How to build arms like Thor if you’re not Thor

Chris Hemsworth definitely delivers the role of being the god of thunder in virtually every way especially with his physique. Besides having great genetics, he also has a solid athletic background and could be considered a “trained” individual. Answering the question of how to build arms like Thor if you’re not Thor is simple; be Chris Hemsworth. Unfortunately not all of us have that option, social media however can make you believe otherwise. Building arms like Thor is a perfect case study for the value of a properly designed training protocol versus a generic potluck exercise routine presented as a thumbnail. The generic-ness of a thumbnail prescription indirectly dismisses a serious approach that could be applied to this goal even if it is a little out of reach.

Now this has been done before; the celebrity or superhero workout video or magazine piece. On social media you’ll see snippets of a couple of exercises with generalized recommendations of sets and reps. This is a typical thumbnail version of what you see:

This approach is very basic which has its place because there are obviously a lot of details about a person you need to have in order to make any kind of training recommendation with any level of specificity. We can do much better than this however, I actually included the pictures of the exercises because you didnt even get that. There’s so much left out & its so basic it practically screams laziness and/or a lack of expertise. There’s much more sophistication that can be laid on this and all the other “butter knife” training recommendations you see out there.

Let’s get serious shall we:

This an example of a sequenced detailed program for thunder arms. Even though the specificity of the individual is still missing from the equation that doesn’t mean we can’t get specific.

The 1st sequence is a triple set of exercises that densify the prime mover muscles- Shoulder/deltoid complex, Triceps, Forearms (Brachioradialis). If you look at the structure of Chris Hemsworth’s arm his bicep is relatively small compared to those prime movers just mentioned, that your first clue.

The 2nd sequence is a volumizing specialization. A specialization is basically a intra-workout subset of your overall program. We use an old school classic “21’s” which is a partial rep scheme, although in this case its 18’s, this will blow your arms up.

The 3rd sequence is a superset compounder for the triceps because that’s primarily where the beef is. If you look at Chris’ arm in the picture his tricep is making that bicep it way up on his arm.

Notice there’s repetition brackets, rest brackets, sets numbers that are more commensurate with the goal, appropriate sequencing & exercise selection. This protocol actually won’t take you very long but it will blow your arms up. There are two other sequences that could be added to this, but would be for advanced trainees which just indicates this protocol ain’t no butter knife it a steak knife and there’s more meat on this bone. There are certain things that can’t be abbreviated especially if you have a goal of having arms like the god of thunder.

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