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I Tried the ‘Game of Thrones’ Workout for a Week — and Almost Died

I have yet to see a single fitness facility in Westeros. Yet, in watching six-plus seasons of Game of Thrones, I’ve noticed that most of the familiar faces in The Seven Kingdoms — except maybe Sam Tarly — are in ridiculously good shape. Given the show’s cult-like popularity, there are about a million different workout plans on the internet claiming to give you Jon Snow’s rippling pectorals, or have you working out during an episode. And these exercises are tough. I took a look — every single regimen looked to be more difficult to master than securing a seat on the iron throne.

But I didn’t shy away from these workouts like Theon Greyjoy cowers away from everything in his life. I said, “Bring on the crazy exercises!”

So I scoured the internet for the best Game of Thrones inspired workouts and performed a few of them over the course of a week. (Unfortunately, there was no Cersei workout. But I think we all know that a steady diet of evil scheming and red wine is what keeps that crazy lady slim.) I went into the week with plenty of determination and ended with soreness in the most random of places. Here’s what happened during my week of Game of Thrones workouts.

My arms almost fell off

A woman clutching her mouth with her hands

A woman clutching her mouth with her hands This was probably the look on my face when I realized how sore my arms were. | HBO

I kicked off my week of themed workouts by attempting an upper-body regimen from Men’s Health. Something about the quaint pictures of the characters lifting dumbbells made me think it would be a do-able workout. So I tried many of the exercises at once, thinking I could handle it.

I went to bed that night feeling fine. Then woke up the next morning convinced that my arms were going to fall out of their sockets. Note to anyone wanting to try this workout: Don’t attempt to do extra sets of overhead presses just because Daenerys Targaryen is portrayed making them look like a breeze. Your shoulders and triceps will feel like they were lit on fire by one of her dragons.

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