‘One of the most uncomfortable training methods’: What is Chris Hemsworth’s occlusion training all about?

‘One of the most uncomfortable training methods’: What is Chris Hemsworth’s occlusion training all about?

"This will not be pleasant," the actor's trainer warned, as he strapped a belt around his arms, which had veins popping out

It is no secret that Chris Hemsworth has an enviable body. The Australian actor, who is hailed around the world as ‘Thor’, based on the character he plays in the MCU, has to work really hard to get in shape and look like a literal god!

While Thor was out of shape in Avengers: Endgame (2019), it seems he is getting his chiselled physique back for Thor: Love and Thunder, now that the world has been rid of super-villain Thanos.

Hemsworth, 38, took to Instagram to share with his fans the process of building biceps. Along with his trainer Ross Edgley, he was seen undergoing something called ‘occlusion training’. “This will not be pleasant,” Edgley warned, as he strapped a belt around the actor’s arms, which had veins popping out.



A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth)

“This is blood-restriction training, and the basic principle is by restricting blood flow to the biceps, we have got no oxygen. So, therefore, we are going to have to switch off, and instead, it [will] completely target the fast-twitch muscle fibers… It is going to train your bicep and your body’s ability to tolerate lactic acid,” the trainer said.

Not only did it look visibly painful, Hemsworth also shared in the caption that it is “one of the most uncomfortable training methods [he has] experienced”. “By restricting blood flow and oxygen the muscles are forced to work harder in a shorter period of time and a bunch of other ‘sports sciency’ stuff happens… But part of the puzzle in growing Thor’s arms to look like the legs of a racehorse. Don’t try this at home unless you have yourself a professional pain guru like Ross,” the actor quipped.

Indianexpress.com reached out to fitness expert Mukul Nagpaul, the founder of Pmftraining, to understand more about this training method, and if at all it is dangerous.




A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth)

“When using belts and lifting straps for tourniquet, the amount of pressure on the vasculature cannot be controlled, and there are reports of rhabdomyolysis (a breakdown of muscle tissue) cases due to occlusion training,” he cautioned.

Nagpaul also said that it is generally done when a person is looking to increase muscle mass and strength. “A trainer suggests occlusion training to an intermediate or advanced exerciser to break plateau. The goal is to decrease the time it takes to build strength and muscle size. Using elastic wraps or pneumatic cuffs, you reduce the movement of blood flowing back to your heart so the body part you’re working out becomes engorged with blood,” he explained.

According to him, for optimal results, “resistance training should ideally be done 2-4 times per week”. “In theory, strength training with blood flow restriction can be done daily; this may, however, not be the best long-term strategy and training 1-2 times per day should only be done for shorter time periods of 1-3 weeks.”

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