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Chris Hemsworth’s God-Like Thor Workout

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

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  • 5 days

  • 34

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Chris  Hemsworth
Matrix/ Getty Images
Chris  Hemsworth
Matrix/ Getty Images

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 here for NEXT LEVEL training tips from Sadik Hadzovic

Click through for the workouts:

Routine

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Day 1

Back

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 34

General Pullup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
5
Reps
20, 15, 12, 10, 10
Rest
--
Exercise 2 of 34

General Pushup

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
5
Reps
20
Rest
--
Exercise 4 of 34

Dumbbell Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12
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.
Equipment
Swiss Ball
Sets
4
Reps
25, 20, 15, 15
Rest
--

Day 2

Chest

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
8
Reps
12, 10, 10, 8, 8, 6, 4, 4, 4
Rest
--
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 9 of 34

Weighted Dip

Equipment
Ankle Weights, Dip Station
Sets
4
Reps
10
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.

Day 3

Legs

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 11 of 34

Back Squat

Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack
Sets
7
Reps
10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 3
Rest
--
Exercise 12 of 34

Leg Press

Equipment
Sets
1
Reps
Failure
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 13 of 34

Bodyweight Walking Lunge

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
20
Rest
--
Keep your chest tall during these. Walking lunges work your legs and glutes, but good posture will add core stimulation, as well.
Exercise 16 of 34

Standing Calf Raise

Equipment
Box
Sets
3
Reps
20
Rest
--

Day 4

Shoulders

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 18 of 34

Arnold Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
--
Your palms will start out facing your shoulders in the bottom position and finish facing away from you at the top.
Exercise 19 of 34

Barbell Shrug

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 20 of 34

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 21 of 34

Dumbbell Front Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--
Exercise 22 of 34

Dumbbell Rear-Delt Flye

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
--

Day 5

Arms

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 23 of 34

Barbell Biceps Curl

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 25 of 34

EZ-Bar Preacher Curl

Equipment
EZ-Bar, Preacher Bench
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
Exercise 27 of 34

Dumbbell Hammer Curl

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
12
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 28 of 34

Rope Pressdown

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Rope Attachment
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 29 of 34

Barbell Wrist Curl

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
20
Rest
--
Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
20
Rest
--

Bonus

Abs Circuit

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 31 of 34

General Plank

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
--
Reps
60 sec
Rest
--
Exercise 32 of 34

Hanging Leg Raise

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
--
Reps
12
Rest
--
Exercise 33 of 34

Side Plank

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
--
Reps
60 sec
Rest
--
Exercise 34 of 34

Toes to Bar

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
--
Reps
12
Rest
--
How to
You’ll get a better contraction if you do these slowly. resist the urge to get extra reps with momentum.
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