When it comes to workout inspiration, it doesn’t get any better than Chris Hemsworth’s Instagram account. Of his bodyweight workout that can be done just about anywhereto exact arm workout he used while training for Thorthe actor has been very open about his gym routines, in fact, he even launched his own workout app – Centr.
Unsurprisingly, his workouts are no joke, so when I saw Hemsworth uploaded a new dumbbell workout, I headed to the gym to try it out for myself. I’ll caveat this by saying that as a fitness editor, I train pretty regularly, although I certainly don’t lift as heavy as Thor himself. This probably isn’t a workout to try if you’re a complete beginner, and if you’re new to the exercises in this workout, it’s a good idea to have a personal trainer review your form before adding weights.
Read on to find out what happened when I attempted the Hemsworth 800-rep dumbbell challenge. If you’re looking for more workout inspiration, you can also check out What Happened When I did 100 dead bugs a day for a weekor when I added 30 sit-ups a day to my workout routine for 30 days. You can also read our Central review if you want to check out the Hemsworth supported app.
What is the Chris Hemsworth 800 rep dumbbell workout?
The workout shared on Hemsworth’s Instagram page is 10 laps of the following circuit. You will need a barbell, but if you don’t have one, the whole workout can be done with a pair of dumbbells (see the best adjustable dumbbells here).
- 10 bicep curls
- 10 x overhead press
- 10 x triceps extension
- 10 squats
- 10 x Left leg slit
- 10 x Slit on the right leg
- 10 x bent over row
- 10 x standing twist
At the start of the video, Hemsworth says all eight exercises should be completed without any breaks in between.
I Tried Chris Hemsworth’s 800 Rep Dumbbell Workout – Here’s What Happened
I’m warning you now, this training is relentless. I got into this workout all guns blazing, so to speak, by grabbing a barbell and getting to work. I’ll start by confirming that my bar was much lighter than Hemsworth’s – at first glance he uses an Olympic weightlifting bar which weighs around 45 pounds or 20 kg. Luckily my gym had a few different options, and I chose a barbell that weighed 22lbs or 10kg – I’m no superhero.
I noticed that for the bicep curls, Hemsworth held the bar overhand, palms facing his body and knuckles above the bar. The overhand grip targets the outer arms and forearms as well as the biceps, but is also slightly more difficult than traditional bicep curls. Unlike Hemsworth, I performed slower reps to ensure my form was correct.
When I got to squats, I found it very difficult to hold the barbell in one hand (I’m only 5ft 1in, compared to Hemsworth’s 6ft 3in), so I swapped the barbell for a 8kg dumbbell to make sure I was getting my form right. For the final rounds of the workout, I placed the bar on my shoulders, like I had done in the squats, to really blast my legs.
The lack of breaks between exercises in the first two rounds felt good, but by round eight I was sweating. Hemsworth gave no instructions on the length of the breaks between rounds, but I gave myself two minutes between each set, although that increased to three before the final rounds.
Hemsworth called this workout “a monster,” and he wasn’t wrong. Even moving at a much slower pace, with a much lighter barbell, 10 rounds was a killer. My whole body ached by the time I was done, and rather than staring out the window at Byron Bay from my gym, I found myself lying on a sweaty exercise mat in the local leisure center . Who said getting into superhero shape was glamorous?
Although I wouldn’t recommend this workout for complete beginners, it can certainly be adapted. Like I did, you can grab a pair of lighter dumbbells or a lighter barbell for the exercises, or just aim to do three or five rounds, rather than 10. Give it a try – just pack a towel and l one of the best bottled waters.