When you have the last two World’s Strongest Man champions training together, you know something big could happen. 2018 champion Hafthor Bjornsson and 2019 champion Martins Licis are training together for two weeks at Bjornsson’s gym in Iceland. They have both been sharing footage on YouTube including a video that went live on Saturday afternoon.
In the video, Bjornsson took his deadlift training to a new level by pulling 1,003 pounds (455 kg) for two reps. Bjornsson also made a statement that the other men in the ASC field, including Licis, may want to take note of.
“I could have done it for 4 reps.”
It’s no secret that Bjornsson wants to be the man to break Eddie Hall’s world record of deadlifting 500 kg (1,102 pounds). The closest he had previously come was at last year’s ASC where he deadlifted 1,045 (474 kg). He attempted 1,104 pounds (501 kg) but failed to lock the weight out after reaching his knees.
It should be noted that Bjornsson performed the feat on a custom barbell that he used to train for the Elephant Bar Deadlift which is one of the events for the Arnold Strongman Classic. The custom bar weighs 73 pounds (33 kg).
Both Bjornsson and Licis are preparing for the 2020 ASC and are considered the top two favorites going into the contest in Columbus, Ohio. Bjornsson has been slowly ramping up his training since he started his prep. He had previously been coming off a foot injury he suffered at the 2019 World’s Strongest Man contest which Licis won.
Licis, has also been bitten by the injury bug, having suffered nerve damage in his neck and shoulder. That affected his triceps and pressing ability significantly. He did compete and win the 2020 Arnold Strongman USA to earn his qualification to the ASC in March.
Bjornsson’s described his overall prep as going “on point” before finishing his warm-up sets of deadlifts. While he was adding weight each set, Licis focused on speed while training with 333 kg (734 pounds). Both hope to be healthy and ready to compete on March 6 and 7 along with the rest of the 10 man lineup to determine the 2020 ASC winner.
Featured Image: Instagram/thorbjornsson