Hafthor Bjornsson Puts Up Big Total At Powerlifting Meet

Over the weekend, the 2018 World’s Strongest Man and Game of Thrones star Hafthor Bjornsson competed in Thor’s Powerlifting Challenge, which took place during the Iceland Open expo in Laugardalshöll, Reykjavík, Iceland. 

In early November when Bjornsson first announced that he’d be competing in powerlifting the strength sports world went crazy. Bjornsson fans predicted a world record breaking total, while naysayers predicted he’d bomb out. After this weekend and a 6/9 performance, it’s safe to say Bjornsson was pretty far from bombing out, and he wasn’t incredibly far from shattering Andrey Malanichev’s super heavyweight all-time world record total. 

So how did Bjornsson’s performance go? We’ve included a quick meet recap of his lifts below! A big thank you to Julian Howard on Instagram for obtaining the embedded videos.

For the squats, Bjornsson missed what is an easy opener for him, but hit a smooth 440kg/970 lb second attempt. This squat moved really fast, and Bjornsson bumped up another 20kg to attempt 460kg/1,014 lb for his third attempt.

Back in late 2017, Bjornsson teased about hitting a 1,000 lb squat, and he finally hit the weight, but unfortunately got called with 2/3 red lights, so the lift was deemed no good. A lot of Bjornsson fans said that it was a good lift, but that doesn’t change what the judges called. We’ve embedded the 460kg/1,014 lb squat below, so you can assess the lift.


On the bench press, Bjornsson ended up going 3/3. A lot of fans were unsure how he would perform on this movement since it’s not contested in strongman, but Bjornsson handled himself and his attempts with relative ease.

For his opener, Bjornsson hit a nice 235kg/518 lbs, then moved up to 245kg/540 lbs for his second. On his third attempt, Bjornsson easily handled 250kg/550 lbs.

Moving onto his deadlifts, Bjornsson went 2/3. He opened with a 390kg/859 lbs, which looked like a warm-up, then jumped up to 410kg/903 lbs for his second.

On his final attempt, Bjornsson went for 430kg/947 lbs, but was unable to lock it out. All of his lifts earned him a very strong 1,100kg/2,425 lb total.

I think it’s safe to say Bjornsson definitely held his own in this powerlifting competition and has much more to prove if he chooses to compete again in the future. What could he accomplish with a longer formal training block?

Feature image from @worldsstrongestfan Instagram page. 

Editor’s Note: This article was amended on 12/18 to reflect a change in Bjornsson’s lifts and squat attempts, as he missed his opener and went 6/9 for the day, not 7/9. 

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master’s in Sports Science and a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,300 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake’s bread-and-butter.

5 thoughts on “Hafthor Bjornsson Puts Up Big Total At Powerlifting Meet”

  1. The article covers Thors’ lifts but does not mention which contest it was or what place he placed in either his weight class or the contest in general.

    On another note I am not fond of the sites new design, the new design makes it harder to navigate.

  2. The most successful strongman-slash-powerlifter up until now was Bill Kazmaier, and Thor tied Kaz’s best total (1100kg back in 1981) in this meet. It’s very possible that Thor will both surpass Kaz’s 3 WSM wins and out-total him in powerlifting. Impressive.

    On an unrelated note, I do not care for the way the site has been redesigned. It is less attractive and more difficult to navigate, so it leaves me wondering what the change was meant to accomplish.

  3. Looks like a threat to anyone in the raw w/wraps division. All lifts are records for anyone 6′ 9″ or taller. Only 6′ 7″ Gary Heisey in multi-ply is comparable.

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