The Gada: Part III

by Thom Van Vleck

Dalton would do any kind of movement he did with a dumbbell with his modified "Gada" or "Indian Club" dumbbells.

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 I know that he studied Arthur Saxon, Eugene Sandow, Sig Klien, Earle Liederman, The Great Gama, and Charles Atlas.  These 5 weren’t the only ones, but I would say most of his training came from these men.  I know he ordered courses from Klien (I still have it and it’s autographed!), Liederman, and Atlas.  What you are getting are my recollections of what he did that I know know to be related to the Gada.

The first was basic dumbbell work.  Very simple, Dalton would do any kind of dumbbell work using these “off set” dumbbells you see in the photo above.  The photo has him doing some basic dumbbell presses with the weight “top heavy”.  He also would switch it to make it bottom heavy. I recall when he retired at 65 he worked hard for the next 7 years and got in tremendous shape.  His goal was to duplicate some feats of strength at age 75 he had done at 50 and he came very close!  His body weight was at least 220lbs around age 70 but my Uncle Phil says he got as heavy as 240lbs!  All I know is I recall his forearms being so large that they made his upper arm look small.  I believe using the “gada” style dumbbells helped in that development.  So I would do presses, various curls, cleans, snatches, top heavy, bottom heavy….he was a big believer in mixing his workout up so he rarely did the same thing twice.

The book that the illustration of Kehoe is from.

The next thing I recall is your basic Indian Club swings.  I didn’t see him do this often but he would do one or two and get them rotating around.  This involved swing the clubs around and I believe he mostly did this to loosen his shoulders up.  I wish I had paid more attention to the specifics but I do know this, I found an illustration in his notes that he had cut out of some magazine long ago that had an illustration of Sim Kehoe doing “Figure no. 5″ from his book “Indian Club Exercises” which can be found online.

Specialized work.  My grandfather believe that his training should closely follow what he was trying to get better at.  For him this was never a contest so it was life events.  For example if winter was coming he would load a long barbell and do “snow shovel” movements, 5 reps left, then 5 reps right.  He always wanted to be balanced!  A few years ago I know Al Myers made an implement that mimicked the sheaf toss movement and it was bar like a pitch fork that could have plates loaded on the “business” end.  I remember Dalton told me that he had a “corn shucking” working for when he shucked corn by hand!  He would use his offset dumbbells whenever they suited this purpose.

Another “quirk” to my grandfather’s training was that he would always load his left hand a little heavier.  Regardless if it were the “Gada” dumbbells or a barbell or dumbbells.  He told me that his left side was always weaker and needed more work since his right side got more work on the job and doing chores.  To this day I keep his old barbell set loaded in my gym in such a fashion.  I’ve never heard of anyone training that way.

I wish I’d paid more attention.  To this day I’ll see something and think, “I saw Pop do that!”.  As I remember stuff I try and write it down.  He wrote volumes of journals and I go through them occasionally and find things I missed or didn’t connect the dots at the time.  He often wrote in a sort of short hand that makes him a tough read sometimes.  In a way it’s like finding a little treasure every time I revisit!  I hope you have enjoyed my three part series and find some time to try a “Gada” out in your training program!

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 evening, September 26th, at 7 PM.  The location of the meeting is the Old Colonial Café, 171 Nahatan St, Norwood, MA, 02062.  Frank has reserved us an outside garden type pavilion for the meeting.  If anyone wants to meet for dinner beforehand be there at 6 PM.  Frank told me that this is a favorite place for the locals!

The banquet will occur Sunday night, September 28th at the same place.  The IAWA World Championships Banquet will start at 6 PM.  The phone number of the restaurant is 1-781-762-2058.    Frank said he is very pleased with the entries so far for Worlds, and it is looking to be a 20+ lifter meet.  The deadline is approaching fast so get your entries in soon if you haven’t already!

Team Championships

by Al Myers

2014 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

Group picture from the 2014 USAWA Team Championships (left to right): LaVerne Myers, Al Myers, Chad Ullom, and Dean Ross.

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! Well, in these 8 years it has not seemed to grow as I imagined back then, but none the less, always gives an entertaining day of lifting.  This year Chad and I again competed to “defend our title” from last year, and were challenged by the Dino Gym elders LaVerne Myers and Dean Ross.  These two team up well in size and lifting ability, plus have “been around the block a time or two” so they know how to play dirty.  I knew they would give us a good fight.  That was true.  Dean employed various means of chemical warfare against us, while LaVerne used mental persuasion to get us to swap out a lift for another to give them a competitive advantage.  When Chad and I was still dizzy from the nerve gas that Dean imposed upon us, we agreed to this request of LaVerne’s without contention.  Their teamwork was in full force before the meet even started!

So the Clean and Jerk with the Fulton Bar AND the Jefferson Lift was replaced by the Deadlift with the Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip.  And as it turned out – the meet came down to this last lift.  LaVerne and Dean pulled together an outstanding lift of 551 pounds!  I knew with their added age allowance this was going to make us really push ourselves.   But thankfully, my partner didn’t let me down and Chad and I pulled a PR of 672# for the win and a new Dino Gym Record (breaking our previous record of 640#).

This may have been a small meet, but we had a lot of fun in the gym today.  The meet even got over quick so the meet report/results is being posted on the same day as the meet.  That might be a first!

MEET RESULTS:

2014 USAWA Team Championships
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
August 24th, 2014

Meet Director: Al Myers

Officials (1 official system used): Al Myers, Chad Ullom, LaVerne Myers

Lifts: Clean and Jerk – One Arm, Curl – Cheat, Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

Lifters:

Dino Gym 1
Dean Ross – 71 years old, 267 pounds
LaVerne Myers – 71 years old, 247 pounds

Dino Gym 2
Al Myers – 48 years old, 236 pounds
Chad Ullom – 42 years old, 253 pounds

TEAM C&J-1 Curl DL-FB,CG TOTAL POINTS
Dino Gym 2 105 165 305 575 467.1
Dino Gym 1 40 105 250 395 400.2

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in kilograms.  TOTAL is total kilograms lifted.  Points are adjusted points for age and bodyweight corrections.

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

Presidential Cup

by Al Myers

Denny Habecker,  our USAWA President, hosted the USAWA Presidential Cup this past weekend at his gym in Lebanon, PA.  This is the third year for this now annual event.  The Presidential Cup is the USAWA version of the IAWA Gold Cup – which features lifters picking their best and favorite lifts to be contested in a record  …… More

The Gada Part 1

by Thom Van Vleck

When I was a kid my first influence in physical fitness was my grandfather Dalton Jackson  He started training in 1928 at the age of 13.  At that time training information was sparse and what was available was often poor and sometimes dangerous!  One area my grandfather was interested in was wrestling and this led him  …… More

Neck Lifting all the Way to a Guinness Record

by Lance Foster

USAWA history was made for the second time in May 2014, when Eric Todd’s 1000 pound neck lift from October 19, 2013 was approved as a Guinness World Record, breaking the previous record of 800 pounds that had been set by Frank Ciavattone almost 8 years ago. Eric had set other USAWA records in the neck lift.  …… More

Gold Cup

[ October 25, 2014; 7:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers

It’s hard for me to believe that 3 years have went this fast!  That’s the last time Steve Gardner promoted the IAWA Gold Cup in Burton, England.  I remember it like yesterday -  as my daughter Emily attended it with me and we did some 2-person lifting, including a 800 pound Male/Female deadlift. Steve is one of  …… More

Club Championships

BY DAVE GLASGOW

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS ON THE GREAT PLAINES

FOUR CLUBS AND THREE STATES WERE REPRESENTED AT THE USAWA CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS, HOSTED BY THE LEDAIG HEAVY ATHLETICS, IN RAINBOW BEND, KS. THOSE PARTICIPATING RANGED IN AGE FROM ELEVEN TO EIGHTY SEVEN! QUITE A RANGE. YET, THERE WERE GREAT LIFTS POSTED BY ALL WHO COMPETED.

ALEX WHETSTONE HAD NEVER  …… More

Leadership Awards

by Al Myers

The Leadership Award in the USAWA goes to an individual “that has shown exceptional leadership qualities within the USAWA during the past year.  Things that should be looked at are going above the level expected of an Officer position, promoting sanctioned events with emphasis being on promoting National or World Competitions, promoting the USAWA by developing a  …… More

Sportsmanship Runner Up

by Al Myers

At the USAWA Club Championships last weekend I was able to formally present Dave Glasgow the Runner Up Sportsmanship Award.  I was hoping to keep it a secret till this past weekend in order to surprise him!

Dave’s a humble guy, which makes it even more enjoyable to present him an award such as this. He never thinks he’s  …… More

Records now online

by Al Myers

As some of you may have noticed, the USAWA Record List is now available on the USAWA website.   It is placed under the top heading section “record list”.  I will try to keep an  updated version of the record list uploaded.  The record list is very large PDF of the excel file.  It may take a while  …… More

Sportsmanship Award Winner

by Al Myers

The Sportsmanship Award went to a lifter who I felt really deserved it – Dennis Mitchell.  The definition of the Sportsmanship Award is, “This goes to an individual who possesses and shows great sportsmanship within the USAWA.  The act of sportsmanship may be by conduct at all events, or by an specific example of exceptional Sportsmanship.”

This  …… More

IT’S ALL ISO

by John McKean

“You look like a 3 pound duck ,trying to lay a 5 pound egg !” was my comment to a buddy’s pressing form. Bill Irish had asked me to critique his admittedly powerful overhead lift as he trained for a USAWA record. Now Bill had always specialized in the press, did quite well in this lift for  …… More

Courage Award Winners

by Al Myers

The Courage Award is described as, “This goes to an individual who shows the courage to overcome an obstacle in order to return to competition. This may be a comeback from an injury, or just having to deal with difficult personal issues, but still shows the courage to compete in the USAWA”.

Since the USAWA Award Program  …… More

Newcomer Award Winners

by Al Myers

I always enjoy the USAWA Annual Awards presentation. This program to recognize outstanding accomplishments was started in 2010. The program is funded by the USAWA bank account, and all award winners are chosen by the membership. This means if you win one of these awards – it is because your peers deemed you worthy. That means much  …… More

3rd Quarter Postal

[ September 30, 2014; 11:00 am; ]

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

3RD QUARTER USAWA POSTAL MEET

The lifts for this postal meet are:

Holdout – Raised

Deadlift – One Arm, Ciavattone Grip

Continental to Belt

ENTRY FORM – 2014 3rd Quarter Postal Entry Form

2nd Quarter Postal

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS
2ND QUARTER USAWA POSTAL MEET

The results are in from the 2nd Quarter USAWA Postal Meet.  Congrats goes to Women’s overall winner Ruth Jackson, and Men’s overall winner Chad Ullom.  The Postal Meet Director Denny Habecker made some good choices for the lifts, as they were lifts contested in the USAWA National  …… More

Team Championships

[ August 24, 2014; 10:00 am; ]

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

2014 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

The date for the USAWA Team Championships has been set!  The day will be Sunday, August 24th, and it will be held in the Dino Gym. The month of August is a busy month for USAWA meets and other local activities, and I didn’t want to cause  …… More

2014 Meeting Minutes

by Al Myers

The 2014 Meeting of the USAWA was called to order by USAWA President Denny Habecker at 6:00 PM at the Salvation Army Gym in Macomb, Illinois on June 20th.  Roll call was taken with these USAWA members in attendance: Denny Habecker, Al Myers, Art Montini, Dean Ross, Randy Smith,  Helen Kahn,Tim Piper, Mike Murdock, Dennis Mitchell, Eric  …… More

National Championships

by Thom Van Vleck

I attended and was the head judge recently at the USAWA National Championships in Macomb, Illinois. Tim Piper was the meet director and set up a large tent by the Salvation Army Gym. As you recall, the Salvation Army Gym is in the basement of the local Salvation Army and was the victim of a terrible  …… More

World Postal Meet

[ August 31, 2014; 5:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers


Steve Gardner, the meet director for the IAWA World Postal Meet, has announced the plans for this competition coming later in summer.  This gives everyone the great opportunity to see how you “stack up” against international competition without ever even leaving your own gym!

Steve has picked an outstanding set of lifts that everyone should be  …… More

Chad Ullom: All Around All Rounder!

by Thom Van Vleck

Chad Ullom has been a fixture in the USAWA and IAWA for some time.  He is a National and World Champ and has a slug of records to his credit.  You would think that would be enough to keep him busy but Chad is also a regular on the Highland Games circuit!  At one time Chad  …… More

2014 Meeting Agenda

by Al Myers

The USAWA National Championships is now only a week away, and with this big meet comes the annual National Meeting of the USAWA.  This is the one meeting per year where the membership comes together to decide on major issues which  impact the organization for the next year.

The meeting has been set for Friday evening, June 20th, at  …… More

Nationals Update

by Tim Piper

We are slowly getting entries in for the National Championships on June 21st. We are hoping for a good turnout but to make sure we are not short on awards or food for the banquet it would be great if we could get a head count by next thursday. The event is coming together well.

We have  …… More

Big T’s Birthday Bash OTSM

by Thom Van Vleck

As many know by now I turned 50 years of age.  When this was coming up my wife asked me what I would like to do on my birthday.  I have two interests and from those interests come most of my friends.  They are the Scottish Highland Games and Weightlifting.  I thought about it long  …… More

Recent Death of Joe McCoy

by Al Myers

I received some sad news this week, passed along to me by Dale Harder, that longtime USAWA Joe McCoy has died. Joe was one of the pioneers of the USAWA and all round weightlifting in the Missouri Valley Region. His influence in the early days helped shape our organization.  I’ve spent many hours visiting with Joe on  …… More

Club Championships

[ July 19, 2014; 3:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers

The Club Championships has been sanctioned and scheduled!    I consider this meet as one of our “signature events” in the USAWA since it is a Championship Event, and these are the meets that really need to be contested every year. The Club Championships began in 2010 with the Ambridge Barbell Club hosting it the first couple of  …… More

Dino Gym Club of the Year

by Al Myers

Every year the USAWA gives out yearly awards honoring special achievements amongst the membership for the prior year.  This Awards Program began in 2009.  The award recipients are voted on and chosen by the membership with the exception of the Club of the Year.  This award is earned on merit -with points being accrued by participation in  …… More

Decline of Western (lifting) Civilization: Part II

by Thom Van Vleck

Okay, so….I have to admit….I HATE Smith Machines.  I hate them so much that I was even offered a free one years ago and I turned it down.  I didn’t even want to sell or trade it because I felt like I would be taking advantage of some poor sap who would think he’d get strong  …… More

Decline of Western (lifting) Civilization: Part I

by Thom Van Vleck

The title of the article is play off of some documentaries that pondered the decline of the western civilization through the various music movements such as punk rock, heavy metal and so on.  They were as much tongue in cheek as they were a serious case that these musical movements would collapse our society and that’s  …… More

Time for Nominations!

by Al Myers

It’s that time of the year again to nominate deserving lifters for the yearly awards! The USAWA award program was started in 2009 to honor those individuals that displays outstanding achievements throughout the year in different categories. I have been the USAWA Award Director that entire time and was the one who started the USAWA Awards Program.  …… More

Meaningful Lifting

by Thom Van Vleck

On May 28th of this year I will have been lifting for 35 years.   There have been times when life has kept me from training like I wanted.  There was a year when I worked on  my Master’s degree that I was taking a full load of classes, working a full time job as a  …… More

Heavy Lift Championships

by Al Myers

2014 USAWA HEAVY LIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS

What a big day at the Dino Gym!!! Saturday, May 3rd, the Dino Gym hosted a “double-header” of strength events – the USAWA Heavy Lift Championships in the morning and the Kansas Strongest Man in the afternoon.  Six brave all rounders showed up to tackle the heaviest of the lifts  …… More

Try DIGGING into a heavy workout!

by John McKean

Before we started dating, my future wife, Marilyn, told me I couldn’t touch her with a 10′ pole. So I got an 11′ pole – it musta worked as we’ll be married for 45 years this September!

Seriously, the long pole has figured its way into my training regimen ever since I studied and practiced Chinese long  …… More

Heavy Champ Update

by Al Myers

I’m busy getting the final plans made for this weekend.  The good news is that the weather forecast is looking positive for a very nice sunny day!  There will be a lot of activity going on at the Dino Gym on Saturday.  In addition to the USAWA Heavy Lift Championships in the morning we will be hosting  …… More

Joe the Turk OTSM

by Tim Piper

MEET PRESS RELEASE AND RESULTS

“Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet 2014

The Macomb Salvation Army hosted the “Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet on April 19th. “Joe the Turk” was Macomb Illinois’ original “strongman” and holds a unique and special place in the history of the Macomb Salvation Army. At the turn  …… More

The 10,000 hour rule

by Thom Van Vleck

I just got done reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell.  He has had several best sellers, this one is “Outliers”.   The 10,000 hour rule is just one of many great chapters in the book and I could not agree more with his conclusion.

First, it takes 10,000 hours to master anything….even for the so-called “natural”.  …… More