Chris Hemsworth’s personal trainer and best friend Luke Zocchi has revealed the secret to losing persistent belly fat – and the biggest mistakes you’re making at the gym.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Luke also shared why you might not be getting the results you want, and whether female clients should train differently to men.
‘The lowest part of the belly is often the last place to go when you are training,’ Luke told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Even with myself, sometimes, it’s a pain to get rid of.’
Chris Hemsworth’s personal trainer and best friend Luke Zocchi (pictured) revealed the surprising reasons you can’t lose belly fat – and the biggest mistakes women make at the gym
Luke has worked with the likes of best friend Chris Hemsworth (pictured), as well as A-list actress Cate Blanchett
Luke said you might be trying to ‘spot reduce’ fat too much, and instead you need to start doing total body movements to lose fat as a whole
So why are you doing all the ‘right’ things but still can’t ditch the extra spare tyre?
What are the reasons you can’t lose belly fat?
* You’re focusing on spot reducing more than targeting your overall body.
* You’re eating in too long of a window.
* You’re putting too much of an emphasis on training, when 70 per cent of it is diet.
* You’re doing too much cardio.
Firstly, Luke said you might be trying to ‘spot reduce’ too much.
‘You can’t actually spot reduce fat, much as many people might tell you crunches are great for the abs,’ he said.
‘We have to lose fat as a whole, and the best way to do this is through movements that really engage the whole body.’
Think squats and bear crawls, the 35-year-old said.
Luke also said you might be hanging onto your stomach fat for longer than you want because you’re not giving your body long enough breaks from food.
‘After cutting out processed sugars and being in a calorie deficit, one of the best things you can do to step up your weight loss is try fasting,’ he said.
Luke recommends the 16/8 approach – whereby you avoid eating any food for 16 hours, and consume all three of your meals in an eight-hour window.
‘Fasting makes you stricter and more accountable,’ he said.
Luke (pictured) said you might be hanging onto your stomach fat for longer than you want because you are eating in too long of a window – you should eat your meals within eight hours
‘Cate (pictured) was incredibly busy at the time of filming, but we found that she responded really well to short, sharp, high intensity 20 minute sessions,’ Luke said
He also said many people put too much emphasis on the training to lose weight, whereas it’s primarily down to diet.
‘Diet is 70 per cent of weight loss and sculpted abs,’ Luke said.
‘It’s all about eating as many wholefoods and non-processed food items as possible.’
The 35-year-old said men and women do not need to train that differently, but he said he did coach Cate Blanchett and Chris Hemsworth in different ways for their movie roles.
‘Cate was incredibly busy at the time of filming, but we found that she responded really well to short, sharp, high intensity 20 minute sessions,’ Luke said.
‘With Chris, it’s more about that traditional bodybuilder approach. He would lift heavy weights, then have a small break and continue.’
The 35-year-old (pictured) said men and women do not on the whole train differently, but he said he did train Cate Blanchett and Chris Hemsworth in different ways for their movie roles
Speaking about the main mistakes women make in the gym, Luke said the biggest was trying to lift too much weight at once.
What are the main mistakes women make at the gym?
* Breaking form to lift heavy weights.
* Trying an exercise just because it’s trendy.
* Focusing on specific targeted exercises such as squats.
* Doing too much cardio, which is a last resort for weight loss.
‘Breaking form to lift heavy is no good,’ he said.
‘A lot of people want their gains to come overnight, but it takes time to get strong and lean.’
He also said that trying an exercise just because it’s trendy doesn’t necessarily mean it will work.
‘Basic squats and lifts are still as good as the crazy exercises you see popping up on Instagram,’ Luke said.
‘There’s a reason people have been mastering these basics for years.’
However, you don’t have to just focus on squats if you want a lifted bum – instead Luke said you should make glute bridges your best friend.
‘Cardio is a last resort for fat loss,’ he added.
‘Body-weight exercises and a good diet are the best approaches for a toned and gym-honed body.’
Speaking about the main mistakes women make in the gym, Luke (pictured training) said the biggest is trying to lift too much weight at once
Lastly, Luke shared the exercise dietary tips he gives his A-list clients when they need to get in shape.
‘It’s all about simplifying things,’ he said.
‘A quick 20-minute workout is as good as a one-hour slog.
‘Vice versa, with food, it’s all about three meals a day, ideally within an eight-hour window, and filling your diet with plenty of wholefoods and lean protein.’
Luke said you don’t need to eat six small meals a day in order to lose weight, three is perfectly fine.
‘Another tip I always give is to time your carb intake,’ he said.
‘Carbs get a bad wrap, but if you time them around your training and fuel up on them right after finishing a weight-based routine, then they can work in your favour.’
Luke (pictured) often trains on an empty stomach, but then re-fuels with the likes of sweet potato and brown rice to feed his muscles
Luke often trains on an empty stomach, but then re-fuels with the likes of sweet potato and brown rice to feed his muscles.
‘I favour a realistic process towards eating and exercising,’ he said.
‘Every once in a while you’re going to experience a blowout and this will annoy you but don’t put yourself down about it.
‘When you beat yourself up about eating pizza and drinking tonnes of alcohol, then you put your brain under more stress than you would your body from eating the food.
‘It’s all about balance.’
Luke Zocchi has partnered up with W Brisbane to bring 20-minute workouts to hotel guests who want to get fit, but might be short on time.