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Is Hafthor Bjornsson On Steroids Or Natural? (Revealed)

Michael Garrico
Published by Michael Garrico
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: April 20, 2022

Whether you know him as a Game Of Thrones star or from his success in the World's Strongest Man competition, Hafthor Julius Bjornsson is a legend in the fitness industry.

But athletes that achieve that level of strength and success in competition and on the big screen tend to draw attention from a lot of critics who assume that performance-enhancing drugs must have been a factor.

As a personal fitness coach, I know exactly what it takes to bulk up like the world's strongest man, and I know the signs of "cheating" as well.

So, I spent a few weeks researching Hafthor's progress over the years to find out if there was steroid use involved.

Quick Summary

  • Bjornsson was picked for a role in Game Of Thrones for his size and sheer strength, but he later admitted that he had taken steroids during his earlier career.
  • There is no evidence of him failing a drug test for any of the strongman events he competed in, and he hasn't gone into details of the timing of steroid use.
  • Hafthor is one of the most successful World's Strongest Man title holders in history.

Does Hafthor Bjornsson Take Steroids?

The Game Of Thrones star known as The Mountain has openly admitted to taking steroids in the past.

He did this during an ESPN interview, and it seemed to not surprise a lot of people [1].

Since that lengthy interview on ESPN, several journalists have asked him if he still takes steroids.

His answer is usually to ask the interviewer to move on as he's dealt with that question before.

One reason for this decision may have to do with the fact that his dream of becoming a professional basketball player fell apart due to a bad ankle injury.

He had multiple surgeries and a long recovery that led him on a path to become a strongman known as The Mountain [2].

Where There Early Signs That Hafthor Bjornsson Took Anabolic Steroids?

man with veiny hands and another man flexing body muscles

I spent a few weeks looking at photos from his career as a strongman to see if there was evidence that he took anabolic drugs.

Extreme Vascularity

Athletes that use anabolic supplements often show signs of veins popping up even when they aren't working out [3]. While Hafthor is a mountain of a man, he wasn't ripped like a professional bodybuilder for most of his career. And that meant he wouldn’t have been vascular at that time.

And even in the more recent photos, there's no evidence of this constant vascularity.

Large Breast Tissue

Long-term steroid use can lead to enlarged breasts made up of soft fat tissue [4]. There are drugs to deal with this, but it's a difficult thing to hide for athletes.

If you look at his photos from the final season of Game Of Thrones, he was a lot heavier. But even then, it doesn't look like his chest is soft and flabby.

Fast Bulking Process

This is the main reason that athletes turn to anabolic drugs, and it's a total giveaway for someone who uses steroids [5]. Looking at photos from when Hafthor was a teenager and comparing them to his first few strongman events, it does look like this was a fast transition [6].

"People will remember me as the strongest human ever to walk the earth." - Hafthor Bjornsson.

Hafthor Bjornsson's Stats And Accomplishments

  • Born: November 26, 1988
  • Height: 6'9"
  • Weight: 450lbs

No, those numbers aren't typos, and they explain why people call him The Mountain.

Hafthor Julius Bjornsson officially won Iceland's strongest man title in 2011 and held that title continuously until 2019 [7]. He was also the reigning World's Strongest Man until 2020.

What Would It Take To Bulk Up Like Bjornsson?

man with dumbbells and spoons of supplements

Bulking up like Bjornsson is possible without taking steroids, but it requires some dedication in two areas.

Diet & Supplements

First of all, you'll need to eat a lot more carbs and protein to fuel weight lifting and muscle building [8]. And beyond taking whey protein supplements for your recovery, you could also fast-track your progress with a bulking stack.

There are also natural supplements designed to boost your performance and progress by triggering your body's natural testosterone production. These products are called testosterone boosters.

Tough Training

This is one area that most people underestimate. To get anywhere near Hafthor's physique, you'll have to train at least 90 minutes a day, five days a week for five or more years.

And it's that dedication that many people don't have.

Was Hafthor Bjornsson Tested For Steroid Use?

man with a syringe

So, Hafthor admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs in the past, but I was interested to see if there was evidence of a failed drug test at any of his World's Strongest Man or other events.

The governing body of these events has strict rules on drug testing, but I couldn't find any evidence that Hafthor failed one of these tests.

FAQs

Why Is Hafthor’s Face Paralyzed?

Hafthor's face is paralyzed due to a condition called Bell's Palsy [9]. He has had this since 2017, but it doesn't seem to affect his strength or ability to compete.

Does Hafthor Bjornsson Have Health Issues Due to Steroids?

No, Hafthor Bjornsson doesn't have health issues due to steroid abuse. Long-term use can have serious impacts on the liver and kidneys, which would impact his appearance and strength.

Final Verdict: Is There Evidence Hafthor Is Still A Steroid User?

While Hafthor has admitted to taking performance enhancers, I don't see any evidence right now that he's still taking them. And that should encourage people to stay natural.

Even if you don't have plans to look like a warrior in Game Of Thrones, you can achieve this kind of appearance with the right combination of dieting, hard work, and a few of our recommended safe steroid substitutes.

It combines natural and completely legal ingredients to increase your strength, endurance, and ability to build up muscle tissue.

It's not a fast ticket to bulking like anabolic drugs, but it's enough to make a significant difference.


References:

  1. https://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/26522096/got-strongman-champ-admits-steroid-use
  2. https://www.sportingnews.com/au/other-sports/news/game-of-thrones-actor-worlds-strongest-man-admits-steroid-use-hafthor-julius-bjornsson/rf205zk914uf1351f3iyt64c4
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12500264/
  4. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16227-enlarged-male-breast-tissue-gynecomastia
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10589853/
  6. https://www.sportbible.com/australia/news-teenage-photo-emerges-of-the-mountain-hafor-julius-bjornsson-20210323
  7. https://hafthorbjornsson.com/about-hafthor/
  8. https://cehsp.d.umn.edu/sites/cehsp.d.umn.edu/files/2the_role_of_protein_and_carbohydrate_in_gaining_body_mass.pdf
  9. https://theconversation.com/the-mountain-haf-or-julius-bjornsson-has-bells-palsy-heres-what-it-means-75601

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