The 2021 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) contest is set for June 15-20 at the Old Sacramento Waterfront in Sacramento, CA. Gabriel Peña made his WSM debut in 2020, but it was cut short when he withdrew from the competition due to a heart complication. He recovered quickly, and just eight days later deadlifted 520 kilograms (1,145 pounds) off blocks. Despite not being one of the 19 returning strongmen from 2020 competing in the 2021 WSM contest, he is not taking it easy in the gym.
On June 8, 2021, he took to his Instagram to share a video wherein he pulled a 408.2-kilogram (900-pound) deadlift triple without knee sleeves or lifting shoes. He locked each rep out in socks, using lifting straps, and wearing shin guards, and a lifting belt. Check it out below, courtesy of his Instagram page:
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Clash of the Titan
If Peña is capable of deadlifting 408.2 kilograms (900 pounds) for reps, you’re probably wondering what his max deadlift is. He has previously deadlifted the milestone of 452.6 kilograms (1,000 pounds). He scored that PR in December 2020 and has not stopped trying to further it since. In January 2021, he pulled a 481-kilogram (1,060-pound) 18-inch axle deadlift. Two months after that he hoisted a 456-kilogram (1,005-pound) trap bar deadlift for five reps.
My engine is roaring and waiting to be unleashed.
Unleashed for what? The answer is preparation for an event two months after the 2021 WSM competition. On August 14, 2021, Peña will fly to Manchester, England to compete in the Giants Live 2021 Manchester World Open, where he will attempt to break the current 501-kilogram (1,104-pound) deadlift world record held by 2018 WSM champion Hafthor “The Mountain” Björnsson.
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Deadlift World Record
Only a handful of athletes on the planet are within striking distance of challenging Björnsson’s heaviest all-time deadlift. Iran’s Peiman Maheripourehir pulled a deadlift in March 2021 that was just nine kilograms (19.8 pounds) shy of Björnsson’s record. Ivan Makarov of Russia attempted to best Björnsson by a single kilogram in October 2020 but was unsuccessful. Estonia’s Reino Heinla was scheduled to attempt a world record deadlift at the same time as Makarov but decided against it.
Despite being a powerlifter and not a strongman, deadlift prodigy Jamal Browner has pulled 476 kilograms (1,050 pounds) at a bodyweight over a hundred pounds lighter than any of the previously named strongmen. Browner has never publically said whether or not the all-time world record deadlift is in his crosshairs, but he seems to have the strength and the programming capable of getting him there.
If Peña continues on the trajectory he is currently on in the gym, in two months the athletes chasing the record may be trying to fell the “Texas Titan” rather than ascend “The Mountain.”
Feature image: @texastitangabe on Instagram