One of the most highly anticipated parts of Thor: Love and Thunder among fans—other than the fact that Chris Hemsworth will be fully nude in at least one scene—is the return of Jane Foster, the astrophysicist love interest last seen in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World. Not only will this new movie reunite Thor and Jane, but it will place her character squarely in the action, adapting the “Mighty Thor” storyline from the comics in which she takes on the powers and title of the God of Thunder.
When Natalie Portman was first approached for Love and Thunder, she was asked to get “as big as possible” in much the same way as many male star who is playing a superhero. Judging from the photos of Portman’s godly biceps that have been circulating online prior to the release of the movie, it looks like she fulfilled the assignment. Hemsworth himself has described her body transformation as “otherworldly.”
And it turns out she took the job very seriously, training two hours every day for 10 months in the lead-up to filming.
In a recent interview with Variety, Portman’s trainer Naomi Pendergast outlined the workout program she designed for the actress, which included four months of conditioning in order to sufficiently develop her fitness before safely loading up her workouts to create the aesthetic arm and abdominal definition that the movie required. She also explained that they had to fit it first around the pandemic and then around her busy schedule, which often meant conducting sessions at Portman’s home as early as 4:30 a.m.
“We worked on building her upper body three times a week, which included arm, back, chest exercises, boxing, skipping and running,” Pendergast said. “The other two days were dedicated to injury prevention work, which included Pilates-based exercises, stretching, release work and balance exercises.”
On an average day, Portman’s workouts would comprise supersets to build strength in her arms, and then a range of planks and stretches to target her core:
- Dumbbell row supersetted with bodyweight offset pushup (10 slow reps each)
- Lat stretch (rest exercise)
- Dumbbell reverse fly supersetted with dumbbell seated shoulder press (10 slow reps each)
- Back stretch (rest exercise)
- Standing dumbbell arm raise (20 slow reps) supersetted with assisted pullups (6 to 8 slow reps)
- Roll up (rest exercise)
- Dumbbell bicep curl (10 to 12) supersetted with dumbbell triceps press (15)2 minute boxing (4 to 5 rounds)
- 1 minute skipping (4 to 5 rounds)
- 2 x 50m sprints
- Rest 1.5 minutes
- Abdominal plank on elbows (1 minute)
- Side plank on elbow (1 minute each side)
- Basic curl focused on pelvic control
- Foot, leg and hip stretches
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