Articles from September 2011



Flour Packing Contest

by Al Myers

Uwe Meyer training for a flour packing contest. This takes the Inman Mile to the extreme!

All of the recent talk on the Inman Mile in the USAWA Discussion Forum brought up another topic.  Longtime USAWA member Tom Ryan brought up a competition I had never heard of before – Flour Packing.  He posted a video of this competition in the forum, but I’m going to include it here as well for those of you that don’t follow the forum -Video of Flour Packing Contest.   The rules of the contest is to carry a max load of flour over a 50 foot course.  This event is part of the annual Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous held in  Whitehorse, Canada.  This dates for this year’s competition is February 23-26, 2012.  Many other events are contested throughout the several days of this festival, including: sled dog races, a dog pull, a wilderness survival contest, a trapping contest, chainsaw competitions, a partner pack competition, and even things like a beard growing contest and tattoo competition!

The above photo with newspaper caption was sent to me by Tom Ryan.  I would guess it was taken in the 1970’s because Uwe Meyer held the record in flour packing at that time, with his carry of 850 pounds of flour.  Tom must keep everything that interests him because I don’t know of too many people who keep clips from newspapers that long! (also it shows your age Tom!!).  But I’m glad he did – because it gives us something to talk about today in the USAWA Daily News.  Since that time, Richard Chipett has raised the record to 1002 pounds.

If you are further interested in the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, they do have a quite extensive website covering the festival (Yukon Festival Website).

Club Certificates

by Al Myers

This is an example of the new USAWA Club Certificates for 2011. This certificate is for Habeckers Gym - the 2010 USAWA Club of the Year.

I have spent some time lately updating the Club page on the website.   We now have 13 registered clubs in the USAWA.  This is the most of any year to date.   On this page I included 2011 Member Club Certificates for each club.  The certificate is a pdf, so if you are interested in printing it off you may do so as many times as you like!  Some of our clubs now have multiple locations (i.e. Ledaig Club, the JWC, and the Dino Gym), so this way each location can have it’s own certificate for the wall.  Plus, now all club members can have a copy if they want to.

I was curious how the “CLUB RACE” for the 2011 Club of the Year was going, so I calculated the points for each club “to date”.  As per the rules of this competition, the defending Club of the Year is ineligible the next year, thus Habecker’s Gym was not included in this years tally.  There are still a couple of big competitions coming up (the Gold Cup and the World Championships) where club members can generate big points for their club.  Let this be motivation to show up and support these competitions, and in turn represent your club in the USAWA Club Race!

Club Rankings to Date

1.  Dino Gym –  48 pts
2.  Ledaig Heavy Athletics – 21 pts
3.  Clark’s Gym – 14 pts
4.  JWC – 12 pts
5.  Atomic Athletic – 9 pts

The Day I Met Al Myers

by Thom Van Vleck

Al Myers breaking the World Record in the sheaf toss in the professional division

Al Myers and I have been friends for a LONG time.  Well, at least 16 years anyways.  I was digging through some old photos the other day and came across this gem.  It was the Highlands Ranch Highland Games in 1995.  My first competition ever in the Highland Games.  I was competing in the Novice Division with 12 other throwers and got 2nd overall that day, winning 4 of 7 events outright.  Who beat me?  Brian Myers, Al’s brother!

Here’s what I recall that day.  You have to understand first that most Highland Games has “classes” of throwers. There’s a C class (usually for beginners), B class, A class (top amateur) and Pro class (the best of the best).  Also masters and women.  Al was there in the pro class and won it that day, so he was a top pro thrower at the top of his game at that time.  You also have to understand that the groups will rotate events all day, so that when one group is on the hammer, another might be on the caber so in between throws you can watch the other groups throw.  I recall watching Al hit some big numbers that day.  But most of all, the last event for him was the sheaf toss.  And boy, did Al give a clinic!

The Sheaf is a 16lb simulated “hay” bale, usually rope or twine wrapped in a burlap bag.  You use a pitch fork to launch it up and over a crossbar for height.  Al was a 300lber then and had about 30lbs on me back then (how things have changed!).  I was done with all my events and went over to watch the action.  The bar kept going higher and higher and soon the only one left was Al.  I remember my wife was wanting to go, but then I heard that Al would attempt a WORLD RECORD in the sheaf toss!  I had to see that, but I also had been eyeing his attempts and really doubted he had that much in him.  The sheaf standards were raised as high as they would go!  In other words, the bar would go no higher and there was only one other time I’ve seen the standards “topped out” like that and the second time was just this year when Dan McKim, the current Pro National and World  Champ, topped them out in Wichita.  Al got set, began to swing the bar back and forth and with a mighty swing launched that sheaf up and over the bar.  Al probably doesn’t remember this, but I went over and shook his hand and congratulated him….along with 5o other people!

I left that day not really sure if I’d ever compete in a highland games again, and not realizing that Al would some day be one of my best friends.  I also didn’t realize that Al’s brother in law was somebody I had already competed against in the predecessor of the USAWA, Clark’s Odd lift meets.  None other than Bob Burtzloff!  It really is a small world.  I have never forgotten that day because here was Al, at the top of the heap, the winner of the Pro class and me competing (and almost beating) his brother in the lowest group of all.  But each time I talked to Al during the day, he was friendly, encouraging, and offered advice.  A true sportsman!  So, becoming his friend was easy because he was my kind of guy right from the start.  It also sold me on highland games!

So, be nice to everyone.  You never know when you’ll run into them again.  And thanks Al, your encouragement that day set the standard for myself and brought me into a sport I truly love!

Dino Strength Training Center

by Scott Tully

The front of the newly opened Dino Strength Training Center.

We are proud to announce the opening of the new Dino Strength Training Center at 703 Bishop street in Salina, KS.  This is the version of our training facility that was formerly in Lon Beffort’s basement.   These past 5 years we have acquired so much equipment and training partners we needed a much larger area. We found a commercial space in Salina that is 3200 square foot, with a large overhead door in the back and open lot to train strongman,  GPP, or bbq, with the third being our favorite!  The other interesting thing about the space is that it has been a gym of some sorts for over 30 years, starting out as salina weight training, then bensons, and until recently reps and sets.  This also was the first gym Lon, Mark, Chuck and myself belonged to in Salina. When Chuck and I walked in it looked like someone tossed in a grenade and ran, but after 300+ hours and 3 tons of construction waste removed we feel we have put together a top notch training center for powerlifting, strongman, oly lifting, all around or to just get in better shape. 

We consider this a extension of the Dino Gym in Holland in purpose, as the goal is to come here and get stronger. Our core group is Chuck, Tyler, and Matt Cookson, Lon Beffort, Mark Mitchell,  Al Myers, Stephan Kency, Darren Barnhart, Allan English and myself.  We also have as of now about 30 other members who actively train here.  Our rates are very reasonable:  30 for a single, 35 for a couple, or 40 for a family.  Members also get a key so they can train when they like. We are currently looking at dates to host an all around competition, and will be holding strongman and powerlifting comps in the near future.

Check us out on facebook - with search words being Dino Strength Training Center.

Wilf Chapman RIP

by Al Myers

I just recently learned that Wilf Chapman, of Australia, had passed away this summer.  I have had the honor of competing against Wilf in a few competitions, with the first one being the 2006 IAWA World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.  The above tribute appeared in  the publication, “The All-Round Strength Athlete”.   This is the official written publication of the ARWLWA. 

I will never forget meeting Wilf the first time.  Myself being a newcomer to the International scene of All Round Weightlifting at the time, I didn’t know very many of the other lifters in attendance.  Wilf IMMEDIATELY “struck up” a conversation with me at the night before get together, and we spent a long time talking.  He made me feel quite welcomed, and in turn I was tremendously impressed with his outgoing friendly personality.  I had my Dad with me at this meet as well, and Wilf thought my father was my brother.  We all found this funny (especially Dad and Wilf) and ever since that time when I would see Wilf he would ask me “how my brother was doing”.  That was just his personality.  I will miss him.  REST IN PEACE WILF!!

USAWA Lifters Dominate Highlander Nationals

by Thom Van Vleck

 

NAHA Nationals held in Omaha, Nebraska

The NAHA (North American Highlander Association) held it’s annual National Championships in Omaha, Nebraska on September 17, 2011.  A full meet report can be found at www.nahighlander.com.  The “Highlander” concept of strength competition combines Scottish Highland Games events with an equal number of Strongman events.  This particular event had the Stone Put, Weight Over Bar, and Heavy Hammer for the Highland Games events and the 12″ Log Clean & Press, Farmers Walk, and a Giant Tire Flip/Keg Carry Medley for the strongman events.

It is interesting to note that the event was DOMINATED by current or past USAWA members!  In the Lightweights we saw Tim Pinkerton make a comeback after a couple of years away from competition to squeak out a win.  The next three classes were won by current USAWA members.  In the Middleweights, Andrew Durniat won easily.  The Heavyweights saw yours truly win with a tie breaker in a three way tie for 1st.  Finally, John O’Brien won the masters easily after winning every single event, and was the only athlete to do that in the competition.

It’s no surprise to me that a competition that seeks to combine two sports would be dominated by athletes that excel in the the USAWA, an organization made up of 100’s of lifts.  The athleticism needed to do well in so many lifts means the lifter is used to applying his strength in many different ways and not in just a few, select, and narrow ways.

So, to my fellow USAWA friends who competed with me Saturday, Good Job!  And to my JWC brother John, way to go!

KEEP OUT THE LUNKS!

by Al Myers

Big John Conner, of the Dino Gym, competed this past weekend at the Olympia Strongman Challenge. John is a professional strongman and would be considered a "lunk" in most all commercial gyms.

Recently on the USAWA Discussion Forum I posted a news story video about a hardcore lifter who got “thrown out” of a Planet Fitness Health Club for being a “lunk”.  It would be easy to think this was all a joke – but the disturbing part is that most of  it is not!  Planet Fitness has been very open and firm in their policies regarding lifters who are hardcore lifters, and that is they are not wanted.  Just go to Planet Fitness’s website to see a list of these policies.  But first, watch the video, which I’m going to call – KEEP OUT THE LUNKS

The parts of this video which I found the most humorous were: 

1.  Planet Fitness is discriminating against “muscled americans”.
2.  A “no grunting policy” that includes even heavy breathing!
3.  The comment “all the animals can be in one cage” when referring to the heavy lifters.
4.  And of course the Planet Fitness LUNK ALARM!

I was also humored when the cute little blond representing Planet Fitness called these heavy lifters lunks, meatheads, lunk heads, and even jerks!  Those are harsh words!  All this got me thinking about the guys in my Dino Gym, and I have come to the conclusion that the Dino Gym ONLY contains lunks, and we are that place referred to as where “all the animals can be in one cage”!  I don’t care to question Planet Fitness business tactics on this, because in all truth, heavy lifters in a gym are intimidating to most other club members (I’m not going to even call them lifters)  who are as weak as a newborn kitty.  Plus, add in the fact that heavy lifters NEVER miss a workout and are the ones hardest on fancy gym equipment, it makes sense to keep out this element.  The BEST CLIENTS of fitness clubs are people who have lots of money to always keep their gym membership paid up, but never show up to actually work out.  That’s who fitness clubs like to cater to, not guys who are gym rats.

Now back to the lunks in the Dino Gym. It does bother me when people classify heavy lifters as lunks or meatheads, in which implying these guys are of lesser intelligence or “dummies”.   Most of my training partners are very successful in life and with their jobs.   Sure, when you first meet Scott “THE ENFORCER” Tully you would think the only job he could get would be a bouncer, but Scott is an educated man and has worked as a financial broker.  That’s right – people PAY Scott to handle their money.  That’s not a job for a lunk!   Now take Chad “THE CHAMP” Ullom.   At first glance you would think the only job he could get would be a stunt double for Stone Cold Steve Austin.  And let me tell you this – you would have to be a real dummy to take THAT JOB because I’m sure Stone Cold wouldn’t leave the easy stuff for ya!  But “in real life” Chad is a Pharmacist and has a very demanding job as a regional manager for Walgreens.  That’s not a job for a lunk!  How about John “THE GIANT” Conner? At 6 foot 9 and close to 400 pounds, John is one of the most intimidating individuals you would ever meet. He has got thrown out of most all the gyms in Wichita for being a lunk.  Now the only place he can train is the Dino Gym.  The problem is that he is so dang strong he bends all the bars and breaks all the equipment in commercials gyms!  (but he hasn’t bent a bar in the Dino Gym yet, because we cater to lunks).  But when you meet John he is one of the nicest guys you would ever meet, and he is the best artist I know. Most don’t know this, but John is the guy who did the art work for our USAWA logo.  That’s not a job for a lunk!  Next take Mark “BIG POPPA” Mitchell.  Mark’s got shoulders wider than a doorframe, and legs as thick as tree trunks.  At first glance you might mistakenly think Mark was in the personal security business, and worked as a body guard.  Possibly even a night security guard somewhere.  But Mark is also an educated man, and serves as a senior probational officer.  That’s not a job for a lunk!  I could go “on and on” with these examples of guys in the gym.   Look outside the Dino Gym and you see this as well.  Take Eric  ”THE ICEMAN”  Todd  for example.  He clearly looks like a lunk on the outside, and at competitions when he gets intense he gives you that look that Chuck Liddell gives guys before he busts their heads.  I’m sure the LUNK ALARM would go off the minute ET opens the front door of a Planet Fitness.  But in real life, Eric is a schoolteacher who spends his days “shaping the minds” of our youth.  That’s not a job for a lunk!  What about Thom “BIG T” Van Vleck – is he a lunk?   Thom exhibits every physical trait of a lunk – shaved head, big gray goatee, and he likes to “eye ball” people he first meets.  But believe it or not, Thom is a counselor at a Medical School and is responsible for helping struggling medical students deal with their problems.  That’s not a job for a lunk!

I think I have made my point.  Lunks are good people, and I’m glad to be part of this brotherhood!  Who wants to train at a Planet Fitness anyhow?  Just come to the Dino Gym and you will fit right in!

Inman Mile

by Al Myers

Dino Gym member Adam Kirchman training the Yoke Walk with 650 pounds over a 100 foot course in a recent workout. Adam would be my choice among gym members who would have the best chance of achieving the Inman Mile.

Recently I have had some email correspondance with a lifter interested in the Inman Mile.  Of course the first question EVER asked regarding this event is - ”HAS IT EVER BEEN DONE?”  The Inman Mile is definitely unlike all of the other official lifts of the USAWA.  First of all, it can hardly be called a lift. It is the only official lift in the USAWA Rule Book where poundage is not listed in the record list.  Instead, this event is for TIME.  Let’s start with a review of the rules:

USAWA Rules for the Inman Mile

The lifter will take a bar onto the shoulders with a weight equal to 150 per cent of the lifter’s bodyweight. The lifter will then carry this weight a distance of one mile. Gait is optional.  Stopping to rest is allowed, but neither the lifter nor the weight may be supported in any manner.  The bar must not be touched by any assistants once the mile has begun or it will be a disqualification. The bar must stay on the back the entire mile. The lifter may be handed refreshments during the mile. Records will be kept for time. 

Now to the answer whether it has ever been done.  IT HAS NOT (at least not officially in the USAWA).  Since it has not been completed EVER no records are recorded for it in both the USAWA and IAWA Record Lists.  The rules specifically state that “records will be kept for time”.  A good attempt at this doesn’t get you a record for distance.  You must finish the Mile.  I have received several emails in the past asking about this novelty event in the USAWA.   I have always responded that if the person in question could succeed with the Inman Mile  (maybe a little video proof would need to be provided to me), I would do whatever was needed in order to help them get this listed as an “official record” in our organization.  Even if this included me getting on a plane and flying to the coast for the weekend,  or enlisting someone I know in the area who is an active reputable official for the USAWA to go there and witness and officiate it.  I also have said that accomplishing the Inman Mile would have to be considered as one of the BEST STRENGTH FEATS ever done in the USAWA.  I really hope someday someone does accomplish it.  I have enough sense to know that this is something I could NEVER DO, so “that person” will not be me.  I know lifters who have tried, and some who I thought might have a chance, but in all instances they failed miserably.   The limit is always maintaining the bar on the shoulders.  As you tire, the bar slips down the back, and once this happens the hope for the mile is lost. 

As I already said, I consider this a novelty lift in the USAWA.  We have a few others in our list of official lifts that would fit this category as well.  There has been talk of eliminating some of these obscure lifts that no one can do from the USAWA list of official lifts in the past, but truthfully, I don’t think that is a good idea.  I say this because eventually someone WILL do them, and when they do, it will become something to talk about!  I receive as many inquistive emails regarding these lifts as the others.   I guess you could call it curiosity appeal – and it turn gives exposure to the USAWA.

If you do an internet search on the Inman Mile you will see it “pop up” several times.   Often it appears in forums, where this “challenge” is mentioned by someone.  I even found talk of it in some backpacking forums. I KNOW the USAWA is the root behind all this, as we are the ones who in a sense, created the Inman Mile.  However, no one knows “the story” behind the Inman Mile besides maybe only a few of us.  I wouldn’t know it if it wasn’t for person responsible for naming it telling me!  And that person is NONE OTHER than the FATHER of the USAWA Bill Clark.  So I plan to tell it here for the first time on the internet.  Bill named this lift after Jerry Inman, a powerlifter who was originally from Billings, Missouri  (and a leader in a well known powerlifting club at the time – the Billings Barbell Club).  The time frame of this was the  late 1970s and early 1980s.  Jerry was a marine (and it would take a hard-headed marine to come up with something this grueling).  For a while, he lived in Olathe, Kansas.  When he found Bill Clark’s gym in Columbia, Missouri he was introduced to all-round weightlifting by Bill.   When Jerry Inman told Bill he thought he could walk a mile with a bar loaded to 150%  of his bodyweight on his back, it inspired Bill to name this event after him.  Jerry was never successful with this quest, but his mindset of THINKING he could do it and the effort of taking on the impossible, lead to this mysterious event to be forever named after him!   His best effort of 246 yards in 1979 is recorded in an old Missouri Valley Newsletter .  Jerry was a fit 148# powerlifting  marine, in the prime of his life when he tried also.  It would take someone like that to even have a remote chance of being successful with the Inman Mile. But when it does happen – I want to be there firsthand to watch it!

Frank in the News

by Al Myers

Frank Ciavattone on the front page of Dale Harder's Strength and Speed Newsletter.

I was pleasantly surprised when I received my last issue of Dale Harder’s Strength and Speed Newsletter and the “front page feature” was none other than Frank Ciavattone.  Frank is one of the founders of the USAWA, and arguably the strongest lifter that has ever competed in the USAWA.  I was so glad to see Frank get this recognition in Dale’s newsletter – because he deserves it!   Frank has won numerous USAWA and IAWA titles.  I once saw the list of Frank’s Championships and it was so long it took two pages!  Frank is a true all-rounder, and there were not very many lifts he didn’t excel in.  He was a great bar lifter,  grip lifter, heavy lifter, and he even excelled at the one arm lifts.  His one arm deadlift of 562 pounds is an ALL-TIME record in the USAWA and the IAWA.  I consider this record of his the ALL-TIME record of ALL-TIME.  It is the highest of any one arm deadlifts that actually HAD officials judge it.  Sure, Herman Goerner may have the credit for the best ALL-TIME one arm deadlift, but outside of some witnesses, it was not actually judged. 

I have known Frank for several years, but in Dale’s story on him I even learned a few new things about Frank (including some pictures I had not seen before).  Dale has always been very supportive of  all-round weightlifting and the USAWA.  His newsletter  is a must read, and one of the few printed newsletters covering weightlifting nowadays.   I would like to tell more of this story on Frank, but I don’t want to give away all of Dale’s story.  You need a subscription to Strength and Speed for that! 

For subscribing to the Strength and Speed Newsletter and ordering any of Dale’s great books covering weightlifting,  check out his website -http://www.strengthospeedia.org/.   Dale’s email address is daleharderEP@gmail.com.

Rules for the Dumbbell Shoulder

by Thom Van Vleck

Two big Dumbbells.....could either one be shouldered in the "Dumbbell Shoulder" event at the Old Time Strongman Nationals?

When Al and I discussed me hosting the Old Time Strongman Nationals one of the things that I wanted to do was come up with some new lifts.  The “OTS” concept is to have lifts that aren’t current USAWA lifts, that have more relaxed rules, be able to raise or lower the weight, be done for a max attempt, and be something the old timers did.  What followed was me sending Al numerous lifts and him pointing out how they were already USAWA lifts or did not fit the criteria in some way!  In my research I came across the weightlifting for the 1904 Olympics.  It was very different than from today.  There were actually two separate events, a barbell competition and a Dumbbell competition.  There were several Dumbbell lifts and one of them involved cleaning a heavy dumbbell.  I stumped Al on this one.  There are no current USAWA lifts that involved cleaning a dumbbell and Al thought there ought to be so he shot down my idea based on the fact that we need to add that lift to the regular USAWA lifts….as a result it COULDN’T be an OTS event!  So, I came back with this event, as inspired by that 1904 Olympic event and thus the name!

USAWA Rule for the 1904 Dumbbell Shoulder

A Dumbbell will be taken from the floor to the shoulder using any method the lifter wants to employ.  The dumbbell may be lifted with two hands, continental style, may be rested on the belt during the lift, by any part of the dumbbell.  Hands may grip the plates, bar, collars or any part of the dumbbell. Any size plate may be loaded onto the dumbbell.The lift is completed when the lifter is standing upright, with the dumbbell resting on the shoulder, and the lifter demonstrating control.  Both hands may remain on the dumbbell to complete the lift, or with one hand or both hands off the dumbbell.  Time limit of 1 minute is given to complete the lift.  An official will give a command to end the lift.

So, we will give this one a try.  It may be a “one and done” event in that we will have to see how this one plays in competition.  If it does, then great!  At the least, it is a unique event and it will be interesting to see how much we can do!

Rules for the Anderson Squat

by Thom Van Vleck

The Anderson Squat: Old Time Strongman lift

Let’s take a look at one of the new lifts for the Old Time Strongman Nationals to be held Oct. 16 at the JWC Training Hall in Kirksville, Missouri.  First, let’s review what the “Old Time Strongman” is before we talk about this brand new lift.  Old Time Strongman in the USAWA will included lifts popularized or used by strongmen of years past.  The lifts must be loadable (So the bar can be loaded to any weight so any skill level can make the lift and not just have a heavy apparatus with a set weight).    The idea is that you will have a strongman contest that can be contested by a wide variety of skill levels and ages.

Today’s focus is on the “Anderson Squat”.  Paul Anderson, one of the greatest strongmen of all time, was famous for his leg strength.  Ol’ Paul had a lot of unorthodox training techniques often born out of necessity (in other words, “he didn’t have the proper equipment so he just rigged something up and lifted it!”).  One of the more famous lifts he employed was squatting barrels filled with junk from a hole in the ground.  The story goes Paul loaded it and dug a hole deep enough he could get under it and do a partial squat.  He would then throw some dirt in the hole, slowly filling it up, so that he would have to get a little lower each time to complete the lift.  I found a great photo of Paul doing the lift and evidently that day he was short on iron so a couple of pretty girls volunteered!  Don’t worry, if we run low on weights at the meet, I’ll be happy to climb on top for extra weight!

USAWA Rules for the Anderson Squat

 A squat (with a standard Olympic bar) done from a dead stop from a height not over two thirds the height of the lifter.  Squat is completed when the knees are locked and the lifter is standing erect.  Time limit of 1 minute is given for each attempt meaning the lifter may reset as many times as necessary to complete the lift.  Knee wraps or knee sleeves will be allowed.  An official will give a command to end the lift.

The uniqueness of this event is doing a squat from a dead stop.  It is also the challenge of it!  It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers we can put up in this event….and I don’t think Paul will have anything to worry about in regards to anyone coming close to breaking his records in this style of lifting.

Rules for the Anderson Press

by Thom Van Vleck

Paul Anderson with a 450lb Continental Clean & Press. This photo approximates the starting point of the "Anderson Press" event at the Old Time Strongman Nationals.

The first ever USAWA Old Time Strongman National Championship will be held at the JWC Training Hall on October 16, 2011.  One of the new lifts to be contested will be the “Anderson Press”.  Big Paul Anderson, arguably the strongest man that ever lived, used to do some pretty unique training lifts and often rigged things up to work on what he felt were his weaknesses. One lift he came up with was to hang a barbell from a tree with a chain and do partial lockout presses.  This lift was the inspiration for the lift to be contested in October!

USAWA Rules for the Anderson Press

Press (with a standard Olympic bar) will be done from a dead stop position in the power rack from a height no greater than the height of the lifter when standing erect.  Lifter may “bow” back to press the weight but must keep knees locked.  The lift ends when the lifter is upright, arms locked, and demonstrates control of the weight. The lifter may press in an uneven manner and unlock unevenly. It is not a disqualification if the bar is lowered during the press, and afterwards the press resumes. The feet are not allowed to move. However, the lifter may raise the heels or toes during the press.  Time limit of 1 minute is given for each attempt meaning the lifter may reset as many times as necessary to complete the lift.  An official will give a command to end the lift.

You will notice the rules are a lot more relaxed compared to other USAWA lifts.  The idea is that the lifter will be able to handle big weights and it will be pretty evident to any spectators if they get the lift or not.  I know that when I’ve attended meets I have spent a lot of time explaining to spectators that are not familiar with lifting why a completed lift did not count.  While this could still happen, it’s a lot less likely and I think that’s part of the appeal of the the “Old Time Strongman” concept.  It’s more spectator friendly and forgiving to the lifter!   As a result, this type of meet may attract a whole new type of strength athlete to the USAWA that will then try the traditional meets as well.  At least that’s my opinion.  Hope you can make it in October!

Dear Dino Man

by the Dino Man

Marriage Advice for the Weightlifter

No wife cares what your max deadlift is. If you want to impress her with your strength, do what the Dino Man did, and show her that you can still pick her up and carry her around the beaches of Jamaica after 25 years of marriage!

Dear Dino Man,

It bothers me that my wife doesn’t seem impressed with my strength gains.  When I try to talk to her about it, she acts like she isn’t listening to me.  How should I handle this?

First – face the facts – she’s NOT interested in your strength gains.  She only cares that you have enough strength to take out the garbage or move a piece of furniture for her.  Other than that she doesn’t care at all.  Accept it.   And whatever you do – don’t try to talk to her about the latest lifting program you’re on.  She cares about hearing all about that even less.  If you want to impress her with your strength, just throw her over your shoulder every now and then.  Women love that.

Dear Dino Man,

My wife wants to go to the gym with me when I train.  I really don’t want her to go along, but how do I tell her this without making her mad?

Just make her mad and tell her that you don’t want her there!   I doubt if she is really lifting anyhow.  She just wants to be there to keep an eye on you.  She “pretends” to be on the exercise bike with her head phones on (but they’re not) and in fact she is listening to every word you say to the guys – am I right?   My experience with hanging around gyms all my life is that relationships rarely last when one spouse only goes to the gym to “be with” the serious lifting spouse. (this goes for husbands as well!).    Truthfully, I go to the gym to get away from my wife for a while – that doesn’t mean I don’t love her dearly, it’s just that I need my space every now and then, and the gym is the place I go to for that!  Plus, every time your wife tags along with you to the gym your workout buddies are talking about you behind your back, wondering when you are ever going to grow a set and tell her to stay home!!

Dear Dino Man,

I want to display my lifting trophies on the mantle in our living room, but my wife doesn’t want them there – something about they don’t match the décor she has for the room.  What should I do??

No wife wants your tacky weightlifting trophies mucking up her domain. The living room is her domain just as the gym is yours.  Would you want her to put scented candles and a flower vase next to the squat cage?  Get the trophies out of there before she throws them out!  This is a fight not worth fighting.   Put them in the basement, the garage, the attic, or under the bed, and go there to look at them if you have to.

Dear Dino Man,

I want to buy a new pair of squat shoes but my wife won’t let me.   But she buys new shoes all the time!  What do I do!

This is what I do when I want to buy something for the gym that my wife doesn’t want me to buy.  Every time she buys something frivolous that she thinks I might not approve of, I steal the remaining cash out of her purse.  She never mentions it to me because she’s feeling guilty over that new pair of shoes she just bought, and doesn’t want me to bring it up.  When I accumulate enough of this cash, I buy what I want for the gym.  When she asks about the new gym item, I tell her Scott bought it!  Foolproof plan if you ask me. 

Dear Dino Man,

My wife just started competing in powerlifting.  I have noticed since she has been squatting heavy her gluteus has become much more muscular and enlarged.  How big will it get??

Much bigger – and what is your problem with that?  That sounds like a good thing to me.

Marriage tip for weightlifters (more expert advice from the Dino Man)

I have good news for all you heavy lifters, who through the years have developed a Squat Belly (much like a beer belly, ok, it looks like a beer belly, but IT’S NOT!).  No longer do you have to worry about this being a problem in your marriage.  I just read in Women’s Health that marriages are MUCH HAPPIER if the husband has a bigger gut than his wife.  Something about it makes the wife feel less insecure in the relationship, or whatever.  This is a fact – and backed with a scientific study and all.   So there you have it – weightlifting leads to a happier marriage!!  (as long as you don’t let her follow you to the gym that is…)

Coming next to the Dear Dino Man Advice Column:  “other uses for muscle rubbing liniments”

What is Art!

by Thom Van Vleck

Barbell Mobile at the York Barbell HQ in York, PA

I have always been a “form follows function” kind of guy.  I like looking at things that are built well, built to last, built to do a job and it’s function is what makes it pleasing to look at.  Like the Golden Gate Bridge is a work of art to me.  Al’s Back Lift apparatus is a work of art to me.  I have problems figuring out the purpose of piles of metal of globs of paint piled upon each other in some seemingly random fashion and then labels as some great statement about the destruction of the environment (no, I would say you using valuable resources to make something that serves no earthly purpose as the destruction of then environment!).  But hey, as my dear ol’ Dad used to say, “Whatever trips your trigger”.

I do have to admit, I like things that utilize what I love to do….lifting weights.  Recently, I was visiting the York Barbell Headquarters in York, PA and hanging from the ceiling was a huge mobile made of weights….not sure if the weights were real….and that looked cool and interesting.  It also rotated slowly.  However, I couldn’t help but thinking to myself how nice it would be to have those barbell plates in my gym!

Now this would be the ultimate challenge for Al Myers to build and an even greater challenge for anyone to lift if it were made of iron!

Another piece of “art” I recently saw (not in person) was an 8 ft tall Dumbbell that was being used as an advertisement of some sort.  There’s a youtube video of it being made ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdDVvwayraE), it looks like they make it out of styrofoam!  I have to admit, if I were walking down the street, I’d pause and check this out (and probably want my wife to take my picture trying to lift it….and yes, I would try and lift it!

They say art is in the eye of beholder and I also heard someone once say, “I don’t know what art is, but I know what I like”.  Sure, I’ve been to college and took “Art Appreciation” and I can BS with the best of them on the finer points of art and answer a few trivia questions about Leonardo da Vinci or Jackson Pollock (no relation to the JWC!)  But when it comes right down to it, I like the kind of art that I can use, like a 1957 Chevy, a well designed house with many architectural features, or a 500lb capacity lat pull down like Al Myers has in his gym!  So, make it pretty, but make it do something other than a paper weight or something to cover a hole in the wall.

Gold Cup Reminder

by Steve Gardner

HAVE YOU GOT YOUR ENTRY IN YET FOR THE GOLD CUP  WORLD RECORD BREAKERS EVENT: Saturday 1st October?

The second biggest Annual International Event in All Round Weightlifting, and remember…… this year sees the option of lifting for the Silver Cup, for those not able to attempt a World Record at the moment, but going for National or Club records or even PB’s. This will be a classic event and the Hall of Fame Induction will also take place at the Banquet Dinner .. for more details contact:

Steve Gardner 01283 713464
steve-g@powerful.co.uk

DONT DELAY – DO IT TODAY!!

Kettlebells: Homemade, Cheap, and Adjustable

by Jarrod Fobes

A homemade Kettlebell, built by Jarrod Fobes.

When the kettlebell craze started several years ago, I wasn’t impressed.  It seemed to me that they were expensive, took up a lot of room, and were redundant besides, since you could do the exact same exercises with dumbbells.   But over time I found they were a worthwhile piece of equipment to have around.  Kettlebell Swings have begrudgingly become a favorite exercise of mine, and there’s fun grip training to be had with them as well.  So that takes care of the redundant part, but still left them expensive and bulky.

Well trouble yourselves no more friends!  It’s easy to make an adjustable “kettlebell” yourself.  If I can put this together, anyone can.  Here are the materials you will need:  (All fittings 3/4″ diameter)

  • One Tee
  • Two 3″ Nipples
  • One 4″ Nipple
  • One 6″ Nipple
  • One Coupling
  • One Cap

The 3/4″ pipe will fit the smaller weight plates like you can find at most department stores.  If you don’t have any other use for the 3/4″ plates, just buy one to put at the bottom, just above the cap to keep standard sized weights from slipping off.  Slap the thing together as pictured, put some tape around the handle so you don’t cut yourself on the threads (not pictured), and there you go!  Ugly, but cheap and it does the job.

JWC Expands!

by Thom Van Vleck

The newest addition to the USAWA's list of clubs: The Jackson Weightlifting Club: Transcon!

The last weekend of August the three JWC Members, Josh Hettinger, Mitch Ridout and myself made the trip over to Galesburg, Illinois where my brother, Tedd, had just bought a new house due to a work transfer.  He had a beautiful, huge garage and wanted me to work my magic and set him up with the home gym for the hardcore lifter and that’s exactly what I did.  I felt like an interior designer for hardcore lifters!

For the platform we have two layers of 3/4 CDX board with a top layer designed for two lifting platforms side by side with plywood in the middle of each and heavy duty rubber for where the bar will land.  There is a power rack that used to belong to Zach Schluender, a top Olympic style lifter who has snatched around 375 and Clean & Jerked  around 440lbs as a superheavy.  There are squat racks that once rested in the Old JWC gym that just about everyone that’s ever lifted for the JWC has used, made from old truck wheels and axles for uprights.  He has a steel log for strongman training, two full Olympic sets, adjustable squat stands, a bench that once belonged to Russ Murphy that adjusts to several angles and is heavy duty, and an assortment of other equipment.  I even made him a metal sign with the JWC logo on it.  I should start a new business in hardcore gym design…I’m sure there’s a huge market for that out there!  Not only is Tedd’s gym ready for a hardcore workout but it already is filled with history of big lifts and lifters that will inspire your workout!

A fitting end to a hard day of training: STEAKS on the Grill! On a "Green Egg" no less, Al likes these so much he has TWO of them!

This will not just be a second location for the JWC but a second club. My brother is hoping to get some local guys interested in lifting and even hosting a meet in his gym!  He even plans to register his gym with the USAWA!  We have called it tentatively the “JWC Transcon” because Tedd works for the Railroad and the “Transcon” is the busiest Rail line in his company AND since has had to move his gym twice we wanted a name that could fit anywhere he goes…..but that name isn’t finalized yet!

The weekend was about as good as it gets.  We had a work day setting up the gym and moving things in the house.  Then we went to Peoria where we competed in the Scottish Highland Games on the next day.  Then the third day was lifting and grilling big steaks on Tedd’s new “Green Egg Grill”.  So, if  you are in central Illinois area or know someone who is, there is now a place for you to train.  Stop by and see Tedd and check out the JWC Transcon!

The Schubert Lifts

by Al Myers

John Schubert's bio from the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.

I never had the opportunity to meet John Schubert.  I wish that I had.  Since his passing, I have heard many stories from those that knew him about his positive influence on their weightlifting careers.   John was a true all rounder – he not only competed in All-Round Weightlifting meets, but also was a long time Olympic Weightlifter as well as competing in numerous “physique” (old term for today’s bodybuilding competitions) contests.   You hardly ever see that cross-over competing amongst weightlifters and bodybuilders today, but in John’s era it was not uncommon.  These guys trained to “be strong” as well as “look strong”.   John still has a couple of records in our USAWA Record List.  In the 65-69 age group, 90 KG weight class, he has the record in the Feet in the Air Bench Press with a lift of 175 pounds, and the record in the Heels Together Clean and Press with a lift of 132 pounds.

John did leave a legacy in the USAWA with two official USAWA lifts named after him.  In 2000, John presented these two lifts, the Schubert Clean and Jerk, and the Schubert Clean and Push  Press, to IAWA for official acceptance.  They were accepted by the IAWA that year, and became known as the Schubert Lifts in the USAWA in the beginning.   However, in 2009 when the USAWA Rulebook was majorly overhauled, these lifts were renamed the Reflex Clean and Jerk and the Reflex Clean and Push Press, in order to match the lift names given to these two lifts in the IAWA Rulebook.   I didn’t want the Schubert distinction to be lost, so I made special note in the first line of each rule in the USAWA Rulebook that the reflex lifts are “also known as the Schubert Lifts”.  John Schubert’s name will  be tied to the these two lifts in the USAWA forever! (actually this would be a good rule test question in the future!).

USAWA RULES FOR THE SCHUBERT LIFTS

 
Scott Schmidt performing a Reflex Clean and Push Press (aka a Schubert Clean and Push Press) at the 2010 USAWA Club Challenge. John Schubert had an influence on Scott’s lifting career.

A38.  Reflex Clean and Jerk

This lift is also known as the Schubert Clean and Jerk. The rules of the Clean and Jerk apply with these exceptions.  Once the clean has been made, the lifter must perform a jerk immediately from this position, whether the legs are bent or erect.  There is no pause between the clean and the jerk.

A39.  Reflex Clean and Push Press

This lift is also known as the Schubert Clean and Push Press. The rules of the Clean and Push Press apply with these exceptions. Once the clean has been made, the lifter must perform a push press immediately from this position, whether the legs are bent or erect.  There is no pause between the clean and the push press.

Rep Schemes

by Larry Traub

Dave Glasgow performing a Pullover and Push at the 2011 USAWA National Championships. Larry Traub is in the background to the left "looking on". (photo and caption by webmaster)

 The last two emails I received from Dave Glasgow who has been my lifting partner for the last 40 years, (even though we now live 800 miles apart) went like this.  The first one just encouraged me to start submitting some articles that could be used on the USAWA website.  The second one went exactly like this except for some expletives deleted.  (Only one, which is pretty good for Dave.)

“I was thinking last evening (yeah, laugh, ************). I am doing the 5/3/1 deal and it struck me. I know that you are a fan of the 7 rep system which got me wondering……

Take a weigh that you know you can’t get 7 reps with. Do however many sets it takes to get 7 reps. Example

Set 1… 2 reps, Set 2…2 reps, Set3 … 1rep, Set4…1 rep, Set5…1 rep.  OR

Set 1… 3 reps, Set 2…2 reps, Set3 … 2rep.   OR

Set 1… 4 reps, Set 2…3 reps.  OR

Set 1… 6 reps, Set 2…1 rep.  OR

You see where I am going. As you get stronger, the intensity increases but the volume ALWAYS remains the same. So I think you have a built in safety net of not actually doing the same workout twice.  When you can do one set of seven, that’s it for the day. You add weight the next workout and start over.

Thoughts??”

Well I did think about it and decided to use Dave’s idea as fodder for my article. First you need to realize how hard it is for Dave to take training advice from me.  So, even though he took a principal that I used and altered it beyond recognition before he considered using it, it is still a big step for him.  First, I’m not stuck on seven reps as being a magic number.  What I’m really doing is focusing on the development of the type 2B muscle fibers, which get maximum stimulation for growth when failure of an exercise is reached somewhere around the 7 to 10 rep range.  There are 3 types of fibers. First, the slow twitch type 1 muscle fibers which are stimulated by endurance activity and have no real ability for growth.  These have no real value for a weightlifter and too much endurance activity will result in the loss of our all important fast twitch fibers.   The second type is the type 2A fiber which is the fast twitch fiber that is geared  towards a little more endurance and is stimulated when failure of an exercise is reached somewhere in the 12 -20 rep range. This has some limited potential for growth.  It appears that it’s potential for growth is greatly increased with anabolic drugs so if you read articles about bodybuilders getting great results with high reps you need to consider the possibility of drugs being involved.  The last of course is the 2B muscle fibers which are the fibers that have maximum growth potential for the bodybuilders, and maximum potential for explosive movement which is probably a focus for most every athlete except the extreme endurance athlete.

I am first and foremost a powerlifter, so what I’ve done is taken the squat bench and deadlift and focused on 7 reps as my goal for a particular workout in those lifts. I am staying in the low end of the 7-10 rep range because these are the lifts I will compete in and I want to work with as heavy a weight as possible while stimulating the type 2B fibers.   For most of the other  “assistance” exercises in my workout I use a 10 rep goal because I am generally not concerned about my max on these.  This makes sense on another front also because it’s not really how many reps you do. It’s more about reaching failure in a certain amount of time.  I believe that doing a rep on squat, bench or deadlift will generally take longer than completing a rep on one of my assistance exercises.  For instance it seems reasonable that the time elapsed in doing a set of 7 in the squat might be the same or greater than doing a set of 10 on my hyperextension machine.

The late, great, West Virginia heavyweight , Luke Iams has often been quoted as saying, “Anything over 6 reps is bodybuilding.”  I might agree, but would have to ask, why is that a bad thing? Bodybuilding does not imply that you have to shave your body and get out the Speedos.  It just means that you are concerned with building muscle size which is directly proportional to strength.  My personal experiences with competitive bodybuilding some 30 years ago has made me conscious of training the whole body and maintaining a balanced physique while training at a bodyweight where I am fairly lean. I think this emphasis has aided me in my powerlifting.  It has also, absolutely, been a plus in my latest ventures in USAWA, where eventually every muscle in the body is tested and the bodyweight formula rewards a lean muscular body. 

Of course there is always the concern that the person who focuses on bodybuilding will become narcissistic and egotistical.  Was that a problem in my case?  I would have to say, no, I’m pretty sure those personality traits were probably firmly established before I ever oiled up and took the stage.  Actually, I can remember a time in college where several members of our lifting group were discussing bodybuilding.  I don’t remember details, but I’m guessing the conversation reflected a general disdain for the sport.  I was taken aback when a buddy spoke up and said, “You know, we’re all bodybuilders.”  This guy was on the football team and eventually became a pastor.  I’m sure he had no plans to ever compete as a bodybuilder.  He was just recognizing the fact that we were all enjoying how weightlifting changed the way we looked and the way we felt about ourselves. Maybe that’s OK.

So, what about the lower reps? What purpose does that serve?  Well, a powerlifter has to test his strength levels so he knows what attempts are feasible in a contest.  He also has to give his body, and maybe more importantly, his mind an opportunity to adapt to the heavyweights. But I really think that most of the benefit that lifters experience from doing lifts in the 1-5 rep range is neuromuscular. Training their brain and body to interact is a way that allows a strong signal can be sent to the muscles, so that every available muscle fiber can be recruited for one maximum explosion of power.  I usually switch to the lower reps 4 or 5 weeks away from a contest.  Would I get more benefit from spending more time with the lower reps in my lifting? Who knows, but I am convinced that some combination of the lower reps and the “bodybuilding” could benefit every lifter and probably most every athlete

What about Dave’s idea. Could it result in a nice mix of type 2B fiber development and neuromuscular activity?  Possibly so.  Lifting is definitely not an exact science, but there a lot of science involved.  A lot of different things have worked quite well for a lot of different people. I guess my feeling is this. If you have a better understanding of how all these different factors contribute to the big picture then you might have a little more success in designing the workout that gives you the results you are looking for.

ARE YOU REALLY WORKING HARD?

BY DAVE GLASGOW

Larry Traub performing a 325 pound Zercher Lift at the 2011 USAWA National Championships in route to winning the Overall Best Lifter Award in Larry's first USAWA National Meet appearance. Obviously, Larry has worked out very hard in his life to achieve this accomplishment! (photo and caption courtesy of webmaster)

ASK ANYONE WHO TRAINS WITH WEIGHTS. ARE YOU WORKING HARD?? NINETY NINE OUT OF A HUNDRED WILL LOOK YOU RIGHT IN THE EYE AND SAY, “YES, I WORK HARD!!” HMMMM…ARE THEY REALLY??

A FEW YEARS AGO, THE WINFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT SPONSERED MY BUDDY AND EARLIEST TRAINING PARTNER, LARRY TRAUB, TO COME AND SPEAK TO THE LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES ABOUT LIFTING AND HIS TRAINING PHYLOSOPY.  WITH NUMEROUS NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS AND COUNTLESS NATIONAL CHAMPS TO HIS CREDIT, AS WELL AS HIS OWN RESUME’,  WE FELT HE HAD SOMETHING TO SAY!!  HE WAS SCHEDULED TO TALK FOLLOWING A MORNING WORKOUT BY THE HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM.  HE TOLD ME HE WANTED TO GO WORKOUT AT THE SAME TIME AS THE KIDS WERE HAVING THEIR WORKOUTS. LITTLE DID I KNOW THIS WAS REALLY A RECONISCONCE MISSION!!

FOLLOWING THEIR WORKOUT, HIS TALK BEGAN.  LARRY’S PHIOSOPHY CAME OUT AND HE CALLED FOR ONE OF THE LIFTERS OF THAT MORNING’S WORKOUT TO COME FORWARD.  AS I RECALL,  HE WAS ONE OF THE ‘STRONGEST’ OF THAT GROUP AND HAD BEEN SQUATING WITH WHAT I WOULD CALL A MODERATE WEIGHT, FOR FIVE REPS.  THIS SEEMED TO BE ABOUT ALL THE KID COULD HANDLE.  LARRY TOLD THE BOY THAT HE WAS WATCHING HIM SQUAT EARLIER AND, ALTHOUGH HE HAD JUST FINISHED HIS WORKOUT FOR THE DAY, HE (LARRY) WOULD LIKE HIM TO TRY SOMETHING FOR HIM.  LARRY LOADED THE BAR WITH THE VERY SAME WEIGHT THAT THE LAD WAS USING PRIOR AND SAID, “OKAY. I’LL BET YOU THAT, EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE DONE YOUR WORKOUT, YOU CAN DO 10 REPS WITH THE SAME WEIGHT YOU WERE USING BEFORE!”  EVERYONE LAUGHED, THE BOY SEEMED SKEPTICAL BUT SAID HE WOULD GIVE IT A GO.  WITH EACH REP, THE LAD WAS ENCOURAGED TO “GET ONE MORE!”, AND EACH TIME, HE COMPLIDED! UNTIL HE HAD DONE 12 REPS!!

THERE WAS A LOT OF WHISPERING AND GIGGLING BUT THE POINT HAD BEEN MADE. “MAYBE WE NEED TO WORK JUST A LITTLE HARDER!”

I KNOW IN MY OWN CASE, I FIND MYSELF ON AUTO-PILOT, JUST GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS A LOT OF THE TIME.  HOWEVER, THE POINT OF THE WHOLE TALK WAS THE NEED FOR INTENSITY!!  MOST ANY PROGRAM WILL BRING A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF SUCCESS.  BUT, YOU HAVE TO BRING THE INTENSITY IN ORDER TO GET THE FULL BENEFIT OF THE WORKOUT. SO, THE NEXT TIME YOU ARE TRAINING, ASK YOURSELF. “AM I REALLY WORKING HARD!!”  YOU MAY SURPRISE YOURSELF, IF YOU ARE HONEST, WITH THE ANSWER!!

Atomic Athletic Meet

MEET REPORTS and RESULTS

The 2011 Atomic Athletic Tractor Pull Weekend Meet

Dave Polzin, at age 61, performed a 220 pound Clean and Push Press at the Atomic Athletic Tractor Pull Weekend Meet.

MEET REPORT by Scott Schmidt

On August 20Th, Roger LaPointe was the Meet Director of another fun and successful USAWA All Round Weightlifting event. Located in Bowling Green, Ohio, the competition drew several Hall of Fame members as well as a good amount of new members. I am providing this brief overview for our organization for 2 reasons. One, to inform our readers what took place.  And two, to say Thank You to Roger for his efforts in helping grow our membership by being able to conduct competitions at his facility.

The lifts that took place were; The one arm dead lift, the clean and push press, and the trap bar dead lift. Since we had acceptable weather that day, the competition was held outdoors. Roger will be providing the detailed results from each lifter. I just wanted to let everyone know that we all had fun, many records were set, and a great spirit of camaraderie was felt by all participants.

As we know, to be successful in our sport takes a lot of effort. What was another great characteristic of this event was all the participants enthusiasm. Encouragement to one another, and a happy conclusion with the top 5 athletes receiving medals. Enjoy competing showing your strength? Join the USAWA. You will have an opportunity for recognition and be rewarded for your efforts. We have many lifts to chose from. So if you want to attend a record day meet and see what you can do, I am certain you will enjoy participating in the USAWA. We highly respect the accomplishments of any strength athlete. And you will feel  proud once you can get your name on the record list.

Stay Strong!

MEET REPORT by Roger LaPointe

Boy, we sure had a great day to lift.  Last Saturday, August 20, 2011, turned out to be a beautiful day.  Really, any day with a weightlifting meet that goes without a hitch is a good day, but this was a GREAT day.   The competition platform was outside at the Atomic Athletic Tractor Pull Weekend USAWA Meet.  Outdoor meets are always a risk in Northwestern Ohio, we can have all four seasons in one day.  Yet, just as it started to heat up, we had a few clouds roll in, making it slightly overcast.  Perfect.

Meet Highlights

Here are some highlights from a flawless three lift All Round Weightlifting event.  The lifts were: the One Hand Barbell Deadlift, Clean & Push Press, and Trap Bar Deadlift; which were competed at in that order.

 The Top 5 Male Lifters, by formula were:

1stPlace: David Polzin

2ndPlace: John McKean

3rdPlace: Dennis Habecker

4th Place: Scott Schmidt

5thPlace: Roger LaPointe

While all the lifting was very well done, I really have to congratulate Dave Polzin for winning Best Lifter.  His first All Round Meet was our Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Picnic Meet, of this last May.   Dave was a National Level Olympic style weightlifter in the late 1970s through the mid-1980s.  Dave’s highest placing was second in the US Nationals, in the 110 kg weight class.  He was known for his powerful clean & jerk, with which he hit 200 kg (440 lbs.).  It was obviously a good background for the All-Rounds, which is not always an easy transition.  Dave had never done a one hand barbell deadlift until last April, yet, on Saturday, he pulled 132.5 kg (292.1 lbs.).  His clean & push press was another world record for his 61 year old age group (60-64 years), at 100 kg.  I believe he has more than that in him and he has to power clean the weight.  Like many of us, his knees are not what they used to be.  Dave had never seen a trap bar until he started training at Atomic Athletic and he pulled 205 kilos (451.9 lbs.).  Today, Dave lifts in the 100 kg weight class.  We hope to see a good deal more of his lifting in the All-Rounds.

 Meet Facts

The officiating was outstanding, having five international level officials taking turns as judges.  This was also a drug tested event.  We have had two USAWA events here at Atomic Athletic, with both of them being tested.  There are an increasing number of officials and regular USAWA lifters checking out what we have going on here.  I really think they are most pleased by the number of new lifters we have been bringing into the organization.  There were three brand new lifters competing on Saturday, with many of the new lifters competing for a second time.  While attempting to maintain professionalism, we also like to keep it fun, with a relaxed and positive atmosphere.

Make sure to check out our next meet.  It will be announced in the very near future.  Call me at Atomic Athletic if you have any suggestions for lifts (419)352-5100.

MEET RESULTS

Atomic Athletic Tractor Pull Weekend Meet
Bowling Green, OH
August 20th, 2011

Meet Director:  Roger LaPointe

Officials (3 official system used):  John McKean, Denny Habecker, Scott Schmidt, Art Montini, Bob Geib

Lifts:  Deadlift – One Arm, Clean and Push Press, Deadlift – Trap Bar

Womens Division

Lifter Age BWT DL-1arm C&PP Trap Total Points
Shannon Watkins 32 76.4 165-R 115 275 555 548.7
Susan Sees 48 89.8 99-R 94 209 402 393.8

Mens Division

Lifter Age BWT DL-1arm C&PP Trap Total Points
Dave Polzin 61 99.5 292-R 220 452 964 999.0
John McKean 65 74.9 264-R 88 341 693 873.9
Denny Habecker 68 88.0 242-R 148 330 720 824.7
Scott Schmidt 58 110.0 275-R 193 358 826 792.2
Roger LaPointe 40 74.6 270-R 165 308 743 752.9
Tom Ballengee 59 79.2 165-R 143 308 616 714.9
Art Montini 83 86.1 176-R 77 242 495 656.1
Bob Geib 68 117.0 154-R 88 375 617 621.8
Tom Montague-Casillas 14 130.1 165-L 132 341 638 567.8
Andrew Titkemeier 32 112.5 0 0 529 529 421.5

NOTES:  BWT is bodyweight listed in kilograms.  All  lifts recorded in pounds.  Total is total pounds lifted.  Points are adjusted points corrected for bodyweight adjustment and age allowance.

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORDS:

Tom Montague-Casillas
Clean and Push Press: 143 pounds

Shannon Watkins
Deadlift – Trap Bar: 286 pounds

Susan Sees
Deadlift – Trap Bar: 220 pounds

2″ Vertical Bar Training Tips

by Ben Edwards

This is Ben's record lift of 251 pounds in the One Hand Vertical Bar Deadlift done at the 2011 Dino Days Record Day last weekend. This is the new ALL TIME Vertical Bar Deadlift record in the USAWA, breaking the record held of 250 pounds by Andrew Durniat. At this same record day, Ben also did a 240 pound LEFT HANDED Vertical Bar Deadlift, which is the highest left handed mark as well! (photo and caption courtesy of webmaster)

I’m going to share a few tips that have helped me push my record in the 2″ vertical bar significantly higher in my weight class over the past few years. 

The key to this lift is obviously grip strength.  But a sometimes overlooked factor that makes a big difference in the amount of weight that can be lifted is the grip taken on the vertical bar at the start of the lift.   An over grip is the most efficient grip when performing the USAWA version of the 2” vertical bar.  That distinction is made because in other grip contests that I compete in – those that are not USAWA contests – a supinated grip is far more efficient in lifting maximal poundages for most people.   USAWA rules dictate that the weights attached to the vertical bar will be lifted to the required height and then held motionless until the judge gives the down command.   When a supinated grip is used the weights will rotate quite a bit and tend to spin right out of the hand essentially.  The supinated grip is best used to lift heavy weights over short distances – 2” is the minimum height needed to be a contest-legal lift in most non-USAWA grip contests.    An over grip prevents the rotation of the plates and is therefore much more efficient than lifting the weight and then expending energy trying to stop the rotation of the weights before getting the judge’s down signal.   A handshake grip will involve less rotation of the weights than the supinated grip.  But it isn’t as efficient as the over grip in preventing rotation of the weights. 

One simple rule I adhere to in my training is to attempt to do every lift in contest-legal form.  If I fail to perform the lift in contest-legal form I note that in my training log and set my goal for the next workout a little higher than what I achieved in the last workout.   I videotape all of my near-max attempts in training.  While resting for the next set – I review the video to make sure that I performed the lift in contest-legal form.  I also critique my form to make sure that I’m not wasting energy stopping the rotation of the plates (using an over grip usually means that I don’t worry about rotation of the plates) and that I’m pulling the vertical bar in the most direct up-and-down motion as possible.

So to summarize:

  • Use the over grip exclusively in training.

-It is the most efficient grip for the USAWA 2” vertical bar rules. 

  • Perform each lift in contest-legal form. 

-That way when you’re attempting to break a record you won’t have any accidental lapses in form – due to training with a loose style that doesn’t exactly match the contest-legal performance of the lift. 

  • Videotape each near-max attempt in training.

-Review the video to ensure that all of your near-max lifts are performed in contest-legal form so that you won’t have any surprises in a contest setting.

One Inch Vertical Bar

This was a 387 pound 1” vertical bar training lift (December of 2006) that was pulled a little higher than the (non-USAWA) standard grip contest minimum height requirement of 2 inches.  What the photo doesn’t show is that the weights were rotating from the time they left the floor until they touched down again.  Standard grip contests don’t require the rotation of the weights to be stopped – or a judge’s down signal.  These more relaxed rules allow significantly more weight to be lifted compared to the strict USAWA rules.  

Two Inch One Handed Vertical Bar Deadlift by Ben Edwards.

This was my event-winning 2” vertical bar lift from the 2011 USAWA National Grip Championships held at the Dino Gym in February.  You can clearly see the over grip being put to work.  It allowed me to pull the weights straight up – without worrying about having to stop the rotation of the plates – and then lower the weights straight down as quickly as possible after receiving the judge’s down signal. 

Minimizing the time spent holding the weight is of paramount importance in maximizing your poundage lifted.

John W. Schubert

by Scott Schmidt

Recently, one of the Icons of our Strength Sports, John W. Schubert passed away. He was approaching his 90Th birthday. As a tribute to all his involvement with perpetuating weightlifting in my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio, I thought it would be appropriate to let our USAWA organization know some of the history of all of John’s success.One of John’s closest ties to All Round Weightlifting was our past President, Howard Prechtel. The fellow Marines trained together, and both loved to conduct competitions in Olympic weightlifting and All Round weightlifting.

John started his weightlifting career in 1940.  By the 1950’s, he won several physique contests. In 1957, he won the Junior National title in Olympic weightlifting. He also started his very well known and extremely successful Olympic Health Club. For years, he coached hundreds of athletes. In addition to his training many National Olympic Weightlifting Champions, John also had a good deal of influence on the success of 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist Chuck Vinci. Based on his coaching and individual success, John has achieved Sports Hall of Fame status at both the Local and National level.

Besides John’s passion to help others reach the very best of their ability, he also had a strong desire to compete himself. Even before the Masters program was introduced, when John was in his 40’s then 50’s, he was often in a medal winning position in his weight class in the Open Division. He stayed very competitive for years. Once he was able to compete in the Masters, not only did he win many titles, he set a tremendous amount of National records. While Olympic weightlifting was his primary sport, John was also highly successful in All Round weightlifting. Again, winning titles and setting records.

Regarding any event involving strength and fitness, John would gladly assist with his connections and organizational ability so the competitions would draw great attendance.

 A true strength sport legend and innovator that helped positively influence and shape the character of hundreds of successful individuals.

May John Rest in Peace. And our thoughts and prayers go out to John’s family.

Delaware Valley Postal

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT:

2011 Delaware Valley Open Postal Meet

Dates: Between September 1st and September 30th, 2011

Entry form must be postmarked by October 5th, 2011

Must be a current USAWA member to be eligible for competition

Entry Fee: None

Official USAWA rules apply as outlined in the Rule Book

Lifts:

Push Press – From Rack

Swing – Dumbbell, One Arm

Zercher Lift

For entry form -  Delaware Valley Open Postal Entry