Strongmen Brian Shaw and Hafthor Björnsson recently got together for a virtual Q&A over the weekend, and no topic was off limits. Both men have continued training during quarantine, with major goals at stake. Shaw is working toward a bench press of 701 pounds. Björnsson, meanwhile, has been preparing for a world record 501 kilogram (1,104 pounds) deadlift attempt on May 2, which will be broadcast on ESPN. Most recently, the Icelandic strongman set a new PR of 470 kg (1,036 pounds) during a training session.
Shaw started off by congratulating Hafthor on the recent news of his wife’s pregnancy, then dove into the audience questions.
“How are you feeling leading up to this big lift?” Shaw asked Björnsson.
“Honestly, I feel great. I don’t have any injuries right now, which is a great, great thing,” Björnsson said. “I truly believe I’m going to pull 501 on the day. Training has been going very well… I’ve been doing this for a decade and training for much longer, and you know your body. I’m in a good position where I feel like this is mine to lose.”
They also discuss their shared love of basketball, and how they both played in their “smaller years”.
“I was a center,” said Björnsson. “I was quite athletic, I could shoot okay and I trained a lot. I played with the national team in Iceland.”
And Shaw mentioned he played in college as a center and power forward.
When asked who would win in a one-on-one matchup today, the guys were diplomatic.
“It sounds to me like it would be a pretty good matchup because I’m right handed you’re left handed. It sounds like we both can shoot and dribble the ball and both like to post up,” said Shaw.
They also discussed who has the better sneaker collection.
“I’m mainly into Jordans,” said Shaw, who added that he wears a size 18 shoe.
“I use Jordan the most, same as you,” said Björnsson, who wears a size 16. “If you’re talking brands, I have Gucci…I might have a wider collection…I might beat you!”
Shaw also asked Björnsson about his feud with fellow Strongman Eddie Hall, and if it motivates him.
“Definitely fuels me more. I try not to let other people’s opinions or words drag me down,” said Björnsson. “I’m just trying to focus on myself. I’m doing this for myself.”
Finally, Shaw asked Björnsson about a rumor that he will actually try to pull 520 kilograms (1,146 pounds) if he completes a 501 kilogram attempt on his May 2nd event.
“On Twitch, I told my people there, if I get up to 200,000 followers, I will go up to 520 kilograms,” Björnsson confirmed. “I would do that after the 501 kilograms. I would definitely attempt it if I reach 200,000 followers. I’m serious about doing it.”