Workout Routines

Chris Hemsworth's God-Like Thor Workout

Chisel out the Avenger's physique with the official routine from his trainer for the Marvel films.

Thor Workout
Duration 5 days
Exercises 34
Equipment Yes

Of all the actors who had to pack on mass for a movie, few in recent memory have taken to the task with such zeal, and notable success, as Chris Hemsworth when he landed the part of Thor. For the first film, Hemsworth hit the gym with trainer and former Navy SEAL Duffy Gaver, who applied an old-school bodybuilding approach—with careful attention given to Hemsworth’s arms and shoulders. Thor, after all, often appears sleeveless, but rarely shirtless. All told, Hemsworth gained 20 pounds, laying the foundation for a physique he’s maintained at or close to peak condition for Thor’s recurring role in The Avengers and the solo sequel, Thor: The Dark World.

“We’ve pretty much stuck to the original template,” Gaver says. “Of course we’ve had some variation over time to keep things interesting and prevent plateaus, but this is the basic template.” Gaver embraces a simple training model, and despite his high-powered clientele, makes no attempts to jazz it up with new equipment or exotic exercises.

“So many of the products you see advertised on infomercials right now did not exist when the frst Mr. Olympia contest was held, which should tell you something,” Gaver says. “I appreciate my niche in the training industry because when someone comes to me, they want to get to it. They’ve got a timeline, and at the end of this, someone’s going to put a camera on them, they’re going to blow it up to 30 feet tall and it’s going to be a part of public record forever. There’s no particular exercise combination that will ever beat the guy who realizes, ‘Hey, this all comes down to hard work.’ ”

Hemsworth in particular was a model of consistency, and the physique he built has made “Chris Hemsworth Workout” the top search suggestion when you punch the actor’s name into Google. The Internet, though, is a minefield of shameless, click-baiting “Thor Workout” imitators. Fortunately, you don’t need to look any further than the full, unabridged template we present here, with exercises demonstrated by IFBB physique pro Sadik Hadzovic. So get ready to hit the gym, and remember: There are no shortcuts.

“People see Chris and they think he was on steroids, but he didn’t touch a single substance,” Gaver says. “It was just red meat, heavy weights and some protein powder. He crushed every single workout. He simply decided to look like Thor.”

Note: Complete any exercises paired A and B as supersets. Complete any exercises marked A, B and C as trisets.

Click through for the workouts:

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Day 1 Back

Exercise 1

Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
5 sets
20, 15, 12, 10, 10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

General Pushup You'll need: No Equipment How to
5 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Hammer Strength Two-Arm Row
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4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest
Brace yourself on a flat bench with your left knee and hand on the bench and a heavy dumbbell in your right hand. Pull the weight up to your chest; use only your lats and arms; don’t twist. Repeat for equal reps on each side.

Exercise 5

Swiss Ball Hyperextension You'll need: Swiss Ball How to
4 sets
25, 20, 15, 15 reps
-- rest

Day 2 Chest

Exercise 1

Barbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Barbell How to
8 sets
12, 10, 10, 8, 8, 6, 4, 4, 4 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Hammer Strength Chest Press
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4 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Weighted Dip You'll need: Dip Station, Ankle Weights How to
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest
Add weight with chains around your neck or a weight belt. Lower your body until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Press up to a full lockout.

Exercise 5

Cable Flye
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4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Day 3 Legs

Exercise 1

Back Squat You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
7 sets
10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 3 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Leg Press
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1 sets
Failure reps
-- rest
Start with 6 plates on each side, rep out to failure, strip 1 plate off of each side and rep out to failure again. Continue until there is 1 plate left on each side and hit failure 1 final time. A partner can be helpful.

Exercise 3

Walking Lunge You'll need: No Equipment How to
4 sets
20 reps
-- rest
Keep your chest tall during these. Walking lunges work your legs and glutes, but good posture will add core stimulation, as well.

Exercise 4

Leg Extension
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3 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Single-Leg Curl
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3 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 6

Standing Calf Raise You'll need: Box How to
3 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Day 4 Shoulders

Exercise 1

Military Press
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7 sets
10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 3 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Arnold Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest
Your palms will start out facing your shoulders in the bottom position and finish facing away from you at the top.

Exercise 3

Barbell Shrug You'll need: Barbell How to
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Dumbbell Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
3 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Front Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
3 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 6

Dumbbell Rear Delt Flye
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3 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Day 5 Arms

Exercise 1

Barbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Skull Crusher
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3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

EZ-Bar Preacher Curl You'll need: EZ-Bar, Preacher Bench How to
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5

Dumbbell Hammer Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest
Curl: Choke up on the dumbbells so that your thumbs touch the inside of the weight. This will put the weight slightly out of balance as you raise the dumbbells toward your shoulders.

Exercise 6

Rope Pressdown You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment How to
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 7

Barbell Wrist Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 8

Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Bonus Abs Circuit

Exercise 1

General Plank You'll need: No Equipment How to
-- sets
60 sec reps
-- rest

Exercise 2

Hanging Leg Raise You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
-- sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

General Side Plank You'll need: No Equipment How to
-- sets
60 sec reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Toes-To-Bar
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-- sets
12 reps
-- rest
You’ll get a better contraction if you do these slowly. resist the urge to get extra reps with momentum.
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