Hafthor Björnsson Elephant Bar Deadlifts 440 Kilograms During 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic Prep

When former World Strongest Man (WSM) champion Hafthor Björnsson announced his comeback to competitive strongman after a four-year hiatus, many questioned if he could achieve a similar level of dominance he once levied on the sport. Björnsson’s recent training videos display he is on the right path.

On Jan. 22, 2024, the three-time Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC) champ published a video on his YouTube channel wherein he deadlifted 440 kilograms (969 pounds) on a Rogue Elephant Bar while wearing a weightlifting belt, lifting straps, and deadlift socks in prep for his professional strongman return at the 2024 ASC, scheduled for March 1-3, 2024, in Columbus, OH.

Björnsson weighed 185 kilograms (408 pounds) at the time of the lift. He recovered from a baker’s cyst (a fluid-filled sac behind the knee that causes pain and discomfort) one week before his 440-kilogram pull. Check out the deadlift below:

Björnsson set the Elephant Bar deadlift world record of 474 kilograms (1,046 pounds) at the 2019 ASC. The Icelandic strongman pulled the heaviest conventional deadlift ever seen on camera in May 2020 when he locked out 501 kilograms (1,104.5 pounds) in the World’s Ultimate Strongman’s (WUS) “Feats of Strength” series.

Rogue Fitness manufactured the Elephant Bar exclusively for the Arnold Strongman Classic competition. The 10-foot specialty deadlift bar, which debuted at the 2016 ASC, uses two-inch weight plates that bend the bar more than a standard 7-foot Olympic barbell.

To mimic the Elephant Bar’s unique whip, Björnsson added three metal collars on each sleeve of the barbell before adding the weight plates. Positioning the weights closer to the barbell’s end caps enhanced its flex during heavier sets. Björnsson alternated steel and bumper plates to recreate the distinct feel of the Elephant Bar.

“It’s important to train with something that feels as close to the real event as possible,” Björnsson said. “The Elephant Bar is thicker, and it throws grip and form off. Using these steel plates helps me get that same feel and extension outwards.”

Björnsson opened the deadlift session with a 25-kilogram weight plate on each side of the barbell. He added 50 kilograms to the bar in each subsequent set. He chalked his hands, shins, and quads and took a long drag of smelling salts before pulling the 440-kilogram deadlift. 

I’m super happy with today, but I know I can still improve. I’m aiming for 460 kilograms (1,014 pounds) at the Arnold Strongman Classic.

Judging by Björnsson’s technique while hoisting 440 kilograms, pulling 460 kilograms with the added adrenaline rush of lifting in front of an eager 2024 ASC live audience doesn’t seem out of the question. It would be quite the feat if Björnsson could land on the podium in his competitive strongman return in Columbus.

Featured image: @thorbjornsson on Instagram

The post Hafthor Björnsson Elephant Bar Deadlifts 440 Kilograms During 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic Prep appeared first on BarBend.


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