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Chris Hemsworth, best known for his role as Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), has arguably the best physique in Hollywood. Hemsworth is a 40-year-old man with an imposing figure at 6’4” and 220 pounds of lean muscle that has helped his movies bring in more than $10 billion combined at the box office.
The use of performance-enhancing drugs in Hollywood is extremely common, as male actors are often required to gain large amounts of muscle on short notice. The Thor actor has been in really good shape since he arrived in Hollywood, but some of his short-term muscle gains between roles have caused many to speculate about steroid use.
As Hemsworth’s popularity and muscles continue to grow along with his Marvel actors, more people began to question if he is natural. In this article, we will dive into the facts to determine if Chris Hemsworth is taking steroids.
Table of Contents:
Chris Hemsworth is a 40-year old Australian actor who was known as a skinny surfer during his earliest acting days. Hemsworth cemented himself among the Hollywood elite when he landed the role of Thor in 2011. Thor, known as the God of Thunder, is a fictional character in the Marvel universe based on the mythological god of the same name.
As you can imagine, the God of Thunder has superhuman strength and is built like Arnold Schwarzenegger. While Hemsworth already had a naturally well-built physique, he bulked to another level and maintained a shredded six-pack to play Thor. In preparation for the first Thor, Hemsworth gained a massive amount of muscle. He worked with celebrity trainer Duffy Gaver to put on over 20 pounds of muscle in only 8 months. You can check out some of what it took to look like Thor by watching Hemsworth train in the video below.
Considering his amazing genetics and the benefit of “newbie gains,” which is a rapid muscle mass and strength increase beginner lifters experience, lasting anywhere from six months to a year, Hemsworth's initial bulk for the first Thor movie was not enough to suggest he was taking steroids.
Instead, it has been his incredible transformations between movies over the last twelve years that may suggest the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
When Thor: Love and Thunder (the fourth installment) was released in 2022, many people noticed that Hemsworth’s physique was notably bigger than previous movies. Despite being one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood, questions about possible steroid use have continued to follow the Thor actor, including from podcast host Joe Rogan.
Despite the constant accusations of using steroids, Hemsworth has adamantly denied the use of any performance enhancers, and there is no proof to suggest otherwise. One prominent person who has defended Hemsworth against steroid accusations is Dr. Todd Schroeder, an associate professor at the University of Southern California.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Todd Schroeder explains how common it is among actors to take steroids, especially those in superhero movies like the MCU actors. Schroeder remarked, “I would say that fifty to seventy-five percent do. So, if you’re preparing for a role, and you’re going to get paid ten million dollars to look a certain way for a role? Then why wouldn’t you do it under a doctor’s care1?”
Despite his claims that fifty to seventy-five percent of Hollywood actors use steroids, he specifically defended Hemsworth. “He’s always been in really good shape. His family, his genetics—they all, if they work out a little bit, they get in really good shape, and so he’s taken it to the next level. A lot of people say, ‘Oh, he does steroids, for sure.’ And my opinion? I would say, ‘No, he does not1.'”
This is a powerful statement considering the large percentage of actors he believes to be on anabolic steroids.
Many experts consider Chris Hemsworth to have some of the best genetics ever seen in Hollywood. Between his naturally chiseled physique from years of surfing, his ability to easily gain muscle, and the fact that his younger brother Liam (also a famous actor) is also 6’3” and a muscular 200 lbs, it is clear he is genetically gifted. Another important thing to consider is that Hemsworth has far greater means and access to doctor’s care, personal trainers, dietitians, and personal chefs than the average person.
Chris has been very open about his diet, workout routine, and drastic weight changes during his acting career. To learn more about some of those details, check out the Chris Hemsworth Workout Routine & Diet Plan.
A major reason people have suggested steroids is due to his drastic body changes between different films. Following his mainstream success with the first Thor, Chris Hemsworth’s door was constantly knocking.
In 2013, Chris was cast to play the role of drug-addicted Formula One driver James Hunt in a biopic based on his real life. "I was filming The Avengers when I got the call for Rush, so I went from 215 pounds, which is how much I weigh when I'm playing Thor, down to about 185 pounds to be able to fit into the car. That was all in about four months2."
To cut such drastic weight, Chris had to follow a rigorous diet of primarily vegetables with very little protein and carbs. He has repeatedly stated that shedding that much weight was far more difficult than any bulk.
“I'd rather put on weight any time. I was basically underfed and overtrained for a number of months.” Hemsworth also discussed the importance of drinking large amounts of water on a regular basis. “I drank a ton of water as well. I'd definitely recommend that to people who are cutting weight. It fills you up.”
After losing 30 pounds for Rush, Hemsworth had only a few months to regain lean tissue for the Thor sequel, which meant heavy lifting and eating massive amounts of protein. "It was buckets of protein, brown rice, vegetables—I mean really large quantities, and I ate regularly, every three hours.”
Some staples of Chris’s bulking diet when filming Thor (and for bulking, in general) include eggs, oatmeal, protein shakes, nuts, yogurt, chicken, turkey, brown rice, quinoa, vegetables, and salmon.
Based on how Chris can discuss his training and dieting strategy, it is clear he is very knowledgeable and dedicated. Between his drastic body changes and the fact he does 99% of his own stunts, his willingness to constantly challenge himself is admirable.
Chris has also been open regarding his health and workout routine, especially after his incredible gains for his most recent Marvel movie, Thor: Love and Thunder. Chris introduces another huge factor that helps him build muscle in such short periods in a Marvel behind-the-scenes documentary called Assembled.
"Each time I've played the character and put the muscle on and out the size on, and then lost it for something else and played another character, there's muscle memory, and I used to say it sort of got easier each time."
Muscle memory refers to the body's ability to regain strength and size in previously training muscles quickly. His years of hard work in the gym led to cellular changes, which makes it easier for muscles to respond and grow once you restart training.
As Chris has gotten older, he has expressed his desire to avoid movies that require him to transform his body away from this Thor physique. He credits the boredom of the Covid-19 lockdown or achieving his most muscular physique of his life for Thor: Love and Thunder.
All of the exercise and stress he placed on his body over the years of dramatic transformations have taken its toll, so he has made changes to avoid long-term health concerns. Nowadays, it is easier for him to consistently work out all year and maintain a high level of fitness. This way, he doesn’t need to go through a dramatic diet or workout program.
An important part of Hemsworth’s training philosophy is the concept of functional training. Functional training is a method that emphasizes exercises that mimic the daily activities of life. It generally involves compound lifts that involve the core, balance, strength, and flexibility.
Some examples include squats, deadlifts, lunges, push-ups, and chin-ups.
"I did do a lot of functional training. I would do circuits and bodyweight exercises for more functional strength: stuff like chin-ups pul,l-ups box, jumps, and even some CrossFit stuff. I also worked with kettlebells2.”
This type of training makes sense when you consider that he does 99% of his own stunts for movies. Many of his films, such as the Netflix original Extraction, require hours of intense scenes that test his physical capabilities.
An extension of functional training, Chris also has used the Foundation Training program in the past. The Foundation Training is a routine designed to strengthen the back and core through a series of movements, similar to that of yoga.
Regarding the cutting stage, when Chris needs to reduce his body fat percentage, he relies on a good diet, circuit training, and lots of long-distance running. He also likes to practice the martial art of Muay Thai and boxing, both of which are intense workouts. Add in the regular weight lifting and surf sessions, he is burning enough calories to stay lean year-round.
One of the most influential people to debate if Chris Hemsworth is taking steroids is Joe Rogan, a popular podcaster and UFC commentator. Rogan is a fitness and health enthusiast known for being open-minded and willing to try new things.
Rogan is open about his use of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), which is done legally under a doctor’s care. The UFC commentator has specifically called out Chris in the past, although he has no real evidence to prove steroid use.
In addition, Rogan contests that those who use steroids and growth hormone should be open about it, because it otherwise sends the message that anyone can achieve the same results by eating right and working out. False advertising in this way is one of the things wrong with the fitness industry.
On the podcast in the video above, Rogan mentions the fact that Chris has deliberately avoided the steroid question in the past. “He did a friend of mine’s podcast, and he said to him, ‘I'll talk about anything, but do not ask me about drugs.”
While we do understand why that request would make Rogan suspicious, there are several reasons why Hemsworth would avoid talking about steroids or growth hormones. Aside from the fact that he has three children, Chris would jeopardize future movie roles and potentially millions of dollars in revenue if he admitted to using drugs, as Disney acquired Marvel Entertainment for 4 billion dollars and is known as a family-oriented brand.
In addition, Hemsworth may just be sick of defending himself and not want it to be the focal point of discussions regarding his movies and career. I find Joe Rogan very knowledgeable and entertaining, but I think he's stretching with his Hemsworth speculations. At the very least, his suspicion isn't founded on anything concrete.
A scroll through Reddit shows there are multiple discussions regarding whether Chris Hemsworth is on steroids. Here's a look at one of those forums and the accompanying Reddit opinions.
Original Reddit Poster's Story Summary:
Key Reddit Responses:
One Redditor (british-chad) states: "I don't think any of his Thor transformations were natural." While another user (Upvote188Downvote) agreed, posting: "Facts! I think that the last time he was natural was like 2009."
Another user disagreed, commenting: "You can achieve chris Hemsworth thor transformation natty eating a 600 calorie + surplus doing 2 a day training sessions 6 days a week and supplementing with creatine. Do that for 12 weeks at least and you'll grow like none other! Make sure you cycle the creatine in and out every 4 weeks to keep your body from getting used to it cuz that makes it more anabolic that way!" (source)
In a separate forum, a Redditor posed the question: Is Chris Hemsworth Natty?
One Redditor stated: "Definitely not natural lol. But who gives a shit? Dudes also genetically gifted and has good muscle insertions. While it’s gonna be difficult for him to get big enough to play a prime 6’6 290lb hogan, he’s probably the only decent actor in Hollywood relatively big enough to do it."
Another user (B_jones73) disagreed, stating: "Is this even a discussion? Natty!!" With a separate Redditor agreeing he's natty, responding: "yeah he works his ass off."
Finally, another Redditor (Human-Honeydew-3241), poses the question: "I think your real question is 'is this attainable naturally?' Yes, absolutely." (source)
Again, Reddit opinions show a very mixed bag when it comes to his steroid use. But one major thing to point out is that no one who says he does use steroids can point out anything concrete proving this is factual, and the other half of opinions state his physique is achievable without 'roid use.
Based on the opinion of medical professionals and my own opinion, Chris Hemsworth most likely does not take steroids. But, I must include the disclaimer here that it is, of course, impossible to know for sure. All I can do is go on the information available.
When you look at that evidence, here's what we have: Hemsworth is one of the highest-paid actors in the world, which means he has access to the best gyms, trainers, dietitians, and clinical physical therapy to support his fitness journey. It's also part of his job, meaning he can dedicate far more time to his training and diet than the average person can.
Even if you disregard all of the resources available at Chris Hemsworth’s door, his elite genetics and muscle memory can explain his drastic transformations.
Chris’s younger brother Liam is also 6’3” and over 200 pounds with a naturally more muscular physique than the average person, a testament to their incredible genetics. Once Chris packed on his initial muscle for the first Thor movie, he created a muscular base that would be easy to revert to with a strict diet and workout. At this point in his life, Chris finds comfort in the gym and works out consistently year-round to maintain his current size.
Hemsworth has demonstrated a work ethic and dedication to his craft that few actors can rival. With proper training and a super strict diet, not to mention being genetically blessed, everything points to him being natural. While there is no doubt a large portion of Hollywood uses performance enhancers like steroids, I don't believe Chris Hemsworth is one of them.
Readers: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is natural? (Leave a comment below!)
Interested in reading about another celebrity's potential steroid use? Check out our article: Is Joe Rogan On Steroids?
Images courtesy of Chris Hemsworth's Instagram
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