Chris Hemsworth's trainer: build muscle and burn fat with multi-muscle exercises

Luke Zocchi shares his top advice for increasing muscle and developing strength

Chris Hemsworth working out with his trainer Luke Zocchi
(Image credit: Centr)

Chris Hemsworth has to train hard to get in Thor-worthy shape. But he also has a packed schedule, so his training has to be efficient as possible. If you're also short on time, take Hemsworth's personal trainer's advice and use multi-muscle compound exercises in your workout.

Investing in one of the best kettlebells is a great place to start, as then you can learn how to do kettlebell swings to work your legs, core, and upper body with a single move. These multi-muscle moves are known as compound exercises and help you reach your goals faster. 

According to Luke Zocchi, Hemsworth's trainer and Head Trainer at Centr, "you can't beat compound movements for muscle building and fat burning." You'll burn more energy as you have to work more of your body simultaneously, which leads to fat-burning results. 

Zocchi lives this advice too. "If I could only choose one exercise [to do] for the rest of my life, it would probably be a dumbbell squat curl press. I'm all about training with efficiency, and this hits so many muscles in the body—it doesn't get much more efficient!"

Whether you're just starting out or have been lifting weights for years, intensity is the key to building muscle. According to Luke, "the most common mistake when it comes to resistance training is not training with enough intensity."

"I love shorter, more intense training sessions that last somewhere between 20 to 40 minutes. The goal of these is to really test yourself—you feel amazing after it but not during it!"

Watch Luke Zocchi's six-move dumbbell workout

Many people use high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts to train hard for short periods. You exercise intensely for 40 seconds, take a 20-second rest, then start on the next movement. You don't need equipment, but there's a good reason to invest in some. 

"I think the best piece of equipment you could get for building muscle at home would have to be adjustable dumbbells. There are so many exercises you can do, and being able to easily change the load to suit different workouts is perfect for at-home training."

With a set of dumbbells, you can use high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) workouts to develop strength in just 20 or 30 minutes each day. These sessions are similar to HIIT workouts but focus on moves like lunges with weights and bicep workouts

Zocchi also shared his 10-minute ab workout to build core strength without weights when you're tight on time or traveling. Your core plays a crucial role in your workouts, aids stability, and promotes circulation for effective recovery. 

Outside of his work, Luke exercises regularly and incorporates movement into his day. While he's best known for muscle-building workouts, he also trains for his well-being. "The benefits of general movement go well beyond the physical… it's really important to my mental health also."

Taking a walk every day is a low-impact way to build activity into your routine and protect your mind. Getting some time outside can boost your mood, and, despite what your fitness tracker says, you don't need to hit 10,000 steps a day to see the benefits.

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.

In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.