Hafthor Bjornsson Sets New World Record at 2022 Rogue Invitational, Hints Return To Strongman

Hafthor Julius Bjornsson Sets New World Record (Image via Instagram @rogueinvitational)
Hafthor Julius Bjornsson Sets New World Record (Image via Instagram @rogueinvitational)

Hafthor Bjornsson has returned to the strength world in style, breaking his own world record at the 2022 Rogue Invitational. He improved his own world record in the Weight over Bar event that he set at the 2019 Arnold Strongman Classic.

The 2022 Rogue Invitational saw the world’s best strength athletes gather at the Dell Diamond Stadium in Greater Austin, Texas. Oleksii Novikov emerged as the winner of the Strongman Invitational, while Justin Madeiros and Laura Horvath emerged as winners of the CrossFit event.

Although Hafthor did not compete at the main strongman event, he made his return in the Rogue Record Breakers event held on Sunday, October 30. To the delight of hundreds of fans, three record-breaking performances were made on the same day.

Mitchell Hooper continued his phenomenal debut year as a strongman by setting a world record at Dinnie Stone Hold, holding the legendary stones for 39.85 seconds. Meanwhile, Kevin Faires deadlifted a 325-pound (147.4-kilogram) Thor’s Hammer to break the record previously held by Martins Licis.

However, the spotlight of the day fell on Hafthor Bjornsson, who threw a 56 lb (25 kg) weight effortlessly over a 20-feet 3-inch bar.


Hafthor Bjornsson Demolishes World Record in Weight Over Bar

After retiring from the strongman in 2019, Hafthor set his sights on two main tasks. One was to reduce the massive body weight of 205 kg (450 lbs) he had crept up to during his strongman career. In 18 months, he lost 55 kg (121 lb) to achieve a shredded physique.

The second task was to resolve his long-standing rivalry with Eddie "The Beast" Hall over a dispute regarding the 2017 World's Strongest Man Finals. Finally, on March 19, 2022, in a boxing match titled "The Heaviest Boxing Match in History," Hafthor Bjornsson knocked down an underprepared Eddie to emerge victorious.

However, Hafthor had a short-lived boxing career with 2 wins and 2 draws. On October 17, 2022, he released a YouTube video announcing his retirement from boxing and hinting at a potential return to strongman. He also shared his plans to break his own weight over bar record at the 2022 Rogue Invitational.

Everything went perfectly for Thor on October 30. After having a good night's sleep and adequate rest, he made his way to the venue accompanied by his wife Kelsey and two-year-old son Stormur. He also had long-time friend and Icelandic strongman Stefan Solvi Petursson in his corner. Thor also took the opportunity to wear a kilt gifted to him by the late Terry Todd, a huge supporter and promoter of strongman since its inception.

After warming up with a lighter weight, Hafthor Bjornsson moved on to the 56 lb (25kg) weight. With a roar reminiscent of his strongman glory days, Hafthor cleared the 20-feet 3-inch bar with ease. A large audience applauded the incredible performance and gave a standing ovation to one of the strongest men to ever walk the face of the earth.

Hafthor Bjornsson Hints At Return to Strongman

After breaking the record, Hafthor, in an interview, said:

It’s really tempting to come back, especially to compete in a show like this. You never know. I haven’t made my decision today, but I can tell you this, might come back.”

Hafthor also acknowledged that he was a bit skeptical coming into the competition as he had only practiced the event for two weeks. But his training went so well that his confidence returned fast. He also remarked that his lighter body weight seemed to have no effect on his throwing abilities.

With 30 victories in international competitions, Hafthor Bjornsson is the third most decorated strongman in history, behind Zydrunas Savickas of Lithuania and Mariusz Pudzianowski of Poland.

He achieved an unprecedented feat in 2018 by becoming the first and only competitor to win the Arnold Strongman Classic, Europe’s Strongest Man, and the World’s Strongest Man contests all in the same year. Many analysts and strongman experts regard Hafthor as “the strongest man to have ever lived” due to his overwhelming power and dominance in every strongman competition.

Earlier in October, Hafthor also revealed that he would be participating in a powerlifting competition in December. In preparation, he has been training hard. He recently squatted 300 kg for two reps with ease. In the deadlift, he lifted 320 kg effortlessly for two reps.

Will Hafthor Bjornsson make his return to strongman next year? Will he remain at his current weight or go back to his insane 10,000-calorie diet? Many questions remain as fans anxiously wait to see the legendary strongman make his much-awaited return.

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Edited by Shreya Das