Hafthor Bjornsson, the reigning World’s Strongest Man™, is a very strong man. This strong man is best known for strongman, the sport that in addition to lifting heavy barbells requires loaded carries, flipping kegs, log lifts, plus a lot of cardiovascular conditioning.
But what if the world’s best strongman just focused on the big three barbell exercises? Bjornsson made waves in the world of strength sports earlier this month when he announced he was going to compete in powerlifting for the first time. He’s holding his own meet, called Thor’s Powerlifting Challenge, in just two weeks on December 15.
Everyone wondered what he was going to total and there were a lot of decent guesses at what he was going to squat and deadlift, considering those two lifts are staples in strongman events. What we weren’t so sure about was his bench press.
Like CrossFit, there’s not a lot of benching done in strongman events. Since it’s not a lift that his career has hinged on, his performance on the bench is being hotly anticipated. And we got a pretty interesting glimpse: the man has just PRd the lift, on his 30th birthday no less.
Take a look at the 245-kilogram (539-pound) lift below.
It seems worth mentioning here that the other big celebrity headed to Bjornsson’s powerlifting meet is Kirill Sarychev, the man who holds the world record for the heaviest raw bench press of all time: 738.5 pounds. So it’s safe to say Bjornsson probably won’t have the heaviest bench at the event — what people are really buzzing about is his deadlift.
Bjornsson has a long-standing rivalry with fellow strongman Eddie Hall and while the playing field between them has kind of evened out in a lot of ways (they’ve now both won World’s Strongest Man) Bjornsson has been gunning for Hall’s 500-kilogram deadlift world record for some time. Hall’s lift was equipped and with wrist straps we understand Bjornsson’s powerlifting meet will be raw, but Bjornsson’s max raw deadlift at this point is the subject of feverish speculation.
We’ve seen him set a 472-kilogram world record lift with an elephant bar this year (with wrist straps) but in a regular powerlifting meet? Well, we just saw him pull two “easy” 400-kilogram raw deadlifts earlier this week, but we can only guess at what his performance will be like in December. Watch this space.
Featured image via @thorbjornsson on Instagram.