Winter is coming. Game of Thrones, Season 6, is upon us. And if you’re a fan of the HBO series, you’ve no doubt already learned of the fate of one of the biggest and scariest TV characters we’ve ever known, Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane. Fans of the show witnessed him take quite a beating in season 5, and most believed he had perished, much to fans’ dismay. Alas, his screen presence was too much for the show’s writers to ignore, so they resurrected him at the end of season 5 in a new form, known as Sir Robert Strong, saved by medicine, silent for the time being, and ready for a trial-by-combat that’ll set the fate of control of the entire kingdom of Westeros.
Outside of the show, actor Hafthór Júlíus "Thor" Björnsson is one of the biggest and baddest forces ever to grace the screen. On screen, he’s a brutal man, conquering groups of men with his sword and pure brute strength. In real life, he cuts down his adversaries in a different way, competing in World’s Strongest Man events each year! Yes, the strength he shows on screen is just as real when the cameras shut off, and he trains and eats in a manner that is setting the internet on fire this week!
Now, if you’re also a fan of World’s Strongest Man competitions, you no doubt already know that the 2016 WSM contest competition is coming up. Björnsson has finished in the top 3 for the past four years, but he’s never actually won the event. Fans of WSM, as well as of GOT, are rooting for him in a big way. With Game of Thrones starting a new season, and WSM starting shortly, it seemed like the right time for the world to notice a quick Facebook post from Björnsson. And it did!
The internet is abuzz this week as Björnsson released his daily nutritional plan, as he trains hard and prepares for this year’s World’s Strongest Man competition. Björnsson eats a lot of food, as you can imagine. And for most readers, this article is good for a quick laugh. For those of us who are serious weight trainers, with the goals of building new muscle mass and strength (which Björnsson has, in great amounts), , and perhaps even applying it to our own diet.
Here is what Björnsson revealed he has been eating each day, via Facebook:
That’s a lot of food. Calorie go into the thousands, and it’s more food than some untrained people will eat in a WEEK! Let’s look at some dietary practices he employs. He eats a lot of beef, chicken, salmon, eggs and protein powder, for a complete amino acid profile, and to keep his diet extremely varied. For carbohydrates, he lives on healthy options such as potatoes (lots of them!), bananas, cereal, berries, and lots of vegetables for fiber to keep all that food moving through the Mountain’s system. Fat needs are met with egg yolks, avocado, almonds, and more. He also uses supplements several times each day.
Björnsson’s good nutritional practices go beyond the macronutrients. As noted, fiber plays a huge role in digesting all that food, and Björnsson consumes fiber with each meal of the day. He drinks a great deal of water, and adds juice to consume even more calories. That’s right – he has a problem getting enough calories each day, even with all that food. This is because the food sources he chooses are very clean foods. Björnsson skips the drive thru, skips the cheese, the bacon, the sauces, the cookies and other junk which some “bulking” athletes consume in order to reach their desired number of calories each day. No, Björnsson reaches that number, but he does it by consuming extremely clean foods, which is very smart.
Björnsson is a professional strongman with the athleticism to have also been a professional basketball player in the past. Fast, strong, with plenty of grace and stamina. He’s the very definition of “genetic freak”, so obviously, his training, diet, and performance abilities aren’t going to be something you will attain. However, applying some of his practices in the kitchen may just allow you to make huge gains in reaching your own muscle and strength goals. You don’t need as much food as him, since you aren’t 6 foot 9 inches tall, and 243 pounds (2.06 meters tall and 110 kg), but some reduced version of his diet might just help you
Start by checking out his diet, and cutting every portion size in HALF. Calculate the number of calories you’re consuming each day, and give it a whirl! It might be too much food still, at which point you can scale back the calories. Or you may need to bump it up. The important thing is that you’re consuming CLEAN sources of calories, enjoying a wide variety of protein and carb sources while consuming adequate water and protein to keep the food digesting. Good luck!