The debate over who holds the title of the greatest Strongman athlete has long been a topic of discussion in the strength community. However, a solid conclusion could never be reached since many of the most iconic athletes in the sport did not compete at the same time. So, the 2023 World’s Strongest Man, Mitchell Hooper, took it upon himself to compare his career so far to a few athletes who are mentioned the most in the Strongman G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time) debate. The two athletes Hooper compared against himself were prime Hafthor Bjornsson and Eddie Hall.
Mitchell Hooper continued his activity on YouTube with a series that has been accepted with joy by the fans. In the two videos that he has posted so far, Mitchell has done substantial research in order to find identical events that both he and the two icons of the sport have performed. So, after finding seven of those events, Mitchell put on an imaginary competition where he compared the results of both athletes. The rest was simple, as the stronger man would be the one who won more events.
Mitchell Hooper vs. Hafthor Bjornsson
Mitchell Hooper first revealed how much respect he has for Hafthor Bjornsson and explained how highly he regards him as a Strongman athlete. In addition, he revealed the overall career stats for both Hafthor and himself.
“Thor has 62 International contests and 28 wins. We compare that to me, I have 12 contests and five wins. We both have the one WSM (title), but Thor in 2018 is highly regarded as the strongest person to ever live.”
The first event was immediately a lost point for Mitchell Hooper, since he put the Max Deadlift to start. Although the deadlift is Hooper’s prowess, Hafthor holds the All-Time World Record of 501 kilograms (1,104.5 pounds), making him the better athlete in this event. For reference, Hooper’s greatest deadlift is 475 kilograms (1,047.2 pounds)
The second event in Mitchell Hooper’s imaginary competition was the Log Press for reps, as both athletes performed it with an identical implement that weighed 195 kilograms (429.9 pounds). This came down to a tie, as both Hooper and Bjornsson performed three reps each.
The third event was Mitchell Hooper’s dearest, the Yoke Carry, as he is usually extremely dominant when this appears in competitions. Both men carried a 500-kilogram (1,102.3-pound) Yoke for 20 meters at some point in their careers. However, Hooper took the point here with a time of 11.06 seconds, while Hafthor clocked in 11.99 seconds.
“I think this goes to show you how good Thor was. Because for him to be that close on the event that I consider to be my best by quite a margin, that shows you how good of a competitor he really is.”
The next event that both Hooper and Bjornsson performed was the Arnold Strongman Classic Frame Carry. Hafthor took another point here with his best time of 11.80 seconds, while Hooper finished in 14.61 seconds.
Another classic Strongman event that the duo had the chance to perform in an official competition was the Max Dumbbell Press. Mitchell Hooper locked out 140 kilograms (309 pounds) at the 2023 World’s Strongest Man competition. On the other hand, Hafthor pressed up 136 kilograms (299.8 pounds). So, point to Mitchell Hooper.
“I will put another caveat here. The max dumbbell that he did, that setup, didn’t really demand him to do the most he could ever do. I am sure that if he had tried more in his prime, he could have done more. But, he didn’t.”
The penultimate event of Mitchell Hooper’s imaginary competition was a Loading Race, which is very difficult to compare due to variations in implements, the height of the platforms, the flooring, and more. However, he utilized a WSM Loading Race, which consists of five implements. Hafthor’s best time is 31.22 seconds, while Hooper’s best is 38.31 seconds.
Like the majority of competition, Mitchell Hooper’s imaginary showdown concluded with Atlas Stones. Hafthor’s best time for five stones was 26.8 seconds, and Mitchell’s was 36.9 seconds.
“What people don’t realize about Thor and Stones is that he was an absolute menace in stones. There is no chance that I could ever touch him on stones even on my best day.”
- Max Deadlift: Bjornsson Wins
- Austrian Oak Log Lift: Tie
- Yoke Carry: Hooper Wins
- Arnold Frame Carry: Bjornsson Wins
- Max Dumbbell Press: Hooper Wins
- Loading Race: Bjornsson Wins
- Atlas Stones: Bjornsson Wins
Overall: Hafthor Bjornsson Wins
“All up, he is better than I am when he was at his best. There is no shame in that… Nothing but admiration and respect for everything he did.”
Hafthor Bjornsson also recently announced that he will be coming back to Strongman and competing at the 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic. So, we could soon see an actual battle between Mitchell Hooper and Hafthor Bjornsson.
Watch the full video here:
Mitchell Hooper vs. Eddie Hall
Using the same principle, Mitchell Hooper compared himself to another icon, Eddie Hall. Interestingly, Hall and Hafthor were each other’s biggest rivals at the time they competed. So, after seeing how Hooper would stand against the Icelandic athlete, here is what it would look like if he competed against Eddie Hall.
Mitchell Hooper used the same events and in the same order, so he once again lost the first point, as Eddie Hall was miles above him in the Max Deadlift event. Obviously, Eddie held the World Record of 500 kilograms (1,102.3 pounds) for multiple years before Hafthor Bjornsson broke it.
“This is an easy win for Eddie. Probably the most iconic lift of all time when he deadlifted 500 kilograms in 2016.”
Moving onto the Austrian Oak for reps, Eddie Hall was not able to complete a rep on the 205-kilogram (451.9-pound) implement. On the other hand, Mitchell Hooper believes that he could have done at least one rep if presented with a chance, since he did three reps with a 195-kilogram (429.9-pound) log. Seeing how there isn’t a way to directly compare the two in this event, Hooper took the point for himself.
Once again, the time came for Mitchell Hooper’s best event, the Super Yoke. This time, Hooper found an identical comparison as both he and Eddie Hall carried a 450-kilogram (992-pound) Super Yoke. Hooper took another point, having clocked in a time of 9.84 seconds, while Eddie was slightly slowed with a time of 10 seconds.
The next is the Arnold Strongman Classic Frame Carry, where Hooper once again won, as Eddie Hall was never able to finish the entire course, while the Canadian Strongman did.
The Max Dumbbell Press was once again not a direct comparison, as Eddie Hall lifted 124 kilograms (273.4 pounds) on a Cyr Dumbbell. On the other hand, Mitchell Hooper locked out 140 kilograms (308.6 pounds) on a different type of dumbbell. The point still went to Mitchell, but he had something to say.
“He did a 124-kg Cyr Dumbbell, which is probably harder than the Larger Dumbbells… I do have him on max weight, but that is probably closer than the numbers indicate.”
Seeing how Eddie Hall was a static monster, the Loading Race event was not his strong side. However, it is still very common in Strongman competitions, so Hooper utilized it for the comparison. Hall had a time of 47 seconds for five implements, which was nearly ten seconds slower than Hooper’s best.
The final event was the Atlas Stones. That being said, Eddie Hall’s best time was 24 seconds with a lighter set of stones, while Hooper loaded the heavier set of stones in 36 seconds. Hooper still gave the point to Hall.
- Max Deadlift: Hall Wins
- Austrian Oak Log Lift: Hooper
- Yoke Carry: Hooper Wins
- Arnold Frame Carry: Hooper Wins
- Max Dumbbell Press: Hooper Wins
- Loading Race: Hooper Wins
- Atlas Stones: Hall Wins
Overall: Mitchell Hooper Wins
“That being said, I think he could do some things that could be much more impressive than what I can do… He pushed the sport a long way with that 500-kg deadlift… He did 32 International competitions and won three, I’ve done 12 and I won five.”
Watch the video here:
Even being able to compare himself to such great Strongmen as Hafthor Bjornsson and Eddie Hall proves just how incredible Mitchell Hooper is as well. Especially considering how he has spent just over one year in the sport and has had arguably the greatest rookie year in history. He now prepares to compete at the 2023 Rogue Invitational and 2023 Giants Live World Tour Finals, as well as everything that will come after that.