A body with minimal body fat and the highest possible muscle percentage: “Thor” actor Chris Hemsworth has impressively demonstrated this time and again in preparation for his filming. The actor and his personal trainer poured the “Thor” transformation into a ten-week training program. Does it really make you fit like “Thor”? YouTuber Eric Conover (31) wanted to know.
Like many other people, Eric Conover experienced the corona pandemic as extremely stressful – mentally and physically. At the same time, he went through a painful breakup. The result: he ate an unhealthy diet, put on weight and let himself go, as he explains in a video on YouTube. All training successes that he had previously achieved gone. The turning point brought Chris Hemsworth and his physical transformation for the sequel to “Thor”. Inspired by the muscle mass of the Australian actor, Conover Hemsworth started the new “Thor” training – a ten-week challenge with impressive results.
Hemsworth’s trainer contacted
The challenge: training like Chris Hemsworth for ten weeks in preparation for his new film “Thor: Love and Thunder” (which will be released in 2022). To this end, Conover contacted the personal trainer Hemsworths, Luke Zocchi. “Chris is a beast,” you can hear him raving about the actor. The 37-year-old is “in better shape than ever before” and also more muscular than ever before.
Conover had already achieved great success with Hemsworth’s training in 2019 and got to know the two men. Hemsworth himself advertises his new Thor training program, the “Centr Power Program”, in an Instagram clip:
Start of the “Thor” training with 92 kilograms and 16.8 percent body fat
Conover starts his ten-week challenge on the scales: almost 92 kilograms, 16.8 percent body fat. The daily calorie intake to maintain the current state is 2,016 calories. His training goal: to become more muscular than ever before.
In order to achieve his goal, Conover combined his “Thor” training with a healthy and at the same time much higher calorie diet. He ate around 4,000 calories a day, made up of lean sources of protein, healthy carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lots of vegetables. In his video, he describes eating as “most of the challenge”. The YouTuber ate seven meals a day. It went well as long as he was at home and could pre-cook for the week. It got more difficult when traveling.
The 5 principles of “Thor” training
The ten-week training with which Chris Hemsworth made himself fit for “Thor” is divided into three cycles of three weeks. The focused muscle building is to be achieved via split training – this is a special organizational form of strength training that is widespread in bodybuilding. The separation of the training, e.g. upper extremities and lower extremities, should ensure an optimal sequence of stress and recovery for the muscles. (If you want to find out more about split training and want to know what fitness professor Dr. Stephan Geisler thinks of it, you can read here). Furthermore, the “Thor” training program developed by Hemsworth and his trainer is based on five principles:
- Compound movements: Exercises in which several muscle groups work at the same time.
- Volume: As many repetitions until you reach muscle hypertrophy, i.e. the muscle mass is increased.
- Intensity: It’s about the speed at which the exercises are completed.
- Rest & recovery (Recreation)
- Training to Failure: Training goals that are designed to fail from the outset.
The first 30 days
Conover guides his viewers through the ten-week challenge in the video with intermediate results. After the first training session, he stated that he felt “quite demoralized”. Would he achieve the desired results in that time? The big challenge of the program for him was to get everything under one roof: constant training, lifting heavy weights and eating well while he was traveling. He noticed the first positive results after 30 days: “The arms are coming back” and generally reports a pleasing strength level.
Day 30 to 45
Eric gives the next intermediate result on day 45. His strength has already tripled. He’s making great strides with the pull-ups – if he finished after four repetitions at the beginning, he’s now at 15 (by the way, this is where the pull-up technique is correct). In the Bent Rows (bent forward rowing with weight, Conover used a kettlebell) he increased from 25 to 44 kilograms.
The intensive muscle building training is also noticeable on the scales: Conover put on six kilograms of body weight (98 kilograms) in the first 45 days. In return, his body fat percentage has decreased, he says. In addition to the physical transformation, it is above all the mental state that has clearly improved: “My self-confidence is back,” says Conover.
Result after 10 weeks
Conover finishes his ten-week “Thor” training with 95 kilograms and an alleged body fat percentage (KFA) of only 11.2 percent – a very low value and well below the average. Michael Despeghel estimated the KFA of today’s average man compared to FITBOOK at 20 to 25 percent.
The reasons that Conover makes responsible for this success are interesting: His low KFA is less the result of cardio training, but primarily a consequence of the speed with which the exercises according to “Thor” training are performed. “I can say with full conviction that I am stronger than ever before in my life,” says Conover.