“The Mountain” is coming back.

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The world of strength sports has been put on notice: Hafthor Bjornsson is coming back and officially ending his nearly three-year retirement from competitive lifting. On Feb. 13, 2023, the man known as “The Mountain” published a video on his YouTube channel sharing the news with the world.

I am coming out of retirement

After a brief recollection of his past career achievements in strongman and boxing, the 2018 World’s Strongest Man revealed that he will first return to powerlifting. His sights are set on breaking the all-time world record total, currently held by Dan Bell with 1,182.5 kilograms (2,606.9 pounds). Bell set that mark, in wraps, at the 2021 WRPF Hybrid Showdown III meet. Bjornsson has given himself a deadline to break that record by the end of 2023, but did not mention competing in any specific meet.

Bjornsson’s last meet was in December 2022, where he competed in wraps at his own “Thor’s Powerlifting Meet.” His numbers from that event are as follows:

  • Squat — 380 kilograms (837.7 pounds)
  • Bench Press — 210 kilograms (463 pounds)
  • Deadlift — 380 kilograms (837.7 pounds)
  • Total — 970 kilograms (2,138.5 pounds)

If he were to break Bell’s record, then he would have to make up serious ground. Bell’s performance from the 2021 meet where he set the current world record is below:

  • Squat — 500 kilograms (1,102.3 pounds)
  • Bench Press — 272.5 kilograms (600.7 pounds) 
  • Deadlift — 410 kilograms (903.9 pounds)
  • Total — 1,182.5 kilograms (2,606.9 pounds)

Making up the 212.5-kilogram (468.4-pound) difference will be a tall order, but the 6’9” strength legend is confident he can do it.

Bjornsson then announced that his “major, major goal” is a return to his original sport of strongman. Specifically, he intends to compete at the 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic held in March in Columbus, Ohio. Bjornsson also plans to compete at the 2024 Strongman Rogue Invitational event. The Rogue event hasn’t been scheduled as of this writing, but has been held in Round Rock, Texas, in October for the past two years.

Bjornsson said that if he reaches his powerlifting goal, then he’s confident that he will have sufficient strength to start training for the strongman events.

Bjornsson’s next strength-based honor will be his induction into the International Sports Hall of Fame. That event will be held during the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival on Saturday, March 4 in Columbus, OH.

The legendary competitor is already a three-time Arnold Strongman Classic winner, having won the title in 2018, 2019, and 2020. He had yet to compete in the Rogue Invitational as a full competitor, but he did step onto their field in 2022 to break his own weight-over-bar world record

Bjornsson is the only man to have won the World’s Strongest Man, Arnold Strongman Classic, and the World’s Ultimate Strongman contest. Adding the Rogue Invitational to his trophy case would play a big part in a claim as the most accomplished strongman of all time.

Featured Image: @thorbjornsson on Instagram