Chris Hemsworth performs a dumbbell snatch in a gym.
Luke Zocchi

Behind the scenes on Chris Hemsworth’s Furiosa transformation

Luke Zocchi

No one does a big-screen transformation like Chris Hemsworth and his personal trainer Luke Zocchi.

Wielding Thor’s hammer in the Marvel Cinematic Universe demanded Chris be in the biggest and best shape of his life. Suiting up for Men in Black: International required a chiseled and athletic look. Leading a biker horde into battle in the new installment of George Miller’s Mad Max franchise, Furiosa? Well, that called for a badass transformation different from anything the duo had attempted before.

In the film, Chris plays Dementus, a warlord battling for control of the wasteland in a “kill or be killed” world.

“This character is super interesting and crazy,” says Centr expert Luke. “So Chris needed to look like someone you didn’t want to mess with.”

How did they achieve that look? We sat Luke down to find out.

Centr trainers Luke Zocchi and Ingrid Clay stand with a barbell and a set of dumbbells.

Power Shred is the program that helps you burn fat while building muscle, inspired by the functional training style Chris and Luke used for Furiosa.

How would you describe Chris’s physical goal for this movie?
As the leader of the bad guys, he wanted to have a presence. There were no body fat percentages to hit, he just wanted to be lean and strong, and not overly bulky like Thor.

How far out from the shoot did you start working with Chris to prepare his physique?
We hadn’t done a film in a little while, but we had been in a training routine together in Byron Bay. Once we knew Furiosa had a start date, we had a two-month prep to dial up our training.

So you’ve got two months to build a post-apocalyptic warlord body. What did a regular week of workouts look like?
We were training 3-4 times a week – it was really similar to what we’ve created with the new Power Shred program on Centr.

We did full-body workouts incorporating traditional lifts like bench presses, chin-ups, kettlebell deadlifts, lunges and machine exercises for all muscle groups. Then circuit-style cardio including running, SkiErg and functional movements like farmer’s carries, with minimal rests in between.

Was this a lot different from Chris’s training for Thor?
Functional movement definitely played a bigger role this time around. But the main difference would be the loads we were lifting.

Thor training is more like the classic Centr Power program approach – we would train to failure with heavy loads and take longer rests in between sets. For Furiosa, we were lifting a bit lighter, but balancing that with shorter rest breaks to keep the heart rate up. And not quite pushing to failure, so Chris still had something in reserve for the cardio.


Want to build serious size like Thor? Centr Power is the definitive muscle-building program, inspired by the training Chris used to get into superhero shape.

How hot did it get out on location among the Aussie sand dunes?
It wasn’t too bad because we were filming in the Australian winter. But just walking up and down the sand dunes between takes was a bit of a workout – bonus cardio!

We know recovery plays a big role in Chris’s training. Did you have everything you needed in the middle of the Outback?
One of the locations was just outside Sydney. Fun fact: it’s the same place they shot Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome with Tina Turner 40 years ago. So when we were shooting in those sand dunes, we were staying in a good hotel in Sydney that had access to a sauna and cold plunge pool.

We also shot out in Broken Hill, which is an old mining town a lazy 13 hours’ drive from Sydney. That’s the real Outback, so I set up an ice bath and sauna in the house Chris was staying in so we would be covered out there.

As time has gone on, we’ve definitely focused a lot more on recovery. I always try to make sure we have access to a sauna and ice bath – but if you don’t have access, the main thing is taking time out after a training session to down-regulate your breathing and stretch.

Chris Hemsworth and Luke Zocchi sit facing each other, shoulder-deep in an outdoors ice bath.

Chris uses regular cold therapy as part of his recovery routine.

Did you continue to train while Chris was filming?
We were still training 3-4 days a week during the shoot, but it was ‘day on, day off’ so Chris had energy for the long shooting days.

Chris’s stuntman Bobby talked us through his bulking diet for Thor: Love and Thunder a couple of years back – we feel full just thinking about it. How different was the nutrition approach for this lean and mean Furiosa character?
We definitely weren’t eating as much for Furiosa – it was closer to a shredding nutrition plan. Chris was on a 16:8 fasting schedule. We didn’t stick exactly to the 8-hour feeding window because of the shooting roster, but we’d skip breakfast and eat our first meal closer to lunchtime.

He still got in 3 meals a day, whole foods with a decent serving of protein in every meal.

Fasting isn’t something we always do, but it was a good way to control Chris’s physique during the shoot. You don’t want weight fluctuations while he’s filming, so this was a good approach to keep things consistent.

Does a different style of training and nutrition present different mental battles?
This shred approach means getting used to working at a higher threshold for longer. Compared to a bulk where you do intense sets of up to 12 reps then rest, you're not lifting as heavy, but you're doing three or four exercises in a row before resting.

As for nutrition, the toughest thing was probably skipping breakfast. It doesn’t help if you’re not a morning person! To help ease the feeling of hunger, we would have a black coffee in the morning and drink plenty of water.

Ready to work out like Chris?

You don’t have to be a post-apocalyptic warlord to train like one. To give you a taste of Chris’s Furiosa training routine, Luke has shared a full-body workout from Power Shred. It’s designed to build strength and definition in your back, arms and shoulders, and burn fat with a cardio-boosting finisher.

Before you start, be sure to warm up using a total-body mix of dynamic moves.

Round 1
Dumbbell seated shoulder press x 8 reps

Repeat 4 times, resting 40 secs between each set.

Round 2
Bent-over wide row x 8 reps

Repeat 4 times, resting 40 secs between each set.

Round 3
Dumbbell lateral raise x 8 reps
Rest 10 secs
Dumbbell rear raise x 8 reps

Repeat 4 times, resting 40 secs between each set.

Round 4
Across-body hammer curls x 12
Rest 10 secs
Standing dumbbell curls x 6 reps

Repeat 3 times, resting 40 secs between each set.

Round 5
Dumbbell alternating overhead tricep extension x 12
Rest 10 secs
Dumbbell kickbacks x 6 reps

Repeat 3 times, resting 40 secs between each set.

HIIT/HIRT finisher
Dumbbell thrusters x 10 reps
Rest 10 secs
Dumbbell swings x 30 secs
Rest 10 secs
Jumping jacks x 30 secs
Rest 10 secs
Dumbbell pyramid plank switch x 30 secs

Repeat 2 times, resting 20 secs between each set.

Want more? Follow in Chris’s footsteps to build your strongest, leanest, most defined body with Power Shred – now training, only on Centr.

Luke Zocchi

Chris Hemsworth may wield the hammer, but it’s his personal trainer Luke Zocchi who cracks the whip. A certified personal trainer, Luke is renowned for his fast and efficient training methods, using weights and bodyweight to get maximum results in minimum time. He’ll also show you how to fuel your training with quick, easy and healthy recipes.

Luke Zocchi

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