At the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival Expo, Hafthor Bjornsson and Dan Bell, two of the strongest men in the world, engaged in a friendly deadlift competition, surprising many of their fans. Bjornsson, who had been away from powerlifting for a few years, had recently announced his comeback to the sport, and his goal to break the All-Time World Record in the Raw With Wraps division. However, the record is currently held by Dan Bell, who totaled 1,182.5 kilograms (2,606.9 pounds) at the 2021 WRPF Hybrid Showdown III. The sight of these two behemoths of strength sports engaged in a friendly bout was nothing short of a thrilling spectacle that had everyone in attendance on the edge of their seats.
The deadlift battle between Hafthor Bjornsson and Dan Bell started with some lighter weights, as both men gradually built up to some impressive lifts. However, once they reached 395 kilograms (870.8 pounds), the real competition began. Both men approached the bar with a calm demeanor, knowing that this was a weight that would test their limits. They both utilized a conventional stance and conventional grip, which is the most common technique used by powerlifters for the deadlift.
Dan Bell, who weighed around 180 kilograms (396.8 pounds) at the time, made the 395-kilogram (870.8-pound) deadlift look incredibly easy. His form was flawless, and he lifted the weight with ease, showcasing his immense strength and technique. Bell’s performance was a testament to his incredible talent and excellent physical shape, as he prepares to compete in just five weeks.
Hafthor Bjornsson, who had lost a significant amount of weight due to his transition to boxing, was still able to keep up with Bell. Despite the challenges he faced during his transition to boxing, he proved that he was still a formidable competitor in strength sports. Bjornsson’s 501-kilogram deadlift (1,104.5 pounds) World Record in 2020 had already cemented his legacy as one of the strongest men in history, but his comeback to powerlifting has been equally impressive.
Watch the lifts here
Related: Hafthor Björnsson Inducted into The International Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023
After beating his greatest rival, Eddie Hall, in a boxing match, Hafthor Bjornsson realized that he had no more passion for the sport. Instead, his love for strength sports reignited, which resulted in him setting a new Weight Over Bar World Record. Shortly after that, Hafthor also took part in a powerlifting competition, totaling 990 kilograms (2,182.6 pounds) in the process.
Now, despite chasing after Dan Bell’s World Record, Hafthor Bjornsson recognized his greatness and revealed that he has much to learn from the experienced powerlifter.
“It was nice to be able to train with him, to see how he trains. He has the World Record, so you got to look and learn… He is looking strong, very strong.”
Hafthor Bjornsson and Dan Bell wrapped up the video in an extremely respectable way, wishing each other good luck and expressing gratitude for their workout together. Additionally, the two of them seem to have a great connection, which could lead to great things.
Watch the full video here:
Catch full coverage of the 2023 Arnold Classic, including pre-judging, event recaps, analysis, and final and full results at our Arnold Classic coverage hub: FitnessVolt.com/arnold-classic
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