Chris Hemsworth’s Secrets to Building the Body of a Hero

In the course of just one year Chris Hemsworth has appeared on the silver screen in a number of roles. We’ve seen him portraying lean sailor, tremendous god, and nimble hunter.  Based on the needs of his roles, he either had to quickly lose weight, or to add muscles.

The crucial factor in these achieving this was creating a diet plan which would allow him to train hard. Naturally, it’s also helpful to find a good trainer and nutritionist with the calibre of Luke Zocchi – a food and fitness guru – who guided Hemsworth in the process.

For his role in the move In The Heart of Sea, Hemsworth had to lose 30 pounds. In order to achieve this, he took on a low calorie diet packed in nutrients. The six-foot-three and 200 pounds actor consumed only 500 calories daily for the course of four weeks.

“It was lots of big vegetable soups and giant salads. You feel like it’s a large meal and you have a sense that you’re filling up,” he said. That was crucial in order to stick with the plan.

According to the actor, the greatest problem in his endeavour is that he constantly felt underfed. “The challenge is not physical but emotional,” said Hemsworth. However, Hemsworth was not alone in the ordeal. Other actors in the movie were taking the same diet, and only their mutual support got them through the process successfully.

“We were losing weight together—the bond we formed was incredible”, Hemsworth said. It reminded me of being on a football team growing up, where we’d do anything for each other.”

Hemsworth backed up his diet with daily drills of bodyweight exercises that helped him preserve his muscle mass. Yet, when the time came to prepare for his role of Thor in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hemsworth set out to restore his lost muscles and strengthen his arms by including heavy weights and isolation exercises.

In order to be sure that the workout is delivering efficient muscle growth, they slowed down the tempo of the lifts, thus increasing the time his muscles were under tension.

In other words, first he performed three sets consisting of 12 reps, in which he took three seconds to lower down the weight during the eccentric phase. Once these sets are over, he continues with a fourth set of 12 lifts, with eight seconds in the eccentric part of the movement.

They applied the same principle for the shoulder press, bench press, standing bar curls, and skull crushers. Hemsworth’s workout routine also included various pull-ups on a bar or with rings, where he alternated between using underhand grip, overhand grip, mixed grip, wide grip and narrow grip.

The diet was also flipped in line with the muscle gaining objective. While the nutritional density remained the same, it now included chicken and fish, as well as protein shakes on daily basis.

When he’s not losing weight or gaining muscles for a role, Hemsworth prefers to maintain his body lean and quick.

His latest appearance was in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, which had its World Premiere on April 21. Preparing for this role Hemsworth had to work on his athleticism, so he eliminated the smoothies from his diet, and cut out the isolation exercises. Instead, he focused on body-weight circuits, and doing tons of cardio.

One of his favourite cardio drills shadow boxing. He usually does 3-10 three minute rounds strapped with high-resistance bungees. Between each round he performs bear crawls for 30 seconds.

For sharpening his core, Hemsworth does 4 rounds the following circuit. Hanging from a bar he first lifts his knees to his chest for 15 times. Then he takes the knees 15 times to each side. Then he raises his knees to his chest holding for 30 seconds. Rest for 40 seconds. Repeat.

Hemsworth is a keen surfer. His love for surfs took him to Byron Bay in south-eastern Australia where he recently moved with his wife Elsa Pataky, and their three children.

The temperature of the ocean of this surfer’s paradise is 74 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, which allows him enough time for surfing.

Hemsworth usually surfs with His father and two brothers, Liam and Luke. This is their time not only for competing and showing off, but also time for family bonding.

“Sitting on our boards out in the ocean beyond where the waves break waiting for the next set, you can forget about everything,” he said. “It’s a great place to talk and have a laugh.”

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