Thor sets up for a 252 kg. bench press. / YouTube
Hafthor Bjornsson was returning to strength sports in a big way. After a foray into boxing that culminated with a win over 2017 World’s Strongest Man Eddie Hall, Iceland’s Bjornsson, the 2018 World’s Strongest Man, was pursuing the raw (with wraps) powerlifting world record total. He hoped to break the 2607-pound (1182.5 kg.) mark held by Dan Bell later this year before returning to strongman at the Arnold Strongman Classic next March. However, Thor suffered a serious setback on Saturday when he tore his left pectoral while bench pressing in a powerlifting meet.
The meet was held in Bjornsson’s own gym, Thor’s Power Gym in Kópavogur, Iceland on April 15. Bjornsson, who weighed in at just over 400 lbs. at 6’9″, had already squatted 445 kg. (981 lbs.) and successfully completed his first two bench presses at 230 kg. (507 lbs.) and 240 kg. (529 lbs.), when he attempted 252 kg. (556.7 lbs.) on his third and final bench press attempt. As he lowered the bar to very near his chest, it fell the rest of the way as he shouted in pain, and the bar was quickly pulled up by the spotters. Afterwards, Bjornsson did not compete in the deadlift.
Today, he confirmed the probable pec tear in a YouTube video:
“I believe I completely tore my chest, upper chest, off the bone. I will have to have surgery if that is the case….This is literally the biggest injury of my whole career. So, I got to tackle this”
Appearing with his left arm in a sling, he said he would have an MRI tomorrow to find out the full extent of the injury.
On Instagram, he wrote:
Thank you all for the support, kind messages and love during these challenging times ahead. It really means the world to me. This is just a challenge and a small setback. I’ll come back stronger 🙏 Peace and love, Hafthor.
We at The Barbell wish Thor a full and speedy-as-possible recovery.