Playing a mythical Marvel god has its perks, but it turns out there’s also a downside to rocking a chiseled physique.
“I felt very stiff and sort of uncomfortable,” Hemsworth told W Magazine about playing the titular character in the 2011 film Thor. To make a good first impression, he adds, “I was probably a little bigger the first time around.”
For the 2013 sequel, Thor: The Dark World, the 36-year-old actor cut out the red meat he previously used to beef up. “I’ve actually played around with less animal proteins and tried to inject a bit of vegan cooking into the program,” he has said. “I certainly felt better having a bit more of a balance.”
Even the star’s personal trainer, Luke Zocchi, revealed he didn’t know what to expect with the change of menu. “He tried it out and we were actually surprised,” Luke revealed to the Daily Mail. “We’re all in this mentality of ‘gotta eat animal protein,’ but you can get a lot of protein from beans.”
While filming, Hemsworth ate every couple hours, often six meals a day. His favorite meal was vegan bean burgers — which, Zocchi pointed out, had one unforeseen side effect: The God of Thunder got “a little gassy” during workouts.
Hemsworth also made sure to remember another diet essential: proper hydration. Water is vital for regulating bodily temperature, flushing out waste, preventing constipation and easing every single human bodily function. “I drank a ton of water,” the Aussie star recalled to bodybuilding.com. “I’d definitely recommend that to people who are cutting weight. It fills you up.”
For his roles over the years, Hemsworth has gone from 215 pounds to 185 and back up again — sometimes within months. But, according to the 6-foot-3 actor, there’s no short, secret recipe for it. “You just have to put in the hours, put in the work. There are certainly times at the end of the day, or early in the morning, when it’s the last thing I feel like doing. But I remind myself how I feel after.”
He was, however, grateful that Zocchi kept switching up the routines to keep him “from getting bored,” he told Men’s Health.
Variety works wonders where diet is concerned too, allowing your body a chance to process what you’re giving it and letting you know through specific cravings what you need more — and less — of.
And even when Hemsworth isn’t hammering away in the gym or building abs for a role, his go-to activities help keep him in shape. “I’ll do a ton of Muay Thai workouts,” he added. “I surf a ton, and I do a lot of yoga, too.”
What’s his divine advice for us mere mortals? “Don’t wait around for someone else to come push you. Push yourself.”
Credit: Marvel Studios/Kobal/Shutterstock
Pratt got some good news and some bad news in 2013. The good news was, the Parks & Recreation had been chosen to play the coveted role of Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, in the Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy. The bad news was, he had to lose 60 pounds to play him.
“I’ve been fat for the last eight years,” the 40-year-old funnyman once confessed. “I loved eating food, drinking beer and having fun with my life. But I got depressed.”
It’s well-known that overeating can cause depression — and vice versa. But there is a cure. For that, the actor turned to Dr. Philip Goglia, the founder of Performance Fitness Concepts, who helped turn him into a rocket-powered hero.
“He started to see what that kind of body would do to him over the next 15 years,” Dr. Goglia once recalled of their first meeting. “He went into warrior mode.”
To fuel Pratt’s five-day-a-week workout routine, Dr. Goglia kicked up his metabolism using the Paleo diet, which includes only foods our early ancestors ate, such as meat, fish, fruits and veggies, and no dairy, grains or processed foods. Also, the actor lamented on Instagram, “no beer for six months!”
For six months, he consumed 4,000 healthy calories a day — usually including his baseline meal of chicken, broccoli and brown rice — and tons of water.
And he didn’t take a single supplement to lose weight or bulk up, either.
For those of us still struggling to reach our max potential, he shared some marvelous words of wisdom to Screenrant: “If you feel compelled to try to do something about it, just do it.”
In Captain America: The First Avenger, scrawny patriot Steve Rogers became a superhero thanks to a scientific formula. But muscling up to play the part wasn’t quite so simple for Evans. “The preparation for Captain America was really about me bulking up,” the 38-year-old star to bodybuilding.com. “Monday to Friday, we’d hit the different parts of the body.”
Surprisingly, the demanding workout wasn’t the hardest aspect of getting into character. Eating was the trickiest part. “I’d have porridge, walnuts, raisins, low-fat Greek yogurt, a scoop of protein and maybe sliced banana for breakfast ... generally an hour or two before I work out,” Evans admitted.
The actor said he gobbled down one gram of protein per pound of body weight — but that was just for starters. “You have to eat these bland, naked pieces of chicken and rice,” the star told Extra. “You’re just so full. It’s a pretty uncomfortable feeling.”
For the 2014 sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Evans’ said his trainer upped the anguish quotient. “These weren’t normal gym sessions,” he explained to bodybuilding.com. “I was puking at the gym.” Besides lifting weights, the actor was subjected to intense plyometrics sessions (a.k.a. “jump training”), rigorous gymnastics, and agility-enhancing body-weight exercises. “They were brutal, absolutely brutal,” he said.
So how does the leading man suggest new recruits jump into the action?
Eating the right foods, of course. Start with the proper fuel for your particular body type and health goals. Making sure you’re eating the correct amount of the right foods will set you up to engage in activities that tone your physique, sharpen your mind, improve your mood and make you a Captain America in the health department.
It’s tough, but “anything you’re scared of, you should push yourself to do it,” he told Jimmy Kimmel.