Men’s Health Hangs Out in Iceland With Game of Thrones Strongman Hafthór Björnsson

Lots of Ribeye steak, white rice and tattoos

The May issue of Men’s Health, on newsstands starting today, bears the full stamp of new editor in chief Matt Bean. As he explained to WWD’s Alexandra Steigrad, each issue moving forward will adopt a theme.

The May issue focus is “Strength,” and in that regard, Bean and co. have found the perfect emblem: Game of Thrones star and 29-year-old physical specimen Hafthór Björnsson, who plays Gregor “the Mountain” Clegane on the HBO series. Per the profile piece by Josh Dean, Björnsson is currently training in an attempt to win two titles: the Arnold Schwarzenegger Strongman Classic and the World’s Strongest Man. All on the shoulders of a key mentor:

Björnsson met [girlfriend] Andrea at his old gym, Jakabol, which translates to “nest of giants” and has a sign on the wall that says “no pussies” in Icelandic. It was founded by Björnsson’s mentor, the Icelandic strongman Magnus ver Magnusson, and is the place where Jon Pall Sigmarsson, the first-ever four-time World’s Strongest Man winner, died while working out.

Björnsson points to a Sigmarsson quote tattooed in Icelandic on his right shin. “It says, ‘There is no reason to be alive if you can’t do deadlift,’” Björnsson explains. “He said that while he was deadlifting, setting a record. Then he died at a very young age.” While deadlifting.

To prepare for those two title runs, the 409-pound 29-year-old is inhaling a daily diet of some 10,000 calories, starting with a big breakfast and following with five helpings throughout the day of Ribeye steak and white rice. Read the rest of the piece here.

P.S. The next best thing to a visit to Iceland and Thor’s Power Gym, where Björnsson now trains, may be this motivational coffee cup available via the strongman’s website.

Previously on Fishbowl:
GQ Magazine Writer Has a Grand Old Time in Switzerland With the Resurgent Roger Federer