Gabriel Peña is a 31-year-old professional Latino American strongman who has represented both the United States and Mexico. He resides in Edinburgh, Texas and is a 2-time World’s Strongest Man competitor, best known in strongman for his prestigious deadlifting ability.
When not training, Gabe, as he prefers to be known, enjoys spending time outdoors, trekking the mountains and scaling many high peaks. He is married to Bianca (Byanka) Peña-De La Rosa and is father to his young daughter, Xiomara.
Like many top strongmen, but surprisingly for a Texan, strongman Gabriel Pena played rugby in college. Peña has been the owner of Alpha Fit Gym and Physical Training Centre, which specialises in functional fitness and strength, since 2015. He refers to it as a “haven of strength.” and offers personal and online training.
A former high school swimmer, Gabriel began serious weight training at twenty, initially focusing on bodybuilding, but also to build size and strength for rugby, which he played in South Texas, for the McAllen Knights. He eventually branched out into strongman, having grown up watching the World’s Strongest Man contest on TV, like so many other competitors. He took part in his debut competition in 2013, in Pharr, Texas, placing 1st, but shortly after, tore his biceps – an early setback in his career.
Within two years Peña was competing at the national championships, placing 3rd, and the following year made his debut at the Arnold Amateur Strongman World Championships where he just missed a podium spot, finishing 4th. Over the next few years Gabriel competed in three more national champs before placing 3rd, in 2020, at the Amateur World Championships, earning him a place at World’s Strongest Man.
Gabriel made his professional debut at the 2020 World’s Strongest Man and in doing so became the first Hispanic-Latino to compete there. Unfortunately, he was forced to withdraw from his heat on medical advice after experiencing atrial fibrillation. However, his performance in the deadlift, where he got within a single repetition of Terry Pritchett – a former world record holder – gained the attention of many.
Injury prevented him from returning to World’s in 2021, but he competed more regularly that year on the professional circuit, appearing at two Giants Live shows, as well as the Shaw Classic. At the Giants Live World Open, Peña joined the 1,000lb deadlift club – a select group – by lifting 453.5kg at the World Deadlift Championships. He also achieved a world record in the 18-inch axle deadlift, pulling 500kg/1,102lb at the Static Monsters event in 2021.
Peña returned to World’s Strongest Man in 2022, in Sacramento, but failed to progress from “the group of death,” as his heat was named, finishing 6th, behind notable athletes such as Brian Shaw, Bobby Thompson and Konstantine Janashia.
As yet, Gabe is still to win a major competition, but placed equal 2nd at the 2021 World Deadlift Championships, held at the Giants Live Arena Tour, World Open in Manchester, England. Peña joined five other athletes who successfully deadlifted 1,000lb/453.5kg, with Russia’s Ivan Makarov winning the contest with a 475kg/1,037lb lift.
Peña’s next confirmed outing will be at the 2022 Giants Live Open and World Deadlift Championships in Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on August 6th. He will join a who’s who of the world’s leading deadlifters who will be hoping to eclipse the current world record and successfully lift 505kg/1,113lb and take home the £50,000 prize.
He will also be appearing at the 2022 Shaw Classic the following weekend, where he will be pitting his strength against the likes of Tom Stoltman, Brian Shaw, Oleksii Novikov and Trey Mitchell.
Gabe hosts his own podcast, titled: Titan Talk Podcast, where he discusses strength matters with guests such as Trey Mitchell and Kevin Faires. He has also appeared on Brian Shaw’s Shaw Strength Podcast, in an episode named: Embrace the journey of your life, featuring Gabriel Peña, as well as Laurence Shahlaei’s Big Loz Official’s YouTube “Talking Strongman” episode.
Gabriel has a social media presence on Instagram: @texastitangabe which has 34.2k followers who are all keen to see Gabriel’s highly impressive deadlift training, as well as his outdoor adventures. On YouTube his account is under: Gabriel Pena, and also for his Facebook account.