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.

Nick English

Nick English

Nick is a content producer and journalist with over seven years’ experience reporting on four continents. His first articles about health were on a cholera outbreak in rural Kenya while he was reporting for a French humanitarian organization. His next writing job was covering the nightlife scene in Shanghai. He’s written on a lot of things.

After Shanghai, he went on to produce a radio documentary about bodybuilding in Australia before finishing his Master’s degrees in Journalism and International Relations and heading to New York City. Here, he’s been writing on health full time for more than five years for outlets like BarBend, Men's Health, VICE, and Popular Science.

No fan of writing in the third person, Nick’s passion for health stems from an interest in self improvement: How do we reach our potential?

Questions like these took him through a lot of different areas of health and fitness like gymnastics, vegetarianism, kettlebell training, fasting, CrossFit, Paleo, and so on, until he realized (or decided) that strength training fit best with the ideas of continuous, measurable self improvement.

At BarBend his writing focuses a little more on nutrition and long-form content with a heaping dose of strength training. His underlying belief is in the middle path: you don’t have to count every calorie and complete every workout in order to benefit from a healthy lifestyle and a stronger body. Plus, big traps are cool.

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