Hafthór Júlíus Björnsson, better known as “The Mountain” from HBO’s Game of Thrones, is a giant of a man. The 6-foot-9, 400-pound behemoth has earned the title of Europe’s Strongest Man twice, but he wasn’t always the biggest, baddest dude on the block.
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In his early 20s, Björnsson was no mountain. Yes, he was tall, but he was nowhere near the size he is today.
In a recent interview with GQ, Björnsson said he was always taller than his peers, but he didn’t gain mass until he quit playing basketball. After dealing with several ankle injuries, he took a break from hoops to heal up, and that’s when he discovered his love for weight training.
It transformed him into the beast we know today.
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When he started, he weighed 230 pounds. Today? Closer to 400. Talk about a transformation! To build all that muscle and gain all that weight, Björnsson ate a lot—six to eight meals per day.
He told GQ, “I eat a lot of sweet potatoes, a lot of meat, fish, chicken, good fats like cocoa butter, almonds. I love greens, like spinach, avocado, broccoli. I eat very healthy overall—but because of my weight, I need fast carbs, easy carbs. So maybe before a training session or after a training session, I eat what I want.”
That’s three easy reps of 396 pounds with band resistance on an incline bench. Let’s just say anything is possible. For the full interview and to glean more insight on Björnsson’s transformation, go here.