Will Hafthor’s deadlift challenge be considered legit.
The strongman scene has been filled with drama as of late. In particular the beef between Eddie Hall and Hafthor Bjornsson captured the attention of the strongman world last week. Eddie Hall disputed the credibility of the upcoming deadlift challenge Hafthor Bjornsson has undertaken.
Bjornsson is looking to break the world record, set by Hall, with a 501 kg deadlift. While many have waited in anticipation for the feat, Eddie Hall went on record stating that he wouldn’t personally recognize it as a world record accomplishment.
Amid his criticism for Hafthor Bjornsson and the challenge, Eddie Hall also managed to draw the ire of Icelandic fans. Hall had said that he didn’t trust the Icelandics, a pretty damning soundbite to say the least.
In hopes of making things right, Eddie Hall issued an apology to those he offended in the below Instagram post.
View this post on Instagram
‼️PRESS RELEASE ‼️ Firstly & most importantly, I would like to apologise for my comment in a live Youtube Q&A where I said I didn’t trust the Icelandics; LINK IN BIO↖️ a very poor choice of words when put on the spot. In reality this couldn’t be further from the truth, I was specifically referring to Thor & his entourage that accompany him to every competition. You’ll not see this from the public’s perspective or on TV, but their attitude & behaviour is generally intimidation & bullying if even the smallest thing doesn’t go Thor’s way. Talk about unsportsmanlike like and unprofessional behaviour, you’ve got it right here. • At WSM 2017 Thor would not accept a certain referees decision on a certain event (Swipe left). He called into disrepute the judging skills of a referee which was then looked at by 3 referees & the decision was given to the legend that is Magnus Ver Magnusson who stood his ground and has since been appointed head referee at WSM, but now Thor will take his word as golden to be the judge at his 501kg deadlift attempt, talk about hypocrisy? He’ll drag his name through mud or place it upon a pedestal to suit his objective. • Because of the malicious rumours Thor & his team started I’ve endured years of people questioning what is the crowning achievement of my career. Well guess what pal, you break my record in your home gym with a bunch of your pals, you’re going to get the same treatment. • Absolutely no legitimate sport would acknowledge World Records broken out of competition & you are undermining the very sport you are claiming to champion. • I genuinely look forward to having my record broken & seeing what is possible. I think you are probably the man to do it, there’s no denying that & I’ll still shake your hand afterwards and say well done… if you do it under the appropriate conditions. For the record I feel the same way about the other “records” that are being attempted, it just doesn’t feel right & there are 1000s of strength fans & athletes that feel the same way. • Break a record in a comp where other people can contest it & no one will have a negative word to say, including myself. #SetAnExample #BackUpYourBull 👈 Big Love THE BEAST
But despite Hall’s poor choice of words, does he have a point in his criticism? It seems that many high level strongman competitors may be in agreement with Hall.
Robert Oberst had this to say in a recent Instagram post on the deadlift world record challenge.
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With everyone talking about Thor’s deadlift “world record” coming up I thought I’d share my opinion. To make it simple, records are meant to be broken IN COMPETITION for a reason and I agree with it. I’m not on @eddiehallwsm side and I’m not in @thorbjornsson side. I’m with the sport of strongman. If you want to see my full explanation it’s on my YouTube channel. Not that I need to ask because I’m sure you are already going to say but I’d like to know your thoughts. – – #tilthewheelsfalloff #americanmonster #strongandpretty
Another talented strongman competitor Žydrūnas “Big Z” Savickas also gave his own take on the subject in a YouTube video.
“Official strongman records can only be set in competitions. Like in any other sports, it’s nothing different from running or jumping. But strongman sport is a more difficult situation, because we don’t have an international strongman federation with strict rules about records. We have so many strongman organizations who put on strongman competitions around the world.”
Big Z also called for more uniformity in the way that world records should be recognized.
Four-time World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw even gave his own take on the situation.
“In my opinion, when it comes to a world record, it needs to be done in a competition.”
So should Hafthor Bjornsson’s deadlift world record challenge be considered legit? While there may not be a federation to add clarity and uniformity, with so many professionals thinking the record should be broken in competition it seems as if deadlift may not get much credibility from the athletes.
From how things sound it seems as if the outcome will be controversial either way.
Managing Editor at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.