During his diet, Hemsworth did daily bodyweight drills to maintain some muscle mass. But as he transitioned to playing Thor in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he added in heavy weights and isolation exercises to gain back the lost muscle and jack up his arms.
To guarantee muscle growth, Zocchi had him slow the tempo of every lift to maximise the amount of time the muscles were under tension.
For example, he might do 3 sets of 12 lifts where the eccentric phase - the lowering of the weight - takes three seconds. Then, on the fourth set of 12 reps, he’d go very slow - eight seconds.
“We do that for the shoulder press, bench press, standing bar curls, and skull crushers,” says Zocchi. Hemsworth also did lots of pullups with varying hand positions - underhand, overhand, mixed, wide, narrow - on a bar or with gymnastic rings.
Zocchi also flipped the eating strategy: It still emphasised nutritional density but with more chicken and fish, and daily protein smoothies.
When he’s not trimming down or bulking up, Hemsworth says he prefers to be lean, fast, and functionally fit.
Hemsworth’s latest role required more athleticism, so Hemsworth cut back on the smoothies and isolation lifts and did more body-weight circuits and cardio work - specifically boxing drills and ab circuits.
Hemsworth likes to put on a harness connected to high-resistance bungees (ankorr.com) and do 3 to 10 three-minute rounds of shadow-boxing. Between rounds he does 30 seconds of bear crawls.
To carve his core, he does 4 rounds of this circuit: Hang from a bar; bring your knees to your chest 15 times; move your knees side to side 15 times; raise your knees to your chest and hold for 30 seconds; rest 40 seconds.
Like any good Australian, Hemsworth also surfs. He recently moved with his wife, the actress Elsa Pataky, and their three children to Byron Bay in southeastern Australia.
The ocean temperature there averages 26 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, so he has plenty of opportunity to get on his board.
Hemsworth enjoys competing on the waves with his father and two brothers, Liam and Luke. While bragging rights are important, so is the time catching up with them.
“Sitting on our boards out in the ocean beyond where the waves break waiting for the next set, you can forget about everything,” he says. “It’s a great place to talk and have a laugh.”