Hafþór Björnsson plans to deadlift 501kg at the start of May. The catch? It"ll be attempted in ~ home, there is no competition conditions. Here"s why among the World"s Strongest men doesn"t to buy it...

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More men have actually been ~ above the moon than have actually deadlifted 500kg. It"s a truth that has actually kept Eddie Hall, an ex-HGV mechanic and also the World"s Strongest male in 2017, at the forefront of the sport of Strongman.

"That almost killed me," described Eddie Hall, the owner of a hereditary mutation that causes myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy – the "Hercules Gene" – ~ tearing fifty percent a tonne from the floor at the Giants Live human being Deadlift Championships. "The pressure on my body to be surreal. Ns passed out after. I had nose bleeds. It’s not healthy doing something like that."

His leviathan effort, not through his peers" lack of trying, still continues to be to it is in beaten.

One of the favourite contenders to dethrone Hall"s efforts, however, is Hafþór Björnsson, that was crowned World"s Strongest male in Manila, Philippines, in 2018, knocking room off his throne.

In fact, it was a year earlier, throughout the 2017 competition once their feud began. The story: Björnsson to be disallowed a rep throughout the Viking press, a controversial decision that expense the Icelander the title by a single point and also saw Hall arise victorious, a decision that Björnsson would later on say "robbed" him from the WSM title. Judging the event, Magnús Ver Magnússon had actually the swing poll on Björnsson"s no-rep and also voted against him (he would later go on to be announced as the judge because that Björnsson"s civilization record attempt).

Their feud, and bitter rivalry, continues to burn.

Since his WSM victory in 2017 and his WR deadlift in 2016, Eddie Hall has retired from competing, an interpretation the pair"s relationship ended up being a tug-of-war, punctuated with shared respect and also sporting admiration, that was virtually always waged online. At its best, the two trade jibes for spikes in YouTube views and also Instagram likes, but at the worst, the feud has seen Hall brand Björnsson as "unsportsmanlike and also unprofessional", "the world"s weakest liar" and a "scum bag" and also shared insurance claims of bad conduct throughout Strongman competition meets. Hall has actually published "press releases" on social media to try and retract details defamatory comments.


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Breaking the Unbreakable

There is one enormous, body-breaking usual denominator between the two strongmen — the decision to break formerly unthinkable world records. On 2nd May 2020, Björnsson to plan to rest Hall"s deadlift record of 500kg, through pulling 501kg — or more, perhaps — and to to walk away with a brand-new deadlift world record. The catch? as result of coronavirus social-distancing rules, Björnsson is currently planning to attempt the lift at his residence gym with friends and also family, instead of a legitimate, sanctioned occasion with an objective, unbiased referee.


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Elsewhere in Hall"s live YouTube Q&A, a fan posed the question, "Do you personally think that Thor must do an ext than 501, as you broke it by so much before?" because that those unaware, by tearing 500kg from the floor, hall blitzed the previous document of 463kg by Benedikt Magnússon. "Breaking the is breaking it, if he division it by a kilo or ten kilos or 30 kilos, that doesn"t matter really," hall replied. "I will say that I damaged it by 37kg in one day. I did something special, I broke that 500kg barrier when everybody believed it to be impossible. Us wouldn"t even be talking around the 500kg deadlift if the wasn"t for me ideal now."

His next comments ~ above Björnsson, however, to be the many surprising. "I"m gaining sick and also tired of people saying they"re walk to pull it , "Thor" especially, I"m ailing to death of listening it. I"m noble to fatality of see my name in his titles on YouTube videos... It"s using my success because that his views. I"m ailing to fatality of it, if you"re going to pull it, then pull it. It"s been 4 years."



After year of graft, "pulling it" is specifically what Björnsson plans to do. Yet it"s the experimentation environment and also the timing the has obtained the internet — and also Eddie Hall"s temperament — lit up.

"We"re going into this pandemic and also there"s nowhere to run," said Hall "and currently he"s walk to do it in his residence gym. He"s had plenty of methods – the could"ve done it in Dubai, late last year, in Europe"s Strongest man Giants Live, that doesn"t feel best to me. Why not wait "til this is over, "til, ns don"t know, October?"

What"s more, he"s no bothered about being disrespectful come his Strongman peer. "If ns was doing that, human being would speak to BS. Therefore I"m call BS on Thor."



In terms of a response, Björnsson is yet to clap ago in public to Hall, regardless of being an ext than energetic on his social media, wherein a recent Instagram post shows the 6"7" Icelander lifting an "easy" 440kg from the floor for reps.

Björnsson additionally claimed an unofficially "world record" by lifting 480kg on an "elephant bar" — a longer, an ext flexible barbell that"s particularly designed for human being records — in February 2020. It was a lift that has obtained fans believing a lift in ~ 501kg is more than possible in May. Instead of one elephant bar, however, Björnsson will need to use a standardised deadlift bar v calibrated load plates – a comparatively more difficult lift.


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Regardless, the feud in between the 2 hasn"t stopped other athletes indigenous stepping into the fold and also weighing right into the fight for 501. Brian Shaw, a four-time World"s Strongest male winner, nine-time WSM podium finisher and three-time Arnold Strongman standard winner, post a personal video to his 1.27m YouTube followers previously this week, sharing his think on the cultivation rivalry in between Hall and also Björnsson.

"There was a lot of determinants with that competition," said Shaw, introduce to Hall"s deadlift human being record in 2016 at the Giants Live people Deadlift Championships. "That dispute was definitely set up for Eddie come pull the 500 kilos... Because then, there"s to be a most talk ago and forth around "if someone would break it", i feel favor it"s a never-ending story."

"The bottom heat is, Eddie room lifted the 500 kilos in 2016 top top a standard bar v calibrated plates, stated Shaw. "Moving forward, there"s been a many talking climbing up about Hafþór being perhaps able to traction 501 kilos to break the record. In Hafþór"s defence, he planned and also said he was going after this 501 kilo attempt in Bahrain in a World"s can be fried Strongman-sanctioned occasion and, unfortunately because of the an international circumstances ideal now, that challenge had to it is in cancelled."

As show describes, this was the turn of occasions that led Iceland"s Björnsson to his unavoidable attempt at a 501kg elevator in May. Despite Iceland no initiating a "lockdown" similar to the of the united kingdom or the USA, Björnsson will be attempting the record at his home gym, through ESPN and also World"s can be fried Strongman both broadcasting and also live-streaming the attempt from the maintain facility.


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The catch

In nearly every other significant sport on the planet, there"s a corresponding governing human body to ensure competitions, races and also matches room done reasonably and through unprejudiced decisions. The Olympics has the national Olympic Committees, Football has FIFA and also weightlifting has the worldwide Weightlifting Federation (IWF), to name three.

The catch here — fortunate because that some, unfortunate because that others — is that regardless of its farming popularity, over there is no official governing body because that the sport of strongman. "What I will certainly say is the there is no governing human body in strongman. There’s no federation. There’s no group of people or human being that overlooks the sport, or claims that this is a human being record, or ‘we’ll count this together a world record,’" described Shaw on YouTube. In this details sport, the slack is consisted of by those running the sanctioned occasions — think Giants Live and World"s can be fried Strongman — utilizing the enlarge competitions as a method of validating civilization records.


So, once it comes to setup a strongman world record, might one yes, really be collection outside of an occasion like those offered before? It"s a contentious issue that also Shaw seems hesitant to choose a side on, noting some of Hall"s doubt of Björnsson"s legitimacy. "When it involves this human being record, in my opinion, it requirements to be done in a competition. I will certainly say that. It"s not because of anything with the bar not being what it"s an alleged to be, or the weights not weighing they"re supposed to weigh."


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Instead, Shaw"s hesitance originates from the compete factor, or a lack thereof. "When you room in a competition, and there"s yet many men contending alongside you, you carry out not get to identify when you go to lift... Girlfriend don"t understand how numerous guys will certainly make it to the next round. Friend don"t know just how long they"re going to take. Because that example, if someone gets a bloody nose and bleeds all over the platform, they"ve got to take time to clean that up. Friend don"t acquire to time any of this out. In a maintain setting, friend absolutely obtain to time that out. I know in mine training, specifically when I"m structure up come a huge "max", I can take as lengthy as I desire to be all set for the lift and mentally prepare for it. In the contest, several of that goes the end the window. Once your name is called and the bar is loaded, you"ve got to go whether you"re all set or not."

To elevator or Not?

"In my opinion, a strongman people record demands to be collection in a competition," says Hall. As part of a sports that, largely, source in basements, warehouses and also carparks, strongman is accelerating at an outstanding rate. Would this it is in a action back?

"I genuinely feel negative for Hafþór," claimed Shaw. "He"s placed a many training and also time into acquiring ready because that this. But, if we begin to allow for strongman documents to be collection in gyms through that person"s equipment, we"re opening pandora"s box. It"s just going come create an ext controversy, on whether the weights to be correct, or the judging to be correct."


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"The scenarios are very, an extremely hard. But, the doesn"t typical that, since everything had actually to be cancelled, we obtain to set world records in our gyms and put the on camera."

Crucially, this all can be because that naught if Björnsson is unable to match and beat Hall"s 2017 WR that 500kg v a 501kg deadlift once might rolls around. The consensus, however, is the everyone, also Eddie Hall, wants Hafþór to rest the record, and welcome the potential scenario, yet want the under legit conditions.

What"s more, there are rumours, predictions and "theories" ruminating throughout various forums the Björnsson will match the 500kg throughout his occasion in May, however beat that by a larger margin later on in the year once limitations are lifted and the strongman season is enabled to resume. Because that now, however, both old and new fans that the sports have already witnessed large feats of strength, substantial growths in the sport and unbelievable instances of human fortitude. Frankly, isn"t the what competitive sports is every about? We"ll watch you on might 2nd.

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Edward CooperEd Cooper is the Deputy Digital Editor at Men’s health UK, writing and also editing about anything you desire to know about — from tech to fitness, mental health to style, food and so much more.