Chris Hemsworth’s Barbell Workout Is Actually Really Fun
A perfect crash course in using an EZ bar, too
Avengers: Endgame drops tomorrow night, and while Thor will wield Mjolnir for the last time, the titanic arms swinging the hammer will live on. They belong, of course, to Chris Hemsworth, current owner of the Hugh Jackman Jacked ‘n’ Affable Australian Title Belt.
Hemsworth has some big roles coming up (a Men in Black reboot and a Hulk Hogan biopic among them), but those looking for a little inspiration in the gym no longer have to wait for a fitness magazine profile to be released months from now. His training app Centr is flush with content from his inner circle of trainers and wellness friends — ex-Navy SEALS, yogis and Michelin chefs included. I’ve had the app for a month now and regularly do workouts with vegan strength trainer Torre Washington. But I’m always on the lookout for one of Chris’ bonus workouts, which he’ll upload from random hotel gyms around the world while on tour.
A few weeks ago, he and his trainer Luke Zocchi did a workout called “Don’t Drop the Bar.” Here’s the two of them introducing the concept …
In case that video did little to elucidate what they’re up to: Don’t Drop the Bar is a barbell endurance workout you can perform with either an EZ bar (what Chris is using) or a straight bar (what Luke is using). Whenever I’m in the gym, I only feel comfortable using a straight bar for variations of bench press. Once I start using a straight bar for bicep curls or skull crushers I’ll feel pain in my wrists, because my hands naturally want to grip at the EZ bar’s more ergonomic angle.
Suffice to say, I’d recommend the EZ bar, and you’ll want to go very light — maybe even consider not putting plates on if you haven’t lifted in a minute. I’ll literally put on 2.5s. 5s if I’m feeling ambitious. From there the workout begins. Do NOT drop the bar. Here’s how it shakes out:
- Close grip vertical row
- Lunges left + right
- Overhead press
- Close grip tricep extension
- Bent-over row
- Bicep curl
Do 10 reps for each exercise, and cycle through the full set five times. A couple words of wisdom. Give the quickest of Googles before attempting the workout, just to double confirm you know how to perform each move. Both A) so you don’t hurt yourself, and B) so you’re not leaning the bar on one knee in between sets trying to pull up Youtube videos. I was that guy. Also, queue all your songs up, so you can lock in. I’d say budget six or seven songs, max.
That’s another beauty of this workout. It’s quick, and it will eviscerate you. I’ve cranked out Don’t Drop the Bar four times in the last two weeks, and by the end of the third set I’ve usually got sweat coursing like the mighty Mississippi down the bridge of my nose. That’s so rare for a weightlifting workout.
Don’t Drop the Bar is a mini challenge. The competitive fire you left back in collegiate club sports will kick in, fast, and it will feel glorious, I promise. Discipline and routine build a strong base in the gym, but it’s so important to inject something like this into your repertoire. Never let it get to a point where you’re sleepwalking your 45 minutes in the gym. Keep it fresh. Keep it fun.
To get full access to Chris’ workouts, and dozens of other exercises, recipes and meditations, sign up for the Centr app here.