fitness

ROAD TEST: "I tried Chris Hemsworth's fitness app Centr for a week to see what it's like."

Update: March 23, 2020.

Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth has announced he’ll be offering free access to his health, fitness and wellbeing program Centr.com for a six-week period so the good, self-isolated people of the world can stay active during our new COVID-19 reality.

Between March 23 and March 31, 2020, you can sign up via the Centr.com website (you must sign up on the website, THEN sign in on the app) to receive a six-week free membership and access to the app’s workouts, recipes and mindfulness activities.

“I know there’s a lot of fear, anxiety and stress in the world during this time. We hope that by making Centr available to everyone for this extended period, we can help even more people stay strong, healthy and find a sense of calm at a time when we all need that the most,” Hemsworth announced in a media statement and on Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Hi there all, during this period of self isolation and uncertainty, I am offering six weeks of my health and fitness program @Centrfit for FREE! Go to centr.com and sign-up.  Centr was founded to make health and happiness accessible to all, and I hope that this will make that access even easier during the current global health crisis. I think now more than ever is when we need to focus on what I believe to be the 3 key pillars to living healthier and happier- movement, nutrition, and mental fitness. In recent weeks Centr has seen a groundswell of support from our customers and communities, with thousands of members around the world coming together and sharing how the program has brought them positivity and support during these difficult times. Available at centr.com only, for new users only.

A post shared by Chris Hemsworth (@chrishemsworth) on

But what is using the Centr app fitness program really like? I gave it a spin for a week when it first launched in 2019. You can read my road test of Centr below.

***

Keen to try Thor’s fitness app that promises to bring the best of his Byron Bay lifestyle of cooking on the beach and meditating under palm trees to you? Here’s what you need to know:

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Centr is an app and is currently available via iOS app on your iPhone, Apple Watch and online.
  • Pricing starts from $19.99 for one month, $47.99 for three, and $119.99 for a year.
  • You usually get a seven-day free trial to give it a go, although as mentioned, Hemsworth is currently offering a six-week trial.
  • The app includes workouts, recipes, mindfulness and meditation activities and bonus content around wellness, fitness and lifestyle.
  • My trainer team includes A-list trainers Gunnar Peterson and Luke Zocchi, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor stunt double Bobby Holland Hanton, Aussie trainer Tiffiny Hall, a guy called Da Rulk who trains Navy SEALs, firefighters and Special Forces soldiers, Victoria’s Secret boxing trainer Michael Olajide Jr., and Aussie health chef Dan Churchill, to name a few.

Promos for the app included synchronised Women’s Health and Men’s Health magazine covers for Hemsworth and his wife and actress Elsa Pataky, and a viral video of Hemsworth doing squats in the ocean (check it out below, post continues after video).

Video via Centr

All that’s great in theory, but what is it actually like to use Chris Hemsworth’s app?

First impression: This app is shmick.

You can tell it was likely made by a small army of well-paid app developers and computer programmers wearing headsets.

You’re also greeted with a shirtless Chris Hemsworth every time you open the app, which is… helpful.

chris hemsowrth app
Morning, Chris. Image: Supplied.

The first thing Centr asked me to do when I logged in was to set a goal. Ugh.

OK, predictably, I set mine to lose weight, but you can also choose from 'get fit and toned' and 'build muscle'.

ADVERTISEMENT

After inputting your height and weight (both of which are optional to provide), you then select your workout difficulty (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and your meal plan type (regular, pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan).

chris hemsowrth app
Another shirtless Chris Hemsworth, but this time he wants to get to know me. Image: Supplied.
chris hemsowrth app
Oh hey Elsa. I thought it was just going to be Chris and I today... Image: Supplied.
chris hemsowrth app
I am clearly a beginner. Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT
chris hemsowrth app
SO MANY OPTIONS. Image: Supplied.

Once you've tweaked your preferences, you're given your own weekly lifestyle plan. Each day has a workout, recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and mindfulness activity.

Food-wise, the app has a shopping list feature so all the ingredients you'll need for the meals in your planner come up in a list - on my first day, my planner wanted me to have an Almond, Date and Banana Smoothie for breaky, a Warm Grain and Kale Salad for lunch (do I haaaaave to?) and a Barbecued Vegetable Salad with Haloumi and Pesto for dinner.

ADVERTISEMENT

My first thought when scanning my shopping list was: this sh*t's going to be expensive.

Some of the recipes allow for leftovers, which your planner will tell you to eat the next day. But eating a different meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner for seven days requires a lot of ingredients.

You do have the option to sub out and switch in different recipes by swiping left (tres Tinder-esque), so I tweaked my planner to have the same breakfast every day Monday-Friday and double-ups for lunches and dinners so I didn't have to buy as much stuff. Win.

chris hemsowrth app
I was meant to eat this. I didn't. Image: Supplied.
chris hemsowrth app
I was meant to eat this. Surprisingly, I did. Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT
chris hemsowrth app
This is what the recipe pages look like. Image: Supplied.
chris hemsowrth app
Here's my shopping list. So helpful, Chris. Image: Supplied.
chris hemsworth app
Not feeling sushi bowl? Thank u next. Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT

Then there's the 'Friday Reveal'. Every Friday, you get a secret 'bonus piece of content to keep you motivated'.

So, I woke up on Friday, and would you believe, Chris Hemsworth popped up in my backyard wearing a sleeveless gym shirt, still flushed from his workout, to make me a spirulina smoothie.

Only it wasn't my backyard - it was his backyard, presumably in Byron Bay, and he made the smoothie for... himself. But he filmed it all and sent it to me and the million other people using the app to motivate us. So sweet.

If I'm on the app long enough, I wonder if one day he'll show up on my doorstep and we'll sip our spirulina smoothies out on the balcony together. I'm getting ahead of myself.

chris hemsworth app
Chris is so cheeky, isn't he? Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT
chris hemsworth app
What a lovely Friday treat. Image: Supplied.

Back to the workouts.

I started my week of living like Chris Hemsworth with a terrifying HIIT HIRT MMA: TOTAL BODY SHRED workout with Tiffany Hall.

Righto Tiff. Sounds like a great idea for someone who's spent the last several months binge-watching TV on the couch.

You can choose to do the workouts ' self-guided' with no motivational pep talks from the trainers, or 'coached' with verbal instructions and some 'you can do it' and 'keep going'-type speeches. I imagine people who go to a gym would use the self-guided option - I logged into the app on my laptop to do the session at home so it was bigger on the screen. The workouts also have a warm-up and cool-down section too.

My planner said I was meant to do a 10-minute body scan meditation, but... I didn't.

The workouts are pretty intense. There are a lot of MMA/karate-type workouts that require you to make noises when you punch invisible things, which isn't really my thing. But I didn't hate the HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts. Only thing, you will need equipment for some of them, which means spending more money on things if you don't have access to a gym.

chris hemsworth app
GAH. Well this is intimidating. Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT
chris hemsworth app
Correct. I am tired. Image: Supplied.
chris hemsworth app
My workout space does not look this chic. Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT
chris hemsworth app
Oh. This was the meditation I was meant to do. Image: Supplied.

And so went my week using Chris Hemsworth's fitness app. Put simply: I followed some of the workouts and recipes in my planner, and some I didn't do because it's a lot.

Am I Thor? No. Do I look like Elsa Pataky? No. Am I married to Chris Hemsworth. No. Are Chris Hemsworth and I mates? Also no, but he did make me a virtual smoothie.

Can this app help you schedule in and stick to at-home workouts? Sure, but the biggest question is this: Is Chris Hemsworth, his wife and his cool friendship group of worldly fitness and wellness experts packaged up into a slick app actually going to physically make me work out and eat better?

Maybe. I don't think Chris Hemsworth can help me with that bit.

This post has been updated, it was originally published in February, 2019. 

Have you thought about trying Centr? Would you take fitness advice from Chris Hemsworth?

00:00 / ???