After almost three years away from competitive strength sports, Hafthor Björnsson is ready to go full throttle again and dial up the unique power that helps him live up to the nickname of “The Mountain.”
On Oct. 22, 2022, Björnsson shared a video on his YouTube channel where he trains and works through a light deadlift session while making a significant career announcement — he will be making a return to sanctioned powerlifting. The athlete disclosed that his first powerlifting appearance since December 2018 will happen on Dec. 3, 2022, but did not clarify what the competition is specifically.
Judging by Björnsson’s tenor while revealing his return to powerlifting, it seems the athlete will use this first undisclosed meet as a trial run of sorts. He wants to see “how the bar will react” while he lifts raw — a lifting style that can be a far cry from the lifting straps, wraps, and fully-equipped set-up of some strongman events.
In terms of setting reasonable expectations for himself as a powerlifter, Björnsson is aiming high. He wants to record a total of at least 1,000 kilograms (2,204.6 pounds). Björnsson’s all-time raw competition best total as a powerlifter is 1,100 kilograms (2,425 pounds) from the 2018 World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) Thor’s Powerlifting Challenge.
Here’s an overview of Björnsson’s all-time raw competition bests from his powerlifting career:
*Hafthor Björnsson | All-Time Raw Competition Powerlifting Bests
- *Squat — No raw attempt
- Bench Press — 250 kilograms (551.1 pounds)
- Deadlift — 410 kilograms (903.9 pounds)
- **Total — 506 kilograms (1,113.3 pounds)
*Note: According to Open Powerlifting, Björnsson has never recorded a raw squat during an official powerlifting contest.
**Note: According to Open Powerlifting, Björnsson has never competed in a three-lift raw powerlifting meet. This total includes only a bench press and deadlift.
Björnsson’s announcement of a powerlifting return comes on the heels of his “partial” comeback to strongman. In mid-October 2022, the 2018 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion revealed that he would push to break his own weight-over-bar World Record at the 2022 Rogue Invitational on Oct. 28-30. The current weight-over-bar mark from the 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic — which, again, Björnsson owns — is a weight of 56 pounds thrown over a height of 20’2″.
Should Björnsson officially surpass that record figure, he alluded to a future where he may try to break his own deadlift World Record of 501 kilograms (1,104.5 pounds) from the 2020 World’s Ultimate Strongman “Feats of Strength” series. In the event that the potential goal is successful, Björnsson would naturally be the first-ever strongman to deadlift over 501 kilograms.
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For an impeccably strong athlete like Björnsson, it appears he wants to rekindle the passions that pushed him to the top of the strength sports world. At this rate, knowing what Björnsson brings to the table, who’s to say the strongman/powerlifter won’t excel on a consistent level again?
Featured image: Hafthor Björnsson on YouTube