Consider this your excuse to ditch the treadmill
If you’ve made your way on to this article, it seems fair to assume that you have a certain dislike for cardio. In fact, you probably prefer the agonising hours spent prepping your food over a stint on the treadmill or the rowing machine.
However, we’re here to tell you that you’re not alone. That’s because Chris Hemsworth — of Avengers, Men in Black and multiple-Men’s Health cover fame — is very much in the same boat as you. The crucial difference between you and Hemsworth, however, is that he does it anyway — he just goes about it a little smarter.
But first, a little refresher: Hollywood heavy-hitters Thor: Ragnarok and the Avengers quadrilogy saw Hemsworth display a leaner, more functional physique for the role of Thor. It was a far cry from the Thor that audiences were used to seeing: jacked-as-hell and spilling out of his costume. Hemsworth managed to keep the muscle, while cutting back unnecessary weight to bring a new angle to the character that we hadn’t seen before.
Wiry, ripped and functional, it’s a look that the 36-year-old has managed to retain for some time now (apart from ‘Fat Thor’ in Avengers: Endgame), helping him become an advocate for short, sharp workouts that often last no longer than 20 minutes. We’re serious – head to his Instagram and you’ll see how he makes it work for him.
Thankfully, there’s no long runs or hour-long stints on cardio machines. Instead, he uses time to his advantage, as he explains to Men’s Health UK, to have “a domino effect on my energy and enthusiasm on everything I do” throughout the day.
“I work in a cardio element into my weight training,” he says. “I’ll work in a bunch of sprints on the bike or the treadmill and get amongst it. That, I find, gives you a more consistent increase in heart rate and fat-burning capacity.”
Hemsworth’s not wrong — a study, sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, found that high-intensity bouts of exercise (HIIT, to most people) can help benefit a resistance training programme in a variety of ways. The study illustrated that, on a six-week lifting protocol, participants registered improvements on their one-rep and five-rep max lifts when compared against another group working out at a more moderate intensity.