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Chris Hemsworth’s trainer shows us how to get into Thor-like shape

You may not be Thor, but you can get built like him

Centr app landing page..

Few Hollywood actors have so completely embodied the role of superhero quite like Chris Hemsworth. Despite his Australian roots, he seems perfectly cast as Marvel’s Nordic god, and if the rumors from the set of Thor: Love and Thunder are to be believed, the actor has never been more fit. “We’ve been prepping for this film on and off for half a year, even longer,” said Hemsworth’s longtime trainer, Luke Zocchi, from the Sydney set. “He’s the biggest he’s ever been.”

Zocchi hadn’t had much in the way of free time working with Hemsworth, during which the actor has moved from blockbuster to blockbuster, embodying characters as diverse as a receptionist (2016’s Ghostbusters) to a cult leader (Bad Times at the El Royale) to the eponymous character of The Huntsman: Winter’s War. Granted, not every role requires the same shred as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Hemsworth never seemed to go soft. In response to the many, many queries about his diet and exercise, in 2019 he launched Centr, an app-based fitness and lifestyle platform that brings together experts from disparate backgrounds to create an encyclopedic resource for newbies and gym rats alike. “Even I’ve learned a lot,” Zocchi, who was part of the company since its development, said.

Granted, not every guy is going to look like Hemsworth at the end of the day. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to push and have a goal to have a certain image or look a certain way,” Zocchi stated. “But it’s more an all-around approach to health and fitness and a better lifestyle.” What does it take to turn everything around? According to him and the Centr methodology, about 20 minutes a day. He’s shared seven of the more than 1,000 on Centr’s platform. These short-duration, high-intensity workouts will leave you panting, accomplished, and after a few months, as solid as if you’d been hammered by Thor’s hammer itself. Keep reading to do the Chris Hemsworth workout series.


Luke’s heart starter

No workout is better representative of Centr’s bread and butter than this. Part of its Centr 6 series, which Hemsworth and Zocchi developed together, it was the app’s most-viewed workout in 2020.

Targeted muscles: Biceps, delts, lats, quads and hamstrings, core

Equipment needed: two dumbbells

Sets: Six

Execution: Complete six reps of each exercise (or six on each side for single-side exercises) consecutively, repeating the series for six sets. Try not to rest. Hint: Use lighter weights than you might think.

  1. Burpee, bicep curl to shoulder press, six
  2. Bent-over rows, single arm, six each side
  3. Bodyweight squats, six
  4. Single-arm snatch, six each side
  5. Zottman curls, six
  6. Sit-throughs, six

Unleash your fitness

From its “Unleashed” program, this series requires zero equipment and keeps you moving for a cardio burn. It makes a great travel companion.

Targeted muscles: Full body

Equipment needed: None

Sets: Three

Execution: For the first round, complete each exercise for 40 seconds on, then a 10-second break. For the next round, 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off. And for your final round, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Breathe deep; take a minute for water. Then run through the sequence again.

  1. Crab walks
  2. In and out squat jumps
  3. Monster sumo walks
  4. Skater lunges
  5. Push-up
  6. Bear crawl hold

Luke’s low-equipment special

Fast. Effective. And requiring a single weight. This fast, effective workout will get your muscles and lungs burning and then spit you out the other side.

Format: 40 seconds of each exercise and then rest for 20 seconds, complete four rounds in total.

Targeted muscles: Full body, with an emphasis on shoulders, chest, and core

Equipment needed: A kettlebell, dumbbell, or another heavy object

Sets: Four

Execution: Complete 40 seconds of the exercise, rest 20 seconds, and continue down the list. Repeat for four sets.

  1. Cross climbers
  2. Kettlebell halos
  3. Hindu push-ups
  4. Kettlebell cossacks
  5. Bicycle crunches

Advanced HIIT session

Hemsworth’s philosophy centers (get it?) on max effort in minimal time. Want to look like Thor? This is the first swing of the hammer.

Targeted muscles: Full body

Equipment needed: None

Sets: Four

Execution: Complete 40 seconds’ worth of the exercise, then rest for 30. Move on to the next. Repeat the full circuit four times.

  1. Squats
  2. Lunges
  3. Burpees
  4. Bear crawls
  5. Kick sits

Luke’s power moves

Another Hemsworth original, this one from the Centr 6: Phase II program, it takes the foundation from the first series and builds on it. This workout needs only dumbbells for an awesome burn.

Format: Six rounds of six moves of the following six exercises:

Targeted muscles: Full body

Equipment needed: two dumbbells

Sets: Six

Execution: Complete six reps of each of the six exercises, repeating the whole series six times. Hemsworth is the devil.

  1. Renegade row
  2. Deadlift
  3. Glute bridge and press
  4. Lunge row (right)
  5. Lunge row (left)
  6. Push-up
  7. Burpee

20-minute beginner HIIT

Everyone has to start somewhere, and while we’re not positive about our Nordic mythological history, even Thor must have been a baby. (Iffy on that last point, but Hemsworth certainly was.) Think of this as the on-ramp instead of trying to jump from 0 to 60.

Targeted muscles: Full body

Equipment needed: At least one set of dumbbells

Sets: Three sets of three

Execution: Each three-exercise series is repeated three times, with a 15-second rest between sets.

For the first round:

  1. Dumbbell thrusters, 10
  2. Dumbbell renegade rows, 10
  3. Bicycle crunches, 10

For the second round:

  1. Alternating dumbbell curls, 10
  2. Push-ups, 10
  3. Cross climbers, 10

For the third round:

  1. Walking planks, 10
  2. Side plank, 30 seconds

Unreal upper body

While all these workouts so far have strived to balance your musculature, it’s time to buy your ticket to the gun show. More plates, more dates, baby!

Targeted muscles: Upper body

Equipment needed: At least one set of dumbbells

Sets: Two sets of each round

Execution: Complete two rounds of each series. Take 10 seconds of rest after the first exercise, 15 after the second, 20 after the third, and 30 after the fourth. Want to make it harder? Up your weights and watch the sweat roll.

For the first round:

  1. Dumbbell lateral pull-down, 30 seconds
  2. Dumbbell hammer curls, 30 seconds
  3. Dumbbell lateral raise, 30 seconds
  4. Dumbbell floor tricep press, 30 seconds

For the second round:

  1. Dumbbell thrusters, 30 seconds
  2. Zottman curl, 30 seconds
  3. Dumbbell bent-over rear flys, 30 seconds
  4. Dumbbell floor tricep extensions, 30 seconds
Man doing HIIT push-ups.
Gordon Cowie / Unsplash

Benefits of HIIT workouts

HIIT workouts offer a plethora of benefits for people of all fitness levels, making them a valuable tool for anyone looking to improve their health and well-being. Here are some of the key advantages of HIIT workouts.

  • Supercharge your metabolism: HIIT workouts are notorious for their ability to boost your metabolism, even after you’ve finished sweating it out. This is because they involve alternating periods of intense activity with short rest periods, which keeps your body burning calories at an elevated rate for hours on end.
  • Blast fat and build muscle: The intense nature of HIIT workouts not only torches calories but also helps you build lean muscle mass. This is because the high-intensity intervals stimulate muscle growth and repair, leading to a more toned and sculpted physique.
  • Improve your cardiovascular health: HIIT workouts are fantastic for your heart health. The burst of activity during the high-intensity intervals strengthens your heart muscle, improves blood flow, and increases your lung capacity.

These are only a few highlights of doing HIIT workouts, as there are many more benefits, besides getting into a Thor-like shape.

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Jon Gugala
Features Writer
Jon Gugala is a freelance writer and photographer based in Nashville, Tenn. A former gear editor for Outside Magazine, his…
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