Watch Thor Björnsson Do Chin-Ups at 400 Pounds for Reps

Sure, hanging plates off your waist is one way to get stronger at chin-ups. Or you can just gain a couple hundred pounds.

Hafthor Björnsson is usually recognized for crushing skulls as The Mountain on HBO’s Game of Thrones, but he’s also one of the world’s most elite strength athletes. In 2016 alone he won the Arnold Classic Strongman competitions in both Brazil and Australia, and he broke his own world record in the keg toss at the 2016 World’s Strongest Man event in Botswana. His 990-pound deadlift ain’t bad, either.

At 6’9” and currently weighing in at 400 pounds, we’d forgive him for leaving bodyweight chin-ups out of his routine, but for Hafthor, that just wouldn’t do. Take a look at the video he recently posted of himself completing multiple chin-ups (with straps) for reps.

Sure, some of those might have earned him a “no rep” at the CrossFit Games, but we’re not about to find fault with someone doing 400-pound pull-ups.

Nearly as impressive is this this astonishing video below of powerlifter Ray Williams, at 395 pounds, completing seven surprisingly smooth chin-ups at his gym in Fulton County, Mississippi.

If you’re wondering what the heaviest chin-up of all time is, it’s hard to say – but in October 2016, Spanish YouTuber David Marchante broke the Guinness World Record in weighted pull-ups when he hung an astounding 230.49 pounds off of his frame as he completed one rep on the talk show, El Hormiguero.

That’s got to be harder than it looks. You can start the video at four minutes if you’d like to see about a minute of Marchante contemplating the daunting feat he was about to achieve. Nice work!

Featured image: @thorbjornsson

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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