August 2016 Featured Lifter

USAPL-NY would like to spotlight some of the stand-outs in the state. We will feature a new lifter each month, and ask them some random questions to get some insight into what makes them tick…..

This month’s featured lifter is Matt Sohmer.


Hello, my name is Matt Sohmer I am from Farmingdale, NY. I am 22 years old and currently attending SUNY Cortland for exercise science. After I graduate I will be going back to school to get my masters in either neuromuscular, motor behavior or occupational therapy. I’ve only been powerlifting for four and half years. I started a powerlifting career after I decided I no longer wanted to play college football due too numerous knee injuries. Since my first powerlifting meet I have come a long way. Since then I have won numerous world championships, broken many American and World records (over 50) and compiled 20 gold medals. I was the 1st teenager to squat over 800lbs raw successfully in competition while being drug tested and under 275lbs. I did this not only once but three times. My greatest squat was in May of 2015, when I was weighing about 280-285lbs, I squatted 870lbs raw. In the past few months I competed in two big meets, the Arnold Sports festival, and the IPF World Championships. At the Arnold sports festival, I squatted 805 at 250lb body weight but just missing 828 because of depth (which would of been the IPF open squat record). I still won 1st place for junior and the open in the 120kg class. More recently I competed at IPF Worlds in Killeen. I was very hesitant about this meet because I barely trained for it. Since April, which was my last meet I had sustained a minor injury which set me back two weeks and then I got had gotten very sick for a few weeks. So I trained a total of three weeks for this meet. However, despite this dump I was able to still squat over 800lbs and I deadlifted 772lbs with still more left in the tank. I came in second but won two golds for the squat and the deadlift.
When I’m not powerlifting, I’m usually very busy. I work a lot and I try to promote my business which is the selling of athletic apparel and all natural pain relief creams. When I’m not working I’m either relaxing or hanging out with my friends or my girlfriend.
Proudly Sponsored By: Skechers, Sore No More, Titan Support Systems

A little about Matt Sohmer

Home City: Farmingdale, NY

Schools: SUNY Cortland

Question and Answer time!!

USAPL-NY: What got you interested in Powerlifting?

Matt Sohmer: Well I always lifted for football and was really good at it, so I was talked into competing by a few friends, and at my first meet I won 1st place and best lifter and I was hooked

USAPL-NY: Where was your first meet?

MS: Holbrook, NY

USAPL-NY: What have you learned since that first meet?

MS: I’ve learned what, and what not too do while training and competing

USAPL-NY: What goals do you have for the future?

MS: Squat 4x bodyweight, break all IPF and All-Time World Records

USAPL-NY: What is your favorite lift and why?

MS: May not come as a surprise, but squat is my favorite lift. It was one lift that no matter what always came natural to me. There would be times, especially after injury or long periods of not squatting where I would come back and still out squat everyone in every sport in my school

USAPL-NYWhat is your least favorite lift and why?

MS: This may be a shocker but, bench press. Many think I dislike bench because I’m bad at it, but that’s not the case. In high school following my knee injury, I couldn’t squat or deadlift so all I did was bench. I was benching almost 400lbs at 16/17 years old. But personally benching was my least favorite, because everyone was good at it, and everyone had a big bench, and no one seemed to care about squatting or deadlifting. I also don’t think it should be a powerlift, instead of bench it would be cool to see powercleans or overhead press used instead

USAPL-NYDo you follow a specific training program? And if you do what is it? 

MS: Usually I do my own programming for squat and deadlift, which is based on a ton of volume. But when I’m attending school and have little time to worry about what I’m doing each week, my bud Josh Bryant does my programming

USAPL-NY: Do you lift as part of a team? Who are they and how did you become part of that group?

MS: No, there really is no teams around were I train

USAPL-NY: What advice would you give any new lifter young or old?

MS: Train hard, work in lots and lots of volume. Also know that it takes time to get stronger, it doesn’t happen over night, so stick with it and push yourself.

USAPL-NY: Tell us something about you that others in the PL world don’t know about you?

MS: I played 14 years of football including college ball however, multiple severe knee injuries ended my career. But what many do not know is that, I had torn every ligament in my left knee and never had surgery for it. Squatting has helped me a lot, and still to this day I squat over 800 pounds without an ACL, and a torn PCL, MCL and Meniscus. That’s why I always tell people, if you squat through your knee injuries and develop your leg muscles more, your knee pain will go away because the surrounding muscles are stronger and can provide support.


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