Gabriel Peña is on an absolute tear. On March 24, 2021, he posted a video to Instagram of him pulling 1,005 pounds (456 kilograms) on a trap bar for five reps. He was wearing a lifting belt, knee sleeves, and used lifting straps. This incredible feat marks (at least) the third deadlift variation on which the Texas native has pulled 1,000 or more pounds. You can check out the trap bar deadlift below, courtesy of Peña’s Instagram page:
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In December of 2020, Peña set a personal record (PR) on the conventional deadlift with a 1,000-pound (455-kilogram) pull. A month before that, the Texas Titan ripped 1,145-pounds (520 kilograms) off blocks. He then managed to hit a 1,060 (481-kilogram) 18-inch deadlift using an axle bar, which is notable because an axle bar is far more rigid than a traditional barbell. That rigidity means that there’s no flex in the bar, and so the pull feels harder throughout. (According to Peña, that is the heaviest weight pulled for an 18-inch axle bar deadlift.)
While there is no official listing for a trap bar deadlift world record, Pena’s 1,005-pound pull for five is certainly one of (if not the) heaviest to date. Compared to a standard deadlift bar, a trap bar is hexagonal in shape and has the lifter stand in the cage or center. The trap bar handles are set perpendicular to the lifter, so they’re grabbed with a neutral grip. It’s normal for most lifters to be stronger on the trap bar due to the raised handles, which allow for a more comfortable setup, and the neutral grip position. It should also be noted that Peña appears to be using a trap bar with high handles. The handle height on trap bars can vary based on manufacturers. Some have handles that are higher, lower, and even in line with the sleeve of the trap bar (or hex bar).
Peña’s rapid deadlift progress isn’t much of a shock. When he spoke on an episode of the BarBend podcast, Peña declared that one of his goals is to break the strongman deadlift record of 1,102 pounds (501 kilograms), currently held by Hafthor Björnsson. Lifts like this can certainly help his cause, and there may be more to come.
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Another reason he’s so motivated: Peña announced over Instagram Stories on March 27, 2021, that he is officially a reserve athlete for the 2021 World’s Strongest Man in Sacramento, CA. Should one of the 25 men scheduled to compete withdraw, Peña will take his place. Peña made his World’s Strongest Man debut in 2020 but withdrew due to heart issues.
“If there’s anything I learned last year, it’s that there are travel complications and there are injuries. I wish the best to the 25 confirmed athletes on the list that they can make it,” Peña said in his Instagram Stories announcement. “But I will be training. I will be ready. I left a lot of business unfinished in 2020. Last year, I knew I could take it to the finals, that I had what it took to get there. This year, I’m dead set on getting to the podium.”
Featured Image and Video: @texastitangabe on Instagram