Throwback: Thor Bjornsson Squats 200kg for 29 Grueling Reps

Hafthor Bjornsson has had a hell of a year, what with becoming the first person to win Europe’s Strongest Man, the Arnold Strongman Classic, and World’s Strongest Man in the same year. (The same three-month time span, actually.)

Given the strain he’s been under this year and the fact that he’s currently filming the next season of Game of Thrones, he isn’t posting quite as many insane training videos as he was on his (so far unrealized) quest to squat a thousand pounds last year.

But he’s keeping us all happy with this throwback post: 29 reps of a 200 kilogram (441 pound) squat. We know this is a pretty common comment on high rep sets, but we’ll say it anyway: that’s some niiiice cardio.

[Why do such a gut busting workout? Here’s why 20-rep squats are the best and worst thing ever.]

This was no walk in the park, even for the World’s Strongest Man™, but it was certainly a great display of the kind of grit and tenacity one needs to perform at his level. (Side note: it sounds like he likes to listen to motivational speeches while he’s doing incredibly hard workouts? We guess that actually makes sense.)

Bjornsson’s set immediately brought to mind the time we saw Estonian weightlifter Mart Seim squat 210 kilograms for 20 reps last year.

[Seim also made this crazy 12-rep set of squats at 270 kilograms, which is definitely worth a look.]

For those of you counting along at home, Seim moved a total of 4,200 kilograms (210 times 20) compared to Bjornsson’s 5,800 kilograms, though it’s worth emphasizing that Bjornsson weighs some 70 pounds more than the Estonian.

The best non-throwback lift we’ve seen from The Mountain recently is probably this deadlift triple of what looks to be 365 kilograms (804.7 pounds), which he made in May during his first deadlift session after winning World’s Strongest Man.

What’s he training for now? Bjornsson has said on a few occasions that he can and probably will wind up deadlifting over 500 kilograms to break Eddie Hall’s world record. His year of firsts may not be over.

Featured image via @thorbjornsson on Instagram.



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Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of different kinds of things, but his passion for health ultimately led him to cover it full time.Shanghai was where he managed to publish his first health related article (it was on managing diarrhea), he then went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before he finished his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and headed to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.Nick’s interest in health kind of comes from an existential angle: how are we meant to live? How do we reach our potential? Does the body influence the mind? (Believe it or not, his politics Master’s focused on religion.)Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.