“The Mountain” is coming back.
The world of strength sports has taken notice: Hafthor Björnsson is officially ending a nearly three-year retirement from competitive lifting. On February 13, 2023, a man known as “The Mountain” posted a video on his YouTube channel sharing the news with the world.
After a brief recap of his previous career achievements in strongman and boxing, the 2018 World’s Strongest Man revealed that he will first return to powerlifting. His vision is fixed broke the all-time world record total, currently held by Dan Bell at 1,182.5 kilograms (2,606.9 pounds). Bell set that mark in rounds at the 2021 WRPF Hybrid Showdown III meet. Björnsson has set a deadline of late 2023 to break that record, but did not mention competing in any specific event.
Bjornson’s last meet was in December 2022, where he competed in rounds at his own “Thorse Powerlifting Meet”. His numbers from that event are:
- Squat – 380 kilograms (837.7 pounds)
- Bench Press – 210 kilograms (463 pounds)
- Deadlift – 380 kilograms (837.7 pounds)
- Gross – 970 kilograms (2,138.5 pounds)
If he was to break Bell’s record, he would have to make up serious ground. Below is Bell’s performance from the 2021 meet where the current world record is set:
- Squat – 500 kilograms (1,102.3 pounds)
- Bench Press – 272.5 kilograms (600.7 pounds)
- Deadlift – 410 kilograms (903.9 pounds)
- Gross – 1,182.5 kilograms (2,606.9 pounds)
Making the 212.5-kilogram (468.4-pound) difference will be a tall order, but the 6’9″ strength legend is confident he can do it.
Bjornson later announced that his “major, major goal” was to return to his original sport of strength. Specifically, he intends to compete in the 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic in March in Columbus, Ohio. Bjornson plans to compete in the 2024 Strongman Rogue Invitational event. The Rogue event has not been scheduled as of this writing, but has been held in Round Rock, Texas, in October for the past two years.
If he reaches his powerlifting goal, Bjornson said, he’s confident he’ll have enough strength to start training for strongman events.
Björnsson’s next merit-based honor was induction into the International Sports Hall of Fame. That event will be held at the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival on March 4 in Columbus, OH.
The legendary competitor is already a three-time winner of the Arnold Strongman Classic, winning the title in 2018, 2019 and 2020. He has yet to compete in the Rogue Invitational as a full-fledged competitor, but he will step into his field in 2022. Broke his own weight-over-bar world record.
Bjornson is the only person to have won the World’s Strongest Man, the Arnold Strongman Classic and the World’s Ultimate Strongman competition. Adding the Rogue Invitational to his trophy case will play a big role in his claim to being the most accomplished strongman of all time.
Featured Image: @thorbjornsson on Instagram