This Is How the Mountain from ‘Game of Thrones’ Maintains His Muscle Mass

Fans of George R. R. Martin’s book series, “A Song of Ice and Fire,” have long known that the character of Gregor Clegane, known more commonly as “The Mountain,” is true to his name. Simply put, he’s a character that is supposed to be massive and mighty, seeming like a literal mountain of a man. The showrunners behind Game of Thrones (which uses “A Song of Ice and Fire” as its source material) had some issues capturing this character on screen, however.

When he first appeared in season one, “The Mountain” was portrayed by Conan Stevens, who is large if not incredibly imposing. For the second season, a new actor was selected. This time, Ian Whyte took on the role. Although he was certainly tall and foreboding, especially when towering over Arya Stark in Harrenhal, he lacked the qualities of a man who could crush a skull with his bare hands.

For that reason, we can only assume that the showrunners decided to make one last casting change when they selected Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson for the role. As anyone who’s been watching the show can attest, they undoubtedly made the right call, as Hafþór is one of the most physically imposing people ever captured on camera.

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A photo posted by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (@thorbjornsson) on

Who Is Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson?

Standing at a height of 6-feet and 9-inches tall, Hafþór actually began his sporting career as a basketball player. However, a knee injury suffered at the age of 20 resulted in a career change, moving him off of the court and into the weight room.

As a native of Iceland, Hafþór began to compete in a number of strongman competitions in his native land between 2008 and 2010 before eventually branching out to the World’s Strongest Man competition in 2011. In his first go, he took sixth place, and eventually went on to notch a runner-up ranking in 2014. This was less than a year after he was cast on the HBO show.

How Strong Is Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson?

He might not have notched a championship in the World’s Strongest Man competition, but the dude is plenty mighty! That’s why he’s taken two first places and a second place in the past three years of Europe’s Strongest Man competition.

With straps, he’s capable of deadlifting 990 pounds, and he can also bench press 485 pounds for a total of 8 repetitions. His tire deadlift comes in at 994 pounds, and his log press comes in at 440 pounds. Most impressively, though, he was able to carry a 1,433 pound log for five whole steps. That’s absolutely incredible!

With stats like these, you might be wondering how Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who we will henceforth refer to as The Mountain, is able to maintain his muscle mass. Leaving the training aside, lets take a look at his absolutely ridiculous diet.

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