlete. In fact, a new paper in the Journal of Exercise Physiology compared weightlifters and CrossFitters and found the latter had greater endurance and improved jumping capabilities.

Chris Hemsworths’ conditioning team is doing its homework.


chris hemsworth workout


Thors evolving physique

If you watch all his Marvel movies back-to-back and have a bodybuilding judge’s eye, you may notice subtle variables in his physique.

“My Thor training has advanced and evolved. I was too big in the first film, too bulky and stiff. While the weightlifting is key, we’ve added a lot more movement, flexibility, high- intensity circuits and functional training. I needed to develop that agility, especially for Thor: Ragnarok and then Avengers: Infinity War.”

This kind of tack isn’t just for the body, because a paper in Ageing Research Reviews found multicomponent exercise that includes resistance training, aerobic exercise, balance and agility training was the best at keeping your brain and memory in good nick as you age.

If you commit to just being a one trick pony, you could find your thoughts will soon become euthanized.


Chris Hemsworth upper-body “GRINDER” circuit

Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir, or “The Grinder,” is where much of his power derives from. This workout may not give you the strength to wield arguably the greatest weapon in the entire Marvel Universe, but as a 2nd place prize, you may achieve aesthetics befitting of a Thunder God.

The routine: Perform 6-8 reps on each exercise and repeat until six minutes is up. Rest for one minute and then repeat for another two rounds.

Tip: Ensure your technique is perfect prior to increasing loads as there’s a lot of rotational movement involved in this circuit.


Hit a big tire while holding a heavy hammer in both hands. It’s great for overall conditioning; it will also improve the rotational strength in your shoulders and arms. Alternate sides so both arms get work.

This will develop your hand, wrist, and shoulder stability, as well as your strength. Use a lighter hammer than the 2-hand slams, and alternate arms.

Gripping the lighter hammer with one hand, twist it behind your back before lifting it vertically; use just your triceps and slam it down on a tire; alternate arms.

Swing the hammer at a big tire as though playing the ninth hole on a golf course. This will hit the hips and core while strengthening your midsection. Alternate from side to side.

Hold a hammer in one hand, and then cast it around your opposite shoulder and behind your head, taking it back to the upright position; alternate arms.

Grab the hammer with both hands and bring it back over your head before chopping down on a tire while bending at the knees. Perform this drill with a heavy hammer.

Bring the hammer from over your shoulder while dipping and perform a front lever with it. Bring it back vertically behind your head. Repeat without pausing and alternate.


How the Chris Hemsworth workout has evolved

Like all good heroes, he’s evolved in his attitude and approach to training, which has become the secret to staying motivated.

“The heavy weightlifting, muscle building stuff is still based on your classic isolated muscle groupings,” says Hemsworth. “With the first Thor film, it was very much rooted in bodybuilding. Now there’s a lot more functional flexibility and movement training: it’s more rounded and versatile.

“My trainer, Luke Zocchi, is the best. He’s worked side-by-side with me and has made the program interesting on every level by keeping things unpredictable. It’s never repetitive, which is why it’s hard for me to spell out week-to week.

“It’s still chest day, back day, leg day, shoulders and arms isolated, but I make sure I get functional and CrossFit-inspired work mixed in, alongside some Muay Thai and boxing drills.”

There’s an important lesson in how you spend your paper because if your trainer is boring you to death with tired routines, speak up. There’s more than one way to build muscle and be fit – if you’re paying for it, you should be getting your money’s worth in motivation.


A thunder god needs functional muscle

You can only be called ‘big guy’ so many times until the novelty wears off, which is when it’s time to shoot for a new goal.

“It’s very easy to go for the showy muscle but for Thor, I don’t want cosmetic muscle,” he says.


chris hemsworth workout thor


“You can really tell when someone has functionality – they move differently, and for me I found it so much better with injuries and general well-being when I upped my functional and core workouts.”

“I now have a far greater range of motion and stronger core. I do a lot more pull-ups and things like that, more high-intensity stuff and extra bodyweight moves. In conjunction with the weightlifting, I do a lot of timed battle ropes, kettlebells, throws with medicine balls, hanging raises, high-resistance bungee stuff and timed bear crawls. These all balance out the heavy weights. With pull-ups, we vary hand positions and also mix it up with bars and gymnastic rings.”


Chris Hemsworth’s diet

While the exercise modalities may change, an effective diet doesn’t stray from year-to- year.

“It’s obviously very high in protein, and I eat six times a day,” he explains. “With the months leading up to the shoot and during filming, I’m basically overfeeding myself on protein and endless amounts of chicken breast, eggs, steak, fish, vegetables, tuna, avocado, cottage cheese and brown rice.”

“That said, we’ve tried to cut down a bit on animal protein and introduce more legumes and certain grains, as a result of being more mindful about the environment. But to be honest, it’s still mostly animal proteins.”

“It’s basically six meals a day of clean proteins and vegetables, which can get repetitive, but it works time and time again.”

Well, if it ain’t broke, don’t mess with it…


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