Strongman-Turned-Boxer Hafthor Björnsson Reveals Back and Abs Workout

The former strongman turned professional fighter is training similarly to a bodybuilder.

When Hafthor “The Mountain” Björnsson was atop the strongman world, he weighed over 400 pounds. The 2018 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion stands 6’9″ tall and, since leaving strongman behind for a career in boxing, has transformed his physique to that of a leaner, ab-touting, in-ring brawler.

Part of Björnsson’s training has shifted from tossing kegs and hoisting Atlas Stones to a routine that is more conducive to that of a bodybuilder.

On Sept. 14, 2022, “The Mountain” took to his Instagram page to share a physique update alongside training videos that feature leg lifts and several back movements typically programmed for hypertrophy. Check it out below:


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A post shared by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (@thorbjornsson)

[Related: Tom Stoltman Uses Progressive Overload and High Volume for Shoulder Hypertrophy]

Björnsson opened his workout with leg lifts, using a back pad for better stability. While Björnsson always had a strong core throughout his strongman career, his ab development has likely improved as he’s been able to increase his spine flexion during movements like the leg raises.

This particular day in the gym was a back day for Björnsson. His first back-focused movement was a single-arm, chest-supported row. Björnsson performed the move standing, which would put more emphasis on his lower lats. The weight wasn’t disclosed, but it appeared as though he loaded two 20-kilogram plates and a 10-kilogram weight plate on each side.

Training in flip-flops, Björnsson stood on a platform for bent-over T-bar rows. This move requires bracing to maintain a neutral spine and would otherwise be a limiting factor from loading more weight. While Björnsson could probably pull much more weight, he simply loaded three 20-kilogram weight plates.

His final exercise was a rear-delt flye on the pec dec. Björnsson maintained a high elbow position, biasing the teres. Björnsson has not stepped into a boxing ring since defeating 2017 WSM champion Eddie Hall, which resulted in Hall getting Björnsson’s name tattooed on his foot. When Björnsson books his next bout, he will likely step in the ring sharper than ever.

Featured image: @thorbjornsson on Instagram