"I'm not looking forward to it," he says before the challenge. "Shit! What have I done?"
Bjornsson and Thorisdottir start with a classic CrossFit killer move: clean and jerks. Bjornsson has worked through mechanics like this before (think: log clean and jerk), but he's never done them with CrossFit-type volume.
"People might say I'm a pussy," Bjornsson says, referring to the vastly reduced weight on the barbell compared to his usual lifts (he knocked out a couple of mind-blowing 365 kg deadlifts while preparing for World's Strongest Man 2019). "I don't care, guys. I want to live."
The advised weight for a clean and jerk for women is 65 kgs, but Thorisdottir keeps up with Bjornsson, adding extra weight until she's lifting the male equivalent of 95 kgs. Then they keep adding more like the gluttons for punishment they are. They take it up to 100 kgs, then both finish by managing 105 kgs. (The heaviest clean and jerk weight ever programmed at the CrossFit Open is just over 140 kgs.)
"That was close to my max," says Thorisdottir, making sure to add: "I'm in my off season right now." She recommends Bjornsson enter the next CrossFit competition with her, joking that he might be able to keep up in the female category. He's less certain. "If I'm able to finish this session," he says, "I think I should get a trophy."
Next up is the really cardio-centric portion of the challenge, starting with 500 meters on the Concept 2 bike. Thorisdottir has a whole strategy and technique planned out to optimise her performance. Bjornsson's approach, meanwhile: "I'm just gonna meathead it."
The bike is followed 10 wall balls, and Bjornsson is in the lead until it comes to the 15 meter sled push; his is loaded up with around 8 times the weights of Thorisdottir's, and they finish evenly.
Bjornsson bows out of the last interval, but is pleased with the overall experience. "I pushed myself," he says. "I'm sweating, I'm tired, and let's face it, I'm no Annie Mist. She is the champion." Thorisdottir congratulates him on coming so far out of his comfort zone, especially considering he also has his own training session that same day, saying: "He always impresses me."
And Bjornsson's feelings about the workout can be summed up by the comment he leaves on the video: "I at least didn't die! I'm happy!"
This article originally appeared on Men's Health