Whether playing rugby, bulking up or fighting Gorr the God Butcher, a protein shake is a great way to start the day.
That’s right, as we explored in our article ‘What Is The Ultimate Rugby Protein Shake’, you can help drive your fitness, strength and bulk with a glass of something from the mixer, but in the case of Chris Hemsworth, it’s not rugby he bulks up for. He is the star of the movie Thor: Love and Thunder, and his nutritionist says he swears by protein shakes as an alternative to the constant stream of food.
“He’s eating so much that he gets sick of it,” his trainer Luke Zocchi told Men’s Health. “He eats every two hours because he’s naturally a taller, skinnier guy, so for him to put on that muscle, he needs a lot of calories… On this film, I’m not joking; he was eating up to eight to 10 times a day.”
That meant finding an alternative to meals, and Zocchi admitted it came in the form of protein shakes. “Every third meal, he’d just be so over food, so I’d bring him a protein shake with a double scoop of protein, banana, almond butter, two dates, and a bit of salt just to give him a break from eating,” he added. However, protein shakes are not the only way to bulk up, so be aware if you’re focusing on them, you need a more rounded approach. “People think things like protein shakes and creatine make a big difference, but that’s only about 5% of the equation,” he said in another interview. “It’s dialing in the basics and sticking to the program to get results.”
Hemsworth’s routine for the role of Thor is evident on screen; he played ‘Fat Thor’ in Avengers: Endgame but had to bulk up for the role in his latest movie. This comes on the back of his surprise weight loss for In the Heart of the Sea, a 2015 film for which he lost significant bulk. Many of his fans might not be aware of that, as Thor is the character Hemsworth has made his own, which now defines him.
Whilst he plays the Marvel Universe version, the character is well known outside of that, which has helped drive the actor’s popularity. For years before Marvel took over the cinema screens, you could find Thor in video games such as Jotun and Too Human. There are non-Marvel versions of Thor on your mobile device and consoles today, with Foxy Games featuring online slots such as Thor’s Lightning and Thor’s Vengeance. They don’t have Hemsworth’s likeness, nor does Thor in the recent Assassin’s Creed game, Valhalla, but all help drive his popularity by association. Of course, there are plenty of video games featuring Marvel’s Thor, including Thor: God of Thunder. All of this helps drive Hemsworth’s popularity and, hopefully, his protein shake ideas with it. Protein shakes are a great way to help bulk up, and they’re also tasty. As Zocchi says, they’re not the be-all and end-all of nutrition, whether for a Hollywood film or rugby, but they are an important element of a good bulking-up routine. With that in mind, perhaps you can follow the advice of Thor by throwing some banana, almond butter and protein in your shake mixer the next time the mood takes you.
If you wish to truly follow Thor’s, sorry, Hemsworth’s lead, then you might also wish to examine his meal plan which he combined the protein shake with to get in shape for the latest movie. Going from ‘Fat Thor’ to Thor is not all about protein shakes and pressing the iron, but also eating the right things, something you may feel you need to do to bulk up for rugby. What does Hemsworth eat get the body of a Norse God? The answer is a lot.
“We’ve kind of got a structure. He found if he eats a really big meal he, like, feels too heavy, so they’re 450-calorie meals broken up into the eight,” Zocchi said. “We try to eat every two hours and getting 450 calories in [each time].” That plan comes with some variation; he’ll have substantial meals, such as steak and potatoes two or three times per day, and combine that with lighter snacks in between. It certainly put the pressure on his trainer. “I usually just keep running him food all day,” he said, joking, “I’m like his grandmother just giving him food.”
Hemsworth picks up the mantle and explains that for variety, he doesn’t stick to a single meal plan but rather indulges in meal types. “With the months leading up to the shoot and during filming, I’m basically overfeeding myself on protein and endless amounts of chicken breast, eggs, steak, fish, vegetables, tuna, avocado, cottage cheese, and brown rice,” he says. “That said, we’ve tried to cut down a bit on animal protein and introduce more legumes and certain grains, as a result of being more mindful about the environment. But to be honest, it’s still mostly animal proteins.”
Those meals are interspersed with the protein shakes we mentioned, ensuring he keeps the right protein coming in for bulking up. We don’t suggest you start ploughing through six meals per day, but in one quote Hemsworth has been very clear about the types of food you might find useful when bulking up. For those looking for a typical day’s food, there is a guide here to his weekly meal plans, including shakes.
8 AM: Green power shake with protein
10 AM: Bowl of yoghurt with mixed fresh berries, chia seeds, almonds, and honey
1 PM: Post-workout shake consisting of vegetable protein, ice water, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and 1g of Vitamin C
2:30 PM: 8oz grilled chicken with crispy sweet potatoes and a rocket salad with seeds, nuts, salted apple (lemon & olive oil dressing on the side)
5:30 PM: 2 rice crackers with Vegemite, tuna, and cherry tomatoes
7 PM: 8oz white fish with grilled mushrooms and raw broccoli salad
9 PM: Half a small pawpaw/papaya with yoghurt and berries; magnesium/zinc supplement
8 AM: Green power shake with protein
10 AM: 3 fried eggs on a slice of wholegrain toast with Vegemite and avocado
1 PM: Post-workout shake consisting of vegetable protein, ice water, BCAAs and 1g of Vitamin C
2:30 PM: 8oz eye fillet (fillet mignon), grilled pumpkin salad with spinach, herbs, cucumber, and ½ cup of steamed rice
5:30 PM: Chicken and vegetable soup with barley
7 PM: 8oz white fish, leafy green salad with radicchio and balsamic dressing, side of roasted mixed cruciferous vegetables
9 PM: BCAAs with Magnesium/zinc supplement
7 AM: Green power shake with protein
9 AM: 3 scrambled eggs on a spelt wrap with tomato salsa
12 PM: Fresh tuna sashimi salad with bitter and leafy greens, avocado, walnuts, and ½ cup of sushi rice
3 PM: Homemade frozen green bar (blended mix of spinach, cooked and frozen cauliflower, chia seeds, dates, spirulina, bee pollen, banana, almond flour, pumpkin seeds, and cucumber)
6:30 PM: Grilled lamb chops, cauliflower mash, grilled zucchini, and roasted carrots
9 PM: Yoghurt with some honey and BCAAs with magnesium/zinc
8 AM: Almond banana shake with flax oil, bee pollen, a pinch of sea salt, and vegetable protein
10 AM: 2 fried eggs on a slice of spelt bread with warm spinach
1 PM: Post-workout protein BCAAs shake
2 PM: 6oz grilled ribeye steak, grilled romaine and vegetable salad, with ½ cup of wild rice pilaf
4 PM: Beef jerky snack with nuts and dried fruit
7 PM: Steamed snapper fish with tomato, onion, roasted brussels sprouts, and small baked potato with Greek yoghurt
9 PM: BCAAs and magnesium/zinc supplement
8 AM: Raw cacao & frozen berry shake with coconut oil, chia seeds, dates, and vegetable protein
10 AM: Savory porridge with olive oil, parmesan, and two poached eggs
1 PM: Post-workout shake
2 PM: Sesame chicken salad with leafy greens, sprouts, pickles, and ½ cup of steamed rice
5 PM: Homemade frozen green bar
7 PM: 8oz grilled mahi-mahi, grilled asparagus, roasted tomato, and a non-dairy Caesar salad
9 PM: BCAAs with magnesium/zinc supplement