Thor Bjornsson Deadlifts a Huge 951lb Double With Larry Wheels

While training with Larry Wheels in Iceland, the World's Strongest Man™ hit a big deadlift PR.

Meanwhile in Iceland, world record holding powerlifter Larry Williams — better known as Larry Wheels — is continuing his transition from powerlifting to strongman under the tutelage of a pretty darn effective coach: Hafthor Bjornsson. That’s the reigning World’s Strongest Man™. (It’s hard to ask for a better coach than that.)

Wheels has been in Iceland with Bjornsson for three weeks now, and he has uploaded a video of an epic deadlift session the two of them ran together. It’s interesting hearing about Wheels’ challenges as he tries to improve at strongman. He believes, for example, that his lack of experience squatting in knee sleeves is the reason why he didn’t win his last competition.

But what was really memorable was an event that you don’t see much, a rare treat: Hafthor Bjornsson PR’d his deadlift.

Now, there’s some confusion over the precise weight of this lift: the YouTube title says 951 pounds (431.4kg), the screen says it’s 952.4 pounds (432 kilograms), and Bjornsson himself says that it’s 430 kilograms, which would be 948 pounds.

We’ll go with the YouTube video’s title of 951 pounds for now, and we’ve embedded the video below to start right after the bar is loaded up. Note that this lift was made on an elephant bar, which has more whip than a standard stiff bar.

[Watch Bjornsson’s world record 472-kilogram elephant bar deadlift that he made last December!]

Bjornsson said this afterward,

I feel super super good, I’m super pleased with my session today. It’s always a good day when you have a successful deadlift session like that. This was very important training session and I am super pleased, it was 100 percent a success.

 430 for 2 is a PR for reps. For me, in my last preparation for Arnolds, I did on this bar 420 for 2, if I remember right. And then two weeks later I did 440 for 1 rep for 2 sets. So this was 430 for 2 reps and I will increase that in the coming weeks. So it’s already looking very promising for me. It looks like I’ll be in my best shape ever — I will be in my best shape ever — at the Arnolds.

It’s all about peaking at the right time, you know. I build up training programs with my coach Sebasian Oreb and we work together and it’s all about peaking at the right time. I can’t be this strong year round. But I train that way I’ll be at my strongest when I need to be.

The very same day this session was uploaded, 2017’s World’s Strongest Man and longtime rival of Bjornsson, Eddie Hall, published his own video in which he noted that there’s a $50,000 prize for anyone who can deadlift 500 kilograms at the Arnold. Hall, who is very well known for being the first man to ever lift this much weight, made sure his fans knew that anyone who would pull this much weight on an elephant bar would be doing “a bullshit lift” as “it’s a completely different bar.”

It’s a different bar, it leaves the ground later than a normal bar, that bar does suit Brian and Thor better because they’ve trained on it (…) and everyone does PBs on that bar. Everybody lifts more weight on that bar.

We’re unsure as to whether or not Bjornsson will be going for that record at the Arnold, but as he said in the Larry Wheels video, he’s positive he’s in his best shape ever. 

Featured image via Larry Wheels on YouTube.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. At BarBend his writing 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.

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