You all know who Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is, right? Oh, you know, that monstrosity you’ve seen in Game of Thrones. The guy that shoved Prince Oberyn Martell’s eyes neatly in the back of his skull with his bare hands. To be a mountain, you need to have a mountain workout.
Ever wonder what it takes to become a behemoth like “the mountain”? Well, surprisingly, the whole diet and workout of Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson are pretty well documented.
This blog takes a deep dive into The Mountain workout, diet and what it means to be compared to a body mass and not a mere human being.
History of “The Mountain”
Childhood and Younger Days
You all know Gregor Clegane and how he is the most feared man in all the land (and rightfully so, I mean have you seen the dude).
But not a lot of people know who Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is, and where he came from. Hafþór was born in Iceland and lumbered at a whopping 6’9”, weighing in at 440 pounds, if that’s not a monster than I don’t know what is.
He is 30 years old and is known as “Thor” in his Strongman circle, starting his career as a basketball player. Given his height and natural talent, he could’ve gone pro, but a major knee injury stopped him dead in his tracks.
From Man to Monster
His hunt for a new sport led him to the strongman circle, and in just six years he was the highlight of every competition.
He started competing at the age of 19, and with the help of Magnus Ver Magnusson, four times World Strongman Title, he went from being 154 pounds straight to 440 pounds in two years.
It is no secret that the technique counts for a lot when you’re training for a strongman competition, but the diet and workout are just as important. This is where The Mountain workout was born.
From 154 pounds to 440 pounds, it begs the question, how big is “big enough”? On an interview with GQ, this is what he had to say about this question;
“Getting bigger isn’t a big deal for me. I don’t want to get bigger. But having a nicer body and being stronger is definitely something I’m aiming for.”
The Mountain’s Diet
With the help of his nutritionist, Farthjálfun Valgeirs Gauta, Hafþór has a diet plan that provides him with all the essential nutrients that he needs to have superhuman strength in his muscles.
He has a strict “7 times a day” diet that he follows for six days and have one cheat day. He believes that you need to be careful on your cheat day as well, so not to hinder your training the next day. Now that’s what you call dedication.
As scary and over the top this may seem, this is what Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson eats daily.
Unreal? There’s more.
He consumes 30 to 35 glasses of water every day and makes sure to have two glasses of water before each meal.
He also has two servings of glutamine and one serving of creatine both before and after a workout, three scoops of blended whey protein immediately after the workout and 4 square of flapjacks, 1 hour before the workout. That made me full just writing about it.
The Mountain’s Workout
Magnus Ver Magnusson designed this routine, but Hafþór has been tweaking and evolving this workout as his strength and body develops.
As opposed to the traditional split workout, he opts to work out three times a week, making sure he targets his full body each day. On the weekends, he trains for his strongman events.
Here are some scary stats associated with Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson
- Weight: 440 Pounds
- Height: 6’9”
- Deadlift: 450 kg
- Squat: 420 kg
- Bench Press: 360 kg
- Log Lift: 210 kg
All these achievements may seem superhuman, but all pale in comparison when we talk about the 1,000-year-old, Viking’s record.
Legend says that 50 men helped Viking Orm Storulfsson get the giant redwood log in place on his back. The log has said to have weighed around 1,500 pounds. The holder managed three steps, and on the third step, his back broke.
When asked about the record, this is what Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson had to say:
“I had to take at least four steps to break the record. And I remember when I went under the bar, and I tried to pick it up, and I felt the pressure going from my neck through my body and straight to my toes. I felt like my body was going to collapse, so i took a break, a good breath, went under again. I took a step and felt my back was strong. It was going to hold, so I carefully took another step. I faced straight ahead, more pain in my back. My third step, it felt like my body was going to break. I took the fourth step, and I realized I broke the record. After that, I felt my body was quite fucked up. [laughs] It did heal up quite fast after the record. I did celebrate with my friends, and I ate a lot.”
He is a beast, and it is justice to call it the mountain workout, based purely on the time and effort it takes to get through the workout.
This workout isn’t built for an average person to try, but it’s good to know that it isn’t impossible. The fact that there is an actual documented way to transform from man to monster!
If the Mountain workout is just a bit too extreme for you, check out some workouts that suit you better, here.