Matt Sohmer Sets an Unofficial Jr. World Record With 804.5lb Deadlift at 120kg

At a meet held at Pro-Fit Deer Park in Long Island, 23-year-old Team USA athlete Matt Sohmer just entered a new class of elite lifters with a raw deadlift of 804.5 pounds (365kg) at 264.5lb (120kg) bodyweight.

And he makes it look fairly easy, too.

(Yep, that’s announcer is indeed a pirate – he’s called Geno, the Pirate of Powerlifting, the treasured hype man for many of the USAPL’s events. He’s so beloved that someone made a full twenty-four minute video dedicated to him on YouTube, and USAPL even bought him a golden microphone for his ensemble.)

This was a giant PR for Sohmer. His best squat is 828 pounds (375.5kg) at 250 pounds bodyweight and his best total is 1,962 pounds (890kg) at 256 pounds (116.1kg) bodyweight. He claims his bench is currently sitting at 336 pounds (152.4kg).

Hailing from New York, Sohmer started lifting after a slew of knee injuries cut his football career short. (ACL, PCL, MCL and meniscus injuries are no joke.) He rehabbed his injuries through weight training, and when he pulled 600 pounds in a local New York powerlifting meet in late 2011, he decided that becoming a pro powerlifter was the career for him.

When he was just nineteen, he became the youngest person to ever squat 800 pounds raw and without wraps, and over the course of his career he has won over twenty gold medals in eight different powerlifting federations. He also dabbles in strongman – you can see him pulling a 13-ton truck below.

Sohmer’s current goal is to break the all-time raw, drug-free, strap-free record for the open squat, which stands at 865 pounds. With this kind of tenacity, we think he’s got it in him.

Featured image via @thehulksmash75 on Instagram.


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I’m a journalist and content producer with over seven years' reporting experience on four continents, with most of that spent covering health-related issues. My resume includes covering cholera outbreaks in Kenya and the clubbing scene in Shanghai, which is also where I wrote my first ever health article for an English language magazine. (It was on diarrhea.)After returning to Australia to finish up degrees in Journalism and International Relations I wound up in New York City where I’ve worked for Men’s Health, VICE, Popular Science and others. I try to keep health relatively simple — it’s mostly vegetables and sweat — but I live to explore the debates, the fringes, the niche, and the nitty gritty.