The Mountain Issues a Challenge to Prep for Cleganebowl

Game of Thrones fans have a ton to look forward to this weekend, as HBO airs the penultimate episode of the epic show. There’s a big battle for King’s Landing on the horizon, with major characters initially thought to be out of the action like Jamie converging on the field to bring the series to its end. Storylines teased from the very beginning of the saga are finally playing out—which means that we might finally see one of the most anticipated events of the series finally happen.

The Cleganes, Westeros’ pair of large rowdy adult sons, are in position to clash in a conflict fans of the series have been calling Cleganebowl for years. Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. The Hound, pledged to take out big brother Ser Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. The Mountain, after a childhood full of abuse and an incident that left the former with some of the gnarliest facial scarring in the Seven Kingdoms and a deathly fear of fire. The brawl was teased by The Mountain actor Hafthór Björnsson last summer, while the series was still being filmed, but we still don’t know anything about what might play out onscreen.

While we’re all wondering what’s about to go down, however, Björnsson isn’t taking any chances that he’ll be out of shape for the battle royale. The actor and strongman posted a video of himself repping through a set of 8 dumbbell presses on Instagram, challenging anyone to clean a set of heavy 60 kg. (roughly 132 lb.) dumbbells up into position for the exercise.

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60kg132lbs Dumbbell press. Respect the weight 💪 – I challenge you to clean a 60kg Dumbbell like this! ⚔️⚔️⚔️ – Comment ✅ if it’s easy for you!!

A post shared by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (@thorbjornsson) on

Was he calling out costar Rory McCann, who plays The Hound, to match his lift? We’ll find out Sunday night—or maybe afterwards on Monday if The Mountain prevails, since Björnsson has made a habit of apologizing to the cast mates that fall by his sword on the show.

Do you want to take up Björnsson’s challenge? Here’s what Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samul, C.S.C.S., has to say about clean to dumbbell presses:

Eb says: The dumbbell clean and press lift is useful, although if you’re going to do as many press reps as The Mountain, you shouldn’t need to use a belt. Focus on core positioning to protect your spine: Keep your abs tight and try not to let your ribcage flare out. Also, squeeze your glutes throughout the life of each set; that’ll help insure you’re not arching your back and stressing your spine

If you’ve never done this exercise before, start with a weight you can shoulder press. You can eventually go heavier, incorporating hip and knee drive into the press, but early on, it’s safer to start with that lighter weight.

When you clean the weight upwards, make sure not to round your back and don’t just use your arms. Think of your arms like rope, and focus on hinging at the waist and popping at the hips to drive the weight from hip height to your shoulders.

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