Game of Thrones may be a year out from its next battle, but Hafthor Bjornsson, who plays Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane on the crazy-popular HBO show, isn't sitting around waiting for someone to fight. He's training for the upcoming Arnold Strongman Classic 2018, which is rapidly becoming a must-see event on par with any of the bodybuilding events in Columbus each March.
Bjornsson shares the top set of nearly every training session on Instagram, and his 1-million followers received a treat recently when he pulled 970 pounds on a bend-alicious bar meant to mimic the notoriously whippy Rogue Elephant bar from the Strongman Classic. Just a few days ago, he pulled a few singles with 970 pounds with an ease that boggles the mind—especially when you realize that at 6-foot-9, Bjornsson was pulling that weight to a height that Peter Dinklage could probably stroll right under.
So smooth. But here's what's equally impressive: That's his second pull at that weight in a span of just a few minutes. Bjornsson was actually aiming for a double with 970, but the barbell's collar (the inside collar, amazingly) broke after the first rep.
Bjornsson is a perennial contender in top global strongman competitions, but as of yet, has always finished just below the likes of Brian Shaw and Eddie Hall at top competitions like the Arnold Classic and World's Strongest Man. In 2017, Bjornsson took second overall in the Arnold Classic, and third in the Rogue Elephant Bar deadlift with 966 pounds. He has also pulled a remarkably easy 1014 pounds at last year's World's Strongest Man (where many fans felt he was robbed of a victory).
If there's anyone who looks ready to make a run at Eddie Hall's iconic 500kg deadlift mark, it could be Bjornsson. Count me among the strength fans who will be watching the 2018 Arnold Strongman Classic by whatever means necessary.