Gods gift: how to look like Chris Hemsworth


More than 1 million people have already downloaded Chris Hemsworths fitness app. Why? Is it because they too want to look like a Norse demi-god, asks Alex Moshakis

The actor Chris Hemsworth Hollywood leading man, make-believe Thor employs a small army of fitness professionals to maintain peak condition. There is the personal trainer he has known since he was eight, and the nutritionist and the Pilates coach and the yoga coach and the meditation guru. Even Hemsworths stunt double is part of the gang. Collectively the army is known as The Chris Hemsworth Wellbeing Team. Now they can be your wellbeing team too.

Earlier this year Hemsworth launched Centr, a fitness app that offers everything you need to train, eat and live better, according to the apps website. Its content, aimed at both men and women, has been developed by trainers either previously employed by Hemsworth or newly tapped up by the actor to contribute workouts, meditation routines and healthy-eating recipes. Like the patron saints of wellness before him Paltrow, Motivator Hemsworth is keen to spread the gospel of wellbeing: eat well, exercise, de-stress. He has spent the past few years being professionally required to learn how to make his body appear superhuman, and he thinks, admirably, Why shouldnt you learn too? I feel so fortunate to have worked with incredible experts in the fields of health, nutrition, mindfulness and training, he says. So I thought, Why not share that?

The upshot of the sharing is this: for 15.49 per month, you can eat like Chris Hemsworth, work out like Chris Hemsworth and meditate like Chris Hemsworth. The app is a digital Rolodex of the actors trainers and their tailored workouts and regimes. There is a recipe for sesame chicken stir-fry with broccolini (very filling) and another for a breakfast called Choc Magic Cherry Smoothie (sweet, also filling). There are workouts titled Hirt Strength: Push, Pulse and Power Up and Muscle Building: Pound It Out and a mindfulness exercise called Meditation: Forgive & Release. Centrs strapline is For those in the making.

Thor blimey!: unleash your inner god with Chris. Photograph: Greg Funnell

So far, the app has been downloaded more than 1m times, making it one of the most popular apps this year. (People thought three Hemsworth Bros were enough; now there are thousands.) Centr users have watched more than 4.5m minutes of coached workouts which, the brand says, adds up to 3,200 days worth of squats, deadlifts and lunges.

Centrs trainers argue that the apps appeal lies in the diversity of workouts it offers. There are high-energy exercises and low-energy mindfulness routines. But it is difficult to see past the Hemsworth draw that people download the app in order to be more like him, a Hollywood star. How many regular fitness apps are out there in the digisphere? How many are fronted by Thor?

This is a world well populated by celebs. Fonda in the 80s. Crawford in the 90s. Not long ago, the athlete Jessica Ennis-Hill launched her own fitness app, named Jennis (at least Ennis-Hill has verifiable athletic credentials.) Davina McCall has one. So does the celebrity fitness instructor and fellow Australian Kayla Itsines, who has 11.8m followers on Instagram. Hemsworth is late to the game, really, in a long line of exercise-loving superstars who have used celebrity status to sell aspirational workout routines.

Is this problematic? Probably. Hemsworths appearance is not a realistic body standard. He has muscles on the backs of his arms. Large chunks of his day can be devoted to working out. He is reimbursed for time spent considering what to eat and how to train. His job demands it; his physical form might actually be a contractual obligation. In your line of work, do you need to achieve a passable resemblance to an over-muscular Norse god? Me neither! Who has that luxury? Who wants the anxiety of that requirement? Which makes the idea of the app seem pointless. Mega-huge biceps are not required for typing on a keyboard.

Still, maybe Centr is worthwhile. The other night I launched the app and played a 30-minute video that involved me mimicking a series of jabs, hooks and squats. My wife appeared halfway through the workout and asked what I was doing. I was in the kitchen, punching the air with my fists. MMA: tap in! I said, over the voice of a trainer, sweet Jorge Blanco. She asked why. She had never seen me punch the air before, at least not in the kitchen, and, well, she was slack-jawed.

I immediately thought, To be more Hemsworth! But I wasnt sure shed understand, so I continued punching nothing in front of me and eventually she carried on with her evening. The routine lasted another 15 minutes. I was enjoying it. It felt good to punch the air. I am in the making, I suppose.

Read more here: http://www.theguardian.com/us


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