The month of March has massive implications for the man known as “The Mountain.”
Less than a month after letting the world know about his decision to step away from powerlifting, Hafthor Björnsson has officially put a timetable on his return to the sport that made him a living legend.
Working his way back from a torn pectoral muscle that’s taken several months and plenty of patience to rehabilitate, Björnsson unveiled his comeback plan by announcing that his first strongman competition will be in March at the 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic (ASC).
The three-time ASC winner (2018-2020) and 2018 World’s Strongest Man champion delivered more details about his health status and competition schedule in a video posted on his YouTube channel on Oct. 14, 2023.
Björnsson, who will turn 35 in November of 2023, stated that he will make his return at the 2024 Arnold Strongman Classic, which will take place during the weekend of March 1-3 in Columbus, Ohio.
“A lot of you guys might think it’s too soon, too heavy, and that’s okay,” Björnsson explained. “I’m going to the show with the mindset that I’m going to do my best, and I want to go and try my best against the best in the world … In my opinion, the Arnold Strongman Classic in Columbus, Ohio is one of the toughest shows with the best athletes in the world.”
Although he’s still not fully healed from his pec injury, the 2023 International Sports Hall of Fame inductee said he’s “back to 100 percent training” and has been performing staple loaded carry movements like the yoke walk, farmer’s walks, and the frame carry.
“I’m even going to throw in some [log press] soon,” Björnsson said. “So things are definitely moving in the right direction, and I’m feeling awesome.”
In addition to the Arnold Strongman Classic, “The Mountain” has two more events penciled into his schedule for next year: the 2024 Arnold Strongman UK and the 2024 Rogue Invitational.
Björnsson won’t get a much of a break once he makes competes at the ASC in early March, as the Birmingham, England-based Arnold Strongman UK competition will take place just two weeks later.
Although the March 15-17 competition won’t be quite as big as the US version, there shouldn’t be any shortage of star power across the pond. Björnsson hinted that 2023 Arnold Strongman Classic champion Mitchell Hooper, who Björnsson currently considers the best in the world, will compete in the contest. That could set the stage for an epic showdown between the iconic athlete and the reigning World’s Strongest Man.
Björnsson unsurprisingly also has his sights set on showcasing his strength and power at Rogue’s preeminent event. As a sponsored athlete who accomplished his goal of setting a record at the 2022 Rogue Invitational by throwing a 25.5-kilogram (56-pound) Scottish Highland Games weight over 6.17 meters (20 feet, 3 inches), he has ample motivation to perform at an elite level again.
“I think by the time I’ll be competing at Rogue Invitationals I should be back to a very good strength point,” Björnsson said. “So I should be able to push very hard at that show and I should be very competitive and a good threat. I think I’d be a good threat at the Arnolds anyways — with my experience, with my background, I’m a threat at any show, but I’m also giving the guys competing nowadays huge respect.”
With the 2023 Rogue Strongman Invitational scheduled for Oct. 27-29, Björnsson should have roughly a year to get ready for another record-setting outing. But with 2023 winding down, he faces a pivotal five-month stretch to prepare for a successful showing at his first strongman competition since his last official competitive appearance when he took home the title at Iceland’s Strongest Man in August of 2020.
Featured Image: Hafthor Bjornsson / YouTube