Articles from December 2012



Everybody’s got to have Goals!

by Thom Van Vleck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lifter of the Month: Ruth Jackson

by Al Myers

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

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

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

LIFTERS OF THE MONTH FOR 2012

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

The Infamous Weightlifter’s Weekend 1979

by Thom Van Vleck

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

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

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

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

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

A MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR A LOSER

BY DAVE GLASGOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Top Performances of 2012 – PART 2

by Al Myers

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

5.  Bryan Benzel and his 355 pound Apollons Lift.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HONERABLE MENTION FOR NUMBER ONE -

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

Chad Ullom lifting the Dinnie Stone.

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

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

Top Performances of 2012

by Al Myers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COMING TOMORROW – THE REST OF THE TOP PERFORMANCE COUNTDOWN!

It’s Time to Renew Membership!

by Al Myers

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

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

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

Gary Ell – The Tiverton Dynamo

by Al Myers

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

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

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

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

Gary Ell receiving congratulations for his fundraising effort!

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

Gary performing an overhead lift during the lifting marathon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Just another lift done - the seated press.

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

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

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

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

Last Call for Postal Championships!

by Al Myers

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

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

Store Items IN STOCK

by Al Myers

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

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

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

The REAL Hack Lift

by Al Myers

Demonstration of the REAL Hack Lift!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daniel (my German name )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rule for the Hackenschmidt Floor Press

by Al Myers

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

The setup position for the Hackenschmidt Floor Press.

Hackenschmidt Floor Press

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

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

George "The Russian Lion" Hackenschmidt

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

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

OTSM Goes BIG in 2013!

by Thom Van Vleck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gracie Judo Club RD

by Jarrod Fobes

MEET RESULTS - GRACIE JUDO CLUB RECORD DAY

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

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

MEET RESULTS

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

Meet Director: Jarrod Fobes

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

Lifts: Record Day

Jarrod Fobes - BWT 190 lbs, AGE 35 

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

Ruth Jackson - BWT 104 lbs, AGE 50

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

Dan Wagman - BWT 185 lbs, AGE 50

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

Kevin Fulton & Dinnie Stones

by Al Myers

Group picture from Dinnie Stone Trip 2001.

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

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

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

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

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

Lifter of the Month: Denny Habecker

by Al Myers

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

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

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

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

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

New England RB

by Frank Ciavattone

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

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

RESULTS

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

Meet Director:  Frank Ciavattone

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

Lifts:  Record Day

Colleen Lane – BWT 205 lbs,AGE 56

Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip: 179 lbs

Joseph Ciavattone Jr. – BWT 222 lbs, AGE 19

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

Jeff Ciavattone – BWT 235 lbs, AGE 33

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

James Fuller – BWT 239 lbs, AGE 41

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

Frank Ciavattone Jr. – BWT 288 lbs, AGE 57

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

Lifter of the month: Dan Wagman

by Al Myers

Dan Wagman - USAWA Lifter of the Month for October

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

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

The EZ-Way Formula

by Thom Van Vleck

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

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

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

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

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

Rules for the Total Poundage

by Al Myers

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

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

USAWA Rule for Total Poundage

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

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

IAWA RULE F4 –  TOTAL POUNDAGE

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

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

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

New England RD

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

NEW ENGLAND ALL-ROUND RECORD DAY

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

Date: December 1st

Meet Promoter: Frank Ciavattone

Location: Frank’s Barbell Club, Walpole, Massachusetts

Gracie Judo Club RD

by Jarrod Fobes

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Gracie Judo Club Record Day

Location:

Gracie Judo Club
8250 Unit 9 Coal Mine Ave.
Littleton, Co 80128

Date:  December 1, 2012

Meet Director: Jarrod Fobes

Email:  jfwaveman@yahoo.com

Phone Number: 720-202-7857

Entry: No entry fee

Start Time: Weigh-ins at 9:30, lifting starts at 10:00.

Gracie Judo Club is a dojo first and a weight club second, so our equipment is very minimalist. We have an Olympic barbell, two Olympic-style adjustable dumbbells, a dumbbell walk handle, a pull-up bar, and about 300lbs of weights (no fractional weights). So you may set any number of records you would like, as long as we have the equipment!

Postal Championships

by Al Myers

USAWA National Postal Championships

Dates:  Between December 1st and December 31st, 2012

Entry form must be postmarked by January 5th, 2013

Must be a current USAWA member to be eligible for competition

Entry Fee:  None

Official USAWA rules apply as outlined in the Rule Book

Lifts:

Clean and Press – Reverse Grip

Squat – 12” Base

Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells

Entry Form (pdf) -  2012 National Postal Championships Entry Form