056 – The mindset, diet, and training of Hafthor Bjornsson

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What does it take to become the world’s strongest man? In today’s episode, you get to hear my recent interview in Iceland with Thor Bjornsson, aka The Mountain from the HBO, hit series Game of Thrones. What is most surprising about this giant of a man is his gentleness and his ability to still do yoga at 200 kilograms! A former basketball player, Thor used to be a thin adolescent before he committed himself to the gym and started training obsessively, and he unequivocally ascribes his success to his stubbornness and his absolute dedication to becoming the strongest man on the planet. We discuss his diet (hint: he has steak at almost every meal!), eating organ meats, his “on” and “off” seasons, the importance of listening to your body and knowing when to give yourself a break. He shares the incredible yet challenging experience working on the set of GoT for five years and the moment the whole world learned his name. Tune in for this epic conversation!

Remember to head over to butcherbox.com and use the code MI40 to get $20 off your first order and some additional free products! 


  • Starting off as a thin basketball player, getting into the gym and pushing his own limits. [4:37]
  • Thor’s training partners, putting on weight and being absolutely dedicated to his goals. [7:02]
  • The importance of knowing when to step back and when to push yourself. [9:46]
  • How fear and insecurity affected his behavior when he was a younger athlete. [12:03]
  • Training strategies and habits to become the world’s strongest man. [13:40]
  • Maintaining mobility, stretching, doing yoga at 440 pounds and his simple diet. [16:39]
  • The incredible nutritional benefits of eating organ meats such as liver and kidneys. [21:57]
  • How Thor tore his plantar fascia (the connective tissue at the arch of the foot). [23:40]
  • A food challenge with his friends: eating 16 000 calories in one day. [27:40]
  • Getting the role of The Mountain in Game of Thrones and the on-set experience. [32:06]
  • Rehearsing the fight scene with Pedro Pascal and how it skyrocketed his fame. [37:08]

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Ben Pakulski

Ben Pakulski

Since first lifting weights as a teenager, Ben has been on a mission to do whatever it takes… …to become the most muscular man on the planet! On the eve of The Arnold Classic, he confronts the dark realities of bodybuilding… And his own future! Follow him on his journey…

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About the Podcast

Formerly the Muscle Expert Podcast. The world’s top authority on intelligent muscle building and fat loss gives us a simple to understand deep dive into the complex world of building a body you love, and living your greatness. Weekly interviews with leading experts in a vast number of scientific fields focusing on health optimization (nutrition, sleep, hormones, mindfulness and mind set), strength, (both physical and mental), and muscle hypertrophy. Learn proven strategies for optimum life performance, whether it be in the gym, the board room or the bedroom; this is the blueprint for becoming the upgraded modern man. Ladies, this podcast is for you too. The topics, tips, and life hacks covered are essential for every individual who wants to upgrade themselves mentally and physically.

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