The Race

By Eric Todd

I remember the race very clearly. I was in the 8th grade and had been lifting weights for a spell, when a couple of my school chums became interested in the iron as well. Both were rather athletic. One was the biggest guy in our grade, the star tackle on our junior high football team. The other was smaller than I, but very little body fat, and very strong for his size. Anyhow, the bigger of the two went with his grandparents to Sam’s Club where they had a membership and purchased a weight bench and a 300 pound iron weight set. As they both lived in town, they were able to spend time working out together on this new toy.

At this time, it was known that I was the strongest kid in class. I could do more pull-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups than anyone else in gym class. I was our starting fullback and linebacker, and was winning most of my wrestling matches this year. And it was this particular year that we got a new head football coach, also our PE teacher, who was invested in weight training. So I was able to demonstrate my physical superiority in gym class every couple weeks when he had us train on the universal in the boy’s locker room. It was about half way through the school year when “the race” began. Our coach decided it was time to bring in a real bench and show us proper technique during PE. After a couple times of practice, he had everyone get a one rep max. It was a fine day for me. Out of all the 8th graders in Cameron, I had the top mark of 200 pounds. However, our star tackle was close behind at 185. And when we figured the best pound for pound, the other guy was right behind me as well.

Well, the race was on. They kept training on their super slick Wal-Mart Iron, and I kept lifting on my second hand plastic clad sand weights on the milking floor. Every time one of us hit a new benchmark, the other’s phone would ring. I maintained my lead for a while. But one day the phone rang. I couldn’t believe my ears. The bigger guy hit a 215, and the smaller fellow surpassed me on pound per pound percentage. I tried to be a good sport, congratulating them on a job well done, but when I hung up the phone, I felt a rage in my heart. I had to get back to the top. I did the only thing I could think of. I went out to the milk barn. I upped my training intensity. My focus was rock solid. After I won the small fry state championship in wrestling that year, I was able to spend more time in the milk barn. Later that spring, after track practice, we were at the field house and I decided to see what I had (I could always do more on an iron set than I could with sand for whatever reason). I hit a solid 225#, putting me back ahead either way you looked at it. And there I stayed.

One day after school, I went over to the house where they trained with both fellows. They wanted to show me a neat trick. It was one they had used to take me down earlier that year. They were putting a full roll of paper towels on their chest to bounce the weight off of when they were bench pressing. While this method was a fine training tool (known as towel bench) in the old “Bigger, Faster, Stronger” program, it was a partial movement that they had beaten me with!

However, any way you look at it, it was by being brought down that motivated me to dig in, and fight to be the best. If I had not received that call, I might have been content just resting at the top of the hill. Funny thing about that weight set, too. They gave up training weights after a couple years, and sold the set to another friend of mine. He gave it up after another year or two. I think it was about my freshman year in college, that I inherited that old Sam’s Club iron weight set. It was the first real iron I owned, and it is still part of my collection.

Colorado Record Breaker

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Jarrod Fobes has sanctioned a record breaker day at his gym on December 27th.  The location of the meet is:

6441 E. Evans
Denver, CO

No other details were sent with the sanction request.   Please contact Jarrod for further information on this meet.

Clarks RD

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS

CLARK’S RECORD DAY

Bill just sent me the results from his meet last weekend.  It looks like it was a busy affair!  I’ll start with the bad news before the good.  Bill had sanctioned the Backbreaker along with a record day on this day, but he had no entries in the Backbreaker.  The Backbreaker is a traditional meet in Clark’s Gym that consists of the Hip Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Harness Lift, Neck Lift, and the Back Lift.  Truly a grueling ordeal. I’ve done it before and can attest to the extreme soreness afterwards.  Can’t really blame the guys for passing on it!

But the GOOD NEWS is that all round lifting is still alive and flourishing in Clark’s Gym.  Six lifters took part in the record day event.  The day was highlighted by the appearance of Steve Schmidt as he attacked another Guinness World Record.  Steve was successful in adding his name to the Guinness Record Book once again.  Steve, at age 59 and 215 pounds BWT, pulled five nails from wood with his teeth in 7.44 seconds! He then set a second record for most nails pulled from wood in one minute – with an astonishing count of 27!  I will try hard to get a follow-up story on this.

Veteran gym member Joe Garcia set the pace for adding more records to the USAWA record list.  It practically fills up a full page.  I guess now since Joe has passed on keeping the record list up to date to me – he doesn’t mind making a lot of work for me!  I don’t remember him EVER doing that many record attempts in a day when he was keeping up the list!  Great job Joe – and I really don’t mind adding your name many more times! David Emslie continues to be a presence at Clark’s meets, and added many records himself. He set records in ALL combinations with the vertical bars which is quite the accomplishment. Bill Clark, at age 82, still has record setting performances in him.  I was really impressed to see the list of new records he set.  He set a new USAWA record in the Hip Lift with a fine lift of 907 pounds, but in his letter he told me that he hopes to get another 1000# Hip Lift before long.  I should remind everyone that this is done with a plethora of artificial joints, too many to count on your fingers using both hands.

MEET RESULTS:

Clark’s Record Day
November 8th, 2014
Clark’s Gym
Columbia, Missouri

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Officials  (1 Official System Used): Bill Clark, Joe Garcia

Results (PDF): ClarksRD-page1 ClarksRD-page2

The Smartest Man in the World!

by Thom Van Vleck

Recently I was talking to someone about lifting and why it’s a great idea to lift weights.  They seemed to struggle with the idea of lifting unless they were going to be the best at it.   Otherwise, why not find something else to do!  I enjoy weightlifting but in case you didn’t notice….I’ve yet to  …… More

Dino Gym Challenge

[ January 17, 2015; 12:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
DINO GYM CHALLENGE PRESENTS THE -

“Herman Goerner Deadlift Medley”

Every year I like to change up the theme of the Dino Gym Challenge to give it variety.   I have honored several of my favorite Old Time Strongmen in the past by hosting meets in their memory, ie Arthur Saxon and  …… More

Four Corners

by Thom Van Vleck

The Jackson Weightlifting Club has been a big part of my life.  As those who know me will already be aware it was started by my grandfather Dalton Jackson in 1928.  It was just him and some friends who were interested in weightlifting.  They never competed.  They were interested in training to get better, be stronger,  …… More

Taking 2015 Memberships

by Al Myers

It’s time to start renewing your USAWA memberships for the next year!  Memberships in the USAWA run for the calendar year – first of January to the end of December. A few have already renewed their memberships, and are listed at bottom of the membership roster under 2015 memberships.  Once January 1st rolls around, the 2014 membership  …… More

OTSM Championships

by Eric Todd

This Saturday past, ET’s House of Iron and Stone played host to the third annual “Battle in the Barn”. This year’s affair also served as the Old Time Strongman Championship for the USAWA. It turned out to be a great competition with some new lifters as well as some of the old players as well. The weather  …… More

Burton Record Session

by Al Myers

I had an absolutely great time last weekend in England at the 2014 IAWA Gold Cup, promoted by Steve Gardner of the Burton Powerhouse Gym.   I met so many great enthusiastic all rounders, and witnessed some outstanding lifting.  Plus I got to share stories with many ole friends from overseas, and be part of the largest attended  …… More

My Gyms

by Eric Todd

I expect everyone has an aptitude for something. Everyone else in my immediate family has an aptitude for art or music. About as far as my aptitude for anything artistic goes, however, is listening to songs on the radio in my truck. I always leaned more to the physical side of things. It is not that I  …… More

Gold Cup

by Steve Gardner

The Gold Cup took place at the Burton Powerhouse All Round Weightlifting Academy in Burton on Trent on Saturday 25th October. In short…it was a fantastic day! We had 56 lifters entered for the day, the biggest turnout in IAWA’s 28 year history for an International event, with 6 Nations represented (Unfortunately Kim and Graham Alway had  …… More

Art’s Birthday Bash

by John McKean

Since it’s impossible to drive to Ambridge from any direction without going through beautiful wooded hills and dense forest lands, our visitors this year were treated to this Fall’s most spectacular leaf colors, on a perfect bluebird sky day! It was almost a shame to have to go indoors to lift weights! HOWEVER, that was immediately corrected  …… More

Lifter of the Month: Frank Ciavattone

by Al Myers

Congrats goes to Frank Ciavattone for being selected as the Lifter of the Month for the month of September. Frank is definitely deserving of this award after the unbelievable contributions he made to the USAWA during the past month. Frank not only promoted the IAWA World Championships, but competed and won his 20th IAWA World Championships. He also  …… More

Update on the OTSM Championships

by Al Myers

***NEWS FLASH***

It has recently been decided that this year’s USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships will be held in conjunction with Eric Todd’s “Battle in the Barn.” Eric has promoted several OTSM competitions over the past few years, and his facility will make the perfect venue for our OTSM Championships.

If you haven’t decided to  …… More

Postal Championships

[ December 31, 2014; 12:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2014 USAWA POSTAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The big finale of our USAWA Postal Meet Series is upon us!

The Postal Championships will be held during the full month of December, with the entry deadline the last day of the month.  USAWA Postal Meet Director Denny Habecker has picked a good selection of lifts to  …… More

Are you feeling Slunk?

by Thom Van Vleck

Slunk [sluhngk]

Adjective

1.  Being in a temporary state where one’s mental and physical abilities are impaired by a lack of sleep achieving a similar state to being drunk.

Every year there are new words added to the dictionary. This past year words like “Crap Shoot” and “Demonizing” were added among several HUNDRED others.  While the  …… More

3rd Quarter Postal

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS

THIRD QUARTER POSTAL MEET

MEET RESULTS:

3rd Quarter Postal Meet
September 1st – September 30th, 2014

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

Lifts: Holdout -Raised, Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, One Arm, Continental to Belt

Officials:
Ruth Jackson – Certified Official Jarod Fobes
Crystal Diggs – Certified Official Ruth Jackson
Barry Bryan – Certified Official Denny  …… More

Gold Cup Getting Close!

by Al Myers

Well the entry deadline has “came and went” for the 2014 IAWA Gold Cup in Burton, England – hosted by Steve Gardner.  This is one of the premier competitions with the IAWA, and attending it is a prestigious occasion for all those involved.  All USAWA members should at least once attend an IAWA Gold Cup.   The USAWA  …… More

Joe Garcia Appreciation Award

by Al Myers

Another USAWA appreciation award was given to another great contributor to the USAWA.  Joe Garcia has been the USAWA Records Director/Record Keeper for the USAWA since the very beginning, and just recently stepped down from this position.  Joe’s efforts single handedly are the reason we have a very comprehensive record list in the USAWA.  We owe him eternal thanks for  …… More

John Wilmot Appreciation Award

by Al Myers

The strength of the USAWA is made up by the contributions of our membership.  One individual who has made powerful contributions to the USAWA was recently recognized by the USAWA Executive Board and the USAWA membership.  This man is John Wilmot – who spear headed the beginning of the USAWA Postal Meet Series.  John began promoting postal  …… More

New England Gold Cup

[ November 29, 2014; 7:00 am; ]

by Frank Ciavattone

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

This meet will be the same as Art’s, a limit of 5 lifts for records.  This meet will have no entry form to fill out or need an entry.  Just an email or a call to me. The date of the meet is 11/29/2014 at the Norwood Recreational Center, 165 Nahatan St., Norwood.

E-mail: fdc2955@aol.com  …… More

IAWA Annual Meeting

by Steve Gardner

A brief run down on business at the 2014 IAWA Council Meeting…..

2014 IAWA Council Meeting – 8pm Friday 26th September – Norwood, Massachusetts USA

Members Present: Frank Ciavattone, Colleen Lane, Dave Ellis, Frank Ciavattone Jr., John Mahon, Sam Trew, George Dick, Denny Habecker, Paula Thompson, Art Montini, Steve Gardner, Chris Bass, Frank Allen, Dick Durante, Judy  …… More

World Championships

by Steve Gardner

2014 IAWA World All Round Weightlifting Championships

Norwood, Massachusetts USA September 27th and 28th

Promoter: Frank Ciavattone Snr

The 28th Annual IAWA World Championships was an outstanding success, due in no small part to the work undertaken by the promoter ‘Big Frank’ and his willing team of supporters and  …… More

All Round Mountaineering

by Thom Van Vleck

After the recent Highland Games Masters World Championships Chad Ullom joined me on a “Mountaineering” expedition.  Last time I made a pretty epic climb but this time we took it a little easier after such a tough, three day competition. It is my opinion that a true “all rounder” should be in shape to do pretty  …… More

Frank Ciavattone – IAWA Award of Merit

by Al Myers

The “second Frank” that was awarded the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit at the 2014 IAWA World Championships went to Frank Ciavattone. It was a great honor to me to be the one  that got to  make this presentation – as I’ve always looked up to Frank and have considered him a role model.  Below is my  …… More

Frank Allen – IAWA Award of Merit

by Al Myers

It was a very exciting last weekend in Boston.  One of the most important aspects of the weekend was the presentation of the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit.  This the IAWA version of the “Hall of Fame”, and only goes to individuals that are extremely worthy.  Only a handful have been presented this prestigious award, and this weekend  …… More

World Championship News Flash

by Steve Gardner

I am very proud to have been at this year’s World Championships at big Frank Ciavattones in Boston it was a great competition and the British lifters were just brilliant. In the ladies event I am so chuffed that Karen and Paula from my own club both took World titles in their weight classes and both won  …… More

Highland Games Masters 2014

by Thom Van Vleck

Recently USAWA members Dave Glasgow, Chad Ullom, and Thom Van Vleck went to Inverness, Scotland to attend the Masters World Champs of Highland Games.  Unfortunately, Dean Ross was unable to attend.  Dean was the last person to have attended EVERY SINGLE MWC since it’s inception a dozen years ago.  Larry Traub was in attendance to watch  …… More

Tomatin Toss

by Thom Van Vleck

USAWA members Chad Ullom and myself recently took a trip to Inverness, Scotland to take part in the Masters World Championship of Highland Games.  I will report on that later, but first I wanted to tell you about an exciting event Chad and I got to take part in.

There is a Guinness World Record for  …… More

World Postal

by Steve Gardner

This year was the first official IAWA World Postal championships, and what a terrific success it has been. When you look through the results you will be amazed to see that 78 lifters representing 8 different Nations took part in the competition. 32 teams in total. Well done to all the lifters who took part and the  …… More

Zercher Classic

[ January 24, 2015; 10:00 am; ]

By Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Zercher Strength Classic and Record Day

Meet Director: Bill Clark and Joe Garcia

Date: Saturday, January 24th, 2015

Venue: Clark’s Gym, Columbia, Missouri

Weigh-ins: 8 – 9 AM

Start Time: 10 AM

Entry Fee: None

Entry Form: None

Awards: None

Membership: Must be a current USAWA Member

Lifts: Leg  …… More

Backbreaker Pentathlon

[ November 8, 2014; 10:00 am; ]

By Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Backbreaker Pentathlon

Meet Director: Bill Clark  & Joe Garcia

Date: Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Venue: Clark’s Gym, Columbia, Missouri

Weigh-ins: 8- 9 AM

Entry Fee: None

Entry Form: None

Awards: None

Membership: Must be a current USAWA Member

Lifts: Neck Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Back Lift, Hip Lift,  …… More

Battle in the Barn

[ November 1, 2014; 8:00 am; ]

by Eric Todd

November 1, 2014, ET’s House of Iron and Stone will play host to the third annual “Battle in the Barn, an Old Time Strongman event. This year, three Old Time Strongman events will be contested, along with one traditional all-round lift. The lifts are as follows:

Saxon Snatch
Apollon’s lift
Hand and Thigh  …… More

TRAIN HARDER AND SMARTER

BY DAVE GLASGOW

MIKE ROWE IS MY HERO. YEAH, MIKE ROWE. YOU KNOW HIM, HE’S THE HOST OF THE TV SHOW, ‘DIRTY JOBS’. HE IS THE CHEERLEADER FOR WHAT MOST FOLKS WOULD CONSIDER ‘BLUE COLLAR’ WORKERS. HIS MAIN CONCERN IS THAT THE ‘INFRA-STRUCTURE’ OF OUR NATION IS DECAYING DUE TO A HUGE DECREASE IN FOLKS WHO, ONE, WANT TO WORK  …… More

The Gada: Part III

by Thom Van Vleck

In part three I said I’d get to how you would train Dalton Jackson style with the Gada.  I first want to explain to you that his is not intended to be a comprehensive training program.  It is very simply what I remember seeing my grandfather do.  Upon reviewing his notes and memories of our talks  …… More

IAWA Meeting Time SET

by Al Myers

The IAWA World Championships is fast approaching!  I have been in contact with meet promoter Frank Ciavattone, and everything is “in place” for a great weekend of competition and fun.   An important part of this annual event is the annual general meeting of the IAWA.  All IAWA members are invited to attend.  The meeting will occur Friday  …… More

Team Championships

by Al Myers

2014 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

I started promoting the USAWA Team Championships in 2007, so this year makes it the 8th year! I remember thinking this would become a popular meet amongst the lifters because it gave a different element to lifting than other meets -that being you lifted “on the bar” with a team mate!  …… More

Holland Strength and Fitness

by Al Myers

Last week I launched a new business, specializing in gym equipment and other items that will aid in the strength developing process.  The name of the business is Holland Strength and Fitness, and can be found online at www.hollandstrength.com.  I’ve always been involved in making gym equipment for the past 25 years, and have sold  …… More

Club of the Year

by Al Myers

At the USAWA National Championships this summer, the USAWA awarded a Club of the Year for the past year.  I am extremely proud of the members of my Dino Gym for winning the award!  It takes an entire club’s involvement and participation to win this award in our organization.  Runner up went to Habecker’s Gym, ran by the USAWA President  …… More

The Gada: Part II

by Thom Van Vleck

In Part I you learned what the Gada was and a little history behind it.  Next up will be my own design of the ultimate “Gada” training tool.  You may have seen this before as I have used it for weaver stick style training and sledge hammer training a la’ Slim “the Hammerman” Farman.   The  …… More