Two of the strongest men in the world showed off their tremendous pulling strength.

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In their respective strength sports spheres, strongman Hafthor Björnsson and powerlifter Daniel Bell possess some unique power. They demonstrated it once again at the 2023 Arnold Sports Festival (ASF) Expo.

On Mar. 4, 2023, Björnsson completed a 395-kilogram (870.8-pound) raw deadlift from a conventional stance with a mixed grip. Later on, in a friendly deadlift battle, Bell would match Björnsson, also pulling 395 kilograms (870.8 pounds) raw with a mixed grip from a narrow stance. Both athletes only utilized a lifting belt to assist with their feats.

Björnsson deadlifting this much weight this fast is impressive, considering his recent journey.

Over the last year or so, the former 2018 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) had been pursuing boxing, among different sports endeavors. He had lost much of his strongman-built body weight and seemed primed for the long-term athletic commitment. However, in October 2022, Björnsson changed gears and revealed he would soon be returning to both strongman and powerlifting. The athlete would notch a 970-kilogram (2,138.5-pound) total in the latter, appearing at the 2022 Thor’s Christmas Powerlifting Meet.

Now, it looks like the all-time deadlift World Record holder (501 kilograms/1,104.5 pounds) is returning to his strength roots.

Meanwhile, in Bell’s case, he’s fully in line with his own past remarkable precedent.

According to Open Powerlifting, Bell is the 120-plus-kilogram raw total World Record holder (1,127.5 kilograms/2,485.7 pounds). The athlete achieved that mark at the 2020 Revolution Powerlifting Syndicate (RPS) Sarasota Showdown. This relatively easy deadlift is also just 17.8 kilograms (39.4 pounds) off his all-time raw competition best from the 2022 American Powerlifting Federation (APF) Showdown at the Storm (412.5 kilograms/909.4 pounds).

As a powerlifting competitor, Bell has not lost a contest since August 2019 and has won on 13 consecutive occasions.

With his strongman return in full swing, Björnsson has publicly stated he’d like to deadlift at least 439.4 kilograms (970 pounds) by mid-April 2023. He’s well on his way toward that lofty ambition. From Bell’s perspective, with his name at the top of the record books, he could seek to extend his record achievements soon. Like the strongman icon, Bell’s goals seem to be going according to plan.

Featured image: @thorbjornsson on Instagram

About Robert Zeglinski

Robert is a seasoned and adept editor and writer with a keen, passionate penchant for the writing craft. He’s been a leader in newsrooms such as SB Nation, USA TODAY, and WBBM Newsradio, with various other content and art production teams, and first made a name for himself in his hometown of Chicago. When not knee-deep in research or lost in a stream of consciousness for a thorough piece, you can find Robert inhaling yet another novel, journaling his heart out, or playing with his Shiba Inu, Maximus (Max, for short).

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