From England, Christopher ‘Kit’ Harrington performed in many school plays when he was a child. After graduating, he attended the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. While he was still in school, he debuted as the lead in the play War Horse. His breakthrough came in 2011 when he was cast as Jon Snow in the Game of Thrones. He has been nominated for several awards including a Golden Globe and 2 Primetime Emmys. Harrington developed, produced and starred in the series Gunpowder, and he has also acted in film, including Pompeii and as a voice actor in How to Train Your Dragon. He generally avoids social media. Harrington supports several charities including The Royal Mencap Society and Amnesty International. Harrington and his GoT co-star Rose Leslie married in 2018. He is 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs about 170 lbs.
Kit Harrington’s Diet
As the saying goes, ‘abs are made in the kitchen’ and it certainly holds true for Harrington’s Pompeii bod. After spending a month or so eating 5,000 calories a day to bulk up and gain about 25 lbs., he spent the next month eating a strict 1,800 calorie diet designed to cut fat and make those 8-pack abs pop. Of course he worked with a nutritionist to make sure he was hitting his macros and staying healthy.
- Medium Fat 20% 20%
- Medium Protein 35% 35%
- Medium-High Carb 45% 45%
Harrington’s Pompeii diet was carefully monitored, with every calorie and macro accounted for.
Spice It Up
Harrington added herbs and spices to his food to keep from getting bored with eating the same old, same old.
Harrington took cheat days for both mental and physical reasons. Mentally, it helped him manage cravings and stick to his diet the rest of the week, while physically, it kept his metabolism from slowing.
What to Eat
Gummy Bears (cheat)
Red Wine (cheat)
What to Avoid
Harrington on his Bulking-up Diet
‘I was eating all the time, loads of carbs like brown rice and sweet potatoes. And lots of chicken.’
Harrington on Gaining
‘I’m not a 6’ 3” guy who can bulk up and just look like an absolute unit, a tank.’
Harrington on his Mental Health while Filming Game of Thrones
‘I felt very vulnerable…That was a time when I started therapy.’
Kit Harrington’s Fitness Routine
Gladiator Boot Camp
Harrington trained 4 hours a day, 6 days a week for for 4 weeks prior to filming Pompeii getting in shape and learning how to fight with swords. He returned to GoT a better fighter.
Life Imitating Art
Harrington does many of his own stunts and says he has grown to love rock climbing, sword fighting and horseback riding, which are all parts of Jon Snow’s persona.
Don’t Over Do It
Harrington’s Pompeii trainer Nuno de Salles said he could sometimes hit the gym a little too hard, and had to slow him down.
Harrington injured his ankle before the third season of GoT. He had to scale back accordingly, but credits training for Pompeii with getting him back to 100%.
Mix It Up
Harrington’s GoT trainer was Dalton Wong. To help prevent plateauing, he would design different workouts for Harrington every day.
The Real Deal
For Pompeii, Harrington performed all of his fight scenes with real weapons.
Harrington spent 2 hours a day doing sword training, both single and double. Then he’d spend an hour lifting weights and another hour doing cardio.
Don’t Skip the Warm Up
Some of Harrington’s warm-up moves include thread-the-needle, lunge stretches and knee hugs. Some people might prefer to skip warming up but it can be a big mistake to jump straight into exercise with cold muscles.
Stretch & Strength
Harrington’s routines involve movements that combine muscle-building with mobility.
Harrington followed some typical bodybuilding techniques, like concentrating on a specific area such as chest or legs each day.
A Kit Harrington Pompeii Routine
Sword fighting: 2 hrs/day
Weight training: 1 hr/day. Focus on 1 area per day: shoulders, core & arms, legs, etc.
Cardio: 1 hr/day
Yoga, massage: regularly
Rest day: 1 day/week
Bonus Game of Thrones Routine
Knee hugs: hug 1 knee to chest while keeping other leg straight. Repeat 4x, switching legs.
Thread the needle: On hands & knees, thread left hand under right side, hovering 1” off floor, feeling chest open. Return to start position; repeat on opposite side. Do 10 reps/side
Lunge stretch: Start in forward lunge, right leg back, hands on floor on either side of left foot. Use right elbow inside right knee to increase stretch. Lift hips to stretch hamstrings. Repeat 4x, then do opposite side.
Use heavy dumbbells, 20- to 30-lbs. Do 4 rounds. 1 min rest between rounds.
Pendulum lunge: Holding dumbbells at sides, take a big step back with right leg, lowering knee to floor. Then step forward with right leg and bend left knee so it hovers over the floor. Repeat on left side, alternating for 1 min.
Weighted push-up rows: Grip dumbbells in plank position and lower chest to floor, keeping elbows next to ribs. Holding plank firm, lift left hand to ribs, then right, alternating for 1 min.
Lateral dumbbell lunge: Standing, hold dumbbells at sides. Lunge laterally to right, then return to start position. Repeat on left side. Alternate sides for 1 min.
Kneeling curl & press: Start on knees, arms at sides & 1 dumbbell in each hand. Palms facing out, curl weights to shoulders, then turn palms in as you press weights overhead. Slowly return to start. Repeat for 1 min.
Harrington on his Physique
‘My body type has a tiny bit of stockiness to it but it’s really quite wiry.’
Harrington on Taking a Risk
‘You’re not half a man for trying new things. Just give it your all when you do.’
Harrington on his 8-pack Abs
‘That involved 4 weeks …of going to this room with our wonderful stunt people and training very hard every day.’
Harrington on Fixing his Gimpy Ankle
‘It was the training for Pompeii that got me back to full fitness.’
Harrington on Gladiator Fighting
‘You’re brought into the ring to entertain…also the fights were longer, there were more of them, they were more flashy.’
Kit Harrington’s Supplements
Protein was a staple of Harrington’s Pompeii diet. He took both whey protein and casein. Both come from dairy and both promote muscle growth, but they also have some differences. Whey pro-tein dampens cravings, regulates blood sugar and blood lipids and reduces inflammation. Casein digests more slowly, so peo-ple often take it at bedtime to boost recovery and help prevent muscle breakdown.
Harrington also took branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs as part of his supplement regiment for Pompeii. BCAAs are a staple amongst athletes because they promote muscle growth, reduce fatigue during exercise and decrease post-exercise soreness.
Fish oil was another of Harrington’s staples on his special Pom-peii diet. Fish oil contains omega-3s which are proven to fight inflammation, can help you lose weight and support brain and heart health.
Kit Harrington’s Lifestyle
Self-Care Is Key
Harrington gets regular massages and physical therapy to help maintain peak health.
In 2019, Harrington checked himself into a health retreat in Connecticut to help deal with problems with stress and alcohol related to the end of Game of Thrones.
What’s in a Name?
Harrington has known himself as ‘Kit’ his entire life. He was 11 years old when it was pointed out to him at school that his real name was ‘Christopher.’
Harrington’s 8th great-grandfather was King Charles II. He is related people on both sides of the Gunpowder Plot, an assassination attempt of King James I (Charles II’s grandfather). It really gets Harrington’s goat when people try to make him sound like an aristocrat, which he says is not at all true.
Other than acting, Harrington says he would like to be a travel writer.
Harrington on his Roles
‘I never expected to be an action hero, per se, and that seems to be what I am right at this moment. It’s a complete surprise to me.’
Harrington on his Name
‘I’m not really a “Chris.”’
Harrington on his Royal Ancestors
‘It’s infuriating because that is part of my history, but you’re trying to turn me into a posh boy, and I’m not.’
Harrington on Power
‘The best people to have power are the ones who don’t want it.’
Harrington on Crying
‘I like a good cry every now and then. It releases something.’
Harrington on Social Media
‘I try not to read the social networks too much. I find that way madness lies.’
Harrington on Horses
‘I’ve got, like, a weird bond with horses. I’m kind of a horse whisperer.’