Chris Hemsworth has been a fixture in Hollywood blockbusters like Thor and The Avengers for over a decade, but it’s not just his acting chops that have earned the star such a dedicated fanbase. The actor’s inimitable fitness has not only made him an international hunk, but the envy of many a gym-goer, as well—and the reason the phrase “Chris Hemsworth workout” returns over 30 million Google results.
However, it’s not Hemsworth’s natural inclination to hit the gym that gave him the Thor body audiences know and love. Luke Zocchi, Hemsworth’s friend and longtime personal trainer, sat down with Eat This, Not That! to discuss the star’s workout and diet plan and why, when many other people have been struggling to shed quarantine weight, Hemsworth is in the “best shape he’s ever been in.”
Read on to find out how Zocchi trains Hemsworth and what foods the MCU star can’t live without. For more on how your favorite stars get fit, check out This Is Ben Affleck’s Exact Meal and Exercise Plan to Stay in Shape.
To achieve the huge muscles his MCU character Thor is known for, Zocchi has Hemsworth in the gym five days a week lifting heavy weights.
“For this last Thor, we stuck to a regime of push/pull. It would be split into five days: push for a chest day, pull for back, legs, shoulders, and arms,” Zocchi explains. However, while Hemsworth’s workouts were essential, Zocchi says that there was another equally important component of the star’s routine: “The biggest thing is supporting that training with nutrition,” he says.
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Zocchi says there’s no cutting corners when it comes to achieving the exceptionally large, yet toned look that Thor is known for.
“For all those Marvel roles, we start like three months prior. We almost do like a bootcamp,” Zocchi explains, noting that most of the long hours in the gym are logged prior to filming. “When we’re on the role, it’s about maintaining because he’s filming all day,” Zocchi adds.
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Though there’s no denying that Hemsworth always looks fit on-screen, Zocchi admits that maintaining the star’s newly achieved musculature while he’s filming is no small feat.
“I’ve noticed in certain films where Chris will start the film at his biggest, but he just can’t maintain that size the whole way through the shoot. They’re filming 12, 14 hours a day, and the last thing they want to do is do a heavy workout after they’ve been on-camera acting all day,” Zocchi says. “Maintaining it during the shoot is harder than actually getting there.”
While Hemsworth has clearly been no slouch in the physical fitness department in the past, Zocchi says that COVID-related lockdowns have allowed the star to focus on his training in a way he hadn’t been able to in years past.
“For this last Thor, Chris is in crazy shape,” Zocchi says. “Because of COVID, and ’cause we went into lockdown, and because he’s got this new house with a whole gym, we almost went on a year training camp for this role. We went crazy. That’s why you’ll see he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in. I don’t think I’ve ever trained so hard…Our bodies, at the end of it, were almost broken because we went that crazy.”
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The Rock isn’t the only star putting away huge amounts of food to maintain his muscles.
Zocchi explains that Hemsworth is “naturally a taller, skinnier guy,” so it’s necessary for him to significantly increase his caloric intake when he trains for his MCU roles.
“He was eating so much food,” Zocchi says, noting that the star eats every two hours when he’s bulking up. “He was eating like 4,500 calories a day. It was crazy.”
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To help fuel Hemsworth’s training, Zocchi says the star typically relies on red meat—and lots of it.
“Sometimes, I’m surprised how much red meat he eats ’cause it’s like he just doesn’t get sick of steak—he can just eat it any time of the day, at breakfast or whatever,” says Zocchi. “He loves it. It’s weird. In his genetic makeup, that’s what he likes to do.”
Love steak yourself? Check out this One Major Side Effect of Eating Red Meat, Study Says.
While Hemsworth may seem to be in pretty much perfect shape, Zocchi says that there’s still a bit of wiggle room for fun food, too.
“When we’re doing all that stuff for Thor, we roughly work on the 80/20 [principle]—80% of the time we’re good and 20% of the time, we have a little bit of naughty food…To keep your sanity, you need to have some little meal where you have a little bit of chocolate, a little bit of ice cream,” he says.
Though many people may want to develop muscles like Hemsworth’s, Zocchi admits that what you see on screen simply isn’t achievable for everyone.
“Realize that everybody is different. Even me, for example. I do the exact same workouts as Chris and people are like, ‘How come you don’t have the same arms as him?’ I’m like, ‘I just don’t!’ I do everything he does, we’re just different,” Zocchi says.
“When you see him in those roles where he’s got his top off and he looks amazing, that’s like when we’ve done a week of eating everything precisely, he might even be a bit dehydrated, [and] the lighting’s perfect. That’s him at his peak,” he explains.
The key to getting in the best shape for your body type, according to Zocchi? “Consistency,” he says. “This is something you’ve got to do for life. Find something you enjoy doing and keep doing it.”
Giving Hemsworth a superhero body was challenging, but doable—and now Zocchi, Hemsworth, and Hemsworth’s stuntman, Bobby Holland Hanton, have teamed up to let mere mortals learn how to get into incredible shape on their own. The trio has teamed up to create Centr, a lifestyle app that provides users the workouts, nutritional guidance, and mindfulness practice they need to get into their best shape ever.
“If you look at Chris, you might think, ‘This is an app that’s just about how to get huge and lift heaps of weights,’ but [it’s] all this stuff me and Chris learned along the way. Like on Avengers: End Game, we were in London, and we were sore, and Chris had hurt his back, so we started doing yoga together. There’s yoga in this app, there’s Pilates. There are all different styles of training… It’s a real healthy balance and a good approach to health and fitness,” Zocchi says.
They’ve even recently adapted the program to include Centr Power, a 10-week program that promises to deliver muscle-toning results even to newbies. And for more on how celebs stay fit, check out This Is Ryan Reynold’s Exact Meal and Exercise Plan to Stay in Shape.