Strongman competitor Hafthor Bjornsson decided to test his out his cardio by working out with two-time CrossFit Games champion Annie Thorisdottir at CrossFit Reykjavik. It is not often the 2018 World’s Strongest Man champion hops into the cardio arena but he is not necessarily a stranger either. He has trained with Thorisdottir twice before.
As Bjornsson and his team gathered in the early morning for the workout, Bjornsson expressed regret choosing to do this as Thorisdottir wrote out the workout on a whiteboard:
- Clean and jerk up to 90kg+, EMOM (every minute on the minute).
- 500m C2 (concept) bike for time to calculate workout time.
Three intervals, every four minutes
- 500m C2 bike.
- Ten wall balls.
- 15m prowler push.
Bjornsson declares Thorisdottir “The Queen of Cardio” as he offered, “I’m going to try my best. If I feel like I’m going to tap out, I’m going to tap out.” Videographer Runar Geirmundsson ensures Bjornsson will not tap out before Bjornsson adds, “I probably have decent cardio amongst the [strongmen], but when I come inside here, I’m the fat guy.”
Bjornsson assertively declines doing any weight heavier than Thorisdottir out of concern for completing the workout. “I usually rest six minutes between sets. Last time I was laying on the floor, dying basically”, Bjornsson says, “But it’s good for me to work on my endurance. I like this.” Thorisdottir pulls out the barbell with her name inscribed on it, sleeves up her knees, and they get to work.
Bjornsson shares that he has not clean and jerked in quite some time, his shoulders are a bit tight, and that he will have to go at it easy. As the two champions work their way up to 105kg (231lbs), it is almost comical how easy Bjornsson tosses around the weight. “It looks like a baby bar!” Thorisdottir exclaims watching Bjornsson.
Geirmundsson inquires how Bjornsson is feeling moving on to the C2 bike, “I’m stressed. I’m very stressed.” Bjornsson announces.
Thorisdottir and Bjornsson attack the bikes hard and calculate the average pace they each need to move during the workout. Before getting after it, they load up Bjornsson’s sled with weight plates; a lot of weight plates.
Geirmundsson checks in after the first round. “How are you feeling?” He asks Bjornsson. “Tired.” Bjornsson exhales while sitting out the second interval. “My quads are so stiff, I’m not sure I should even do the last set. I want to play it smart. Let’s face it, I’m no Annie Thorisdottir. She is the champion.” Thorisdottir, still breathing heavy from the second interval, says to Geirmundsson, “So are you jumping in instead of him on the last one? Do the last one with me.”
In an unexpected twist, Bjornsson hops behind the camera and Geirmundsson runs the last interval alongside Thorisdottir. “I’m not even warm!” Geirmundsson says with only 53 seconds before the interval begins.
The last round seems like a struggle as both athletes fall to the floor, out of breath at its completion. As the workout comes to a close, Bjornsson assesses his performance, “I think I did okay.” Thorisdottir concurs, ” I think you did really good. I would have liked to see one more interval here. But I think you did amazing because you have your own training session today. You’re going very far outside your comfort zone to do CrossFit.”
Bjornsson shares that his priority is the Arnold Strongman Classic in March 2020, where he intends to three-peat after having won the event in 2018 and 2019.
It is probably best that “The Mountain” didn’t overdo it in this workout with the “The Queen of Cardio”. With the ASC just a short four months away, Bjornsson will need all the rest and recovery he can get.
Feature image from Hafthor Bjornsson’s Youtube channel.