A month ago, 2017 wasn’t looking so good for Hafthor Bjornsson. In late March, he announced on Instagram that he had been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, a condition that results in the temporary paralysis of one side of the face.
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To all my dear strongman fans, I have a small announcement. Last Sunday I got very sick. On Tuesday morning I woke up and the right side of my face felt kind of numb. It got worse over the course of the day and then it got completely paralysed. My friends insisted sending me to the ER to get things checked out as they were seriously worried I was having a stroke. I spent a good amount of time at the hospital as doctors ran some tests on me. Luckily I was informed there was nothing to worry about. That I have caught some virus called Bells Palsy which causes half of my face getting paralysed. It can last from a week to a few months apparently. So please keep that in mind if you come to Europe's Strongest Man tomorrow and get pictures with me that I'm not in a bad mood I just can't really smile for pictures haha! Other than that I feel good and look forward to battling it out with the guys for the Title of Europe's Strongest Man 2017 and putting on a great show for all you guys! Bring it on!
Undeterred, Bjornsson went on to win the 2017 Europe’s Strongest Man contest in England, and in a new video, he’s showing his training for the World’s Strongest Man contest is going pretty well. Check out this clip of Bjornsson benching 200kg — 441 pounds, or about 20 pounds over his bodyweight — for a very easy-looking ten reps. (This makes it cardio, right?)
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200kg/440lbs for 10 reps on the bench today. #theworldsstrongestman2017 #teamiceland #thorspowergym @australianstrengthcoach @stanefferding @stefansolvi @andrireyr @roguefitness @gymgrossisten @getnewage @sbdapparel @gloiceland @kvosinhotel @hafid_fiskverslun Up to 50% discount on my website! Click the link in my bio!!
The Mountain isn’t even driving with his feet or arching his back for these, and it looked like he had plenty more reps in the tank. Of course, the bench press isn’t a strongman event, but it’s an excellent way to improve at the pressing events.
The video is also drawing attention because of Bjornsson’s use of a mouth guard. While this isn’t as popular a practice as it once was, the idea is that clenching one’s teeth can help to produce a better aligned jaw and thoracic position and potentially (maybe) improve power output.
The World’s Strongest Man event is taking place between the 20th and 23rd of May, with the 27th and 28th reserved for the Grand Final. Bjornsson isn’t just training hard for the event; he’s also using oxygen treatment in an attempt to improve his recovery.
Last year, Brian Shaw took home the title of World’s Strongest Man by a mere two points over Bjornsson. It was Bjornsson’s fifth consecutive year in the top three finishers, though he has never taken the title. However, Bjornsson won more events at the 2016 contest than any other athlete, and that includes Brian Shaw. We think he’s going to put up a hell of a fight for first place in 2017.
Featured image via @thorbjornsson on Instagram.