Strength Training Lessons From Thor

Jermaine Nelson asks…

Will the 5×5 program in your book keep me from being cut, I was under the impression that if you want to get cut its about diet but what about lifting to get cut. There are no specific muscle groups being worked on because of compound using all.

I like the program but still want the fitness model look to go with it. I guess my question is can I get look like a fitness model using this program and proper diet combined?

Fitness models are a joke. With all the Squatting and Deadlifting you’ll be doing on StrongLifts 5×5, you’ll look more like Chris Hemsworth in Thor, Huge Jackman in Wolverine or Daniel Craig in James Bond than Brad Pitt in Fight Club.

Just compare Chris Hemsworth powerful physique in Thor to his fitness model physique in Home & Away. Everyone will agree he looks a lot more manly today. And according to Men’s Fitness, Chris Hemsworth’s training consisted of Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press and Barbell Rows for 4 sets of 4-6 reps – sounds similar to StrongLifts 5×5 to me. Check the physique he accomplished with this…

Chris Hemsworth skinny in "Home & Away" and after bulking up for "Thor".

Chris Hemsworth skinny in "Home & Away" and after bulking up for "Thor".

You really don’t NEED isolation exercises at all. Hemsworth’s had an “arm day”, but it consisted of Weighted Chin-ups and Close Grip Bench Press says Men’s Fitness, and he also did Weighted Pull-ups/Dips. That’s right – no frigging curls and triceps kickbacks but heavy compounds is how he built his arms.

Getting “cut” is calories in vs. calories out. Most guys with busy schedules like mine will choose to clean up their diet rather than adding cardio. Whatever you choose, it’s way easier to lose fat if you have built strength first, so start by gaining muscle using heavy compounds and lose fat later… if still necessary.

This isn’t only the training strategy that Arnold Schwarzenegger used back in the days, it also turns out to be what Chris Hemsworth’s personal trainer, Michael Knight, used to get him in shape for Thor. Quote from Men’s Fitness

Once Chris put on the muscle I needed to get him lean, which meant stripping away any fat he had accumulated during the first phase while maintaining all his newly built muscle, I did this by getting him to do this total-body circuit based around classic strongman moves, such as log presses, tyre flips, sledgehammers and prowler sprints, as well as circuits with kettlebells of varying weights. This got Chris down to his fighting weight of 220lb ““ and as you can see from the pictures, it was all muscle.

So good old fashioned HIIT work obviously combined with a proper diet as Chris Hemsworth himself revealed in an interview. Quote…

I was eating a lot of clean protein, fruit, vegetables and some carbs, as well as drinking four to five litres of water a day. I put on a lot of weight “” I put on about 20 pounds at one point. 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. 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.”

Remember that when you see him taking his shirt off in Thor – the guy doesn’t look like that all year round, he already lost 15lb. It should be obvious that it’s a different game without the paycheck motivator. My advice: forget about the grueling HIIT – just do StrongLifts 5×5, eat healthy foodsbe consistent and you’ll easily look a heck of a lotter than most guys… year through.

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