It’s no secret that Chris Hemsworth is ripped. The reality is, you don’t get cast as Thor in the Marvel superhero movie franchise if your physique is akin to that of Screech from Saved by the Bell (sorry, Screech, but it’s true!). As such, Hemsworth dedicates much of his time and effort away from the big screen to his physical health — building muscle mass and developing athletic skills that help him meet the demands of his high-intensity on-screen roles. Of course, it’s helpful that Hemsworth legitimately enjoys working out. He often shares his workout routines with his fans, and he even helps run an online fitness company with his own team of wellness experts.
To be fair, if Hemsworth’s body is the company’s main selling point; it’s hard to argue with the results. But before you assume that signing up for the app will put you on the fast track to Thor-like abs, understand that Hemsworth’s real workouts aren’t for the faint of heart. Check out what Hemsworth does at the gym and ask yourself if you’re really ready to jump on board.
Chris Hemsworth targets different muscle groups on different days
When it comes to strength training routines, it’s pretty standard to switch up which body parts you’re targeting on different days of the week. This is because muscle hypertrophy (the growth of muscle cells to become bigger and stronger) actually takes place after a workout session while the muscles rest and repair following a tough workout. In other words, if you were to strength train your legs day after day without a break, you wouldn’t actually be giving your muscles the time they need to grow stronger.
Chris Hemsworth’s trainer, Luke Zocchi, clearly knows how this works. As such, he has Hemsworth train different body parts on different days, really focusing on heavy strength training for muscle gains. As Zocchi recounted to GQ magazine in March 2020, Mondays are Hemsworth’s chest days, Tuesdays are all about the back, Wednesdays combine swimming for cardio with biceps and triceps work, Thursdays are when he works legs, and Fridays are the time to target shoulders. Then, on weekends, Hemsworth takes a bit of a break for rest and recovery, incorporating fun physical activities like surfing along with more relaxing stretch sessions.
Chris Hemsworth’s workout routine includes swimming
As a native Australian who spent much of his youth at the beach, Hemsworth didn’t give up his favorite outdoor pastimes just because his acting career took off. One quick scroll through Hemsworth’s Instagram page makes it clear that the actor continues to hit the beach to catch a few waves as often as he can. The thing is, these water-based hobbies — surfing and swimming — are serious workouts. Although Hemsworth often surfs on his downtime, his trainer, Luke Zocchi, doesn’t always view this time in the water as a "day off" from the gym. Rather, these sports can be an important part of Hemsworth’s training.
In an interview with GQ, Zocchi explained that a mid-week swim session was incorporated to provide a slightly less intense training day after two tough days in the gym, while still requiring core activation and cardiovascular fitness. Likewise, the weekend surf trips were incorporated to give Hemsworth a fun, but more relaxed opportunity to get physically active while performing athletic movements. And if you’ve ever surfed before, you know that surfing requires serious upper body and core strength.
Chris Hemsworth does HIRT workouts
Maybe you’ve heard of HIIT workouts, or high-intensity interval training, but have you heard of HIRT? According to Men’s Health, HIRT is a form of HIIT, but it stands for high-intensity resistance training. The concept of the two forms of high-intensity training are similar. They both consist of periods of all-out effort followed by a short period of rest.
The big difference with HIRT is that the high-intensity periods focus on strength-training exercises designed to hit your muscles hard while simultaneously raising your heart rate. The idea is to provide a workout twofer, in which you end up enjoying muscle-strengthening and cardiovascular benefits from the same routine.
Hemsworth’s trainer, Luke Zocchi, provided one of Hemsworth’s HIRT routines to Men’s Health and detailed the star’s fierce yet quick exercises to gain maximum benefits in the least amount of time possible. The best part? All you need to perform the routine is a set of dumbbells. With total-body killers like the "burpee curl to press" and "walking planks," your body will be screaming for mercy.
Chris Hemsworth is a fan of HIIT
Clearly, if Chris Hemsworth’s trainer, Luke Zocchi, has Hemsworth knocking out HIRT workouts on a regular basis, that likely also means he’s a fan of making the actor do HIIT — high-intensity interval training — routines. In fact, Zocchi revealed to Men’s Health in 2020 that he swears by both methods in Hemsworth’s workouts. Unlike HIRT workouts, though, HIIT routines often do not incorporate actual weights (like dumbbells) and solely focus on cardiovascular or bodyweight exercises.
In June 2020, Zocchi provided one of Hemsworth’s HIIT routines to The Sun. The workout requires nothing more than a person’s own body and a timer. It consists of four rounds of just five exercises — bear crawls, squats, pushups, planks, and flutter kicks — with each exercise performed at an all-out effort for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest. All in all, the workout lasts just 20 minutes but hits every major muscle group while also raising your heart rate. It’s exactly the kind of superhero workout that even the average Joe can complete.
Chris Hemsworth "loves functional movement stuff"
There’s a big difference between functional exercises and "show me" exercises. Functional exercises are designed to transfer movements from the gym to everyday life — they have a function and a purpose beyond gaining bulk or definition. Take, for instance, squats — this multi-joint exercise targets every major muscle group of the lower body, along with the core, helping develop strength in a natural chain of movement that transfers to daily actions like standing up from a chair. "Show me" exercises, on the other hand, usually target a single muscle group and build very specific strength or definition through movements that may not directly translate to day-to-day life. For instance, preacher curls or crunches.
When talking with The Sun, Chris Hemsworth’s trainer, Luke Zocchi, revealed, "When it comes to the sort of workouts Chris likes the most — he loves functional movement stuff." He went on to list exercises like "sit throughs, body weight, pullups, [and] chinups."
The beauty of this revelation is you don’t have to make millions of dollars a year to recreate Hemsworth’s workouts. All you need is access to a little space and a pull-up bar. Who knows, with some extra effort, you could be the next Thor.
Chris Hemsworth has to keep his workouts short
It’s not by accident that Luke Zocchi, Chris Hemsworth’s trainer, has transitioned the movie star to shorter HIRT and HIIT workout routines. In addition to a ridiculously busy filming and promotion schedule that takes Hemsworth all over the world, the actor is also a husband and father to three children, which means his time away from the set is particularly valuable.
In a January 2019 interview with Men’s Health, Zocchi shared that Hemsworth had reduced his gym time "by cutting out rest periods" and focusing on functional exercises. And more to the point, Hemsworth’s fitness had improved rather than suffered because the transition included more functional exercises that delivered greater bang for their buck.
This information is refreshing, frankly. Just because Hemsworth has a team of people who help him stay in great shape, that doesn’t mean he’s spending hours in the gym every single day. So if you’re a parent who’s struggling to juggle family life, work life, and a traditional exercise routine? It may simply be time to switch up your workouts and opt for something shorter, like Hemsworth’s routines.
Between roles, Chris Hemsworth goes for Centr 6 workouts
Centr is the workout app that Chris Hemsworth, his trainer Luke Zocchi, and Hemsworth’s wife, Elsa Pataky, have headed together. And according to an interview with Zocchi in GQ in 2020, Hemsworth wholeheartedly believes in the business concept, following the app’s Centr 6 workout plans when he’s not actively training for a role. As the trainer relayed to GQ, "Centr 6 originated with Chris." He continued, saying, "Centr 6 is just this: six exercises, six reps of each, six laps of the whole thing."
Hemsworth and Zocchi test-drove the concept together with a group of family and friends, simplifying exercises and routines to require nothing more than dumbbells and bodyweight. And because the concept is so simple, it’s easy to replicate at home. Simply choose six functional exercises (Zocchi suggested six full-body exercises that would work well), perform six repetitions of each with little to no rest between exercises, and do the whole routine six times through. Just like that, you’re performing a Centr 6 workout like Hemsworth.
Chris Hemsworth often shares his workouts on social media
As the meme goes, "Pics or it didn’t happen." Well, when it comes to Chris Hemsworth’s workouts, a mere glance at his social media pages is all it takes to know Hemsworth’s workouts happened. From boxing matches and sled pushes to meditation seshes and surfing excursions, Hemsworth’s Instagram shows the many ways the star stays in tip-top shape.
Of course, a lot of these posts are no doubt self-promotion for his workout app, Centr, but you even so, you can’t deny that his workouts are tough and he’s not afraid to break a sweat. Plus, the photos and videos give you a good idea about the types of exercises Hemsworth incorporates to stay fit, like jumping rope, medicine ball slams, kettlebell swings, and burpees. Even if you’re not ready to start working out quite like Thor, you can at least enjoy some eye candy while filing away inspiration for future workouts to come, right?
Chris Hemsworth works his core every day
Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to allow muscles to rest following a tough workout. But the muscles of your core — all the muscles between your hips and your shoulders, including your abs, low back, and spinal stabilizers — can sustain more back-to-back training than other major muscle groups. This is because core muscles are involved in everything you do, whether you’re going for a run or you’re knocking out a set of heavy squats. These muscles assist with rotation, flexion, and stabilization of your body to perform basic movements and to protect the spine from injury. As such, Chris Hemsworth’s trainer, Luke Zocchi, designed a daily, core-focused routine to keep Hemsworth sharp.
As Zocchi explained to Men’s Journal, core training is involved in every one of Hemsworth’s workout session, but that doesn’t mean the actor does endless reps of sit-ups or crunches. Rather, the duo focus on functional exercises, like dynamic crunches and planks, that hit all the muscle groups of the core. "I want him to move more organically," Zocchi said. This type of training helps transfer to intense stunts Hemsworth has to complete for his roles.
Bear crawls are a huge part of Chris Hemsworth’s daily routine
If you’re unfamiliar with a bear crawl, it’s a fairly straightforward exercise. Start in a tabletop position, with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips. Flex your feet, digging the pads of your toes into the ground. Next, lift your knees, so you’re balanced on your palms and feet. Now, crawl forward, moving opposite hands and feet in unison.
This uncomplicated exercise is surprisingly tough, and it hits everything from your shoulders, chest, and triceps to your abs, low back, glutes, and quadriceps. Plus, it can be considered a cardiovascular exercise to incorporate as part of a high-intensity interval training routine.
It’s because bear crawls are so versatile and accessible that Chris Hemsworth’s trainer, Luke Zocchi, loves them so much. As he told The Sun, "Bear crawls are something me and Chris use everyday. They are low impact and great for home workouts as explosive movements can be tough on some people." So if you’re looking for a joint-friendly exercise you can do at home, channel your inner Hemsworth and add a few bear crawl variations.
Chris Hemsworth packed on pounds of muscle to play Thor
When Chris Hemsworth first landed the role of Thor, he knew he wanted to look the part. As such, he enlisted trainer and former Navy SEAL Duffy Gaver to help him bulk up for the role.
According to Muscle & Fitness, Gaver put Hemsworth on an "old-school bodybuilding" routine designed to help him add weight while building serious muscle. And all told, Hemsworth put on about 20 pounds to play the role. So what, exactly is, an old-school bodybuilding approach?
"It was just red meat, heavy weights, and some protein powder," Gaver told Muscle & Fitness. That, and Hemsworth’s dedication to his workouts, of course. The duo hit the gym five to six days a week, targeting each muscle group (back, chest, legs, shoulders, arms, and abs) with intense and heavy strength training. While Hemsworth has since transitioned to a more functional fitness approach, with less focus on standard weight training exercises like the bench press, it’s hard to deny that the old-school approach can deliver Thor-like results.
For Extraction, Chris Hemsworth trained in martial arts
When Chris Hemsworth landed a role in Extraction, he and his trainer, Luke Zocchi, knew they’d have to switch up his training protocol. Unlike in previous movies where Hemsworth was playing a hammer-wielding superhero, his role in Extraction called for a leaner, more athletic physique. This meant he would need to slim down.
Zocchi told The Sun, "Getting Chris ready for Extraction was surprisingly intense because for other roles he gets a lot bigger, especially for roles like Marvel’s Thor." This meant he needed to train functionally to prepare for intense stunts and fight scenes, and they ended up incorporating a lot of kickboxing and Muay Thai into his routine. These forms of exercise combine cardiovascular training with total-body muscular endurance and core strength.
Just think about it: Throwing punches and kicks requires upper- and lower-body coordination, rotation, flexion, balance, and control. When combined with other functional strength training routines, the result is an intense program that helps build muscle while simultaneously getting lean.
Chris Hemsworth has long been a fan of boxing
Adding Muay Thai and kickboxing to Chris Hemsworth’s workout routine didn’t require a lot of arm twisting by trainer, Luke Zocchi. This type of high-intensity, total-body training is one of Hemsworth’s favorites, and is even included as an aspect of his Centr workout app. Not to mention, Hemsworth’s own Instagram page is filled with videos of his kickboxing routines where he can be seen taking Zocchi to task with his quick jabs and kicks.
In fact, while training for his role in Men In Black, he shared one video in which he inadvertently kicked his trainer right in the face (whoops). Finding workouts you love is the key to building the type of consistent routine and body that you want. Not everyone has the time, motivation, or desire to build a body like Chris Hemsworth, but if you can find the motivation to keep up a consistent routine that you enjoy? You’ll be well on your way to redefining your own health and physique, not unlike Hemsworth himself.
Chris Hemsworth works out even when he can’t hit the gym
If you’re Chris Hemsworth, not having access or the time to hit the gym isn’t an excuse to skip a workout. And as millions of people realized in spring 2020, sometimes hitting the gym isn’t even a choice you get to make on your own. But being without a gym doesn’t mean you need to let your fitness fall by the wayside. According to an interview with The Sun, Hemsworth’s trainer, Luke Zocchi, points to at-home workouts as a necessary and effective part of Hemsworth’s regular routine, adding that this style of workout is easy for almost anyone to replicate.
"People training at home can get a great workout in twenty minutes, you don’t need weights or equipment, it can be all about body weight and functional movements," the trainer explained. And even though Zocchi admitted that Hemsworth himself isn’t a fan of running, it’s a form of exercise that the pair incorporate when gym workouts aren’t doable, especially when Hemsworth is training for a specific role.