Everybody’s got to have Goals!

by Thom Van Vleck

My main goal for 2013 is to look as sexy as possible. (photo and caption courtesy of the webmaster)

Just curious if anyone else is a “goal setter”.  As the new year approaches, I try to ponder the coming year.  I have often set “New Years Resolutions” as many do and as many that set them also do….I break a lot of them!  Here are some things I’ve learned about setting goals.

First, don’t box your self in.  I try and set marks to shoot for, but I’m also not too rigid about leaving open the chance for “targets of opportunity”.   In the Marine Corps we were taught that you may have an objective, but if an easy target (target of opportunity” came up, the go for it!  Maybe you start out wanting to hit a big squat, but your knee flares up.  Then you find the squats you’ve been working on have helped your deadlift.  Go for a big deadlift and forget about the squat until the knee is better and DO NOT push the knee into a serious injury by stubbornly pushing through it.   Maybe you set a goal to lose 50lbs but find 35lbs gets you were you want…..how you look and feel is more important than what the scale says.

Overall shape.  My primary training goal for 2013 is to get in the best overall shape of my life.  I have went from 310lbs to around 280….I am not dieting, just stopped eating junk.  More protein, less carbs, fat, sugar.  I want to continue this.  I have no “goal” weight but I do want to lose fat, and get leaner. I have set a bottom number of 242lbs….that’s a long story…but if I can’t get lean enough at that weight I will just have to work harder!  Too often in the past I have just wanted to be stronger….when being healthy first will ultimately create lasting strength.

Lifting.  In the past, I have set poundage goals….This year I’m trying something different.  I’m not going to worry about how much I lift, I’m going to focus on intensity.  It is my goal to enter each lifting session with more intensity and not measuring success.  Too often I’ve set up lifting routines that are many weeks of hitting the same lifts….this time I’m going to be flexible.  I want to go into the gym excited about what I’m doing and embrace changes in my routine as a positive rather than a failure to hit lifts mapped out months earlier.

Have goals, sub-goals, and a “quota” goal.  My Uncle Phil years ago managed salesmen.  I asked him if he set goals for them.  He said, “They call them goals, I call them quotas”.  His point was he would set a hard goal that was high and probably unrealistic and make it a quota….then when they fell short he would sit down with them and look at what they achieved, not that they had failed to reach their “quota”.  He felt that by reaching unrealistically high they would achieve more than had they set “too easy” goals….because he found when most hit their goals….they QUIT TRYING.  He also like to set up sub goals that were rewarded along the way.  He often rewarded his salesmen out of his own pocket when they reached sub goals.  Reward yourself as you hit goals and make yourself into “Pavlov’s Dog”!  They you will salivate at the thought of being successful.

I don’t claim to be an expert in this area, these are just some lessons I have learned over the years.  I am looking for a big year in 2013!  I want to be leaner, stronger, lift bigger weights, throw farther in the highland games….and if I end up a little “sexier” (by the way, the photo above was Al’s doing!!!!) all the better!

Lifter of the Month: Ruth Jackson

by Al Myers

Congratulations goes to Ruth Jackson for being named the USAWA Lifter of the Month for December 2012.  Ruth was the OVERALL BEST WOMENS LIFTER at the 2012 IAWA World Championships in her first All-Round competition.  She followed up that stellar performance with setting 43 records at the Gracie Judo Club Record Day on the 1st of December.

I have been keeping a listing of the PAST LIFTERS OF THE MONTH on the website.   So when a lifter wins this title - they will FOREVER be listed in the USAWA Archives.  If any of the winners would like a certificate of their accomplishment just send me an email and I’ll send you one.  And please don’t ask because you think it will cause me more work – I can make a certificate for you in less than a minute (but don’t expect anything fancy haha).  

Below is the listing of the 2012 Lifters of the Month.  I have included links beside each name that links to the story of their Lifter of the Month blog.

LIFTERS OF THE MONTH FOR 2012

MONTH LIFTER STORY
January none  
February none  
March none  
April Chad Ullom http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-chad-ullom/
May Eric Todd http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-eric-todd/
June Al Myers  
July Bryan Benzel http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-bryan-benzel/
August Dale Friesz http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-dale-friesz/
September Barry Bryan http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-barry-bryan/
October Dan Wagman http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-dan-wagman/
November Denny Habecker http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-denny-habecker/
December Ruth Jackson  

The Infamous Weightlifter’s Weekend 1979

by Thom Van Vleck

I was looking through a 1979 edition of Bill  Clark’s “Weightlifting Newsletter”.  There was a meet report for the 1979 Weightlifter’s Weekend.  This was an annual meet that included a wide range of competitions that spanned more than lifting.  Here’s a list of what was competed in the two day event:

Judd Lift, Miller C & J, Kelly Snatch, Zercher Lift, Steinborn, Zercher (again the second day), Seated Press, one hand deadlift, one hand snatch, Hack Lift, 12lb shot, 16lb shot, College Discus, 16lb Olympic Hammer, Javelin, 100, 220, 440, 880 and 1500 runs, Standing Long Jump, Running Long Jump, Triple jump (standing and running), back jump, one and two hand chinning, one and two hand pushups, Inman Mile (won by Jerry Inman), Tennis, 10K walk, Handwalking for distance, Axe throwing, Golf, and last but not least,  Bowling (singles and doubles).

The meet was won by Jerry Inman….by virtue of competing in the most events!   Bill Clark was second for pretty much the same reason.  Wayne Smith was given the top Master Award.  Some of the top lifts included a 120lb Kelly Snatch, 400lb Steinborn, 400lb right hand deadlift by Bob Burtzloff.  Bill Davis had a 505lb Zercher and 555lbs Hack lift.  My old lifting partner Jim Noble won the shot and discus (he was only 16, but was also the state high school champ in the discus).  Wayne Smith won the chin ups with 2 for the single arm and 27 for two arms as well as edging Clark out in the bowling.  I think that it’s interesting that while Jerry Inman won the “Inman Mile”….he did NOT go anywhere near a mile!

I know they held this event every year for some time.  The idea was guys would come and lay down challenge events and you either “manned up” or passed.  For example, I know Wayne Smith suggested the Ax throw.  I remember this because I worked for him cutting trees and he was great at throwing and ax which is why he laid down the challenge.  However, he could not get the ax to stick that day and was defeated….we didn’t let him hear the last of that for some time.

What would you think of a meet like that? Plenty of “real” lifts, but lots of unusual stuff.  Would you be a gamer?  Or call it crazy?  There’s no doubt those guys back then knew how to have fun!  Maybe the “WW” should make a comeback!!!!!

A MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR A LOSER

BY DAVE GLASGOW

THIS MAY SEEM A STRANGE TITLE FOR A HOLIDAY STORY, HOWEVER, LET ME SAY THIS IS MORE A STORY OF ONE MAN’S DISCIPLINE AND MORAL FIBER THAN THE STORY OF A “LOSER”. OH, AND MIGHT I ALSO MENTION KARMA?? LET ME EXPLAIN.

I AM, BY TRAINING, A PARAMEDIC AND AN EMERGENCY NURSE. I ALSO HAVE A BACKROUND IN LAW ENFORCEMENT, BUT THAT IS ANOTHER STORY ALL TOGETHER!! A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, I WORKED AT A LEVEL I TRAUMA CENTER IN A LARGE CITY. WE SAW ALL TYPES OF PATIENTS. SOME OF THEM WERE EVEN SICK (THAT’S AN INSIDE JOKE)!!

GENE BRODY (NAME HAS BEEN ALTERED FOR OBVIOUS REASONS) WAS A REGULAR. IT WAS NOT UNCOMMON FOR GENE TO HIT THE E.R. WITH SOME COMPLAINT OR ANOTHER, THREE OR FOUR TIMES A WEEK. HOWEVER, HE WAS JUST, GENREALLY, DRUNK AND OBNOXIOUS. EVERYONE, DOWN TO THE CUSTODIAL CREW, KNEW GENE. NOBODY WANTED TO DEAL WITH HIM.

FORTUNATELY FOR THE STAFF OF OUR HOSPITAL, WE WERE ON EXCELLENT TERMS WITH THE LOCAL COPS. THEY ENJOYED COMING BY TO COMPLETE PAPERWORK FOR THE MULTITUDE OF CASES THEY CUT PER SHIFT, AS OUR HOSPITAL WAS LOCATED IN THE NOT SO ’GOOD’ PART OF TOWN, OR JUST CHAT WITH THE CREW. THEY WERE GOOD GUYS!!

ONE OF THESE COPS WAS A STRAPPING LAD, COLLEN MURDOCK(NAME CHANGED, AS WELL), WHO HAD BEEN ON THE FORCE FOR ABOUT 5 YEARS. HE WAS KNOWN AS A REAL MOVER AND SHAKER AND IT WAS GENERALLY CONSIDERED HE WAS ON A FAST TRACK TO SERGANT AND BEYOND. AT 6’4”, AND 285 POUNDS OF CHESLED IVORY, HANDSOME AND WELL SPOKEN, HE CUT QUITE A FIGURE AND THE FEMALE STAFF FOUND IT HARD TO GET THEIR WORK DONE WHENEVER HE SHOWED UP! IT WAS QUITE OBVIOUS HE WAS A ‘LIFTER’ SO WE BECAME PRETTY GOOD FRIENDS BECAUSE OF OUR MUTUAL INTEREST.

IN OUR DISCUSSIONS, AMONG OTHER THINGS, WE TALKED ABOUT WORKING NIGHT SHIFT AND HOW HARD IT WAS TO TRAIN AND TRY TO MAINTAIN ANY FORM OF FAMILY LIFE, NOT TO MENTION A REGULAR SLEEPING SCHEDULE. HE SAID, “DAVE, IT’S ALL A MATTER OF DISCIPLINE, MENTAL TOUGHNESS AND WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU!!” I SAID, “YEAH, AND I STRUGGLE WITH IT EVERYDAY!” WE LAUGHED AND ENDED OUR TALK FOR THE NIGHT.

FAST FORWARD ABOUT 6 MONTHS, AND WHO SHOULD SHOW UP IN THE E.R. WITH OUR 2XXL COP BUT GENE BRODY! ‘FOUND HIM TEARING UP A FENCE OVER ON ST. FRANCIS. HE’S GOT A PRETTY NASTY CUT ON HIS HAND FROM A NAIL AND HE MUST HAVE BUSTED HIS LIP SOMEHOW. I CAN’T TAKE HIM TO JAIL CUT AND BLOODY LIKE THAT.” THERE WERE SEVERAL OF US STANDING AROUND IN THE ROOM WITH THEM AS GENE WAS IN A PARTICULARLY SURLEY, NASTY MOOD ON THIS NIGHT. YOU NEVER KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN WITH GENE.

COLLEN WAS UNCUFFING GENE AND JUST FINISHED WHEN GENE SUDDENLY WHEELED AROUND AND SPIT A WAD OF BLOOD, PHELM AND CRAP THAT I WOULD RATHER NOT THINK ABOUT RIGHT SQUARE IN COLLEN’S FACE. NOW, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, COLLEN HAD EVERY RIGHT TO THROTTLE GENE AND THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NOT ONE PERSON IN THAT ROOM WHO WOULD HAVE SAID A WORD. WE IMMEDIATELY JUMPED ON GENE AND RESTRAINED HIM, WHILE PUTTING A PILLOW CASE OVER HIS HEAD TO KEEP THE REST OF US FROM BEING THE UNHAPPY RECIPIANTS OF GENE’S EXPECTORANTS.

COLLEN NEVER MOVED, NEVER SAID A WORD, HOWEVER, HIS FACIAL EXPRESSION CHANGED TO THAT OF ONE VERY PISSED OFF PUBLIC SERVANT. YOU COULD SEE THE ANGER IN HIS EYES AS THE SPITAL RAN DOWN HIS FACE. NONE THE LESS, HE CALMLY TURNED TO THE SINK AND WASHED HIS FACE WITH THE ANTIBIOTIC SOAP WE READILY PROVIDED. COLLEN KNEW WELL WHAT HE MAY, VERY WELL, HAVE JUST BEEN EXPOSED TO. WITH A WIFE AND NEW BABY, HIS THOUGHTS WERE OF THEM AND NOT HIMSELF.

AS HE HAD A NIGHTMARE OF PAPERWORK TO COMPLETE DUE TO THE ‘INCIDENT’, COLLEN WAS RELIEVED BY A PAIR OF JUMBO COPS THAT CAME IN NOT LONG AFTER.

LATER, ON THE HOUR COMMUTE TO MY HOME THAT MORNING, I REFLECTED ON THE AMOUNT OF DISCIPLINE AND MENTAL TOUGHNESS IT TOOK FOR COLLEN NOT TO MASH GENE INTO A WITHERING MASS OF PLASMA. THEN, I REMEMBERED OUR TALK ABOUT TRAINING AND IT’S RELATIONSHIP TO A POSITIVE MIND SET, MENTAL TOUGHNESS AND DISCIPLINE.

IT OCURRS TO ME, NOW, THAT EACH OF US BRING THIS ‘MIND SET’ TO THE TRAINING HALL EACH AND EVERY TIME WE HAVE A WORKOUT. IT ALSO WOULD MAKE SENSE THAT THIS THINKING GOES BOTH WAYS. WE DISCIPLINE OURSELVES TO PERFORM IN THE GYM AND THIS STRENGTH IS TWO FOLD; MENTAL AND PHYSICAL. YOU, REALLY, CAN’T HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER AND THEY BOTH REQUIRE MAINTAINENCE. ALSO, THE MENTAL TOUGHNESS AND DISCIPLINE WE USE IN THE GYM IS CARRIED OVER DAY TO DAY, IN ALMOST EVERYTHING WE DO!!

SO, WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS, YOU WANT TO KNOW?? HERE’S THE REST OF THE STORY…..

NOT LONG AFTER THE AFOREMENTIONED ‘INCIDENT’, A COP WAS PATROLING HIS BEAT, TWO DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS ON A VERY COLD, WINDY NIGHT WHEN HE, QUITE BY ACCIDENT, SAW SOMETHING BETWEEN TWO ABANDONED HOUSES. SOMETHING JUST DID’NT LOOK RIGHT!

EXITING THE CAR, THE COP FOUND A VERY DRUNK AND HYPOTHERMIC INDIVIDUAL HE RECOGNIZED AS GENE BRODY! NEAR UNCONSCIOUNESS, COVERED WITH DIRT, URINE, VOMIT AND EXCRETEMENT, GENE WAS VERY NEAR DEATH. THE COP IMMEDIATELY CALLED FOR AN AMBULANCE, WRAPPED THE UNFORTUNATE MR. BRODY IN HIS (THE COP’S) ‘TUFFY’ JACKET AND WENT TO HIS CAR TO GET AN EXTRA BLANKET HE ALWAYS CARRIED.

I HAPPENED TO BE ON THAT NIGHT AND IT MADE ME PROUD TO SEE HOW THE STAFF SNAPPED TO, DOING THEIR BEST FOR THIS INDIVIDUAL THAT HAD GIVEN THEM NOTHING BUT GREIF FOR SO LONG.

AS WE WERE WORKING ON HIM, I ASKED THE EMS CREW WHO FOUND HIM. THEY JUST POINTED TO THE DOORWAY WHERE COLLEN WAS STANDING, WITH A GRIN ON HIS FACE I’LL NEVER FORGET.

COLLEN COULD VERY WELL HAVE SEEN WHO IT WAS AND JUST DRIVEN OFF. NOBODY WOULD KNOW AND, REALLY, NOBODY WOULD HAVE CARED. BUT, COLLEN WOULD KNOW AND HE DID CARE. FOR GENE BRODY, WHAT GOES AROUND DID NOT COME AROUND. I LIKE TO THINK IT ALL BECAUSE OF ONE COP’S MORAL COURAGE AND DISCIPLINE, SHARPENED IN THE WEIGHT ROOM EVERY TIME HE TOOK A WORKOUT.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!! HAPPY CHRISTMAS, GENE BRODY! WHEREVER YOU ARE!!

Top Performances of 2012 – PART 2

by Al Myers

Now it’s time to finish the  count down of the TOP PERFORMANCES of 2012! 

5.  Bryan Benzel and his 355 pound Apollons Lift.

Bryan Benzel performing the Apollons Lift at the 2012 Battle in the Barn.

Bryan “THE BIG YOUNG BULL” Benzel made his “name known” at ET’s Battle in the Barn OTSM meet last spring.  Included in the list of events was the Apollons Lift, which represents the performance done by the old time strongman Louis Uni, aka Apollon.  Apollon lifted his famous Apollon’s Wheels, which weighed 366#, overhead in his show performances.   The Bull  about  beat the mark set by the mighty Apollon!

4.  Adam Glass lifting 822 pounds in the Dinnie Lift at the Minneapolis Meet.

Adam Glass performing the Dinnie Lift at the 2012 Minneapolis Meet.

Adam Glass is, without a doubt, a WORLD CLASS grip man.  I am so glad that I was able to see this performance of his first-hand, because if not, I don’t know if I would have truly believed that he could lift so much in the Dinnie Lift.   Hopefully someday Adam will have an opportunity to attempt the actual stones – because if we are taking bets I’m going to place my bet on him that he’ll lift them!

3.  Dan Wagman’s 359 pound Steinborn Lift at Worlds.

Dan Wagman performing the Steinborn Lift in route to winning the Overall Best Lifter at the 2012 IAWA World Championships in Salina, Kansas.

I’ve known Dan “PURE POWER” Wagman for several years, and know what an outstanding lifter he is.  I had the feeling that the OVERALL CHAMPION of the 2012 Worlds was going to come down to a battle between him and my training buddy Chad.  I felt Chad’s “ace in the hole” was going to be the Steinborn Lift, and a lift that he might be able to distance himself from Dan.  However, this was not to be (even though Chad put up his All Time best Steinborn of 202.5kg) when Dan put up a huge Steinborn Lift of 359 pounds.  I was not expecting this out of Dan – and in turn quite surprised me – and that is why it made my ranking of number 3 of impressive lifts of 2012.

2.  Wilbur Miller’s 457# 12 inch base Deadlift.

Wilbur Miller (left) and Denny Habecker (right) at the Dino Gym.

It’s been years since Wilbur Miller was nicknamed the Cimarron Kid, but at an age of 79 he still lifts like a kid!  This amazing deadlift of his has to be regarded as one of the best performances of ALL-TIME in the USAWA as well.  

1.  Eric “ET” Todd and the monsterous WORLD RECORD Neck Lift of 1030 pounds!

Eric Todd performing his World Record Neck Lift at the 2012 IAWA World Championships.

This was the most impressive lift in the USAWA for 2012. I’m sure most everyone would agree with me on this.   Following the World Championships, Eric and Chad Ullom engaged each other in an “one on one” Neck Lift Challenge to determine who the best neck lifter was.  Both guys eclipsed the 1000 pound barrier in a climatic fashion, and in doing so, set the new mark for Neck Lifting.  I would like to think that both of these guys learned everything they know about Neck Lifting from me – but I know that isn’t true! (but I did make both of their neck harnesses which might have helped them a little bit…)  

HONERABLE MENTION FOR NUMBER ONE -

1.  Chad “THE CHAMP” Ullom lifting the Dinnie Stones for 25 reps! I giving this Honorable Mention Number One because this was not a competition lift – but done within the realms of an IAWA event.

Chad Ullom lifting the Dinnie Stone.

The day after the Gold Cup in Glasgow several of us made a visit to lift the Dinnie Stones. Chad was only hoping to become the FIFTH American to ever lift the stones unassisted (without straps) when he set up for his first attempt.  However, the stones came up with EASE!  It looked like he was warming up with a 135# deadlift!  After that he decided to test himself for total reps and finished with 25 unassisted reps with the Dinnie Stones, the most by anyone in a single day (done along with Mark Haydock of England).  It was a remarkable display of strength.  His performance must have shocked the stone lifting community because afterwards he endured much criticism for this performance along with a personal attack on his character (which included being called a numpkie – I had to ask an English friend what that meant!!  haha ) .  Most of this was fueled by envy and jealousy to discredit him (along with Mark) and to try to take away from their great display of  Dinnie stone lifting.  However, both of these guys showed what class they have by not publicly responding to these personal attacks and proved to me (and others) that they are honorable  individuals.   That’s all I’m going to say about that – I don’t have the time or energy  to deal with the HATERS.

I do want to point out with all this that it was me that suggested they stop at 25 reps to mark the 25th anniversary of IAWA. That was NEVER a goal of theirs going into this day.  They could have done another 25-50 reps if they really wanted to.  Chad’s hands were not the least bit damaged, and his 25th rep was as strong as his first. His grip was not slipping at all and he could have done many more reps.  He looked to me that he was just getting “warmed up”!!  However,  lunch time was upon us and I had to think of some way to get them to stop. I was getting hungry and the fish and chips at the Potarch Hotel were calling to me!!

Top Performances of 2012

by Al Myers

Today I was thinking about all of the GREAT lifting performances done in the USAWA throughout this past year.  I have been fortunate to have witnessed many of these performances firsthand.  I’ve given it a little thought and I have came up with the LIST of PERFORMANCES that I have watched during this past year, and compiled my TOP TEN.  This list is completely of my opinion, and does not represent any official view of the USAWA.  It also only includes lifts that I have seen myself – as there are many other great lifts done in the USAWA that I did not have the privilege of viewing and thus are not on this list.  I have also  ranked them – but this was extremely difficult as they are all worthy of top recognition.  I might have well just “flipped a coin” to determine the order – but here it goes!!! I’ll even do the countdown from number 10.

10.  Doug and Jera Kressly’s Team Deadlift of 650 pounds.

Doug and Jera Kressly performing a Team Deadlift at the 2012 USAWA Team Championships.

At this year’s USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS, Doug and Jera entered the first Mixed Pair (male & female) team in the Championships history.  And to add to the drama of this – the two of them are married!  I was extremely impressed when we got to the last event, the deadlift, and they pulled 650 pounds. I was really worried Doug was going to let Jera down and not pull his weight on the lift!   

9.  Denny Habecker and his Clean and Jerk at the Gold Cup.

Denny Habecker at the 2012 IAWA Gold Cup in Glasgow, Scotland.

I’ve already told the story about Denny and his performance at the 2012 IAWA Gold Cup in Scotland, despite being sick with the intestinal flu.  I was impressed that he would even attempt to lift feeling like that.  However, I DID NOT sit in the front row when he was lifting as I didn’t want to be in the path of any possible eruption! 

8.  Joe Garcia’s 1400# Hand and Thigh Lift at the Deanna Meet.

Joe Garcia and his signature lift, the Hand and Thigh Lift, at the 2012 Deanna Springs Meet.

Garcia and the Hand and Thigh Lift are becoming synonymous.  You think of one and you have to think of the other.  I keep thinking one of these days Joe G will lose his touch with the H&T which will  give me the edge – but it doesn’t look like it will ever happen! I knew my chances of winning the Deanna  meet was over at this point.

7.  Dale Friesz and his 154# Ring Fingers Deadlift at the Presidential Cup.

Dale Friesz won the 2012 USAWA Presidential Cup with this lift.

Last year Dale “the Miracle Man” Friesz performed a 122# Ring Fingers Deadlift and I raved and raved about it.  Now he’s UPPED his record to 154 pounds – that’s over a 30 pound increase!  This was the lift that WON Dale the prestigious PRESIDENTIAL CUP this year.  I beginning to think there must be bionics in that prosthetic leg of his.

6.  Larry Traub’s 529# Jefferson Lift at the National Championships.

Larry Traub (left) receiving his award at the 2012 USAWA National Championships in Las Vegas, NV.

Everyone knows Larry is an “out of this World” deadlifter, but at the 2012 USAWA National Championships in Las Vegas he also showed he is quite good at the Jefferson Lift as well.  Larry is 58 and only weighs 200 pounds, which makes his lift all the more impressive.  It would take over a 630# Jefferson Lift for an Senior Age group lifter (at the same BWT) to beat Larry in this lift with the age correction.  We make lifters weigh to verify their bodyweights, but we don’t make lifters show their ID’s to verify their ages.  Larry looks like he’s only 30.  Maybe it’s time for him to be “carded” at the next meet?

COMING TOMORROW – THE REST OF THE TOP PERFORMANCE COUNTDOWN!

It’s Time to Renew Membership!

by Al Myers

Hard to believe that another year of the USAWA is coming to an end!  This has been a great year for our organization.  Now is the time to renew your USAWA membership so you can take advantage of a full year’s membership.  I want to remind everyone that membership in the USAWA is for “the calendar year”.  Thus the logical time to renew membership is at the beginning of the year – January FIRST!  

I have already started recording the 2013 membership on the membership roster (it’s at the bottom).  Also, I include the “date beside the name” to remind everyone when you joined.  I want there to be “special distinction” of those that register early.  Any registration before January 1st, 2013 will receive that date as their date of registering.  I hope this encourages early registration.

Individual Membership Applications are found at the top of the left-hand column under “forms and applications”.  It is the very top item so it should be easy to find!  Please fill out the application fully in ledge-able print, and sign it.  Make checks/money orders out to the USAWA and send them to me (address on form).  Once I receive the application (with the $25 fee), I will list your name on the Membership Roster.  It doesn’t get any easier than that!!!

Gary Ell – The Tiverton Dynamo

by Al Myers

Recently I had the great fortune of interviewing  “The Tiverton Dynamo” Gary Ell.  Gary lives in Tiverton, Devon, England.  He trains at the Tiverton Weightlifting Club and has been competing at the IAWA World level for several years now.   Gary is a very dynamic lifter – and recently performed a very exhausting lifting marathon as a fundraiser for hospice.  Most don’t know this about Gary, but in March of 2007 he was in a serious car accident.  As he was sitting in his stationary car, another vehicle going 70 mph smashed into the back of his car! The doctors said he would never walk right again, let alone ever lift!  He has proved them all wrong.  Initially all he could do is Bench Press as he suffered a serious back injury. The other guys in the club had to actually lift him off the bench after his sets since he couldn’t get off the bench by himself!!!  Gradually, through persistent training he has been able to regain most of the lost strength.  Gary has a lifting tenacity that few have – thus earning the nickname of the Tiverton Dynamo!! Last month I was able to “catch up” with Gary at the Gold Cup in Glasgow, Scotland – so let’s get to the interview!

Gary Ell performing a 2" Bar Hack Lift of 185 kilograms at the 2012 IAWA Gold Cup in Glasgow, Scotland. This was the FIFTH BEST performance of the Gold Cup, based on the Blindt Formula.

AL:  Please tell me a little about yourself. I have known you for a few years now, but I don’t know much about your personal life.

GARY: Al, I have been married to Jackie for 18 years (Jackie works in a bakery).  I have one stepson Kris who is 22 and a chef, and 2 daughters Maddy (17) in the Royal marines band (saxophonist), and Mina (15) who is studying at high school. I worked previously as a brewery engineer and before that as a beer taster. For the past four years I have worked as an Ambulanceman. The other sport I play is Water Polo and I represent Tiverton playing in goal.  I have played many sports over the years including cricket, soccer and rowing.  My ‘weights’ career started in powerlifting, graduating into All-Round lifting for fresh challenges. I love the variety of lifts and never lack for a challenge,  always encouraging the youths at the club to try new lifts. No two workouts of mine are ever the same!

Gary Ell receiving congratulations for his fundraising effort!

AL:  Recently, you performed an IAWA lift (Total P0undage Lift)  that is not very well known for a charity cause. Could you elaborate on this? I’m interested in what motivated you to do this and why, as well as the specifics of your record setting effort.

Gary performing an overhead lift during the lifting marathon.

GARY:  I had decided to raise some money for charity (hospiscare – who look after cancer and other terminally ill patients).  I visit the hospice and I know the nurses who provide great help and support in the community as well. 1 in 3 people get cancer during their lifetime, some survive and unfortunately some don’t make it. Having read Steve Gardner’s tribute to Andy Goddard (although I hadn’t met Andy), this cemented my plan to do something positive.  Having found the Inman mile I persuaded the lads at the club to give it a go earlier in the year.  I looked for a fitting challenge.

Then the F4 lift “total in 3hrs 9 mins” was discovered. I mentioned it at the club that I wanted to give it a go. After putting together the necessary helpers, refs, etc, Mark Rattenberry said why don’t you do a variety of lifts? And so the ‘Century Lift a thon’ was born, comprising of 100 different IAWA lifts to be completed in the time limit.  I proceeded to construct a true all body list of the 100, incorporating Power, Dumbell, Olympic, Speciality(Steinborn, Zercher, Shoulder drop etc) and 2″ bar grip test as the lifts.  All the lifts had to be unaided, no harnesses or equipment lifts.  And all through just the hands.  (the Travis was included, but executed with just hands and no special belt).  The first challenge was to do the 100.  The second challenge was to look at the masters records and list them all, to see if any were possible!  The third challenge was to try and lift 15tons through the hands in the time.

And so the exhibition began, the lifts being done pretty much in order, no warm ups ,straight in , a blend of maximal lifting , repetitions, and speed lifts, one after the other (to catch up time).  Pauses and more attempts for the records, some just done and moved on to the next.  It became a battle of endurance and fatigue was a very big factor around the 2 hr mark. I’d left most of the deadlift style exercises to the end of the list, but only ended up with 1 rep straddle, hack and deadlift as the power had all gone.  All 100 exercises were completed, totalling 400 successful lifts, and 36522.7kgs (80349.9lbs)

Gary performing a hands together bench press during the event. Gary did 100 different All-Round lifts during his record setting performance!

AL:  That’s an amazing accomplishment! I’m sure you were pretty sore the next day! Surely, you had to have several helpers to make this effort happen? Also, I know you did this as a fundraiser. Did you met your goal?

GARY: Hands – Very sore, after the lifts I couldn’t straighten my fingers naturally and I had claw-like hands.  I ripped off four callouses, which are now healing.  Even today (Thursday) I have ‘Traps’ of iron, and surprisingly, sore hamstrings.  The guys at the club, Mark Rattenberry, Thomas Cleverley and Axel Amos, did refereeing and loading, and one of our younger lifters Dion Maynard loaded nearly every lift as well. Everything was set out at four lifting ’stations’ and without the help of the guys it wouldn’t have been possible.  I set myself an optimistic goal of raising £250,  and when it has all been collected the total will be very close to it.   I am very pleased to be able to make a contribution to the charity.

Just another lift done - the seated press.

AL: I commend you on using your given abilities in this manner. That is a noble cause in raising money for hospice, as cancer affects nearly every family. Are there any plans in the future to do this again?

GARY: As for any plans, I told the guys it was one of their turns on this event next year!  I was told , “We ain’t mad enough - only you are!!”,  which I found funny as well as honoured in an odd kind of way.  I am sure we will as a club do the Inman mile challenge again sometime in 2013.  As for me, I probably will come up with a madcap challenge at some point. I think I am likely to come up with a power rather than endurance event,  ” but I’m mad so who knows!!”.

AL: In closing, I want to thank you for allowing me to do this interview with you. Are there any more comments you would like to make?

GARY:  Al, I am deeply honoured that you wanted to do an article on this,  and I have had a beaming smile since being asked. I often read the articles on the USAWA website, and to be featured amongst the legends of the sport is a high honour for me, inspiring me to do more. It was all made possible by the help I got from the guys, and I have had a positive response and support from the charity calling me inspirational.  That is deeply touching and humbling.  It made all the pain and effort so worthwhile.

Last Call for Postal Championships!

by Al Myers

The very last meet of the year is the USAWA Postal Championships.  The deadline for completing your lifts is the last day of December.   The Postal Championships is the “grand finale” of the quarterly postal meets offered by the USAWA.   John Wilmot has been the director of these Postal Meets for some time, and now has the OFFICIAL TITLE of Postal Meet Director in the USAWA. 

I want to remind everyone that the Yearly Postal Meet Series scoring will be done again this year to “crown” a Postal Meet Champ for the year in the USAWA.  Each postal meet generates points for a lifter, with the Postal Championships being worth DOUBLE POINTS!  Even if you have not competed in the previous postal meets this year, competing in the Postal Championships may earn you enough points to place in the TOP TEN.  All details of this meet is located under “USAWA Events”  in the middle part of the right column of the home page.

Store Items IN STOCK

by Al Myers

Australian John Mahon wears his new USAWA Hoodie in the "chow line" following the 2012 IAWA World Championships.

Christmas and the Holiday Season is approaching fast and if you are like me, you still have gift shopping to do!  I want to remind everyone that the USAWA offers an online store that features several items that would make the perfect present for the All-Weightlifting enthusiast!  I have just recently upgraded the inventory on hand – and right now everything of all sizes  is IN STOCK.  It’s not too late to order as orders are filled and shipped out daily.  Please remember to “write the check” to the USAWA and NOT to me.  All online store items are found in the lower left-hand column of the front page.

ONLINE STORE ORDER FORM – Online Store Order Form (PDF)

The REAL Hack Lift

by Al Myers

Demonstration of the REAL Hack Lift!

Yesterdays story on the Hackenschmidt Floor Press opened up another topic for me (the Hack Lift) which I briefly discussed, but I think needs a little more discussion.  George “Hack” Hackenschmidt has been often tied to the naming of the Hack Lift.  As I stated yesterday, I feel this is slightly incorrect as the term “hack” comes from the German word “hacke” in abbreviated form.  I have read several sources supporting this feeling.  In the USAWA Discussion Forum yesterday Dan Wagman provided an excellent post on this argument, which I feel should be repeated here.  These are Dan’s words:

I’m excited about trying the Hack FP and really liked the fact that Al went beyond just sharing the proposed rules in his latest blog. To that point, I’d like to add some info regarding the origin of calling a lift the Hack-something-or-another. I grew up in Germany and am fluent in all respects in that language and two dialects, so I can speak with some authority regarding the potential root of the name of the Hack-lifts.

Al is somewhat correct in that the German word “Hacke” can be used to denote a heel. However, this is commonly only used in southern German dialect. The proper German word for heel is “Ferse.” A Hacke is indeed an axe, pickaxe, or mattock type tool.

Now, there’s another consideration to bear in mind. It is highly uncommon in Germany to shorten names as we do in America. Joseph would be Joseph, not Joe; Alfred would be Alfred, not Al; Schmidtbleicher would be just that, not Smitty; and most certainly nobody in Germany would’ve called Hackenschmidt Hack. He was Estonian, where many Estonians are of German descent, and based on his name, I’d surmise he was one of them, so I would therefore venture to guess that he wasn’t ever called Hack there, either.

So where does that leave us? Since he spent most of his life living in London, and since it is also fairly common in British English to shorten names, I would venture to guess that he was just called Hack over there and since he was so good at the deadlift from behind the body, that lift was just called the Hack deadlift, though some sources also called it the Hack squat.

Hope this didn’t end up boring y’all, I just think this stuff is interesting as all heck.

Daniel (my German name )

George Hackenschmidt was very well-known for doing the Hack Lift and he was very good at it. That alone gives “his name” some bearing into the naming of this lift as the Hack Lift.  I won’t deny him that.  But the way he did the Hack Lift is VERY MUCH different than the way we do it under the USAWA/IAWA rules.  I’m going to quote the famous strength historian David Willoughby here on the description of the REAL Hack Lift, so it won’t be construed by my own interpretation.  This is straight from his book The Super Athletes:

George Hackenschmidt of Russia, performed 50 consecutive “Hacke” (or “Hocke”) lifts with 50 kilos (110 3/4 pounds).  This feat was done in front of the famous German weight-trainer, Theodor Siebert, at Alsleben, Germany, Feb. 15, 1902.  “Hack” also performed a single lift in the same style with 85 kilos (187 1/4 pounds).  The latter was equal to a flat-footed squat with about 522 pounds on the shoulders.  The “Hacke” lift is performed by knee-bending on the toes while holding a barbell with the hands together behind the hips, thus leaving the back muscles out of the effort and doing all the work with the legs.

WOW – as if the Hack Lift isn’t hard enough to do the way we do it!  Hack was doing them on his toes with the hands together!  I have read other reports describing the original Hack Lift, and as well as the hands being together, the heels were together as well. That would make it near-impossible for most lifters to even grab the bar that way. I was intrigued by the German meaning of the word Hocke. Again, Dan came to my rescue in the USAWA Discussion Forum and gave this reply:

Yes, Hocke is also a German word. It refers to what we might consider crouching down or when you without weight go into a deep squat where your hamstrings touch your calves. You know, the sort of “move” you do when you **** in the woods.

Since you sort of hock down when you do a Hack sq/dl, it’s also feasible that this is where the name came from. But I would have to guess no on that one, too. The reason I say this is because Hackenschmidt didn’t seem to have spent a lot of time in Germany at all and because he lived primarily in London. With that in mind, and of course without knowing for sure, I would guess that people would just see him do stuff, whether he was the first to do it or not, and they’d probably go something like, “Hey, what’s Hack doing there? Let’s try that…” and then they just ended up calling the lift the Hack-whatever.

Regardless, personally, I like thinking of it as being a reference to Hackenschmidt. The dude was stout as all heck and had a body that people today, even when saucing, couldn’t get. And let’s not even talk about his strength and dominance in wrestling. He was from an era when men were men and it motivates me to do a Hack when thinking of him as opposed to my heel.

Dan summed things up very well in his last sentence when he said,  ”he was from an era when men were men and it motivates me to do a Hack when thinking of him as opposed to my heel.”   I feel the same way – and because of that I’ll always feel that the Hack Lift was partly named that way in memory of him.

Rule for the Hackenschmidt Floor Press

by Al Myers

Coming up in January on the USAWA Meet Schedule will be the Dino Gym Challenge – featuring a meet of Old Time Strongman Lifts. We are now into our third year of OTSM being offered by the USAWA, and I see that it is gaining momentum. This years meet at the Dino Challenge will include three OTSM lifts that closely mimic the three powerlifts. The lifts are two that have been contested within the past year (Anderson Squat & Peoples Deadlift), plus a new exhibition lift – the Hackenschmidt Floor Press. This new lift is viewed by the USAWA as an exhibition lift – meaning that it is an unofficial lift thus no USAWA records may be set or established in it. However, the USAWA rules DO ALLOW exhibition lifts to be counted in the meet scoring (Section VIII.11), thus it can legally be part of the competition. I have been working with the USAWA Old Time Strongman Chairman Thom Van Vleck on establishing an unofficial rule for the Hackenschmidt Floor Press that will be used at the Dino Challenge, and this is what we have worked up:

The setup position for the Hackenschmidt Floor Press.

Hackenschmidt Floor Press

A chest press (with a standard Olympic bar) will be performed while lying flat on the floor/platform.  The bar height, measured to the bottom of the bar from the platform, can be no greater than 15”.  The bar/plates may rest on blocks or supports to achieve this height.  The lift starts when the lifter, while lying under the bar with the bar above the chest, starts to press.  A time limit of 1 minute is given for each attempt, meaning the lifter may reset as many times as necessary within this time limit to complete a legal lift. The lift is complete when the bar is pressed completely with the lifter’s elbows locked out.  It is not an infraction to press unevenly, lock out at different times, raise the head, or allow the bar to lower during a part of the press.   It is an infraction if the hips/legs rise off the floor/platform during any part of the lift.  Once complete, an official will give a command to end the lift.

As you can see, this is a partial floor press since the bar height is set at 15 inches.  There has been an interesting discussion in the USAWA Discussion Forum regarding the development of this lift, and Thom and I have taken those comments into consideration in writing this rule.  A little over a year ago I wrote a blog outlining some of the “founding principles” of OTSM in the USAWA.   I don’t want to repeat all that here again, but here is the link for anyone who is interested – http://www.usawa.com/old-time-strongman/  Again, I want to emphasize that this is an unofficial lift and rule as of now.  I really think it is important that new lifts be tried in competition as exhibition lifts first before they are proposed for official lift status.  This allows a thorough competition evaluation of them, and if there are any “bugs in them” the rules can be fine-tuned before being presented to the Executive Board for an approval vote.  Think of it as a “trial-run”. 

George "The Russian Lion" Hackenschmidt

Now why is this floor press named the Hackenschmidt Floor Press?

I’m sure that question is being asked by some of  you reading this.  George “The Russian Lion” Hackenschmidt was a famous Russian strongman and wrestler who also had remarkable ability in weightlifting.  He also went by the nickname of “Hack”, which has been used in the name of another popular All Round Lift – the Hack Lift.  Most feel that the Hack Lift  was named after George Hackenschmidt, but from what I have read I don’t think that is the case. The name Hack comes from the German word “Hacke”, which means heels.  Thus I believe the Hack Lift originated by this name terminology, as the “lift done with the bar at the heels”, aka Hacke Lift.  However, Hackenschmidt was quite good at this movement and undoubtedly his name has some bearing on the legacy of this lift. But I’m getting off-topic here.  Another exercise that Hackenschmidt excelled at was the floor press.  At the time pressing a weight this way was not popular at all,  as a press was  meant for overhead lifting.  This was in the days long before a bench was used to press from the chest.  If you wanted to press from the chest,  you had to first bring the bar to the chest while lying on the platform, thus the origin of the Pullover and Press.  As most know, the pullover in this lift can sometimes be the hardest part, and definitely after that exertion the amount of weight that can be pressed is decreased.  Hackenschmidt was ahead of the times here.  According to David Willoughby in his famous book The Super Athletes Hackenschmidt performed the pullover and press using OVERSIZED plates, thus diminishing the effects of the pullover since the bar would come into position easier with these big plates.  I would say that qualifies him as the inventor of the Floor Press as we know it, and well-deserving to have this OTSM lift named after him.  His best lift was 361.5 pounds, which was claimed as a WORLD RECORD for over 18 years!!

OTSM Goes BIG in 2013!

by Thom Van Vleck

It’s not even 2013 yet and we already have THREE OTSM (Old Time Strong Man) contests for  next year and at least one other in the works.  For that reason, we are looking at expanding on the pool of lifts.  How this works is a lift is proposed, then used in a contest to see how it works.  If it works, it is then taken to the annual meeting for approval by the members.

First up is Al’s meet he recently posted for January.  In it he will be introducing a new experimental lift, the Hackenschmidt Floor Press.  There will be an article soon explaining this lift.  Al’s meet will have the Anderson Squat, the Hack Floor press, and the People’s Deadlift.  Rules for the other two lifts are located in the rule book.  This is basically an Old Time Powerlifting Meet!

Second will be in April.  The meet date is not set, but likely the end of April.  This will  run by Tim Piper and will be in Macomb, Illinios. This meet will be at the Salvation Army Gym and that Gym is worth the trip by itself!  I was there recently to help judge a meet and it was as “Old School” as they come and the prefect place for an OTSM meet!

The, of course, the OTSM Nationals will be held in Kirksville, Missouri for the 3rd time.  This meet will be later in the year and while the date is to be determined….it WILL happen and will be the “finale” for the OTSM season.

I also know that Eric Todd and the KC Strongman crew are looking to hold a meet and I’m hoping to talk Jesse Jobe to put one on. I would also like to see regular USAWA meets, such as Record Days, associated with these meets.  As that would help open up the USAWA to new members and fans!

Now we have the makings of a circuit!  So, for those interested, I propose that we have an “OTSM” circuit.  I am looking for ideas on how to format this so anyone that has a good idea, send it my way.  Basically, I want to reward the person who attends the most meets and places the best at those meets.  This award will be present at the conclusion of the OTSM Championships.  Maybe we should even have a club champion as well.  What do you think?  Let me know!

I hope that everyone will give an OTSM meet a look in 2013.  Maybe even host one and compete in one!

Gracie Judo Club RD

by Jarrod Fobes

MEET RESULTS - GRACIE JUDO CLUB RECORD DAY

Jarrod Fobes, the meet director for the Gracie Judo Club Record Day, performs a USAWA record in the Miller Clean and Jerk.

We had a small but dedicated turn out Saturday.  Dan Wagman stepped out of retirement for “just one more” record day (I suspect that Dan is retired from lifting the same way I am retired from fighting). Newcomer Evan Sioros came and set a couple of records as he learned some of the lifts, but it was all Ruth Jackson’s show as she set a whopping 43 records! Rather she set records on 43 lifts, setting and crushing records in both the Master’s and Open categories. I myself broke the bone-head record. In the middle of the lifting I decided to set a repetition record for chin-ups. I managed 18 reps, however I forgot that the rules state that “the weight of the lifter is not factored into the overall weight of the lift”. So if any math whiz out there can figure out how to give me a record for pulling 18 reps of zero weight, I’ll be your friend for life!

MEET RESULTS

Gracie Judo Club Record Day
Gracie Judo Club
Littleton, CO
December 1st, 2012

Meet Director: Jarrod Fobes

Officials (1-official system used): Jarrod Fobes, Karena Fobes

Lifts: Record Day

Jarrod Fobes - BWT 190 lbs, AGE 35 

Miller Clean and Jerk: 115lbs
Chin up: 45lbs
Pull up: 45lbs
Hack Lift – Middle Fingers: 135lbs

Ruth Jackson - BWT 104 lbs, AGE 50

Crucifix:  22lbs
Lateral Raise - Lying: 32lbs
Lateral Raise -Standing: 22lbs
Swing – Dumbell, Right Arm:  48.5lbs
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm:  48.5lbs
Squat - Lunge: 106lbs
Good Morning: 101lbs
Bent Over Row:  90lbs
Deadlift – No Thumb, Right Arm:  81lbs
Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm: 81lbs
Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip: 155lbs
Deadlift -Ciavattone Grip:  175lbs
Deadlift -Heels Together:  205lbs
Deadlift – No Thumbs: 225lbs
Vertical Bar Deadlift -1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand:  116lbs
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand: 116lbs
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand: 117.25lbs
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand: 117.25lbs
Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm:  36lbs
Press – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 36lbs
Clean & Push Press – 2 Dumbbells:  62lbs
Clean &  Press – 2 Dumbbells, Heels Together: 72lbs
Clean and Seated Press:  56lbs
Clean and Press -Heels Together: 71lbs
Cleand and Press -12″ Base: 86lbs
Pinch Grip:  117.2lbs
Rectangular Fix: 50lbs
Curl – Reverse Grip: 55lbs
Curl – Strict: 55lbs
Curl – Cheat: 86lbs
Curl – Cheat, Reverse Grip: 86lbs
Finger Lift -Right Little: 16.25lbs
Finger Lift -Left Little: 16.25lbs
Finger Lift -Right Thumb: 23.75lbs
Finger Lift – Left Thumb: 23.75lbs
Finger Lift – Right Ring: 36.25lbs
Finger Lift – Left Ring: 36.25lbs
Finger Lift – Right Index: 38.75lbs
Finger Lift – Left Index: 38.75lbs
Finger Lift – Right Middle: 43.75lbs
Finger Lift – Left Middle: 43.75lbs

Dan Wagman - BWT 185 lbs, AGE 50

Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand:  189lbs
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand: 164lbs
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand: 211lbs
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand: 211lbs
Pinch Grip:  190.5lbs
Hack Lift – Right Arm:  275lbs
Hack Lift – Left Arm:  275lbs

Kevin Fulton & Dinnie Stones

by Al Myers

Group picture from Dinnie Stone Trip 2001.

I always like to find good pictures that supplement the history of the USAWA and the IAWA.  Recently Kevin Fulton shared this group picture with me from the day in 2001 when he lifted the Dinnie Stones in Scotland.  As most know by now, Kevin was the second American to lift both stones at the same time without the use of lifting straps.  He was 41 years old at the time. 

I can name a few lifters in this picture but I need help in identifying everyone.  If you know any of these individuals, please email me or post the names in the discussion forum and I will add it to this story.

UPDATE:  Andy Tomlin has provided some help in identifying the lifters in this picture.  There is still one lifter unidentified – so if anyone knows him please let me know!

FRONT ROW LEFT TO RIGHT:  John Monk (USA), Bill Wright (SCT)

BACK ROW LEFT TO RIGHT: Keith Murdie (ENG), Sam Hills (ENG), Dennis Mitchell (USA), Art Montini (USA), ????, Des Fenton (SCT), Andy Tomlin (SCT), Steve Angell (ENG), Neil Abery (ENG), Mike Archer (ENG), Kevin Fulton (USA)

Lifter of the Month: Denny Habecker

by Al Myers

Denny Habecker "in action" at the 2012 IAWA Gold Cup in Glasgow, Scotland.

The month of  November for All-Round Weightlifting contained one of the biggest IAWA events of the year – the Gold Cup.  This year the Gold Cup was held in Glasgow, Scotland.  The USAWA had three representatives at that meet, one of which showed “true grit” in even making it to the platform.  For this, the USAWA Lifter of the Month for November goes to our USAWA President Denny Habecker!

This is the photo proof that Denny was "feeling under the weather" at the Gold Cup!

First of all due to Hurricane Sandy, Denny had travel difficulties even making it to the Gold Cup.  His flight got rerouted through Germany, and it took him 24 hours to even make it to England before the drive to Scotland.  To make his situation even worse – the night before the meet he came down with severe intestinal flu which would have keep most normal lifters away from the platform.  However, Denny is a true champ and  he wasn’t going to let a minor inconvenience like this keep him away from the meet.   When it was his time to perform his Gold Cup lift – he made his lift in excellent fashion.

Congratulations to Denny Habecker for winning the November Lifter of the Month!!!

New England RB

by Frank Ciavattone

Following are the results of the New England All-Round Weightlifting Association Record Breakers Day December 1st, 2012.  Jim Fuller from Augusta, Maine came during a snow storm, not only did he perform outstanding lifting records, but watching him after the meet perform some other feats of strength that amazed everybody.  Newcomer, Colleen Lane, performed very well in her first competition and truly had the crowd cheering her on to all successful lifts. Another new name to the record books.  Joseph Ciavattone Jr., again uped his deadlift records for other teenagers to lookup to.  He will soon be closing on in the 600 lb mark in the for a teenager.  A highlight of the meet was watching Jeff Ciavattone as he pulled up an easy  Fulton Ciavattone grip 382 lbs. Then had the crowd on its feet with a two-hand dumb bell dead lift which had the crowd roaring him on.  Frank Ciavattone performed a two-hand Ciavattone Deadlift and a equally as easy left handed Ciavattone Deadlift. As each day passes he is showing what he has been well known for.

The meet was held at Frank’s Gym in Walpole Ma. It started at 10:00 and ended at 1:30, followed by some strength demonstrations. New England club meeting, where new officers were nominated, followed by a luncheon and then the awards ceremony.  Would also like to send out our thanks to the senior official, Joseph Ciavattone Sr., who was very inspirational to all the lifters.  Truly a great meet with great lifters and great friends. Looking forward to 2013 team meets!

RESULTS

New England Record Breakers Day
Frank’s Gym
Walpole, MA
December 1st, 2012

Meet Director:  Frank Ciavattone

Official (1 official system used): Joe Ciavattone Sr.

Lifts:  Record Day

Colleen Lane – BWT 205 lbs,AGE 56

Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip: 179 lbs

Joseph Ciavattone Jr. – BWT 222 lbs, AGE 19

Deadlift – 12″ base: 560 lbs
Jefferson Lift – Fulton Bar: 505 lbs

Jeff Ciavattone – BWT 235 lbs, AGE 33

Deadift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 382 lbs
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells: 525 lbs

James Fuller – BWT 239 lbs, AGE 41

Deadlift – Middle Fingers: 303 lbs
Jefferson Lift – Fulton Bar: 505 lbs

Frank Ciavattone Jr. – BWT 288 lbs, AGE 57

Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip: 445 lbs
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Left Arm: 255 lbs

Lifter of the month: Dan Wagman

by Al Myers

Dan Wagman - USAWA Lifter of the Month for October

The month of November was a busy one for me and sorta “flew by”.  I just realized that I have someone who deserves recognition for the MONTH OF OCTOBER.  His name is DAN WAGMAN and he is the 2012 IAWA World Championship OVERALL BEST LIFTER.  Dan won this title the first weekend in October in Salina, KS at the 25th IAWA World Championships.  It’s a “no brainer” if you win the OVERALL BEST LIFTER at the IAWA World Championships that you will win the USAWA LIFTER OF THE MONTH.  After all – that’s the highest award any lifter can win during the course of the year in the IAWA.  

Since then, Dan has competed in the Welcome Mat Record Day (results will be coming soon) and has made plans to attend my Dino Gym Challenge in January.   As the new CHAMP of the organization – Dan has “duties” this year of making appearances at USAWA events and competitions.  I know Dan is more than up for this!!!!  Congrats Dan on winning the USAWA  LIFTER OF the MONTH for OCTOBER, 2012.

The EZ-Way Formula

by Thom Van Vleck

I like to read old weightlifting magazines….well….I like to read anything related to weightlifting!  Recently Wayne Gardner, an “old timer” in the Jackson Weightlifting Club, gave me a bunch of old magazines and books.  With this treasure trove was three issues of Dan DeWelt’s “Powerlifting News”.  Dan put this newsletter/magazine out in the 70’s for a time.  Mike Lambert who put out Powerlifting USA for 25 years was inspired by Dan.

As I was reading the February 1973 issue I found a very short article on the EZ-Way Formula to arrive at the best lifter.  It was written by Bob Shadron who seemed to be inspired to come up with something easier than the Hoffman Formula.   Shadron  said “….we can replace the Hoffman Formula for good”.  He also touts it to be accurate and fair at all bodyweights.

The formula is simple.  You divide the lifter’s bodyweight into their total or the lift.  Round that number to the nearest 100th of a percent (10.591 would become 10.59).  You end up with the the number of “times bodyweight” lifted.  You then add to this the lifter’s body weight divided by 100 (a 251lb lifter gets a factor of 2.51).  Shadron claims the second number “assures that a heavier lifter gets a little more credit….than a lighter lifter….in direct proportion to the increase in bodyweight.

So, using my examples, a lifter that lifted 10.59 of their bodyweight would add their factor of 2.51 to get a final coefficient of 13.1.

I’m not promoting this formula, just reporting it.  I know Al Myers enjoys “analyzing” these types of things (after all, he’s the “facts” guy and I’m the “fluff” guy!) so maybe Al will break this down or tear it apart!  Whichever the case may be.  I just found it interesting and thought I would share it.  Don’t worry!  I don’t plan on bringing it up to replace our current system…even it it does appear to favor the heavier lifter.

Rules for the Total Poundage

by Al Myers

This was the day that Steve Schmidt set the ALL TIME RECORD in TOTAL POUNDAGE.

Steve Gardner wrote a really nice piece last week about the origins of the unique lift – the Total Poundage.  This lift is unlike all other all-round lifts.  It is NOT a lift done for maximum weight.  It is about TOTAL POUNDAGE established over a time frame.  It is more than just a “repetition lift”, as the lifter can stop & go on repetitions (which is not allowed on lifts for repetition).  Let me get to the rules here:

USAWA Rule for Total Poundage

The accepted time limit is three hours, nine minutes.  The lifter may choose any lift and perform the lift for repetitions in any number of sets and poundages. The reps in the sets, and the poundage used in the sets may be changed or varied throughout the time period.  Each repetition must be properly completed, with the exception of the down commands in which the repetition does not need to be held motionless at completion.  The lifter is permitted to take rest periods.  The repetitions are multiplied with the pounds lifted to determine the total poundage lifted in the allotted time period.

Of course to establish a high total for poundage, the lift selected becomes very important, as some lifts more weight can be lifted in than others.  The usual choices for TOTAL POUNDAGE have been lifts like the Back Lift, Harness Lift, Travis Lift, and Hip Lift.  Another important destinction is that the repetitions done DO NOT need to be held for a down command (which is different than lifts done for reps, as each rep needs to be judged as it was a single, which includes an officials down command).    The IAWA rule for this lift is written with the same intentions, but doesn’t point out this rule stipulation.

IAWA RULE F4 –  TOTAL POUNDAGE

The lifter has a time limit of three hours and nine minutes to lift as much weight as possible to create a time limit total. The lifter can choose any manner of lifts to perform, with any combination of sets or reps, but each repetition must be completed properly for the weight to count towards the time limit total. The total poundage creates the record.

Causes for Failure:
1. Failure to complete any lift or repetition in the correct fashion will exclude that particular lift / repetition from the overall total set in the time limit of three hours and nine minutes.

I was fortunate to be present the day the best record ever was established in TOTAL POUNDAGE.  On December 14th, 2002 Steve Schmidt Back Lifted 8,087,095 TOTAL POUNDS at Clarks Gym.  This broke the overall TOTAL POUNDAGE record held by Howard Prechtel  at 6,066,060 pounds set in 1982.   Back in 2009 I wrote a blog outlining the details of Steve’s performance – http://www.usawa.com/quiz-of-the-week-4/   To date, I believe these are the only two lifters that have exceeded Warren Lincoln Travis mark (5.5 million pounds), which should be considered the mark to beat.  WLT set the bar on this lift, so to speak.

Macomb Fall RB

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS
MACOMB FALL RECORD BREAKERS

Meet Results:

Macomb Fall Record Breakers
Salvation Army Gym
November 10th, 2012

Meet Director:  Tim Piper

Officials (1 official system used):  Tim Piper, Thom Van Vleck

Trenton Paul – BWT 74.5 KG, AGE 18 years

Reflex Clean and Push Press:  82 kg
Reflex Clean and Jerk: 90 kg

Tim Piper – BWT 88 kg, AGE 42 years

Clean and Jerk – Left Arm: 40 kg
Reflex Clean and Jerk:  82 kg
Reflex Clean and Push Press: 80 kg
Squat – Front: 100 kg

Dave Beversdorf – BWT 308 Pounds, AGE 47 years

Bench Press – Right Arm: 80 kg
Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 190 kg

Tim Piper and Trenton Paul – 90 kg bodyweight class, Open Age Division

Team Snatch - One Arm: 60 kg
Team Clean and Push Press: 162.5 kg
Team Clean and Jerk: 185 kg

Total Poundage

by Steve Gardner

Some were asking recently about the history of the IAWA Record for Total Poundage in 3 hours and 9 minutes. It was started by the late great Warren Lincoln Travis.

Here is the story:
Warren Lincoln Travis was the first famous strongman in the United States and a world champion back and hip lifter, who performed feats of strength on Coney Island in the first quarter of the 20th century.  Travis was born in Brooklyn and turned professional at age 21. He weighed only around 200 pounds at his prime. In 1906, he was awarded the “World’s Greatest Weightlifter” by a popular strength publication and received a jewel-studded belt.
His favorite lifts were the Heavy Lifts, such as the Harness Lift and the Back Lift, and Finger Lifts.  In front of witnesses, he lifted 3,985 pounds in the Harness Lift and 4,140 pounds in the Back Lift. In 1907, he lifted 667 pounds with one finger.

Travis was a successful as a businessman and became very wealthy. For 55 years, he held the record for total poundage lifted, that is, lifts done for repetitions, where the lifter may choose any lift and rep/set scheme, to lift the most weight within a given time frame. The standard for this record was initially set by Travis in 1927, when he Back Lifted 5.5 million pounds in 3 hours, 9 minutes.  He did this by doing 5500 reps with 1000 pounds. His record was broken in 1982 by Howard Prechtel (who later became first President of IAWA) who Back Lifted 6,066,060 pounds in 3 hours, 9 minutes.

John Davis, Olympic Champion

 by Dennis Mitchell

John H. Davis

John H. Davis was born January 12, 1921 in Smithtown, Long Island.  As a youngster his favorite sports were gymnastics and track.  He lived near a park where he would play on the rings and the high bar.  He was exceptionally good at chinning, and could chin with either hand while holding a 25 pound weight in the free hand.  Weightlifter Steve Walsky saw John at the playground and invited him to work out at his home gym.  John worked out hard and long, often five days a week.   At this time, 1937, he saw a strong man weightlifting strength show where he met Bob Hoffman.  Not long after he entered his first weightlifting contest where he took a second place.  This was a start in a long and successful career.

John said that his original interest was in body building, but felt that a negro would never win the Mr. America title.  At a body weight of 180 pounds and standing 5′8.5″, he had a 17″ neck, 16″ arms,13.75″ fore arms, and  16″ calfs.  He trained very hard, and was ahead of his time as he included both squats and bench presses in his workouts.  It was believed at that time that squats would make you slow, and that bench presses would hinder overhead lifting.  John won his first world championship as a light heavy weight at the age of 17, in Vienna, Austria. He went on to win eight world, twelve national championships and two Olympics. During his long career he set sixteen world records.   He did this even though his career was interrupted for three years serving in the army during the world war.  He was also the first lifter to clean and jerk over 400 pounds (402) using a standard barbell and was the second person to total 1,000 pounds on the three lifts.

John Davis passed away July 13, 1984.

Gardner wins Prechtel Trophy!

by Al Myers

James Gardner wins the Prechtel Trophy as the BEST LIFTER of the 2012 IAWA Gold Cup.

For the first time ever, an award was given at the IAWA Gold Cup to represent the event’s BEST LIFTER.  This award is given in remembrance of the late Howard Prechtel, who served three terms as the IAWA President.   The concept of the Gold Cup was Howard’s idea – and the Gold Cup has indeed blossomed into one of the major IAWA events. This award will from now on become an annual award, and appropriately called the Howard Prechtel Memorial Trophy. 

This year’s winner goes to JAMES GARDNER of England, having performed an outstanding World Record Turkish Get Up of 75 kilograms.  James is more than deserving of this award, and showed unbelievable tenacity to even be there competing.  James showed up late, as he was suffering from the intestinal flu the night before, and looked like he was not going to be able to do anything, let alone a big lift like he did!  Congrats James – you earned it!

The rankings were done by using the Blindt Formula.  This formula multiplies a Blindt Factor against total adjusted points to put all lifts on a “level playing field”.  Each lift is assigned a different factor, depending on the lift.  The top placements using this formula were:

1.  James Gardner – 75 KG Turkish Get Up
2.  Steve Sherwood – 125 KG Lunge Squat
3.  Luke Davis – 50 KG Turkish Get Up
4.  Timo Lauttemaus – 127.5 KG Index Fingers Deadlift
5.  Gary Ell – 185 KG 2″ Bar Hacklift

Gold Cup

by Steve Gardner

IAWA 2012 GOLD CUP – Castlemilk Gym, Glasgow, Scotland – Saturday 3rd November

Group picture from the 2012 Gold Cup

A great event with 29 lifters, 28 breaking and setting new IAWA World Records with some terrific performances across the board- Countries represented: USA Scotland England and Finland. Well done to Andy Tomlin and Matt Finkle the event promotors and to everyone who helped make the event possible.

Winners of the 2 Man 1 Hand Deadlift Challenge: Al Myers and Chad Ullom – USA

Winners of the Howard Prechtel Memorial Trophy: First James Gardner, Second Steve Sherwood and Third Luke Davis.

GOLD CUP RESULTS – Gold Cup 2012 Results

Our Trip to the Dinnie Stones

by Al Myers

The three that lifted the Dinnie Stones unassisted (without straps) - (left to right): Mark Haydock, Al Myers, and Chad Ullom

One of the most exciting experiences of my life occurred the day following the IAWA Gold Cup.  Gold Cup promoters Andy Tomlin and Matthew Finkle arranged an organized trip to visit the famous Dinnie Stones.  This trip was planned and announced many months in advance and several IAWA lifters took part.  Participants included men from Scotland, England, United States, and Finland. As we were making the road trip to the Potarch Hotel and crossing through the beautiful  Scottish Highlands and the snow covered Cairngorm Mountains, anxiety and anticipation filled the atmosphere of the car. Once we arrived it was exciting to see several locals had showed up to witness our efforts. Apparently the word had gotten out!  I would say there were 10-15 people in attendance to watch our efforts in undertaking the challenge of lifting the Dinnie Stones. 

Donald Dinnie left these stones for future generations to test their strength.  I have previously read the book, “Donald Dinnie – The First Sporting Superstar” by David Webster and Gordon Dinnie several times, and it is a tremendous account of Donald Dinnie and his achievements.  Anyone should read this book before making the trip to the Potarch Hotel to fully realize and recognize the historical significance of these stones. The latest issue of MILO (September, 2012 Volume 20, Issue 2) included an excellent Dinnie Stone article written by the legendary Scottish Highland Game athlete Francis Brebner. I have read several articles concerning the Dinnie Stones, and this article by Francis is the best one I have ever read. I have had the opportunity to “share the throwing field” with Francis in several past professional Highland Games, and I can attest firsthand what an upstanding individual Francis is in the strength community.   Another important reference should be the Dinnie Stone website http://gordondinnie.com/Stones.html , which includes many of the successful lifts by strong men in past history.  The top of the website lays out the challenges made by Donald Dinnie and his stones in his own words, which I would like to repeat here:

The stones weighing a total of 785lbs. were carried by Donald Dinnie in 1860.

Here is Donald’s own account of the event written by him in 1912.

“On the granite stone bridge that crosses the River Dee at Potarch there  were, and still are, two large stones weighing about 8cwt the pair, placed in a recess. In the early 1830’s massive iron rings were placed in them, to which ropes were fixed so that scaffolds could be attached for pointing the bridge. Now, one of these stones was somewhat heavier than the other. Very few strong men of that day could lift the heavy one withbothhands, but my father could raise one in each hand with apparent ease, and could throw the heavier stone of the two on to the top of a parapet wall of the bridge. Those stones are still on the bridge and I myself lifted one in each hand on many occasions and one market day, I carried them across the bridge and back, some four to five yards.”

It is easy to see from those words that three challenges were issued by Donald Dinnie regarding the Dinnie Stones, 1. Lift the stones for height (to the top of a parapet wall) 2. Lift the stones for repetitions (lifted one in each hand on many occasions) and 3. Carry them for distance (carried them across the bridge and back, some four or five yards).

The Dinnie Stones represent a different individual challenge for every person.  Lifting stones is NOT a weightlifting meet - there is no trophy for winning or being the best.  I feel anyone who meets the challenge that they set out for themselves with the Dinnie Stones is worthy of praise, as this is what stone lifting should be all about.  It’s a inner battle against the stone that lays before you which drives you to ”rise to the occasion” and give everything that you have, both mentally and physically, to accomplish the goal set forth.  If you do that, you have been successful in your quest and should  know in your heart that by doing so you have met the challenge of the Dinnie Stones.  The degree of this challenge is different for every man.

Now let me get to the details of this glorious day of those that had taken part!!  I kept very accurate records of the accounts of the day as I want this to be reported with accuracy.  Ten men took part in this memorable event. Below is a summary chart of what transpired:

Participant Age BWT Dinnie Stone Accomplishment
Alex Rigbye, ENGLAND  27 89kg 7 Repetitions with both stones assisted (WITH STRAPS)
Josh Haydock, ENGLAND 22 80kg 1 Repetition with both stones assisted (WITH STRAPS), and 3 Repetitions with small stone unassisted 
Barry Gordge, ENGLAND 51 104kg 1 Repetition with small stone unassisted
George Dick, SCOTLAND 64 123kg 1 Repetition with small stone using both hands unassisted
Mark Haydock, ENGLAND 37 115kg 25 Repetitions with both stones unassisted, walk with both stones unassisted a total of 3 feet
Chad Ullom, UNITED STATES 40 112kg 25 Repetitions with both stones unassisted
Andy Tomlin, SCOTLAND 45 92kg Lifted both small and large stone one handed unassisted
Timo Lauttemaus, FINLAND 33 98kg Lifted large stone unassisted with left hand and held for a time of 14.3 seconds
Matt Finkle, SCOTLAND 46 65kg Lifted both small and large stone with two hands unassisted
Al Myers, UNITED STATES 46 111kg 1 Repetition with both stones unassisted

(NOTES: I want to mention that these ages and bodyweights are official, as they were used in entry in the previous days’ IAWA Gold Cup Championships.  Also, I want to thank James McKenna for attending this activity, as he was the one responsible for several of the pictures that were taken.  The Dinnie Stone lifting took place over an hour and a half, from 10:30 AM to noon on November 4th., 2012)

I was so impressed with Alex Rigbye and Josh Haydock.  These two young men brimmed with enthusiasm, and gained much respect from myself and others by their tenacity.  Josh was set on trying to lift both stones unassisted, and tried numerous times to no avail.  He easily lifted the small stone unassisted, but the large stone was just slightly out of his capabilities.  It surely wasn’t because of lack of effort!  He tried and tried, and then totally exhausted resorted to using lifting straps to complete one good repetition of both stones.  It was a gallant lift, considering that he had previously “given it all”.  Alex was intent on getting as many reps as he could using straps, and “gutted out” 7 repetitions.  I told both of these young men what an outstanding effort they had given, and that they should use this day to give them the motivation to come back in future years and succeed lifting the stones unassisted.  I KNOW that they will do that  - as the challenge of the Dinnie Stones is now embedded in their soul.  

I had just met Barry Gordge for the first time this weekend.  Barry, at age 51, is one strong man.  The day before I watched Barry do a one arm Zercher of 142.5 kgs.  Barry lifted the small stone quite easily one handed unassisted.  This was his first experience taking on the Dinnies.  He did not try to use straps to lift both of  them together  - but if he would have I know that he would have had no problem lifting both of them at the same time.

George Dick and Matt Finkle came focused on lifting both stones two handed.  George handled the small Dinnie Stone several times as well as Matt.  After a few failed attempts at the big stone two handed, Matt finally succeeded!  It was one of the most impressive lifts of the day.  Matt only weighs 65 kilograms and I am sure the large stone is exceeding his max deadlift.  Holding onto the Dinnie Stone ring is WAY HARDER than gripping a bar, but due to his persistence he was successful!

This is one of the 25 reps done by Mark Haydock during the course of the day.

Mark Haydock and Chad Ullom came into the day only hoping to be successful lifting both stones unassisted (without straps).  Both had never attempted the Dinnie Stones before, and even though they knew their capabilities lifting on ring handled pin loaders, these stones offer different challenges with unknown uncertainties.  Mark has just recently (5 months ago) had bicep reattachment on his right bicep. Anyone would have to question his sanity in attempting such a thing.  Both of these guys were very “fired up” on their first attempt, and proceeded to lift the Dinnie Stones unassisted for one repetition with ease!  After doing this, they decided to go after more repetitions to fully test their capabilities.  I sat back and watched in amazement!  Once they got close to 20 repetitions, I suggested that they go for 25 total reps as that would mark the 25 year celebration of the International All Round Weightlifting Association. This challenge I issued pushed them a few reps further.  I want to emphasize that all these reps were done WITHOUT STRAPS.  I will never take away from anyone lifting the Dinnie Stones with straps, as if that was the challenge they were presented with and succeeded then success was obtained.  But lifting the Dinnie Stones  unassisted (without straps) is a challenge of a much higher level, and no one should be fooled in thinking lifting with straps is the same as lifting without.  The limit is the ability to hold the grip, and both Mark and Chad have WORLD CLASS hook grips to go along with their strong backs.  I believe that this is the most repetitions anyone has ever lifted the Dinnie Stones in one day, which is a great accomplishment.  As I’ve said earlier in this story, total repetitions have always been a part of Dinnie Stone lifting history, as recorded on the Dinnie Stone website.   Well over 50% of all  Dinnie Stone lifters on that website have pushed their body limits with repetitions. 

Chad Ullom with a successful unassisted lift with the Dinnie Stones.

Mark also took “a shot” at walking with both Dinnie Stones without straps. In Francis’s article, he talked about two other athletes walking with the stones in the past.  Calum  Morrison was one of the first to do so, walking 2 feet in 1997.  Glenn Ross was another who attempted to match Donald Dinnie’s feat of crossing the bridge carrying both stones (a distance slightly over 5 yards).  Ross gave a ferocious attempt, making it 5 feet 5 inches.  I was slightly surprised Mark was even going to give this a try, after already lifting the stones for many repetitions.  I thought his grip obviously had to be impaired from this previous lifting.  But not only did he walk a total of 3 feet - he didn’t use straps!!!  He lifted the stones “side by side” and with the stones beating on his legs with every small step, he moved slowly over the distance.  I should mention that Mark did this in the soft gravel out in front of the hotel, and chose his course slightly uphill toward the street.  This HAS to be one of the most impressive feats ever done with the Dinnie Stones.  If there is a man to match Donald Dinnies feat of carrying the stones across the bridge without sitting either one down – my money is on Mark.  I want to make another comment about Mark and Chad’s Dinnie Stone lifting efforts.  All of the lifts were done on the soft gravel out of respect of not damaging the stones.  Several times I saw Chad’s feet slip on the loose gravel as he started his pull, which caused him to abandon the attempt and reset.  This added much more challenge to their efforts.  I have watched lifters on YouTube lift the Dinnie Stones on the concrete, and you can hear the “thub” every time when the stones are set down after their attempts.  This makes me shudder and cringe.  We, as stone lifters, need to take care of these stones for future generations.  Mark and Chad are very humble guys as well, you will never hear of them “bragging” about their successes with the Dinnie Stones in the future. 

Timo Lauttemaus has to be one of the first lifters from Finland to lay hands on the Dinnie Stones.  Timo has huge hands, and the day before did a 127.5 kg Index Finger Deadlift. However, the technique of hook gripping is new to him.  Chad and I explained the process of  hook gripping in the car on the way to the Potarch Hotel.  So what does he do?  He hooks grip for the FIRST TIME ever and lifts the big Dinnie Stone with his left hand and holds it for 14.3 seconds!!  Unbelievable if you ask me. 

Andy Tomlin successful with the large stone one handed unassisted. Andy and Matt Finkle were responsible for organizing this trip to the Dinnie Stones.

This was the third trip to the Dinnies for Andy Tomlin.  He had previously lifted the small stone with one hand, but never the big one.  He had the goal to lift the big one unassisted, and that is JUST WHAT HE DID.  It took a few attempts, but Andy “reached down deep” and gave one of the greatest efforts of the day.  After overcoming the many years disappointment with this big Dinnie Stone – he was finally successful! 

I can’t end this story without giving my account with my Dinnie Stone battle.  The first time I gave a shot at lifting the Dinnie Stones was in 2005.  At that time I was much stronger having around a 750 pound deadlift, but lacked the hook grip strength to lift the big stone.  I tried and tried on that occasion.  I told myself that I would come back at a latter date and succeed with this quest.  At that time I elected not to use straps as I knew I could lift them easily that way and I felt that that wasn’t my Dinnie Stone Challenge.  I wanted my first time to lift them to be unassisted.   However, I didn’t think that this trip would be that time yet.  I just recently had shoulder surgery (2 months ago), and haven’t been able to train with my left arm at all, and was concerned that attempting them may injure myself as I’m still recovering.  I didn’t even take my lifting belt with me on the trip to the Dinnies.  However, once there and watching everyone else push themselves with their challenges, I had a change of mind as I felt the draw of the Dinnie Stone mystic overtake me. I borrowed Chad’s belt for my attempt.  My first try I set my hook too deep and tore a huge chunk of flesh from my palm.  As I looked down I could see the blood trickling from my hand onto the large stone.  It took 10 minutes to get the bleeding to stop.  For a split second I thought “its got to be another day for me now”, but then I lost all rational thought and gave them another shot.  With no negative thoughts in my head, I gave it all I had and they came up!!  A goal I set for myself 7 years prior was now realized.  I told Mark and Chad afterwards that my one rep meant just as much to me as their 25 reps did to them!  That’s what the Dinnie Stones should be all about – taking on a challenge and being successful with great effort and determination.

Al Myers making a successful unassisted lift with the Dinnie Stones in front of a crowd on spectators.

This was a day that those of us involved will never forget in our lives.  I am proud of the fact that all of us are DRUG FREE, and have the negative tests to back up that statement.  Lots of blood and sweat were left on the Dinnie Stones (luckily no tears), but we left them in the same state as when we arrived for the next stone lifter to test his fortitude against the mighty challenge of the Dinnie Stones.  I am glad that I was able to be part of this day as it will forever tie all of us to the legacy of the Stones. Talks are already underway for our next organized trip to the Dinnie Stones – where new challenges will be set and higher achievements will be made.

The Dinnie Trip at the Gold Cup

by Al Myers

Art Montini lifting one of the Dinnie Stones in 2001, as part of the group of lifters that made the trip following the World Championships.

One of the exciting things that will happen at the Gold Cup is a day trip the following day to visit the Dinnie Stones.   Andy Tomlin has made arrangements for this to happen as a group activity.  It is something I’m really looking forward to.  I have only seen the Dinnie Stones once, and that was in 2005 when I was in Scotland competing in the Highland Games.  It looks like there will be at least 10 people making the trip.  

I won’t go into details of the Dinnie Stones – there are several blogs on this website that have done that previously.  I’m more interested right now in who will be able to pick them up on this trip.  I have a couple of lifters in mind that I think have an excellent shot at it.  I won’t mention names here as I don’t want to hex them beforehand.

This isn’t the first time that the Scots have combined a Dinnie Trip with a major meet.  The first trip was planned in 1996 after Worlds to go see the Dinnie Stones.  It was on that occassion that Frank Ciavattone lifted them, and became the first American to do so. Franks experience lifting them was told in this blog on the website: http://www.usawa.com/hall-of-fame-biography-frank-ciavattone-class-of-1996/   Then in 2001, again following the World Championships, a group of several lifters made the trek to the Bridge of Potarch, the “holding grounds” of the Dinnie Stones.  This was the day that Kevin Fulton lifted the Dinnie Stones, and became the second American to lift them (without straps and at the same time).    Kevin was quoted by Bill Clark in an old Strength Journal and this is what he had to say about it, ” The day after the competition we took a van full of lifters into the highlands to the Dinnie Stones.  Steve Angell and I both lifted them – all 775 pounds of them.  I was told Frank Ciavattone and I are the only Americans to ever lift them.  Steve also lifted the smaller stone – 330 pounds – to his chest. Not to be outdone, I deadlifted the small stone with only two fingers.  It was alot of fun lifting them, but very difficult for me. They are heavy and very awkward.  I was stiff and sore from the competition.  It has been a goal of mine for several years to lift them and now I’ve had the opportunity.”

It appears All Rounders have had a pretty good history of lifting the Dinnies.  The limiting factor is the grip – and most All Rounders have a much stronger hook grip than other lifters.  Gordon Dinnie has a comprehensive website devoted to those that have lifted these fabled stones – http://gordondinnie.com/Stones.html   To date, there have been only 4 Americans that have lifted them unassisted (without straps,  which is the ONLY WAY they should count as being lifted).   This is that short list:

1.  Frank Ciavattone,  Walpole, Massachusetts - September 24th, 1996
Frank’s lift was officiated by several IAWA officials and a certificate of completion was given to Frank by Frank Allen.

2.  Keven Fulton, Litchfield, Nebraska – October 8th, 2001
Kevin’s lift was also officiated by several IAWA officials.

3.  Bill Crawford, New Hampshire – October 3rd, 2005

4.  Travis Willingham, Blue Springs, Missouri – September 7th, 2009

As you notice, two of these four have been very active USAWA members.  Will this list be expanded by another all-rounder after the 2012 Gold Cup?  I predict it will.

Women vs. Men

by Al Myers

Jera Kressly performed a 90 KG Steinborn Lift at Worlds. Her lift exceeded that of several of the men - WITHOUT being percentage amended!

IAWA is the World organization that combines the organizations of the USAWA (United States All Round Weightlifting Association), IAWA-UK (International All Round Weightlifting Association of the United Kingdom), and the ARWLWA (All Round Weightlifting Western Australia).  IAWA is the “umbrella organization” that allows these organizations to “come together” for international competitions, ie the World Championships, the Gold Cup, and the World Postal Meet.  It is a great concept that has allowed for many great competitions and lots of fun times.  However, there are differences in how each country interprets the rules.  This is on top of there being rules differences between each organization .  At each World Meet that I have been at I have found several of these differences.

One of the interesting things that came to my notice at this past World Championships is the combination of men and women, through adjusted points, which allowed men and women to be competing with each other for the “overall title”.  I knew beforehand that IAWA scoring allowed for an additional 33% to be added to women’s scores. But I didn’t think this was to allow men and women to be directly competing against each other!!  In recent years this has not been an issue, but this year with the outstanding efforts of Ruth Jackson it became noticeable.  Ruth (when all adjustments were figured) placed THIRD OVERALL (with 736.0 points), behind Dan Wagman (845.7 points), and Chad Ullom (768.4 points).  

The USAWA does this quite differently.  Men and women are in different divisions and do not compete directly against each other for titles.  At least that is the way it has been done over the past 10 years.  I can not attest if that is how it was in the very beginning of the USAWA.  This puzzled me why there is this difference in the way this has been done.  I know the IAWA(UK) allows for this to happen, and men and women compete with each other for the “overall” in their competitions.

I feel the reason for this difference is the rule interpretation from the Rule Book.  Both the USAWA and the IAWA(UK) rulebooks has only this line, which is the same, in them:

1.  Competitions are to be organized for both men and women.

There is no other rule stipulation in either rulebook pertaining to this issue. So it obviously becomes a matter of interpretation??  When it says “for both” – I take that as implying a separation of men and women into two different divisions.  Otherwise it should say, “which includes”, or something like “together as one group”.  Am I wrong in thinking this way?   By the way, this is an original rule in both rulebooks that has not been changed or amended through the years.  Apparently the USAWA “took it one way”, while the IAWA(UK) “took it the other way”. 

Please express your viewpoints on this issue on the USAWA Discussion Forum.  I think this is a topic worthy of discussion.  Also – you may have noticed that I was careful not to give my opinion on whether I think it is right or wrong  for men to be competing against women through a formula. That’s another issue altogether!!  I’ll save that for the discussion forum!!!

What makes OTSM Different?

by Thom Van Vleck

John O'Brien had the top Apollons Lift of the OTSM Championships with this 300 pound lift.

First, please notice I said “different”.  Not BETTER, just different.  Al Myers came up with the concept for Old Time Strong Man contests to bring something different to the USAWA.  I really like the idea.  This does not mean I don’t like the regular USAWA.  On the contrary, I like the idea a lot!  But I have also been a fan of Strongman Contests as well.  I also think a lot of the other USAWA members do as well.  The OTSM brings that strongman flavor, but does something to it that no strongman contest does.  It allows for the events to be loaded to weights that will suit any age group, skill level, weight class, or gender.  Basically, it makes Strongman accessible to everyone, makes it quantifiable (for record keeping purposes that are legit), and brings it in line with the USAWA tenants that we all appreciate (drug testing for one!).

One of the things I like about the OTSM format is how the lifter is allowed several chances to complete a lift within the one minute time limit.  I think this adds some real excitement and drama to the meet.  Several successful lifts in this meet would not have been allowed in the format used by not only the regular USAWA and IAWA meets, but in any Olympic or Powerlifting contest.  For example, John O’Brien called for 300lbs on his final Appollon’s Axle attempt.  He pulled the weight, racked it, then missed the jerk….however, he still had time, so he pulled a second time, racked it, and made a very solid jerk.  This was the only 300lb lift of the meet in the Appollon’s Lift.  For those watching, it is really exciting to see something like that!  I know the limits placed on earlier meets was a time factor, but usually the lift is made quickly and it really doesn’t take much more time with the few times the whole minute is used.

Another thing I like that this format has over regular strongman contests is how you can start with any weight you want.  It brings the best part of a regular weightlifting meets in a Strongman format.  You get three attempts, you can start at any weight and go up to weights that are within your ability.  In most strongman meets, you have one weight for all…..and in my book, “one size does NOT fit all”.   This way, you can have a meet where young and old, the super strong and the weekend warrior, can all take part.

A third thing is the relaxed rules.  Most USAWA regular lifts have pretty strict interpretations on how the lift will be performed, with good reason.  But for the novice lifter or most spectators, this can lead to confusion or frustration when the complete a lift or see a lift completed only have it turned down on a technicality.  To those of us “in the know” we understand perfectly….but for many a slight press out leaves them shaking their heads.  OTSM has many lifts where the lifter can get a weight up multiple ways with few rules.  As a result, very few lifts are turned down upon completion.  This is very spectator friendly in my book!

Now, I do want to take some time to address some criticisms I’ve heard about the OTSM.  Some have to do with the very nature of it (relaxed rules, etc).  Not much I can say about that.  It is what it is.  But some things I can address.  I have heard concerns that we have enough in the USAWA already.  Why do we need more.  Well, first of all, that’s the very nature of those that have come to the USAWA!  Guys who were satisfied with the Olympic lifts stayed with those lifts, but there were a group of guys who weren’t and powerlifting was born…and so on.  The USAWA adds lifts every year!  I would argue that’s just who we are.  Plus, have you ever watched the Olympics….how many swimming styles do we need to compete, gymnastics events, running events?!?!  Nobody complains about why we need a 200 meter champion when we already have a 100 meter champion.   It’s just more ways to have fun and enjoy sports.  Track and Field has two shot put world champs every year…indoor and outdoor.  No big deal.

These seem to be the key differences to me.  It adds a nice wrinkle to all the USAWA offers and I think can serve  as a way to recruit new blood to the larger organization.  I think a lot of new people could get “hooked” into lifting through the OTSM and then as they became more “weightlifting savvy” we could draw them into the more structured lifting of the USAWA!  So, please, even if you don’t want to lift in the OTSM, help the rest of us out by supporting it by either helping at the meets or at the least supporting it through recommending it to others!  OTSM is still very much an experiment…..whether it stays is really up to everyone in the USAWA!   More fun for everyone!

Neck Lift Challenge at Worlds

by Al Myers

Chad Ullom (left) and Eric Todd (right) both lifted over 1000 pounds in the Neck Lift Challenge!

OK – I promise that this will be the blog that “wraps up” the news from the 2012 World Championships.  I know I have said that already a few times. However, I want to HIGHLIGHT a special event that will “go down in history” in several peoples minds that were there to witness it first hand.  It was quite a spectacle and one of the most memorable events that I ever remember happening at any lifting event I have ever been at.   Chad Ullom and Eric Todd had agreed to a NECK LIFT CHALLENGE to determine “once and for all” who the Worlds best Neck Lifter is.  They have been trading the Overall World Record “back and forth” between them over the past couple of years. 

Frank Ciavattone (center) served as the Head Official of the Challenge.

Neck Lifter EXTRAORDINAIRE  Frank Ciavattone assumed the role of Head Official.  It is only appropriate that Frank perform this duty – as his Neck Lifting resume is a mile deep!  I took on the roll of the announcer, and I have to admit that I got “caught up in the moment”.   The parameters of this Challenge was laid out beforehand to stimulate competitiveness – unlimited attempts with each lifter getting to choose what they wanted to go to next.  I made a call of a weight, and then they could decide if they wanted to try it or not.  The weight on the bar for THE FIRST warmup was 500 pounds!! It wasn’t that long ago when 500 pounds was considered a world class lift in the Neck Lift.  However on this day it was just the first warmup!!  It wasn’t long and both lifters were over 700 pounds.  At this point – each lifter started using a little strategy to gain an advantage over  the other.  The Champ went to 800, and got it easily.  ET countered with 850, and then Chad went after a NEW WORLD RECORD of 920#, which appeared as a very easy attempt.   ET then made the call to go after the BIG 1-0-0-0.   At this point things were really heating up.  Eric got the 1000 pounds, and became the first lifter to break the 1000 pound barrier in the Neck Lift.  However, Chad then moved the bar to 1010 and with a great effort, made a successful lift.  TWO LIFTERS over 1000 pounds for the first time, and all happened in under 5 minutes!  ET then raised the weight to 1030, which maxed out the Neck Lift bar.  He made the lift in a dramatic fashion.   Chad countered with 1040, but it was just a little too much for him on this day.  After all, he had just completed a 2-day World Meet with many max lifts over the weekend before this monstrous challenge event!

An event like this we could have sold tickets for.  It was a climatic ending to a great weekend of lifting by all.

MEET RESULTS

Neck Lift Challenge
Dino Strength Training Center
Salina, Kansas
October 7th, 2012

Officials (3 official system used):  Frank Ciavattone, Frank Allen, Denny Habecker

Lift: Neck Lift

1. First Place – Eric Todd:  1030 pounds
Age 37 years, BWT 118 KG

2.  Second Place – Chad Ullom: 1010 pounds
Age 40 years, BWT 112.0 KG

Mike Murdock joins the CENTURY CLUB

by Al Myers

Mike Murdock joins the USAWA Century Club, a club which recognizes lifters who currently hold over 100 USAWA records.

I predicted it in my last blog covering the CENTURY CLUB.  Mike Murdock has become the 23rd member to join this exclusive group of USAWA record setters.  Mike is very deserving of this, and all I have to say, is that it is ABOUT TIME!  I have often criticized Mike for only breaking his own records at record days and not growing his absolute count.  If he hadn’t been doing that he would have been over the “100 count” needed to be in the Century Club a long time ago.  It is also very appropriate that he did it at the Ledaig Record Breaker, the club that he lifts with.  I should have announced this before now, but since I did the last count right before Dave’s record day I sorta forgot how close Mike was to being a full-fledged CENTURY CLUB MEMBER!  

Our prez Denny Habecker still holds the lead.  Denny has now turned 70, and it has opened up a new age group for him to attack.  That’s exactly what he has been doing.  He is FIRMLY in first place now with 447 USAWA records.  His lead over Art has widened since last count.  Denny has been on the war path of competing in USAWA events.  There’s not very many he has missed since Nationals.

Since I’ve become the EXPERT PREDICTER, let me announce my prediction of who will be the next USAWA member to join the Century Club. It goes to the recent Hall of Famer Bob Geib.  Bob now has 95 USAWA records, and his presence has been plentiful at recent USAWA competitions.  In visiting with Bob at Worlds, he seems to me to have the enthusiasm of a teenager when it comes to lifting in competitions.  My money is on him (so don’t let me down Bob!!!)

CENTURY CLUB (as of October 23rd, 2012)

RANK LIFTER RECORD COUNT
1  Denny Habecker  447
2  Art Montini  413
3  Al Myers  396
4  John McKean  292
5  Noi Phumchona  265
6  Frank Ciavattone  262
7  Dennis Mitchell  260
8  Joe Garcia  243
9  Bob Hirsh  229
10  Bill Clark  200
11  Chad Ullom  195
12  Howard Prechtel  175
13  Dale Friesz  162
14  Jim Malloy  153
15  Scott Schmidt  148
16  John Monk  148
17  Ed Schock  142
18  Chris Waterman  137
19  Dean Ross  132
20  Rudy Bletscher  131
21  Mary McConnaughey  117
22  John Vernacchio  105
23  Mike Murdock  104

Lifter of the month: Barry Bryan

by Al Myers

This is a picture of Barry Bryan from his earlier lifting days. That's alot of weight he has overhead!

There’s a reason I’ve been waiting to announce the LIFTER OF THE MONTH for the month of September.  Due to the low number of meets during September, I decided the lifter of the month should be the lifter that won BEST LIFTER of the Delaware Valley Postal Meet, and I’ve been waiting on the final meet results.  So the congrats for winning the lifter of the month goes to Barry THE BOMB Bryan!!!! 

I am so glad to see Barry get back involved in the USAWA.  I had a great visit with him at the Presidential Cup a couple of months ago.  I know alot of the younger guys in the USAWA don’t remember when Barry was competing in the USAWA during the early 90’s.  He was “a force” to be reckoned with!!!  He was the overall BEST LIFTER at the 1990 USAWA National Championships against a very tough field of lifters.   However, there’s a price to pay for lifting heavy weights, and Barry incurred a few injuries as a result which lead to him not competing for several years.  But it looks like he has put those injuries aside – and IS BACK TO WINNING FORM!!!  Congratulations Barry for winning the LIFTER OF THE MONTH for the month of September!!!

1000 BLOGS!

by Al Myers

It’s hard to believe – but this is the 1000th blog of the USAWA Daily News.  That’s alot of All Round Weightlifting news over the past 3-4 years.  The first blog was a meet report of the 2009 Dino Gym Challenge – whereas the big news was Steve Schmidt hitting over a 3000 pound Back Lift and Chad Ullom performing a 200# Zeigler Clean.   The first few months were pretty slow on news, but since then the pace has been picked up.  We have had months over 30 stories, and most months have been over 20 stories. 

I have greatly appreciated the support that others have given me in this website endeavor.  The format of this website allows for member participation, which includes articles for publishing as the front page news of the USAWA Daily News.  Guys like Thom Van Vleck, Roger LaPointe, Dave Glasgow, Dennis Mitchell, John McKean,  and Steve Gardner have submitted several stories apiece over the years which I appreciate.  I don’t mind writing the majority, but the “voice of the organization” should be more than just me, especially since there’s WAY BETTER journalists than myself!!!  When I set this website up, I envisioned there being several writers, preferably at least one from each club, that would submit club news so everyone could keep up with what was going on throughout the entire organization. 

Let’s start the countdown to 2000!!!

4 Generations Of Montini’s

by Al Myers

Four generations of Montini's performed a TEAM FAMILY DEADLIFT at Art's Birthday Bash - (left to right): Christopher Montini (grandson), Benson Montini (great-grandson), Art, and Rob Montini (son). Photo courtesy of Karen Ward.

Last weekend at Art’s 85th Birthday Bash, it was indeed a special occassion.  And NOT because Art’s still lifting record poundages – but because it was the first time to my knowledge that FOUR GENERATIONS of lifters competed in the same meet.  That’s simply amazing!  John McKean tells me that this lift (that the picture is taken of) was actually judged and a down command was given, and it recieved 3 WHITE LIGHTS!!!

Gold Cup Reminder

by Steve Gardner

GOLD CUP – Saturday 3rd November – Castlemilk, Glasgow, Scotland

Andy Tomlin performing a Trap Bar Deadlift. Andy is the co-promoter of the 2012 Gold Cup with Matt Finkle.

All arrangements are looking good, 28 lifters signed up to go for a gold Cup lift, should be a great day! Remember Lifters: The Gold Cup is for one lift for an IAWA World Record. Lifters are allowed to nominate a second choice lift, and they will be allowed to go for this ONLY if they miss with their first nominated lift!

However: If the Promoter decides there is enough available time following completion of the Gold Cup Lifts, then lifters will be allowed to lift off on their second choice lifts as well (But only if there is enough time..as the Evening Meal is at a set time etc)

Following the lifting we may be treated to a ‘one off’ competition between 2 or 3, two man teams, as they will attempt to see who can lift the most weight from the floor using only one hand each.

World Postal Champions

by Steve Gardner

Steve and Karen Gardner present Al Myers and Chad Ullom with their awards for winning the Andy Goddard Postal World Strongest Two Man Team Competition.

Delaware Postal Meet

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS

2012 DELAWARE VALLEY OPEN POSTAL MEET

Barry Bryan is making his comeback in the USAWA. This picture was taken at the Presidential Cup in August, before Barry's BEST LIFTER win in the Delaware Valley Open Postal Meet.

The third leg of the USAWA Postal Meet Series has been completed.  Ten lifters competed.  The BEST LIFTERS are:

WOMEN – GABBY JOBE

MEN – BARRY BRYAN

MEET RESULTS

Delaware Valley Open Postal Meet
USAWA Postal Meet
September 1st-30th, 2012

Meet Director: John Wilmot

Lifts: Clean and Press – Heels Together, Snatch – 2 Dumbbells, Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip

Lifters with USAWA Certified Official:
Gabby Jobe – Official Jesse Jobe
Barry Bryan – Official Denny Habecker
Tim Songster – Official Jesse Jobe
Denny Habecker – Official Barry Bryan
Chad Ullom – Official Al Myers

Lifters using a judge who IS NOT a USAWA Certified Official:
Marcus Synder – Judge Les Cramer
Les Cramer – Judge Monica Cook
Samuel Rogers – Judge Orie Barnett
John Wilmot – Judge Kay Wilmot
Orie Barnett – Judge Sam Rogers

WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT C&P Snt DL TOT PTS
Gabby Jobe 9 101 45 30 100 175 336.8

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT C&P Snt DL TOT PTS
Barry Bryan 54 194 181 132 374 688 720.1
Orie Barnett 51 228 192 125 400 717 668.3
Chad Ullom 40 250 209 160 452 821 658.0
Les Cramer 70 187 130 110 300 540 656.0
Marcus Synder 23 185 160 120 420 700 654.2
Tim Songster 45 198 177 120 385 682 649.7
Sam Rogers 49 206 181 115 343 639 617.6
Denny Habecker 69 189 137 88 286 512 614.5
John Wilmot 65 220 105 100 310 515 550.3

NOTES:  AGE is age in years.  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  All lifts recorded in pounds.  TOT is total pounds lifted.  PTS are adjusted points for bodyweight and age allowance.

Frank Ciavattone GRAND BEST LIFTER

by Al Myers

Frank Ciavattone (middle) being awarded the GRAND BEST LIFTER of the USAWA. Presenters included USAWA Vice President Chad Ullom (left) and USAWA Secretary Al Myers (right).

One of the really important awards presented at the 2012 IAWA World Championships went to Frank Ciavattone. Frank was awarded the GRAND BEST LIFTER of the 25 year history of the USAWA.  This awarded was intended to be presented to Frank at the USAWA Nationals, but since he was unable to attend that meet I waited till Worlds to bestow him the recognition that he has rightly earned.  This award was based on Franks competition history at past USAWA National Championships. Frank has competed at the USAWA Nationals since the practical beginning, and in that time has acquired more National Records than anyone else!  To date he has 45 National Records!!!  That’s alot!!!  It will take someone of longterm persistence and great ability to overtake this record count of Franks. 

Congratulations Frank!  It was my honor to be part of this presentation.

New England RD

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

NEW ENGLAND ALL-ROUND RECORD DAY

Frank Ciavattone "setting up" to pull a big Jefferson Lift at the 2012 IAWA World Championships.

Date: December 1st

Meet Promoter: Frank Ciavattone

Location: Frank’s Barbell Club, Walpole, Massachusetts

Wayne Smith: 1932-2012

by Thom Van Vleck

Wayne Smith deadlifting the front end of a Volkswagon. This was one of Wayne's favorite photos.

Got word that one of our USAWA brothers and long time Jackson Weightlifting Club member Wayne Smith passed away.  Wayne was a guy that goes way back.  He did the “Odd Lifting” back in the 50’s and 60’s when Ed Zercher kept the records.  Smith even predates Bill Clark in his lifting career.  There are a couple of good stories on Wayne Smith archived in the website if you’d like to brush up on this great lifter.

http://www.usawa.com/wayne-smith-part-ii/

http://www.usawa.com/wayne-smith-all-round-legend-part-i/

The last meet Wayne attended was last year’s USAWA Nationals held in Kirksville, Missouri.  Wayne had to enjoy the meet as a spectator but he told me at one point how he itched to get on the platform.  He even said he hoped to get back into shape to do so!

I have many stories on Wayne, he was a unique individual that loved his weightlifting.  He encouraged me a lot and since he never had kids of his own, I think in some way he adopted me.  He would take photos around bragging on me and it made me want to live up to his stories!   Which made me train harder as sometimes Wayne could make a guy look too good!  But he always spoke highly of his friends, that was just him.  The last time I visited him he insisted that I go around the nursing home to introduce me to everyone.  He was a friend to all.

Wayne will be missed.  His funeral will be next Monday in Kirksville.  I you have a kind word about him you would like to pass on, send it to me at tvanvleck@yahoo.com.  I will make sure his family and friends get it.  His legend will live on, not because he was the greatest lifter but because he was the greatest friend.