The THOR Transformation
Thor, the Norse god of thunder, has leaped off the pages of Marvel Comics onto the big screen for the new live action film, but building Chris Hemsworth's (who will play Thor) physique to a level suitable for a deity was no easy process. We spoke to Duffy Gaver, who trained Chris for the film, to learn about the hard work that went into creating the physical look. In our research and through our discussions with Duffy we have laid out what you can learn from Chris' process to transform your own body into one worthy enough for the gods.
Defining the Thor look
Before you begin any workout regimen you need to define your goals and have a clear vision of exactly what you want. In this case, this means defining which 'Thor' look is for you. Depending on the medium, line or market, Thor takes on slightly different looks and builds. From the cartoony to the artful, different characteristics are displayed and emphasis on different muscle groups is expressed. For the film there was heavy "discussion with Chris about what he thought he should look like, my input on what he should look like, what Kenneth Branagh wanted him to look like and the people from Marvel." Defining which 'Thor' look you want to achieve will really affect the workout program required. In general, though, Thor is very "well-proportioned and large," says Duffy. "[Chris] was in good shape. He surfs... so he needed more muscle, needed to drop his body fat down."
Your attitude about your goals will affect your results. Like any program, it will require hard work and commitment. Achieving superhuman strength requires maintaining superhuman focus; you won't likely get far if you are looking for the easy road. Chris's transformations took about "6 months," according to Duffy, and Chris was already in good shape. So for a "guy who isn't in that kind of shape," the work might be greater and the transformation could take even longer. This can be offsetting for some, especially for impatient people. Keeping focused and committed really is half the battle.
The Thor Workout: a well-packaged one-liner
According to Duffy, there unfortunately "is no 'Thor' workout." It's a very generic bodybuilding program of heavy weights; barbells, dumbbells and using the machines. "If you want big shoulders you are going to do shoulder presses, you're going to do lateral raises, you're going to do front laterals, you are going to do rear dealts, you're going to do upright rows. This is the same stuff that guys do in the gym all the time. You're going to go in there; you're going to hit it hard. You're going to go heavy some days and you're going to go lighter and rep out some days. Cardio isn't a huge thing; you have to be more precise about your diet. [Some people think] this is a very complicated, hard thing to come by and you have to go buy it somewhere -- but that's not the case. It's not that complicated and it doesn't take 1000 magazines and a billion dollars' worth of equipment to achieve. it just takes effort on your part.
This is, perhaps, the most important step. Without the proper diet your body will lack the fuel to move and the elements to grow -- and getting a body like Thor requires lots of growth. Since Thor very big and proportional, you are going to need to consume a lot of "lean animal proteins" such as chicken, fish, red meat, says Duffy. You are also going to need to consume "lots of vegetables and some white rice or some light starchy carbohydrates." For the film, Chris worked with a nutritionist to help regulate his intake to ensure his body had the proper materials to develop the right results within the timeline. "He just pulled a little more of the starchy carbs out of his diet and added a little more protein." But regardless of your routine, you are going to need "a good amount of water. You have to stay hydrated." Failure to do so can lead to heat exhaustion, cramping, muscle fatigue and loss of coordination - not to mention, it can seriously affect your gains.
Even if your goals aren't to have a body comparable to the 'God of Thunder,' living an active lifestyle is part of living a healthy lifestyle - and it doesn't have to cost anything. "A good set of running shoes and a pull-up bar will take you an awful long way... It doesn't matter what you do, to be honest, anything is better than sitting on the couch eating ice-cream."
Duffy Gaver has been in the fitness industry for about 13 years and, among others, has trained the likes of Brad Pitt for Troy, Toby Maguire for Spiderman, Ashton Kutcher for The Guardian as well as Marlon Wayans and Channing Tatum for G.I.Joe.
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