Strongman Gabriel Peña qualified for the 2020 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) competition — his debut. Unfortunately, he had to withdraw after two events on Day One of the competition due to suffering from atrial fibrillation — when the top chambers of the heart flutter erratically. One of the events he was able to complete was the deadlift for max reps event. He managed eight reps for a second-place finish in his group in that event before withdrawing from the event and walking to the hospital following a conversation with the WSM medical team.
His recovery didn’t take long.
Eight days after being admitted to the hospital, Peña was back in the gym pulling a titanic partial 520-kilogram (1,120-pound) deadlift off blocks. For context, that would have been heavy enough for a fifth-place finish in the 2020 WSM Finals partial deadlift event where the eventual champion Oleskii Novikov hit a WSM record of 537.5 kilograms (1,185 pounds).
Peña’s momentum in the gym has continued to build. His most recent feat of strength was a personal best 454-kilogram (1,000-pound) deadlift using straps at the Alpha Fit Annual Deadlift Party. Check out that colossal lift below courtesy of his Instagram page:
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[Related: Brian Shaw Wins 2020 Shaw Classic — Recap And Results]
Absolute ecstacy [sic]. It happened. Massive PR and lifetime goal achieved!
The lift appeared to be a grind, but Peña was smiling upon locking it out and managed to cleanly sustain the weight at the top. Between this PR lift and the farmer’s carries and high-rep back squats he has been incorporating in his recent training, it is safe to say that Peña’s has recovered from his stint at the hospital. Keep your eyes on Peña in 2021 as he is dropping every clue that he intends to make some noise on the competitive strongman stage.
Feature image from Gabriel Peña’s Instagram page: @texastitangabe