Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, aka The Mountain, is finally, officially, the World’s Strongest Man.
The 29-year-old Game of Thrones behemoth took the crown in the 2018 World’s Strongest Man competition in Manila after finishing in the top three every year since 2012. Björnsson posted triumphantly commemorating his victory on Instagram, thanking his sponsors and supporters.
The Mountain has dominated every competition he’s faced in 2018, finally adding championships to the star power he brings to the contests. He racked up a win (and world record deadlift pull) at the Arnold Classic in March and an effortless victory at Europe’s Strongest Man competition in April, which he called a “warmup” for the global competition.
The strongman/actor finally brought home the dual titles in a year that Game of Thrones is off the air, as the series preps for its final season in 2019. Only time will tell if the Mountain will have a long reign at the peak of the strongman world after the show he’s best known for wraps up next year—but we’re not going to bet against him.
The Mountain’s World’s Strongest Man Workout Moves
Since you’re probably not a once-in-a-generation genetically gifted Norseman like Björnsson, you won’t be able to train exactly like the Mountain. But you can add some basic strongman principles to your workout repertoire, so start with these exercises to build your raw strength and power.
If you’re going to be working out like Björnsson, the only place to start is with his world record-holding lift. Deadlifts shouldn’t be taken lightly—so don’t ever just throw as much weight on the bar as you can and pull away.
Instead, start with lower weights with pause deadlifts. You’ll get the same benefits in your lower back, core, and lower body, and build up to moving massive loads like the Mountain. Start by adding four sets of low reps to your workout and really work on nailing the form.
4 sets of 4-6 reps
Dumbbell Cuban Press
Overhead presses are a staple in strongman competitions. If you’re not quite ready to jump into heavy dumbbell work or your gym is cramped for space, start with the Cuban press. The move helps to strengthen your rotator cuffs and mimics the motion of the overhead lift with a lighter load. Begin with low weight increments and really focus on mastering the external rotation of the movement before grabbing bigger dumbbells. Add four sets of 10 reps to the beginning of your workout.
4 sets of 10 reps
Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk
The yoke carry is another strongman event mastered by the Mountain that you probably shouldn’t try to match step for step in a normal weight room. Sub in the farmer’s walk to get the benefits of bearing a heavy load. Farmer’s walks give you an extra practical dimension, too—your grip strength will get a huge boost from the carries, along with your shoulders, traps, and core. Try this dropset challenge for 10 minutes to wrap up an upper body workout.
10 minute round