Matthews earned a big-time win and hit PRs with strength to spare.

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Before 2022, Bobb Matthews might have been an ascending star, but he could never quite break through on a sanctioned lifting platform. Aside from some solid podium finishes, he was awaiting his turn to shine in the spotlight. In what was likely his last competitive appearance of the 2022 calendar year, Matthews came, saw, and conquered.

On Dec. 10, 2022, Matthews (105KG) won the 2022 USA Powerlifting (USAPL) Virginia Pro when he captured a 952.5-kilogram (2,099.3-pound) raw total. Per Open Powerlifting, Matthews’ total is an all-time competition personal record (PR) of 22.2 kilograms (49 pounds). Perhaps not by coincidence, Matthews’ past PR total of 930 kilograms (2,050.3 pounds) occurred at the 2022 USAPL Mega Nationals — the only other win of the athlete’s career.

En route to his best-ever competition total, Matthews notched all-time competition PRs on his bench press by 17.5 kilograms (38.6 pounds) and deadlift by five kilograms (11 pounds). He also matched his all-time best on the back squat. To put a cherry on top, Matthews’ DOTS score of 582.79 — the ratio of an athlete’s body weight to the weight they’re lifting — was the highest recorded in the USAPL this year. The athlete had a body weight of 101.4 kilograms (223.5 pounds) at the contest.

Here’s an overview of Matthews’ top stats from the 2022 USAPL Virginia Pro:

Bobb Matthews (105KG) | 2022 USAPL Virginia Pro Top Stats

  • Squat — 340 kilograms (749.6 pounds) | Equals All-Time Raw Competition Best
  • Bench Press — 232.5 kilograms (512.6 pounds) | All-Time Raw Competition Best
  • Deadlift — 380 kilograms (837.8 pounds) | All-Time Raw Competition Best
  • Total — 952.5 kilograms (2,099.3 pounds) | All-Time Raw Competition Best

Matthews usually competes in the 100-kilogram weight class, but moved up in weight for the 2022 USAPL Virginia Pro. Such a competitive decision had him cross paths with peer Ashton Rouska — one of the more prolific competitors in that division, and who has won noteworthy titles like the 2021 USAPL Raw Nationals. Rouska was the defending Virginia Pro champion in the 105-kilogram category, and Matthews’ recent performance ultimately dethroned him.

That said, Matthews’ PR/winning total at the 2022 edition of the Virginia Pro was actually 2.7 kilograms (6.1 pounds) less than Rouska’s winning total at the 2021 iteration of the Virginia Pro. That suggests this pair of powerlifters could have some neck-and-neck battles in the future.

In the comments of Matthews’ Instagram post detailing his results, Rouska deferred to the athlete, offering hearty, congratulatory words of praise. At the same time, he looked ahead to when the two might next square off.

“You did well, Bobb, I am so proud of how far you’ve come,” Rouska wrote. “You have a heart of gold and deserve every ounce of success that is coming your way. This 10-year powerlifter won’t just kneel over and let you win the Arnold [2023 Arnold Sports Festival], though. Time to get to work!”

Featured image: @ssjbobb on Instagram

About Robert Zeglinski

Robert is a seasoned and adept editor and writer with a keen, passionate penchant for the writing craft. He’s been a leader in newsrooms such as SB Nation, USA TODAY, and WBBM Newsradio, with various other content and art production teams, and first made a name for himself in his hometown of Chicago. When not knee-deep in research or lost in a stream of consciousness for a thorough piece, you can find Robert inhaling yet another novel, journaling his heart out, or playing with his Shiba Inu, Maximus (Max, for short).

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