Hafthor Thor Bjornsson

Game of Thrones Actor Breaks 1,000 Year-Old Weightlifting Record

Breaking a world record is impressive, but when a bodybuilder takes it upon himself to shatter a record from myth it’s something that gets people’s collective attention. That’s why Game of Thrones Actor Hafthor Bjornsson, an Icelandic power lifter who competes under the name of Thor, drew so much attention when he accomplished a feat even the heroes from the sagas couldn’t manage.

What Did He Do?

According to legend there was a great Viking hero who had the mast of a longship laid across his shoulders. In the myth the hero took the weight of the mast and then walked three steps with it across his shoulders. The myth ended badly though, with the hero crippled by his own impossible feat of strength.

Thor decided to go one better.

Bjornsson took an actual wooden post the size of a longship’s mast (weighing approximately 1,433 pounds) and stood with it. Not only that but he took five steps with it across his shoulders, dropping it and declaring his victory. A full video of his accomplishment can be found at this link.

More Than Just Muscle

It’s refreshing to see men like Bjornsson raising the bar. While he’s stood out in competitions before, and he’s gained more than a little notoriety for his performance on Game of Thrones as Ser Gregor Clegane – a warrior capable of crushing a man’s skull with his bare hands, there’s more to lifting weights than looking good and winning competitions. Sometimes it’s about the spirit of what you can accomplish, and paying homage to those who came before you. At least that’s what we believe at High Performance Personal Training.

What’s the best way to recover from injuries?

Pop Quiz #1
What’s the best way to recover from injuries?
A) Rest
B) Ice
C) Heat
D) Elevation
E) All of the above


Nobody is infallible, not even me, Mr. America, Jason Kozma. I’ve had my share of lumps, bumps and injuries, just like everyone else. And I’m smart enough to know when I’ve overdone it or hurt myself. I do give myself permission to recover, as should you. The answer, of course is “E – All of the above.” Whenever you have a minor injury, you need to take care not just to avoid re-injury, but to allow your body to heal. This doesn’t mean stopping workouts, but curtailing activities until the body part has healed. Many of my clients are professional athletes who come to me in their off-season looking to build more muscle and strength. Most of them have had some sort of injury during the playing year and need extra support to strengthen and rebuild. Only a great trainer, like yours truly, will know how to work with each individual client to avoid re-injury and build up the supporting muscles. Most trainers know one or two ways to work with each muscle group and would have you avoid certain areas altogether after an injury.

Contact me today for your personal consultation to create a customized workout just for you.

What is the best post-workout food?

Pop Quiz #2
What of these is the best post-workout food?

via GIPHY (funnier than banana gif)

A) Post workout shakes
B) Protein bars
C) Bananas
D) French fries

Yeah, the last one is never a good food, no matter how much you try to justify it. Anyway, I’ll probably piss off a lot of people out there, but a post-workout banana is a very well balanced choice for most of my clients. It contains easily absorbed nutrients, slow absorbing sugars and a healthy dose of potassium, which helps replace whatever minerals you may have sweated out. I’m not being biased here, some men can afford to chow down on a protein bar or recovery shake after a heavy workout, but unless you’re careful, they contain a lot of extra calories that most people, women especially, might want to do without.
Yes, this was a trick one, I left out protein shakes to trick you. The right amount of protein powder is good post workout too: 25 grams of protein for women and 40 grams of protein or so for men.
The answer also depends on what the client’s goals are. If the goal is ultra-rapid weight loss, the correct answer is nothing – you just eat your meals as scheduled. There are no specific pre workout or post workout meals for that. When we are talking about post workout nutrition we are generally talking about optimizing muscle recovery.

Up Your Training Game

Time to get out of hibernation and mix up your workout routine. Have you gotten stuck in your cardio routine always on a treadmill or stationary bike?  Get outside and go for a run, a bike ride, a swim or a hike.  Near a body of water?  Try rowing or stand up paddleboard (SUP).  Snow still piled on the ground where you live? Why not head out for some cross country skiing or snowshoeing?  You don’t need an expensive lift ticket when the nearest park is just minutes away. Now is a great time to do some spring cleaning and get rid of your old, worn out workout gear, too. Mix up your workouts and take advantage of the sunlight.

Motivation – Winning Attitude

Beverly and JasonA wise person once said “Attitudes are free, so pick one you like.” I agree. For those of you who know me, you know I’m always kickin’ A$$. I don’t even bother to take names. You know why? When I wake up in the morning, I’m ready to go. I sleep well, I eat a very healthy breakfast, get a great workout in and have energy to burn all day. Those of you who train with me, or my team of world class personal trainers, know I practice what I preach. Those of you who haven’t trained with us yet are really missing out. It’s never too late to contact me for an appointment. We will transformyou – body, mind and even attitude!

New Workout Gear

Workout gear. I’m sure you’ve all seen that guy or gal around the gym. You know the one: Baggy sweats, holes in their shoes, a poor excuse for a sports bra. Now, I’m not a fashion expert, but I can tell you with authority to keep your gear in good condition. Whatever pair of shoes you wear to work out should ALWAYS be replaced within 6 – 9 months or less. Even if they don’t look too worn out on the outside, the support and cushioning do wear out on the inside. This can cause injury to your feet, ankles, calves or legs and is no laughing matter. Gals, replace those sports bras every 6 months. The elastic wears out every time you wear it and wash it. As far as the baggy sweats go…splurge on some great looking and great fitting workout gear. You’ll be happy you did. When you look good, you feel good… and when you work out, you look even better!

Use Some Bodyweight Exercises

playa vista personal trainer functional trainingYou know, you don’t need a lot of equipment to get a good workout. There are plenty of effective bodyweight exercises you can do. Some of my clients are on the road all the time and may not even have a gym available when they want to work out. There are a lot of great exercises you can do with just your body weight for resistance. Crunches, anyone? Sit ups. Push ups. One of my all-time favorites: Planks. All of these use just your body weight for resistance and give you a great workout. Squats and lunges work the lower body. Bring along some resistance bands for additional chest, shoulder, bicep and triceps work and you have an on the road workout that even I would approve of!

Bodybuilding – Dexter Jackson 2015 Arnold Classic


Dexter Jackson wins Arnold ClassicNews from Gold’s Gym Venice: my favorite active IFBB pro bodybuilder Dexter Jackson won the 2015 Arnold Classic Pro Bodybuilding Championships!
What’s even more amazing about him is that he’s 45!

In 2008 Dexter won the coveted Mr. Olympia title. In 2011 he won the Pro Masters World Championships and in 2012 he won the Masters (over 40) Mr. Olympia. He then came back to competing in the open vs. much younger pros and has amassed more wins and high placings. Below is a summary of just his 2015 placings:

2015 Arnold Classic, 1st
2015 Arnold Classic Australia, 1st
2015 Arnold Classic Europe, 1st
2015 Mr. Olympia, 2nd
2015 Prague Pro, 1st

Congrats Dexter, you’re an inspiration to us all! (Or at least just me ?)

Wish him continued good luck!

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