Hafþór Björnsson is a retired former Strongman athlete from Iceland. He was the 2018 World’s Strongest Man champion and has won many major Strongman titles. Bjornsson is also known for playing the role of Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in the HBO series Game of Thrones for five seasons. This is his complete profile, biography, training regime, diet plan, and more.
|Full name: Hafthor Bjornsson|
|323 lbs||6’9” (206 cm)||33 years|
|Date of birth||Era||Nationality|
|November 26, 1988||2010, 2020||Icelandic|
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson was born in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Bjornsson is a descendant of very tall family members. His father stands 6’8″ while his mother is also very tall, and his grandfather even taller than this father at 207 cm (6 ft 9 1⁄2 in).
Hafthor grew up working on a farm with his grandfather where he worked hard all day. He would have to pick up heavy stones and rocks of which he once jokingly said was the start of his Strongman training. His grandfather
Reaching a towering height of 6’9″, the future Strongman legend competed in the sport of basketball in his earlier years, playing for the Icelandic junior national teams from 2004-2006.
He was the center for Division I club Breiðablik in 2004 and the very next year, joined FSu Selfoss in Icelandic division I before transferring to another division, Úrvalsdeild powerhouse KR in 2006. The same year, he was part of Iceland’s U-18 National team in Division A of U18 European Championship.
However, the young and very ambitious athlete would eventually succumb to injuries and had to be sidelined.
He’d later return to FSu Selfoss but could not compete anymore due to being injured which would force him to retire from basketball at age 20.
Start of Strongman
Fate would lead Hafthor in another direction and little did know he’d become one of the most successful Strongman athletes in the sport’s history.
“Thor” began his weight training journey at 17-18 years old and being the genetic freak that he is, made incredible progress very quickly. He attributes his hard work and discipline to making such amazing improvements and he was, as he would say himself, obsessed!
While he would have help from coaches, Thor knew it was ultimately up to him to do what it takes to become a champion.
“You can have the best coach in the world, but that doesn’t make you a champion. You have to work for it yourself.”
Training is much different nowadays for the retired Strongman athlete. When he was competing against the strongest men on Earth, he would have to lift crazy amounts of weight. However, his focus is a lot different now, having been preparing for his boxing fight with Eddie Hall.
We’ve included one of his Strongman and boxing workout routines below.
Strongman training routine
When competing, Thor’s training would vary from session to session because making improvements is a process and requires lots of strategy. Here’s an example push-focused workout session before 2019 World’s Strongest Man.
Warmups (2 rounds)
Before presses, Thor will do some warmups for the back muscles that assist in presses, and the shoulder muscles.
- Cable wide grip lat pulldown
- Seated dumbbell press
- Cable standing external rotation
Medley press training
- Overhead log press warm ups – 62kg/137 lbs, 82kg/181 lbs, 102kg/225 lbs, 122kg/269 lbs, 142kg/313 lbs, 162kg/357 lbs
- Axle press warm ups – 78kg/172 lbs, 118kg/260 lbs, 138kg/304 lbs, 158kg/348 lbs
- Overhead log press – 170kg/375 lbs,
- Dumbbell overhead press – 80kg/176 lbs, 105kg/231 lbs
- Dumbbell chest press – 41kg/90 lbs ea, 50kg/110 lbs ea superset w/dumbbell chest-supported row – 45kg/100 lbs ea
- Cable face pulls sitting on the ground
- Cable triceps pushdowns
We also included Thor’s last workouts session before 2019 WSM below.
Squat, Yoke and Farmers Walk and grip training
- Safety bar squat – 82kg/181 lbs, 132kg/291 lbs, 182kg/401 lbs, 232kg/511 lbs, 282 kg/622 lbs, 332 kg/732 lbs
- 242kg/524 lbs – 1 set x 8 reps
- Yoke – 192kg/423 lbs, 232kg/512 lbs, 273kg/602 lbs, 314kg/692 lbs, 355kg/782 lbs, 396kg/872 lbs, 446kg/982 lbs, 476kg/1049 lbs, 396kg/872 lbs
- Farmers walk – 90kg/198 lbs, 100kg/220 lbs, 110kg/243 lbs, 110kg/243 lbs
- Static holds for grip strength – 150kg/331 lbs
In a recent session, Thor took us through a full day of how he eats and trains everyday. Here are the details of his session.
Before the workout, Hafthor wraps his hands and then does and then does warm ups. After that, he will work on boxing skills that includes movement, footwork, and improving his many areas.
Next he does cardio using a stationary bike. His routine involves going slow for 30 seconds, moderate for 20 seconds, and very fast for 10 seconds. He’ll then rest for three minutes and repeat this for 3-6 more times.
After boxing training and cardio, Thor hits the weights.
Upper body weight training routine
- Seated dumbbell shoulder press x 5 reps
- Cable lat pulldown 3 sets x 8 reps
- Dumbbell biceps Zottman curls
- Cable rope overhead triceps extensions
- Cable rope face pull 4 sets x 8 reps
After resistance training, Thor hops in the infrared sauna for 15 minutes and then into an ice bath for 15 minutes of which he is not too thrilled about.
Diet and Nutrition
Weighing a colossal 400+ lbs during his days competing in Strongman, the big man would consume a massive amount of calories. He’s shared his 10,000 calories per day diet during preparation for the 2020 Arnold Strongman Classic.
Let’s dig in, shall we?…
6 eggs, lots of bacon, three pieces of French toast
Rice, spinach and Bison
During cardio, Thor will have an orange.
Bison and rice
Carrots, rice, steak, spinach, chicken broth
Rice, bison, spinach and carrots
Cheat meal at restaurant that included steak, chicken, wings, potatoes, and fries
Thor Current Diet
During his preparation for the boxing matchup with rival Eddie Hall, Thor made a lot of changes to his diet and training, dropping a lot of body weight in the process.
250g flank steak, two eggs, 100g strawberries, 50g blueberries, and 60g oats
250g beef tenderloin, 140g rice, and 100g spinach
100g spinach, 225g cod, 250g potatoes and chicken stock
224g Salmon, 100g rice, 100g zucchini
250g of yogurt, 30g nut butter, 100g berries
Before breakfast Thor takes liver and blood pressure support. Then after breakfast, he’ll take Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and many other nutrients for health. After meal two, he takes kidney and inflammation supplements.
Career and Competition
Hafthor Bjornsson is one of the greatest strength sports athletes in history and has become an icon in the sport. His accolades in and out of Strongman will be talked about for many years to come, and at only 33 years of age, he may just be getting started.
In 2008, Thor met four-time World’s Strongest Man winner Magnús Ver Magnússon at his gym Jakaból and the legend saw potential in young Hafthor. It was obvious that he was born for the sport evident by his rapid success, including winning several shows just two years later in 2010, one of which was Strongest Man in Iceland.
To make it more impressive, he placed second behind future 4x World’s Strongest Man champion Brian Shaw at the Jón Páll Sigmarsson Classic the same year.
Hafthor competed in his first World’s Strongest Man competition in 2011, where he finished in 6th place. He managed to earn a spot on the podium for the next eight years, winning the World’s Strongest Man title in 2018.
The Iceland native was also the first Strongman competitor to win the Arnold Strongman Classic, Europe’s Strongest Man and World’s Strongest Man in the same calendar year (2018).
Thor suffered an injury during the 2019 World’s Strongest Man and settled for third place. This would end up being his last competition in the sport before announcing his retirement in 2020.
The following competition details are courtesy of Wikipedia information.
World’s Strongest Man
- 6th 2011 World’s Strongest Man
- 3rd 2012 World’s Strongest Man
- 3rd 2013 World’s Strongest Man
- 2nd 2014 World’s Strongest Man
- 3rd 2015 World’s Strongest Man
- 2nd 2016 World’s Strongest Man
- 2nd 2017 World’s Strongest Man
- 1st 2018 World’s Strongest Man
- 3rd 2019 World’s Strongest Man
Arnold Strongman Classic
- 10th 2012
- 8th 2013
- 5th 2014
- 7th 2015
- 5th 2016
- 2nd 2017
- 1st 2018
- 1st 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic
- 1st 2020 Arnold Strongman Classic
Europe’s Strongest Man
- 1st 2014
- 1st 2015 Europe’s Strongest Man
- 2nd 2016 Europe’s Strongest Man
- 1st 2017 Europe’s Strongest Man
- 1st 2018 Europe’s Strongest Man
- 1st 2019 Europe’s Strongest Man
- 4th 2011 Poland
- 1st 2014 FitX Melbourne
- 1st 2014 World’s Strongest Viking
- 1st 2015 Viking Challenge
- 1st 2016 Sweden
World’s Ultimate Strongman
- 1st 2018 Dubai
Strongman Champions League
- 3rd 2013 SCL Iceman Challenge IV
- 1st 2013 Latvia
- 2nd 2013 Germany
- 1st 2015 SCL Iceman Challenge
Jón Páll Sigmarsson Classic
- 2nd 2010
- 1st 2012
Iceland’s Strongest Man
- 3rd 2010
- 1st 2011
- 1st 2012
- 1st 2013
- 1st 2014
- 1st 2015
- 1st 2016
- 1st 2017
- 1st 2018
- 1st 2019
- 1st 2020
Strongest Man in Iceland
- 1st 2010
- 1st 2011
- 1st 2012
- 1st 2016
- 1st 2017
Iceland’s Strongest Viking
- 1st 2010
- 1st 2011
- 1st 2012
- 4th 2009
- 1st 2010
- 1st 2011
- 1st 2012
OK Budar Strongman Championships
- 1st 2010
Hafthor Bjornsson is one hell of a specimen and it’s no surprise that he lifted insane amounts of weight during his prime in the sport of Strongman.
Thor’s biggest strength feat was deadlifting 501kg/1104 lbs and breaking the all-time deadlift world record that was held by rival Eddie Hall who lifted 500 kg in 2016. His record still stands.
See his other strength achievements below.
- Elephant Bar Deadlift – 474 kg (1,045 lb) Elephant bar, strongman raw with wrist straps (Arnold Strongman Classic 2019, World Record)
- Log press – 213 kg (470 lb) (Europe’s Strongest Man 2018)
- Tire deadlift – 460 kg (1,014 lb) raw with wrist straps (Arnold Strongman Classic 2014)
- Log carry – [5 steps] 650 kg (1,433 lb) (World’s Strongest Viking 2015)
- Keg toss – 7.15 m (23 ft) (World’s Strongest Man 2016)
- Keg toss – 8 kegs in 16.35 seconds (World’s Strongest Man 2014). Strongman record.
- Deadlift – 501 kg (1,105 lb) Strongman rules, with deadlift suit and wrist straps (2020) (World Record)
- Deadlift – 480 kg (1,058 lb) Replica Elephant bar, raw with wrist straps
- Squat (with wraps) – 440 kg (970 lb) (Thor’s Powerlifting Challenge 2018)
- Bench press – 250 kg (551 lb) (Thor’s Powerlifting Challenge 2018)
- Deadlift – 410 kg (904 lb) (Thor’s Powerlifting Challenge 2018)
- Total – 1,100 kg (2,425 lb) (Thor’s Powerlifting Challenge 2018)
- Squat – 445 kg (981 lb) raw
- Bench press – 245 kg (540 lb) raw
Thor Vs. The Beast Boxing Match
Hafthor “Thor” Bjornsson and Eddie “The Beast Hall recently went head to head in one of the most highly anticipated boxing spectacles on Saturday, March 19, 2022, inside the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Stadium, UAE.
Read full details on the bout here.
The former Strongman rivals, both who won the Strongest Man competition (Hall won in 2017 and Bjornsson won in 2018) developed bad blood through a series of back and forth stemming from drama during their competitive days.
The bout between these two behemoths was originally scheduled to take place in September 2021, however, Hall had to pull out due to an injury of which the event was postponed.
Thor ended up winning the bout against his foe via unanimous decision (57-54, 57-54, 57-54).
Eddie Hall is hoping for a rematch now which could be possible sometime in the future.
Boxing Record and Future
Prior to signing the contract for his bout against Eddie Hall, Thor had no boxing experience or training. While he won’t be getting in the ring with Tyson Fury anytime soon (or ever), The behemoth has made leaps and bounds regarding his boxing skills.
He shed over 100 lbs and took on a whole new ripped look in preparation for the battle with 2017 World’s Strongest Man Eddie “The Beast” Hall.
He faced Pro boxer Steven Ward in an exhibition match that ended in a draw, took on Simon Vallily and got dropped (draw), defeated armwrestling legend Devon Larratt via TKO and beat Eddie Hall by unanimous decision.
In a recent Q&A with his wife Kelsey, Thor said he wants to continue boxing and after his win against foe Eddie Hall, he must have all the confidence in the world right now. We’re excited to see how he progresses in the ring and who he’ll face next.
Hafthor was in a relationship with Thelma Björk Steimann, who he has a daughter (Theresa Lif) with. He also dated Andrea Sif Jónsdóttir until 2017.
Bjornsson married his current wife Kelsey Henson in 2018. They met in 2017 when Hafthor visited the bar Kelsey worked at in Alberta, Canada while he was in town for a Strongman event. The couple quickly received lots of attention for their massive height difference; Thor stands 6’9″ tall while Kelsey is just 157cm or 5’2″.
On Saturday, 26, 2020, Hafthor and Kelsey welcomed their first child together, a baby boy who they named Stormur Magni Hafþórsson. The couple plans to have another child at some point.
Thor can speak five languages: Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, English and French. He also has many tattoos related to his viking heritage and also has a tattoo of Jón Páll Sigmarsson, the first man in history to win the World’s Strongest Man competition.
Facing challenges much harder than Strongman competition
The Icelandic former Strongman has talked about going through extremely challenging times. In a 2019 interview, he explained not having seen or been able to hug his daughter in three years.
“That’s the hardest thing I’ve gone through,” he explained while very emotional. “And The hardest thing is there’s nothing I can do. Of course, if I could I would go now and see her. But sometimes you’re put into different positions but that’s life, it’s unfair.”
Hafthor said that she motivates him to be better and is probably the reason he won the World’s Strongest Man. At the time of the interview, he explained that he’s doing everything in his power to see her despite the unfortunate circumstances.
Hafthor Bjornsson admits that success can mean many things and no one could argue with this. While achievements, money, and status are all a form of success, Thor also does what he does for his family.
“When I’m working hard in the gym, I don’t want to let them down I want to make them proud, that’s my biggest motivation.”
In 2017, Bjornsson was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, a type of paralysis that typically affects one side of the face. It’s very noticeable in the person who has it because the symptoms include twitching, inability to move that side of the face, and weakness.
Endeavors and Social Media
Despite having such a busy schedule, Thor makes sure to stay active on social media, although he admits it’s hard to do.
He currently has 600k YouTube subscribers and tries to post content regularly to keep his fans updated with everything going on in his life. The multi-talented athlete also has 3.9 million Instagram followers.
Hafthor also has a clothing brand, Thor’s Power apparel. He’s also sponsored by companies Reign, Transparent Labs and The Beard Struggle. He’s always involved with business opportunities and is focused on growing his brand.
Hafthor Bjornsson has also found some success as an actor.
The biggest acting gig of his career was playing the role of Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane in the HBO series Game of Thrones for five seasons.
But he’s no stranger to the camera, in general, having been in the spotlight many times, and in many documentaries.
The following information is also courtesy of Wikipedia information.
- 2015 Eddie: Strongman Himself
- 2017 Operation Ragnarok Big John – Icelandic Viking Squad
- 2017 Devilish Deeds Psycho Phil Bell
- 2017 Beast The Beast
- 2017 Kickboxer: Retaliation Mongkut
- 2019 Pharaoh’s War Frank
- 2022 The Northman Thorfinnr
- 2012–2019 The World’s Strongest Man Himself – competitor
- 2014–2019 Game of Thrones Gregor Clegane Recurring role
- 2015 A League of Their Own Himself Series 9, Episode 7
- 2016 Heavy Bubbles Himself
- 2017 Born Strong Himself – competitor
- 2018 Keith Lemon: Coming to America Himself Series 1, Episode 6
- 2019 E:60, How the World’s Strongest Man became ‘The Mountain’ on Game of Thrones Himself Original air date; 14 April 2019
2022 EDDIE v THOR: The TRUTH Himself Documentary
Several women who dated Hafthor have apparently accused him of domestic violence including former fiancé and mother to his one daughter, Thelma Björk Steimann. Bjornsson has denied the accusations against him and actually said Steimann was unstable and abusive to him.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on this story if we learn of any new details.
- Eddie Hall — Complete Profile, Workout and Diet Program
- Brian Shaw — Complete Profile, Workout and Diet Program
- Julius Maddox – Complete Profile: Height, Weight, Biography
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson is an absolute legend and one of the most gifted athletes in the sports world. To achieve what he has at such a young age makes him among the elite and he’s only just getting started. The 2018 World’s Strongest Man did not achieve great success without challenges, but with his champion mindset and never give up mentality, Hafthor is someone who we can all aspire to be like.