That success doesn’t just come from his natural ability. Björnsson shared some details about his training for the competition with the event’s host, Arnold Schwarzenegger, immediately after winning.
“It’s tough you know? It’s hard to be able to do that for 17 weeks. But people are consistent. If you stay consistent, you will progress,” he said onstage.
Schwarzenegger also asked about how much the strongman ate during his training cycle, describing his habits as “not human.” For Björnsson to be able to train as hard as he does and still maintain his massive size to be able to handle the heavy loads, he needs to have a ridiculous amount of fuel going to keep going.
Björnsson opened up about his truly bonkers meal plan on his YouTube channel and documented just what it takes to keep him fuelled up while traveling for the competition.
“It’s super similar to what I eat at home,” he says. Björnsson travelled to the Arnold with his nutrition coach, Stan Efferding. The coach brings the strongman fresh meat to his hotel room everyday, where he also keeps a rice cooker and a fridge full of “carrots and eggs and everything, so I can eat on my schedule.”
The meals start with Hafthor eating breakfast at 7 a.m., sitting in front of a plate of six eggs, ‘dozens’ of bacon, and three French toasts. After he crushes it, he takes his vitamins and goes on a 10 minute walk to help him digest the food so he can eat again sooner.
“Then I eat again in about two and a half hours,” he says.
At 9:33 a.m. he’s at it again. The menu: rice, spinach, bison and chicken stock, followed by supplements. He hits a treadmill for 10 minutes while munching on an orange to keep moving. While Björnsson needs the mass to push heavy weights, he acknowledges that he worries about maintaining his endurance for some of the competition’s events. “It’s a fine line for me,” he says. “I can still be 200 kilograms but still have enough endurance for strongman—I feel like if I get much heavier than that it’s going to affect my endurance a lot.” He weighs in at 202 kilograms ( roughly 445 pounds). He says he gained 24 kilograms during his 17 week training cycle.
After interviews and photo shoots, it’s time for meal number three at 12 p.m. This one is another bison rice bowl, followed by a 30 minute nap.
Then he’s on to meal number four: Carrots, rice, steak, spinach, eggs, and chicken broth, and he’s off for another walk.
“The easiest part is the training, the hardest part is the diet,” he says.
Then he’s onto meal number five back in his room. “Same again, rice, spinach and bison,” he says. “I’ll have a couple carrots as well.”
“I treat my body the same way I would treat a brand new car. You have to treat it well so it can run for a long time,” Björnsson says. “While you’re competing lifting these heavy weights, you want to fuel the body up with good nutrition so you can recover faster from all the heavy work. So nothing changes. I eat the same thing every single day. You might think it’s boring, but I love it. I absolutely love it.”
For meal number six, he actually goes to a restaurant with friends from his Reign team and calls it a “cheat meal,” indulging in a devilled egg, chicken wings and some french fries, as well as a steak, potatoes, carrots and spinach.
“One cheat meal once in a while is fine as long as you stay on track the rest of the planning. I had five really good meals today, one cheat meal.”
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health