Breaking Dan Bell’s all-time powerlifting raw (w/wraps) world record total was Hafthor Björnsson’s goal for 2023. However, a pec tear in April 2023 while attempting a 252.5-kilogram (556.7-pound) personal best bench press during a powerlifting meet derailed his plans.
Prior to his injury, “The Mountain” trained chest and back with 2023 Olympia Men’s Physique competitor Ryan Terry, where he hit a 232.5-kilogram (521.5-pound) bench press single. After the workout, Terry guided Björnsson through a bodybuilding posing routine. Check out the video below, courtesy of Björnsson’s YouTube channel:
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Terry and Björnsson opened the posing routine with the front lat spread. Terry directed Björnsson to spread his lats to accentuate Björnsson’s V-taper and highlight his full, round deltoids.
Hands on your hips and sit down on your abs.
Terry advised against rolling over the shoulders or hunching the back while hitting the front lat spread. Pulling back the shoulders and pushing out the chest while striking this pose can make the lats pop more, creating the illusion of wider shoulders and a slimmer waist.
The duo transitioned to the front pose seen in Men’s Physique. They placed one hand on the hip while the other is extended at the side. In this pose, the athlete turns slightly and shifts most weight on the leading leg. This position highlights shoulder width and overall torso taper.
Back Pose & Front Double Biceps
In the back pose, Terry arched his back slightly, explaining that leaning back gives the judges a better view of the posterior chain as they look up at the stage.
Tense everything up and hold your lats out.
Terry advised Björnsson to hold his upper arms parallel to the floor while hitting the front double biceps pose and driving the lats out and forward. Terry emphasized the importance of contracting the abs while performing this pose to bring out the midsection definition.
Abdominals and Thighs
Björnsson experienced abdominal cramps while holding the abs and thighs pose, even while sufficiently hydrated.
I’ve had this issue throughout my whole career. Maybe it’s because of my body weight or height.
Terry prescribed Björnsson 10 reps of ab contractions before demonstrating the abs and thigh pose. Terry recommended holding each rep for three seconds per rep. Terry turned to his side, performed a standing side crunch, and held the obliques in the shortened position for three seconds. Terry repeated this on both sides for 10 reps.
“Just that by itself is an exercise,” said Björnsson. Terry typically sweats heavily after completing 30 reps of ab contraction drills. He opined that practicing these poses and ab contractions improves mind-muscle connection, which can help an athlete hold their poses longer without cramping or involuntary shaking.
“There’s so much more to posing than just standing in front of the mirror and hitting the poses,” Terry said. “The more you practice it, the better you will be.”
Featured image: @thorbjornsson on Instagram