Duffy Gaver specializes in sculpting actors’ physiques to prep for their biggest roles — at least, when it comes to their muscles. Making someone look good shirtless is one thing, but his latest assignment raised the bar into the heavens. His job: Transform actor Chris Hemsworth into “Thor,” the Norse god.

“Brad Pitt as Achilles was half-god. Does that count?” jokes Gaver, who helped Pitt shape up for “Troy.” So he wasn’t all that daunted by the idea of training Hemsworth, even though the actor had no real experience lifting weights. It helped, of course, that the Aussie is a naturally athletic surfer with a competitive streak who was willing to put in the necessary work.

“There’s no magic to it,” Gaver explains. Just proper diet and rest, and hour-and-a-half sessions with seriously heavy weights five days a week. “110-pound dumbbells made it into the workout often,” he says. And they did plenty of reps of Gaver’s favorite exercise: the pull-up. “The bigger you get, the harder they get,” he adds.

Bench presses, however, didn’t make it onto Hemsworth’s schedule. “From a functional sense and an aesthetic sense, it does nothing for you,” Gaver says. “I think one mistake a lot of guys make is they do a lot of chest development. It’s an odd look for a guy.” And a god.

Photo courtesy Paramount Pictures