Hall of Fame Biography – Scott Schmidt, class of 2010

Scott Schmidt performing a Snatch in an Olympic Lifting Competition.

Scott Schmidt was born on November 15th, 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio. He has lived in the Greater Cleveland area his entire life. He has been married to his wife Kathy for almost 33 years, and they have two children, Alan and Heather, and one grandson Joel. He has spent his entire working career in business, and currently he is selling Natural Gas and Electric service to commercial accounts. Scott also does a lot of volunteer work for his church, Unity Lutheran of Cleveland. He has been President of the Church Council for 12 years. His other athletic pursuit is golf, which he does at least once per week. Believe it or not, Scott is a pretty good golfer as well as weightlifter, and often scores in the low 80’s. Last year he received a plaque for his first Hole in One!

One of Scott's favorite All-Round Lifts is the Hip Lift.

Scott started lifting when he was 14 years old. His first competition was in 1967. Scott started his competitive lifting career as an Olympic Lifter and has compiled a very impressive resume of achievements. He has won the Ohio Open State Championships 10 times, the Ohio Master’s State Championships 18 times, American Open four times, 2 National Master’s Championships, and 4 American Open Masters Championships, along with 4 Pan American Masters Championships. He has placed in the top 5 in all four of the World Championships he has been in. In 1993, he missed winning first place in the World Championships due to one missed snatch! Scott has set over 50 Open and Masters Ohio State Records through his Olympic lifting career. On top of ALL THIS, his club, the Schmidt’s Barbell Club, has won 25 team titles!

Scott was first introduced to the USAWA by Bob Karhan, a past USAWA Champion. Scott’s first USAWA competition was in 1992 at the USAWA Winter Fest, a winter all-round meet which was held at the Ambridge Barbell Club. Since then, Scott has been a regular at USAWA meets and always a top competitor at our National Championships. His specialties are overhead pressing and jerks, gripping events, and the heavy lifts – notably the Hand and Thigh and the Hip Lift. Back in 1996, he was the first man in the USAWA to Clean and Push Press over 300 pounds. He is member of the “century club” – a designation given to USAWA lifters who hold over 100 USAWA records. There are ONLY 20 lifters in this club, which is another accomplishment that warrants Scott’s outstanding involvement with the USAWA. In All-Round Lifting, Scott has won 10 National Championships and 8 World Championships. He has participated in the Gold Cup 6 times. He has placed in the top TEN among all competitors 4 times at the USAWA National Championships, with his best finish being 2nd overall at the 2008 Championships.

Scott Schmidt is the perfect example of the type of person and lifter all others should strive to be like.  He has been a leader in the USAWA. He supports his fellow competitors. He demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship. He has supported local competitions as well as being involved in the major competitions.  Scott has more than earned this USAWA Hall of Fame Award.

A Week of Broken Records

by Al Myers

Between the time span of less than 10 days, 150 new records were established in the USAWA.  This has to be a record in itself – I never remember this many new records in such a short time span.  Pity poor Joe Garcia as the Official USAWA Record Keeper!  He will be “burning the midnight oil” updating our USAWA Record List.  It all started with Thom Van Vleck’s JWC Record Breaker on October 29th, where a goal was established of setting over 100 records.  They achieved this with ease, and then on November 6th, where two USAWA meets were contested on the same day – the Backbreaker and the Gold Cup – more records fell by the wayside.

I was hoping 2010 would be the YEAR OF RECORDS – where the most USAWA Records were established in one year.  So far – and I have been counting – we are at 561 records for 2010.  As I stated in a previous Daily News story, the most in a year is 702 (which occurred in 2005).  We are not out of time yet – so maybe there’s a chance??  All it would take is for Thom to host another record day and he could do it ALL by himself!!

But the real question is this – who’s leading in the RECORD RACE between Denny “the Prez” Habecker and Art “the Man of Steel” Montini?  Denny pulled a “fast one” on Art at the Gold Cup by breaking one of Art’s records.  Art even commented to Denny at the meet about this “trick” – by not just adding to his total, but taking away from Art’s!  I can’t stand the suspense – so here it is!!

#1. Denny Habecker – 378 USAWA Records

#2. Art Montini – 369 USAWA Records

Denny Habecker used a little brains, along with brawn, to stay ahead of Art Montini in the USAWA Records Race. At the 2010 Gold Cup, Denny broke Art's record of 143 pounds in the Arthur lift with a lift himself of 154 pounds.

On the last count, Denny was at 369 records compared to Art’s 362 records. So he’s stretched his lead.   That was a couple of month’s ago.  It is a good thing Denny is not “just taking it easy on the coach” or Art would have passed him!!  I will keep everyone informed of this ongoing saga between these two old IRON-SLINGERS who are both showing no signs of slowing down!!

RECORDS THAT HAVE FALLEN – Records in last three events

My Thoughts on the Gold Cup

by Al Myers

Gold Cup Meet Director Frank Ciavattone (left) and IAWA President Steve Gardner (right) directed the Awards Banquet after the meet.

I am a little embarrassed to admit this – but the 2010 IAWA Gold Cup in Walpole, Massachusetts was the FIRST Gold Cup that I have attended.  Truthfully, in the past I just couldn’t understand why someone would go to a meet where ONLY one (or two if time permitted) lifts for records were allowed.  It just didn’t seem to make sense to me – especially since I could go to a local record day or a meet and set SEVERAL RECORDS.  So I always passed on attending “the cup”.  But now since I have been to one, I now understand the significance of this meet and have a completely different feeling about it.  The Gold Cup is one of only two IAWA Events (the World Championships being the other) that is contested each year.  It signifies the excellence of our lifts and recognizes those that are representative of our organization on an International level.  By attending, it shows that you are one of the elite lifters of the organization.  The Gold Cup was initially organized by Howard Prechtel several years ago with the concept that this meet would allow lifters who were World Champions to come to perform their BEST lifts for records, and in the process have a RECORD DAY that was the BEST of the BEST, and thus give our organization more exposure by demonstrating the tremendous abilities of the lifters within our organization.

Joe Ciavattone Jr., at 17 years of age, deadlifting 227.5 kilograms for a World IAWA Record.

What all can I say about the efforts of Frank Ciavattone for organizing this great event???  Frank has been a National and World Meet promoter for many years, and his experience of putting on a TOP QUALITY EVENT was evident.  Frank had an excellent venue for us to compete in.  It was held at the Italian American Club in Walpole (which is just outside of Boston).   Lots of room for lifting and viewing, a great platform to lift on, and plenty of weights.  Our IAWA President Steve Gardner handled the scoretable and announcing and kept things flowing very well. Judy Habecker assisted with the scoring and does more “behind the scenes” than anyone else in the USAWA.  Thank you Judy from all of us!!!  Eighteen lifters competed and set many new IAWA World Records.  I really enjoyed seeing the variety in lifts performed – from deadlifts to presses, to unique lifts like the Clean and Press on Knees.  Some of the lifters were “seasoned” competitors like Art Montini and Denny Habecker, while others were still teenagers, like Joe Ciavattone Jr, Jonathon Ciavattone,  Frankie Ciavattone, and Kohl Hess.  The age of the lifters varied between 16 and 83 years of age.

Dennis Mitchell, at age 78, performed 600 repetitions on the Roman Chair Situp!!

What were the highlights of the meet?  That is a hard question to answer because it seemed every Gold Cup Record was a highlight.   Things that really impressed me where:  seeing Frank do 160 kg in his signature lift – the one armed deadlift, watching the wily Dennis Mitchell performing 600 reps in the Roman Chair Situp at the age of 78, and seeing Art perform a stiff-legged deadlift of 100 kg with ease. Most guys his age couldn’t bend over to pick up 50 pounds and he does over 200 pounds with straight legs!!  Of course, I really enjoyed watching Joe Ciavattone Jr. deadlifting over 500 pounds for the first time!  I very clearly remember when I did that for the first time as a teenager.  That had to be one of the best lifts of the day.  My father LaVerne attended the meet with me and I talked him into lifting.  He did a 187# one handed Ciavattone Deadlift.  At the awards banquet when he was presented his trophy he remarked to the group that it was the first trophy he had won in a weightlifting meet!  And speaking of trophies, Frank went way beyond expectations with the trophies he gave out.   He awarded EVERYONE a large Gold Cup in appreciation of their performances.  Just another little thing that SHOWS why the Gold Cup means just a little bit more than another ordinary record day!  Chad and I were the only ones to do a two man lift for IAWA record.  We decided to do a 2-man deadlift, after first wanting to do a 2-man one arm deadlift (but it is not an IAWA lift).  After doing 1000# in the 2-man deadlift, we were allowed to do our 2-man one arm deadlift for exhibition and USAWA Record.  I wanted to do this lift for Frank – and thankfully (because I didn’t want to let Frank down) – we got our 800 pounds.  Another great performance of the day was John McKean’s one arm dumbbell deadlift of 266# (I know his inspiration was that DINO GYM SWEATSHIRT he was wearing!).  This broke a record he set over 10 ago – which shows he is getting better with age.  I really enjoyed getting to FINALLY meet Joe Ciavattone.   We always seem to “just miss” each other by attending different meets, and he is the great lifter and person I expected him to be.  His passion for lifting shows when he is busy coaching his boys.

Al Myers and Chad Ullom performed a 2-Man Deadlift of 1000 pounds, and a 2-Man One-Armed Deadlift of 800 pounds.

Afterwards, Frank hosted the banquet at his house.  That is the type of generous person Frank is – opening up his house to his lifting friends.  The food was fabulous!!  Frank’s Mom and his sister Cara prepared an Italian Feast that had everyone “licking their chops”!  I know I ate my share.  After the awards were given out, I conducted the ceremony in which Scott Schmidt was officially inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame.  Scott gave a very thankful response in appreciation.  I will have more on that in a future USAWA Daily News story. Another special moment for me was when Frank presented me with a special award thanking me for my work and efforts in the USAWA.  It meant more to me than the big Gold Cup I received for lifting.

NOW I know what the IAWA Gold Cup is all about, and it is more than just going to a meet to set a record.  It is about being part of an elite competition promoted by the  International All-Round Weightlifting Association.

COMING SOON – VIDEOS FROM THE GOLD CUP

Gold Cup

by Steve Gardner

MEET RESULTS

2010 IAWA GOLD CUP

Group picture from the 2010 IAWA Gold Cup in Walpole, Massachusetts.

After the lifting everyone was invited back to Frank Ciavattone’s home where his family had prepared a wonderful banquet. Following the banquet, the presentation of the awards was made. Frank thanked everyone for attending his event and made some nice presentations to those who had helped him organize and run the competition, Steve Gardner thanked Frank on behalf of the lifters for putting on a splendid event. The evening was concluded with an induction to the USAWA Hall of Fame. Al Myers made a nice and thorough speech as a very worthy Scott Schmidt was inducted amid rapturous applause. A very proud Scott gave a wonderful thank you reply speech, the whole event ending on a high note!

Results of Gold Cup – GOLD CUP 2010

Backbreaker Pentathlon

by Joe Garcia

The 2010 Schmidt Backbreaker Pentathlon was held Saturday, November 6, 2010 at Clark’s Gym after a one year abstinence.   Steve Schmidt showed up with his back machine loaded on the truck, Mike Murdock rolled in from Kansas, and Bill Clark and I rounded out the crew.  Bill stayed out of the competition, running the meet and judging, with the rest of us both competing and judging attempts.  After weigh ins, we got started as usual with the Harness lift.  As this was the first time for Mike in attempting any of these lifts, we showed him how to put on the gear and get into the setup.  Wanting to break a few of Bill’s records, Mike came up a little shy but managed a nice 1000 lbs for himself.  I put in a 2415 and tried a personal best of 2615 to no avail.  Warming up while I was struggling with my lifts, Steve got a fairly easy 2705 and decided that was good enough for the day.

Next up was the Hip lift, so we unloaded the bar for that lift.  Mike was able to get 865, showing that with a little work his Harness would definitely go up.  After the Harness, the legs just didn’t seem to have any push, so I was only able to get 1485, and Steve put in a 1915, again not really pushing the limit.

Everyone’s favorite the Hand and Thigh lift was next event.  Again, the bar was unloaded, and we showed Mike the rudiments of doing this lift.  Mike picked up 445, Steve had 1105 and I got 1200.  This is one event where Steve did have problems, just couldn’t get his groove.

Switching to a different big bar, we then proceeded to the Neck lift.  Like any lift, there is certain technique which will aid the lifter in doing the lift and Mike struggled on this one.  Rather than letting the legs do the work, he tried to do the whole thing with his neck.  But, with Bill egging him on, he did manage a 200 lb lift, thereby breaking one of Bill’s records which made Bill extremely happy.  He had threatened to give Mike more weight on the results even if Mike hadn’t gotten the lift just to take it off of his own record.  Both Steve and I did a 335 lb lift.

The final lift of the day was the Back lift.  Out to Steve’s truck to haul in the infamous back machine. It’s not as smooth as the one at the Dino Gym, but seems to work pretty well for Steve.  Mike was able to get 635, with the biggest difficulty being in getting in and out of the contraption.  The least favorite of the five lifts for me, I kept working on setting the depth and the boards and was finally able to get 1625 which seemed fairly easy, but someone nailed the 1825 to the ground.  Steve worked up to 2425 and once again decided he didn’t want to work too hard so stopped at that point.

End results were Steve as the overall winner, with a fun day, and I’m sure that some records were set. Good to see Mike show up in the Show Me State, actually two times in two weekends.  We all went to Golden Corral afterwards to partake of their delights.

Results

Lifter Age Bwt Harn Hip HT Neck Back Total Points
Mike Murdock 70 241 1000 865 445 200 635 3145 3,331.39
Joe Garcia 57 208 2415 1485 1200 335 1625 7060 9,746.00
Steve Schmidt 55 229 2705 1915 1105 335 2425 8485 10,989.90

NOTES:

All weights in pounds. Points are adjusted for bodyweight and age.

Officials: (3 Certified Officials used on all lifts – Bill Clark, Joe Garcia, Mike Murdock, and Steve Schmidt)

Lifts:  Harness Lift, Hip Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Neck Lift, and Back Lift

JWC Record Breaker

MEET RESULTS

JWC  SECOND ANNUAL RECORD BREAKER

by Thom Van Vleck

On October 29, 2010 the 2nd Annual JWC Record Breaker meet was held in conjunction with Faith Lutheran School’s annual fundraiser.  The format was that for every USAWA record broken, there would be a donation pledged.  As a result, over $2000 was raised by the lifters alone and the overall event raised over $12,000!  This was over $4000 more than the previous year and the event was deemed a huge success. Over 500 attended and were able to watch the lifting!

All of the lifts attempted were record attempts.  A total of 125 Open, Youth, and Master USAWA records were set or broken.  Thom Van Vleck, Mike Murdock, Joe Garcia, and Chad Ullom were the Certified Judges for the meet and also lifted.  The other lifters were Morgan and Dalton Van Vleck, Mitch Ridout, John O’Brien, and Josh Hettinger.

The event started at 5:00pm with the “Youth Division”.  Morgan and Dalton Van Vleck took the lifting platform to attempt some records.  By the time they were done they had broken or set 20 age group and open records.

10 RECORDS

Morgan Van Vleck – Age 13 (12 – 13 Age group) Weight 46.4kg (50kg Class)

Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 bar, 1″, Left Hand – 80 lbs. (Age and Open Record)
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 bar, 1″, Right Hand – 80 lbs. (Age and Open Record)
Deadlift – 12” base - 165 lbs. (Age and Open Record)
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip – 165 lbs. (Age and Open Record – broke record of 155 lbs.)
Deadlift – Trap Bar – 175 lbs. (Age and Open Record – broke record of 100 lbs.)

10 RECORDS

Dalton Van Vleck – Age 11 (10 – 11 Age Group) Weight 44.8kg (45kg Class)

Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 bar, 1”,  Left Hand – 55 lbs. (Age and Open Record)
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 bar, 1″, Right Hand – 55 lbs. (Age and Open Record)
Deadlift – 12” Base -  145 lbs. (Age and Open Record – broke record of 130 lbs.)
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip145 lbs. (Age and Open Record)
Deadlift – Trap Bar – 150 lbs. (Age and Open Record)

Then at 5:30pm the Open Class began. We ran until 7:30pm at which time it was estimated we were at 77 records.  After the Jackson Weightlifting Club did a strongman show to end the night for the fundraiser, the lifters returned to the platform to finish the night.  At the end we weren’t sure how many records had been broken (since some were open and age group) but we were certain we had achieve our goal of 100!  A special thanks to those that traveled up and took part!  Your participation was greatly appreciated and when I presented the money to our principal she got a tear in her eye….and so did I.  Thanks!!!!!!

17 RECORDS

John O’Brien – Age 42 (40-44 Age Group), Weight 126.5 kg (125kg+Class)

Crucifix – 70 lbs. (Master Record)
Clean & Jerk – 2 Dumbbells – 150 lbs. (Open and Master Records)
Side Press – Dumbbell, Left Arm – 75 lbs. (Master Record)
Side Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm – 75 lbs. (Master Record)
Clean & Jerk – Behind Neck – 245 lbs.  (Open and Master Records)
Clean & Push Press -  245 lbs. (Master Record)
Squat – Overhead – 140 lbs. (Open and Master Records)
Press- from Rack – 210 lbs. (Master Record)
Clean & Jerk – Fulton Bar – 170 lbs. (Open and Master Records)
Zeigler Clean – 75 lbs. (Open and Master Records)
Clean & Seated Press – 180 lbs. (Open and Master Records)

20 RECORDS

Mitch Ridout – Age 42 (40-44 Age Group), Weight 116.1 kg (120kg Class)

Swing – 2 Dumbbells – 110 lbs. (Open and Master Records)
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat -110 lbs. (Open and Master Records)
Snatch – Dumbbell, Left Arm -55 lbs. (Master Record)
Swing – Dumbbell, Left  Arm – 75 lbs. (Master Record)
Curl – Dumbbell, Cheat, Left Arm – 75 lbs. (Open and Master Records)
Curl  – Dumbbell, Cheat, Right  Arm – 85 lbs. (Open and Master Records)
Clean and Jerk – Behind Neck – 135 lbs. (Open and Master Records)
Jefferson Lift – Fulton Bar – 190 lbs. (Master Record)
Press – from Rack – 135 lbs.  (Master Record)
Side Press – Dumbbell,  Right Arm – 90 lbs. (Open & Master Records)
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 bar,  2”, Left  Hand – 128 lbs.  (Open & Master Records)
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 bar,  2”,  Right Hand – 128 lbs. (Open & Master Records)

7 RECORDS

Joe Garcia -  Age 57  (55-59 Age Group), Weight 93.8 kg (95kg Class)

Snatch – Dumbbell, Right Arm -75 lbs.  (Master Record)
Swing – 2 Dumbbells – 110 lbs. (Master Record)
Deadlift – Fingers, Middle -250 lbs. (Open and Master Records)
Continental Snatch – 140 lbs. (Master Record)
Push Press – from Rack – 135 lbs. (Master Record)
Continental to Chest – 210 lbs.  (Master Record)

13 RECORDS

Mike Murdock – Age 70  (70-74 Age Group), Weight 106,4 kg (110kg Class)

Crucifix – 70 lbs. (Master Record)
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Arm – 130 lbs. (Master Record)
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm – 150 lbs. (Master Record)
Rectangular Fix – 75 lbs. (Master Record)
Clean & Seated Press – 90 lbs. (Master Record)
Curl – Reverse Grip – 125 lbs. (Master Record)
Zeigler Clean – 95 lbs. (Master Record)
Push Press from Rack – 135 lbs. (Master Record)
Clean and Press – Reverse Grip – 95 lbs. (Master Record)
Clean and Press – Alternate Grip – 95 lbs. (Master Record)
Clean and Press -Heels Together, Fulton Bar – 105 lbs. (Master Record)
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 bar, 2”, Left Hand -  88 lbs. (Master Record)
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 bar, 2”, Right Hand – 88 lbs. (Master Record)

25 RECORDS

Thom Van Vleck – Age 46 (45-49 Age Group), Weight 135kg (125+kg Class)

Crucifix – 90 lbs.  (Master Record)
Clean and Jerk – 2 Dumbbells – 120 lbs. (Master Record)
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat – 120 lbs.  (Master and Open Records)
Swing – 2 Dumbbells – 120 lbs. (Master and Open Records)
Curl – Dumbbell, Cheat, Left Arm – 85 lbs. (Master and Open Records)
Curl – Dumbbell, Cheat, Right Arm – 85 lbs. (Master and Open Records)
Clean and Jerk – Dumbbell, Left Arm – 85 lbs. (Master Record)
Clean and Jerk – Dumbbell, Right Arm -85 lbs. (Master Record)
Press – Dumbbell, Left Arm – 85 lbs. (Master Record)
Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm – 85 lbs. (Master Record)
Side Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm – 85 lbs.  (Master Record)
Snatch – Dumbbell, Right Arm – 105 lbs.  (Master Record)
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm – 85 lbs. (Master and Open Records)
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm – 85 lbs. (Master Record)
Clean & Press – 140 lbs. (Master Record)
Clean & Press – 12” Base – 140 lbs. (Master Record)
Clean & Press – Alternate Grip -  140 lbs. (Master Record)
Clean & Press – on knees – 145 lbs. (Master Record)
Deadlift – Fingers, Index – 145 lbs.  (Master Record)
Jefferson Lift – 315 lbs. (Master Record)

5 RECORDS

Josh Hettinger – Age 29 (Open Age Group), Weight 141.5 kg (125+kg Class)

Swing – 2 Dumbbells -120 lbs. (Open Record)
Press – from Rack – 135 lbs. (Open Record)
Deadlift -  No Thumb, Left Arm – 180 lbs. (Open Record)
Deadlift – No Thumb,  Right Arm – 205 lbs. (Open Record)
Clean & Jerk – Behind Neck – 135 lbs. (Open Record)

18 RECORDS

Chad Ullom – Age 38 (Open Age Group), Weight 108.0 kg (110kg Class)

Clean and Jerk – Dumbbell, Left Arm -120 lbs. (Open Record)
Clean and Jerk – Dumbbell, Right Arm -120 lbs. (Open Record)
Snatch – Dumbbell, Left Arm – 110 lbs. (Open Record)
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm – 110 lbs. (Open Record)
Bench Press – Hands Together – 225 lbs. (Open Record)
Clean & Press -  12” Base – 190 lbs. (Open Record)
Side Press – Right Arm – 95 lbs. (Open Record)
Clean & Press – Fulton Bar – 190 lbs. (Open Record)
Swing – 2 Dumbbells – 150 lbs. (Open Record)
Side Press – Dumbbell, Left Arm – 90 lbs. (Open Record)
Side Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm – 90 lbs. (Open Record)
Snatch – On Knees – 115 lbs. (Open Record)
Miller Clean and Jerk – 125 lbs. (Open Record)
Zeigler Clean – 135 lbs. (Open Record)
Press – From Rack – 135 lbs. (Open Record)
Press – From Rack, Behind Neck – 135 lbs. (Open Record)
Reflex Clean & Jerk – 250 lbs. (Open Record)
Continental to Chest – Fulton Bar – 225 lbs. (Open Record)

* Three Certified Officials used on ALL LIFTS – Thom Van Vleck, Joe Garcia, Mike Murdock, and Chad Ullom

Site Downtime – Server Administration

During the next several days you may experience times that the site may be temporarily unavailable. We are upgrading the server. My hopes are that the new upgrades will lead to improved site performance. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Brian

Calling All Officials!

by Joe Garcia

I now have officials cards available for distribution.  What I don’t have are addresses.  If you wish to have a card sent to you, please email me your address information to: jgarcia@usawa.com

Dave Hahn

by Al Myers

Al Myers (left) and Dave Hahn (right) at the 2010 USAWA Team Nationals.

Last month at the USAWA Team Nationals at the Dino Gym we had a surprise attendee – Dave Hahn.  I had previously exchanged a few emails with Dave, but it was a great honor to have him make it to the gym and get to actually meet him in person.   I know several of the “oldtimers” in the USAWA probably know Dave and competed in meets with him 20 plus years ago.  I am always looking back at old meet results and records, and his name is in ALL OF THEM.  Dave knew and mentioned a couple of current USAWA members that he has fond memories of – Wilbur Miller and Charlie Scott.  I enjoyed listening to his stories about these two. Dave was primarily an Olympic Lifter, but did compete in the early days of the USAWA.  His last USAWA competition was in the early 90’s at Bill Clark’s annual Zercher Classic.  Before this, he competed in many All-Round Weightlifting Meets directed by Bill Clark, then under the Region IV Missouri Valley organization.  Dave had been a subscriber to Bill Clark’s newsletters since the early 1960’s.   He commented to me that most of his early All-Round lifting was done at Bill Clark’s annual weightlifter’s picnics, which were held at a park in Columbia, Missouri.

I would like to mention a few of the records Dave established in the old Region IV Record List:  Cheat Curl of 255# at 181# bodyweight in 1962, Strict Curl of 175# at 181# bodyweight in 1962, Right Hand and Left Hand Dumbbell Press of 115# at 181# bodyweight in 1962, Seated Press of 210# at 181# bodyweight in 1962, and a Standing Press Behind Neck of 190# at 198# bodyweight in 1961.  These are just a few.  Dave told me that he could press almost as much as he could Clean and Jerk, and thus he retired from Olympic Lifting when the Press was eliminated from competition.

Dave now lives in Overland Park, Kansas but works in Milwaukee.  He commutes back home every weekend. He still trains with weights and looks in great shape.

Dave, thanks for taking the time to come to an All-Round Meet.  We really enjoyed meeting you and having you at the Dino Gym. But next time I’m going to talk you into competing!

Quiz of the Week

by Al Myers

Who is this lifter and which USAWA lift is he performing?

It’s time for another Quiz of the Week!!  This one is going to be a little harder than previous ones, and it requires TWO ANSWERS.

Who is this lifter and which USAWA lift is he performing?

You must provide the answers to BOTH questions!  The rules are the same as before – only 1 answer per day, and the person with the first correct answer wins. Answer must be sent to my amyers@usawa.com email address.

Winner will receive a USAWA Patch

We have a WINNER!

Thom Van Vleck correctly identified this lifter as USAWA Hall of Famer, and the man of 1000 lifts -  John Grimek.  He is performing the Kelly Snatch (also known as the Reverse Swing)

Delaware Valley Postal

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS

THE 2010 DELAWARE VALLEY OPEN POSTAL MEET

BILL COOKSON WINS BY CLOSE MARGIN

Bill Cookson, of the Dino Gym, won the Delaware Valley Postal Meet following his return to the gym from being overseas fulfilling his military obligations.

I just received the results of the Delaware Valley Postal Meet  from John Wilmot,  which is one of the four quarterly postal meets that are part of the USAWA Postal Series.  The number of competitors was slightly down, probably due to the other All-Round competitions that were occurring at the end of September, but the quality of lifting was high.  Bill Cookson made his comeback to the USAWA after being gone overseas on military duty by edging out Randy Smith.   It came down to ONE POINT!!  That is as close as it gets.  Helen Kahn competed in her first USAWA event, and was the top woman lifter.

RESULTS:

Delaware Valley Open Postal Meet
September 1-30, 2010

Meet Director:  John Wilmot

Lifts:  Bench Press – Reverse Grip, Squat – Front, and Continental to Chest

Lifters using a certified USAWA Official:
Helen Kahn – official Randy Smith
Bill Cookson – official Mark Mitchell
Kohl Hess – offiicial Denny Habecker
Andrew Hess – official Denny Habecker

Lifters using a non-certified official:
Randy Smith – official Helen Kahn
Denny Habecker – official Kohl Hess
John Wilmot – official Kay Wilmot

Women’s Division

Lifter Age BWT CLS Bench Squat Cont Total Points
Helen Kahn 58 156 75 65 75 80 220 271.6

Men’s Division

Lifter Age BWT CLS Bench Squat Cont Total Points
Bill Cookson 45 212 100 280 286 220 786 720.8
Randy Smith 55 195.5 90 195 255 235 685 719.1
John Wilmot 63 215 100 150 180 155 485 516.2
Denny Habecker 67 185 85 165 110 132 407 486.8
Kohl Hess 16 300 125+ 165 242 198 606 484.1
Andrew Hess 46 310 125+ 176 176 176 529 405.1

NOTES:  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  CLS is bodyweight class in kilograms.  Total is total pounds lifted.  Points are adjusted points for bodyweight and age correction.

The 10 Worst Lifts in the USAWA

by Al Myers

Ok, I’m getting tired of Thom getting all the recognition for his  “human interest” stories involving his weightlifting life experiences, while the deep  thought-provoking technical stories I write (which require actual research)  get ignored (I actually wonder if anyone EVEN read my last one on the fairness of the Lynch Formula).   It’s time I step up my game – and put a little controversy in what I write!!   The truth is that I really don’t like to OFFEND anyone, and thus my avoidance of any story that may seem offensive.  On the other hand, Thom doesn’t care if he gets hate mail!  He even reads it with a smile on his face. That is what makes him a much better columnist than myself – but TIMES ARE A CHANGING and I’m going to try to “stir the pot” a little with this story.  Here it goes – and I hope AT LEAST one person gets offended and makes a derogatory comment about this story on the USAWA Discussion Forum (and that’s NOT counting YOU Thom).

The Ziegler Clean even makes "The Champ" Chad Ullom look like a clown, despite the fact that he has lifted the most weight ever in this lift. But who really cares about that? All you see is that silly little plate balancing on the top of his head.

1.  French Press – Definitely the WORST  lift in our list of lifts.  That is why I’m listing it first.  Whoever wrote the original rule for this lift must have been a cynic.  Why else would the rules of this lift be written in such a way that it is impossible to perform and COMPLETELY different than how it is performed in the gym by EVERYONE else that trains it?  Judging this lift is even worse.  Did the bar touch the neck? Did the elbows drop?  The answers are always NO and YES. I have YET to see this lift performed the way our rules call for it to be done.  Any lift that has rules so subjective  that it would require instant replay in slow motion  to make an official  judgement needs to be RE-WRITTEN.

2. Press – Dumbbell, One Arm – This lift was just in the World Championships and after what I saw there  it now makes my list of Ten Worse.  The IAWA rules require the center of the rod of the dumbbell be no higher than the clavicle.  Obvious the person who decided on this rule knew NOTHING about human anatomy.  Do most lifters know where the clavicle is?  From watching the judging,  it was obvious the judges don’t.  I have a copy of Gray’s Anatomy, I’ll send you a picture. It is MUCH lower than the top of the shoulder. Practically no one  started the dumbbell this low (myself included!). Also, what’s up with all  the side pressing when doing a dumbbell press?  That’s not supposed to be allowed – we got ANOTHER LIFT for that one!  The bottom line – this lift is performed and officiated differently than how the rules are written so SOMETHING should change to “keep it real”!

3.  Deadlift – Stiff-legged - Another impossible lift to judge.   Judging is ALWAYS very subjective and lifters will bend their legs and get the lift passed.  And I can’t figure out WHY sumo deadlifting is allowed in the rules – it seems to defeat the purpose of a stiff legged deadlift.

4.  Ziegler Clean – Come on, this lift is just ridiculous.  Balancing a plate on your head while you do a clean?  When I first heard of this lift I thought the person telling me about it must be joking.  No one would really want to train for THAT!?!  Lifts like this make a mockery of All-Round Weightlifting, and you got to know people probably LAUGH at us when we report on the Zeigler Clean.

5.  Van Dam Lift – This lift got approved for one reason – us “selling out” for publicity that we never got. Did we really think Rob Van Dam and his professional  wrasslin’ buddies were going to start lifting in our All-Round Meets?   We should be ashamed of ourselves for approving this lift.

6.   Inman Mile – Carry 150% of your bodyweight in the form of a bar across your shoulders for 1 mile??  Give me a break – even the person it was named after couldn’t do THAT!!   This is just another “official lift” that makes us look like a goofy weightlifting organization.

7.  Lano Lift – I respect the fact that lifts are named after someone deserving.  I have met Jack, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he proposed this lift as a joke  just to see if the membership was gullible enough to approve it.  How many different movements are in the Lano Lift?    I can’t keep track of them!  Who would REALLY want to do this?  It is the lift with the longest written rule in the USAWA Rulebook.  Even Jack has never  set a record in this lift that carries his name.  That should tell you something.

8.   Phumchaona Lift – Another screwball lift named after a famous USAWA lifter.  This lift requires you to clean and press a pair of dumbbells WHILE doing a Hip Lift!!  Like THAT is going to be better than your max Hip Lift.  If I was going to do this lift, I would use a pair of 1/2 pound dumbbells and after doing my MAX Hip Lift just raise up my arms.  This “official lift” is so stupid NO ONE  has EVER done it.  That’s right – NO ONE!!

9.  Carter Lift – The only thing more ridiculous than clean and pressing a pair of dumbbells while doing a Hip Lift is SQUATTING a bar while Hip Lifting.  But I’ll give John credit – the picture of himself  performing this lift in our Rulebook  does look IMPRESSIVE, and at LEAST he had the courage to perform his lift in public.

10.  Weaver Stick – Absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to judge fairly.  The arm is NEVER straight, and it only takes a tiny little bend to add a few pounds to this lift.  The records in this lift really are meaningless.   Now STRAP your arm to a fixed pole and THEN see what you can do in the Weaver Stick.  That’s the way it should be done.

**** The above controversial comments are mine alone,  and may not reflect the opinions of the USAWA membership.  Please direct your hate mail to me and not to Thom Van Vleck****

Clark’s Record Day

by Joe Garcia

Clark’s Gym was the setting for another record day, today Sunday October 24,  one of many over the years overseen by the man that started all this, Bill Clark.  It was a beautiful day outside and a fun one inside.  While we didn’t have a large number of players, it is always good to participate in the strength game and be around others who also enjoy lifting.  Leading off was the bench master Dave Beversdorf, along with a young protégé of his, Chris Arnold.  I came in to see whom ever showed up, set some records, talk to Bill and of course, go out to eat afterwards.  Though he is physically hurting and really needs to get his shoulder replaced, even Bill decided to set a couple of records, but was stopped on doing too much because of his right shoulder.

I didn’t get any pictures, due to having to mess with business in the morning,  but Shelly Beversdorf did get some videos, which will probably end up on YouTube.

Officiating was done mainly by Bill and then myself,  and James Foster and I  also provided the spotting for the heavy bench attempts.  Lifting was done over the course of about 3 hours, and 21 records were set, not counting attempts that might be both open and master records.  Looks like a good warm up for Thom’s record event coming up at the end of the week.  Afterwards, we retired to George’s for a bite and more conversation.  Next on the agenda at Clark’s will be the Schmidt Heavylift Pentathlon.

Results:

Clark’s Record Day
Clark’s Gym, Columbia Mo
October 24, 2010
All lifts and weights are in pounds

Dave Beversdorf – Age: 45, Weight: 299, Class: Hwt
Bench Press – Left Arm: 145
Bench Press – Right Arm: 165
Bench Press – Hands Together: 275
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 410
Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 410

Chris Arnold – Age: 17, Weight: 180, Class: 85kg
Bench Press – Left Arm: 110
Bench Press – Right Arm: 110
Bench Press – Hands Together: 185
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 185
Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 225
Bench Press – Feet in Air: 205

Joe Garcia – Age: 57, Weight: 205, Class: 95kg
Bench Press – Hands Together: 185
Continental Snatch: 135
Continental to Chest: 205
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 260
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand: 170
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand: 225
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand: 200

Bill Clark – Age 78, Weight 247, Class: 115kg
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand: 110
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand: 175
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand: 105

What Goes Around….

Arthur Saxon would probably be considered "cutting edge" with most of his training techniques today!

by Thom Van Vleck

Recently, I had a young guy come out to my place to try out the Highland Games.  He was in his early 20’s and had done some weight training at the local YMCA and in high school, but was not a hard core lifter or iron game follower.  What was funny was I gave him a tour of my gym and he started pointing to things I had like they were new and cutting edge.  As if my gym was equipped with “all the latest”.  In particular, he pointed to my Kettlebells and said, “Wow, you have some kettlebells, I would like to try training with those, I’ve heard they are really good to train with”.

This was in contrast to when my Uncle Wayne Jackson saw the Kettlebells right after I had bought them.  Wayne gained the bulk of his training knowledge from reading S&H, MD, and Ironman in the 50’s and 60’s.  He said, “So what are you going to do with those old things”.  As if I had raided the York Barbell museum!   Wayne’s comments leaned towards how Kettlebells were never us used in his day and you couldn’t find those for years and he wasn’t sure what good they were going to do me.

In 2009, I got to go to the Arnold Fitness Expo.  It was there I found out just how “popular” Kettlebells had become again. They were having a competition that centered around doing all kinds of different maneuvers with the kettlebells, some of which I could see a lot of benefit, some….not so much…but hey, I swing a hammer in circles and flip telephone poles in my spare time….so who am I to judge.

I have a lot of stuff in my gym, most of it is pretty old or “well used”.  It is funny to me how things go in and out of style.  It got me to pondering “WHY”?  A lot of times exercises and equipment get run out of town by the “latest thing”.  Usually being sold by some guy looking to make a buck more than he’s trying to “revolutionize” the fitness industry.  He tells us that the old stuff is dangerous, useless, or inferior and enough people buy into it that it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy and the old stuff falls to the wayside.  But form follows function and eventually, what works is rediscovered and comes back again.

Now, this wasn’t intended to be an article on the benefits of Kettlebells, they are just an example.  I’m not trying to sell you on the and I don’t sell them!!!  Just remember, in our effort to get better (whether that be bigger, faster, stronger at lifting, throwing, team sports, whatever) we need to gain a broad understanding of what’s out there.  We need to know our history, we need to know what works and what doesn’t and filter what comes from the so called “experts” so that we may find the tools we need to achieve our goals.  We need to constantly look at what’s been used, what’s on the “shelf” (so to speak) and how can it be used to freshen up our training and lift us to victory!  (no pun intended!).

World Postal Challenge

by Al Myers

RESULTS of the 2010 IAWA

WORLD POSTAL TEAM CHALLENGE

Scott Tully, of the Dino Gym, posted the highest Individual Total in the IAWA World Team Postal Challenge in helping the Dino Gym to a first place finish.

The 2010 World Team Postal Challenge was a huge success.  Ten teams entered the competition, which consisted of  each team providing three lifters whose scores were added together for a team point total.  The USA had 5 teams, England had 4 teams, and Scotland provided 1 team.  This competition is one of three major IAWA events (the World Championships and the Gold Cup being the other two) held each year.  The credit for this competition needs to go to our IAWA President Steve Gardner for organizing it and compiling the results.  Without Steve’s commitment to the IAWA, we wouldn’t have the opportunities we have and the IAWA wouldn’t be near as strong as it is.  We need to give him the thanks he deserves – often the leadership he provides us does not get enough recognition.  Thank you Steve for everything you do on behalf of the IAWA!!

RESULTS

Meet Director:  Steve Gardner

Officials:  three certified officials were used on all lifts

Lifts:  Snatch – One Arm, Pinch Grip – 2 hands, Bench Press – Feet in Air, Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip

1.  Dino Gym 1 (USA) – 1112.1 points

Lifter Age BWT Snatch Pinch Bench Dead Total Points
A Myers 44 115.7 72.6 R 62.2 154.3 200 489.1 403.3
C Ullom 38 108.4 68.1 R 57.6 120.2 210 456.0 370.2
S Tully 34 156.1 52.2 R 75.8 167.9 200 495.9 338.6

2.  Powerhouse 1 (England) – 1039.4 points

Lifter Age BWT Snatch Pinch Bench Dead Total Points
M Price 45 97.1 47.5 R 50 155 140 392.5 358.0
J Gardner 26 89.8 52.5 R 65 105 180 402.5 361.7
S Gardner 53 129.7 37.5 R 60 110 170 377.5 319.6

3.  Ambridge VFW (USA) – 1034.8 points

Lifter Age BWT Snatch Pinch Bench Dead Total Points
A Montini 83 81.8 18.2 L 25.4 54.4 102 200 307.3
J McKean 64 74.8 24.9 R 45.9 58.9 146 275.7 345.2
S Schmidt 57 114.3 50 R 70 105 185 410 382.3

4.  Dino Gym 2 (USA) – 975.1 points

Lifter Age BWT Snatch Pinch Bench Dead Total Points
C Cookson 40 124.8 59.0 R 57.6 127.0 210 453.6 346.6
D Barnhart 43 131.6 43.1 R 75.8 136.1 200 455.1 349.0
R Bletscher 74 98.9 20.4 R 44.0 50.0 113.4 227.8 279.5

5.  Willies Warriors (Scotland) – 973.8 points

Lifter Age BWT Snatch Pinch Bench Dead Total Points
A Tomlin 43 94.8 47.5 R 55 95 170 367.5 333.2
C Ross 26 92.7 50 L 65 105 160 380.0 335.2
G Dick 61 130.0 42.5 R 40 105 150 337.5 305.4

6.  Granby Grippers (England) – 968.1 points

Lifter Age BWT Snatch Pinch Bench Dead Total Points
D Andrews 14 58.8 22.5 R 29.5 37.5 75 164.5 232.8
S Andrews 51 70.5 50 R 49.5 85 130 314.5 366.4
F Allen 68 89.1 35 R 39.5 85 150 309.5 368.9

7.  Habeckers Gym (USA)  -  917.1 points

Lifter Age BWT Snatch Pinch Bench Dead Total Points
D Habecker 67 86.0 30 R 50 92.5 140 312.5 371.3
K Hess 16 136.0 40 R 87.7 80 145 352.7 281.7
A Hess 46 140.6 35 R 87.7 82.5 140 345 264.1

8.  Powerhouse 2 (England) -  877.9 points

Lifter Age BWT Snatch Pinch Bench Dead Total Points
G Saxton 48 113.6 37.5 R 55 115 160 367.5 317.5
W Smith 18 134.3 45 R 67.5 125 170 407.5 306.5
K Gardner 51 73.2 15 R 40 32.5 85 172.5 253.9

9.  Tiverton WL Club (England) – 701.1 points

Lifter Age BWT Snatch Pinch Bench Dead Total Points
G Ell 39 85.0 42.5 L 46.4 127.5 170 386.4 358.3
M Rattenbury 48 65.0 27.5 L 33.9 85 140 286.4 342.8

10.   Frank’s Gym (USA)  – 598.2 points

Lifter Age BWT Snatch Pinch Bench Dead Total Points
F Ciavattone 55 125.0 40 R 77.5 115 215 447.5 392.4
F Ciavattone Jr 16 108.0 25 R 40 50 115 230 205.8

NOTES:  BWT is bodyweight in kilograms.  All lifts are in kilograms.  Points are adjusted for bodyweight and age.

World Postal – Individual Ranking List

1.    403.3  Al Myers
2.    392.4  Frank Ciavattone
3.    382.3  Scott Schmidt
4.    371.3  Denny Habecker
5.    370.2  Chad Ullom
6.    368.9  Frank Allen
7.    366.4  Steve Andrews
8.    361.7  James Gardner
9.    358.3  Gary Ell
10.  358.0  Mark Price
11.  349.0  Darren Barnhart
12.  346.6  Chuck Cookson
13.  345.2  John McKean
14.  342.8  Mark Rattenbury
15.  338.6  Scott Tully
16.  335.2  Chris Ross
17.  333.2  Andy Tomlin
18.  319.6  Steve Gardner
19.  317.5  Graham Saxton
20.  307.3  Art Montini
21.  306.5  Wade Smith
22.  305.4  George Dick
23.  281.7  Kohl Hess
24.  279.5  Rudy Bletscher
25.  264.1  Andrew Hess
26.  253.9  Karen Gardner
27.  232.8  Daniel Andrews
28.  205.8  Frank Ciavattone Jr.

Team Match Winners – Top 5

1.   Dino Gym 1 – USA

2.   Powerhouse Gym 1 – England

3.   Ambridge VFW – USA

4.   Dino Gym 2 – USA

5.   Willies Warriors – Scotland

Overall Best Lifters – Top 5

1.   Al Myers – USA

2.   Frank Ciavattone – USA

3.   Scott Schmidt  – USA

4.   Denny Habecker – USA

5.   Chad Ullom – USA

Best Ladies Lifter

Karen Gardner – England

Best Junior Lifter

Wade Smith – England

Best Open Lifter

Chad Ullom – USA

Best Masters Lifter

Al Myers – USA

World Title Winners listed by Class and Age Divisions

LADIES

Karen Gardner – 50+75 kilo class winner

JUNIORS

Daniel Andrews – 14/15 yrs 60 kilo class winner
Kohl Hess – 16/17 yrs 125+ kilo class winner
Frankie Ciavattone – 16/17 yrs 110 kilo class winner
Wade Smith – 18/19 yrs 125+ kilo class winner

OPEN DIVISION

Gary Ell – Mens 85 kilo class winner
James Gardner – Mens 90 kilo class winner
Chris Ross – Mens 95 kilo class winner
Chad Ullom – Mens 110 kilo class winner
Scott Tully – Mens 125+ kilo class winner

MASTERS 40+

Andy Tomlin – Mens 95 kilo class winner
Al Myers – Mens 120 kilo class winner
Chuck Cookson – Mens 125 kilo class winner
Darren Barnhart – Mens 125+ kilo class winner

MASTERS 45+

Mark Rattenbury – Mens 65 kilo class winner
Mark Price – Mens 110 kilo class winner
Graham Saxton – Mens 115 kilo class winner
Andrew Hess – Mens 125+ kilo class winner

MASTERS 50+

Steve Andrews – Mens 75 kilo class winner
Steve Gardner – Mens 125+ kilo class winner

MASTERS 55+

Scott Schmidt – Mens 115 kilo class winner
Frank Ciavattone – Mens 125 kilo class winner

MASTERS 60+

John McKean – Mens 75 kilo class winner
George Dick – Mens 125+ kilo class winner

MASTERS 65+

Denny Habecker – Mens 90 kilo class winner
Frank Allen – Mens 90 kilo class runner up

MASTERS 70+

Rudy Bletscher – Mens 100 kilo class winner

MASTERS 80+

Art Montini – Mens 85 kilo class winner

Strength, Speed, and Age

by Thom Van Vleck

Larry Ventress has been a top Highland Games athlete for many years and has had to deal with his share of injuries.

Here’s a good quote I read recently:

“You might not get faster when you’re older, but you can get stronger.” (NFL Running Back Lorenzo Neal who said he added years to his NFL career when he “lost a step” by doing sets of 20 on the squat AFTER his regular workouts to make up for the speed loss with strength).

I agree, you might not get faster with age, as a matter of fact, you WILL PROBABLY get slower, but you can offset that with strength. Strength gains can come for a LONG time in my opinion. I remember my grandfather writing out his work out routine in his 80’s…he had max attempts written in those goals!!

I was at the McPherson Scottish Highland Games recently and was talking to my good friend Larry Ventress. Larry was a top “A” thrower years ago and has been a top masters thrower for years and he and I have competed against one another for many, many years and have become good friends. We were talking about guys coming out to train with us that were big deadlifters who wanted to try the Weight Over Bar event (you throw a 56lb weight, or 42lb if you are a master, over a cross bar for height with one hand…greatest height wins like in the high jump) and how they failed miserably. They were extremely strong…..but slow. However, we both agreed if they worked at it some, they would be great once they got the speed going. I have also found guys that were quick, that could generate a lot of speed, do well in the WOB, but couldn’t lift much at all. Because in Highland Games, to be a good thrower, you either have great speed or great strength. To be a great thrower you need SPEED & STRENGTH. Larry and I were discussing that if you are losing speed with age….you need to amp up the strength levels to compensate.

Lifting is no different in my opinion and especially so in the quick lifts. So, if you feel like you are losing a step….don’t worry, just get stronger! It CAN be done!!!!

Is the Lynch Formula Fair??

by Al Myers

There has been “lots of talk” regarding the Lynch Formula recently.   Most of this centered around the fact that the Lynch Formula has just been expanded to contain factors for lifters that weigh over 138 kilograms.  Now the Lynch Chart goes to 180 kilograms.  The Lynch Formula has been the “adopted formula” of the USAWA and the IAWA since the early 90’s to calculate adjusted points in determining weight lifted to bodyweight comparisons in scoring.  The Lynch Formula creator, Ian Lynch, developed and modified his formula to apply to the lifts done in All-Round Weightlifting.  As far as I know, no other lifting organization uses the Lynch Formula.  So, you could say, that we have a Formula that tailors to our specific lifting sport – All Round Weightlifting!   I have never really heard the reasons how the Lynch Formula was derived.  Most other weightlifting formulas are derived from a data set of numbers, usually records or performances of lifters of different bodyweights.  I know this is how the Sinclair Formula was derived  in Olympic Weightlifting.  It has even been changed and modified over time when it is “re-evaluated” using new data, and new factors are created to maintain the fairest formula possible.  However, this is easier to do when you are analyzing only two lifts (the Snatch and Clean and Jerk) than when you are looking at over 200 lifts, like we have in All-Round Weightlifting. I find it hard to believe that Ian Lynch used any data involving All-Round Lifts when he developed his formula.  Afterall, what data involving All Round Lifting was available 20 years ago?

The big question always arises, is the Lynch Formula fair?  I have several larger lifters in my gym who feel that it isn’t, and that the Lynch Formula favors the lighter lifter.  But then I hear from light lifters who say it favors the heavier lifters.  And when the fact is pointed out that the  past several years  the Overall Best Lifter at the IAWA World Championships has weighed over 105 kilograms,  they have a good argument.  I always try to be as open-minded as possible, and I like to have the FACTS before I form a hard opinion on something.  This is why I performed my own self-study on this – to answer that question to myself.   In no way is this information I am presenting you a scientific study that has any statistical significance.  I am making that disclaimer LOUDLY, so my statistics friends like Tom Ryan (who is way smarter than me in matters like this)  won’t point out my deficiencies in the methods of my study.  This study is entirely just a compilation of data that must be taken on surface value.  But it is still VERY INTERESTING and should provide the best factual support  regarding the fairness of the Lynch Formula that has ever been available.

Study – Determining the Fairness of the Lynch Formula

Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate the fairness of the Lynch Formula in regards to correction factors for bodyweight adjustments.

Design: The USAWA Record List will be used as the data source of information that will be evaluated.  The USAWA record list has accumulated information on records in various lifts for over 20 years.  Twenty lifts will be selected (the Heavy Lifts will be left out).  The lifts selected will be the ones that have the most records established in them through all weight and age classes. Three weight divisions will be arbitrary selected – lightweight lifters (80 kilogram class and below), middleweight lifters  (85-100 kilogram classes), and heavyweight lifters  (105 kilogram class and above).  The best record according to Lynch Formula will be selected from each weight division.  These three divisions will then be ranked according to the best lifts according to the Lynch Points, and all points will be added up to determine which weight division has the best ranking, and thus assumed to receive the biggest advantage from the Lynch Formula.

Assumptions: Since individual bodyweights are not known from the USAWA Record List, the weight of the weight class will be used in calculating Lynch Points.  Lifters in the 125 kg plus class will be assigned the Lynch Correction for 130 kilograms bodyweight. This may be an underestimate of the actual bodyweights of superheavyweight lifters, and if so, would provide numbers that would artificially elevate the lifts of SHW  lifters in regards to Lynch Points (NOT an advantage for heavy lifters).   Also, the assumption is made that the record lifts are representative of the average lifting ability of all lifters in these bodyweight classes. By picking the 20 lifts with the most records, it is assumed that these are the 20 all-round lifts that are performed the most, thus providing the best data base of numbers available from the Record List for evaluation.

Results:

Lift Lightweight

(80 K class and below)

Middleweight

(85 K to 100 kg class)

Heavyweight

(105 K class and above)

Bench Press

Feet in Air

320# – Smith

(70K)

LP – 320.0 points

480# -  Succarote

(100K)

LP – 406.6 points

441# – Meek

(125+K)

LP – 327.2 points

Clean&Jerk

Right Arm

132# – Zaremba

(75K)

LP – 132.0 points

160# – Bryan

(85K)

LP – 148.4 points

175# – Burtzloff

(125+K)

129.8 points

Clean&Press

Heels together

226# – Hirsh

(80K)

LP – 217.2 points

248# – Bryan

(85K)

LP – 230.0 points

300# – Meek

(125+K)

LP – 222.6 points

Cont Snatch 220# – Waterman

(70K)

LP – 229.9 points

248# – Bryan

(85K)

LP – 230.0 points

265# – Ciavattone

(125+K)

LP – 196.6 points

Continental

to Chest

325#- Waterman

(70K)

LP – 339.7 points

380# – Anderson

(90K)

LP – 431.1 points

385# – Conners

(125+K)

LP – 285.6 points

Continental

Clean&Jerk

287# – Waterman

(70K)

LP – 299.9 points

320# – Bryan

(85K)

LP – 296.8 points

369# – Anderson

(105K)

LP – 304.6 points

Cheat Curl 190# – Gazda

(60K)

LP – 220.8 points

235# – Anderson

(90K)

LP – 210.9 points

260# – DelSignore

(105K)

LP – 214.7 points

Deadlift

2 bars

463# – McKean

(80K)

LP – 445.0 points

610#- Schrock

(100K)

LP – 516.7 points

600# – Myers

(115K)

LP – 473.3 points

Deadlift

Heels together

560# – Hirsh

(75K)

LP – 560.0 points

605# – Schrock

(100K)

LP – 512.5 points

650# – Myers

(125K)

LP – 491.5 points

Deadlift

Rt Arm

369# – McKean

(70K)

LP – 385.6 points

402# – Ullom

(100K)

LP – 340.5 points

562# – Ciavattone

(125+K)

LP – 416.9 points

Deadlift

TrapBar

600# – Hirsh

(80K)

LP – 576.7 points

635# – Schrock

(100K)

LP – 537.9 points

661# – Myers

(115K)

LP – 520.9 points

Hack Lift 670# – Hirsh

(80K)

LP – 644.0 points

605#- Anderson

(90K)

LP – 543.0 points

620# – Schrock

(105K)

LP – 511.9 points

Jefferson

Lift

702# – Hirsh

(80K)

LP – 674.8 points

601# – Schrock

(95K)

LP – 523.5 points

601# – Spayd

(105K)

LP – 496.2 points

Pullover

& Press

287# – Hirsh

(80K)

LP – 275.9 points

275# – English

(90K)

LP – 246.8 points

352# – Myers

(115K)

LP – 277.4 points

Pullover

& Push

331# – Crowe

(80K)

LP – 318.2 points

446# – Anderson

(90K)

LP – 400.3 points

474# – Burtzloff

(110K)

LP – 382.0 points

Snatch

Rt Arm

127# – Waterman

(70K)

LP – 132.7 points

160# – Bryan

(85K)

LP – 148.4 points

171# – Burtzloff

(110K)

LP – 137.8 points

Front

Squat

355# – Fleischer

(80K)

LP – 341.2 points

441# – Bruner

(95K)

LP – 384.1 points

495# – Meek

(110K)

LP – 398.9 points

Steinborn 325# – Monk

(70K)

LP – 339.7 points

375# – Schmidt

(100K)

LP – 317.7 points

441# – Ullom

(110K)

LP – 354.6 points

Swing DB

Rt Arm

120# – Smith

(75K)

LP – 120.0 points

120# – Schrock

(100K)

LP – 101.7 points

150# – Ullom

(110K)

LP – 120.9 points

Zercher 504# – Hirsh

(80K)

LP – 484.4 points

500# – Anderson

(90K)

LP – 448.8 points

529# – Moore

(120K)

LP – 408.1 points

NOTES:  LP stands for Lynch Points.

Summary: Overall points were scored on placings with 1 point given for first, 2 points for second, and 3 points for third.  These points were then “added up” to give total points for the 20 selected lifts, which would give the low overall score  as being  the best.  The lightweight division had 40 points, the middleweight division had 38 points, and the heavyweight division had 42 points.  The lightweight division had 6 “firsts”, the middleweight division had 8 “firsts”, and the heavyweight division had 6 “firsts”.  Also, the Lynch Points were added for each division to give another comparison.  The lightweight division had 7057.7 points, the middleweight division had 6885.7 points, and the heavyweight division had 6671.5 points.

What can be interpreted from all this??

The “total points” are really not that much different.  A couple of points either way could easily be said to be an “acceptable tolerance”.  All it would take is one of those records broken and it could “sway” back slightly the other way. The differences between the divisions (in regards to points)  are not enough that anyone could make an argument one way or the other.

My opinion is that Ian Lynch was pretty much “right on” in regards to fairness to all bodyweights using his formula.  Whether he did this using  scientific calculations, or merely having “luck” in picking the right correction factors doesn’t really matter.  The evidence of comparing the Lynch Formula to over 20 years of collected data in the form of USAWA records prove to me that his formula is very fair and one we should remain using.   Of course, it is easy to pick out certain lifters that obscure the data due to their very exceptional lifting within their class.  Bob Hirsh is a prime example as he greatly distanced himself from the others in the Hack Lift and Jefferson Lift.  His Jefferson Lift record outscored the next lifter by over 150 Lynch Points, the biggest variation of all the lifts recorded in this data set.  But there are other lifters in the middleweight and heavyweight classes who are  “in a class of their own” also.  Everything averages out.  I was also concerned that the weight classes on the fringe of the lightweight and heavyweight classes (the 80 K and the 105K) would be overly represented, and thus tend to discredit the ranges I picked for this study.  However, this was not the case as you can see from the results  that the lighter lifters (70K and 75K), as well as the heaviest lifters (the 125+ lifters) were often represented as having the BEST lifts within their division. Only one 60K lifter made the list (this is not a largely represented class at meets), and he ended up having the BEST Lynch corrected Cheat Curl.  Geoff Gazda’s 190# Cheat Curl in the 60K class outscored Antonio DelSignore’s 260# Cheat Curl in the 105 K Class, 220.8 points to 214.7 points.  One 125+ K class lifter had the TOP Lynch Score among all divisions.  Frank Ciavattone and his 562# One Arm Deadlift ranks above all the others.

I welcome any comments regarding this study of mine.  You can either address them on the USAWA Discussion Forum or you can email me directly.

Is the USAWA a “Retirement” Sport?

Wilbur Miller is a guy that had a LONG career in lifting, thanks in part to the USAWA!

by Thom Van Vleck

A USAWA member once told me that the USAWA is a good “retirement” sport.  You have to admit….there are a lot of guys that are pretty old in the USAWA!  I pondered why that was and what it meant (especially since I’m one of them!).

I was at a USAWA meet at Al’s one time and the great Wilbur Miller was there.  We were visiting and he was talking about all the options the USAWA offered to demonstrate strength.  We were also talking about Highland Games and Strongman as well.  He told me that back in his day you either Olympic lifted or powerlifted (he did both and was very GOOD at both, probably one of the best all time at both sports at the same time).  As we watched the lifters doing the lifts Wilbur said, “I wish we would have had this kind of stuff around when I was young…..I think I would have been pretty good at it”.  I don’t think…I KNOW he would have been!  Wilbur must have been inspired, because he came back after that and did some pretty amazing lifting at the same USAWA meet the next year and he’s a CURRENT USAWA member now!

Now, I know some of the old timers will point out that Wilbur and the rest were doing “odd lifts” back in the day, but today’s USAWA has many, many more contested lifts.

Most of us started in more mainstream strength sports.  I started as an Olympic lifter (and was an abysmal failure but I did learn how to power clean and squat….two lifts that have served me well!).   I then became a powerlifter (and was moderately successful).  Then came strongman & Highland Games (which I found I was even better at, with Highland Games being my greatest success relative to world class competition).   And with those, also came injuries.  Some of those have kept me from doing certain movements and if those were the only lifts on the table….then you are OUT!  But with the USAWA comes  hundreds of lifts.  If you can’t do one, pull out the rule book and search until you can find one you CAN do!  How great is that!

Of course, having all the age brackets and age adjustment formulas attract masters lifters, but that is, in my opinion, NOT why there’s so many masters in the sport.  Most athletes don’t retire because they are done, they retire because they are injured.  The desire is usually still there, the body just unable to perform.  That is why there are so many masters involved in the USAWA because it allows them to find lifts they can still do and compete at!   That’s a great thing in my opinion!  It also attracts guys like it attracted Wilbur Miller….the challenge of doing so many things and doing them well and finally finding a place to do it!

….and one last thing…..I ain’t RETIRED!  I’m just getting started!

Art’s Birthday Bash

by John McKean

As a classic Autumn day, Art’s big meet started in brilliant warming sunlight, crystal blue skies, trees ablaze in color, and Art more mellow (well, he growled less!!) upon his 83rd birthday! I was first in, to find Art in his usual position in the VFW Barbell Club office, ready to dispense the meet t-shirts and donuts that he generously supplies free to all lifters & guests. We didn’t have to wait long for our travelers to bound down the steps into our Ambridge “cave.” First came Denny & Kohl from a delightful trek through the mountains from across state, then the ever-smiling Scott Schmidt from Cleveland, and, finally, big Ernie Beath and family from the Eastern shores of Maryland. Ernie is usually the first one to show, but managed to misplace his car keys, AND – big news – he’s newly married to a gorgeous gal who attended her first meet with us!!

Art announced that, in addition to our usual self torture, Scott, he, and I would do the lifts for Steve Gardner’s World team Postal meet. Wonderful, more pain! But these proved to be a good choice of movements, and gave us each a shot at a few more records!

Big Ernie and I had been reducing – Ern was down to a meager 385 (marriage will do that to ya, big guy!) and I was down to my old powerlifting weight of 165 (having just celebrated MY 41st wedding anniversary, momma has stopped feeding me altogether!! Naw, she baked me a superb apple pie right after the contest – tho’ I had to elbow Sean & Rob outa the way!). But the two of us were excited about doing the bent over row for a National record, and are hopeful that next year the IAWA will reconsider and put it on the international list of lifts. Ernie did a huge 351 pound pull, and hopes to be the first to row with over 400 for the record books! His big dumbbell presses were their usual awesome displays of pure power!

Old Art celebrated the onset of his 84th year with one arm hacks & Zerchers, and did a teeth lift with 113 pounds – I still maintain that Art should get extra credit for this event, since he must be pulling with little more than one remaining tooth!! (I mentioned that once before to him and he BIT me, to prove ALL the old chompers are still healthy – ouch!! But my subsequent rabies shot hurt worse!!). But the ole guy went on to do all the Postal lifts with ease, cleaned up the gym, and later attended the usually long barbell club monthly meeting! And I’ll bet he still was up for his usual training session at 4 AM this morning (Monday)!

Denny went through with quiet deliberation on 5 new records, to keep a slight, but constant lead over Art in the race for most USAWA records. Of course, President Habecker always has exciting news and views of All-Round lifting to share with us – only, as yours truly experienced, don’t plan on getting a bench press signal from him anytime in the forseeable future when he’s expounding those views!!

Kohl Hess at 16 years young, and 273 pounds big, astounded us by performing the “shoulder drop,” which absolutely frightened us older guys! Later, among others, he did a big “bear hug” lift with 115K, which seemed natural, since the massive young man undoubtably trains by wrestling & terrorizing real local bears in the Lebanon woods!

Ole Scott Schmidt is the only olympic style lifter I know that keeps smiling while he bangs big lifts overhead!! Though he found new joy in the Postal events contested and loved the 2 hand pinch grip and Ciavattone deadlift! It’s almost too bad that later on in the day his hometown Cleveland Browns had to play our Steelers!! (tho for this day he was an honorary VFW BBC member and an adopted Western Pennsylvanian!).

Lots of iron was moved and birthday candles snuffed out (next year’s meet has to have the cake monitored by the fire department!!), and we hope to have a big crowd for 2011! Train hard, guys!

MEET RESULTS

Art’s Birthday Bash
Ambridge VFW Barbell Club, Ambridge, PA
October 17, 2010

Meet Director:  Art Montini

All lifts listed in pounds except as noted

IAWA International Officials: (3 judges on all lifts) : Art Montini, Denny Habecker, Scott Schmidt, John McKean

John McKean – 165 pounds, 64 years, Class – 60+, 75K

Trap Bar Deadlift 365#
Ciavattone Deadlift 322#
Bent Over Row 220#
Deadlift 2 Barbells 360#
Straddle 2” Bar 302#
Reflex Clean & Push Press 95#
Reverse Curl 70#
Two Hands Pinch Grip 101#

Art Montini – 180.5 pounds,83 years, Class -80+, 85K

Left Hand Hack Lift 98#
Right Hand Hack Lift 98#
Left Hand Zercher 98#
Right Hand Zercher 98#
Teeth Lift 113#

Denny Habecker -191 pounds, 68 years, Class -65+, 90K

Fulton Deadlift 262#
Ciavattone Fulton Deadlift 202#
Bench Press Hands Together 150#
Right Hand Thumbless Deadlift 128#
Two Dumbbells Clean & Press 100#

Scott Schmidt -252 pounds, 57 years, Class -55+, 115K

Clean & Press – 105K
2” Bar Vertical Deadlift R – 95K

Kohl Hess -273 pounds, 16 years, Class – 16+, 125K

Shoulder Drop – 40.0K
Clean & Jerk – 79.5K
Bear Hug -115.0K
Straddle Deadlift – 200.0K
Clean & Press on Knees – 62.5K

Ernie Beath – 385 pounds,29 years, Class – Open, 125+

Bent Over Row -351#
RH Dumbbell Clean & Press -150#
Strict Curl -150#
LH Dumbbell Clean & Press -135#

2012 IAWA Worlds to be held in Kansas City

by Al Myers

Chad Ullom and Al Myers will be the Meet Promoters for the 2012 IAWA All-Round Weightlifting World Championships.

Another thing that arose from the 2010 IAWA World Council Meeting was that Chad Ullom and myself submitted a bid to host the 2012 IAWA World Championships – and it was ACCEPTED!!   Chad and I will be co-promoters (meaning that we will SHARE in the expenses!).  We plan to have the Championships the first weekend of October,  which is the traditional date for it.  It will be held in Kansas City, which has a major airport to allow for lifters to fly into the meet without much additional travel.   We have not selected a venue yet.  We are excited about this opportunity and plan to host it in a “FIRST RATE STYLE”.   This location (Kansas City)  is the “center point” of All-Round weightlifting in the United States, and hopefully, will stimulate a big interest in attendance. This is the first time the IAWA World Championships will be held in Kansas.   The entry forms will not be available until after next year’s Championships, but I wanted to announce the date now so everyone will have plenty of time to get this date on their schedule.

Art Montini is presented the IAWA Award of Merit

by Al Myers

Art Montini (center picture) receiving the IAWA Award of Merit. To left is the 2010 IAWA World Championships Meet Promoter George Dick, and to the right is IAWA President Steve Gardner.

One of the HIGHLIGHTS of the 2010 IAWA World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland was when Art Montini was presented the IAWA Award of Merit, a Presidential Award  presented to Art  by our IAWA President Steve Gardner.  This is the FIRST EVER such award ever given on behalf of the IAWA, and it went to the best eligible candidate in the organization.  Art has been to MOST of the IAWA World Championships since the IAWA was formed, and he ALWAYS represents himself in a dignified, professional manner that epitomizes the character of a CHAMPIONSHIP ATHLETE.  Art competes like he is working a job, always focused and performing picture-perfect lifts like they’re just another “task at hand”.  Don’t let his casual demeanor mislead you when he’s lifting – internally he’s as fired up as anyone else!!!

Another thing that impresses me immensely about Art is the passion he still has for lifting.  Art is now 82 years old, but when you are around him it becomes obvious that he “feels” like a much younger man.  I hope that I will have the same zeal for lifting that he has when I’m his age.  He is a great inspiration to me and I’m sure to many others.  He had no idea that he was going to be presented this award, and even when Steve was giving his intro, Art still didn’t think it was about him.  I was sitting right across from him at the banquet and the look of amazement and acknowledgment upon hearing his name called was PRICELESS!!

This is for Art – every0ne in the USAWA and IAWA consider you our  “father figure” in our organization who we look up to.  We are EXTREMELY PROUD that you have received this AWARD OF MERIT!!!! Congratulations!!

Lynch Formula Expanded

by Al Myers

Chris Bass is the "brains" behind the IAWA. Chris is often the official scorekeeper at International Events, and he maintains the IAWA World Record List, which is an overwhelming task. Chris was very influential in helping solve this problem with the Lynch Formula.

A  project that I have been working on for the past several months has been trying to expand the Lynch Factor Chart to allow bodyweight adjustments for heavier lifters.  This has been a big problem with the Lynch Factor Chart in the past – it only went up  to 138 kilograms bodyweight.  This is how it always has been since the original calculations were done.  Nowadays, it is not uncommon to have lifters that weigh over this amount, and NO LYNCH FACTORS have been available for them.  It forced the Meet Director to either just use the highest Lynch Factor available on the Chart, or “make a guess” at a factor for them, either case not being the way it should be done.

Efforts were made to acquire the original Lynch Formula or extrapolate the current Lynch Factors to higher bodyweight factors.  Both of these ideas were unsuccessful – UNTIL NOW!!  I brought this problem up at the IAWA World Council Meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, and a committee of myself, Chris Bass and Roger Davis were formed to look further into it and find a resolution.  I am glad to say that Roger Davis has found the original Lynch Formula, which the Lynch Formula creator Ian Lynch had given to him many years prior.  Through the works of Roger, he placed the formula in an Excel Spreadsheet and generated the new, higher numbers, which are needed to make the Lynch Factor Chart complete. The chart now goes to 180 kilograms bodyweight, with all the new numbers generated from the same formula that the previous numbers were.  For those interested, the mathematical expression of the Lynch Formula is:

=((75-(39.53-(300/BW)-(3000/(BW*BW))))^(1/3))/(BW-(39.53-(300/BW)-(3000/(BW*BW))))^(1/3)

This is indeed a much more complicated formula than I thought it would be originally!!  I have expanded the USAWA Lynch Formula Chart with the new values.  It will always be  available on the USAWA website – under the  page titled  “Scoring Information”.  I am the type of person who likes to solve problems quickly, and then immediately take action to implement the solution.  So, I presented this to the USAWA Executive Board for approval, which would allow the USAWA to implement this new Lynch Chart right away.  The USAWA Executive Board, of myself, Denny Habecker, Dennis Mitchell, Chad Ullom, and Scott Schmidt,  approved it unanimously.  This means the USAWA, as of now, will use this new Lynch Factor Chart in our scoring.  The IAWA will need a membership vote, which only occurs when there is a World Council Meeting.  This means it may be next year before the IAWA approves this new Lynch Chart, unless a Council Meeting is called for at the 2010 Gold Cup next month.  Regardless, the committee of myself, Roger, and Chris will present it for IAWA approval at the next Council Meeting.

The new Lynch Factor Chart  – Lynch Factor Chart

I want to especially thank the efforts of Roger Davis and Chris Bass.  Without the efforts of these two, this BIG improvement in our scoring system  would not have been realized.

USAWA Records Fall at Worlds

by Al Myers

82 year old Art Montini broke a USAWA Record in the Steinborn Lift with a lift of 143 pounds. This record was previously held at 105 pounds by the legendary lifter and Stongman Ed Zercher I, which was set at the 1988 Zercher Strength Classic.

Only five USAWA lifters attended the IAWA World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, but SEVERAL USAWA Records were set by this elite group.  Twenty one new USAWA Records were added to the USAWA Record List along with several new IAWA World Records.   Dennis Mitchell and Art Montini lead the way with 6 new USAWA records each.

USAWA RECORDS SET AT WORLDS

Lift Lifter Age Wt Cls Record
Clean and Push Press Dennis Mitchell 75 75 55#
Snatch, One Arm, Left Art Montini 80 85 33#
Snatch, One Arm, Right Denny Habecker 65 85 77#
Snatch, One Arm, Right Dennis Mitchell 75 75 33#
Continental to Belt Denny Habecker 65 85 275#
Continental to Belt Art Montini 80 85 165#
Steinborn Lift Denny Habecker 65 85 244#
Steinborn Lift Dennis Mitchell 75 75 93#
Steinborn Lift Art Montini 80 85 143#
Steinborn Lift Chad Ullom ALL 110 440#
Curl, Cheat Dennis Mitchell 75 75 84#
Curl, Cheat Art, Montini 80 85 77#
Press, Dumbbell, Left Al Myers 40 115 88#
Press, Dumbbell, Left Denny Habecker 65 85 66#
Press, Dumbbell, Left Denny Habecker ALL 85 66#
Press, Dumbbell, Left Chad Ullom ALL 110 110#
Press, Dumbbell, Left Al Myers ALL 115 88#
Press, Dumbbell, Right Dennis Mitchell 75 75 27#
Press, Dumbbell, Right Art Montini 80 85 38#
Deadlift, Trap Bar Dennis Mitchell 75 75 225#
Deadlift, Trap Bar Art Montini 80 85 248#

Several record-breaking highlights occurred which deserve mentioning.  Chad Ullom established the USAWA ALL-TIME best lift in the Steinborn Lift with a lift of 440# (200 kilograms).  This also TIED the best Steinborn Lift in the IAWA Record List, which is held by our IAWA President Steve Gardner when he performed a 200 kilogram Steinborn Lift in 1998.  Art Montini broke two USAWA Records held by the legendary Missouri Strongman Ed Zercher.  Art broke Ed’s records in the Steinborn Lift and the Cheat Curl.  Ed Zercher had set these records in 1988.  It seems only fitting that one legend replaces another legend in the Record List.

The USAWA Record Race between Denny and Art is still going strong.  Denny is now at 369 USAWA Records (compared to 365 in July) while Art is still in second with 362 USAWA Records (compared to 358 in July).  Denny did help himself by breaking a record of Art’s in the Steinborn Lift by 1 Kilo in this meet!!  Art’s Birthday Bash and Record Day is coming up, but Art sets a limit of a maximum 5 records set, so if  Denny and Art both do this, Denny should maintain his lead.

JWC Record Breaker

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

JWC RECORD BREAKER : LIFTING FAITH

by Thom Van Vleck

Oct. 29 we will be attempting a feat never before seen in the USAWA.  Quite frankly, I wonder what I was thinking when I dreamed this up!  We will attempt to break 100 USAWA records in about 2 hours for charity.

Last year I had my first ever JWC Record day and we had a blast.  This year I decided to combine it with our annual school fundraiser to try and get pledges for each record we break.  This money will go towards funding the Faith Lutheran School.  This school has over 150 students from preschool to 3rd grade.  Most of these students don’t attend our Church, and many do not have a Church home at all.  So the money is more than just about giving to a Church but to a school that reaches out to many different families and children.

I have decided to call it “Lifting Faith” because we are lifting weights to benefit Faith Lutheran School.  I already have several athletes who have committed to this feat and I am looking for more!  There is no entry fee and no awards, just the satisfaction of not only breaking individual records, but being part of a 100 record breaking day,  AND raising money for a good cause.

I will be going out and getting pledges for each record we break.  If we break 50 records and I have pledge totaling $10 per record, we raise $500 and if we break 100 records it will be $1000!  So, it’s important that we break as many as possible with the maximum being 100!  I will have loaders and spotters there and I will have a lifting platform and a warm up platform.  We will likely have over 500 people, most of them kids,  in attendance and towards the end, we will be the CENTER of the event!  I will have someone running a tote board to update progress and multiplying that by pledges to show an every rising dollar amount.  I will have an emcee and a PA system.  At the end, the JWC will do our strongman show as part of a finale the evenings festivities.

All YOU need to do is BE THERE and be READY to break some records!!!!!

Contact me as soon as possible to verify your attendance.  I need all entries by Oct. 25th, NO LATE entries due to the need to develop a flow chart of records.  Also, due to the time limits, when it’s your time to lift, you need to be ready!  We will be moving quickly!!  No chain lifts, only platform lifts!

Be a part of the record day to beat all record days!

Here is my contact info:

Thom Van Vleck

tvanvleck@yahoo.com

660 341 1755

Meet Reminder – GOLD CUP

by Al Myers

2010 IAWA Gold Cup Meet Director Frank Ciavattone

The entry deadline is approaching FAST for this years Gold Cup on November 6th.  Meet Director  Frank Ciavattone was very generous in setting the deadline as late as possible, with the closing date being October 23rd.   That is only TWO WEEKS prior to the meet, and should give everyone enough time to get their entry in on time.

The Gold Cup is an IAWA sanctioned event, and rotates between the countries affiliated with the International All-Round Weightlifting Association.  It is quite an honor and opportunity to compete in it when it is held in the States.  It may be several more years before it is again.  Lets take this opportunity and show the Gold Cup the support it deserves and in doing so, demonstrate the strength of the USAWA.

Entry forms are available under “IAWA Gold Cup” in the USAWA Future Event listing on the right column of the website.

World Championships

by Al Myers

2010

IAWA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS

CHAD ULLOM WORLD’S BEST LIFTER

Group picture of the participants in the 2010 IAWA World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

Chad Ullom put together the perfect meet and captured this year’s most coveted prize in All-Round Weightlifting – Best Overall Lifter at the IAWA World Championships.  Chad was in the best lifting shape he has ever been in and put up some HUGE LIFTS throughout the two days of lifting.  On day one, he did the highest (poundage wise) Steinborn Lift in the USAWA Record List  and tied the best in the IAWA Record List (with our IAWA President Steve Gardner) with a Steinborn Lift of 200 kilograms.  It was a truly inspiration lift!  He then did a 210 kg Continental to Belt, followed by the next day a Trap Bar Deadlift of 265 kilograms (his personal best).   He also had the top Total of the meet, with a combined two-day poundage of 1015 kilograms.   There was not a single event that Chad struggled with – he is a WELL-DESERVING CHAMPION!!!

Chad Ullom pulls 265 kilograms (584 pounds) in the Trap Bar Deadlift on way to winning the Overall Best Lifter at the 2010 IAWA All-Round Weightlifting World Championships.

This was my second opportunity to compete in Glasgow, Scotland (the first being the 2006 IAWA World Championships).  Both times I have been overly impressed with the meet, with credit going to Meet Director George Dick and the Castlemilk Gym crew.  These guys are the BEST!!  They deserve a “pat on the back” for a job well-done.  I want to mention some of these guys  – Willie Wright, Andy Tomlin, David McFadzean, and Matt Finkle.   Your club unity really impressed me.  That is what All-Round Weightlifting SHOULD be all about!   I greatly appreciated the arrangements you made for all of us  to meet the Provost at the formal reception Saturday night in the City Chambers.   That is a memory that none of the lifters will ever forget.

Another highlight of the weekend was seeing our one-and-only Art Montini receiving the AWARD OF MERIT, an award specially given by IAWA President Steve Gardner, to recognize Art’s longtime commitment to the IAWA.  This was the first-such award ever given and to a very WELL-DESERVING RECIPIENT (I will elaborate more on this in a future story).   I also want to point out the outstanding performances by “the youngsters” in attendance.  Robbie and Chris Hughes really impressed me with their lifting (especially their Trap Bar Deadlifts), along with Big Wade Smith, who was in the 125+ class at only 18 years of age! (And yes Wade – I noticed when you put up a bigger 1-Hand Dumbbell Press than me!!)  I was glad to finally meet Mark Price.  Mark is a newcomer to the All-Rounds and is a REAL POWERHOUSE, and he has to ability to be VERY SUCCESSFUL with a little more time.  He did a very good Steinborn Lift of 150 kilograms, and squatted it with ease!!  It was great to see Steve Sherwood back in action. Steve has had a long career in the IAWA, but he has been missing the past few years from International competition.  Now Steve is 59 years old, but looks like he has not taken a day off from training in his entire life .  He was VERY PROFICIENT in his lifting technique, and put up great lifts in everything.  What can I say about Gerry Davidson??  (besides not being able to understand a word he says,  lol).   Gerry is 74 years old and solid muscle.  He is a ferocious lifter on the platform, and gives every max lift 100%.  He took a hard fall on the Clean and Push Press, but got up, brushed it off, and went back to lifting (it didn’t faze him!!).  It was great to see Frank Allen back in action again after being sidelined last year with a hip replacement.  He looked in great shape, and really surprised me with his 145 kilogram Continental to Belt.  Dennis Mitchell  has not missed many World Competitions, and again showed his grit, by setting MORE records on fourth attempts than anyone else in the entire meet (total 4).   Denny Habecker was solid as ever, again making the top ten.  It was great catching up with my old friends Steve Andrews and Roger Davis. These two have a WEALTH of information on All-Round Weightlifting and I learn something new with every visit with them.   I HAVE to mention the outstanding lifting in the women’s division, with veteran Agnes McInally taking the overall honors.

I wish I had enough time to talk about EVERY LIFTER in the meet (I got stories on EVERYONE).  I want to sum it up by saying – the lifting was superb, the meet was well organized, and a good time was had by all.

Men’s Top Ten

1.  Chad Ullom, United States – 825.4 Points

2.  Al Myers, United States – 809.0 Points

3.  Steve Sherwood, England – 807.2 Points

4.  Gerry Davidson, England – 806.6 Points

5.  Steve Andrews, England – 777.6 Points

6.  Roger Davis, England – 744.5 Points

7.  Mark Price, England – 725.9 Points

8.  James Gardner, England – 719.5 Points

9.  Denny Habecker, United States – 713.8 Points

10. Robbie Hughes, Scotland – 680.9 Points

Women’s Top Three

1.  Agnes McInally, Scotland – 577.3 Points

2.  Nicola Hughes, Scotland – 480.4 Points

3.  Kim Rawling, England – 356.5 Points

MEET RESULTS

Dates:  October 2nd and 3rd

Location:  Castlemilk Gym, Glasgow, Scotland

Meet Director:  George Dick

M/C Recorder: Steve Gardner

Assistants: Judy Habecker and Chris Bass

Drug Testing: Frank Allen

Referees: Andy Tomlin, Chad Ullom, James Gardner,  Mathew Finkle,  Steve Andrews,Dennis Mitchell, Denny Habecker,  Bill Wright,  Chris Ross, Gerry Davidson,  Frank Allen,  Karen Gardner,  David McFadzean

Lifts:

Day 1:  Clean and Push Press, Barbell Snatch – One Arm, Continental to Belt, Steinborn Lift

Day 2:  Cheat Curl, Dumbbell Press – One Arm, Trap Bar Deadlift

Chad and I donned our kilts and made a toast to show our spirit of celebrating the Championships in Scotland.

Best Lifter Awards:

Best Junior Robbie Hughes (Sco)
Best Female Agnes McInally (Sco)
Best Open Lifter Chad Ullom (USA)
Best Master 40+ Al Myers (USA)
Best Master 45+ Mark Price (Eng)
Best Master 50+ Steve Andrews (Eng)
Best Master 55+ Steve Sherwood (Eng)
Best Master 60+ George Dick (Sco)
Best Master 65+ Denny Habecker (USA)
Best Master 70+ Gerry Davidson (Eng)
Best Master 75+ Denny Mitchell (USA)
Best Master 80+ Art Montini (USA)

BEST OVERALL LIFTER

1st Chad Ullom (USA)

2nd Al Myers (USA)

3rd Steve Sherwood (Eng)

Special Award: The IAWA Award of Merit, presented to Art Montini (for services to all round weightlifting) by IAWA President Steve Gardner

PDF of Meet Results:

World Champs 2010 Day1 World Champs 2010 Day2 World Champs 2010 Both Days

Make it “Official”

by Thom Van Vleck

Phil Jackson judging in the 1960's

I guess I’m officially “OLD”.  I went to a funeral the other day and was upset with the clothes people wore.  They were in jeans, sweat pants, jeans with holes in them, etc.  I was in a suit and tie.  I was there to show respect.

I guess I’m old school and I like to show respect. I respect my elders, my betters, ladies….errr…women.  Because that is how I was raised.  I open doors for older folks (seems to be fewer of those every year…don’t understand why!?).  I stop when I see someone needs help.  I greet folks with a handshake and acknowledge them in some appropriate way when I can.  In general, I’m nice…..Ok, MOST of the time I’m nice.

I was going through some old pictures recently and came across one of Phil Jackson judging a meet in the 1960’s.  He was wearing a suit and tie.  I asked him about it and he acted like that was a stupid question!  He said all the judges wore respectable clothes back then.  He said it made the meet look better, like there was something going on, but most of all it was showing respect to the honorable position of being a judge.  I would also point out that Phil had lifted in that meet and changed to judge the later classes.

Now,  I’ve judged meets in jeans and a t-shirt so I’m not casting stones here (but I will in regards to that funeral….that just made me mad!).  I would be curious what other members of the USAWA think about this.  I’ll guess that if you are over 40, you think that a judge should look the part and at least look half way decent and if you are under 30 you could care less as long as the job gets done.  Ages 30-40 are probably in the middle!!

Log onto the USAWA Discussion Forum and let me know and I’ll follow this article up with the results.

JWC: The Pro Football Connection Part III

by Thom Van Vleck

John Ware: 49'er Prospect and World Champion Powerlifter

There are a couple more names I’ll associate with the JWC and Pro Football. One is a stretch, but the other is not.

In the 80’s NMSU had a player named Mike Morris.  He was strong, I mean really strong.  I recall him squatting 770lbs and back then in college that was pretty serious….well….it STILL is.  I worked out with him a few times and was in awe of his strength.  Later, he would play almost two decades in the NFL as a long snapper and at one time, in the MILO Strength Journal, there was a story on him basically calling him the STRONGEST man in pro football.  Since then, I have become friends with Mike Baab.  Mike Baab played many years in the NFL and at one point he and Morris were on the same team.  I was “trying to impress” Mike with some name dropping and mentioned Morris.  Baab said, “Yeah, that guy was really strong, but he had ‘powerlifter’ legs”.  I asked what that meant, and Baab smiled and said, “He ran like he had a 45lb plate strapped to each foot!”.  Then Baab said, “But you don’t need to be fast to be a long snapper”.  I have tried to reach Mike a couple of times with no luck.  He does radio work for the Vikings now so I’m guessing I probably don’t carry much clout with him anymore…..if ever!

Then, there was Big John Ware who was a top powerlifter for many years and for the 20 years he was in Kirksville he was a good, close friend and often training partner of mine, who came to my house often.  We shared an interest in strength sports and football.  John had an undergrad degree in psychology and a Master’s in Counseling, and we attended the same Master’s program but at different times.  We had many conversations on the topic of  psychology.  He was a very intelligent guy.  I’ll never forget how I found out about his passing at age 46.  Just before I left for the 2005 Masters World Championships (highland games) I had called John.  He was in Joplin coaching Missouri Southern and they had a game at Truman in Kirksville coming up, and we were going to get together.  He was very encouraging and told me he wanted to hear how things were going with me when I got back.  When I got off the plane on my return, my wife had left me a message asking me to call her ASAP….and I got the bad news.

John was an All American Football player at Drake University.  He was signed by the San Francisco 49′ers (kind of ironic) and made it to the final cut.  John told me later that he realized at that point he could be a world champion powerlifter, or a mediocre pro football player, and he chose greatness.  He then added that if the money would have been there like it is now…..powerlifting may not have had one of it’s greatest champs!!!  During that time, I got to workout a lot with John.  He had one buddy named Dennis McKnight that came back often to train with us.   McKnight played at Drake and then logged over 10 years in the NFL.

During the time I trained with him he was a 5 time National Champ in Powerlifting and he was the 1991 World Champ.  He probably would have won more World Championships but they were always in the fall and as a football coach….he could not take time off in the fall.  His most legendary feat was breaking Bill Kazmaier’s world record in the total.  His best lifts were a 1000lb squat (I once spotted him do a triple with 985lbs).  I probably spotted him hitting over 600lbs on the bench a couple dozen times, including at triple with 600 one time.

John did share with me that he used a lot of drugs, including steroids.  He told me that he was certain it was the cause of his heart problems (he died of a heart attack at age 46).  He was also unapologetic.  He felt that all the same guys he beat while on steroids he could have beaten off steroids (assuming they were on them, too, and I think all the “greats” of that day were on them).  John commented to me he never claimed to be drug free and that when he started them in the 70’s, the culture was very different than it is now and they weren’t aware of all the dangers.  He told me if he had started 10 years later, he would probably never would have used them.

John did train in the JWC gym, unlike Morris, as did Glen Jacobs.  Jacobs was better known as the pro wrestler KANE!  But that, my friends, is another story!  I only mention him here because he was a Chicago Bear prospect but could not pass their physical so he went into the crazy world of Pro Wrestling!

That’s the JWC connection to the world or Pro Football!  It’s not much, but we are proud of it!

JWC: The Pro Football Connection: Part II

by Thom Van Vleck

Press clipping after the NFC Championship Game

Tom Geredine was a wide receiver for NMSU and was actually picked ahead of Lenny by the Falcons.  He ended up playing for the Falcons for two years and the LA Rams for one.  He was never a starter, but he did have one great game on a Monday night that had Howard Cosell fired up.  It was November 19, 1973 and Tom was at wide receiver.  He had three receptions of 52 yards as a back up, making it has 2nd best game as a pro.  The catches were at clutch times and helped the Falcons beat the Vikings 20 to 14.  That was a year the Vikings went to the Super Bowl and that was only one of two loses they suffered that year….an upset!

Then, there was Lenny.  Lenny played Pro football for 9 years. Six years as a Bengal and his coach was the legendary Paul Brown.  An assistant was this guy named Bill Walsh…..that will be important later!  Lenny played with the Browns but after 6 years his knees were getting banged up and he was released.  Bill Walsh had since become the coach of the 49ers and saw something special in Elliott.  He picked him up and Lenny came to the 49ers as a third stringer.

Then, came “The Catch”.  In the 1981 season, the year the 49er’s won their first Super Bowl, the “niners” found themselves  in the NFC Championship game against the great Dallas Cowboys who had made a habit of winning Super Bowls in the 70’s.  You have to remember, at this time the 49er’s were losers, they had never been to a Superbowl and they had some rookie QB named Joe Montana that everyone said at the time was too small and didn’t have a strong enough arm.  Then came a 4th quarter drive that Joe Montana would become famous for. Walsh knew the Cowboys would be looking for the pass so he looked down the bench and got a washed up running back (Lenny) who had been cut from the team, and only recently picked back up, and began to feed him the ball.  Lenny set up that Catch, and right before the catch, ALMOST scored a touchdown that would have meant the catch never happened!   If you are a fan, you remember “The Catch”, but did you know that Lenvil Elliott, JWC member, was the MVP of that NFC Championship game?  He set up that play and it was his finest hour as a player.  He did not play in the Superbowl and his bad knees forced him to retire the next year…so it was his last game.  A story fit for a movie!

Here’s another layer to this story.  There was a book called “The Catch” by Gary Myers.  In it he talks about this famous moment in football and characterizes it as the moment when Pro Football became bigger than Pro Baseball in America.  It was the moment when Pro Football became AMERICA’S GAME.  In the book, there’s a point where Gary Myers states that the “unsung hero” of that game was really Lenvil Elliott.  I like to believe that the training Lenny got from my Uncle helped his career and led to that moment.  I guess I don’t just believe it….I know it.

I recall many fun times with Lenny.  He was a nice guy.  He gave me his training camp shirt one year and I wore that my entire Senior year of high school….until it was in tatters!   We have a family cabin that we all often went to and used.  Lenny often brought his Pro Football friends out to get away from it all.  My Uncle Phil said they liked the fact he treated them like they were regular guys.  One of those guests was named “Walt” from Chicago.  You guessed it….Walter Payton.  My Uncle Phil said that when he left after a weekend of hunting he commented that he appreciated Phil not making a big deal about him and he offered him an autographed photo.  Phil told me that he turned him down and told him the joy of his company was enough.   Later, Lenny told Phil that Walter said he really liked Phil and our family cabin.  I recall lots of “big guys” coming out and Phil telling me to treat them like regular guys.  We did and we had a blast.

That’s only part of the JWC Pro football legacy….how about Part III??!!

JWC: The Pro Football Connection Part I

by Thom Van Vleck

Lenvil Elliot: JWC member and Super Bowl winner!

I had thought about titling this article: How the JWC made Football America’s Game over baseball.  That’s quite a claim, isn’t it?   Well, it’s true!  First, let me talk a little about Lenvil “Lenny” Elliot and the rest of the the Pro football players that came out of the JWC.

Lenny came to school at Northeast Missouri State University, which is now Truman State, here in Kirksville in the fall of 1969.   My Uncle Phil returned from Vietnam after a stint in the Air Force and started school in 1971.   Phil already had two years of credits so they were both Juniors.  They were both in school to be Physical Education teachers so they took a lot of classes together.  They began to train together, but more than that, they shared a love of hunting and fishing and spent nearly every weekend doing just that for the next two years.  That was the source of their real friendship.

At this time my Uncle Phil aspired to be a football trainer, maybe even for a professional team, and Lenny was on track to play in the NFL.  So they had a lot in common and Phil often shared his unique training philosophy with Lenny and personally trained Lenny for a year and a half before the NFL draft.  Phil had the JWC in the basement of his house and basically it was the only gym in town.  He told me he got enough in membership dues to pay the rent on the whole house!

Northeast Missouri State was in a “golden” era in football. In 1969, 1970, and 1971 they won the MIAA conference and out of those teams they had 5 players drafted into Pro football.   This included four that were trained by Phil!  Besides Lenny, there was Tom Geredine who was drafted into the NFL.  Then, in the WFL there was Craig O’Sadnick and Marvin Robinson.  Phil designed training programs for them for the off season (it was unusual to train in the offseason back then) and they lifted at the JWC gym.

This is remarkable in a couple of ways.  Northeast (or Truman as it is now known) had about 10 players EVER play pro football.  That means that the 5 that came out of this group was HALF of that total.  Pretty amazing and I have often wondered how much the training they got from Phil helped.  I think it had to help!  I was just a kid, but I recall Phil, Lenny, and the guys hanging out, and hitting the town.  Phil has a lot of stories…after all, it was the 70’s and the school has always been about two thirds girls for it’s enrollment!

Next: Part II  The JWC, Walter Payton, Winning a Super bowl, and Pro football becoming America’s Game.

Meet John O’Brien

by Thom Van Vleck

John O'Brien, of the JWC, is a World Class short-steel bender. In this picture, he displays an IronMind Red Nail which he just bent!

John O’Brien is a USAWA member, a good Highland Games thrower, a great lifter, and a world class short steel bender. Most of all, he’s my friend, training partner and Jackson Weightlifting Club member.  For most of the past decade we have been traveling to USAWA meets, Highland Games, Strongman Contests, Highlander meets, but most importantly he is a member of our evangelism team.  John is also a chemistry professor at Truman State and likes to say he’s trying to change the image of “nerds” everywhere.  He’s certainly the biggest, strongest “nerd” I’ve ever met!

John is  a low key guy.  He doesn’t get too fired up and has come across as being more than a little intimidating due to his size and quiet demeanor. Which is funny when you know he’s one of the nicest guys you could meet.   One  time, we went to a local fast food restaurant and the cashier, a young teen boy, was ready to take John’s order.  He was looking at John, all 6′3″ and 290lbs of him, and said, “Do you work out”?  John looked at him and in his usual economy of words said, “Yes”.  The kid looked him up and down again and said, “You scare me”.  I died laughing.  John is the quiet guy in the room that seems to intimidate people because not only is he big and decidedly strong looking, but you don’t quite know what’s on his mind.  And you won’t know unless you ask him directly!  Another funny story was the time when he would bend 60 penny nails during labs as practice.  Finally the Dean came to him and said he had to stop as the students were too scared to approach him and ask him questions as he bent nail after nail and tossed them in a pile!

I get a kick out of him and over the years have collected a list of top ten “Johnisms”.  When John does say something, it’s usually pretty well thought out and funny if you know him.  If you’ve never met him, they are still funny, but you have to imagine someone saying these in the most low key, matter of fact manner.

1.  You don’t have to be smiling to be happy. (Because John rarely smiles and people often ask him if he’s “OK”)

2. I’m not anti-social, I’m ASOCIAL…..there’s a difference.

3. People  don’t know how to take me and that’s the way I like it.

4. I may not be cheerful….but I’m always prepared. (Did I mention he’s a boy scout troop leader?)

5. You want a better grade in my class?  Then study Harder.

6. Yes, I know how to make nitro-glycerin and no I won’t….it’s very unstable.

7. You have to be careful regarding the chemicals you order….or the ATF or DEA will call.

8.  I like energetic reactions.

9. I have blown off an eyebrow doing experiments…..twice.

10. There was an explosion at the lab over the weekend…..I checked, it wasn’t mine this time.

John is one strong guy.  He has won the Master’s Class at the last two Highlander Nationals.  He always does well at any strength sport he tries because not only is he strong, he’s one of the best athletes I’ve ever met.  He can bend short steel with the best of them and easily bent an Ironmind Red Nail.  He can easily squeeze a pop can until it explodes and is our “go to” guy in our strongman evangelism shows when we need a heavy lift done.  We have sure had a lot of fun doing what we do!

But most of all, he’s one of the “characters” that make up the Jackson Weightlifting Club and the USAWA.  Next time you see him, say hello….don’t be afraid!

Chris James – Strength Athlete Extraordinaire

by Malcolm Whyatt, D.Phy., M.A.I.C, Historian of Physical Culture

Chris James, of 201 Margam Road, Margam, Port Talbot, S. Wales UK SA132AB

Chris was born 29th July 1970 and is married to Paula and they have 3 children. I first heard about Chris in 1998. I had been judging a contest and afterwards, a member of the audience thought I might be interested in a young man who was setting some remarkable feats of strength. Also, that he had recently nearly lost his life.

Chris James with the Millennium Dumbbell. The Millennium Dumbbell weighs 226 pounds. The hand grip circumference is 7 3/4 inches. The hand grip diameter is 2 3/8 inches and the handle is 3 inches. This picture was taken at the OHF Hall of Fame Dinner in 2002.

As the founder of the Oscar Heidenstam Foundation one of our awards is the Dr.Tom Temperley award. This is for those who having suffered trauma, continue to inspire others by outstanding endeavour. From my initial enquiries it was clear that Chris was a more than worthy honouree.

In December 1998 late at night, he was walking home with a friend when an unknown assailant stabbed Chris in the lumbar spine. The 9 inch knife missed his kidneys and spleen but the repair to his Colon and abdominal wall, left a scar from his pubic bone to the sternum. The surgeon said it was a million to one chance that he wasn’t killed and only his muscle density saved him. A normal person would almost certainly not be alive today. 8 weeks later he was back in light training and 3 weeks later, March 1999, we honoured Chris at the 8th annual OHF Hall of Fame Dinner. He impressed everyone by his refreshing modesty and surprised me on the night when I enquired about his hand grip strength. Quite casually he picked up the No:3 IronMind Captains of Crush Gripper and with audible clicks closed them for 3 reps with either hand!

At the 9th OHF Dinner 2000, Chris who at the time weighed 16st 4lbs, cleaned two handed the Thomas Inch Dumbell and single handed, push pressed it over head at 11.30pm. The first man in history to do so and witnessed by David Webster, myself and 60 of 179 guests. Earlier in the evening, he had also cleaned and single handed pressed John Citrones’ famous 112lbs blacksmiths anvil and did 20reps with the ships 92lbs anchor! Just for a laugh, Chris also cleaned & pressed his father overhead for 15 reps. (All above is on OHF Video No:6) His father Eddy, born 1944, share the same birthday 29th July and who won the 1994 Drug Free world power lifting championship and recently on the dead lift, did 11 reps with 400lb (age 59yrs, weight 12stone (210lbs), height 5ft 8inches). His father Wilf Len James, was a famous strongman and mentioned David Websters’ book Sons of Samson.

Chris James clean and pressing John Citrone's famous Blacksmiths Anvil, which weighs 115 pounds. This picture was taken at the OHF Hall of Fame Dinner in 2000.

At 13yrs Chris trained in his garden, became the schools boxing champ and a Karate black belt. He works at a Steel Foundry and where workmen often ask him to try lifting various items. Two examples are that he cleaned and did 10 reps with a 2inch diameter railway axle weighing 260bs and with either of his little fingers, curled a locomotive coupling; which normally takes two men to lift. Chris trains at local a youth club Tai Bach (little House); which has 3,000lbs of Olympic & free weights plus block weights, scrap iron, axles, chains etc.

He is 6ft tall and varies his bodyweight from 16 stone to 21stone Absolutely DRUG FREE he doesn’t use a lifting belt, wraps or other aids. He follows the world of weights with passion and is an avid reader of olde-time strength feats. His main interest is unusual strength lifts; usually for reps and to emulate the feats of Arthur Saxon, Hermann Gӧrner, Louis Cyr, Doug Hepburn and Marvin Eder et al. Seeing is believing! I have a video of Chris in training. His incredible feats almost defies description. Chris James Strength Athlete Extraordinaire.

CHRIS JAMES LIFTING FEATS

All lifts witnessed with many on film and photographed.  Doesn’t use weightlifting belt, straps or other aids. Equipment used: Dumbells, 2 inch diameter bars – main plates 25lbs, Olympic Barbells, 2 inch diameter bar, Pinch Grip, Thumb & first two fingers, Block weight 80lbs – 4ins thick – 6ins wide – 12ins long

PINCH GRIP BLOCK WEIGHT -  80lbs carried 15yards – clean and press – either hand

PINCH GRIP WEIGHT PLATE -  75lbs clean and press – either hand

ONE HANDED DUMBELL SWING & PRESS  -Two 56lbs COAL BLOCK WEIGHTS – 10 reps (112lbs)

ONE HANDED DUMBELL SWING  -  180lbs (Louis Cyr used a 1inch diameter)

ONE HANDED DUMBELL SWING -  110lbs x 48 reps

ONE HANDED BENT PRESS EZ BAR – 242lbs

ONE HANDED BARBELL CLEAN – 275lbs

ONE HANDED BARBELL FARMERS WALK – 350lbs (carried suit case style)

BARBELL FARMERS WALK – One in each hand 300lbs each (carried suit case style), 2 home made oxyacetylene bottles each weighing 165lbs plus 135lbs iron blocks welded on side!

SEATED DUMBELL PRESS – 150lbs x 5 140lbs x 8

STANDING DUMBELL CLEAN & PUSH PRESS – 160lbs x 2 150lbs x 7 140lbs x 12 125lbs x 21 either hand

INCLINE DUMBELL PRESS - 175lbs x 10 x 3 sets

CHINS (full hang) -  200lbs x 4 150lbs x 8

TWO FINGER CHINS – 110lbs x 8

PARALLEL BAR DIPS – 242lbs x 8

ONE HANDED DEADLIFT (overhand grip) – 500lbs x 2 400lbs x 10

STRAIGHT LEGGED DEADLIFTS (overhand grip) – 500lbs x 20

DEADLIFT (overhand grip) – 660lbs x 5

DEADLIFT FROM KNEES (overhand grip) – 1,100lbs x 3

BENCH PRESS – 505lbs x 8 460lbs x 6 420lbs x 10 400lbs x 20 308lbs x 40

INCLINE BENCH PRESS – 400lbs x 5

INCLINE DUMBELL BENCH PRESS  - 175lbs dumbells 10 x 3 sets

STRAIGHT ARM PULLOVER (strict) – 166lbs x 8 (bodyweight 14st 4lbs)

BARBELL CURL (Strict with back against wall) – 210lbs (bodyweight 14st 4lbs)

BARBELL CURL (loose style) – 220lbs x 5 (bodyweight 14st 4lbs)

EZ BAR CURL – 315lbs!

BENT OVER BARBELL ROWS – 400lbs x 5 x 4 sets 360lbs x 5 x 4 sets

BARBELL PUSH PRESS off rack Awesome! – 410lbs x 3 310lbs x 10 250lbs x 20

SQUAT (lift from the bottom of power rack) – 650lbs x 3 580lbs x 10 410lbs x 20

HALF SQUAT – 770lbs x 18 (to protect knees – does not specialise on the squat )

TWO HANDED OVERHEAD LOG LIFT – 300lbs x 20

HOW ABOUT THESE LIFTS BY CHRIS JAMES – ALL WITNESSED & ALSO ON FILM

880lb Barbell at rack high pin – just short of lock out – Press to Lock out and hold (same as John Grimek)

200lb Kit bag of sand plus two 56lbs coal weights inside (312lbs) – Clean and shoulder

Two 125lbs Olympic barbells. Clean one with left hand – bend down, clean the other with right hand, stand up and press both overhead.

The Chain (Die Kette) one of Hermann Gӧrner favourites. One hand dumbell snatch swing, followed by one hand press, followed by a curl or clean to shoulder and then another press. Starting at 50lbs working up to 180lbs – either hand.

One hand barbell snatch Right hand snatch to across left shoulder or left hand snatch to across right shoulder. Start weight 220lbs working up to 232lbs and Chris makes it look easy – either hand.

Continental & Push Press Behind Neck – a favourite of Arthur Saxon. 330lb barbell 2inch thick – hack lift with palms away from body – bend over lift bar to lumbar spine, roll bar to upper back – change to normal hand grip – push bar to nape of neck – Stand up Push press behind neck to lock out – lower bar to neck – push press over head – lower to front of shoulders – lower to floor.

Absolutely awesome! and no W/L belt! This is on film.

Malcolm Whyatt D.Phy., M.A.I.C 12 Nimrod Drive Hereford HR1 1UG England Tel:(01432) 358 339 Tel int +44 (0) 1432) 358 339 E-mail:malcolm@whyatt.plus.com

Alfred Monte Woolaston – AKA Monte Saldo

by Dennis Mitchell

Monte Saldo - displaying a very muscular pose

Alfred Monte Woolaston was born in 1879 in Highgate, London England.  His father, Fredrick Woolaston was a shoe manufacturer, a Methodist preacher, and a faith healer.  Alfred developed an interest in strength at an early age and in his early teens was a member of the London weightlifting club, where he came in contact with many notable lifters.  His family encouraged him, especially his uncle a police inspector, who being very prominent socially, managed to arrange for him to become an apprentice to Eugene Sandow at Sandow’s gym.  Alfred was a hard worker and not only improved his strength, but learned much about performing, while helping Sandow in his stage performances.

In 1900 Alfred teamed up with Ronco, an Italian strongman, and they became “Ronco and Monte” ( Alfred was now known as Monte Saldo ) and opened at the Cafe Chantant, Crystal Palace,  where they were very successful.  After their engagement at the Crystal Palace they went on a tour of Europe where their act so impressed an English theatrical agent they got a six month contract to appear at the Royal Aquarium in Westminster, London.  This was during the “Golden Years of Strongmen”.  It was common for strongmen performers to offer large amounts of money to their spectators if they could duplicate any of their feats of strength.  While they never had to pay anyone, their challenges did result in setting up a contest between Monte and a lifter named Charles Russell.  Russell was the British amateur 140 pound champion.  Russell could not duplicate any of Monte’s stage lifts, however he did challenge Monte to the five lifts used in amateur competition.  Monte accepted the challenge, even though he did not train on these lifts and Russell was the winner.  Monte learned his lesson and never went into another contest until he trained on the contest lifts.  Ronco and Monte’s act was so successful their performance was extended beyond the six months.  At the end of their engagement at the Royal Aquarium, Ronco and Monte ended their partnership.  Ronco went back to Italy and Monte and his brother Frank formed their own act and performed in Dresden, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Saxony, Prague and in Parism where they were regulars at Professor Desbonnet’s gym.  During a performance in Hamburg they were offered a full season contract by Frank Glennister to perform at the London Pavilion.  It was at the Pavilion that Monte would support a car, with passengers, in the support known as “The Tomb of Hercules”.  An amazing feat for a man weighing only 144 pounds.  For a time Monte did a solo act, but in 1906 he and his brother Frank joined up again to perform a new act called “The Sculptor’s Dream” .  The act began with the sculptor admiring his latest work, a statue of a muscular athlete.  The statue was placed before a mirror so that the audience could see both it’s front and back.  The sculptor, tired from his work fell asleep on the studio couch.  At this point the statue came to life and went through a series of poses in front of the mirror so the audience could view both the front and back of the statue.  Suddenly the statue reached through the mirror and pulled out his reflection (his brother Frank) and they did acrobatics, hand to hand balancing, lifting each other and wrestling, all synchronized to music.  As the sculptor woke up the statue and his reflection returned to their original position as the act ended.

Next in the career of Monty, he teamed up with William Bankier (Apollo) and opened the Apollo Academy in London. Their Academy attracted many of the famous lifters and wrestlers of that time.  It was at the Academy that Arthur Saxon did a bent press with 386 pounds.  It was weighed and witnessed by the editor of Health and Strength magazine, Bill Klein, also John Murry and William Bankier (Apollo).  Monte was hailed as one of the best trainers, and next teamed up with Max Sick, who was professionally known as Maxick.  Together they marketed the Maxaldo Method of Muscle Control which was a method of training using no equipment, to improve muscle development, speed and stamina.  The name was later changed to Maxalding, and the course was sold  into the 1970’s.

Monte was active in organizing the British Amateur Weightlifting Association, (BAWLA) and served on the committee for professional lifters.  Monte weighed 144 pounds, stood 5′5″, had a 17″ neck, 45.5″ chest, 16″ arms, 13″ forearms, 30″ waste, 23″ thighs and 15,5″ calves.  He could bent press 230 pounds and was the first man in England to do a one arm swing with more than body weight, doing 150 pounds.  He is credited with showing that the swing was best done with a dumbbell loaded unevenly, with more weight on the back end of the bell.

Monte was a very well educated man.  He was a very good musician, and was fluent in several languages.  World war II was very devastating for Monte’s family.  His wife was killed during a bombing raid on London.  Monty and his daughter, Theresa, were seriously injured, and his son was killed during the invasion of Europe.  Monty never fully recovered from his injuries and the loss of his wife and son.  He passed away at the age of seventy in 1949.

USAWA in Print: Book Review

by Thom Van Vleck

Steve Scott and John Saylor's latest book promotes USAWA members and USAWA lifts.

I recently got an issue of Steve Scott’s latest book.  He wrote it with John Saylor, a well respected martial arts instructor and Champion.  Steve sent me an autographed copy because of what was inside.  I’ll get to that in a moment.  First, let me tell you about Steve.

Steve is one of my best friends and someone I admire greatly.  When I first met Steve he was a top master’s thrower in Scottish Highland Games and was running Highland Games in KC.  Because of Steve, I became friends with Al Myers and Chad Ullom and was introduced to the sport that I’ve enjoyed my greatest athletic success.  For that, I’m very grateful.  Steve’s wife, Becky, also was a top thrower and always at his side in any project he took on.  I then found out that Highland Games were just the tip of the iceberg as far as Steve & Becky were concerned.

Steve was, and still is, a top Judo coach.  He has a widely respected club in Kansas City called the Welcome Mat that has been in operation since 1969.  It has produced National, Pan American,  and World Champs as well as some of the elite men and women in our fighting forces and a Secret Service Agent that was on George W. Bush’s personal detail.  Becky was a National, Pan Am, and World Champ and Steve once told me that Becky could have been an Olympic Champion but back then women did not compete in Judo in the Olympics!

Over the years, Steve has written over a dozen books on martial arts, training, coaching and this one is his best to date in my opinion.  It has a very broad appeal.  My Uncle, Phil Jackson, who is, in my opinion, the most knowledgeable person I ever met in regards to weight training, once told me that the hardest sport all the way around was boxing.  It was mentally, physically, and emotionally draining.  I would say the same applies to all combat sports.  You have to be tough and that comes from how you train.  Steve, with John Saylor, has (in my opinion) created the ultimate resource on Combat training.

This book is HUGE and full of all types of training.   There are over 300 pages of illustrated exercises.  There are detailed explanations of not only how to do the lift, but how to properly train and utilized the lift to fix a weakness. There are workout routines and tons of advice.   I would say that if you wanted to do some off season conditioning for USAWA lifting or Highland Games, this book would be a valuable resource.

Now, I’ll tell you why mine was autographed.  Inside were pictures of me, Al Myers, and Chad Ullom demonstrating some lifts.  Appropriately, it was in the “OLD SCHOOL” training section.  Steve  talks about training wisdom that came from Bill Clark,  and his book even contains an exercise that is a variation of the “Inman Mile”!  I knew Steve had requested the photos, but I had no idea what a first class product he was producing.

Summary of USAWA Team Records

by Al Myers

Two Man Deadlift of 661 pounds by Roy Mason (on left, 76 years old and 151 pounds) and Bill Decker (on right, 76 years old and 161 pounds). This Team Deadlift record was set on January 29th, 1994 at the Texas Deadlift Classic. (photo courtesy of the Meet Director Joe McCoy)

I knew alot of USAWA Team Records were set last weekend at Team Nationals, but I didn’t realize it was the MOST EVER team records set in one day in the history of the USAWA!  A total of 16 USAWA Team Records were set.  The previous best was 12 Team Records set at the 2005 Deadliest Duo Competition, which was slightly ahead of the the 2009 Team Nationals which had 10 records set.   The Team Record List is not near the length of the Individual Record list – only 98 records are recorded for Team Lifts versus over 9000 records for Individual Lifts.  That’s a tad over 1% represented by Team Records in the Total Record List!

This review of Team Records lead to many questions I had – of which I’m going to share the answers with you.

1.  Who has the oldest record in the Team Record List?

Joe McCoy and Bill Drybread teamed up to set several Team Records at the 1989 Nationals Record Day, on June 26th, 1989.  They currently hold together 9 Team Records in these lifts: Team Deadlift, Team Snatch & Clean, Team Snatch and Clean, 1 hand, Team Snatch – One Arm, and Team Clean and Press.

2.  How many 2-Person (man and woman) records are there in the Team Record List?

Only three  2-Person Teams have any records.  In 1996, John McKean teamed with Diane Burger to set a record in the Team Clean and Press at Art’s Birthday Bash.  In 1995, Kerry Clark teamed with Dale Spry to set a 2-Person Team Record in the Deadlift, with a pull of 500 pounds, set at the ‘95 Nationals in Columbia, Missouri. In 2001 at Art’s Birthday Bash, John McKean teamed with Lynne Burnell to lift 405 pounds in the 2-Person Team Jefferson Lift.

3.  Has there ever been any 2-Women Teams set records?

At the 2000 Buckeye Record Breaker, Noi Phumchaona and Anna Holter set the first 2-Women Team Record with 309 pound Team Deadlift.  At the 2003 Buckeye Record Breaker, Carolyn Anderson and Montia Wade teamed up to pull a Team Deadlift of 220 pounds.

4.  Which Team is the Oldest in the Record List?

That honor goes to Roy Mason and Bill Decker, who teamed up for a Team Deadlift in the 75 year old age division at the 1994 Texas Deadlift Classic.

5. Which Team is the Youngest in Record List?

In 1991, the brothers Robbie and Sean McKean teamed up in the 10 year old age division and performed a 265 pound Team Deadlift.

6.  Which Team has the MOST records?

Chad and I have the most at 13 records.  Second place goes to the team of Joe McCoy and Bill Drybread with 9 records.  Third place is a tie with 8 records, with the team of Thom Van Vleck and John O’Brien and the team of Mike Murdock and Rudy Bletscher.

7.  How many different lifts have been contested as Team Lifts?

There has been 21 different lifts contested as Team Lifts.

8.  Which lift has been contested the MOST as a Team Lift?

The Team Deadlift is the most contested Team Lift.

9.  Which Team has lifted the MOST weight in any Team Lift?

That was set this year at the 2010 Team Nationals  when Chad and I lifted 1100 pounds in the 2-Man Trap Bar Deadlift, but that might not last long as I have heard the rumor that the Team Hip Lift may be contested at next year’s Team Nationals.

Dinnie Stones: Who Was Really First?

Jack Shanks, second (or third) to lift the stones without straps

by Thom Van Vleck

I have to admit, I don’t have the patience to do pure research.  The long hours required make my eyes glaze over.  When I read, it goes like this:  I pull a book off a shelf, thumb through it, find something interesting, read it until I get bored, then move on.  As a result, I gather information in bits and pieces and it kind of becomes like a puzzle to me.  Waiting for the next piece to make the overall picture more clear.  I have a lot of “puzzles” going on at once and I kind of like it that way.

As of late, one of these puzzles has been focused on Dave Webster and the Dinnie Stones.  I had wrote most recently about “Darth Vader” lifting the stones and that the article in Ironman was not really clear if Dave Prowse (Darth) lifted the stones with straps or without.  That article was written in the 70’s.  Last night I was reading Webster’s book ” Scottish Highland Games” that was printed in 1973.  In it, he makes the statement on page 131 of Prowse’s feat, “A good feat, but Dave wore hand straps which make a great difference”.

Dave then goes on and details what was certainly the second lifting (if not the third….I’ll explain that later) of the stones without straps.  Now, I realize that Gordon Dinnie, a descendent of Donald, has a website (www.gordondinnie.com) that details lifts, but if you read Webster’s book you find some details that don’t match up….making for an interesting “puzzle”.  These are the details I’m going to focus on.  My intention is not to point out mistakes, because these aren’t mistakes.  My intention is to provide information where I have found it and let you decide.

In Webster’s book he credits Jack Shanks, from Ireland, with lifting the Dinnie Stones “correctly”.  Which Webster explains as lifting both stones with no straps.  What I find funny is that in my mind “correctly” would be to lift the stones and carry them the width (not the length) of the bridge.  However, “correctly” seems to have come to mean simply lifting the stones….or carrying them the prescribed distance!  Gordon Dinnie’s website seems to confirm Shanks feat, but gives him credit with carrying the stones the equivalent distance, which Webster makes no mention of.  Gordon Dinnie also credits Imlach Shearer with lifting the stone assisted two years earlier and unassisted the same year as Shanks (1973).  What Gordon Dinnie does not make explicitly clear is if Shearer did the unassisted lift before or after Shanks.  I say this because Gordon may not have considered Shearer’s feat the same if he simply lifted them while Shanks carried them!

Now,  earlier I mention Jack Shanks being possibly the third man to lift the stones “correctly”.  Webster states in his book that in 1955 in Aberdeen at the “Highland Fling” a 78 year old man named James Law came forward and stated he lifted both stones in 1911, but did not carry them.  So, perhaps he was the second, after Dinnie, to life the stones “correctly”….or perhaps some other man, after a hard days work and a few brews in the Potarch Inn, lifted those stones on a bet or whim and their feat and name is lost to history.  Not to much of a stretch to believe that could have happened!

Then there is the story of when Louis Cyr came to visit Dinnie and they visited the stones.  Dinnie picked up the smaller stone and then carried it a distance.  Cyr did the same and beat Dinnie’s distance.  Webster points out that Dinnie was 63 years old at the time and Cyr was much younger and in his prime, but Webster seems to be clear that Cyr did not lift both.  Webster also tells of a man named William McCombie Smith would regularly lift the bigger stone unassisted and was the only man to do this.  Webster then states that after that, Henry Gray and John Gallagher also lifted the big stone unassisted before Prowse came along.

Another story involved Bill Bangert.  A man from Missouri often credited with bringing Scottish athletics to America and beginning the modern “wave ” of success it has had the past 40 years.  Bangert made a ring and harness to carry the stones that undoubtedly made the feat much easier…..and he received a little grief then and since then for this “cheat lift”.  But he did carry the stones across the road and back and I don’t think he tried to claim he did any more than that!

On another “final” note (at least until I read some more!).  I also read that at one time one of the rings broke and a different ring was attached.  It was not clear which one (the smaller or the larger one) but if it were the smaller ring….that changed the dynamics dramatically.  I lifted each stone individually with straps and that small ring was considerably more difficult.  Then there is the concern that the stones are being slowly chipped away and who knows how much weight they have lost, being dropped over and over.   Maybe they will soon be place in protected custody like the original Apollon’s Railroad Car Wheels, where nobody will ever lift them again!  In which case, we may not ever know  who was first, but we may know who was LAST!

Home Made Equipment

by Thom Van Vleck

Wayne Jackson using a home made Bench Press

In the early days of the Jackson Weightlifting Club there was a lot of  Home Made equipment.  My grandfather said that back in the 20’s, when he and his friends decided to lift weights they had “NO HOPE” of being able to afford real weights so they got scrap iron for the bars and poured cement in buckets to make weights.  They also lifted whatever was handy!  When my Uncles started lifting in the late 50’s, there was more equipment available, but they had the same old problem of being broke!  So they made a lot of their own stuff and got by just fine.  In the photo I’ve included with this story you will see my Uncle Wayne doing “press grip tricep presses” (basically, using the same grip he used for the Olympic Press and keeping his elbows in) on a bench that one of the JWC members made.   If you look closely, the leg on the far left is actually split and it looks like it’s ready to blow!!!!

I recall when I first started training, about 1977, they were tearing a house down nearby.  We went down and Wayne pulled out some old boards that weighed a ton (probably native oak).  We pulled what seemed like hundreds of nails out and then my grandfather Dalton took to making an Incline for Presses.  I’m pretty sure Evel Knievel could have used that thing to jump the Grand Canyon, it was that solid!!!  I also recall getting a splinter or two using that thing and learning that if you do inclines with the uprights in front of you and you can’t lock out the bar….you will be trapped!  Another thing that my Uncle’s made that I still have is a set of squat stands.  The base is a truck wheel and the upright is a truck drive shaft.  The “U joint” makes a nice, natural rest for the bar.   When I first started in the Highland Games, I made a lot of homemade equipment.

I’m sure we all have stories like that.  I have many more, too.  But that’s not my point today.  It’s about desire.  I recall my grandfather telling a story about how when he was a kid there was a man that had a really fast horse and he treated the horse like gold, pampering it, giving it all the best grain, stalls, equipment and most importantly hired someone to train the horse.  He then raced it against another horse that had none of these things but did have an owner that worked hands on with the horse.  The day of the race, the horse that knew his owner and the owner’s desire to win, won over the horse who’s owner was a stranger to him.  The message I got was that desire was the most important ingredient to winning.

I recall one day back in the 70’s a guy begged me to come and train at the old JWC.  He showed up and it was winter and there was no heat in our gym.  It was also dirty and full of home made equipment.  I could tell he was put off by it all.  He never came back and that was no great surprise to me.  If he had the desire, he would have put up with what he had to in order to achieve his goal.

Today, I have a pretty nice gym.  I have some pretty expensive equipment.  But I still lift off those old squat stands from time to time to remember that story.  To remember that if I have don’t have desire, all the fancy equipment in the world won’t save me when (as my Granddad used to say) “the shoe leather meets the road”.   A little adversity is a good thing!

Team Nationals

2010 USAWA TEAM NATIONALS

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2010 USAWA Team Nationals. Front row left to right: Rudy Bletscher, and Mike Murdock. Back row left to right: Mark Mitchell, Scott Tully, Al Myers, and Chad Ullom.

Chad and I were able to successfully defend our title of  USAWA Team National Champions, but not without serious competition this year.  This, without a doubt, has to be the most successful Team Nationals to date in terms of competitors and quality of competition.  I haven’t counted the records set yet, but I am willing to bet that more USAWA Team Records were set in this meet compared to any other meet in USAWA history.  Fellow Dino Gym members Mark Mitchell and Scott Tully formed a team, along with a pair of very strong 70 plus year olds, Mike Murdock and Rudy Bletscher.  It is interesting to note that all the teams had team members that were very comparable in size and strength to each other.  Having  team partners that are compatible in strength, lifting style, and body size is essential in order for a team to perform optimally.

Mark Mitchell and Scott Tully with their 450 pound Team Maxey Press.

The first lift of the day was the Maxey Press, done in honor and remembrance of Bob Maxey, who was a founding member of the Dino Gym and who this lift is named after.  The Maxey Press is a strict press from the rack using the Fulton Bar. Mark and Scott stole the show here as they got an easy 450#, and then called for 500#.  Truly a huge team press!  They missed it by inches at lockout.  Both of these guys are 250-300# strict pressers, but just had their timing off a little lifting together.  The next lift was the Hands Together Bench Press.  This lift is tricky when performing it alone, but as a Team Lift  really provides a challenge.  Mark and Scott ended with 570#, but had more in them.  They just ran out of attempts.  The next lift was the Team Rectangular Fix.  Mike and Rudy showed true grit in this one, as they did a lift of 160 pounds.  When tabulating the points, I realized that these two scored the most points in this lift of all the teams.  They had adjusted points in the Rectangular Fix of 173 points, compared to 157 points for Chad and me, and 152 points for Mark and Scott.  That is something they should be proud of!

Rudy Bletscher and Mike Murdock - A pair of very strong lifters over the age of 70 years.

The last lift of the day was the Team Trap Bar Deadlift.  I had made a custom-designed Trap Bar for this occasion to accommodate this lift.  I told the guys whoever lifted the most would probably have a World Record since I doubt this lift has ever been contested before, anywhere.  The comp was very close at this point, with Mark and Scott leading Chad and me by only 10 points.  So this Team Nationals came down to the LAST EVENT to be decided!  Chad and I opened with 915 pounds while Mark and Scott decided to break the 1000 pound barrier on their opener with 1005 pounds.  This put them in the drivers seat over us.  Chad and I then matched them with a 1005 pound pull.  They decided to call for 1100 pounds to really put the pressure on us, so Chad and I were forced to do the same.  They missed it ever so close, and then  Chad and I pulled it for the win. A dramatic finish!

This was a great day for the USAWA.  I want to thank Darren Barnhart for officiating, and for my Dad LaVerne and old-time Olympic Weightlifting champ Dave Hahn for showing up to watch this ordeal.  Team Nationals is a very unique competition that I am surprised not more lifters want to take part in.   It challenges you in different ways than typical solo lifting competitions.  Even though next year’s Team Nationals is a year away, I invite everyone now  to take part in this event next year.

Al Myers and Chad Ullom with a 1100 pound Team Trap Bar Deadlift.

RESULTS:

Teams:

1. Al Myers (253# & 44 years old) and Chad Ullom (245# & 38 years old)  – 115 kg Class & Open Division

2. Mark Mitchell (357# & 49 years old) and Scott Tully (344# & 34 years old) – 125+ kg Class & Open Division

3. Mike Murdock (230# & 70 years old) and Rudy Bletscher (216# & 74 years old) – 105 kg Class & 70-74 Age Division

Official (one official system used):  Darren Barnhart

Team Lifts:  Maxey Press, Bench Press – Hands Together, Rectangular Fix, and Trap Bar Deadlift

Lifters Maxey Bench Rec Fix Trap DL Total Points
Al Myers

Chad Ullom

400 500 200 1100 2200 1734.92
Mark Mitchell

Scott Tully

450 570 215 1005 2240 1592.42
Mike Murdock

Rudy Bletscher

200 210 160 585 1155 1252.96

Notes: All lifts recorded in pounds.  Total is total weight in pounds lifted.   Points are adjusted points for bodyweight and age correction.

Concepts on General Weight Training

(Over the years, my Uncle Phil Jackson has been my coach, but also much more than that.  He has been my guru, my father figure, and a best friend.  Phil has coached numerous state champs, bodybuilding champs, and he ran a couple of gyms.  He met all the greats of yesteryear including Bill Pearl, Paul Anderson, John Grimek, and many more.  He also has a degree in Physical Education and has maintained his teaching certificate.   He shared thoughts and ideas with these men and has a wealth of knowledge that  today’s lifter might view as old fashioned, but I think USAWA members realize that the old timers knew what they were doing. He sent me this routine some time ago typed upon his manual typewriter back in 1969. – Thom Van Vleck)

Concepts on General Weight Training

by Phil Jackson

Weight training is possibly the greatest supplement an athlete can add to his training schedule.  Yet it can also be the worst mistake he could ever make.

Weight training applied properly can add strength, endurance, speed, and a certain degree of flexibility.  If it is not applied properly you may find yourself somewhat stronger than you were before but your athletic performance has not increased and in some cases even decreased primarily due to a lack of flexibility.  For example, you could give a baseball pitcher a weight training schedule that was too heavy, lacking full range movement that would ruin his pitching arm.  Yet you carefully design a schedule using weights to strengthen his throwing muscles, and it will improve his pitching.

Perhaps it would be a good idea to make a distinction between the terms weight lifting and weight training.  Weightlifting is the process of lifting weight primarily for the purpose of increasing muscle size and strength, with no regard to athletic performance, where as weight training is the process of training with weights for the purpose of increasing strength for the purpose of athletic performance.

Most of us as coaches will be using weight training for the purpose of increasing strength for athletic performance, yet at the same time one should strive for as much flexibility as possible in the weight schedule.  This is usually provided by emphasizing the stretch with the movement. I would like to demonstrate just a few of these exercises and the whole purpose here is the stretch technique use whenever possible: Bench Press to Neck, Deadlift off bench, Lunges to floor, One arm tricep extension, Wrist Curls, Straight Arm Pullovers, Seated Twist (always first), and Calf Raises.

Two biggest mistakes you can make, Compare yourself to others and directly applying others technique to you…you find what works for you.

As a coach, when you’re making up weight training schedules for your athletes there are 7 concepts which will help.

1. Cardiovascular: Increasing and maintaining heart rate

2.  Respiratory: How you control your breathing in an athletic event, holding breath, releasing it, and breathing control.

3. Stamina: Ability to go day after day

4. Endurance: Ability to go as near 100% in a one day event, continuous ability to perform at a high level

5. Muscle Twitch: stretching just beyond the normal range.  Very determined by the specific sport.  Increasing the ability to Explode (Phil calls it muscle snap).

6.  Flexibility: All kinds of stretching for active recovery, teaching the muscle to relax for performance improvements, getting in touch with the muscle.  Increased the range of motion and muscle twitch.

7.  Complete training: building the minor muscles and foundation muscles for the specific sport event.

Uncle Phil

by Thom Van Vleck

Phil Jackson (R) arm wrestling in the old JWC gym

A lot of you guys hear me mention my “Uncle Phil” and a few of you have asked me to tell you more about him (some of the old timers still around like Bill Clark, Charles Scott, and Wilbur Miller will remember him personally) .  He is Phil Jackson and he’s the one really responsible for the Jackson Weightlifting Club today.  He is also the source of most of my training knowledge.  He has been a father figure, a friend, an mentor, a coach, and sometimes agitator!  The photo above was when Phil was just a teen.  He was a fantastic arm wrestler and says he was NEVER beaten and I can find no one who says they did!   Phil’s main passion was Olympic lifting and Bodybuilding.  He had a disdain for powerlifters calling them “Olympic lifting rejects”, but that was mostly good natured (at least I think it was!).

My grandfather initially started the JWC in 1928 with his brother in law, Coda Baugher, and some friends.  But to be honest, this was just some neighborhood friends hanging out and lifting weights and it quickly broke up as they grew up and left home.  However, my grandfather would tell the stories to my Uncles and they started lifting in 1957.  Initially, it was my Uncle’s Leroy and Wayne.  Phil was the “baby” of the family and started a couple years later.

Leroy was a star athlete and interested in weights only to benefit his other interests in football, basketball, baseball, and track and he was very successful in those sports.  But Wayne took an interest in Olympic lifting and entered his first contest in April of 1962 (run by Bill Clark) and out of that, the modern JWC was born!  Phil was always the “go getter”, the guy that would pull everyone together to train, compete, and put up money for contests.  He soon rounded up over 30 members to the newly named JWC and fielded teams that traveled to dozens of meets across the Midwest during the 60’s.  During that time, the JWC won two team state championships in Olympic lifting against teams from St. Louis and Kansas City.  Phil lifted on those teams but he was always the “coach” and main motivator. Phil has always been an “old school” type coach.  If he thinks making you mad will make you better….prepare to be madder than you’ve ever been.  Phil knows how motivate people, one way or the other!!!!  He used his coaching lessons later in life to win 42 out of 42 consecutive sales awards during his career as a sales manager for a large insurance company.

In 1965 Phil earned a unusual distinction.  That year he entered the Missouri High School State Championships in Olympic Lifting, held in Kansas City that year.  At that time Phil was around 17 years of age and he lifted either 165lbs or 181lbs.  He became adept at making weight when he had to.  He had an ongoing battle with another lifter and Phil was going to make a point of beating him at this meet.  He thought this fella was going to lift in the 165lb class so Phil (already with a qualifying total in another meet at 165) cut weight and showed up to lift on the first day.  That day, the 114lb, 123lb, 145lb, and 165lb classes were due to lift on Saturday.  The other guy found out about this and gained up to lift 181lbs obviously trying to avoid the confrontation.  Phil lifted 165lbs and won, but the other guy started talking some trash about how he was “lucky” Phil had avoided certain defeat had he entered that class.  So Phil showed up on Sunday to weigh in, having hit the buffet and downing a gallon of milk to make the 181lb class.

Phil had a qualifying total at 181 and stated he wanted to lift.  The officials told he he couldn’t and Phil said, “Show me in the rules where it says I can’t”!! The officials couldn’t find any rule so decide to let him lift….much the the chagrin of his “rival”.  Phil hit the exact same total as the previous day and won!  Two state titles in two weight classes…..the same YEAR!  The following year, the AAU made a rule explicitly forbidding anyone from doing that again.  While no one named Phil as the reason for the rule….it always seemed there had to be a connection.  Later, all other lifting organizations, as they developed, lifted that rule from the AAU rule book and today it’s standard in all lifting organizations.

In March of 1966, Phil was going to be drafted so he joined the Air Force.  He was soon after sent to Vietnam for a year where he poured himself into his training as an escape and got into the best shape of his life.  When he came back from Vietnam he was stationed in Alabama where he met and trained with greats such as Joe Dube, Frank Zane (although Phil always called him “chicken legs Zane”), Boyer Coe, Casey Viator, and Karo Whitfield to name a few.  He also met and had a long personal conversation with Paul Anderson during this time.

In 1969 Phil came back to Kirksville to attend Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State) and during that time him and my Uncle Wayne achieved some of their greatest strength lifts.  In 1971 Wayne won the Missouri State title in Powerlifting AND Olympic Lifting with Phil at his side pushing him the whole way.  During that time he became best friends with Lenvil Elliot, a friendship that lasted until Lenny’s passing a few years ago. Lenny was a JWC member and later played 8 years in the NFL and was the MVP of the 1982 NFC Championship Game (the game where Joe Montana threw the famous pass to Dwight Clark) and Lenny won a Super Bowl ring.  So, a JWC member has a Super Bowl ring!

In 1973, Phil graduated and the rigors of a family and job, plus moving away, led to him giving up heavy lifting.  During that time he would always challenge himself.  One time he made a goal of being able to do 100 pushups without stopping and trained for that.  I often visited him and we often went hunting and fishing together and he made a point of always “showing me up” with some feat of strength or endurance.  At the same time, he always let me know that if I wanted to beat him, it was as simple as being willing to “pay the price” and get stronger.  Phil often reminded me, “The only time Success comes before Work is in the Dictionary”.  I was always impressed with his exploits and feats of strength and it fired me up to be strong!

In 1977 I took an interest in weight training and soon Phil was my coach.  Since he was my mother’s younger brother people thought we were brothers and I suppose we acted like it, cutting up all the time.  Phil guided me in my early training and often stated, in his old school coach way, “I’ve forgotten more about training that you’ll ever know”.  This has, to date, been a 33 year relationship that continues to this day.  While he lives in Colorado and has since 1984, we talk a couple times a week.  Often about many things, but weight training is a constant.  I lived with him in 1988 and he trained me into the best all around shape of my life.  We often debate heatedly on training, but in that process, I know he’s pushing me to become better.   Over the years I’ve been out at least two dozen times for visits and he comes back almost yearly and during that time we have intense meetings on training, politics, and life.

Then, in 2000, after a 27 year absence from serious weight training, Phil made his “comeback”.  Since that time he trains about 3 hours a day, usually a split routine, and often almost daily.  He trains old school, long, hard hours in the gym and he has had some amazing results.  I am hoping that someday I can coax him into a USAWA meet!  I am confident he could break many records.  But that doesn’t seem to interest him as much as just communing with the iron and using his lifting as a way of life rather than a path to glory.  I can honestly say that at 60 he was in the best shape I’ve ever seen for a 60 year old man

Phil has had some bad luck as of late.  Severely injuring his shoulder in a fall that required surgery and some health issues that appear to be related to his exposure to agent orange and DDT in Vietnam (he worked in a warehouse that ordered, stored, and dispersed the product and he said the area around the base was sprayed constantly).  But Phil never stops, he never gives up and that’s what I’ve come to expect from him.  I am currently working with him on a book about the JWC that will involve life stories along with real, hardcore, training philosophy.  Even if it never gets published, I know I’m already better off from the knowledge and lessons learned in the process.

In closing, I’ll just say that what I admire most about Phil was he had the mind of a champion.  Once he locked on a goal, he was unbeatable.  He may not have been gifted genetically, but he would get 100% out of what he had and often beat others stronger, faster, and more athletic than he was…simply with determination!