In October 2022, Hafthor Björnsson announced he would hang up the boxing gloves to return to professional strongman. In the same month, the former 2018 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion revealed he would also compete on a sanctioned powerlifting platform on Dec. 3, 2022. (Note: To date, the exact name of the contest remains undisclosed.) Judging by some of his recent social media updates, the strongman living legend is working full steam ahead to be in tip-top shape for all sorts of strength sports competitions.
On Nov. 10, 2022, Björnsson shared an Instagram clip of himself completing a raw 360-kilogram (793.6-pound) deadlift for two reps during a training session. The strongman/powerlifter completed the deadlift from a conventional stance, wore just a lifting belt, and was in his socks.
For Björnsson, the pull itself might not be noteworthy compared to his past high standards. After all, at face value, the Icelandic athlete holds the all-time deadlift World Record of 501 kilograms (1,104.5 pounds) from the 2020 World’s Ultimate Strongman “Feats of Strength” series.
However, that record pull came while equipped in a strongman setting, while this recent training was raw. Perhaps more importantly, after dedicating himself to slimming down for his boxing career for a few years, Björnsson weighs approximately 100 pounds less than his 205-kilogram (451.9-pound) peak strongman body weight. In context, these notes could make his 793-pound deadlift double more impressive — considering the set-up might be a little out of his usual comfort zone and that he’s carrying a lot less mass overall.
The last time Björnsson featured in a formal powerlifting competition was a first-place performance at the 2018 World Raw Powerlifting Federation (WRPF) Thor’s Powerlifting Challenge. He competed in the 140-kilogram-plus division while wearing wraps. Overall, Björnsson has four first-place wins in five career powerlifting contests, with his lone non-first-place finish being a second-place result. It’s unclear which weight class Björnsson will fit when he participates in his early December 2022 powerlifting return, but he will do so raw.
Here’s an overview of Björnsson’s all-time raw competition bests:
*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. In addition, Björnsson has never competed in a three-lift raw powerlifting meet. This total includes only a bench press and deadlift.
When it comes to the lifting exploits of an icon like Björnsson, it’s probably understandable if more eyes and ears will focus on the athlete. With the spotlight starting to shine on his trademark power and athleticism again, the strength sports world will find out whether Björnsson can thrive once more in the coming weeks.
Featured image: @thorbjornsson on Instagram