Jesse James West frequently tries out different kinds of training on his YouTube channel, following the workout regimes of bodybuilders and fighters like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Conor McGregor. In his latest video, he spends the day in the gym with former World’s Strongest Man Hafthor Bjornsson, aka The Mountain, aka Thor, and takes on his first ever traditional strongman workout.
Bjornsson retired from the world of professional strongman competitions last year after securing his tenth consecutive win at Iceland’s Strongest Man, and has been leaning down and getting shredded ever since in preparation for a new chapter as a boxer. But he is still a formidable training partner when it comes to strongman events, as West soon learns. For context, Bjornsson weighs 335 pounds to West’s 185. “I was once that,” says Bjornsson. “At the age of 14 years old.”
The first exercise is the sandbag throw, and while it takes a few attempts for West to achieve the necessary explosive power to get the bag up and over the railing, he gets there, and Bjornsson calls him a “natural.” The next exercise is another strongman staple, and one of Bjornsson’s personal faves: Atlas stones. While Bjornsson has lifted stones weighing up to 450 pounds in competitions, West starts on the lighter end, with a 175-pound stone.
For the third round, West must try to walk back and forth while holding a 134-pound Húsafell stone. But he’s not the only one who finds this particular exercise tough. “I see stars now,” says Bjornsson, after demonstrating the move.
Another popular strongman event is the farmer’s carry, which West performs for multiple rounds, adding more weight to the frame each time, and earning the respect of The Mountain. “I thought you did the set extremely well,” Bjornsson tells him at the end of the workout.
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