Articles from May 2012

The Updated Century Club

by Al Myers

The first half of 2012 has been a record setting pace for the USAWA.  So far 589 new USAWA records have been established in the Record List.  If this pace continues we will eclipse 1000 records this year!!  However, you have to wonder how all this recent activity has affected the RECORDS RACE?  Well, I just did the count and it has not affected it at all!!!  The top 12 “record setters” are still in the same order as the last time I did the count last December. It has put several lifters “on the fringe” of the Century Club, and very soon now we will have some new members in this inclusive club of top performers.  One lifter has dropped out, Joshua Monk, which now leaves the Century Club at 20 members. Most of this list is a “who’s who” of Hall of Famers (only 6 in the century club are not in the HALL).  The biggest mover on the list was Chad Ullom, who moved up from position #20 to position #14. 

CENTURY CLUB (as of 5/29/2012)

1 Denny Habecker 407
2 Art Montini 390
3 Al Myers 354
4 John McKean 260
5 Joe Garcia 233
6 Dennis Mitchell 232
7 Noi Phumchona 214
8 Frank Ciavattone 212
9 Bill Clark 202
10 Bob Hirsh 201
11 Howard Prechtel 170
12 Dale Friesz 145
13 Scott Schmidt 139
14 Chad Ullom 139
15 Jim Malloy 133
16 Ed Schock 132
17 John Monk 123
18 Rudy Bletscher 120
19 Mary McConnaughey 117
20 Chris Waterman 114

Our trusty leader Denny still leads the Records Race. However, he dropped back a few records from his last count of 410.  Blame it on the Jungle Boys – Denny lost a few of his overall records after their last record day.  But then again, Art didn’t use Denny’s lapse to narrow the margin on him.  He should have been putting those young legs of his to use and making it to more meets while Denny was napping.

I also did a count of lifters who are almost there – the CENTURY CLUB that is.  The closest is Dean Ross, who’s record count now stands at 97.  Dean is a warrior at record days – he is always looking to break the next record. Dean has attended several meets already this year. I predict he will be the next member.  Dean is entered in Nationals in Vegas, so it would only be appropriate if this milestone is reached at the GRANDDADDY meet of the year.  Joshua Monk’s count also stands at 97, but unless he gets back to the platform in the USAWA,  he may not rejoin the club. Next in line is John Vernacchio, who has 92 records.  John has been fighting some ill-health lately, but I think with a little encouragement we can get him back in a meet to put a few more records on the board.  Next up in line is the Clark-trained dynamo, Abe Smith, who has 88 records.  Abe is still a young man with loads of strength, and there is really no reason he has not been in a USAWA competition lately.  Maybe this little prodding will get him back into action??? Bill DiCiccio is another Hall of Famer who has dropped off the list because of recent inactivity. His record count is 90 – only 10 short of the club!!!  Surely McKean and Montini  can get him to Art’s Birthday Bash to set 10 records so he can join them in the Century Club.  (I know you guys limit the records at THE BASH to 5 each, but this warrants an exception).  Another very close lifter, is Mike “Murdo” Murdock. Mike is standing at 85 records.  Only one good meet Mike and you ARE THERE!!! Make it happen this summer because I know you can.  All you got to do is not break your own records this time around.  The last lifter I’m going to mention is Bob Geib.  His count now stands at 77.   The truth is that Bob has easily broken over 200 records in his long lifting career within the USAWA, but then his records get broken as well.  Now that Bob is “back in action” in the USAWA, I predict he will make the Century Club.  In fact, he is in my prediction as one of the next three lifters to make it (following Dean and Murdo). 

RIP Rex Monahan, who’s record count now stands at 93.  Rex is a man who truly deserves to be in the CENTURY CLUB, and I’m sure would have if he was still with us on the lifting platform.

A RECORD Record Day

by Al Myers

Jesse watching and judging his daughter Gabby performing a 80 pound 12" base squat at the 2012 Jobes Steel Jungle Record Day.

Jesse Jobe really put “on a show” with his first USAWA promotion – the Jobe’s Steel Jungle Record Day.  It is exciting to see a new enthusiast club like his in the USAWA.  And on top of it all – the lifters in his club are exactly the type of lifters that fit into the USAWA’s philosophy. These guys (and gals) like good ole fashioned hard training, and don’t mind trying something that might be a little “out of their comfort zone”.   Plus I can attest to their drug-free status as I’ve now had a chance to drug test most of them (with the exception of the KING APE himself, Jesse, who is next on my list!!). 

When Jesse announced in his writeup that all together they set a total of 188 new USAWA records in their record day, I was a little skeptical.  Because if this was the case, it would make their record day a RECORD record day.  Never before has this many records been set in a single day in the USAWA, and that covers 100’s of meets over the past 25 years.  You think of all the big meets put on by Howard Prechtel of Cleveland,  Frank Ciavattone in Boston,  the two iron masters in Pittsburgh, Art Montini & John McKean, Denny Habecker in Lebanon, John Vernacchio in Philly, and Bill Clark in Columbia.  You would think the honor of this would be with one of those legendary promoters, but here comes the Jobes Steel Jungle!!!  What a way to make an impression in the USAWA!!!

I finally got the “final count” done on the number of records and it came to 181 individual records and 3 team records. The reason it wasn’t the 188 that Jesse claimed was because there were several cases of the SAME GUYS breaking a record in the same weight class.  So in a sense, a USAWA record got broken TWICE in the same day!! (but it only officially counts as one record) I was amazed at the number of records individual lifters set – newcomer Tim Songster led the way with 33,  Jesse had 31, Gabby 24, Alison 21, Troy Goetsch 17, Corey Kenkel 16, Mac Capello & Bryan Benzel 9, Darren Barnhart 4, Josh Haggin 3, and poor Scott Tully only managed 1 (but 1 is all it takes to get “in the book” for the day).  I won’t go into individual highlights as there were many.  Several ALL TIME USAWA records were set, as well as many NOTABLE performances.  I’ll save those stories for some other day.  But here is a listing of the records set if you are intested: 2012 Jobes Steel Jungle RD

I did a count of current records from individual events/competitions in the Record List.  Of course, this listing is only for CURRENT RECORDS and doesn’t represent the actual records set at the time, which would have been higher.  However, I do feel that the 181 records set at the 2012 Jobes Steel Jungle Record Day  is the most EVER  performed in a single event/competition in our history.  I am going to claim this as a record of records. 


 181  2012 Jobes Steel Jungle RD  Jesse Jobe
 142  1995 IAWA Worlds  Howard Prechtel
 127  1991 IAWA Worlds  John Vernacchio
 124  2012 Dino Gym RD  Al Myers
 118  2003 USAWA Nationals  Dick Hartzell & Carl LaRosa
 112  2004 USAWA Nationals  John Vernacchio
112 2002 IAWA Worlds Denny Habecker
109 2005 USAWA Nationals  Dick Hartzell & Carl LaRosa
105 1990 USAWA Nationals  Attilo Alachio
102 1999 USAWA Nationals  Art Montini & John McKean

COMING TOMORROW – the update of the Records Race, which has been “shook up” from all of this recent record activity.  One has to wonder if all of this recent record setting might have changed the rankings? Plus I’ll give the updates of the lifters who are “on the fringe” of making the CENTURY CLUB in the USAWA.

USAWA History – 1999 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following is the meet report written by Bill Clark in the July, 1999 issue of the Strength Journal, Vol. X No. 4.    This National Championships was the second Championships promoted by the Ambridge BBC.)


Ambridge, PA., June 26 – Denny Habecker, the Lebanon, Pa. strongman who seems to get better and better with the passing years, was the overall grand champion among the men and Noi Phumchaona of Cleveland, Ohio, retained her women’s title at the USAWA’s annual championships at the Ambridge, Pa., VFW  Weightlifting Club.

Habecker lifts any and all.  He holds his own in both Olympic Lifting and in the power lifts and excels at the all-rounds.   At age 56, he’s still supple as most half his age and he retains strength and flexibility both above and below the waist.

Noi remains Noi – about all that happens with her is that she gets a year older each year and she gets stronger, not weaker, as time passes.  Time passes fast when you’re having fun.  Can you believe that Noi is now in the 55-59 age group?

Special thanks must go to Art Montini and John McKean for what proved to be a very good weekend.  To begin, the schedule of events was given to the lifters 11 months prior to the competition.  Things ran on time at the meet, dinner was free, and the Ambridge VFW lifters contributed $100 to the Strength Journal when the weekend was over and all the bills had been paid.  Not too damned shabby a deal, folks.

The meet was great fun because it was family.  The handful of spectators consisted of friends and family of lifters and wound up loading if they weren’t lifting.  The kitchen stayed open all weekend and good food was always on hand.  You’d appreciated hundreds of screaming fans, but a few appreciative folks made the weekend an enjoyable experience.  It is always fun to lift at Ambridge – the basement and the competition area have seen more than half a century of great lifting and the age of the strongman era permeates the place.  Thanks, Ambridge, for the weekend.


1999 USAWA National Championships
June 26-27, 1999
Ambridge, Pennsylvania

Meet Directors: Art Montini and John McKean
Emcee: Bill Clark
Scorekeeper: Marilyn McKean
Loaders: Jason Zajec, Bill Spayd, Bob Geib, Chris Pennington, Joshua Monk, Mike Pinkoski, Izzy Mabrey, John Monk, Mike O’Brien
Officials: Art Montini, Dennis Mitchell, Denny Habecker, Rob McKean, Frank Ciavattone, Jim Goviannini, Bob Geib, Jeff Ciavattone, Joe Garcia, John Kurtz, John McKean, John Monk, Jim Malloy, Bob Karhan, Bob Hirsch, Pete Zaremba

Lifts: Clean and Push Press, One Arm Swing, Deadlift with Ciavattone Grip, Steinborn, Arthur Lift, One Arm Deadlift, Hip Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
2. Jim Malloy, Ohio
3. Pete Zaremba, Ohio
4. Joe Garcia, Missouri
5. Frank Ciavattone, Massachusetts
6. Dale Friesz, Virginia
7. Scott Schmidt, Ohio
8. Chris Waterman, Ohio
9. John McKean, Pennsylvania
10. Jeff Ciavattone, Massachusetts

Women: Top Placing
1. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio

Best Lifters Awards:
Women Open – Noi Phumchaona
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Open – Denny Habecker
Men Master – Denny Habecker
Men Junior – Jeff Ciavattone
Men Junior 11-12 Age Group – John Blockston
Men Junior 14-15 Age Group – James Loewer
Men Junior 16-17 Age Group – Sean McKean
Men Junior 18-19 Age Group – Jeff Ciavattone
Men 20-39 Age Group – Pete Zaremba
Men 40-44 Age Group – Frank Ciavattone
Men 45-49 Age Group – Joe Garcia
Men 50-54 Age Group – John McKean
Men 55-59 Age Group – Denny Habecker
Men 65-69 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell
Men 70-74 Age Group – Art Montini

Dumbbell Swing vs. Kettlebell Swing

by Roger LaPointe

Denny Habecker performing a Dumbbell Swing at the 2012 USAWA Club Challenge in Ambridge Barbell Club with an "old-style" 75 pound Jackson Globe Dumbbell.

Everyone knows that kettlebells are extremely popular right now. With that popularity has come a re-introduction of some old exercises and lifts, especially the kettlebell swing. While the one hand and two hand versions of the kettlebell swing are great exercises, they are not competitive lifts.

What is the competitive lifter to do?

Keep training with those kettlebells, as they are great tools. However, now it is time to haul out your Plate Loading Olympic Dumbbell for the Dumbbell Swing. The Dumbbell Swing has rules and records in the USAWA. What makes it a lift great lift is the relative ease of judging a good lift. Basically, it is one of those lifts that is clearly locked out overhead.

To give you an idea of how much a really good lifter can do with a One Hand Swing, we turn to two time Olympian (1932 and 1936) Stanley Kratkowski. As a middle weight (165 pound) lifter, in 1934 Kratkowski held the Right Hand Swing US Record of 178 1/2 pounds… Not too shabby. In the modern All-Round Association, the current World Record is 78.3 Kg (172.6 lbs.) in the 75 kg (165 lbs.) weight class, by R. Meldon of Great Britain. Looking at the other weight classes, I believe there is considerable opportunity for improvement in this lift.

I have found the two hand kettlebell swing to be a really fantastic training exercise for the one hand swing. As a shorter athlete, I find that my grip is the first thing to go. With the two handed kettelbell swing I can concentrate on that triple extension, really working my hips back and neck. The two handed nature of the lift also lends a balance to the body, decreasing spinal torsion issues associated with one handed lifts. As it is an exercise that does not exactly replicate the competitive lift, this is something that I would do for higher reps, particularly working some portion of the lift where I have identified a common problem. Achieving full extension of the hips seems to be a problem for many lifters.

Live Strong, Roger LaPointe

Jobe’s Steel Jungle RD

by Jesse Jobe

Troy Goetsch and Bryan Benzel set the top ALL TIME USAWA record in the Team Deadlift at the Jobe's Steel Jungle Record Day with a lift of 1097 pounds.

Last  Sunday, The Jobe’s Steel Jungle held a record breaking records day.  We had 13 lifters from age 7 to 45 and a total of 188 records were set or broken. To say I was impressed by the lifting that was done this day is a massive understatement. I was very proud of everyone that lifted, but the biggest highlight for me was getting my wife Alison Jobe to compete and she did outstanding. I was also fortunate enough to have my daughter Gabby Jobe lifting and she also did amazing.  I will try to give every great performance its own little paragraph but it might have to be saved for another write up.

First, I want to thank everyone who was able to compete and those who came to watch and cheer us on.  Also I have to give a big thanks to Darren Barnhart and Scott Tully.   They came up to compete, helped me judge some lifts, and give me clarification on a few things I wasn’t 100% sure about. We had a couple newbies lifting but they didn’t disappoint by putting up some big lifts. I had told the guys a couple weeks before that I wanted to make this a special meet and that I wanted to see some lifts that would be remembered.  None of them disappointed me.

I think the biggest news of the meet was some lifts that were set as the all-time highest lifts.  Bryan Benzel stole the show setting four individual all-time lifts and two team lifts with Troy Goetsch. Troy Goetsch set a huge 2” Vbar lift and then two team lifts with Bryan Benzel. Troy’s Grip strength is simply amazing as he doesn’t have huge hands, just a very strong grip. Tim Songster set an all time lift in the Piper Squat, I think eventually he can push this up to 300lbs. Darren Barnhart and Scott Tully actually had the Fulton bar Ciavattone grip team record for about 5 minutes with 650lbs, until Bryan and Troy took it back with 670lbs. I have no doubts that either one of these teams will eventually get 700lbs. My wife set some all time lifts in the 2” Vbar, 1” Vbar, and some finger lifts.

I set the most records of the day with 40. I had a decent game plan and feel I executed it pretty well. I think on some lifts I left a little in the tank, but overall I was happy with the way a lot of them turned out. I have a goal of eventually having 100 records. I am still learning a lot of these lifts and once I figure out some of them, I hope to put up some all time records in some.

Gabby Jobe, at 9 years old, set a number of USAWA records including this 54# 1 inch 1 bar VB deadlift.

My daughter and wife both had tremendous days. My wife, Alison, is a very competitive person in anything she does.  But it took a lot of convincing to get her to do this. She only started lifting last year and has started to make tremendous gains. She has a naturally strong grip and I know that eventually she is going to set some very high marks in the grip events. Gabby has really started to be as serious as a nine year old can be about her training.   I cannot say enough how proud I am of how she did this day.

I was quite pleased with how the day came out. My biggest goal for running this meet was to be able to have people get together and have a good time.  My family was able to come and see my daughter lift and also see my wife compete for the first time.  I look forward to my next USAWA event that I hold.  Competing and hosting USAWA has become one of the most fun and entertaining things I have done in my lifting career. Again, I want to thank everyone for their help.  And a huge thank you to my wife, she cooked the lunch, judged, lifted, and was a great host.

Meet Results

Jobe’s Steel Jungle Record Day
Jobe’s Steel Jungle, Council Bluffs, Iowa
May 20th, 2012

Meet Director:  Jesse Jobe

Officials:  Jesse Jobe, Alison Jobe, Bryan Benzel, Scott Tully, Darren Barnhart

Tim Songster Jr. 7 years old, 66# BWT

Deadlift – 12″ Base:  75#
Deadlift – Heels Together:  67#

Scott Tully 36 years old, 359# BWT

Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat: 200#

Darren Barnhart 44 years old, 296# BWT

Bench Press – Hands Together: 315#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand: 145#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand: 145#
Deadlift – No Thumbs: 365#

Josh Haggin 38 years old, 198# BWT

Bent Press – Dumbbell, Right Hand: 60#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 230#
Deadlift – 2 Bars:  430#

Bryan Benzel 25 years old, 288# BWT

James Lift: 202#
Clean and Seated Press: 247#
Clean and Press – On Knees:  227#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand: 215#
Deadlift – No Thumbs: 602#
Clean and Press – Middle Fingers:  87#
Deadlift – One Leg, Right:  205#
Deadlift – One Leg, Left:  205#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Left Arm:  235#

Mac Capello 34 years old, 242# BWT

Reflex Clean and Jerk: 255#
Snatch – Fulton Bar:  170#
Curl – Reverse Grip:  195#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Mid/Ring Fingers:  230#
Pinch Grip: 170#
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat:  160#
Jerk – From Rack, Behind Neck:  275#
Continental to Chest – Fulton Bar:  305#
Deadlift – No Thumbs:  367#
Pull Up:  45#

Gabby Jobe FEMALE,  9 years old, 91# BWT

Squat – 12” Base:  80#
Squat – Front:  72#
James Lift:  15#
Arthur Lift:  15#
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells:  60#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Arm:  50#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm:  50#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip:  75#
Deadlift – Heels Together:  115#
Curl – Strict:  20#
Bent Over Row:  45#
Curl – Reverse Grip:  35#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand:  37#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand:  37#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand:  54#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand:  54#

Zach Jelinek 23 years old, 199# BWT

Squat – Piper:  225#
Clean and Press – Reverse Grip:  135#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Mid/Ring Fingers:  230#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Arm:  230#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm:  230#
Curl – Reverse Grip:  175#
Deadlift – 2 Bars:  450#
Deadlift – No Thumbs:  367#
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat:  160#
Clean and Press – Alternate Grip:  135#
Finger Lift – Little, Left Hand:  54#
Finger Lift – Little, Right Hand:  54#
Finger Lift – Index, Left Hand:  96.5#
Finger Lift – Index, Right Hand:  91.5#
Finger Lift – Ring, Left Hand:  84#
Finger Lift – Middle, Left Hand:  105.5#
Finger Lift – Middle, Right Hand:  91.5#

Alison Jobe  – FEMALE, 36 years old, 231#BWT

Finger Lift – Little, Left Hand:  54#
Finger Lift – Little, Right Hand:  54#
Finger Lift – Index, Left Hand:  79#
Finger Lift – Index, Right Hand:  79#
Finger Lift – Ring, Left Hand:  64#
Finger Lift – Ring, Right Hand:  64#
Finger Lift – Middle, Left Hand:  79#
Finger Lift – Middle, Right Hand:  115#
Finger Lift – Thumb, Left Hand:  29#
Finger Lift – Thumb, Right Hand:  29#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand:  110#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand:  135#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand:  129#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand:  129#
Deadlift – Fingers, Index:  115#
Deadlift – Fingers, Middle:  115#
Deadlift – Fingers, Ring:  115#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip:  165#
Deadlift – Reeves:  135#
Curl – Strict:  55#
Bench Press – Alternate Grip:  85#
Bench Press – Reverse Grip:  85#

Troy Goetsch 25 years old, 193# BWT

Bench Press – Left Arm:  70#
Bench Press – Right Arm:  115#
Clean and Jerk – Dumbbell, Left Arm:  70#
Clean and Jerk – Dumbbell, Right Arm:  90#
Clean and Press – Fulton Bar:  180#
Pinch Grip:  170#
Pinch Grip – Left Hand:  75#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip:  310#
Snatch – Fulton Bar:  145#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand:  235#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand:  255#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand:  180#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand:  180#
Clean and Press – 2 Dumbbells:  140#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Left Arm:  170#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Right Arm:  205# 
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Heels Together:  360#
Clean and Press – Reverse Grip:  135#
Clean and Press – Alternate Grip:  135#

Corey Kenkel 29 years old, 186# BWT

Press – Dumbbell, Left Arm:  70#
Snatch – Dumbbell, Left Arm:  70#
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat:  100#
Apollons Lift:  190#
Clean and Jerk – Fulton Bar:  190#
Reflex Clean and Push Press:  140#
Reflex Clean and Jerk: 140#
Pinch Grip: 110#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar:  360#
Clean and Press – Alternate Grip:  135#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip:  285#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand:  112.5#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand:  135#
Snatch – On Knees:  67#
James Lift:  87#
Squat – Overhead:  87#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand:  155#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand:  155#
Miller Clean and Jerk:  87#
Bench Press – Reverse Grip:  185#

Tim Songster 45 years old, 209# BWT

Squat – Piper:  245#
Bench Press – Hands Together:  195#
Clean and Press:  165#
Clean and Press – Behind Neck:  155#
Squat – Lunge:  225#
Clean and Press – Alternate Grip:  135#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm:  80#
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm:  80#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand:  112.5#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand:  112.5#
Snatch – On Knees:  87#
Squat – Overhead:  87#
Lateral Raise – Lying:  80#
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat:  140#
Pull Up:  25#
Bench Press – Reverse Grip:  175#
Reflex Clean and Push Press:  155#
Clean and Press – 12” Base:  135#
Good Morning:  135#
Finger Lift – Little, Left Hand:  54#
Finger Lift – Little, Right Hand:  54#
Finger Lift – Thumb, Right Hand:  54#
Clean and Press – Reverse Grip:  135#
French Press:  75#
Snatch – Left Arm:  75#
Snatch – Right Arm:  75#

Jesse Jobe 35 years old, 228# BWT

Clean and Jerk – Behind Neck:  200#
Clean and Press – Middle Fingers:  90#
Clean and Jerk – Dumbbell, Left Arm:  100#
Clean and Jerk – Dumbbell, Right Arm:  100#
Pinch Grip:  170#
Clean and Press:  170#
Clean and Press – Alternate Grip:  170#
Clean and Press – Reverse Grip:  175#
Clean and Press – 12” Base:  190#
Curl – Dumbbell, Cheat, Right Arm:  100#
Curl – Dumbbell, Cheat, Left Arm:  100#
Deadlift – One Leg, Left:  185#
Snatch – On Knees:  107#
Lateral Raise – Lying:  80#
Lateral Raise – Standing:  40#
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat:  160#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand:  215#
Snatch – Dumbbell, Left Arm:  90#
Snatch – Dumbbell, Right Arm:  90#
Pull Up:  20#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand:  170#
Deadlift – No Thumbs:  505#
Reflex Clean and Push Press:  205#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Mid/Ring Fingers:  185#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Arm:  282#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm:  282#
Finger Lift – Little, Left Hand:  54#
Finger Lift – Little, Right Hand:  54#
Finger Lift – Index, Left Hand:  103#
Finger Lift – Index, Right Hand:  103#
Finger Lift – Thumb, Left Hand:  29#
Finger Lift – Thumb, Right Hand:  54#
Piper Squat: 135#
Clean and Jerk – 2 Dumbbells:  140#
Curl – Reverse Grip:  175#
Hack Lift – Fulton Bar:  310#

Bryan Benzel and Troy Goetsch

Team Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip:  670#
Team Deadlift:  1097#

Josh Haggin and Troy Goetsch

Team Deadlift:  850#

USAWA History – 1998 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following was written by Bill Clark in the Strength Journal.)


“High praise for the guys who loaded…best job I’ve ever had.  Four great guys – Mike Enright, Chris Sullivan, Nick Lacivita, and Jim Paluso had not one complaint.  The platform was built by Walt Lacivita and his crew… the banquet was a real Italian, all-you-can-eat feast.”


Each year, the Ciavattone Family presents the Ciavattone Award to a person in the USAWA who shows the strength and courage exhibited by Frank in his battle against many physical problems without ever losing his youthful enthusiam for life.

The 1998 award was presented to Denny Habecker of Lebanon, PA., a lifter who always has time for the sport, his family, and for his community.  The award was presented by Cara (Ciavattone) Collins, Frank Sr’s daughter.


1998 USAWA National Championships
July 25-26, 1998
Mansfield, Massachusetts

Meet Director: Frank Ciavattone
Loaders: Mike Enright, Chris Sullivan, Nick Lacivita, Jim Paluso

Lifts: One-Hand Clean and Jerk, Pullover and Press, Deadlift with Ciavattone Grip, Cheat Curl, Clean and Press on Knees, Continental Snatch, Bench Press Feet in Air, Neck Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Joe Ciavattone, Massachusetts
2. John Monk, Pennsylvania
3. Frank Ciavattone, Massachusetts
4. Bill Spayd, Pennsylvania
5. Joe Garcia, Missouri
6. Jeff Ciavattone, Massachusetts
7. John McKean, Pennsylvania
8. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
9. Tim Kennedy, Massachusetts
10. Ralph Cirafesi, Pennsylvania

Women: Top Three Placings
1. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio
2. Cara Collins, Massachusetts
3. Domenique Ciavattone, Massachusetts

Best Lifters Awards:
Men Open – Joe Ciavattone
Men Master – Frank Ciavattone
Women Junior – Domenique Ciavattone
Women Open – Noi Phumchaona
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Junior – Jeff Ciavattone
Frank Ciavattone Sr. Award – Denny Habecker

USAWA History – 1997 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the Strength Journal, Vol. VIII No. 3)


Columbia, MO – - Noi Phumchaona won the women’s title handily at the 10th Annual USAWA Championships here on June 14-15, but it was not an easy victory for Jim Malloy in winning the “Best Lifter” among the men.

Malloy, a 110 KG champ in the 55-59 age group, had the meet’s highest total of 3515 pounds and finished on top of the eight-lift event with 3285.94 points on the corrected age and bodyweight basis.  He edged fellow Cleveland lifter, Bob Hirsh, who had 3113.35 points.  Joe Garcia, who had the best neck and hand-and-thigh lifts in the meet, was close behind in third with 3018.62 points.  His total of 3485 pounds was second only to Malloy. 

The closest battle for an award ever in the USAWA Nationals came in the 50-54 age group here.  Joe Caron finished with 2790.37 points to edge Denny Habecker by less than a point. Denny had 2789.69 points….a mere .48 of a point difference.

A total of only 22 lifters made it to the platform – the lowest ever in a USAWA title meet, and five of the 22 were from the host club – Clark’s Gym.  Even with the small number, lifters came from Massachusetts (Dave Ellis and Frank Ciavattone) to California (Jack Lano).

A brief record session was held following the competition each day and the star of the day on Sunday was Kerry Clark.  Kerry had not entered the competition because a severe reaction to medication had sent her to the hospital and her bodyweight had dropped almost overnight.  She spent both days in the referee’s chair on one of the platforms and when the neck lift came up, the competitive juices began to flow.  With no training in almost a year, she made 505 pounds in the 70 KG class, a lift which was beaten only by Garcia’s 510.  She tried 600, but without success.

Clark’s Gym came up with a trio of youngsters who have a good chance to make headlines in the USAWA for years to come.  Emily Gordon, a 14-year-old junior high soccer player, was in her third major competition in  a little over a year and, at a bodyweight of 99.6 pounds, did a 350 hand-and- thigh and a 735 harness lift.  She set 10 USAWA records during the weekend.  Jonathan Anderson, Kerry’s 12-year-old nephew, made a 200-pound neck lift and set eight records in his first-ever competition.  Andy Bate, an 18-year-old who loaded on Saturday, decided to lift on Sunday as a record-seeker only, and came away with four records in his initial effort.  All the kids, plus a couple of others, are considering the IAWA International Meet in October in Pennsylvania. 


1997 USAWA National Championships
June 14-15, 1997
Columbia, Missouri

Meet Director: Bill Clark and Joe Garcia
Emcee: Bill Clark
Equipment Hauler: John Carter
Sales: Dolores Clark
Loaders: John Carter, Andy Bate, Charles Wade, Dan Thompson, Tyler Lasley, Judy Habecker
Head Officials: Kerry Clark, Casey Clark

Lifts: Clean and Press Heels Together, Deadlift with Ciavattone Grip, Steinborn, Hand and Thigh, One-Hand Deadlift, Pullover and Push, Clean and Press on Knees, Neck Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Jim Malloy, Ohio
2. Bob Hirsh, Ohio
3. Joe Garcia, Missouri
4. Chris Waterman, Ohio
5. Joe Caron, Kansas
6. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
7. Dale Friesz, Virginia
8. John Vernacchio, Pennsylvania
9. John Carter, Missouri
10. Howard Prechtel, Ohio

Women: Top Three Placings
1. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio
2. Karen Devine, Pennsylvania
3. Emily Gordon, Missouri

Best Lifters Awards:
Men Overall – Jim Malloy
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Open – Bob Hirsh
Men Master – Jim Malloy
Men 20-39 Age Group – John Carter
Men 40-44 Age Group – Bob Hirsh
Men 50-54 Age Group – Joe Caron
Men 55-59 Age Group – Jim Malloy
Men 60-64 Age Group – John Vernacchio
Men 65-69 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell
Men 70-74 Age Group – Howard Prechtel
Men 75-79 Age Group – Jack Lano
Women Junior – Emily Gordon
Men Junior – Jonathon Anderson

USAWA History – 1996 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report covering the 1996 USAWA National Championships  was written by Bill Clark in the August 1996 issue of the Strength Journal, Vol. VII No.5)


The crowd was the smallest in the history of the USAWA’s national championships which originated in 1988, but the lifting was excellent, the food great, the fun unmarred by the competition, and the weekend a tribute to the Ciavattone Family in general and the memory of Frank Ciavattone Sr., in particular.

A field of 23 lifters were on hand for the Ninth Annual USAWA Championships which were held in the Holiday Inn in Mansfield, Mass., a fine facility which seemed to perfectly fit the needs of the small crowd.

Five members of the Ciavattone Family lifted in the competition and, when the meet was done, three-year-old Joseph Ciavattone did an exhibition Ciavattone lift with 10 kilos which must have set a USAWA record for most lifters in one extended family in a single meet, beating out the many Montinis of Aliquippa, Pa.

Cleveland’s Bob Hirsh was an easy winner of the best lifter award for Americans, but waged a huge battle with England’s Steve Angell for the bragging rights, regardless of nationality.  Bob finished with 1162.5 points on the Lynch Formula.  Steve wound up with 1172.5 points.  Hirsh received one per cent age correction — 11.6 points – which gave him an edge of 1.6 points on teh age-corrected total… a tremendous battle between two great lifters.  Bob is only 41; Steve is 26.

Cara Ciavattone took the women’s overall title.  She shared gals’ honors with Noi Phumchaona the masters’ leader, and Holly Ciavattone, her niece, who won teenage honors.

Joe Ciavattone was the best open lifter (Angell was not eligible for USAWA awards) and his nephew, Jeff, was the best teenager.  Only one Ciavattone failed to win age group honors.  As is normally the case, the meet director has many thing to distract his concentration on lifting and this meet was no exception.  Frank Jr., failed to break a couple of records he had hoped to exceed, but had to be happy with the way the weekend progressed.  He took home the best meet director award…. and well-deserved.

The Ciavattone neck proved to be super strong – this time it belonged to younger brother Joe.  Frank had taken the neck record up to 322.5 kg (711 pounds) at the 1992 Nationals in his hometown of Walpole, Mass., and it still stands as the heavyweight record.  It was also a Ciavattone Family record. No longer!!!!!

Joe, only 27 and lifting in the 105 KG class at a bodyweight of only 223, made a 287.5 KG opener, jumped to 325 for a family record ad the best-ever neck lift.  He missed it the first time, but got a better lean and a more balanced drive to make the 325 – 716 1/2 pounds …. the best of all-time.

The Ciavattone Family neck battle is now under way.


The Sunday evening banquet, which left most everyone full of bar-b-q, was highlighted by the presentation of the Frank D. Ciavattone Sr. Courage Awards for both 1995 and 1996.  Frank Sr. was a long-time supporter of all varieties of lifting, who, in his final years, was a staunch supporter of the USAWA.   He served the USAWA as an official despite being battered by diabetes and cancer and the strength with which he fought his conditions is very much evident in this family.  In memory of her husband, Josephine Ciavattone presented the 1995 Courage Award to Howard Prechtel, the USAWA President who still sets records at 71 despite recurring problems stemming from World War II wounds.  The 1996 Courage Award went to Bill Clark, who has overcame three joint replacements to win two USAWA titles and set nearly 100 age group records at age 64.


1996 USAWA National Championships
June 22-23, 1996
Mansfield, Massachusetts

Meet Director: Frank Ciavattone
Loaders: Mark Bridges, Ramon Lopez, Jim Collins

Lifts: Clean and Press Heels Together, Continental to Chest, Pullover and Press, Zercher Lift, Deadlift with Ciavattone Grip, One-Arm Clean and Jerk, One-Arm Deadlift, Neck Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Bob Hirsh, Ohio
2. Chris Waterman, Ohio
3. Barry Pensyl, Pennsylvania
4. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
5. Jim Malloy, Ohio
6. Joe Ciavattone, Massachusetts
7. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
8. Pete Zaremba, Ohio
9. Howard Prechtel, Ohio
10. Dale Friesz, Virginia

Women: Top Three Placings
1. Cara Ciavattone, Massachusetts
2. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio
3. Holly Ciavattone, Massachusetts

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Junior – Holly Ciavattone
Women Open – Cara Ciavattone
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Junior – Jeff Ciavattone
Men Open – Bob Hirsh
Men Master – Bob Hirsh
Men 40-44 Age Group – Bob Hirsh
Men 45-49 Age Group – Barry Pensyl
Men 50-54 Age Group – Jim Malloy
Men 55-59 Age Group – Dale Friesz
Men 60-64 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell
Men 65-69 Age Group – Art Montini
Men 70-74 Age Group – Howard Prechtel
Frank Ciavattone Sr. Award – Bill Clark

Things to do in Vegas

by Chad Ullom

Saturday nights banquet will be held at Tony and Tinas Wedding. I've done it before and its a good time!

For our Saturday night entertainment, we will attend an interactive dinner theater called Tony and Tina’s Wedding. I’ve actually been to Tony and Tina’s Wedding twice before and it is a lot of fun! You are a guest at an Italian Wedding and of course things go wrong all night. From the ex boyfriend that shows up invited, the pregnant bridesmaid, the drinking priest, the show can be different every time depending on who you sit next to! It’s much more fun if you interact, so come prepared to have a great time!

On Sunday, we are planning a bus tour to visit Hoover Dam. I have done the tour before as well and I highly recommend it! You can take a bus from Vegas, and they pick you up from many areas in Vegas. There is a lot of great information on the long bus ride about the dam and Vegas in general. This tour will take most of the day on Sunday. 

At our meeting Friday night before the meet, we will take the orders for the tickets to both of these events.  At this time of the year, we should not have any problems getting in last minute to either of these activities.  We are going to wait on the tickets so we can get all of our seats together at the banquet and on the same Hoover Dam Tour.  I will personally take charge of this project of getting our tickets so don’t worry about being left out or not getting tickets. Just let me know Friday night before the meet if you want to go to either of these activities.  I’ll take the orders and then hit the strip to buy them somewhere cheaper than we could get them in advance.  

The meeting will be held at the host hotel somewhere, at the Silverton.  Al will let you know at some time where this meeting will be held at.  He hasn’t even told me yet. If you have not made your reservation at the Silverton yet, don’t forget to get it done.  Link –

Also, I am renting a big van to haul everyone around.  Just think of me as your private taxi service.  If you need picked up at the airport, just drop me an email what time you are getting in to Vegas on Friday and I’ll be there to pick you up.  I’ll also be shuttling people to the meet on Saturday as well.

USAWA History – 1995 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the June 1995 issue of the Strength Journal, Vol.VI No. 5)

Kerry Clark, Art Montini …..USAWA’s Best

There were records galore and outstanding performances abounded at the USAWA National Championships on June 3-4 in Columbia, Mo.. but Kerry Clark came thru with the most outstanding performance of them all.  A small but talented field put an amazing total of 164 records in the book during the two-day, nine-event affair put on by Clark’s Gym…but the 555-pound neck lift by Kerry Clark had to be the outstanding lift of the weekend.

Kerry, a 31-year-old research analyst in the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, beat her own neck lift mark by 152 1/2 pounds and was 55 pounds better than any male lifter in the meet, regardless of age or size. In addition, Kerry moved atop the all-time women’s list in the hip lift with 1300 pounds and put a total of nine records in the book in the open 80 KG class.  She joined with teammate Dale Spry to do a 500-pound two-person deadlift – the first male-female lift to go on the USAWA record list.

The hand-and-thigh record was shattered by co-meet director Joe Garcia with a 1600-pound effort which jumped off the floor.  The mark is the best ever, regardless of bodyweight in the USAWA and stands seventh on the list of past efforts in Dave Willoughby’s “Strength Athletes”. Only one of those six lifts occurred in the past 85 years and none, in all probability, were done under the more strict rules which govern the USAWA…which puts Joe up there with the legends of our sport such as Louis Cyr, et al.

Kerry won the women’s “Best of the Best” title and the men’s “Best of the Best” went to 67-year-old Art Montini on an age-adjusted basis.  Montini set age group records in all nine lifts and added a left-hand deadlift mark of 275 pounds on record day.  Art edged out 40-year-old Bob Hirsh and 37-year-old John Carter fro the “Best” title.  Carter made an easy 2300-pound hip lift for openers, then jumped to 2600 on his second attempt. He failed twice.  Had he taken the 2525 needed to break his old mark, he would have added the “Best” title…but John wanted that 2600 more than an award.  “Next time!” he said.

The 25-lifter field was the smallest since the first year of the USAWA Championships, but had four first-timers in the field – two from Clark’s Gym. Thanks to a number of those who made cash contributions to the meet treasury, the meet broke even financially. Clark’s Gym sends the deepest appreciation to those who kept Garcia and Bill Clark from digging deep. 


1995 USAWA National Championships
June 3-4, 1995
Columbia, Missouri

Meet Director: Bill Clark and Joe Garcia

Lifts: Continental to Chest and Jerk, Deadlift Heels Together, Pullover and Push, Zercher Lift, Neck Lift, Clean and Press Heels Together, Bench Press Feet in Air, One-Hand Deadlift, Hip Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
2. Bob Hirsh, Ohio
3. John Carter, Missouri
4. Dale Friesz, Virginia
5. Jim Malloy, Ohio
6. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
7. Howard Prechtel, Ohio
8. Joe Garcia, Missouri
9. Chris Waterman, Ohio
10. Randy Joe Holden, Kansas

Women: Top Two Placings
1. Kerry Clark, Missouri
2. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Open – Kerry Clark
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Open – Bob Hirsh
Men Master – Art Montini
Men Junior – Adam Geib

USAWA History – 1994 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report covering the 1994 USAWA National Championships was written by Bill Clark in the June 1994 issue of the Strength Journal, Vol. V No.3)

Noi and Malloy: Robbie, Jackie, and Hirsh — the Best!!!

CLEVELAND, OH JUNE 4-5th: The record book took a beating as 37 lifters from eight states enjoyed a two-day, fun-filled session of lifting and meetings under the direction of USAWA president Howard Prechtel at the seventh annual National All-Round Weightlifting Association Championship.

The women’s field was led by Jacqueline Simonsen, the open best lifter, and Noi Phumchaona, the top master.  The best junior was Robbie McKean. Jim Malloy edged out Art Montini in a tight race for the masters’ best lifter and 39-year-old Bob Hirsh was untouchable in the open division.  The actual number of records set won’t be known till Joe Garcia’s computer gets to work on a list which is fast approaching 2000 entries.  No less than 13 marks fell on fourth attempts alone and another three were added when lifters did one-hand lifts with both hands for record without leaving the bar. Another of other marks were near-misses such as Frank Ciavattone’s 1600 lb. hand and thigh.

A 24-year-old in his first-ever USAWA championship almost stole the show, Goeff Gazda, a 131-pounder who trains with Chris Waterman, was built more like a distance runner than a strength athlete, but set half a dozen records, including four on fourth attempts.   He is surely a lifter with a future, considering his slight build.

The meet was held at the Clarion Hotel in suburban Eastlake with excellent accommodations.  The hotel will be the site of the Gold Cup in November, once again to be under its founder, Howard Prechtel.  There’s a good chance the 1995 IAWA Championships will be at the same site.  Our hat’s off to Howard, who directed, fielded questions and solved problems, ran the USAWA board meeting, and still did a number of record lifts – at the young age of 69.


1994 USAWA National Championships
June 4-5, 1994
East Lake, Ohio

Meet Director: Howard Prechtel
Emcee: Bill Clark
Scorekeeper: Marilyn McKean

Lifts: Clean and Push Press, Jefferson Lift, One-Hand Hack Lift, Cheat Curl, One-Hand Snatch, Zercher Lift, Hand and Thigh

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Bob Hirsh, Ohio
2. Bill DiCioccio Jr, Pennsylvania
3. Jim Malloy, Ohio
4. Bill DiCioccio Sr, Pennsylvania
5. Goeff Gazda, Ohio
6. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
7. Chris Waterman, Ohio
8. Howard Prechtel, Ohio
9. Mike Locondro, Pennsylvania
10. John McKean, Pennsylvania

Women: Top Three Placings
1. Jacqueline Simonsen, Vermont
2. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio
3. Deanna Springs, Missouri

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Open – Jacqueline Simonsen
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Open – Bob Hirsh
Men Master – Jim Malloy
Men Junior – Robbie McKean

USAWA History – 1993 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the Strength Journal Vol.IV No.3. )


The USAWA Nationals turned out to be a two-family affair on the male side while Jacqueline Caron dominated the women’s division.  The meet, held in Middletown, PA., under the co-direction of Paul Montini and Paul Healey, drew an entry of 36 lifters from 11-year-old Rocco Montini to 73-year-old Paul Eberhardinger and saw the usual number of records go into the book.

Jacqueline Caron took the women’s division with 1486.33 Lynch Points, beating out Noi Phumchaona and Kerry Clark, who did some outstanding lifting of their own.

The top male award went to Bill DiCiccio, Jr., who scored 1802.92 Lynch Points, beating out his dad, Bill Sr., who was third with 1724.32 points.  Bob Hirsh of Cleveland was runnerup with 1799.6 points, losing his chance to take the best lifter award when his right knee crumpled under a 1580 hip lift. The injury seemed to be minimal.  DiCiccio, Sr., wound up second to Art Montini in the Battle for top master lifter. Art had 2078.12 points on the age-amended list – which, if a trophy overall for the age-amended list were given, would have gone to him.

The top junior lifter was Rocco Montini, who scored 1484.92 points as an 11-year-old in the 35 KG class.  Rocco – Rocky – is Art’s grandson and the son of Paul Montini, the co-meet director.

In the master’s division, Noi Phumchaona (45-49) made her last start in that age group a winner. She was the only master gal on hand.  In the men’s 40-44, Paul Montini was the best – making it three Montini’s. At 45-49, Barry Pensyl was the winner, 50-54 winner was Bill DiCiccio, Sr., 55-59 belonged to John Vernacchio, 60-64 went to Dennis Mitchell, 65-69 was Art Montini, 70-74 was Paul Eberhardinger.  And, just to keep things in perspective, on the age-amended formula, Bill DiCiccio Sr., was 146 points better than Junior.

Thanks to the two Pauls – Montini and Healey – for quick and accurate results and for setting examples by showing excellent lifting form and strength, as well. 


1993 USAWA National Championships
May 22-23, 1993
Middletown, Pennsylvania

Meet Directors: Paul Montini and Paul Healey

Lifts: Clean and Push Press, Jefferson Lift, Steinborn, Zercher Lift, Hand and Thigh, Hip Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
2. Bill DiCioccio Sr., Pennsylvania
3. Jim Malloy, Ohio
4. Bill DiCioccio Jr, Pennsylvania
5. Bob Hirsh, Ohio
6. Barry Pensyl, Pennsylvania
7. Chris Waterman, Ohio
8. John Kurtz, Ohio
9. John McKean, Pennsylvania
10. John Monk, Pennsylvania

Women: Top Three Placings
1. Jacqueline Caron, Vermont
2. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio
3. Kerry Clark, Missouri

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Open – Jacqueline Caron
Men Open – Bill DiCioccio Jr.
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Master – Art Montini
Men Junior – Rocco Montini
Men 40-44 Age Group – Paul Montini
Men 45-49 Age Group – Barry Pensyl
Men 50-54 Age Group – Bill DiCioccio Sr.
Men 55-59 Age Group – John Vernacchio
Men 60-64 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell
Men 65-69 Age Group – Art Montini
Men 70-74 Age Group – Paul Eberhardinger

How good was Ed Zercher?

by Roger LaPointe

Frank Ciavattone performing a Zercher Lift at the 2000 USAWA National Championships. The entire video of this meet is available for sale from Atomic Athletic.

Comparing old records to modern records can be tough. In the case of Ed Zercher, we can compare contemporary results in the Olympic lifts.

The Olympic weightlifting contests were very different in the early 1930s. The biggest difference being in the number of lifts contested in a single day. Today, there is just the Two Hand Snatch and Two Hand Clean & Jerk, but way back then it was a weightlifting pentathlon, including the single hand version of those lifts and the military press. Of course, the equipment was less sophisticated and the rules slightly different.

At the Fifth Annual Western AAU Weight Lifting Championships Ed Zercher (Bodyweight 156 Pounds), had the following lifts:

One Hand Snatch 120 lbs.
One Hand Clean & Jerk 130 lbs.
Two Hand Military Press 170 lbs.
Two Hand Snatch 145 lbs.
Two Hand Clean & Jerk 200 lbs.
Total 765 lbs.

Ed was also a Loader and Official in the meet.

As a comparison, John Terlazzo (Olympic Gold Medalist Tony Terlazzo’s brother) won the 148 pound class at the 1935 AAU Junior Nationals, as well as John Terpak and Walter Good, as reported in the same issue of The Arena & Strength.

Terlazzo (148#) Terpak (148#) Good (165#)
One Hand Snatch 143# 126.5# 159.5#
One Hand C & J 159.5# 143# 176#
Two Hand Military Press 181.5# 176# 203.5#
Two Hand Snatch 187# 187# 192.5#
Two Hand C & J 242# ——- 275#
Total 913# 632.5# 1006.5#

(I believe Terlazzo’s OHS was his National Record, but it is not mentioned as such in the accompanying article.) Terpak went on to win a Gold Medal in the 1936 Olympics and Good took 14th in the 1936 Olympics.  As you can see, when it came to the five lift Olympic contests, Ed was not quite up to Olympic caliber, but he was not far off.

Thom Van Vleck has reported on the USAWA web site ( that “The oldest record listed that has a verified date (Old record list from Bill Clark) is a Harness Lift done by Ed Zercher, Sr with 2150lbs in 1940.” He also reports, “Clark stated that the below records were Missouri Valley AAU marks prior to 1941. So, while we don’t know the exact year these were set, they were set prior to or in 1941. “

Aug. 3-4, 1963 Iron Man Lifting News reported on the 3rd Annual Heart of America Festival, which contested 15 different events, of which Ed (age 56) competed in the following:

Roman Chair 610 lbs., Leg Press-Unsupported 10 Reps 600 lbs.

The Zercher Lift was also a lift at this meet, but Ed did not compete in it. However, he did officiate.  Ed continued to be a judge for Olympic weightlifting contests in the 1960s, Iron Man Lifting News has him listed as an official for the Dec 7, 1964 Missouri State Weightlifting Championships, Missouri State AAU Olympic Weightlifting Championships at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, December 10, 1967. He was also an official for the March 30-31, 1968 Missouri State Penitentiary Weight Decathlon, during which they contested 10 lifts, including the “ Zercher Lift”. The Emcee was Bill Clark.  Ed did not lift in either contest.

Zercher would likely have been considered a “Presser”, but his One Hand Snatch was quite good as well. If powerlifting had been an organized sport in the 1930’s, I suspect that with his pressing ability transferring to the bench press, his record in the deadlift and obvious ability with leg pressing and other squat-type movements, he would have really done well, if not taking some national or world titles.

USAWA History – 1992 Nationals

by Al Myers


1992 USAWA National Championships
May 30-31, 1992
Walpole, Massachusetts

Meet Directors: Bob Moore and Roger Lynch
Emcees: Joe Caron and Bob Moore
Head Officials: Bill Clark, Armand Turgeon, Joe Garcia, John Vernacchio

Lifts: Continental Snatch, Pullover and Push, Steinborn, Hand and Thigh, Neck Lift, Jefferson Lift, One-Hand Deadlift, Zercher Lift, Hip Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
2. Bill DiCioccio Sr., Pennsylvania
3. Jim Malloy, Ohio
4. Roger Lynch, Massachusetts
5. John McKean, Pennsylvania
6. Frank Ciavattone, Massachusetts
7. Bill DiCioccio Jr., Pennsylvania
8. Dale Friesz, Virginia
9. Bob Moore, Massachusetts
10. Joe Garcia, Missouri

Women: Top Two Placings
1. Jacqueline Caron, Vermont
2. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio

Best Lifter Awards:
Women 20-39 Age Group – Jacqueline Caron
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Junior 13 and Under – Rocky Montini
Men Junior 14-15 Age Group – Bradley Ward
Men Junior 16-17 Age Group – Daniel Drake
Men Junior Overall – Rocky Montini
Men 20-39 Age Group – Roger Lynch
Men 40-44 Age Group – Paul Montini
Men 45-49 Age Group – John McKean
Men 50-54 Age Group – Bill DiCioccio Sr.
Men 55-59 Age Group – John Vernacchio
Men 60-64 Age Group – Art Montini
Men 65-69 Age Group – Rex Monahan
Men Master Overall – Art Montini
Men Open Overall – Roger Lynch

USAWA History – 1991 Nationals

by Al Myers

This was the Ambridge Barbell Clubs first promotion of the USAWA National Championships. Art Montini and John McKean were the meet directors.  This meet at Ambridge drew 34 lifters, which is one of the best turnouts in the history of the USAWA National Championships.  Ambridge BBC ran away with the team title, as well as Art Montini taking the overall best lifter award. Steve Schmidt was the top Open lifter with a point total of 2270.1 points.  At 63 years of age, Art ended up with a total age/bodyweight adjusted points of 2500.0.  Frank Ciavattone had the best total of the day with 6105 pounds.  This appeared to me to be a very difficult meet over the course of two day with 3 chains involved – Neck, Hand and Thigh, and the Hip.  Add on other “tough lifts” like the Hack Lift, Steinborn, and the Zercher Lift, and this National Meet could have been the HARDEST National Meet ever!!

Several elite USAWA members made their National Meet debut here – Joe Ciavattone, Bob Geib, John Monk, Rex Monahan, and John Kurtz.


1991 USAWA National Championships
July 13-14, 1991
Ambridge, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: Art Montini and John McKean

Lifts: One-Hand Clean and Jerk, Hack Lift, Pullover and Push, Steinborn, Hand and Thigh, Continental Snatch, One-Hand Deadlift, Zercher Lift, Neck Lift, Hip Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
2. Bill DiCioccio Sr., Pennsylvania
3. Steve Schmidt, Missouri
4. Barry Bryan, Pennsylvania
5. Roger Lynch, Massachusetts
6. John McKean, Pennsylvania
7. Jim Malloy, Ohio
8. Joe Garcia, Missouri
9. John Monk, Pennsylvania
10. Frank Ciavattone, Massachusetts

Women: Top Three Placings
1. Jeanne Burchett, Pennsylvania
2. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio
3. Suree Hughes, Ohio

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Masters – Jeanne Burchett
Women Open – Jeanne Burchett
Men Junior – Robbie McKean
Men 20-39 Age Group – Steve Schmidt
Men 40-44 Age Group – Paul Montini
Men 45-49 Age Group – John McKean
Men 50-54 Age Group – Bill DiCioccio Sr.
Men 55-59 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell
Men 60-64 Age Group – Art Montini
Men 65-69 Age Group – Howard Prechtel
Men Master – Art Montini
Men Open – Steve Schmidt

World Record Clean and Press

by Roger LaPointe

This is the series of pictures showing Dave Polzin's WR Clean and Press of 90 KG.

You want world records? We’ve got’em.

This year’s Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Olde Time Strongman Picnic hosted the USAWA Heavy Lifts Championships, where 8 World Records were broken.

Two of the World Records were done as extra lifts. One of the beauties of the US All-Round Weightlifting Association is having the opportunity to add in extra lifts that are not on the regular agenda. One such lift was the classic Clean & Press.

Dave Polzin was the lifter. He trains with the Atomic Athletic Club at the new Atomic Athletic Training Center. Dave’s first meet in the All Rounds took place at last year’s Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Olde Time Strongman Picnic, but this was far from the beginning of his lifting career. In fact, Dave’s first weightlifting competition was in Olympic Weightlifting, when the Clean & Press was still part of the Olympics. Dave was quite a presser, pushing up over 300 pounds. Unfortunately, right after that meet, the Press was eliminated from Olympic competition. However, as a football player for Defiance College, Dave continued to do the press in his training.

Dave achieved some real success in Olympic style weightlifting, reaching national level in the late 70s and early 80s. He usually lifted in the 110 kg weight class, placing as high as second at the US Nationals. His by clean was 202.5 kg (446.5 lbs.). Dave quit competition by the mid-1980s, with many of his friends trying to get him to lift as a Masters age athlete.

It took the “odd lifts” of the USAWA to get him back into competition mode again. Last year’s Strongman Picnic included the One Hand Barbell Deadlift and the Clean & Push Press, where he set records in both lifts. Now Dave Polzin has caught the bug for all round weightlifting.

This past weekend, the Heavy Lifts Championships were not enough for Dave. He also wanted to break the Clean & Press record, which he did in fine style. He practiced the Hand & Thigh Lift with us at the Atomic Athletic Club, but we didn’t have harnesses for the Neck Lift or the Hip Lift, so Dave learned from the other lifters that day. When he finished he went 2 for 3 in the Clean & Press, breaking the record twice, where the new record now stands at 90 Kg (198 lbs.) for the 100 kg wt. Class and 60+ age group. Dave is already pushing for the next meet here at Atomic Athletic.

Live strong, Roger LaPointe

USAWA History – 1990 Nationals

by Al Myers

(WEBMASTERS NOTE:  The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the Strength Journal, Vol. 1 No. 5.  Our current USAWA President Denny Habecker made his USAWA National debut in this meet, as well as other famous USAWA members like Dale Friesz, Jim Malloy, Barry Bryan, Barry Pennsyl, and Chris Waterman.  )

USAWA Nationals A Record-Breaker!

More than 225 records were set or matched in a great two-day session of the USAWA National Championships at the Downtown YMCA in Akron, Ohio, on July 15-16.

To pinpoint one top lifter at the expense of the others would be unfair…so many did so many record attempts.

Barry Bryan was the top male lifter, winning the 85 KG class easily.  The 32-year-old Pennsylvanian set records in eight of the 10 events during the two long days and saw his total of 1714.32 kilos topped only by a pair of much heavier lifters.  His 1603.06 points was 150 points better than anyone else.

The women’s title went to 52-year-old Jeanne Burchett of Baden, Pa., with an 18-record effort in the 60 KG class.  She topped her outstanding two-day session with a great hand and thigh lift of 552 1/2 pounds.

Art Montini continued to dominate the masters. The 62-year-old from Aliquippa, Pa., continues to make tremendous gains.  His 1588 points placed him well ahead of his team mate, John McKean, from the Ambridge, Pa., VFW  WL Club.  Bill DiCiccio of Ambridge was third among the masters. 

Robbie McKean, John’s 11-year-old son, was the outstanding junior.  He set nine age group records in the 10-13 age group and tied a 10th.

Cleveland’s Olympic Health Club (John Schubert, Howard Prechtel, etc) took the team title in spirited battle with Ambridge and John Vernacchio’s Valley Forge WLC.  Missing from the action were the clubs from the Midwest and defending Champ, Steve Schmidt.

Attilio Alacchi did a tremendous job – with big assists from the Cleveland crew – in putting on the third annual USAWA get-together.  And, as always, the guy who does the work never gets to lift and enjoy the meet as he has done the past two years. Thanks to you, Attilio, for all you did for the USAWA.


1990 USAWA National Championships
July 15-16, 1990
Akron, Ohio

Meet Director: Attilio Alacchi

Lifts: Clean and Press – Heels Together, Front Squat, Continental to Chest, Pullover and Push, Neck Lift, One-Hand Snatch, Bench Press Feet in Air, One-Arm Deadlift, Hand and Thigh, Zercher Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Barry Bryan, Pennsylvania
2. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
3. Frank Ciavattone, Massachusetts
4. Jim Bufalini, Pennsylvani
5. Don Verterosa, Massachusetts
6. John Vernacchio, Pennsylvania
7. John McKean, Pennsylvania
8. Chris Waterman, Ohio
9. Jim Malloy, Ohio
10. Bill DiCioccio Sr., Pennsylvania

Women: Top Three Placings
1. Jeanne Burchett, Pennsylvania
2. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio
3. Suree Hughes, Ohio

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Master Overall – Jeanne Burchett
Women Open Overall – Jeanne Burchett
Men Junior – Robbie McKean
Men 20-39 Age Group – Barry Bryan
Men 40-44 Age Group – John McKean
Men 45-49 Age Group – Jim Malloy
Men 50-54 Age Group – John Vernacchio
Men 55-59 Age Group – Gonzalo Gonzales
Men 60-64 Age Group – Art Montini
Men 65-69 Age Group – Howard Prechtel
Men Master Overall – Art Montini
Men Open Overall – Barry Bryan

Awesome Strongman Picnic

by Roger LaPointe

Jeff "Chain Breaker" Bankens performed various strongman feats through out the day of the Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Olde Time Strongman Picnic. Here he is tearing license plates one after another!!!

Performing strongmen, barbeque, broken records and good friends, what more can you ask from a Saturday afternoon? We had it all.  Summing up one of the Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Olde Time Strongman Picnics is nearly impossible, but just like the event, I will try to pull it off.

The USAWA Heavy Lifts Championships were going on throughout the day, with records being broken left and right. In case you don’t know the lift order, it went like this: Neck Lift, Hand & Thigh Lift and the Hip Lift finished it off. However, sandwiched in there were a couple of invitational record breaker lifts: the One Hand Barbell Snatch and the 2 Hand Clean & Press, just for a little variety.

We also had some informal Open Competitions. We started off with a little kids Farmers Walk, where they used a pair of 10 Pound Kettlebells. You would be hard pressed to find a lifting event higher on the cuteness scale. All of the kids did a great job and showed great sportsmanship. We also had a Farmers Walk with 190 pound competition units and a Repetition Deadlift with a 309 Pound Barbell. Of course, the Atlatl demo had to be paused so we could use the field. Everyone loved the spear throwing with the primitive tools. I do try to get something in there that is a little off the wall, even for this group.

Punctuating all of this we had Jeff “Chain Breaker” Bankens, all the way from Louisiana, doing bits and pieces of his act that he does on the road, including a classic water bottle routine. This is the first time I had seen that done live.  In the Atomic Athletic Training Center we had Sensei Mike Sherman, of American Kenpo, giving a competition kettlebell seminar and mini-competition. While people were there, they bought T-shirts, posters and equipment… all to the smell of free popcorn and cotton candy, a favorite of the kids.

A great time was had by all. I would like to give a special thanks to everyone who helped out, especially Dennis Habecker and Al Myers, who each managed and brought equipment for the Heavy Lifts Championships, as well as Jeff Rybek, who managed loading the weights. There were many other people who helped out as well, but in addition to special expertise, these moved some real weight in the sun. Loaders, administrators and referees rarely get much credit. Just to give you an idea, the heaviest lift was a 2075 Hip Lift…

Make sure to keep checking out the Atomic Athletic web site, USAWA Facebook page and the Atomic Athletic Facebook page for more updates.

Live strong, Roger LaPointe

ET’s 905 Neck Lift!

by Al Myers

Eric Todd established a new Overall World Record Neck of 905# at the 2012 Heavy Lift Championships. Longtime allrounder John Kurtz is in the background watching this impressive lift.

I didn’t think it would be possible – seeing Chad’s big WR Neck Lift of 900 pounds get broke so soon.  But it did happen, and just like last year, happened at the event highlighting the chain lifts, the Heavy Lift Championships.  Eric Todd, of Cameron Missouri, put up successful lifts last weekend in the Neck Lift of 700#, 800#, 860#, and then with his extra record set the record with a lift of 905#!  As I said yesterday, the 900 barrier is now the level to shot for to be considered as “one of the best” in the Neck Lift. I always knew ET might have this ability in him.  He is a former wrestler and has a neck like a NFL linebacker.  I also knew he had the mental toughness to not be intimidated by this large amount of weight.  He made the lift rather easily as well.  Congratulations Eric on setting this new record!!!

Heavy Lift Championships

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2012 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships: (front left to right) Roger LaPointe, Al Myers, Denny Habecker, Eric Todd, Scott Schmidt (Back) Dave Polzin

This past Saturday Roger LaPointe, of Atomic Athletic, hosted the 2012 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships.  It was held in conjunction with his annual promotion, the Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Olde Time Strongman Picnic.  After last year’s Heavies in York, I didn’t know if that meet could be topped, but after attending Roger’s event I think it was!   The combination of the championships and the picnic were a perfect fit – it led to a festive environment along with many spectators.  Roger did an EXCELLENT JOB of bringing everything together to celebrate a day of strength. Along with the Championships, there were several strength shows by other strongmen going on.  All of this was topped off with a big meal for everyone in attendance.  I won’t say anymore about the picnic activities as I will leave that story for Roger to tell later.

Myself (left) and Roger LaPointe (right). Roger did an outstanding job of promoting the USAWA Heavy Lift Championships!

The meet itself was well attended for a Heavy Lift Championships. All together 7 lifters entered – a mixture of heavy lift veterans and a couple of new lifters to the “chain lifts”.  This meet doesn’t appeal to all lifters, and generally the Heavy Lift Champs doesn’t get more entries than this, so I was very pleased with the turnout.  It ended up “being a battle” between Eric Todd and myself for the overall champion.  It came down to the last event, the Hip Lift, to decide the day’s champion.  I was in order before ET, so I pushed myself and got a 2000# Hip Lift to put a little pressure on him.  He responded well, and put up with a personal record Hip Lift of 2075# to edge me out by only 3 adjusted points. I will have to do some research on this, but I’m guessing this is the closest finish for the overall lifter EVER in a Heavy Lift Championships.  Eric was the one who “stole the show” of the day on the whole – he started off the meet with an overall ALL TIME USAWA & WORLD RECORD in the Neck Lift with an unbelievable lift of 905 pounds!!!  His new record topped Chad Ullom’s 900 from last years Heavy Champs, which has now become the norm for being one of the best in the Neck Lift.   It was a really impressive lift, and I expect will inspire Chad to lift even more.  I fully expect one of these two lifters to be the first to break the “magic barrier” of 1000 pounds in the Neck Lift.  It will happen.  I was glad to see ET enter this big meet and win this championships. Most don’t know this, but ET has been competing in the USAWA longer than I have (by 6 months).  He has never really traveled far to meets in the USAWA as he has been focused on his pro strongman career.  He is a gifted all rounder and I kidded him he is still a youngster (at 37) in the USAWA and his best years are still ahead of him.

Dennis Mitchell giving an interview to the local TV station.

On the other end of the spectrum is Dennis Mitchell.  Dennis is now 80 years old and was the oldest lifter in this meet.  For his age, Dennis is remarkable.  Most guys his age would never take on lifts like the Heavy Lifts.  Dennis is a “master” at these lifts, and constantly surprises me with his lifting.  He told me last weekend that this month marks 69 years since he began lifting weights (that’s right, 69 years!!!!).   Also, he has competed throughout this whole time. That is one long lifting career!!!  I was glad to see Dennis get recognized by being interviewed by the local TV station.

Another lifting milestone was achieved this past weekend as well.  Our USAWA President Denny Habecker told me that Saturday marked 50 years since his first lifting competition – to the day!!!   I made sure to celebrate this occasion with Denny after the meet.  Denny multi-tasked all day as a lifter and as the head official, as well as bringing the heavy bar and accessories for the meet.  Many things happen in the USAWA only because of Denny!! He finished with a record lift in the Hip Lift at 944 pounds.

I was glad to see competing the two newcomers, wily veteran Olympic Lifter Dave Polzin, and the big talented young kid Thomas Casillas.  Both have tremendous abilities, and with a little practice on the Heavy Lifts will be very good Heavy Lifters. Dave really impressed me after the meet when he did a 198# Clean and Press at the age of 62 for an age group record!!!  Andrew Durniat made an appearance as well in one of the strongman shows.  I hadn’t seen Andrew in a year, but immediately I could tell that he has added some muscular size since then.  He did a 166# one arm snatch for a new record.  This is one of the best one arm snatches of the year in the organization.  Andrew’s strength in a lift like this shows that he is “way more” than just a grip lifter.  I’m hoping that we will continue to see Andrew compete in the USAWA, as he is a great person as well as a superb lifter.

Athletic Atomic club member Dave Polzin performed a 198# Clean and Press at the age of 62!!!!

Another all -round lifter who was in attendance but did not compete was the Cleveland lifter John Kurtz.  John trained under the legendary Howard Prechtel and obviously has a wealth of information.  I enjoyed visiting with him throughout the day and getting to know him.  His name is “littered” throughout our USAWA record list with impressive records, and it was nice to be able to “put a name with a face”.   He has had some health issues of late, but he still looked like he was in lifting shape to me!!!  I hope to see him get “back into action” in USAWA competition.  The only person I have not mentioned yet is Scott Schmidt.   I saved Scott for last because I want to make sure everyone knows how much he contributes to our organization.  Scott is part of the 5-person executive board that governs the USAWA, and is very influential “behind the scenes”.  He is always very helpful at meets, and one of the better officials in the organization.  He put up a great lift of 1005# in the Hand and Thigh as well and placing third overall in this meet.


Heavy Lift Championships
Bowling Green, Ohio
May 12, 2012

Meet Director:  Roger LaPointe

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

Officials:  Denny Habecker, Dennis Mitchell, Scott Schmidt, Eric Todd, Al Myers

Announcer: Roger LaPointe

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Loader: Jeff Rybek

Eric Todd 37 252 860 1200 2075 4135 3266.6
Al Myers 45 240 700 1100 2000 3800 3263.1
Scott Schmidt 59 249 287 1005 1400 2692 2567.8
Dave Polzin 62 215 330 750 900 1980 2090.3
Denny Habecker 69 196 0 600 900 1500 1761.4
Dennis Michell 80 154 240 400 550 1190 1756.8
Thomas Casillas 15 305 0 600 0 600 496.9

NOTES:  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  TOT is total pounds lifted.  PTS are adjusted points for bodyweight correction and age allowance.


Eric Todd  Neck Lift:  905#
Denny Habecker Hand & Thigh Lift: 705#
Denny Habecker Hip Lift: 944#
Dennis Mitchell Hand & Thigh Lift: 450#
Dennis Mitchell  Hip Lift: 625#
Thomas Casillas Hand and Thigh: 700#
Dave Polzin Clean and Press: 198#
Andrew Durniat Snatch – Left Arm: 166#
(33 years old, 230 lbs. BWT)

Rattenberry’s Inman Mile Walk

by Steve Gardner


Mark Rattenberry, of the Tiverton Club, walked 503 meters in his Inman Mile Walk.

Mark Rattenberry making a record attempt at the Inman Mile at Tiverton at the weekend, he beat the previous best mark of 268 metres by walking an amazing 503 Metres with one and a half times bodyweight. The event was all for charity, and Mark was joined in the attempts by Gary Ell, Axel Amos and Tom Cleverly, well done lads!

USAWA History – 1989 Nationals

by Al Myers

John Vernacchio repeated as meet director again at the USAWA Nationals Championships in 1989.  The meet was held in Plymouth Meeting, the site of the prior 1988 Nationals.  It was a grueling 2 day affair, with many of the same lifts contested as the year before.  The meet climaxed with the Hip Lift, with Steve Schmidt hitting the best Hip Lift of the meet with a great lift of 2400 pounds which gave him the BEST LIFTER of the meet for the second time in two years.  Cindy Garcia won the BEST LIFTER in the womens division for the first womens CHAMPION (no women competed in the first ever championships).  Meet attendance at this Nationals exceeded the prior year with 34 lifters competing in 1989.  Several “well recognized” USAWA members made their USAWA  National Championships debut in this meet: Noi Phumchaona, Howard Prechtel, Dennis Mitchell, Joe McCoy, and Frank Ciavattone.

The one unique feature of the 1989 USAWA National Championship was that it was held IN CONJUNCTION with the 1989 IAWA World Championships.  The same lifts were contested and a USAWA  lifters lifts would count for both Championships!!!  This is the only time in the history of the USAWA and the IAWA that this has happened. 


1989 USAWA National Championships
June 24-25, 1989
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: John Vernacchio

Lifts: One Hand Deadlift, Neck Lift, Clean and Press heels together, Zercher, Hip Lift, Bench Press feet in air, Pullover and Push, One Hand Snatch, Continental to Chest, Front Squat

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Steve Schmidt, Missouri
2. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
3. Tim Bruner, Texas
4. John McKean, Pennsylvania
5. Phil Anderson, Texas
6. Brian Meek, Texas
7. Bill DiCiccio Sr., Pennsylvania
8. John Carter, Missouri
9. Jim Bufalini, Pennsylvania
10. John Vernacchio, Pennsylvania

Women: Top Two Placings
1. Cindy Garcia, Missouri
2. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Open – Cindy Garcia
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Open – Steve Schmidt
Men Master – Art Montini
Men Junior – Frank Shuba, Jr.

World Postal LEG 1

by Steve Gardner


(Leg 2 to be completed by End of July – Steinborn, OH C+Jerk, and Zercher)

For the World postal League, teams have been permitted to lift with only one referee if it has not been possible for those teams to have 2 or 3 referees. Where only one referee was used, those results have not been submitted for records ratification. Two guests (non IAWA members) have also been permitted to lift to assist in the making of teams, and once again their results were not eligible to be forwarded for records ratification.

Lifts in Leg 1: Snatch – One Arm, Pullover and Push, Jefferson Lift

1. Dino Gym – USA

 Al Myers  111.5  115  45  72.5R  170  260  502.5  426.3
 Chad Ullom  112.9  115  40  67.5R  160  240  467.5  375.5

Team Total: 970 KGS   Amended Points: 801.8

2.  Powerhouse 1 – ENG

 Mark Price  94.4  95  47  55R  160  195  410  387.0
 James Gardner  92.1  95  28  55R  130  220  405  358.8

Team Total: 815 KGS  Amended Points: 745.8

3. Powerhouse 2 – ENG

Graham Saxton 121.7 125 50 37.5R 130 250 417.5 355.1
Luke Davis 80.0 80 27 45R 110 192.5 347.5 334.0

Team Total: 765 KGS   Amended Points: 689.1

4. W Australia 1 – AUS

John Mahon 108.1 110 28 50R 140 202.5 392.5 319.2
Peter Phillips 104.9 105 58 52.5R 95 180 327.5 321.9

Team Total: 720 KGS  Amended Points:  641.1

5.  Tiverton 1 – ENG

Gary Ell 86.7 90 41 42.9L 107.9 192.9 343.7 321.4
Mark Rattenberry 63.9 65 49 27.9L 75.4 160.4 263.7 306.3

Team Total: 607.4 KGS   Amended Points: 627.7

6.  Hoghton Barbell – ENG  (Calvin is a guest lifter from Burton – not an IAWA member) 

Mark Haydock 115.0 115 37 70R 130 284 484 381.3
Calvin Smith 74.5 75 19 35R 62.5 130 227.5 233.0

Team Total: 711.9 KGS  Amended Points: 614.3

7.  Granby Grippers - ENG   (Only 1 ref for Steve but 2 for Daniel) 

Daniel Andrews 65.7 70 15 30.5R 50.5 100 181 226.9
Steve Andrews 70.4 75 52 47.5R 115 160 322.5 376.0

Team Total: 503.5 KGS  Amended Points: 602.9

8.  Powerhouse 3 – ENG

John Gardner 137.2 125+ 29 55R 140 220 415 300.0
Paula Delemata 49.6 50 38 20.5R 42.5 100 163 292.8

Team Total: 578 KGS  Amended Points: 592.8

9.  Castlemilk Expendables 1 – SCO

Andy Tomlin 91.2 95 44 47.5L 100 165 312.5 292.3
Matt Finkle 67.3 70 45 35R 75 145 255 289.9

Team Total: 567.5 KGS  Amended Points: 582.2

10.  Tiverton 2 – ENG

Tom Perry 87.2 90 21 37.9R 117.9 177.9 333.7 304.9
Patrick Burt 71.9 75 23 27.9L 80.4 160.4 268.7 275.9

Team Total: 602.4 KGS  Amended Points: 580.8

11.  W Australia 2 – AUS

Sam Trew 116.5 120 29 52.5L 110 215 377.5 295.5
Paul McManus 112.5 115 38 50R 100 180 330 262.9

Team Total: 707.5 KGS  Amended Points: 558.4

12.  Habeckers Gym – USA

Denny Habecker 87.0 90 69 30R 100 135 265 324.9
Rudy Bletscher 97.5 100 76 25R 54.4 100 179.4 228.0

Team Total: 444.4 KGS   Amended Points:  552.9

13. Castlemilk Expendables 2 – SCO   (George Dick had 2 Refs But Jim Madden is a guest – not IAWA Member)

Jim Madden 89.9 90 43 37.5R 125 130 292.5 273.2
George Dick 128.7 125+ 63 37.5R 75 160 272.5 251.8

Team Total:  565 KGS  Amended Points: 525.0

14.  Tiverton 3 – ENG

Thomas Cleverley 75.5 80 21 25.4L 90.4 150.4 266.2 265.1
Axel Amos 83.0 85 23 27.9L 85.4 150.4 263.7 247.9

Team Total:  529.9 KGS  Amended Points: 513.0

15.  Coalville Outcasts – ENG     

Mark Shaw 77.2 80 51 27.5 60 132.5 220 242.2
Jason Reed 84.2 85 31 35 80 160 275 256.6

Team Total: 495 KGS  Amended Points: 498.8

16.  Powerhouse 4 – ENG   (just 4 Andy)

Steve Gardner 140.2 125+ 55 40R 100 150 290 240.7
Karen Gardner 72.7 75 53 17.5R 35 85 137.5 206.1

Team Total: 427.5 KGS  Amended Points: 446.8


1. Dino Gym – USA  801.8
2. Powerhouse 1 – ENG  745.8
3. Powerhouse 2 – ENG   689.1
4. W Australia 1 - AUS  641.0
5. Tiverton 1 - ENG  627.7
6.  Hoghton Barbell - ENG  614.3
7.  Granby Grippers - ENG   602.9
8.  Powerhouse 3 -  ENG  592.8
9.  Castlemilk Expendable 1 -  SCO  582.2
10.  Tiverton 2 -  ENG  580.8
11.  W Australia 2 - AUS  558.4
12.  Habeckers Gym -  USA  552.9
13.  Castlemilk Expendables 2 -  SCO  525.0
14.  Tiverton 3  - ENG  513.0
15.  Coalville Outcasts -  ENG  498.8
16.  Powerhouse 4 (Just 4 U Andy) -  ENG  446.8


Dino Gym – USA   Al Myers and Chad Ullom


Top Two Teams from each Country Count towards the ‘ Nations’  Team Score (1st = 15pts, 15th = 1pt)

1.   ENGLAND   27pts
2.   USA  20pts
3.   AUSTRALIA  18pts
4.   SCOTLAND  12pts

Lifters Rankings – Amended Totals at Leg One stage:

1.  Al Myers 426.3
2.  Mark Price  387.0
3.  Mark Haydock 381.3
4.  Steve Andrews  376.0
5.  Chad Ullom 375.5
6.  James Gardner  358.8
7.  Graham Saxton 355.1
8.  Luke Davis  334.0
9.  Denny Habecker 324.9
10.  Peter Phillips  321.9
11.  Gary Ell  321.4
12.  John Mahon  319.1
13.  Mark Rattenberry  306.3
14.  Tom Perry  304.9
15.  John Gardner  300.0
16.  Sam Trew  295.5
17.  Paula Delemata  292.8
18.  Andy Tomlin 292.3
19.  Matt Finkle  289.9
20.  Patrick Burt  275.9
21.  Jim Madden  273.2
22.  Thomas Cleverley 265.1
23.  Paul McManus  262.9
24.  Jason Reed 256.6
25.  George Dick 251.8
26.  Axel Amos  247.9
27.  Mark Shaw  242.2
28.  Steve Gardner 240.7
29.  Calvin Smith  233.0
30.  Rudy Bletscher  228.0
31.  Daniel Andrews  226.9
32.  Karen Gardner 206.1

Top Ten Lifters – O H Snatch

1.  Al Myers  61.5
2.  Steve Andrews  55.3
3.  Mark Haydock  55.1
4.  Chad Ullom  54.2
5.  Mark Price  51.9
6.  Peter Phillips 51.6
7.  James Gardner 48.7
8.  Andy Tomlin 44.4
9.  Luke Davis 43.2
10.  John Mahon  40.6

Top Ten Lifters – Pullover and Push

1.  Mark Price 151.0
2.  Al Myers 144.2
3.  Steve Andrews 134.1
4.  Chad Ullom 128.5
5.  Denny Habecker 122.6
6.  Jim Madden 116.7
7.  James Gardner 115.1
8.  John Mahon 113.8
9.  Graham Saxton 110.5
10.  Tom Perry 107.7

Top Ten Lifters – Straddle Deadlift

1.  Mark Haydock  223.7
2.  Al Myers 220.5
3.  Graham Saxton 212.6
4.  James Gardner 194.9
5.  Chad Ullom 192.7
6.  Steve Andrews  186.5
7.  Mark Rattenberry 186.3
8.  Luke Davis 185.0
9.  Mark Price  184.0
10.  Gary Ell  180.4


Top Junior 1st Calvin Smith  2nd Daniel Andrews
Top Female 1st Paula Delemata 2nd Karen Gardner
Top Open Lifter 1st Mark Haydock  2nd James Gardner
Top Masters 40+ 1st Chad Ullom  2nd Gary Ell
Top Masters 45+  1st Al Myers  2nd Mark Price
Top Masters 50+ 1st  Steve Andrews   2nd Graham Saxton
Top Masters 55+ 1st Peter Phillips
Top Master 60+ 1st George Dick
Top Master 65+ 1st Denny Habecker
Top Master 75+ 1st Rudy Bletscher

USAWA History – 1988 Nationals

by Al Myers

By now most USAWA lifters know that this year is a BIG YEAR for the USAWA.  At this year’s big event in Las Vegas this summer we will be celebrating the 25 year history of the USAWA and of  the USAWA National Championships.  I have made up several “special awards”  to recognize lifters who have had significant involvement in the USAWA National Championships through the years.  The awards are already done, and just waiting to be presented!  I also am going to have some posters made up to highlight the 25 year history of the USAWA. On this poster it will contain ALL of the past USAWA logos.  Each lifter that competes in Nationals will get one of these posters as part of their entry fee, and I will have more available for sale as well.

Nationals is now less than 2 months away.  I plan to take these next couple of months and “highlight” each of the past National Championships in our history.  These meets are a big part of our history, and I think it is only right to recognize some of the lifters who helped get us to where we are today. 

The following came from the Strength Journal written by Bill Clark following the first USAWA Nationals (September 10th, 1988):

Tireless John Vernacchio directed and lifted and led his Valley Forge team to first place in a one-man demonstration of dynamic energy July 9-10 in Plymouth Meeting, PA. as the new United States All-Round Weightlifting Association staged its first-ever National All-Round Championships. 

Vernacchio thus completed his second in a three-sport round of national lifting championships.  In 1987, he was the meet director (and organizer and lifter) for the National Masters Weightlifting Championships.  In 1989, he’ll do the same for the National Masters Powerlifting meet for the USPF.

The meet was staged in the George Washington Motor Lodge (home of the other two nationals masters competitions), a fine venue which offers both lodging and lifting in the same building.  Since John now owns all kinds of harness, we can assume that sometime in the future, we’ll see the IAWA Worlds here.  The field was only 18 – but the lifters came from Missouri, Texas, Iowa, New York, Ohio, Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.  A field of 18 may not sound great, but remember that the first National Masters Meet held in Columbia, MO in 1975 drew only 16.  Now we’re looking for 200-plus at the World Meet in Florida this December and 27 nations are now involved. A dozen years from now, the all-rounds could be huge.

Steve Schmidt proved to be the best lifter in the meet, winning for the second time in the hip lift at Phil Anderson’s expense.  Phil won the first meeting between the two strongmen in the nine-eventer against England last November.  But Steve evened matters in January at the Zercher Meet in Columbia, MO making a 3100 harness lift to catch his Texas rival.

Best master was Art Montini.  The 60 year-old Montini won the open 165-lb class with a 3165 total and came up with an adjusted total of 4662.42 points.  He edged Vernacchio, who had 4636.47 points, and struggled with a 1050 hip lift when at least 1400 was his goal.


1988 USAWA National Championships
July 9-10, 1988
Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: John Vernacchio

Lifts: Leg Press, Clean & Press – heels together, Front Squat, Hand & Thigh, Bench Press – feet in air, Deadlift – one hand, Zercher, Hip Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Steve Schmidt, Missouri
2. Phil Anderson, Texas
3. Joe Garcia, Missouri
4. John Vernacchio, Pennsylvania
5. John McKean, Pennsylvania
6. Dan Ciccarelli, Pennsylvania
7. Italo Bonacci, Pennsylvania
8. Gonzalo Gonzalez, New York
9. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
10. Bill Clark, Missouri

Best Lifter Awards:
Men Open – Steve Schmidt
Men Master – Art Montini
Men Junior – Casey Clark
Men 40-44 Age Group – John McKean
Men 45-49 Age Group – Bill DiCiccio, Sr.
Men 50-54 Age Group – John Vernacchio
Men 55-59 Age Group – Gonzalo Gonzalez
Men 60-64 Age Group – Art Montini
Men 65-69 Age Group – Harrison Skeete
Team Champion – Valley Forge Club

I also want to mention of a few other USAWA members who competed in this FIRST-EVER USAWA National Championships.  Our USAWA Postal Meet Director John Wilmot was a participant as well as the famous all-round strength historian Tom Ryan. Both of these guys are still very involved with the USAWA today, and their involvement with the first ever Nationals shows that their involvement has been there from the very beginning.  I sure would like to see these two guys (as well as others that attended this first Nationals) make it this year to Vegas to help celebrate with us!!

Zercher: A Lift and A Lifter

by Roger LaPointe

Ed Zercher performing a deadlift.

Wow! Imagine if they named a lift after you!

You know you have really done something amazing in the world of weightlifting when that day comes. Lots of people set records, but very few get that named lift. There’s the Hack Lift, the Zottman Curl, the Scott Curl and then there is Ed Zercher’s squat, called the Zercher Lift.

You can read all about the proper way to do a Zercher Lift in the USAWA Rulebook. Basically, it is a front squat with the bar held in the crook of your arms.

Various individuals will tout the benefits of a Zercher Squat and others will talk about the dangers. I prefer an unorthodox way of doing it, using a rotating thick bar, as the lift can be very hard on the biceps tendons. Basically, the smaller the diameter of the bar, the greater the biceps stress. However, few people know about some of the truly amazing lifting that Ed did before becoming known for his signature lift.

Edward Zercher’s Early Lifting

At the Fifth Annual Western AAU Weight Lifting Championships Ed Zercher (Bodyweight 156 Pounds), had the following lifts:

One Hand Snatch: 120 lbs.
One Hand Clean & Jerk: 130
Two Hand Military Press: 170
Two Hand Snatch: 145
Two Hand Clean & Jerk: 200
Total 765

Ed was also a Loader and Official in the meet. This was Oct. 27, of 1934.

The December 1934 issue of The Arena and Strength reports that Edward Zercher also had the 2 Hands Deadlift record (165 lbs. Bdwt.) of 536 pounds. We also have a photo of Ed doing a 536 Deadlift, but the caption says he weighed 155.

I highly recommend using bumper plates when training the Zercher Lift, as you can dump the weight without having the damage issues associated with iron plates. When those biceps tendons suddenly start hurting, it really is best to dump it quickly. If you don’t already know the “good pain vs. bad pain” difference, be prepared to learn.

Bob Burtzloff on Training (circa 1981)

by Thom Van Vleck

Bob Burtzloff participated in Olympic Weightlifting as well as All Round Weightlifting. He was multiple times Kansas State Champ in Olympic Lifting.

Most everyone that has been around the USAWA any amount of time knows who Bob Burtzloff is and what a great champion he has been and continues to be.  Some of the older USAWA lifters may think of Bob’s great Bent Pressing, One Arm Clean & Jerk, or his Steinborn.  Bob has some great accomplishments.  In my book, his greatest accomplishment was beating Wilbur Miller’s Clean and Jerk record.

The training information below was relayed in 1981 to Bill Clark from a man Bill described as a “23 year old 242lb Bricklayer”.   I personally think the wisdom Bob relays is timeless and what he views as most important is what most lifters miss out on in their search for the “magic routine”.

Bob wrote:

“My workout is not fancy, but it helped me.  I pick a certain number of exercises to do in a workout.  I usually do at least three differenet movements.  Sometimes more depending on time and energy.  I pick a weight and number of reps that I want to do in the exercise.  For example, if I’m doing snatches with 250, I would do 15 total reps, regardless of the number of sets it takes.  I have used this type of routine for up to 50 reps, although 15 total reps works best for me.  I once did 50 jerks with 320, but was sore for a week.  Still, the work allowed me to break Wilbur Miller’s Clean & Jerk record only 10 days after the training effort.  Here’s and example of some of my best heavy workouts:

C&J – 363 X 15, 320X 50 total
Front Squat – 385 X 15 total
Snatches – 220 X 15, 231 X 15, 241 X 15, 251 X 15, 251 X 1, 271 X 1 – all in the same workout.
Bench – 360 X 15 total
Military Press – 231 X15 total
One Hand C&J – 203 X 15 total

I believe that desire and mental attitude are more important in making gains than any particular workout routine.  One must have a strong desire to accomplish what he sets out to do or he’ll quit when things get tough.  A strong, unyielding desire to succeed is essential in maintaining a positive mental attitude.   If a person has a positive outlook on  training, he will be able to work harder and with heavier weights.  Many people allow their attitude toward training  to defeat them long before they step onto the competitive platform.  If a lifter overcomes adverse circumstances in training, the effects will carry over into competition.   A good thing to remember is that attitude is more important than circumstances.  Circumstances give you neither defeat nor victory.  They merely provide you with the opportunity to see what your thoughts and convictions really are and what you intend to do with them.

Everyone encounters obstacles between them and their goals, but a positive attitude will allow a dedicated lifter to eventually break thru these barriers and achieve his goals.   The key to success is hard work followed by ample rest.  I’m not saying that I always have a positive attitude or that I always work hard, for if I did, I would be a much better lifter for it.”

The Australian Newsletter

by Al Myers

Australian allrounder John Mahon was featured in a promotional ad in a previous ARWLWA newsletter promoting the 2011 IAWA World Championships in Perth, Australia. John and Sam Trew are making plans to attend the 2012 IAWA Worlds in the US next October.

The ARWLWA (All-Round Weightlifting of Western Australia) just put out a copy of their newsletter, The All-Round Strength Athlete.  This past year or so they have been including a copy of this newsletter on their website so everyone in the World  interested in All Round Lifting can read it.  I am glad of this as I like to keep up on the news about all round weightlifting in Australia.  I recommend everyone go to their website and take a look at their newsletter:   I know I talked alot about this following the very successful IAWA World Championships the Australians hosted last November, but I was extremely impressed with the lifters and facilities at the Belmont Sports Club.   I am also very excited about their resurgent activity in the IAWA.   News has came to me that two Australians have already committed to the 2012 IAWA World Championships in the US (they have already bought the expensive plane tickets, so that qualifies them as committed!!!).  These two lifters are John Mahon and Sam Trew.  I met both of these guys at the last World Championships in Perth, and they are great guys and superb lifters. I will be looking forward to showing them the Kansas hospitality we have to offer here in the host state of next year’s IAWA Championships.  Actually, Kansas and Western Australia are very similar in terrain and landscape (both are flat and trees are scarce!).  We do have one favorable environmental factor over the Aussies – LOT LESS FLIES!!

Blasts from the Past

by Thom Van Vleck

Ed Zercher, the original "keeper of the odd lift records" doing an exhibition unsupported Leg Press with over 600lbs circa 1962.

Recently, Wayne Gardner visited me.  He is a Jackson Weightlifting Club member from way back and a frequent lifter in the midwest and early USAWA member.  Wayne provided me with some old newsletters of Clark’s and I made copies for me and Al.

Al’s recent announcement of the 2012 USAWA Team Championships made some interesting information pop out at me.  In the April 1, 1981 Region 8 Weightlifting Newsletter put out by Ol’ Clark himself there is a list of some “Odd Lift” records and one of the lifts is the “Two Man Team Curl”.  Two records are listed:

Two Man Team Curl

198lb Class – Glen Schwachter & Ed Zercher, Jr – 225lbs (1980)

Hvy Class – Robert Wilson & Ron Webster – 275lbs (1980)

There are also some records that go back to the early 1960’s.  Here are some of the more notable records:

Pullover and Prone Press

198lb Class – Homer Lewellen – 260lbs (1963)

Right Hand Hack Lift

Hvy Class – Bill Clark & Bill Fellows- 275lbs (1962)

Jerk Behind Neck with Snatch Grip Then a Full Squat with Weight Overhead (maybe the record for longest name, too!)

198lb Class – George Winkler – 240lbs (1962)

Now we start to go WAAAAY back.  Clark stated that the below records were Missouri Valley AAU marks prior to 1941.  So, while we don’t know the exact year these were set, they were set prior to or in 1941.

Right Hand Continental Press

148lb Class – Gordon Strain – 126.5lbs

Right Hand Clean and Bent Press

148lb Class – Gordon Strain – 174lbs

Right Hand Clean and Side Press

148lb Class – Gordon Strain – 142lbs

Two Hands Anyhow

148lb Class – Gordon Strain – 217lbs

Hvy Class – Ed Zercher, Sr. – 271lbs

Repetition Leg Presses (Unsupported)

Hvy class – Ed Zercher, Jr. – 200reps with 250lbs in 7 minutes 30 seconds – (set in 1952)

Hvy Class – Ed Zercher, Sr – 10 reps with 605lbs (set in 1962)

The oldest record listed that has a verified date is a Harness Lift done by Ed Zercher, Sr with 2150lbs in 1940.

Clark goes on to state that there were currently 59 lifts that records were being kept in at that time!  The latest of which was the Reverse Grip Clean and Press that was first done by my Uncle Wayne Jackson and in 2011 the Reverse Grip Press out of the rack was added to the modern list of USAWA records in his honor.

It’s interesting to me that we have some many lifts we keep records on and yet there are several of these lifts listed in the old record book that aren’t “modern” USAWA lifts!  We might have to look at some of these old time lifts and bring them back.  At any rate, here’s some old time records to test yourself against!  Have fun!

Lifter of the Month: Chad Ullom

by Al Myers

Chad Ullom performing a 425# Front Squat at the Ambridge BBC following the USAWA Club Challenge.

It’s the first of May, the grass is green and growing and some days it feels like the start of summer.  It’s also time to START something NEW in the USAWA.   As the USAWA Awards Director, I am going to take reign on this and start awarding a USAWA LIFTER OF THE MONTH from now on.  This award will primarily be a recognition award because there will not be any “cash prize” or “large trophy” to go with it.  But every month I see great performances in the USAWA and I would like to have some way of honoring these performances by our membership.  The selection of this award will be based on my judgement alone, and will take in factors such as outstanding performances, great lifts, participation, records set, and meets won.  I sure don’t mind if someone makes recommendations to me either for someone they think should be the recipient of it for the month.

Now for the first winner of the LIFTER OF THE MONTH for April 2012 – it goes to our USAWA Vice President Chad Ullom for his outstanding win in the Eastern Open Postal Meet, over what I would consider, one of the toughest field of opponents in any postal meet we have had to date.  Chad capped off his win by performing a Continental to Belt with 500 pounds, which is the most ever done in the USAWA in this lift.

Congratulations to Chad for being the USAWA Lifter of the Month for April!

Monster Garage Meet

by Larry Traub


2012 Monster Garage Meet
Georgetown, Indiana
April 29th, 2012

Meet Director: Larry Traub

Official: Dave Glasgow

Lifts: Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift
(Lifts marked by an asterik indicate they were done according to USAWA rules for these lifts: Bench Press – Feet in Air, Squat – 12″ base, Deadlift – 12″ base)

Larry Traub 58 203.3 500* 265* 600* 1365 1438.7
Ray Ganong 57 224.9 380* 325* 485* 1190 1177.2
Fred Sharp 19 141.6 305 210 385 900 1017.8
Dave Glasgow 58 247.6 340 255 440 1025 972.7
Les Cramer 70 187.4 295* 160 0 0 0

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

2000 Pounds of 100’s

by Roger LaPointe

Advertisement poster for the 2012 Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Oldetime Strongman Picnic.

When was the last time you saw 2,000 Pounds of plates that were all 100 Pounders?

The 2012 Heavy Lifts Championships at the Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Olde Time Strongman Picnic will have that many. I fully expect that someone will do a lift of OVER 1,500 pounds on Saturday, the 12th of May.

Make sure to check out the Atomic Athletic web page for photos of some of these monster lifts and the one of a kind Poster!

We will also have multiple chain lift bars, an assortment of heavy lifting harnesses and hand & thigh bars, not to mention all the smaller plates. Hopefully, we will even have need for the little Record Maker Plates. Those babies go down to the 1/4 Kg size. After all, a 1/2 Kg record is still a record.

The 3 lifts are: The Hip Lift, The Neck Lift and the Hand & Thigh Lift!

We now do our own classic Chain Lift bar design and a USAWA Regulation Bar. They are slightly different, but the same price.

Definitely don’t miss out on the Picnic! Remember, the Picnic and Heavy Lifts Championships are at the Old School on South Main in beautiful Bowling Green, OH. The action will be taking place on the sports fields with lifting platforms on the basketball court.

Live strong, Roger LaPointe

WEBMASTERS COMMENT: The entry deadline of May 9th is fast approaching for the 2012 USAWA Heavy Lifts Championships. It’s not to late to get entered!!

Jobe’s Steel Jungle RD

by Jesse Jobe

Jobe’s Steel Jungle Records Day

Jesse Jobe competing last month in the Battle in the Barn. Jesse and his club, Jobes Steel Jungle, plan to host their first USAWA function on May 20th.

Date: Sunday, May 20th

Start Time:10am-whenever we get done.

Entry Fee: none

This will be my first USAWA meet that I will be running, so I wanted it to be something fun and a little informal. I figured a records day would be the perfect opportunity to get some people to come and have a good time.

This will be in my personal gym at my home. We will be able to accommodate almost every type of lift except the heavy lifts.

Also if people are interested I would like to have a grill out after the lifting or during. So if you could bring something to drink or grill if you have a preference.

Advance notice that you plan on attending would be appreciated.

Contact: Jesse Jobe at

Heavy Lifts Championships

by Roger LaPointe



The 2012 USAWA Heavy Lifts Championships will be hosted by Atomic Athletic.

Atomic Athletic is proud to host this years 2012 USAWA Heavy Lifts Championships. The Heavy Lifts Event will take place the day of the Atomic Athletic Great Black Swamp Olde Time Strongman Picnic, in the morning, before the picnic festivities begin.

The Heavy Lifts Championships will consist of 3 Heavy Lifts: The Hand & Thigh Lift, the Neck Lift, and the Hip Lift.

Registration for the Event is open, but you must be a member of the USAWA to compete. You can download the membership form below.

Saturday, May 12th, 2012
Weigh in begins at 9am.
Lifting begins at 11am.

Entry Form (pdf) – 2012HeavyLiftsRegistrationForm