In case you were wondering what it takes to become the world’s strongest man, the answer seems to be, in part, a gigantic-sized diet. Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, who plays Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane on HBO’s Game of Thrones, recently talked about his eating and workout regimen that keeps the 400-pound actor in fighting shape. According to People, it includes six meals and 10,000 calories every single day.
Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson holds the title of the World’s Strongest Man, in addition to being a four-time winner of Europe’s Strongest Man, an eight-time winner of Iceland’s Strongest Man and winner of the Arnold Strongman Classic. In other words, he knows strong. To get there, he has to do a ton of munching. According to the actor, who is 6 feet 9 inches tall, he eats every two hours for six meals a day. He says it requires a lot of logistical thinking to coordinate all that food – in between workouts, of course.
“There’s a lot of eating if you want to stay the best,” he said. “I have to eat every two hours, I have to fuel my body. And there’s a lot of timing, prepping meals when I eat them. I think sometimes, ‘Is this worth it?’ I’m always eating, and I’m never hungry. I’m always eating and working out.”
If you were thinking that eating 10,000 calories a day means you get to do a lot of indulging, think again. Björnsson sticks to mostly healthy fare, and his favorites are things like spinach, avocado, fish, and almonds.
“Mostly steak, rice, carrots, with some peppers, sometimes chicken,” Björnsson said. “I eat so much, really. And definitely, the hardest part of being in these competitions really is the diet.”
In the past, Björnsson has said that managing all those meals can be difficult with the intense filming schedule of Game of Thrones.
Björnsson spoke with Business Insider about his huge year. This year, he got married, turned 30, and won World’s Strongest Man, all while filming Game of Thrones.
He told Business Insider that has always enjoyed sports, starting with basketball when he was 12. An injury ended his budding career but pointed him toward strongman competitions. Now, he says he trains with heavyweights five times a week and says his favorite exercise is the deadlift – for which he set a world record by lifting 1,041 pounds.
His least favorite part of his gym routine? Björnsson, who goes by the nickname Thor, says he doesn’t have one. He likes to have a positive attitude toward everything in life. Clearly, it’s paying off.