Hafthor Björnsson and Graham Hicks Train for the 2024 Strongest Man on Earth Contest

Hafthor Björnsson is back in the swing of competitive strongman. After a fourth-place performance at the 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic, Björnsson knows his next three strongman contests in 2024.

One of them is the 2024 Strongest Man on Earth (SMOE) contest, occurring Aug. 16-18, 2024, in Loveland, CO. Training alongside the 2018 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) is former Britain’s Strongest Man (2019) Graham Hicks. The duo documented their training session, and it was featured on Björnsson’s YouTube channel via the video below:

Björnsson focuses on three key events: log lift, axle press, and giant dumbbells. Björnsson is specializing his training with the 2024 SMOE contest 16 weeks away. Over the first four weeks, Björnsson plans to improve his presses via his periodization scheme

“Start with the log light, then increase gradually, week by week,” says Björnsson. “This four-week training program, I’m increasing by five kilograms. I might jump higher but I like to start my programs on the lower end, and then as we progress, I’ll increase the weights.” 

Hafthor Björnsson and Graham Hicks Training

Below is a breakdown of the strongmen’s training: 

Log Lift

Dumbbell Bench Press

Neutral Grip Lat Pulldown

Single-Arm Shoulder Press

Overhead Cable Triceps Extension

Triceps Pushdown

Cable Face Pulls

Dumbbell Hammer Curls

[Related: 2024 World’s Strongest Man Results & Leaderboard]

Warm-Up & Meal Plans

Björnsson and Hicks exchange techniques on the log lift, delving into their warm-up routines and dietary habits. Björnsson prefers opening with lighter weights, gradually increasing the load. Hicks blends cardio and stretching for a few minutes before diving into the workout by engaging the exercise directly. Despite differences in approach, they concur that adopting a routine that allows for consistency is the most critical.

Björnsson prefers following a meal plan so he doesn’t have to consider structure or logging meals, which he feels he might lose track of. A fixed meal plan with prepared food ensures he doesn’t miss meals or cheat with greasy or otherwise unhealthy foods that are detrimental to his long-term goals.

Log Lift & Dumbbell Bench Press

Björnsson and Hicks perform several log lifts at 105 kilograms. Hicks inquired whether Björnsson engages his glutes during a log lift. Björnsson tightens his quads, which naturally activate his glutes.

Subsequently, the athletes transitioned to dumbbell bench presses. Björnsson used a neutral grip while trying to tuck his elbows. This positioning helps him avoid shoulder injury. The 2018 WSM champ advises patience while increasing strength:

Strength development is a gradual journey; patience is key. 

[Related: Derek Lunsford Uses FST-7 Training For Leg Hypertrophy and Definition]

Looking Ahead

Following their workout, conversation of Hicks’ preparation for the upcoming 2024 World Deadlift Championships in September arose. Hicks is a massive deadlifter but made clear he does not yet have the intention of hitting a highly anticipated 505-kilogram lift — the generally accepted weight for whoever next attempts to exceed Björnsson’s heaviest deadlift ever performed of 501 kilograms.

Björnsson believes the 2024 Shaw Classic is an excellent option for aspiring strongman competitors. “If you’re…strong enough to compete against the best but not getting that opportunity, sign up for the Shaw Classic. If you win that show, you’ll compete among the best next year,” says Björnsson. 

Featured image: @grahamhicksuk on Instagram

The post Hafthor Björnsson and Graham Hicks Train for the 2024 Strongest Man on Earth Contest appeared first on BarBend.


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