Generation IronVikings were known for the unmatchable prowess in battle.

Are you a fan of the History Channel’s Vikings? If not we’ve got two things to say to you. Firstly, you’re crazy, and second, you need to get on that ASAP. Who the hell in their right mind doesn’t appreciate the battle tested viking warriors of old? They ran head first into the fray of combat without any backwards glances. That alone should earn them all the respect in the world.

So we know that vikings were fearsome warriors, men, and some women, bred for battle and plundering. We also know that they weren’t exactly built like bodybuilders, though many have been reported to look as if they were chiseled out of granite. Despite that, the viking mentality which relies on determination and mental toughness is something any bodybuilder can appreciate.

We’ve got a list of exercises that may not make you huge, but will turn you into a beast like the battle hardened vikings of old.

Chopping Logs – To Failure

If a viking wanted to consider themselves in the same league as vikings like Ragnar Lothbrok and Erik the Red, then you’re going to need explosive power and strength to overcome their enemies. Log chopping is a great strength and conditioning exercise that will give anyone devastating power for swinging a sword or throwing a punch.

Stone Carry – 4 sets, 500 meters

Nothing like some old school stone carrying to give you the kind of endurance a viking would need on the battlefield. This is pretty much a staple of strong man competitions and for good reason. Anyone that can haul a heavy ass stone for a fair distance has to be pretty damn strong.


Pull Ups – To Failure

If the vikings wanted to climb over battlements and parapets then they were going to need the back, shoulder, and core strength to do it. Get the grip strength and ability to scale any wall by performing some pull ups and watch your functional strength sky rocket.

Push Ups – 5 sets, 20 reps

Vikings weren’t all about axes, spears, and swords. They needed to defend themselves with their bare hands if need be. Push ups may not be the most attractive of exercises, but try doing 100 in one sitting. If you can, it means you’ve got some crazy upper body strength and a punch that could easily smash someone’s face in.

Farmers Carry – 4 sets, 500 meters

Speaking of weapons, Vikings had to haul a bunch of weaponry, shields, and loot along with them on their many travels. For that they needed to keep a tight grip on a great many things and that requires some serious grip and forearm strength. The farmers carry is a perfect exercise to acquire such strength.

So what’s your thoughts on the vikings of old? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter. Also, be sure to watch the premiere of the third season of Vikings tonight, only on the History Channel.


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Jonathan Salmon
Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.