Hafthor Bjornsson has had time to reflect on his athletic career following a devastating pec tear. In a recent YouTube video published on September 20, 2023, Bjornsson explained why he will forego his powerlifting ambitions to make a splash in strongman again.
“I’m not going to be chasing a man, chasing a record, chasing something right away because I need my body to get used to all the heavy lifting. I need my tendons and everything to get stronger and that just takes time overall,” shared Hafthor Bjornsson.
Bjornsson, who devoted himself to a powerlifting journey, is now stomping the brakes on that venture. Back in April, the 34-year-old tore his pec muscle off the bone after a failed 556.7-pound bench press attempt inside his gym for an organized contest, which has factored into his latest decision.
As a result of the painful accident, Bjornsson underwent surgery for the torn muscle approximately a month later. The preservation of strength was a top priority for Bjornsson and his surgeons, who described the operation as quite successful.
Having received stem cell treatments and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections, Bjornsson is more than optimistic about his recovery timeline. With the experience gained in the boxing ring and at the gym, Bjornsson believes that if he doesn’t make a strongman comeback now, he may regret it for the rest of his life.
Hafthor Bjornsson Puts Powerlifting Ambitions ‘On Hold’ for Strongman Comeback
Unfortunately, any fans who had hoped to see Bjornsson achieve the all-time poly world record raw with wraps in powerlifting will have to wait a while longer.
“Am I going to go for the all-time poly world record raw with wraps still? I get that question all the time… so I decided to put that on hold. And I’ll tell you guys why: well, obviously there’s the factor that I’m a little bit insecure going heavy on the pec. I feel like I need more time in building up static strength. So, I’ve decided to put polying a little bit on hold, I’m not going to completely forget about that mission, that goal of mine.”
Bjornsson believes his overzealous nature and “setting goals so high” were the reasons why he sustained the pec injury. Moving forward, Bjornsson said his “love for the sport” and desire “to be the best at something” drove him to return to strongman.
“As of now, because of the injury I feel like it’s the smartest decision for me step away for a little bit, keep training, keep building up the static strength, then at some point later on in my journey, maybe a year from now, two years from now, three years from now, I might pick it back up.
The reason why, is because I feel like when I decided to do powerlifting in the first place after being in boxing for two years, was I set myself – I set my goals so high, and I was getting strong so fast — my body wans’t ready for it. And that’s why I got injured in my opinion.”
“I need to be smarter in training. I need to give myself more time to build up that static strength. That’s why I have another goal in mind,” added Bjornsson. I‘ve decided to come back to strongman. The main reason is just because I have so much love for the sport.”
In a sport such as strongman, chasing athletes and world records are par for the course, though Bjornsson intends to compete at his own pace and focus on performing at his best. He added that he “misses the feeling of being strong” and has struggled to move on from athletic pursuits.
“I just love to be strong obviously, and to compete in strongman. I believe that I’m able to do that and still be very good, a very good contender in the sport of strongman. This time around, I’m going to allow myself to go at my own pace. I’m going to set obviously big goals for myself. But when I’m going to go into a competition, I’m going to do MY best.
“So super exciting news. I’m actually pumped about this. Super thrilled, excited about the opportunity to compete against the best in the world again in my sport. The sport that I loved for how long, I started competing back in 2009 and fell in love with the sport, competed all the way up to 2020. My last competition was actually, my last competition in strongman was Arnold Classic 2020.”
“The thing I’ve missed the most is just the feeling of being strong, the feeling of being the best at something might sound weird to some people… but it’s a feeling that I can’t describe. It’s a very good feeling that I have a hard time letting go.”
Elaborating on his decision, Bjornsson mentioned that he’d like to compete for a few years and isn’t doing this for the money.
“I feel I’m still capable of competing for a few more years. I thought about this a lot. If I’ll retire completely and just focus on my businesses and focus on some other things, I might regret it for the rest of my life. Am I willing to do that? No. I rather compete and do the things I love.”
“It’s not that I’m doing it for the money. I’ve earned good money and I’ve done okay in my life. But it’s the passion and the love I have for the sport that’s just keeping me in the sport, ” Bjornsson added.
From sweeping the World’s Strongest Man, Europe’s Strongest Man, and Arnold Strongman Classic competitions in a single year to setting the all-time world record deadlift of 1,104 pounds, Hafthor Bjornsson has nothing left to prove given his list of achievements.
As one of the most powerful men to ever grace the sport of strongman, fans eagerly await Hafthor Bjornsson’s next move. While recovering in the meantime, he plans to improve his static strength and lifting abilities.