On Oct. 23, 2021, strongman Gabriel “Texas Titan” Peña set the axle deadlift world record of 500 kilograms (1,102.3 pounds) at the 2021 Static Monsters Worldwide competition. The 16.75-inch axle was loaded with plates large enough that it was functionally a partial deadlift. Peña performed the deadlift in a lifting belt, wrist wraps, and knee sleeves.
Although hitching during a deadlift is allowed in strongman, Peña did not have to resort to such a move. He guided the barbell cleanly from its starting position to the lockout, though the grind was apparent immediately at the start of the lift. Check it out below, courtesy of Peña’s Instagram page:
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Peña’s new axle deadlift world record is at a milestone few athletes on the planet have ever scored. A handful of strongmen have lifted plus-500-kilogram partial deadlifts before, albeit Peña is the first to successfully score it on an axle deadlift, which has a thicker handle than a standard barbell and therefore more difficult to lift.
The current partial deadlift world record belongs to Anthony Pernice, who scorched a 550-kilogram (1,212.5-pound) silver-dollar deadlift at the 2020 United States Strongman (USS) Farm Strong Record Breaker event. Prior to that, the partial deadlift world record belonged to 2017 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Eddie Hall, who lifted 536 kilograms (1,181.7 pounds) at a promotional event for his autobiography Strongman in 2019. More recently, British strongman Mark Felix successfully locked out 515 kilograms (1,135.4 pounds) during the halftime show of the 2021 UK’s Strongest Man competition at age 55.
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The Build to the World Record
Peña’s journey to the axle deadlift world record was littered with massive lifts in the gym. On Nov. 21, 2020 — eight days after being hospitalized with heart issues following the 2020 WSM contest — Peña pulled 520 kilograms (1,145 pounds) off 18-inch blocks. A month later, he entered the echelon of lifters capable of a 1,000-pound deadlift. On Jan. 9, 2021, the Texas Titan ripped a 481-kilogram (1,060-pound) axle bar deadlift from 18-inch blocks. On March 24, 2021, he pulled 1,005 pounds (456 kilograms) on a trap bar for five reps. On June 8, 2021, he pulled a 408.2-kilogram (900-pound) deadlift triple without knee sleeves or lifting shoes.
2022 looks as though it will be a big year for Peña. He was an alternate at the 2021 WSM contest but is no stranger to the grandest stage in strongman. Judging by his performance at the 2021 Static Monsters contest, should he make his way back to Sacramento, CA in 2022, he could give reigning WSM Tom Stoltman a run for the crown.
Feature image: @texastitangabe on Instagram