Chris Hemsworth is a spectacle on the silver screen. And no, it’s not just because of his recurring portrayal of Thor, the muscle-bound, lightning-wielding God of Thunder across the various entries of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It’s because Hemsworth is jacked. Like, ungodly levels of muscular. There’s a reason that all four films in the Thor franchise feature at least one shirtless scene for Hemsworth to show off his gains.
Here’s how you can get ripped like Chris Hemsworth by following his workout routine and diet plan. After all, Mjolnir won’t lift itself.
Who Is Chris Hemsworth?
Beginning his film and television career in Australia on the series Home & Away, Hemsworth hit it big when he was cast in Marvel’s 2011 Thor. It was the actor’s first foray into blockbuster cinema and also his formal introduction to strength training.
Speaking to People in 2011, Hemsworth remarked that he bulked up hard for the role, adding over 20 pounds of lean muscle in order to look the part.
Since then, Hemsworth has continued to develop his physique and his film career, appearing in various major franchises such as Star Trek (2009), Snow White & the Huntsman (2012), Men in Black: International (2019), as well as three more Thor outings.
Off-screen, Hemsworth continued his commitment to fitness by developing his own training platform called Centr, which offers online workout plans, personalized coaching, and nutritional guidance as well.
In mid-2022, Hemsworth made international headlines once again — but not for his on-screen performance or rippling pecs. While filming a documentary series called Limitless for National Geographic, it was revealed to Hemsworth that he has a strong genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s disease, Vanity Fair reported. Hemsworth said he would take some time away from acting to process the news.
Chris Hemsworth’s Training Split
If you aren’t involved with his app (or know the man personally), Chris Hemsworth’s personal training style can be a bit hard to come by. But in a recent interview with Muscle & Fitness, Hemsworth’s trainer and retired Navy SEAL Duffy Gaver elaborated on the training split the duo used to help Hemsworth bulk up.
[Read More: What Are Workout Splits and Which Is the Best One?]
Note that this workout routine doesn’t fully account for Hemsworth’s multi-year physique transformation, but it should shed some light on the bodybuilding principles that worked well for the Thor star.
The Chris Hemsworth Workout Routine
Hemsworth’s training plan is pretty standard as far as bodybuilding workouts go. This is a five day “bro split,” focusing hard on one region of the body per workout with a wide variety of different isolation and compound exercises.
Day 1: Back
- Pull-Up: 5 x 20,15,12,10,10
- Push-Up: 5 x 20
- Hammer Strength Row: 4 x 12
- Dumbbell Row: 4 x 12
- Back Extension: 4 x 25,20,15,15
Day 2: Chest
- Bench Press: 8 x 12,10,10,8,8,6,4,4
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 x 12
- Hammer Strength Chest Press: 4 x 15
- Weighted Dip: 4 x 10
- Cable Flye: 4 x 12
Day 3: Legs
- Back Squat: 7 x 10,8,6,5,4,3,3
- Leg Press: 1 x Failure
- Bodyweight Walking Lunge: 4 x 20
- Single-Leg Leg Curl: 3 x 20
- Calf Raise: 3 x 20
Day 4: Shoulders
- Military Press: 7 x 10,8,6,5,4,3,3
- Arnold Press: 4 x 12
- Barbell Shrug: 4 x 12
- Lateral Raise: 3 x 15
- Front Raise: 3 x 15
- Rear Delt Flye: 3 x 15
Day 5: Arms
- Barbell Curl: 3 x 10
- Skull Crusher: 3 x 10
- EZ-Bar Preacher Curl: 3 x 10
- Dumbbell Triceps Extension: 3 x 10
- Hammer Curl: 3 x 12
- Cable Rope Pressdown: 3 x 12
- Barbell Wrist Curl: 3 x 20
- Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl: 3 x 20
Is the Hemsworth Workout Routine Supported by Science?
The Hemsworth workout routine for bodybuilding mostly sticks to the basic principles of programming. A five-day body part split focusing on one major muscle group at a time will work fine for most folks, but that doesn’t necessarily mean this program is the optimal composition of intensity, volume, and frequency — the three main pillars of any workout plan.
- Intensity: The workout doesn’t specify anything about effort, but pyramid sets are a good way to push yourself in the gym safely. Research shows that training to failure isn’t mandatory for muscle growth, but it helps you get the most bang for your buck. (1)
- Volume: Most studies suggest performing between 10 and 20 hard sets per week for muscle growth, which this routine aligns with on all five days. (2)
- Frequency: Hemsworth’s split only has you hit each muscle group once a week. Studies have firmly indicated that a higher frequency of training should lead to better gains. (3)
Chris Hemsworth’s Diet
For his Thor transformation, Hemsworth hit the weights hard and was equally diligent in the kitchen as he was in the weight room.
A high-volume, high-intensity bodybuilding workout plan requires lots of fuel to power those training sessions. Hemsworth reportedly consumed over 4,000 calories a day and turned to bodybuilding staple foods to help him bulk up; lean meats, vegetables, simple carbohydrates like rice or potatoes, and the like.
While you may not need to put down multiple thousands of calories, you should absolutely prioritize how much protein you take if you’re trying to gain muscle. The amount of protein you need for bodybuilding will vary depending on a number of factors. To make things simple, a good science-based tool like BarBend’s in-house calculator can do the math for you:
Protein Intake Calculator
Also, don’t be afraid to turn to supplements to shore up the gaps in your nutritional plan. Whey protein powders are a staple in most bodybuilders’ cabinets, and you might have some success by including a creatine product as well.
Here are some common questions about Hemsworth’s training style that might help you decide if it’s right for you.
As part of his preparation to play the mighty Thor, Hemsworth hit the gym hard and performed weight lifting workouts to bulk up. He used a five-day workout split, focusing on each of his major muscle groups one at a time.
If you’re looking to make some gains in the gym, following Hemsworth’s workout program will certainly get the ball rolling. However, adopting someone else’s routine won’t necessarily make you look like them. A more personalized approach focused on your specific fitness goals will likely return better results long-term.
Of course! Weight training comes with a myriad of health benefits and is among the most productive forms of physical activity. It can help you gain muscle, sure, but following any strength training program will also improve a number of other health markers such as joint stability, bone mineral density, and even mental health.
- Robinson, Z., & Zourdos, M. C. (2023, May 17). Exploring the Dose-Response Relationship Between Estimated Resistance Training Proximity to Failure, Strength Gain, and Muscle Hypertrophy: A Series of Meta-Regressions. Retrieved from osf.io/7knsj
- Schoenfeld, B. J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2017). Dose-response relationship between weekly resistance training volume and increases in muscle mass: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of sports sciences, 35(11), 1073–1082.
- Schoenfeld, B. J., Ogborn, D., & Krieger, J. W. (2016). Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 46(11), 1689–1697.
Featured Image: @chrishemsworth / Instagram