Hafthor Bjornsson ate everything he was supposed to while growing up, and then some.

The 6’9”, 400-pound Icelandic strongman, more commonly known as ‘The Mountain’ from Game of Thrones, is as strong as he looks.

Actually, he’s stronger.

The Icelandic strongman didn’t get his start in the sport through the traditional sense of powerlifting or strength training, but rather basketball. After suffering a few ankle injuries and finally a substantial knee injury, he chose to explore other options and was drawn towards the sport after meeting fellow Icelandic strongman Magnús Ver Magnússon at his gym in 2008.

Bjornsson has been 'Iceland's Strongest Man' every year since 2011.

How 'The Mountain' got so big

Bjornsson attributes his strength to a combination of factors such as eating properly (and enough), getting the right amount of sleep and training effectively, saying “It’s not just all about the training. It’s all around: You have to train well, sleep well, eat well. If you don’t eat, you don’t grow. The biggest changes were that I didn’t do much cardio anymore, and I put more food into my diet. It’s just like constantly work for me: I have to eat every two hours to maintain my body mass. It is not easy. When I’m filming, I always have to have breaks to eat.”

It’s one thing to get that big and strong, but it’s another thing to stay there.

As it is with everyone else, maintaining your physical health and fitness is a challenging feat to take on. Devouring anywhere from 6-8 meals per day, Bjornsson’s diet consists of over 10,000 calories – mixed between a lot of meat, fish, sweet potatoes, almonds, and greens like avocado, spinach, and broccoli. He needs fast and easy carbs, so in essence, he eats what he wants.

Shattering records

In 2015 at the Worlds Strongest Viking competition in Norway, Bjornsson shattered a 1,000-year-old (yes, you read that correctly, one thousand years) record by carrying a 1,433lbs (649kg), 30-foot long log on his shoulders for five steps. An impressive feat on its own, but what makes it even more incredible is that the feat was previously held by fellow Icelander Orm Storulfsson, who carried a log weighing over 650lbs (less than half of what Bjornsson carried) for three steps before his back reportedly broke.

Most recently, Bjornsson set a new world record in the deadlift in the 2018 Arnold Strongman Classic, pulling up 1,041lbs (472kg) on his final lift.

That's some serious weight.

Game of Thrones

Even while filming Game of Thrones he has to take a break every two hours to refuel, which isn’t too surprising. It’s also not too surprising considering some of the locations that Game of Thrones is filmed, such as Spain, Malta, or Croatia, where daytime temperatures can reach 40+ degrees. Combine that with the weight of the armor he wears while filming as well as his 6’9”, 400-pound frame – and he excretes more sweat in two hours than the average person might in a month of exercise.

'The Mountain' became an immediate fan-favorite in Game of Thrones for his remarkable size, and the fact he obliterated Prince Oberyn's head by crushing his skull with his hands.

A scene that will forever be ingrained in Game of Thrones fans worldwide. It might be too early to determine, but 'The Mountain' could play an important role in the war against the White Walkers.

Bjornsson isn’t too worried about getting bigger, but he is working hard to become stronger, which is a scary scenario for other strongman competitors (and foes like Prince Oberyn).