Hafthor Bjornsson pulled some epically large deadlifts in training heading into the Arnold Strongman Classic this weekend; the event he won the last two years in a row. He deadlifted 455kg/1,003lbs for a double, 480kg/1,058lbs without a suit, even knocked out some volume deadlifting 373kg/822lb for reps.
Bjornsson was the big story coming into the Rogue Elephant Bar deadlift event, not just because he is six foot nine, four hundred and forty pounds, and the favorite to win, but because he planned to break Eddie Hall’s 500kg/1,102lb deadlift world record by a kilo. A feat that would have paid off handsomely since Rogue Fitness decided to add a $101,000 ante to anyone who could successfully pull 501kg/1,104.5lb or more.
However, Bjornsson decided not to make a third attempt and forego attempting a world record. Bjornsson was in second place overall heading into the event and his second attempt of 465kg/1,026lb was good enough to secure victory. For those curious, his first attempt was a successful 436kg/961lb.
Here are the final standings of the Rogue Elephant Bar deadlift event:
- Hafthor Bjornsson
- Jean-Francois Caron
- Mikhail Shivlyakov
- Bob Thompson
- Robert Kearney
- Jerry Pritchett
- Martins Licis
- Mateusz Kieliszkowski
- Oleksii Novikov
- Matjaz Belsak
[Related: Check out Hafthor Bjornsson’s 10,000 calorie diet heading into the Arnold Strongman Classic]
The World Record Deadlift
Unfortunately, the Arnold endured complications with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who prevented the Arnold from allowing any spectators at the event due to fears of coronavirus outbreak. Although it is not clear if the volume of empty seats was a factor in Bjornsson’s decision to not go for the world record, it may have been a consideration.
Another possible reason Bjornsson decided against going for the record is the fatigued state each strongman is in at the Arnold due to the deadlift not being the first event. He has shared concerns about that before:
“…the elephant bar at the Arnold’s, but if you’ve been following, you’ll know that the deadlift event will be on day 2 which means that the athletes will be attempting the deadlift in a fatigued state, which makes achieving 501kg much harder.”
Bjornsson attempted the 501kg deadlift at the 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic but missed. In an interview with Sport360, he said it was because his left foot slipped during the lift.
Bjornsson jolts into first place in the overall standings with his win in the Rogue Elephant Bar deadlift with only the Timber Carry and the Cyr Strategic Dumbbell Challenge events left to go.
Feature image via Hafthor Bjornsson’s Instagram page: @thorbjornsson