Instagram, @larshappyviking - photo by Henrik Wagner
Hi! Tell us about yourself and your training
Heeeey! How you doin’?
My name is Lars happy Viking Besand, and I am 43 years old, and very happy about it.
I work as a social healthcare worker. I am living, together with my dream woman Julie in the north of Denmark, together with our English bulldog, and my three beautiful daughters.
I think that my major accomplishment in this sport of bodybuilding is getting up everyday and never giving up, and making sure that all my students keep developing into the happiest Vikings in the world. Besides that – I’ve won Denmark’s strongest man -105 kg and Masters, Jutlands.
Strongest Man -105 kg & Masters – all multiple times, and competed at both Arnold’s, Strongman’s Champions League World Championship, etc.
I’ve been training since age 8 and I think that it might have been legends like Bruce Lee and Arnold Schwarzenegger that prompted my training destiny.
So basically the dream of kicking ass in the most muscular way.
Besides bodybuilding and strength training, I have also done shotokan karate, taekwondo (2nd degree black belt), boxing, shooting, Mixed Martial arts, volleyball, bodybuilding, powerlifting, supboarding and fitness.
My hobbies besides strongman/strength sports are my family, and when there’s time left from that, I enjoy reading thick literature and long walks in nature.
… aaaaand when I have insomnia, I love playing games on my PlayStation 4. Add me: larsbadboy!
I am so grateful and honoured to be sponsored by quite a few amazing companies: MyProtein, Cerberus Strength, Recoverfit, Grimfrost, Emborg Catering, Tropic Sun, Golden Beards, ChaoChao Aalborg #luckieststrongmanintheworld.
In the strength world, I really value the friendships you get with people around the world. Friendships with both fans and fellow athletes.
But the best part is seeing people you care about grow stronger both physically and psychological.
When they grow through their comfort zones and make life a happier experience for them.
Describe a typical day of training
I’m doing 4-6 workouts a week. They are 2-3 fullbody workouts at Gym & Fitness Aalborg and 2-3 strongman event workouts at Crossfit Dannebrog.
Each workout takes me approximately 2-2.5 hours to complete (with a good warm up with stretching and mobility before the workout).
Overall, the most important thing is the intensity in my training and to be happy with it. And by intensity, we/I focus on, not the kg´s but the feel of the lifts. You know, sometimes the bar has a 100 kg on it and feels like nothing, but other times, the empty bar feels heavier than Eddies Halls 500kg deadlift.
During off season, there’s really nothing special about my program, I picked some good and favorite exercises, I calculated the volume, split them into gruesome workouts.
My favourite exercises are log press, deadlift and squats. However, I prefer to train everything that I suck at so I love crushing the comfort zone daily!
I do love to train with others. I know all the guys/girls on the strongman team – so the atmosphere is amazing. It’s a local gym so you can tell some heavy weights are being thrown. I absolutely love the atmosphere of training with strong people and pushing the limits at every single workout.
Usually the only cardio I do is strongman event training and fasted cardio walks or cycling, and mowing the lawn.
Before my workouts, I take 200-400mg caffeine (MyProtein, top quality brand, so you won’t go wrong with it).
After my training I stretch long and good and then eat some reaalllll food… lies..
I lied to you! I usually, during offseason, rush to the shower, and off to work with a protein bar in my mouth because my days are quite packed.
Made Strong for The Strong!
How do you keep going and push harder?
I have a hard time giving up.
If I first commit to it, I can’t do anything by half – always 100% – this is my life.
And honestly after some time, it just becomes a lifestyle. When motivation leaves the room, discipline enters and keeps you alive and moving forward.
You gotta love what you do, that’s how you keep training for as long as I have, that’s how you keep pushing yourself, that’s how you find time for it.
Ain’t nothing to it but to do it!
I’ve worked through many hard times in my life, but the hardest was probably getting anxiety, and learning to live with it, and being open about it. That even a strong healthy person like me has weak spots and can be sad at times, but that does not make me a weak person, just a person that keeps fighting an invisible fight. A Viking that never gives up.
As mentioned earlier, my days are quite packed. All days are usually planned within 30 minutes buffers. So everyday is scheduled, with work, training, eating, taking care of my family – so it takes quite some planning to make sure everything adds up in the end.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
These days, I train for the coming competitions in strongman, OCR and whatever I want to do.
I have some invitations for some big events internationally and will do some events in Denmark, if they are freelance and not federated by nepotism.
For example, it looks quite funny when a big gorilla like myself, attack the OCR course – but maintaining a good cardio is essential for all elite athletes – and the only thing hard for me is the hill running – and sometimes the grip – as 105 kg is quite heavy doing ninja stuff, like my OCR inspiration Katja Christensen.
I keep pushing myself at every workout. I try train smartly, do stretches, mobility, and etc. It’s a long-term game on the road to Valhalla.
My goals in the future are to keep progressing, keep getting a healthier physique and influence as many good people as I can, to get into a lifestyle or at least train any sport they love and that they may feel happy about.
It’s important to stay fit and healthy! I promise life changes a lot when you have a healthy physique!
If I could start over in my fitness journey, I would not change anything. You learn by your mistakes, they are a crucial part of our life – but definitely I wouldn’t have used so much time, helping ungrateful assholes and people in and around the sport – and just focus on the close friends.
Instagram, @larshappyviking - photo by Audley Thomas
How do you recover, rest and handle injuries?
Injuries can be a serious problem for NOT just athletes but generally anyone who’s unfortunate to get them!
I am fortunate to be endorsed by elite Army and athlete physio therapist Claus, fysiofitness.dk who makes sure that my frame is capable of maintaining massive amounts of heavy training, and still feeling great.
In case I get injured, which happens occasionally, I make sure to not stress the injury and rest it as much as possible — while maintaining my training regime.
For muscle recovery, I mainly use my couch, bed or supboard.. hehe..
After training, I eat a lot of protein, salad and water for rehydration.
I try to sleep for about seven hours, but this seldom happens as I suffer from anxiety and thus often insomnia.
But hey, a power nap is worth gold – and at any time of the day.
How is your diet and what supplements do you use?
I do not have a specific diet at the moment, my goal now is to increase happiness in my training – and private life.
But towards a competition, I always use bodybuilding and nutrition expert Per Larsen – owner of Gym and Fitness Aalborg and Larsen Coaching for both fitness, bodybuilding, strongman, and lifestyle nutrition.
All my supplements: EEA, ALA, Beta-Alanine, creatine and protein shakes are from MyProtein and if you use my discount code, LARSBVEN, at the Danish website MyProtein.dk you get a minimum of 20% discount.
The diet plan I go by is mostly made up of plenty of protein, vegetables and some carbohydrates before and after training. To eat enough protein, I mainly eat eggs, chicken and beef. For carbohydrates, rice and vegetables carrots and mixed salad.
I try to eat the same every day and thereby bring in a good amount of protein.
Most of all, with this plan I love that it is effective for feeling great, not bloated and as a bonus, the food is simple and delicious.
I love cheat meals, but I do it quite rarely – even off season! But prefer cake #guiltypleasure and homemade angus burger, supplied from Emborg Catering.
What has inspired and motivated you?
The man who has inspired me the most is my dad. Growing up, he was the epitome of being a hard working man – and as a husband/father – loving and caring. He proved that you should never give up – and always do your best!
I liked that, I did it and it became my lifestyle.
I also get motivation from people in the gym, when they give their all during workouts! But especially my athletes from our strongman gym – when they crush all doubts and go through their comfort zone!
That really inspires me!
Advice for other people who want to improve themselves? Consistency is the key to everything.
The main thing, about the training lifestyle, is mainly that you just do the workouts and never stop.
Sleep and nutrition are also very important. So consistency is the key to everything.
If you are new to this lifestyle, I would recommend just to train regularly and slowly everything will fall into place.
If someone can help, in this journey like a coach, athlete or friend, it would be very beneficial for you.
Just don’t stop, ever!
Are you taking on clients right now?
Currently, I’m just a motivational and technical coach for my team members at Crossfit Dannebrog Strongman team, and a few selected athletes.
This is where I help people to get their results and develop as human beings.
Where can we learn more about you?
Ready to get really fit and inspired?
I’m Mads Phikamphon, founder of Bulk Hackers.
Here on Bulk Hackers we interview bodybuilders, personal trainers and fitness heroes. We ask them to share their stories and all their greatest hacks!
If you liked this interview, join our newsletter below.
Interested in doing an interview? Send me an email.