For context, James Harrison used to comfortably hip thrust 594 pounds. And Bjorkqvist just turned 22. He hasn't even played a professional game yet.
When I spoke with Barisik last month, he spoke about just how driven Bjorkqvist is to keep growing as an athlete.
“People look at him now and hear the fitness records he’s breaking, and people assume that he has always been like that. But the assumption is false, because he wasn’t very strong in the beginning. That’s a huge testament to the type of athlete he is, because he made big leaps in his physical development through sheer work. It wasn’t handed to him on a silver platter.
“He worked his ass off, and even today, he’s hungrier than ever because he knows he’s got to work to get to that next level, to play in the NHL.”
Barisik also posted this video of Bjorkqvist (the first one in the video) working on hurdle jumps, which help in developing good change-of-direction speed: