Bobby Holland Hanton
Chris Hemsworth’s stuntman reveals how he got a body like Thor
Have you ever watched Chris Hemsworth jump through a window, beat up bad guys or do battle with Loki and thought, “Wow, that’s impressive”? While Chris does do some of his own stunts, he leaves the most extreme stuff to his stuntman – Bobby Holland Hanton.
Bobby is a former gymnast, a Hollywood stuntman and is part of the team on Chris Hemsworth’s workout app Centr, where he puts members to the test with his HIIT, strength and explosive plyometric workouts. He’s also worked as Chris’s body double on everything from the Thor films to Extraction, and right now he’s deep in preparation mode for their next big shoot, Thor: Love and Thunder. Chris’s objective is to be in the best shape of his life for this version of Thor, which means one thing for Thor’s body double – transformation time.
So how does Bobby get himself into Thor shape? Well, there’s quite a bit to it. Let’s find out:
This is a serious transformation – what are the key changes you’ve made in order to achieve Thor-level muscle?
Bobby: I arrived in Australia at the beginning of November from the UK and had to quarantine in a hotel room for 2 weeks. I had limited space and very little equipment, so I went hard on my Centr workouts during that time which lay the foundations for this transformation – but there was still a lot of work to do once I left quarantine. Building significant muscle in those conditions is very difficult. Once I finished 2 weeks of intense quarantine training, I had 8 additional weeks to get myself into Thor shape – essentially the best shape of my life.
Chris decided he wanted to be in the best shape of his life for this version of Thor. He’s been training as hard as he always does, but this is my biggest physical transformation to date. My natural weight is around 185lbs (85kg), I came out of quarantine at around 194lbs (88kg) and I’m currently sitting at about 210lbs (95kg). Most of that is lean muscle mass – I didn't go through body composition tests but I’m at roughly 5% body fat, and the bulk of that gain has happened in 8 weeks.
I also want to make it really clear to people that I'm an ex-British gymnast, I've been training my entire life and my body has become comfortable with these rapid transformations due to the line of work I'm in. My muscle memory helps me transform quickly.
Here’s what 2-3 workouts and 4000 calories per day can get you.
What does your training regimen look like to achieve those numbers?
Bobby: I’ve been working hard with Luke (Zocchi) and Chris to get my Thor body. We’re doing 2 and sometimes 3 intense sessions per day. I’m having to lift heavy – the heaviest I’ve ever had to lift – but I’m also doing a lot of my own bodyweight circuit stuff, too. I do a few of my own Centr plyometric sessions a week, as well as some of Da Rulk’s functional training workouts in order to stay mobile. The stunts and fight scenes in Chris’s films require me to be really agile, so I’ve had to plan my training strategically – it’s not enough to just get big, I still need to be able to move fast, which is where the Centr workouts play a big part.
Each day I’ll start with bodyweight or one of my own plyometric workouts, and then we’ll lift heavy in the afternoon.
How it started… how it’s going.
What role does nutrition play when you’re trying to build this level of muscle?
Bobby: I’d say that nutrition has been the hardest part of this process. I’m eating 8-10 times a day, which is a decent meal every 2 hours. I’m consuming 4000 calories... Every. Single. Day. I used to love eating! Not anymore. It’s a chore. But that’s what’s required if you want to change your body this fast – I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s not fun!
So what does a day on your plate look like?
Bobby: I probably eat about 6-8 eggs per day. Loads of white fish and tuna because they are a great source of high-quality protein. And then in the evenings, it’s usually lean lamb, turkey, chicken or steak. Here’s what I had today*:
- 7 am: It’s time for my first breakfast of the day – 4 poached eggs, avocado, tomatoes.
- 9 am: Second breakfast, this time it’s a protein shake. My favourite is the Centr Almond Berry Super Smoothie.
11 am: Brunch time! Quinoa or brown rice, turkey breast, broccoli, green beans and a handful of almonds.
1 pm: I’m (not) ready for lunch – sweet potato, tuna steak, zucchini, tomato salad.
3 pm: Mmm another protein shake, please.
- 5 pm: It’s time for my first dinner – a lovely lamb fillet, quinoa and vegetables.
- 7 pm: What? Another dinner? White fish and some greens, please.
9 pm: Time for dessert! Two boiled eggs and a chicken breast.
*These Centr recipes are just the basis of Bobby’s supersized calorific meals. To unlock the high-calorie versions for muscle builders, start your 7-day free trial now.
“Please sir, may I have another protein smoothie?" Only if it’s a Centr Almond Berry Super Smoothie.
When I’m preparing for a movie and I need to bulk up, I’ll usually take a Centr recipe from the Build Muscle meal plan, which sits at around 3200 calories a day with options to increase based on an individual’s goals. I just need to ramp up the quantities to make sure I’m hitting that 4000 calorie target every day.
Any room for treat meals?
Bobby: I used to get away with cheat days – Sundays were all about eating whatever I want. But for this transformation, it’s just not possible. Occasionally I’ll have something like ice cream or pizza, but given the timeframe we’re working with I’m on a pretty strict diet of good carbs, lots of protein and good fats. The food I eat is really tasty, it’s just the quantities I struggle with (which anyone who has experience building muscle will relate to) – but it’s all about getting results fast.
The Centr Build Muscle meal plan is the perfect starting point for building a superhero physique.
What are the mental challenges that go with a big transformation like this?
Bobby: Mentally the past year has been tough for all of us, especially where I’m from in the UK. We’ve been through lockdowns like everyone, and staying positive and healthy has been a real challenge. I decided to quit alcohol entirely about 11 months ago and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ve never felt more clear-headed or focused on my goals – that’s given me a great starting point for this intense cycle of training.
On top of that, I’ve been dealing with some pretty serious back issues since we filmed Extraction. As physically challenging as this stretch of training has been, it’s been amazing for my mental health. Working hard with friends, focusing on a goal and seeing proper results is incredibly rewarding. And my back is now the best it’s ever been!
How important is recovery when you’re on such a tight timeline?
Bobby: It’s everything. We’re early to bed every night so we can get lots of good quality sleep because that’s when the muscle magic happens. If you don’t give your muscles a chance to heal, they won’t grow.
I’ve also found getting proper rest and recovery to be a key mental factor. The training is really intense, so if you can’t bring a focused mind to the weight room there’s almost no point being there.
Want to train with Bobby, Luke and the rest of Chris’s team? Visit centr.com/join-us to start your 7-day free trial today.
This blog was updated for clarity on April 6, 2021.
Bobby Holland Hanton
PLYOMETRICS • MUSCLE-BUILDING • MEDITATION
Bobby Holland Hanton is one of Hollywood’s leading stuntmen, regularly doubling for Chris Hemsworth and making heroes from James Bond to Batman look good. A former gymnast for Great Britain and semi-pro footballer, Bobby is an expert in explosive movement and renowned for his incredible body transformations. His strength and plyo workouts will inspire you to aim higher.
Sign up to unlock your full potential
All your tools in one place
Expert-training to fuel your fitness, nutrition and mindfulness.
Limitless ways to fuel your mind & body
Access to over 3,000 workouts, recipes, and meditations – all tailored to your goals.
Tech that keeps you moving
Download Centr on all your devices to level up and track your results live.