Articles from December 2010



Goerner Stroll

by Al Myers

Bob Burtzloff participated in the Goerner Stroll at Kevin Fulton's SuperGrip Challenge several years ago.

This will be the last event in the Oldtime Strongman Competition at the Dino Gym Challenge.  It is based on a unique stage act performed by the Oldtime German Strongman Hermann Goerner.  The name of this Oldtime Strongman Event was not pegged by me – I have heard mention of the Goerner Stroll for many years!  How did it get named?  Maybe it was the stage feat in which Hermann Goerner would carry two large suitcase onto the stage – one in each hand.  Once in the middle of the stage he would sit both cases down and out climbed two young gals in each one!  Or maybe it was that memorable day at the training hall in Leipzig in 1920 where he picked up two bars, one in each hand weighing in at 663 pounds together, and proceeded to walk across the gym!  Either way, Hermann deserves the credit for this feat!!

The Rules for the Goerner Stroll

Two barbells will be used.  The lifter must pick up both barbells at the same time, one in each hand, and walk (or run) a distance of 1 rod (or 16.5 feet).  The starting and finish lines must be marked.  The plates on the bars must be behind the starting line at the start, and finish entirely beyond the finish line at the end.  The weight selected on the bars must not be changed during the attempt.  Both bars must be loaded to the same weight.  A one minute time limit is allowed for the attempt.  If the bars are set down or dropped between the  starting and finish lines during this 1 minute time limit, the lifter may start over, but MUST restart at the starting line.  Strapping the bars to the hands is NOT ALLOWED.

Dinnie Lift

by Al Myers

Al Myers demonstrating the Dinnie Lift.

This feat of strength is based on Donald Dinnie and the Dinnie Stones.  The Dinnie Stones have received much publicity over these past few years, and most definitely, qualifies as an Old-Time Strongman Event.  However, some modifications had to be made to make this feasible as a event.  First of all, we will not be lifting stones but instead weight loadable Vertical Bars that mimic the pick-height of the Dinnie Stones.  Ring handles will be attached to the top of the Vertical Bars.  To keep to the standard of the Dinnie Stones which weigh 321 pounds and 413 pounds each, one Vertical Bar must  be loaded to not  more than 75% of the other. Again, the rules for this lift will not be very “technical” as the end result of actually picking them up is the desired outcome.

The Rules for the Dinnie Lift:

Two weight loadable Vertical Bars with ring handles attached are used in this lift. The maximum height from the  floor to the top of the lifting rings is 21 inches.  One Vertical Bar’s weight MUST not exceed 75% of the other.  Any style of lifting may be used.  The lift ends when the lifter is upright and motionless. The lifter may have the Vertical Bars at the side, or may straddle them.  A time limit of 1 minute is given to accomplish a legal lift. The weights may be dropped within this time limit, and the lifter may reset and try again.  An official will give a command to end the lift. Lifting straps of any kind are NOT allowed!

Saxon Snatch

by Al Myers

Dino Gym member Tyler Cookson performs a Saxon Snatch.

Another lift contested at the Dino Gym Challenge will be the Saxon Snatch.  This was a popular strength feat done by the Old-Time German Strongman Arthur Saxon.  Even though Saxon was best known for his Bent Pressing and Two Hands Anyhow, he was quite a grip specialist.  Often in his strength shows he would demonstrate his grip strength by snatching a wooden plank, with both hands or just with one.  It is reported that he could one-hand Snatch a 90 pound 3 inch thick wooden plank!  Saxon had abnormally long fingers and hands for his size, and did several other grip feats to back up this claim.

We are going to honor this great grip feat of Arthur Saxon’s by including it as our “grip lift” in the Dino Gym Challenge.

The Rules of the Saxon Snatch:

A wooden plank, of 3 inch thickness, will be used as the apparatus.  The plank will be able to be loaded with plates to any weight desired.  The rules of the Snatch apply.  The plank must be gripped with an overhand (knuckles facing away) pinch grip. The lifter will have a time limit of 1 minute to accomplish a legal lift.  If  the plank is dropped or not deemed a legal snatch, the lifter may repeat as many times as desired within the time limit.

Band Set-Up for Squat Training

by Al Myers

Scott Tully, of the Dino Gym, reps out a set of 8 with Band Squats (450 pounds on the bar, plus 150 pounds added band tension at the lockout).

John McKean’s recent USAWA Daily News story about how he uses bands in training got me thinking about one of the biggest uses of JumpStretch Bands in the Dino Gym.  Bands are VERY beneficial in adding resistance to many different exercises – but I believe the best exercise they “assist” is the squat.  This is nothing new as Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell has been preaching the benefits of bands for many years now!  However, we have a band set-up for squats that is very unique, and something I would like to share with other lifters. First of all, there are two DISTINCT ways bands may be attached to a squat bar.  One is overhead, where the band tension is added at the BOTTOM of the squat.  The other is at the base, where band tension is added at the top of the squat, or at lockout.  Both have there uses, but after experimenting with both set-ups I prefer the bands to be attached LOW, so as you ascend out of the bottom of a squat the bands stretch and give you added resistance at the lockout.  I think it is best for the bands to go completely “slack” as you hit the bottom squat position and “kick in” immediately after initial ascent.  I like the feeling of “pushing against” the bands instead of the bands “pulling you up”.  I feel good squat technique is ENHANCED when “pushing against” the bands.  By the weight on the bar being lighter in the bottom position, it allows you to maintain good form in keeping your hips back and shoulders up.  By starting in the correct position, you are better able to maintain good form throughout the rest of the squat. Another reason I like the bottom attachment is that it just doesn’t seem right to me to use bands to make an exercise easier!

The top 3-prong hook band attachment, which has three different bar attachment points to adjust band tension for lifters of different heights.

Much has been written about what is the best tension at the top position, or lockout.  I feel around 25% added resistance (compared to bar weight) with bands  is about right.  This can be accomplished with two Blue JumpStretch Bands, one attached on each side.   Others have different opinions on this.  When I designed a band attachment set-up for the Dino Gym Monster Cage, several things I wanted to achieve.  First, I wanted an easy set up that could be changed quickly between lifters who may be of different heights while maintaining the same band tension at the top end for everyone.  Second, I wanted a band set-up that would “roll” out with the lifter as they set up for the squat to make band squatting safer.  Most band attachments on cages have a distinct concrete points where they attach, which makes setting up for the squat difficult. Third, I wanted to make the band set-up to achieve a 150 pound “overload” at the top position (approximately 25% increase since most of the guys in the gym squat over 600 pounds).   I spent a little time thinking of these problems, and designed a set-up that solves all of them! We have been using this band attachment set-up for several years now and couldn’t be happier!

The bottom band attachment. Notice the roller the band attaches to that "rolls back" as the lifter sets up for the squat.

The bottom attachment problem was solved by attaching the bands to a roller that “rolled back” as the lifter steps back with the bar on the back.  The problem of attaching  the bands to the bar was solved by designing a 3-prong hook which could easily be “looped” over the bar next to the inside sleeves not interfering with hand placement.  It can easily be changed between lifters. Our Monster Cage has bar hooks that adjust with hydraulic jacks so each lifter can have an optimum start height.  This allows all gym members, regardless of height, to be able to work out together.  We can change the bar height and re-adjust the band hookup in less than 30 seconds.  The length between each three-prong band hook was initially based on the heights of three gym members – Lon at 5′7″, myself at 6 foot, and Scott at 6′5″.  Lon uses the bottom hook, myself the middle hook, and Scott the top hook.  Each hook set-up yields EXACTLY 150 pounds added band tension at the top!  It couldn’t work out any better than that!!

I hope these ideas will help others in properly setting up a band attachment for their squat training.  If anyone has more specific questions, please contact me a amyers@usawa.com

All-Round Approach – Part 2

by John McKean

Positioning for a band/bar deadlift. Notice the stepping on bands to yield initial tautness. Also note the thick bar for increased grip strength development.

Recently, a friend from England named Eddie Quinn used his long years in martial arts to develop an amazing, condensed self defense system that he calls THE APPROACH (http://the-approach.com/).  Eddie has asked me to create a strength routine that would benefit his many students around the world. Of course, I’d like to share it with our all-rounders as well!  I can think of nothing better than a few key all- round lifts using my minimum equipment oriented, energy conserving band/bar moving isos.  I’ve included some photos to show how I place the bands over a barbell and how to anchor these strands of stretch rubber by merely stepping on them.  Originally Mr. Quinn requested I make a DVD of the actual lifts, but my grubby face and strained expression would probably scare off any and all future students – we have much better looking all rounders demo-ing these mechanics in our ever growing library of You-Tube videos here on site!

Midway into the pull. Note that band tension will increase resistance toward lift completion. Fight this - try to ACCELERATE!

So, Eddie, here are the lifts to search, off to the right of this main page: JEFFERSON (for all important thigh and hip drive, to thrust in with authority on an opponent), BENT OVER ROW (immense straight in pulling power development to rip an attacker right off his feet), CLEAN AND PUSH PRESS (explosive arm thrusting via leg drive, for major league hammerfists and elbows), and 2” THICK VERTICAL BAR LIFTS (absolute best for gripping strength, when you need to hold-on, to literally tear a limb off!).  For each lift, place a medium strength rubber band (I suggest Jumpstretch.com “mini monster bands”) over the bar and perform a set of three reps, adding a bit of weight to go to a second set of two. Do this every other day, starting with relatively “easy” weight at first – you won’t FEEL fatigued, but it sure takes a toll on the musculature and requires 48 hours recuperation.  Be dynamic for each rep (which should be done as singles with slight pauses between each attempt) by starting with control and power then accelerating throughout the movement (try to “beat the bands”).  When the weight becomes too easy, be progressive and add just a bit more – over time this builds way up, with genuine functional strength developing that sticks with you for a lifetime!

Bands doubled and affixed to a Jump Stretch base stand.

Oh, by the way, this routine is not limited to martial artists.  Every wrestler, football player, track man/woman, and all rounder can experience huge gains with this 15 minute workout! And a quick, intensive strength workout leaves plenty of time for an athlete’s main skill development training. Just as Eddie Quinn preaches economy of movement for optimum personal protection, gym time should also hammer directly to the core of your power base.

All-Round Approach – Part 1

by John McKean

Bill March pressing 390# in strict style.

During the 60s renowned York Barbell Club weightlifter Bill March set national and world press records, won major Olympic lifting championships, took a Mr. Universe title, and was even invited to pro football tryouts.  At his most efficient, Bill completed his actual daily power rack lifting in 24 SECONDS!  His York teammate, Lou Riecke, did similar isometric routines, total training time of less than a minute, to break a world snatch record.  Later, Lou took his methods to the NFL as one of the first pro strength coaches – he helped a then mediocre little team known as – AHEM – the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl rings!  In this same time period, a rather large teenage track & field star named Gary Gubner used short range rack moves to build such phenomenal strength that he established world indoor records in the shot put AND earned himself a spot on the U.S. Olympic Weightlifting Team.

Unfortunately power rack routines didn’t quite stick.  Sessions seemed over before they began, movement range was too short, lifts were way too intense when done correctly, and, for the vain, no “pump” created.  Well, they did work very well for me, but even I got bored (and you guys know what a slug I am!).  So, some years ago (long after my original heavy weight power rack experiments) I started placing rubber flex bands over the barbell, did full range all round lifts thus “handicapped,” and termed them “moving isometrics.”  Like Bill March’s short range isos, momentum and acceleration were thwarted to yield solid, pure push through every inch of an exercise.  Yet the bands encouraged more SPEED and finish (actually, “pushing through” the top rather than “braking,” which somewhat discourages total effort).  Best of all, maximum results came from band/bar lifts that were NOT total, all out, explode-your-arteries, max weight killers.  In fact, from my findings, these work best with a comfortable barbell weight of 60-70% of one’s best single.  Even now, as “early middle age” (65!!!) approaches, these moving isos are giving me substantial gains on most lifts.

Coming Tomorrow

Part 2 of the All-Round Approach of properly using band resistance in your training.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

by Al Myers

I'm enjoying my workouts in the Christmas Spirit!!

On behalf of the USAWA, I  wish everyone a Merry, Merry  Christmas!

Dino Challenge Fundraiser

(Webmaster’s Note:  A silent auction will be conducted at the Dino Challenge Oldtime Strongman Contest in January, with all proceeds going to the Friends of the Salina Animal Shelter.  This groups efforts are very noble, and by having this auction we may be able to help them just a little.  Lots of GREAT THINGS will be in the auction – from some of the Dino Gym’s unique pieces of equipment to donated items from the Dino Strength product line.  There is no entry fee for the Challenge, but plan on bringing some money for the auction.  Fellow Dino Gym member and training partner Mark Mitchell has shared information with us regarding the compassionate vision of the Friends of the Salina Animal Shelter. – by Al Myers)

by Mark Mitchell

The Friends of the Salina Animal Shelter was formed in February 2007 by Molly Reusser. Her initial intent was to spearhead a group of animal lovers who wanted to pet some dogs but was she in for a big surprise-she had not met Laura Mitchell,Julie Coble,Shannon Kingsley and Trish Hayden yet!! Laura and I have been going to an animal rescue ranch in Kanab Utah called Best Friends for several years to volunteer taking care of some 5000 plus rescued dogs,cats,horses,donkeys etc… combined and we knew how a first rate shelter should be operated. Now,we had a chance to do some of the same things with animals in our own back yard!  Of course,my wife and friends never do anything with half effort and we immediately jumped in to socialize the dogs and cats in the Salina Shelter and pushed hard to get them adopted locally.

Then, we started looking at the figures regarding euthanized former pets and we were astounded. What could we do to change those numbers?  Group member Julie Coble went out on a mission to help solve this. What she found has become a big lifesaver for some 500 dogs just this past year. It is called the Rescue Waggin and it is operated through Petsmart charities. Now,one would have thought our local animal shelter staff would have fallen all over themselves, thanking Julie for this wonderful idea and jumped right on our band wagon(our volunteer group,though working hand in hand with the animal shelter staff,is a separate entity). Alas,no. We were met with big resistance. Did this deter us? No,it did not. A few of us decided to pool our own money together,adopt several dogs we selected,drive a rented cargo van to Denver or Boulder Colorado to Dumb Friends and the Boulder Humane Society and pay transfer fees there because we had heard dogs get adopted in huge numbers from these facilities(Rescue Waggin now takes our dogs to Boulder). We spent thousands of dollars each for quite some time.

Finally,the powers that be saw that we were not a threat and that our intentions were good. It also did not hurt that we,as volunteers,agreed to do all of the work regarding bringing the Rescue Waggin to Salina(we are the only shelter in the nation that uses volunteers to coordinate the Rescue Waggin operation). And what a work load it has been!!  From getting volunteers trained and certified to be behavior specialsts,contracting with local vets to do the health checks to coordinating all of these efforts with the Rescue Waggin personnel(that would be my dear wife Laura’s role!!)  But it has been worth all of the hassles!!  Think of it.  Five hundred great lives and wonderful pets spared and matched with loving families in Colorado just this past year!

Our volunteers put in long hours. We are not just about the Rescue Waggin. We still provide love and care to the dogs and cats who do not qualify for transport. We are involved in fund raisers,special adoption months,hay bale giveaways for all of our outdoor furry friends. The list goes on and on. Our group is amazed and gracious that the Dino Gym has selected us for charitable contributions at the Dino Gym Old Time Barbell Challenge in January !

The Dino Gym in the Year 2060

by Al Myers

Big Al in 2060 (ha-ha)

I fumble my way into the Dino Gym for another workout. I can’t believe it has been over 70 years since the first weight was lifted in the Dino Gym, and I’m still at this obsessive behavior of lifting weights. And especially now, because the sheer thought of getting stronger is a distant memory, only stirred when my wrinkled hands grab a weightlifting bar and stimulates the thought of a long ago personal record. But besides the passage of time, and the fact that I just had my 94 birthday, not much has really changed in the gym. We still lift on all the equipment we acquired back at the turn of the century, and the same guys are still the core gym members. Tuesdays nights have become legendary in all of our minds, as this has always been the day that we have our heaviest workout of the week. These workouts come and go, but there are will always be those that I will never forget.

As has been the custom, I am always the first one to get to the gym. I like to do this because it gives me time to “clear my mind” and focus on my workout goals of the day without distraction. That is the one thing that I HAVEN’T lost – the passion to lift weights and the joy that comes with succeeding in this ongoing battle, despite the weights I lift are less than my warm-ups 50 years ago. I start my routine, and after several pops and crackles in my back, I finally get my lifting shoes on. I consider that my first stretching exercise. As I’m looking at the pictures on the gym walls, I think about the good ole’ days, and in walks my longtime training partner Chad. Chad is still one of the youngsters of the gym at only 88, and walks without a limp. I’ve always been envious of Chad’s natural abilities, and even more now that I refused to get that hip of mine replaced, and got to use a dreaded cane to move around while Chad walks like a youngster. On top of that, I see now the benefits of Chad keeping his head shaved all of his life. I counted my hair the other day and finally my age outnumbers my hair follicles. Ever ambitious, Chad is ready to start lifting! I say, “let’s warm up with some light benches”. Unbeknownst to Chad, I like to start our workouts out with the bench because that is one lift I can still get him on. I have always been able to sucker Chad into anything. I lie down on the bench and crank out 5 solid reps with the bar. I once told myself that when I could no longer bench the bar it would be time to hang it up. I’m not so sure about that anymore, as the bar seems to be getting heavier with time. “Chad, give me a hand so I can get off this bench before I fall asleep”. As you get older, workout partners take on new roles besides just spotting you on a heavy set, you rely on them to help you up when you fall down, and with simple tasks like helping you put on your lifting belt.

Next in comes part of the Salina crew – Mark, Darren and Scott. Mark is the elder of the gym, and soon will be the first gym member over 100. At least he has the Super Masters Class to look forward to and the many possibilities of new age group records. Mark in the old days was the biggest of all of us, but now he barely tops 200 pounds. His wife talked him into liposuction many years ago and now he has the slimmest abdomen of all of us. He even has a handful of dark hair still left on his head. He doesn’t look a day over 70! Darren is the next one in the door, banging his walker on the doorframe to announce to all of us that he made 4 whole workouts this month! Like THAT is something to be proud of, but some things NEVER change. However all those years of pacing himself with his workouts has helped him in the end, because besides his four archilles tendon reattachments he is still in pretty good shape. Scott brings up the rear. I remember the day when Scott was the first in the gym among the Salina guys, but now he is the last one in, and walks like a zombie on a caffeine overdose. I told him years ago that strongman was going to eventually tear him up, but he wouldn’t listen to me, and he kept competing until he destroyed every joint and muscle in his body. I have always admired Scott’s tenacity about training, and marveled at his will to push himself through pain and continue to lift. But he has paid the price for it! I have lost count of his joint replacements and back fusions. “Where’s Chuck?”, I comment to the guys. “Oh, he’s not going to make it this week, but I did see him squat 200 pounds last week”, said Darren. I think to myself “that’s Chuck, a gifted lifter who can still squat big weights and miss Tuesday night workouts”. I have always wished I had his squatting ability. Finally in walks Big John, and he’s sweating profusely. “That walk from the car was a killer!”, he remarks. He huffs and puffs a few times as he collapses on the bench. Even after all these years he still doesn’t realize that his conditioning is his biggest nemesis! I look at him and ask how his cardio training was coming along. Big John replied, “well, I hope to only use a quarter of tank of oxygen tonight”. “That would be an improvement, all that oxygen you use makes me light headed”, I respond.

The crew is finally assembled for the workout. It’s time to get started. I declare to the group, “tonight’s gonna be a big night for us, we got that All-Round Postal Match with the JWC to do, and we haven’t let them beat us in over 70 years, and I don’t want it to start now!!”

All-Round Lifting, Jungle Style

by John McKean

John McKean "places his best foot forward" in setting up for a dumbbell deadlift using the modified T-Stance.

Big bellied and bubbly, the kindly, bespeckled old timer reminded me of a favorite uncle. Indeed, he chattered on endlessly and always treated me as a long lost, cherished relative. But, as a large man, he always stood kinda funny — his rear foot constantly at a 45 degree outward angle with the front foot’s heel jammed at its center, toes pointing directly at you. Seemed narrow and uncomfortable, oddly insufficient to balance a 280 pound person. Yet, I learned later that if he ever moved that front foot toward anyone while angered, that individual would become an instant corpse! You see, this absolute MASTER of the Indonesian martial art of Silat was once written up in a major magazine series entitled “The Deadliest Man on the Planet.” And, as I was informed from his senior students, during his covert assignment by our government during WW2 many U.S. enemies, as their final sight on earth, witnessed the lightning like speed and deadly power behind that stance!

The proper foot placement for the T-Stance. It may be used for any lift that requires the heels to be together.

So, years back, from training this art and experiencing firsthand the balance and channeled strength afforded by its modified “T -stance,” I adjusted it to experiment on certain all-round lifts. Surprisingly, the unusual footwork gave superior performance in the heels together press, and as the beginning stage (before slight foot opening for position) of the Jefferson and one arm Hack, among others.

Recently I played around with the one arm dumbbell deadlift in preparation for the Boston Gold Cup meet, and found my Indonesian stance was IDEAL for that awkward lift. The problem with the big plated dumbbell pull is that the DB handle is too far out from your body, thus thwarting initial power, and twisting uncontrollably as it ascends up the thighs. So I began with my right foot jammed in between the plates, shin almost touching the bar. The foot was at the best angle I could achieve, tho not quite 45 degrees. My left foot would begin at the outward plate, a few inches from the approximate center of my inner-DB foot, then I would advance it a bit to allow room for the pull. I discovered that my arm was afforded an absolute straight down position for a perfect initial deadlift pull, and that it rested within my right thigh so as not disturb the direct path of the big dumbbell (the weight, not me!). Just a bend of my legs yielded all power from hips and thighs, rather than stress and twisting of the lower back – really, more of a squat than a deadlift.

The tribesmen living within the highland jungles of West Java, where my Silat mentor was raised and taught, knew a thing or two about pinpoint balance and exacting body positioning for exerting maximum power. In their dangerous environment they HAD to! We in all-rounds can also certainly experiment and adapt our own individual structures as a means to stand solidly and “kick butt” on the record book!

2011 Nationals Venue Set

by Thom Van Vleck

Historic Rieger Armory, location for the 2011 USAWA Nationals

I have reserved the Rieger Armory for the 2011 USAWA Nationals and I couldn’t be more pleased with the location.  It is a classic building built in 1938 that has a lot of character and history (I know what you are thinking….that means it’s OLD, but it has been very well kept up and has been the location of hundreds of major functions here in Kirksville over the years).

It is named for Col. James Rieger who is a local war hero.  He served in WWI and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the French Croix de Guerre, and the Purple Heart as well as numerous other medals for leading  the 138th Regiment in a brutal attack that caused the German defenses to fall back all across the front lines.  He was nicknamed the “Hero of the Argonne” and one of his men famously said in an interview that went national, “…there wasn’t one of us that wouldn’t go to Hell for him”.   The War Department donated a German Howitzer captured in WWI to Kirksville that is in Rotary Park and Col. Rieger was later tapped to return to France at one point to locate and document American soldiers buried  there.  He was given pieces of a stained glass window from a bombed out French Church that was incorporated in the First Baptist Church here in Kirksville as a token of appreciation.

Just as importantly, it is a great place to have a weightlifting meet.  Centrally located in town, you can see Truman State’s campus and the town square from Rieger.  It has a large indoor area that used to house the National Guard artillery unit in town (now a Combat Engineer unit).  It also has a large kitchen with plenty of tables and chairs for our banquet and a stage for a first class awards ceremony!  I hope everyone will try and make this.  More info to come so stay tuned! It is located at 500 S. Elson St. in Kirksville.

National Postal Meet Reminder

by Al Myers

Dino Gym member Chuck Cookson lifts 656 pounds in the 12 inch base Deadlift in the 2010 USAWA National Postal Meet.

I just want to remind everyone that the deadline for the 2010 USAWA National Postal Meet is the last day of December.  If you only do one postal meet – do this one.  The USAWA Postal Meet Director John Wilmot picked three lifts for this meet that ANYONE can do – 12″ base deadlift, heels together clean and press, and the cheat curl.   Make sure you include the signatures of the officials that judge your lifts.  For postal meets, you may use someone who is not a certified USAWA official and your lifts will still count for placings.  However, lifts MUST have a certified official in order to set a USAWA Record (and THREE certified officials for a IAWA record).  This information is recorded on the result sheet.

The USAWA Postal Meet Series has been a big success these past few years.  John Wilmot deserves the credit for this.  He really believes in Postal Meets as a way of encouraging participation.  And I agree with him!!  All you have to do is do the lifts in your own gym – and it doesn’t even require any expense!!!  It doesn’t get any easier than that.

This year I am going to recognize an OVERALL Postal Meet Champion.  The scoring for this will be very straight-forward.  You will receive points for EACH Postal Meet (of the four) you compete in throughout the year.  If there are 10 competitors, first will receive 10 points and last will receive 1 point.  If there are only 5 competitors, first will receive 5 points and last 1 point, etc.  The National Postal Meet will be worth double points.

There also will be awards for the winners in the National Postal Meet – and you get ALL THIS FOR FREE!!!

Goerner Deadlift

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS – GOERNER DEADLIFT DOZEN PLUS ONE

2010 Goerner Deadlift Participants: (left to right) Mike Murdock, Al Myers, and Rudy Bletscher

The tradition of the Goerner Deadlift continues!  After a postponement and a change of locations, the Goerner Deadlift has added another year to it’s rich history.  Bill Clark graciously let me reschedule it at the Dino Gym after he cancelled it because of low entries, and only one entry was added as the result of the postponement.  That one addition was Mike Murdock.  So, overall the Goerner this year only attracted 3 lifters, which is still a pretty low turnout for a meet of this caliber. Rudy Bletscher and myself were the other two lifters.

Rudy Bletscher pulled a 265# Heels Together Deadlift.

Because of lack of available weekends left in December, the meet occurred this past Tuesday night.  We started at 6 PM – which is a pretty late start for a meet that has 13 lifts!!  We kept after it at a fast pace, and by the time we finished at 10 PM all of us were starting to feel the effects of the aches and pains in our backs from the multiple deadlift attempts!   The real heated battle was between Rudy and Mike.  Both of these guys are over 70 years old and are two tough characters!  Together they teamed up at the 2010 USAWA Team Nationals last September  to become the National Champs in Two-Man lifting in the 70 year age division. Who can forget their 2-Man Trap Bar Deadlift of 585 pounds at that meet???  Both these guys are great pullers – so I knew this was going to be a close battle between them.  It was “nip & tuck” till the finger lifts, then Rudy’s experience with the Finger Deadlifts showed and he pulled out a tight win over Mike, and gathered second place overall.

My highlight of the meet was FINALLY officially registering a 400 pound plus One Arm Deadlift!  I have worked for this for very long time, and this NIGHT was the NIGHT!  My 405# One Arm Deadlift broke the record of 402# held by Kevin Fulton in the 40 year age group/115 kg class.

I want to thank Bill for allowing me to host the Goerner Deadlift this year, and to Rudy and Mike for showing up to make it a competitive event.

FULL MEET RESULTS:

Goerner Deadlift Dozen Plus One
Dino Gym, Holland, Kansas
December 14th, 2010

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Officials (one official system used):  Al Myers & Mike Murdock

Lifts:  Deadlift – Heels Together, Jefferson Lift, Hack Lift, Deadlift – 2 Bars, Deadlift – Right Arm, Deadlift – Left Arm, Deadlift – Right Arm, No Thumb, Deadlift – Left Arm, No Thumb, Deadlift – Reeves, Deadlift – Middle Fingers, Deadlift – Ring Fingers, Deadlift – Index Fingers, Deadlift – Little Fingers

Lifters:

Rudy Bletscher – 75 years old & 220# bodyweight

Mike Murdock – 70 years old & 234# bodyweight

Al Myers – 44 years old & 244# bodyweight

Lift Rudy Bletscher Mike Murdock Al Myers
Deadlift – HT 265 265 551
Jefferson Lift 198 198 551
Hack Lift 198 154 551
DL – 2 Bars 220 265 551
DL – Rt Arm 154 154 405
DL – Lt Arm 154 154 353
DL – Rt, NT 132 132 220
DL – Lt, NT 132 132 200
Reeves 185 185 280
DL – MF 135 115 234
DL – RF 95 45 140
DL – IF 140 95 140
DL – LF 45 45 95
Total 2053 1939 4271
Adj. Points 2367.96 2084.65 3602.44

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in pounds. Adj Points are adjusted points corrected for bodyweight and age.

Joe Ciavattone – Level 2 Official

by Al Myers

Joe Ciavattone is now a Level 2 USAWA Official.

Joe Ciavattone Sr., the owner of Joe’s Gym,  has just passed the USAWA Official’s Exam which upgrades him from a Level 1 USAWA Official to a Level 2 USAWA Official.  Level 2 is the highest level of official certification attainable in the USAWA .  This gives Joe LIFETIME CERTIFICATION as an official.  To be eligible as a Level 2 official, an official must have knowledge of the rules (by passing the Rules Exam) and experience officiating (by serving as an official in over 25 USAWA competitions).  There are currently only 11 Level 2 Officials in the USAWA, which makes Joe part of an elite group!

Congratulations Joe!!!

Cyr Press

by Al Myers

Sam Cox, of the Dino Gym, takes a 150 pound dumbbell overhead one handed. What makes this even more amazing is that Sam only weighs 200 pounds!

One of the very popular strength feats done by the Canadian Strongman Louie Cyr was pressing his famous dumbbell one handed.  We are going to honor Cyr and this strength feat by including it in the Old-Time Strongman Competition at the  Dino Gym Challenge.  As with the other strongman lifts in this competition, there are minimal rule restrictions.

The Rule for the Cyr Press:

Any dumbbell with a handle diameter between 1 inch and 1.5 inches is allowed.  The dumbbell may be brought to the shoulder in any manner, but must come to the shoulder before going overhead.  This includes using two hands. Once at the shoulder,  the dumbbell is taken overhead with only one hand anyhow.  The other arm/hand is not allowed to touch the lifting arm during the overhead portion. The feet are allowed to move. If the lifter misses with one arm, the dumbbell may be switched to the other arm during the attempt, but the arm used must be selected at the shoulder.  A time limit of 1 minute is allowed for the attempt.  The dumbbell may be set down or dropped during the attempt.  If the overhead portion of the lift is missed, it may be restarted at the shoulder. Once the dumbbell is overhead motionless with arm straight, the legs straight and feet in line with the torso, an official will give a command to end the lift.

The only role of the official is to be awake at the end of the lift to give the down command!!

Apollons Lift

by Al Myers

Thom Van Vleck, of the JWC, training on his 245# Apollon Wheel Replica.

It’s about time I start highlighting the rules of the events that I plan on having in the Dino Gym Challenge on January 15th, the VERY FIRST strongman competition sanctioned by the USAWA.   Again – this strongman comp will be quite different than modern traditional strongman comps as this one will be based on feats of strength performed by OLD TIME STRONGMEN.  The first event that I am going to profile is the APOLLON’S LIFT.  This event is based on the old-time strongman Louis Uni, aka Apollon.  He made famous the Apollon’s Wheels – a 2″ axle connecting two railway car wheels.  The entire apparatus weighed in at 366 pounds!  David Willoughby made this feat well-known when in his book, The Super Athletes,  he listed it as one of  the “Five famous weights and the men who lifted them.”   Well, I don’t expect anyone to lift a replica of the original 366# Apollon’s Wheels so we will use a lighter set-up.  I do expect this event to be held to the basic dimensions of the original Apollon Wheels so a 2″ axle will be used and a higher bar height will be allowed (since the diameter of the original AW was 26 inches).  The rules for this lift will be very liberal since the object of this strongman feat is to “get it overhead in any fashion”.

The Rules for the Apollon’s Lift:

A 2 inch diameter axle (or Fulton Bar)  will be used as the bar for this lift.  The maximum starting bar height is 12 inches measured from the platform to the bottom of the bar.  Any method may be used to take the bar to the shoulders or overhead.  The bar or plates are allowed to retouch the platform during the lift.  If the bar is placed down or dropped, the lifter may try again as many times as he/she wants within the time limit.  A time limit of 1 minute is allowed.  Once the weight is overhead, with arms’ locked, legs straight,  and the feet in line with the torso,  an official will give the command to end the lift.

All other general rules of the USAWA will apply.  Each competitor will get three attempts of their choosing with the best one counting towards their total.

Australian All-Round Website

by Al Myers

ARWLWA President Peter Phillips was the Overall Best Lifter at the 2007 IAWA World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Recently the All-Round Weightlifting of Western Australia has launched a new website.   It has their up to date schedule, meet results, photos and even some preliminary details of the 2011 World All-Round Weightlifting Championships, which they will be hosting on November 19th and 20th, 2011 in Perth.

Website for All-Round Weightlifting Western Australia Incorporated

The current officers of the ARWLWA are:

President:  Peter Phillips

Secretary:  Justine Martin

Vice President:  Samuel Trew

Treasurer:  Robin Lukosius

Registrar:  Samuel Trew

Goerner Deadlift

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

GOERNER DEADLIFT RESCHEDULED

The Goerner Deadlift has been rescheduled!!!  Bill Clark has sent me a letter giving me permission to reschedule the Goerner Deadlift Dozen plus One at the Dino Gym sometime this month.  The problem is that the month of December is getting away from us!!  I want to keep the annual tradition of the Goerner Deadlift alive, but we are out of weekends in December.  On the weekend of the 18th, Dave is having his record day and then after that we are into the holidays.  So after mulling it over trying to find a  date for it, I have come to the conclusion that only one day is workable  – December 14th. I plan to hold the Goerner Deadlift  in conjunction with the Tuesday Night workout at the Dino Gym!!

Goerner Deadlift Dozen plus One

Time:   Tuesday Night, December 14th, 5:00 PM

Location:  Dino Gym

Entry:  No entry fee or entry form,  but you MUST notify me ahead of time if you plan to attend

World Wide Row

John McKean

Recent work on the bent over row shows good effects on the 65-year-old upper back of that chubby little rascal in front who we know as John McKean!

John Grimek, our FIRST USAWA Hall-of-Famer (I was there when Howard Prechtel nominated him!) once wrote that the bent over row is a lift where huge poundages are possible, because the movement employs the arms, shoulders, lats, lower back, hips, and thighs. Big John also stated that the row is the absolute best heavy exercise for building the biceps, as well as the upper back. I once met a young super-heavyweight at a power meet who took Grimek’s advice seriously – the lad ONLY trained the heaving row for biceps, and a few bench presses for the triceps. Without exaggeration, his well formed upper arms had to have measured 23 inches!!

Famed writer/lifter Terry Todd did a photo filled article of his deadlift training for winning one of the first National powerlifting contests – yep, the huge poundage-heaving ROW was given prominent mention as his major assistance exercise. Terry was rowing with over 450, as I recall; those pictures left a lasting impression on my young mind! Even today the row is king in building other ALL-ROUND lifts!

We in the USAWA have instituted the bent over row as an official lift during the past season. First to “test” it was Al Myers’ crew, who raved about the dynamic feeling to pull big weight and the genuine enthusiasm for officially performing this grand old exercise! As Al mentioned, it is a natural, basic exercise that we ALL started our weight training with, and requires a unique direction of pull that no other lift fulfills! Later, big Ernie Beath (who really was the one instrumental in pushing for the inception of this barbell keystone as official) and I rowed for records at Art’s Birthday Bash (I think one END of Ernie’s bar was more than I managed!!). At this point in time, world-wide, the IAWA has adopted a “wait-and-see” attitude, but I think our more carefully conceived, clearer version of the rules should tell how simple and direct the bent over row is as a lift.

USAWA Rule for the Bent Over Row

The lift will start at the lifter’s discretion with the bar placed on the platform in front of the lifter. The lifter will grip the bar with an overhand grip with the palms of the hands facing the lifter. The width of grip spacing and feet placement is of the lifter’s choosing, but the feet must be in line with the bar. The body must be in a bent over position at the waist. The upper body must not straighten past 45 degrees parallel to the platform at any time during the lift or it is a disqualification. The legs may be bent during the lift and upon the completion of the lift. The bar is lifted to touch the abdomen or torso by bending the arms. The bar must touch the abdomen higher than the belt, or the navel if a belt is not worn. It is a disqualification if the belt supports the bar at the abdomen upon the finish of the lift. The lift ends by an official’s command when the bar is held motionless at the abdomen or chest.

Not only can our All-rounders benefit by direct effort applied to rows, but many who would come to us for weight training programs will make huge strides in OVERALL strength by utilizing the row as a LIFT.  As such, of course, we can draw these athletes into our fold to display prideful gains on a weightlifting platform!!  But these big bent over pulls can certainly serve wrestlers, martial artists, track and field athletes, football players, etc. I, for one, would love to see some of these new guys at our record day meets! Of course, it won’t hurt our image, either, to start associating IAWA lifters with that huge, old time “V” taper derived from concentrated, high-powered rows!

Anchor Press

by Al Myers

Chris Anderson pressing the two 100 pound Dino Gym Anchors after a hard day of Strongman Competition.

This past weekend Scott Tully and the Dino Gym promoted the NAS Winter Strongman Challenge at the Dino Gym.  It was a great day of competition!  Fourteen  very strong guys participated in 5 events – the log press, 18″ deadlift, incline log press, farmers hold, and a keg load  (more info and pictures will be on the Dino Gym Facebook Page).   After the competition I had a challenge waiting for Chris Anderson.  I can always get Chris to “give a go” at any challenge I have waiting on him at the gym!  Last year, he conquered shouldering the GIANT PILL, a 250 pound steel air compressor tank which is shaped like a pill.  Of course I have it painted with a slick black paint to make it a little more challenging.  He did it easily.  This time I had something even more challenging waiting for him.  I recently made two 100# anchors, of which I attached ring handles.  The “test” is to take both of them overhead at the same time, and then pose for a picture.  Chris easily took them to his shoulders, but had some difficulty taking them overhead.  The balance of pressing them is a real challenge as they want to wobble all over the place (and gouge you in the back!).  On Chris’s first try he missed, but then he came back to MASTER this challenge.  I was quite impressed!!

Membership Drive

by Al Myers

It’s now December and the  time to start sending me USAWA membership dues for the 2011 year.   I already have a couple – from Jim Malloy and John Wilmot.  I will start the 2011 Membership Roster soon – so if you want your “join date” to say January 1st beside your name – you have a month to get it done!   Membership dues are still the same at $25 per year, with USAWA  membership running from the first of January till the end of December.  No longer will there be any “rollover” memberships like there has been in the past.  I will be very firm with this.  Dues are our only means of financial income for our organization and I take that very serious.  Also – $25 per year is a bargain!

A couple of important things to consider when filling out your membership application:  make sure you list the club you are affiliated with because this is important in the calculation for club of the year, and make sure you include the
SIGNED drug waiver.  If not – you will be tested at EVERY EVENT you attend (just kiddin’).  The drug waiver is part of the application and your membership will not be active until I receive it.  If you forget, I will remind you and it will cost you another stamp.

For 2010, the Dino Gym had the most registered USAWA members with 13, followed by the JWC and Clark’s Gym with 6.  Habecker’s Gym was next in line with 5 members.  Overall to date, we have 61 members.  Next year I would like to see us over 100 members.

The Membership Application is located on the upper left column of the website under “USAWA Information – Forms and Applications”.   You might as well send it in now as it doesn’t get any cheaper if you wait!!

Run up the Flag

by Thom Van Vleck

The United States Flag flies with pride above the Dino Gym on top of a 40 foot Flag Pole.

I remember the first Highland Games/strongman contest I promoted. I remember putting a huge amount of work into it and wondering if anyone was going to show up and thinking, “Well, if nobody shows, then I won’t do it again”. The meet started at 9:00 and at 8:30 NOBODY was there! Then by 9:00 there were 27 throwers and about 50 spectators! I remember feeling relieved!

My point, many of us promote meets of different levels. I have never met a meet director that has not gotten fed up at some point. It’s a damn thankless job and everybody has a criticism and a gripe…..usually behind your back. You can charge an entry fee and give a shirt, award, maybe lunch, and let them destroy your equipment and they will act like they are doing you a favor showing up and they feel like you are going to retire on the immense wealth brought in by their entry fee.

However, the reality is that MOST guys appreciate the effort. MOST guys understand and get it. What some of us need to remember is that holding a meet year after year is like raising the flag every morning. Just because there’s nobody there to salute it doesn’t mean that nobody cares about whether it came up or not. Believe me, when I was in the Marine Corps, Marines always had flag duty and I was on it often. It was the one duty I volunteered for. Get up before dawn, put on your dress blues, get shined up, do the silent march down to the flag pole, go through all the rituals of doing it…..and most often there was not a soul around to see it. But it was a must that everyone know its up and there and waving in the wind to greet the day because if it’s not, then it becomes more and more likely it won’t be there the next day and then the day will come when it’s gone forever!

Recently, Bill Clark, who has “run the flag up the flagpole” more than anyone in the USAWA cancelled the Goerner meet. Quite frankly, the guy has done his share. Just like there’s a Marine running that flag up at the bases in Pensacola, Florida, Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, and San Diego, CA. I took my turn, now it’s somebody else’s. That flag gets run up because it has a deeper meaning, and it means a lot to those who believe in it. The USAWA is NOT the USA, but it means a lot to those involved in it and somebody ought to run that flag up, otherwise accept defeat.

I know someday I won’t be running the meets I run for lots of reasons (my demise being the most likely at this point)…..but maybe somebody will grab that flag and run with it. Like I grabbed the JWC flag from my Uncle’s and ran with it.

Dale Harder’s Latest Book

by Al Myers

Dale Harder's Latest Book

I just received the news from Dale Harder that he has a new book available – Strong  Stronger Strongest.  I have greatly enjoyed all of Dale’s books to date, and plan to buy this new one to add to my collection.  In this book he covers biographies of over 150 of the strongest men in history.  A couple of his previous books that are my favorites are: Strength,  and Strength and Speed.   Dale covers EVERYTHING strength related and doesn’t pick favorites. You get it all!!  In his books Dale has references to All-Round Weightlifting in several areas.  You may even see YOUR name in one of his books. Order instructions are listed in the promo above.

Goerner Cancelled!

by Al Myers

I just got confirmation that Bill Clark has CANCELLED the Herman Goerner Deadlift Dozen plus One that was scheduled for this coming weekend.  Word came to me about this news from Joe Garcia.  I had made plans to attend, along with Rudy Bletscher, and we had notified Bill ahead of time about our intentions, but apparently two competitors is not enough to open the gym for!  I don’t really blame Bill for cancelling this meet at the last minute, as I understand his frustration in not having (or having low numbers of) lifters show up for his gym meets.  After a while it makes you discouraged when you go to all the work of planning a competition only to have no one show their appreciation by attending.

The Goerner Deadlift is one of the longest established meets in the the USAWA.  Bill Clark first promoted it in 1995 in his gym, and the meet was won that first year by longtime USAWA member Dale Friesz.  Since then it has been won 3 times by Rex Monahan and myself, and twice by Mike McBride and Kevin Fulton.  It has been cancelled once before, in 2007, due to ice.

Superior Strength for Athletes through All-Rounds

John McKean

John McKean, at 64 years of age and in the 80 kg class, performed a 120.9 kilogram One Arm Dumbbell Deadlift at the 2010 IAWA Gold Cup last month. This is the best One Arm Dumbbell Deadlift in the USAWA Record List, regardless of weight class, for lifters over 60 years of age.

Fierce looking, amazingly muscular, and sullen , the 181 pound powerlifter sat alone in a corner of the Ambridge VFW gym during one of our 1960s powerlifting meets. Nobody was crazy enough to disturb the thick thighed monster as he death-stared the warmup platform. Except me, of course; the resident nut! Surprisingly gracious and talkative, the young (but already bald & fu-manchu mustashed), record setting squatter explained his very basic leg routine -simply work up in singles from a power rack’s parallel pin position, starting dead stop at the bottom (eliminating rebound or “stretch-reflex”), going to an absolute limit, once per week. I’m sure this eventual all time great altered his approach over the years, yet not long ago I heard he became the only master lifter over 50 to set an official squat of over 900 pounds!

A similar power rack approach was taken by legendary Paul Anderson. In a story by Terry Todd, who witnessed the training, mighty Paul had 1050 pounds situated on a below parallel pin position (so low, recalled Todd, that he himself couldn’t even squeeze himself under it).  Anderson easily got himself up from this dead stop bottom position, many singles during training, figuring such easy work (for HIM!!) would allow a “regular” squat with 1150-1400 pounds!!

Olympian Russ Knipp, who the astounded Russians called one of the strongest pure pressers and squatters they had ever seen, described to me his “2/3 squats”.  Again, these were performed from dead stop in a position just a hair above parallel.  Just over the middleweight bodyweight limit, Russ used to do these for 5 sets of 10 with 515 pounds -and not even pushing it, as they were supplementary exercise for his olympic lifting! Russ told me after this “overload” work, any regular squat always felt easy & he never had trouble getting up from low 400+ pound cleans!

Of course, based on progress by these true giants of lifting, I, at my powerlifting best – an awkward, small boned, unmuscular little 165 pound geek- discovered that rack bottom-start squats took my stalled contest lift of around 450 up to a state record 555 in amazingly rapid time. And this was before super suits, big belts, wraps, and all the other “aids” were around.

OK, enter All-Round lifting -we have LOTS of quality lifts that build the same core strength in dead start fashion, as did the rack pin squats, without the need of a bulky, space consuming power rack station. Think about it – our Jefferson, trap bar deadlift, dumbbell deadlifts, Zercher, and others start with no momentum -on the floor- and work the same important core muscles. If modern athletes would simply adopt a few of our sheer strength movements, they would be WAY ahead on FUNCTIONAL power, as opposed to trying to mimic modern powerlifting’s super-duper suited/wrapped, enhanced quarter squats and steel spring shirted, assisted bench presses.

As a long time secondary teacher, I always cringed at the ridiculous weight training that high school and college football, wrestling, and track coaches offered to their athletes. Many times coaches that I knew would simply go to the internet and select bodybuilding style programs, as they themselves had no real experience (and their coaching egos would NEVER have them ask an actual weightlifter!!). I heard of one school’s “strength- coach” who had senior football players do nothing but curls(!!!!), and another who trained female soccer players, but not allow anything heavier, ever, than 3 pound dumbbells!  Equally upsetting were the athletic departments that would tell the youngsters to just do the powerlifts on their own -yep, more quarter squats, bounced bench presses, deadlift injuries, and the ever present assistance gear that easily conned kids bought on their own!

It seems to me that we in the USAWA could maybe initiate all-round contests or, at least, seminars, on high school & college campuses to demonstrate the superiority of our “old time” training methods.  Certainly we could really help athletic programs that could use REAL strength training for their students, and, who knows, our base of competition oriented lifters could expand tremendously!

Goerner Deadlift

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT – Hermann Goerner Deadlift Dozen plus One

Meet Director:  Bill Clark

Date:  Saturday, December 4th, 2010

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:  Deadlift – Heels Together, Deadlift – 2 bars, Hack Lift, Jefferson Lift, Deadlift – One Arm (with both), Deadlift – One Arm, No Thumbs (with both),  Fingers Deadlift – Index, Fingers Deadlift – Middle, Fingers Deadlift – Ring, Fingers Deadlift – Little, and Reeves Deadlift

To enter, a confirmation must be sent to Bill Clark by the Tuesday preceding the meet.  Bill can be reached by phone: 573-474-4510, Fax: 573-474-1449, or mail:  Bill Clark, 3906 Grace Ellen Drive, Columbia, Missouri, 65202.

National Postal Meet

Meet Announcement

2010 National Postal Championships

Dates:  Between December 1st and December 31st, 2010

Entry form must be postmarked by January 5th, 2011

Must be a current USAWA member to be eligible for competition

Entry Fee:  None

Official USAWA rules apply as outlined in the Rule Book

Lifts:

Clean and Press – Heels Together

Curl – Cheat

Deadlift – 12” Base

Entry Form pdf – National Postal