- Actor Chris Hemsworth built huge muscles to play Thor with the help of his personal trainer Luke Zocchi.
- But one of his most difficult roles required him to lose a lot of weight quickly, Zocchi told Insider.
- Intermittent fasting was crucial to achieving the weight loss goal and the results were “crazy,” he said.
Actor Chris Hemsworth is best known for his divine physique as Thor, and building and maintaining Marvel muscles takes a lot of hard work and strategy.
But his coach’s proudest moment was making Hemsworth lose a lot of weight to play a shipwrecked sailor for 2015’s “Heart of the Sea”.
“Everyone thinks of him in Thor, being tall and muscular, but it was the big accomplishment for me. It was a huge challenge for us,” said Luke Zocchi, longtime personal trainer and friend of Hemsworth, to Insider in an interview coordinated by Centr, The Hemsworth Wellness App.
He said that a key part of the body’s transformation was intermittent fasting, a popular diet technique that involves eating only for a certain period of the day.
Zocchi said intermittent fasting is now his preferred strategy to boost
, for celebrities and everyday dieters.
Intermittent fasting can boost weight loss when exercise fails, Zocchi said
For the role, Hemsworth had to lose as much weight as possible and get leaner and leaner throughout the film. Zocchi said it was particularly difficult as the actor was already skinny after losing weight for a previous role, and used to training hard.
Hemsworth stuck to a rigorous workout schedule to burn calories while filming, but exercise alone wasn’t enough to keep losing weight, Zocchi said.
“He was so tired from all the workouts we couldn’t add more workouts so nutrition was a big issue,” Zocchi said.
To turn things around, Hemsworth began eating all of his meals in an eight-hour window each day, fasting the other 16 hours of the day.
“We implemented intermittent fasting with fewer calories and it was crazy how well it worked,” Zocchi said.
Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone, and research on its effectiveness is mixed.
But Zocchi said it gave Hemsworth an edge in reaching his goals when they had tried everything, including severe calorie cutting (at one point, Hemsworth and his co-stars were sticking to a diet of only 500 calories per day).
—Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) November 22, 2015
Actors need to lose weight fast, but it can be risky
Rapid and extreme weight loss can be incredibly risky, even for actors with a lot of resources and support like Hemsworth, George Clooney, and Joaquin Phoenix.
You shouldn’t attempt severe calorie restriction at home, and certainly not without professional supervision. Significant weight loss can also lead to side effects such as muscle loss, which impairs strength and slows down metabolism.
However, actors often have to gain and lose weight for their roles, sometimes drastically, so trainers rely on all the techniques they know for best results.
For Zocchi, intermittent fasting is the one. “It’s a really good system to help with weight loss. I always come back to it,” he said.
Take volume again
Shortly after the theatrical release of “Heart of the Sea” in December 2015, Hemsworth had filled his role again for his next role in “The Huntsman: Winter’s War” and had retained a bulkier physique for his role as himbo Kevin in the 2016 “Ghostbusters Remake.
By the time “Thor: Ragnarok” began filming in the summer of 2016, Hemsworth was back to his divine proportions to play the God of Thunder again.
Most recently, Zocchi worked with Hemsworth to cover volume for “Thor: Love And Thunder,” which is released in 2022.
He posted his 10-week diet and workout program – with adaptations for different levels of strength and experience – on Centr Power.