Chris Hemsworth is known for his superhero body, which features him in the role of Thor, for example. He not only trains hard for this, but also regenerates – in ice baths. His coach reveals what’s important.
“Just hard to get into the park” is an old saying among athletes. The point is: only those who train hard will be rewarded with success. Whether it’s through better competition results or better muscle visual results. But training and nutrition are just one side of the success coin. Because only those who recover properly after hard physical exertion will be rewarded with good muscle growth. Chris Hemsworth and his coach Luke Zocchi know that, too. The latter now reveals errors that can prevent muscle building after training.
Rest is important for building muscle
If you have a body like Chris Hemsworth and thus make millions as a super actor, you will not only have a well-developed training and nutrition plan, but also a proper recovery strategy. In Hemsworth’s case, it’s the ice pools. These should protect the muscles from muscle pain and help the muscles recover faster. This way, the actor can go through his training program without a drop in performance.
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The timing of the ice baths after exercise is critical
The icy shower time after training plays a crucial role. “If your main goal is to build muscle, you shouldn’t take an ice bath right after a workout. Taking an ice bath right after lifting heavy things can inhibit muscle growth,” Hemsworth trainer Luke Zuke told Insider. after training.
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Instead, to reap the benefits of ice showers, you should wait at least four hours after your workout, says Zocchi. This was also confirmed by a study of twelve young men who washed their muscles with cold water immediately after strength training.1 Compared to people who showered their muscles with warm water, protein synthesis was lower. This indicates poor muscle growth.
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Heat works best on muscle growth
According to Zocchi, Hemsworth always takes a three-minute ice bath in the morning before going to work out. Immediately after training, take a hot sauna session instead. Therefore, it is recommended to first relax the muscles with a sauna or a warm bath, as the above study also shows. But after a sauna, it’s okay to take a short cold bath, says Zucchi.
By the way: Not everyone has a bathtub full of ice cubes at home to incorporate the Hemsworth ritual into their makeover. Moreover, it would definitely be an environmental disaster if everyone did it every morning. But a similar effect is achieved with a cold shower or plunge into an ice pool after a sauna session.
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In any case, you should pay close attention to muscle regeneration between two training sessions: “You have to do hard (muscle) work, but you grow in the recovery phases,” Zocchi emphasizes. The superhero coach told Insider that the older he and Chris Hemsworth got, the more focused they were on recovery.