Kit Harington had to be in insane shape to fight as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones’ now legendary Battle of the Bastards.
Dude was able to dodge flying arrows, creep his way out of a bloody mosh pit and annihilate his arch nemesis in the most epic combat ever fought on TV. And to think—Harington didn’t even have to strip naked to do it!
With so much flesh packed in a one-hour time slot, have you ever wondered what workout and diet routines the actors follow to get into such enviable Game of Thrones shape?
In addition to Harington, this past month we looked at some killer workouts and insanely healthy diet plans from the likes of Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke, Jason Momoa, Nikolaj Coster, Lena Headey, and Julius Bjornsson.
Sophie Turner, best known for her role as Sansa Stark on the mega hit HBO television show Game of Thrones, now in its sixth season, also starred in this spring’s X-Men: Apocalypse as the young Jean Grey, a mutant with amazing telekinetic strength. The 20-year-old Brit is as fiercely determined as the characters she plays.
Turner started out as a ballerina and at age 11and was talented enough to be offered a spot in the prestigious Royal Ballet School in London. She turned it down to pursue her dream of acting, but the risky move just shows her determination to achieve what she truly wants in life.
She says suiting up for her role alongside Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique meant she needed to get in shape quick.
The costume for X-Men was rather unforgiving, the actress says, so she trained incredibly hard during the shooting of the film and apparently that same level of workout dedication hasn’t stopped. Shoot days were about 13 hours long, including up to 60 minutes of exercise six times a week.
For three months she did full-body workouts with trainer James Farmer, which consisted of hill sprints, kettlebells, resistance bands, and burpees.
Her workouts were done all around London, and outside, which Turner tells Self was “more fun than being cooped up in a gym.” Like many people, she needed to do fun stuff to take her mind off the fact that she was working out.
Emilia Clarke is perhaps best known for her powerful role as Daenerys Targaryen (often referred to as Khaleesi) in Game of Thrones. She’s bagged multiple awards for her outstanding performance, and will undoubtedly continue to do so as the show moves towards its next season.
If you’ve seen Game of Thrones, you’d know that Clarke’s character can often be seen completely nude. It’s hard to imagine her not freaking out over being so vulnerable on TV. So, as all actors do when faced with a role like Clarke’s, she worked out excessively.
When preparing for Game of Thrones, she does weight training, kickboxing, cardio, and stunt training. She also does squats for her butt and thighs.
In a previous interview, she described her audition for Game of Thrones:
“I abstained from sugar for the whole three weeks before my final audition, to look my best. I walked into an auditorium filled with every single executive in HBO, and they gave me a Coke – so I began bouncing off the walls.”
Duigan believes the key to a healthy body is healthy eating. His diets are designed to cleanse your body of fattening toxins and work best when you consume food in its natural state. To get a lean body, it’s best to fuel yourself with nutrient-dense food and regular exercise is essential.
Kit Harington’s gym workout for Pompeii and Game of Thrones is slightly different. For Game of Thrones, Harington’s trainer Dalton Wong focused on compound exercises that mimic on-set moves. Basically, Harington did lots of full-body movement exercises instead of isolation exercises. Cable routines allowed his body to achieve a fuller range of movement because the goal is to get a sword around his head.
Harington also concentrated on strength-training exercises that tone his glutes, leg, and back muscles. Harington did 45 minutes to an hour of pull movements, upper-body push movements, deadlifts, and lateral lunges. Harington’s go-to warm-ups include knee hugs, thread the needle, and lunge stretches. His Game of Thrones’ workout included pendulum lunges, weighted push-ups rows, lateral dumbbell lunges, and kneeling curl and presses.
Two months prior to Game of Thrones’ third season, Harington badly injured his ankle. As a result, Wong concentrated on increasing Harington’s range; if the actor hurt his ankle on a squat, he wouldn’t go so deep.
Kit Harington’s Pompeii trainer Nuno De Salles says the actor was actually in pretty bad shape before he prepared for the role of Milo. De Salles says Harington sometimes hit the gym a little too hard; he even had to slow him down. He trained during 60-minute sessions, for six days weekly.
Jason Momoa, aka Khal Drogo, from Game of Thrones is jacked—and he likes to remind people. The star, who spends an hour shirtless on television screens across the globe, has recently been sharing shirtless training videos of himself in the gym.
The journey to getting lean for his upcoming Aquaman role seems to be why, and he’s capturing the transformation for all to see.
Momoa takes a pretty barebones approach to fitness. He doesn’t use a bunch of fancy machines, but rather relies on barbells, racks and free weights.
He performs exercises like pull-ups, dumbbell rows, bench press, shoulder press and squats to accumulate mass and strengthen his entire body.
As he leans out for Aquaman he’ll likely preform more isolation movements like bicep curls, abdominals and chest flyes to bring out the detail in his physique. But the core strength movements he seems to prefer are compound movements that utilize multiple muscle groups.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau uses an intense workout to get in shape for his role as swordsman Jaime Lannister in HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Game of Thrones is one of TV’s most popular shows, and Coster-Waldau is one of the show’s breakout stars. As Lannister, Coster-Waldau has to be an intimidating presence on the small screen, portraying a character that slays enemies and wields a sword in combat.
The Danish star’s workout is intense, but he prefers a variety of equipment-free exercises that give him both a great body and functional strength.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau isn’t much of a gym buff. He doesn’t like doing exercises that use gym equipment.
This is why Coster-Waldau has a leaner, slimmer body than some of his Thrones co-stars. While many action stars bulk up and work hard to develop the biggest muscles possible, Coster-Waldau focuses more on improving his actual strength.
Game of Thrones star Lena Headey, who plays Cersei Lannister, may have lost out on the Emmy award for Outstanding Supporting Actress, but she had social media buzzing over how phenomenal she looked after having just given birth to her second child.
The actress is a huge devotee of yoga and boxing, so it’s really no surprise that she was able to drop the baby weight by following her regular fitness regime. Some believe that being in shape before pregnancy can help with weight loss afterwards, and it’s certainly true for this actor and mother of two.
Headey—who also starred in the movie 300—may have a strict workout routine, but the same might not be true of her diet.
The actor took up boxing and became obsessed with it, going every day when she wasn’t working. She says it’s an insane sport once you get into it, and jokingly added that she was doing it long before the movie Million Dollar Baby.
She loves boxing because it’s physically challenging and allows her to get out any pent up aggression. Boxing teaches hand-eye coordination, balance, and is a superior cardiovascular activity. The more advanced moves also build muscle in the arms and legs.
Hafþór “Thor” Júlíus Björnsson plays Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane on Game of Thrones.
The Mountain is named as such because the character is a huge and immensely physically powerful man, and the appropriately named Thor, though the third actor to play this role is perfectly cast.
He stands at nearly six feet, nine inches and weighs around 400 pounds. The Icelandic actor is also a two-time consecutive winner of the Europe’s Strongest Man competition, taking the title in 2014 and 2015.
Of course, on top of that there’s his workout routine, and that is, again, as you might imagine, also off the charts. He can bench press over 500 pounds, and he once made a comment about doing deadlifts, saying that he wasn’t lifting all that much that day, just 705 pounds. You know, only almost twice his weight; only the equivalent of maybe four or five people or the average female adult moose!