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Hafthor Björnsson discusses breaking deadlift record and losing weight for Eddie Hall fight

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Game of Thrones’ Hafthor Björnsson showcases his rippling physique as he discusses breaking deadlift record and losing weight for Eddie Hall fight in new Men’s Health shoot

Hafthor Björnsson showed off his hulking physique as he posed for Men’s Health magazine and discussed breaking the world deadlift record.

The Game of Thrones star, 31, deadlifted an eye-watering 501kg, smashing the previous world record of 500kg held by Eddie Hall, saying he simply ‘worked hard’ to achieve it. 

Hafthor is currently gearing up to face fellow strongman Eddie in the boxing ring and told Men’s Health he has shed 16kg in preparation for the fight. 

Strongman: Hafthor Björnsson, 31, showed off his hulking physique as he posed for Men's Health magazine and discussed breaking the world deadlift record

Strongman: Hafthor Björnsson, 31, showed off his hulking physique as he posed for Men’s Health magazine and discussed breaking the world deadlift record

Speaking about his record-breaking feat, the actor said: ‘After the lift, I was over the moon. Especially with how well I felt. After Eddie Hall did his 500kg, he almost died. 

‘He didn’t look good. He was bleeding in his nose, eyes and ears. He fell down and I saw that and I thought, “Is this going to be worth it?” But I pulled the weight and I felt great.

‘I saw the people not believing [in me] and saying that it’s not possible and the guy that did 500kg almost died and he’s supposed to be the best ever in deadlifting – but I believed. I worked hard and then I pulled 501kg without almost dying.’

The strongman has adopted a new diet in preparation for his fight with Eddie, saying he now has a lot more energy since losing weight. 

Record: The Game of Thrones star deadlifted an eye-watering 501kg, smashing the previous world record of 500kg held by Eddie Hall, saying he simply 'worked hard'

Record: The Game of Thrones star deadlifted an eye-watering 501kg, smashing the previous world record of 500kg held by Eddie Hall, saying he simply ‘worked hard’

He said: ‘I used to have six eggs [for breakfast] with rice and spinach but, this morning, I only had five eggs and just spinach. I skipped the rice. 

‘I’m trying to lose weight for the fight. It’s working well: I’ve already lost 16kg. For the deadlift, I weighed 206kg. Today, I weigh 190kg. It feels great – I have much more energy.’

Having trained with top athletes, Hafthor admitted the person who surprised him the most when he trained with them was internet personality Dan Bilzerian.

He said: ‘He’s quite a humble guy. People will see something on the internet and automatically, you know, judge, but I try not to. 

Match: Hafthor is currently gearing up to face fellow strongman Eddie (pictured) in the boxing ring and told Men's Health he has shed 16kg in preparation for the fight

Match: Hafthor is currently gearing up to face fellow strongman Eddie (pictured) in the boxing ring and told Men’s Health he has shed 16kg in preparation for the fight

Character: Hafthor played Gregor 'The Mountain' Clegane on Game of Thrones

Character: Hafthor played Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane on Game of Thrones

‘I’m very neutral – he surprised me a lot. He’s a very down-to-earth guy and super nice. I thought he would be louder and more of a showman. He was quite quiet and very respectful.’ 

Interview: Read the full interview in the October 2020 Issue of Men’s Health, on sale from 15th September. Also available as a digital edition

Interview: Read the full interview in the October 2020 Issue of Men’s Health, on sale from 15th September. Also available as a digital edition

Hafthor has extended an open invitation to Eddie to come to Iceland and train in the gym with him.

He said: ‘I’m always willing to help guys out. Anyone who has reached out is always welcome to come to Iceland to train with me. 

‘Top athletes in our sports have come here, including Martins Licis and the Stoltman brothers. I’m happy to give anyone a tip if they want it.’

Hafthor is married to Kelsey Hanson, with the couple revealing in April they are expecting their first child together.

The pair, who tied the knot in October 2018, took to Instagram to share the news and shared a snap of themselves popping a black balloon filled with blue confetti, suggesting they are having a boy.

Hafthor, who played Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane on Game of Thrones, is also father to a daughter from a previous relationship.  

Read the full interview in the October 2020 Issue of Men’s Health, on sale from 15th September. Also available as a digital edition

Excitement: Hafthor is married to Kelsey Hanson, with the couple revealing in April they are expecting their first child together

Excitement: Hafthor is married to Kelsey Hanson, with the couple revealing in April they are expecting their first child together 

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