Unless you have a severe lack of appreciate for all things golden, odds are you’ve stopped and stared at images of Chris Hemsworth in various states of dress.
Not, like, in a seedy way – head out of the gutter, peeps. We mean more along the lines of, Chris Hemsworth in his swimming trunks, Chris Hemsworth in his tank in the gym, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Hemsworth as fat Thor, Chris Hemsworth as ripped Thor, Chris Hemsworth as chilling Thor.
You get the picture.
But while the 36-year-old puts in the hard yards and pumps that iron himself, there is a man behind the body named Luke Zocchi and it’s about time you give the dude the respect he deserves.
After all, would Thor even be Thor if it wasn’t for Luke?
‘I always say he would be nothing without me,’ Luke laughs on the phone to Metro.co.uk, after returning from a tropical island filming with Chris, which is what many of us have dreamt about. ‘I helped out along the way and he’s got an amazing work ethic, that’s one thing about Chris, whatever he’s doing he gives it 100%. He trains really hard but I almost feel like he earnt it, I just motivated and mapped things out. I can’t take all the credit.’
The pair have been mates since they went to school together in Melbourne, long before the sandy shores of Summer Bay and Home And Away plucked the middle Hemsworth brother from obscurity and shoved him into the limelight.
Then, in 2011 he landed the role of Thor and while he’s been riding the wave that is mega-mega Hollywood stardom Luke has been by his side, cheering him on, feeding him steak and making him lift dumbbells.
‘I literally got the call from Chris and it was meant to be six weeks and I literally never came home,’ he says of his fateful chat with Chris over five years ago. ‘I wrapped the first film, jumped straight onto the plane to London, I went home for Christmas, went straight back to LA and prepped him for Avengers 2 and its been like that ever since.’
Luke continues of their bond: ‘I went to primary school and high school with him, his assistant we knew from high school and we’re almost like a travelling family, like a circus or something.
‘We’re all very supported but we keep him grounded. We keep it very real and honest with him, I think it’s good for him. He’s on this crazy ride. I remember when he was first on Home and Away and now he’s got bigger and bigger.’
Whatever Luke is making Chris do is evidently working, though, with the actor possessing one of the most coveted bods in the bizz, all 14 abs and glistening obliques.
And while us norms would love to have that same kind of body after a five-minute treadmill pant, Chris takes things to a whole other level in his quest to be ready for his shirtless scenes on set (and he’s had a lot of those).
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Avengers infinity war has just had the highest ever opening weekend!! I just want to say I feel so lucky to be apart of it and to be getting paid to pump weights with this unit last year has been a crazy experience ????? @chrishemsworth #marvel #avengers #sundog #goodtimes #lightweightbaby #twenty40training #triceps #fordays
‘Every day on set, I go in in the morning, I work hand in hand with the chef, we map out all his food for the day, I oversee that, there’s a gym on set and I’m on standby,’ Luke explains of what it takes to get Chris scene-ready. ‘Because there’s so much going on on those films, downtime might be a couple hours, so Chris and I will jump on the gym and I’m training with his stuntman Bobby as well. I’m there on a day to day basis.’
But the hard work starts months before they even land on set.
‘I already know, before we start a film, I have a date of, like, this is the day this is the scene he’ll have his top off, he needs to be in primo condition. It’s like getting ready for a bodybuilding competition,’ Luke continues. ‘It’s all designed around that scene. You’ve got to look a certain way, but you normally know a couple months in advance.’
Collaborators in the gym and in business, Luke is also one of the main guns of Centr, the fitness and wellness app launched by Chris and wife Elsa Pataky last year.
To celebrate the first anniversary of the game-changing platform, Luke has also helmed the release of Centr 6 alongside fellow trainer trainers Ashley Joi and Joseph Sakoda, AKA ‘Da Rulk’, which is based on the stomach-churning workouts Chris has been posting to his Instagram.
‘This honestly started with Chris, I’m meant to be the trainer and come up with the ideas, but Chris started doing these workouts where he’s doing six reps in six exercises,’ he explains of the concept. ‘Then we started working on it together and it became a communal thing – every Monday a bunch of us would meet up at Chris’s house.’
‘To keep it as simple, we’d do it with dumbbells or body weight. It snowballed and I wrote the program out and somehow we ended up with Centr 6,’ Luke continues, making it clear anyone can do it and you don’t have to be all Chris Hemsworth-fit.
He says: ‘You can start at any level, you don’t have to be hardcore, you can start with lighter weights and whatever skill level you are there are versions of harder or easier exercise.’
Centr has become such a massive thing, Luke laughs he’s now being recognised from the app – after living the past several years watching Chris be bombarded with selfie-requesting fans.
How the tables have turned.
‘I was in the States a while ago and I was walking through this factory and someone came up to me and “said you’re Luke from Centr, I work out with you all the time”,’ he says. ‘I’m so used to working with Chris and watching him get recognised and when someone recognises me it kinda spins me out, it’s a bit weird.’
He adds: ‘I don’t know what a normal day is anymore, I’m just riding the wave.’
Centr is available at www.centr.com, in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
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