After years of bulking up to wield Thor’s hammer in that trilogy or the Marvel “Avengers” movies, actor Chris Hemsworth gets as much interest for his workouts as he does his films.
To share some of this knowledge, the chiseled actor, who will be seen in April’s “Avengers: Endgame” and this summer’s “Men in Black: International,” recently launched a health and fitness app Centr with his wife, actress Elsa Pataky: It gives subscribers access to workouts, recipes and meditations from the pros he has worked with over the years.
I talked to Hemsworth, 35, by phone during a break in filming about the new app and how his training has shifted over the years to allow him to remain an action hero for years to come.
What’s your favorite type of workout these days?
Anything as far as training goes … boxing or high-intensity HIIT workouts. If you are put in a state where you are physically challenged and exhausted to the point where your mind has to take a back seat and is out of the equation and the only thing in your thought process is taking that next breath or getting through that particular challenge, there’s a meditative response to that I like.
And when you’re at home in Australia?
Surfing is probably my most favorite because while it’s not as physically taxing as sweating in the gym there’s a whole lot of challenge out there when you’re dealing with Mother Nature… I just like being out in a natural environment where there’s little distraction besides the sole task at hand.
Your trainer Luke Zocchi says the key to getting you through a tough workout is to make it a competition.
Yeah, he really likes to prod at my ego. That’s right. There’s quite a lot of reverse psychology which comes into play, which I use on my kids [twin boys Sasha and Tristan and daughter India] now, so I’ve become a little savvier too. Any time there’s some competition involved, he knows there’s a different level of interest from me.
It’s important the people you surround yourself with. And that was really the genesis of creating this app and this community and team of experts was to have a place where you were motivated, and you were encouraged, and you were filled with enthusiasm and expertise and knowledge to keep you engaged.
How has your training changed since the first Thor movie in 2011?
Initially, it was all about the short-term gain, how do I as quickly as possible put on this massive muscle. There was little thought for the long-term mechanics of my body and throwing that kind of weight around. I might build a lot of muscle, but how hard was it on my joints? Now we incorporate far more versatility and functionality into it. I’ll be lifting heavy weights for Thor, but we make sure we do a lot of yoga or bear crawls or martial arts and so on. I’ve learned to be far more malleable. I’ve also learned how important nutrition is and how important your mental well being is. Are you getting the rest that you need? If you are missing even one of those pieces you certainly don’t get the results you are after.
What does your downtime look like between filming?
My kids kind of dictate a lot of that activity by the sheer fact that they are almost 7 and 5 now, and they are pretty active kids. We live right on the beach, and we spend most of our time outdoors.… When I finish a film and try to completely switch off and lie by the pool and do nothing, I find I don’t really enjoy it, or it’s pretty short-lived that enjoyment because I very quickly find myself feeling stagnant and needing to move again.