Natalie Portman’s Thor: Love and Thunder workout


Natalie Portman's Thor: Love and Thunder workout

From the moment photos of Natalie Portman in Thor: Love and Thunder surfaced, the internet was quick to comment on how bulky her arms were.

Portman returns as Jane Foster/The Mighty Thor in the Marvel movie, which opens July 8. This time she wields Mjölnir, Thor’s hammer, and she has the newfound power to throw lightning.

Fitness trainer Naomi Pendergast of Australia’s RPX Fitness was the person responsible for the actress getting muscular, developing Portman’s biceps and toning her abs.

What muscle groups did you focus on with Natalie for the film?

The goal and initial task for working with Natalie was to develop arm and stomach definition. However, to get Natalie to this destination safely and injury-free, we first worked on conditioning her body for about four months. This meant we could safely increase the load to get her upright without negatively affecting her joints.

How many weeks did you have to work on this transformation?

We started five months before filming and continued to train throughout the shooting to maintain her muscles. The total time we trained for the film was about 10 months.

Once you set the goal, how did you work to help her build muscle—particularly on her arms?

First it was about preparing Natalie’s body for the heavy weights in order to avoid injuries. We worked on building her upper body three times a week, which included arm, back and chest exercises, boxing, skipping and running. The other two days were dedicated to injury prevention, which included Pilates-based exercises, stretching, relaxation, and balance exercises.

What was a typical warm-up routine?

The warm-up usually consists of various bodyweight, swiss ball, or band exercises to fire up the system and connect the body well. Stretches are sometimes included in the warm-up, but more often than not I use exercises that activate weak muscles rather than just stretching tight muscles. Warming up in this way ensures that everything switches on as it should before we place heavy loads on her body

Did Natalie hurt herself while training?

Natalie’s role was very physical and required her to do a lot with her upper body. Overall, she survived everything very well without major injuries. There were a couple of days after long stunt sessions where she felt a little sore in her wrists and neck, but she was able to overcome this with some relaxation work from the massage.

How many hours would you work together?

We worked about 1½-2 hours every day depending on their schedule. When filming started, Natalie’s schedule was very busy, so we worked out early, around 4:30am, before she started the day.

How has the pandemic affected your everyday life?

Initially we trained at her house – in the middle of lockdown – which meant we mainly used free weights for our training. When filming started we were able to work out at a gym which meant we had access to a lot more for our sessions which was great.

Can you break down their diet in detail and what goes into a typical meal?

Natalie is an extremely healthy person with a very healthy and clean diet so we didn’t have to make any major changes to her diet. Natalie is vegan so we had to increase her daily amount by adding vegan based protein powder a few times a day to get enough protein to fill her up the way she needed it.

What went into her workout routine—squats, lifts?

On the days when we lifted weights, we focused on rep quality and gradually increasing the load. On the other days that we practiced, we mixed up the workouts to keep it fun and interesting. A typical upper body strength session would include:

  • A good warm-up of bodyweight exercises, bands and sliders that focused on getting the upper body aligned so we could maximize the strength benefits.
  • We would then do a main set of exercises that would include supersets with about a minute of stretching between each set.

Major premise 1:

• Dumbbell Rows – 10 slow reps

• Bodyweight-balanced push-up – 10 slow reps

• Lat stretch (rest exercise)

Major 2:

• Backward Dumbbell Fly – 10 slow reps

• Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 10 slow reps

• Back stretch (rest exercise)

Major premise 3:

• Standing dumbbell arm raises (palms up) – 20 slow reps

• Assisted Pull Ups – 6-8 controlled reps

• Roll up (rest exercise)

Major premise 4:

• Dumbbell Bicep Curls – 10-12 reps

• Dumbbell Tricep Extensions – 15 reps

• Upper body rotational stretch (rest exercise)

Boxing and Jumping – 4-5 sets with:

• 2 minutes boxing

• 1 minute skip

• 2 x 50 meter sprints

• Rest 1.5 minutes

Core work and stretching

• Abdominal Plank on Elbows – 1 minute

• Side Plank on Elbow – 1 minute each side

• Basic curl focuses on pelvic control

• Foot, leg and hip stretches

You May Also Like