Monday, May 2, 2011

Thor's workout

I originally planned on doing a review of the poll results for this weeks post, but then i changed my mind. I just watched Thor last night and the movie was absolutely brilliant. I had my doubts about Chris Hemsworth playing the mighty God of Thunder, but i must say, he did a good job and pulled of the role really well. If i had to initially choose who should have played Thor, i would have said WWE superstar HHH... since he is already really BIG and has the long blonde hair for the role. But nonetheless, i felt Chris Hemsworth did an awesome job and they did manage to bulk him up for the role. I mean really bulk him up.

So now the BIG question on everyone's mind is, how did manage to bulk up so much. The secret:-
1) Intense weight Training
2) Lots of high protein meals and shakes
3) Enough Sleep

Lets go through each one to give you a better idea of what he did.

1) Intense weight training
Chris Hemsworth is an active guy already, but he never did much weight training prior to preparing for his role for Thor. So weight training was relatively new to him. Most of his activity was surfing, so he had the typical lean surfer's body rather than the big built body you saw on screen. To prepare for the role, his trainer Michael Knight (no relation to Knight Rider) had to train him hard and helped him gain 20 pounds of muscle mass in just 3 months. That's really astonishing. The secret to gaining so much muscle so fast - Chris's workout was mainly made up of compound exercises. Compound exercises are exercises that utilize more than one muscle group to complete the full movement. Exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench press etc are great compound exercises that hit a few muscle groups at once. So the first phase of his workout was to bulk him up. In fact his trainer did such a good job at bulking him up that 3 weeks before shooting began, the directors said that he was too big they had to make him cut down as he was too big and could not fit into his costume anymore. To lean him out, his trainer used a technique called the shrink wrap effect, which basically tightens the skin around your muscles to give you that ripped look which looks awesome on camera.For a full picture of his workout, you can check out the link below:-

2) Lots of high protein meals and shakes
As we all know, exercise is just one part of the equation and the other BIG part of it is nutrition. To bulk him up, Chris was put on a super high protein diet and he had to consume a lot more food than he is used to. His diet was about 40% protein, 40% complex / good carbohydrates and 20% fat. Chris admits that he is not used to eating such huge amounts of food everyday.

"The eating was the biggest thing; since stopping shooting I probably work out the same but don't eat as much, and I've probably lost 15 pounds or something. Chicken breasts and protein shakes, boiled chicken . . . clean meats, the right carbs. Sickly stuff." - Chris Hemsworth

Chris also made it a point to eat 6 meals a day or every 2 to 3 hours that he was awake. An example of what Chris's meal would look like is as per below:-

* Breakfast: 2 eggs a slice of avocado, small steak, and 1 cup of oatmeal
* Snacks: a protein Bar
* Lunch: tuna wrap or chicken salad
* Snacks: a whey protein shake, protein bar and an apple
* Dinner: broiled fish or chicken, brown rice and vegetables
* Snacks: protein shake

3) Enough Sleep
The third piece of the puzzle which most of us urbanites ignore or take lightly is sleep. I'm guilty of this too. Chris Hemsworth says that he ensured he got plenty of rest and sleep to allow his muscles to rest and grow. As we know, your muscles don't grow in the gym, but actually grows once you are done. It gets broken down during your work out session and grows while you are resting.
It was purely eating, eating, eating, working out and working out, trying to sleep as much as you can — that's the other third of the equation." - Chris Hemsworth

Why is sleeping so important to this equation? Proper sleeps helps your body prepare for its future workout sessions. Also during sleep, our hormones (namely growth hormone or GH) are at its peak production and GH is extremely vital for stimulating muscle growth and maintaining the muscles mass we have already put on. So if you are always feeling tired and feel like you are not getting enough sleep, here is another reason why you SHOULD give sleep a priority, just like you do with exercise and diet. Most of us just focus on exercise and diet and give sleep the least of our priorities.

So there you have it. How Chris Hemsworth built his body for the role of Thor. Looking back at this as i write, i am also re-evaluating my workout routine, nutrition and sleep habits. Off late, i have been losing weight regardless of how hard i train in the gym. I am guessing that i may need to get some extra hours of zzzzz to let my body grow again. Oh well.... will try to fit into my schedule. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments.


ğůñthëř.fůřÎőñğ said...

You need to show the ppl the before and after look: ..


Rajan said...

Gunther: thank you so much. Was actually looking for it, but couldn't find it. Thanks for sharing

Adeline said...

Rajan, about the diet, is it applicable to women's diet? How big can they grow if they follow that diet?

Akun said...

What about his genes? Do you think that it also contribute to his muscle mass gain?

Most of Malaysians really don't have good genes. I think.

Rajan said...

adeline: women can use this diet too, but you might want to scale down the portions. women won't be able to grow as much just by following the diet plan and exercise plan. You will gain some size, but it won't be as much as guys.

Akun: Genes play a huge role in your performance. YES, asians / malaysians are smaller built and therefore it will be more difficult for us to pound on as much. of course there may be exception to the case, but generally, i agree with you.

i still remember a Lee Haney poster in one of my old gyms which said "Results is 98% sweat and 2% genetics"... then i found out its actually the other way around. sigh.

att_4569 said...

hi rajan,

can u suggest any post workout drink ie for recovery so that a person will not feel tired after workout?



Lampe Berger said...

Cool... i will try to follow his routine.He looks macho in the movie. Are asians able to build muscles like him?

Rajan said...

alex tang: i usually drink a protein shake after my workout.... but thats because my goal is muscle mass. Generally your post workout drink should follow your goals.

lampe berger: i think asians can build a body like this, but i still feel asians luck out when it comes to genetics. so you may not be able to see results as fast or as big as what we see here.

att_4569 said...

thank you rajan


rankiba said...

where can we find protein bar in malaysia?
i'm fed up lols

BadBoyz said...
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Lean Muscle said...