by John McKean

John "V" Vernacchio performing a hip lift

I’d just met the extremely muscular 40-something-year-old weightlifter, and it appeared he was trying to kill me! I often have that effect on people, but they usually have to talk to me at least for a few minutes prior to reaching for my throat; not so for no-nonsense John Vernacchio; he was all set to drop a 300+ pound barbell on my head practically at first sight! You see, I was the head judge at one of the very first National Masters Olympic lift meets, held at our own Ambridge VFW. John was noticeably more husky than most of the masters competing, and had opted to take one of the heaviest final clean and jerk attempts. It was a mighty struggle but John thrust it overhead to a good lock. Only problem was that his feet weren’t too content with their position. John shifted a little to get balance, then a few more steps toward the front of the platform, followed by some faster shuffling forward, then a bit of a run to catch up. With merely one foot of platform left, I reflected on one sage old judge mentioning that the head ref should always hold his position, no matter the jeopardy. Forget that, my integrity wasn’t so solid, and I dove for the audience!!  But I kept an eye on ole John, who now just took baby steps, finally staying steady – he actually returned the bar to the edge of the platform after the relieved down signal, and earned three white lights! I shook my finger in amusement at John, who, I’m convinced, started my rapid subsequent hair loss in those scary few seconds!!

Oh, I got even with him some years later, via my then 6-year-old wild child youngest son, Sean. John was holding one of his elaborate All-round meets in his big carpet store and warehouse near Philadelphia. As was the case with most of V’s promotions, this was very well attended, and the warehouse portion certainly was a huge, wonderful facility to stage such events. The store section was closed to the public that day, but well furnished and a nice place to sit or lay down to relax before or after attempts for us lifters. But some of the guys complained to John about the “damn bird” in that room which was somewhat annoying when trying to rest! John said there were never any birds in his store, but came out for a listen. He THOUGHT he heard a slight “peep” after a while, and old time lifter, Paul Eberhardinger, identified it as a parakeet. Completely puzzled, John & Paul searched every corner of the room, hearing several more “peeps” all the while, but seeing no bird. In desperation, John started lifting sections of his sample carpetting. Finally on one pull of a plush piece, John came eyeball to eyeball with a smirking Sean who just looked him square in the eye and said “PEEP!” John coulda strangled the impish little lad! Later that day, Sean managed to throw a rock at a beehive and kick up an angry swarm of bees, and still later, John found he’d uncovered a deep open retaining pit outside the store and was attempting to do parallel dips over the treacherous hole!! Not that John ever told me, but I suspect Sean still has a lifetime ban from any Philly meet!!!

Yes, it was always an adventure and a first class thrill to compete in any Vernacchio contest! He went all out to make sure every detail was in place so competitors were free to do their very best. His combination olympic & powerlift weekends via his Easter National Masters contests were legendary! His enthusiasm was so contagious during these events, that he even managed to talk ME into olympic lifting on the Sunday Olympic lift portion, and I actually ENJOYED it, even as an awkward 42-year-old novice to those tricky lifts! I’ll never forget the time Art & I were at the Easterns and the overall best lifter trophy (both days-olympic & powerlift total), a huge sucker, was awarded to Art Montini by a proud and smiling John Vernacchio  – Art smiled back, but then whispered to me, “Get the car started quick, and let’s get outa town in hurry; they must have made a mistake!!”

John was always a joy to compete with at all the many all-round contests we shared. Always grinning, he was as good a competitor as he was a coach & friend. Yet for as strong and dedicated a lifter that he truly was, he never took himself all that seriously – He laughed as hard as the rest of us when this very powerful man was beaten by my older son Rob, then 10 years old, in the hack lift one year (try as he may John just couldn’t get much more than a bare bar up past his massive thigh biceps!!!). Or the time during one of his IAWA world championships that he planned just ONE Steinborn lift (because it caused him TREMENDOUS shoulder agony to get the bar onto his back), but was three red lighted because he didn’t squat deep enough! (Yeah, he easily corrected that on a second attempt, laughing all the while!).

Yep, we’ll be telling John Vernacchio stories forever in the USAWA – there were so many crazy antics with him around, and he was so well loved by everyone! When you think about it, John will certainly ALWAYS be with us!

John’s Funeral

by Al Myers

John Vernacchio's funeral handout.

This was sent to me by Denny Habecker, which was the funeral handout from John Vernacchio’s service.  I know John had many friends from all over the World that were unable to attend his funeral, so that is the reason I’m sharing this on the website. 


More Tributes for John

by Steve Gardner

John Vernacchio front squatting at the 1997 Gold Cup in England.

Still cant get over the fact that my old friend is not with us anymore. This photo was from the Gold Cup in 1997 which I ran at Bass Museum in Burton. It doesnt seem 5 minutes ago but John would be about 60 here I guess. He is performing the front squat, the Squat and the Military Press were Johns favourite lifts and he excelled in both in his glory days. I met John at the first IAWA Worlds in Liecester in 1988, we became friends there and in 89 I went over to his place in Philadelphia for the 2nd World Championships. John came over to England to all of the competitions I ran including the 93 Gold Cup and the 94 Worlds. I went over to Johns every single year for Gold Cups, Worlds or even just for a holiday. John was the same age as my Dad but was more like a Brother. He was a part of my family, and me and my family became a part of his. I am so sad he is gone but I have a lifetime of great great memories. John used to laugh when we would talk him up and call him the ‘Legend’ but I know this for sure, John did have something special and I will never forget him.

by Frank Ciavattone

My heart goes out to the Vernacchio family. Like the many stories that all my friends are writing to you about John, they are not only true but without John most of us would not of even had been in this Great wonderful sport. I spent a countless number of hours from 1988 to two days before the 1989 I.AW.A. & U.S.A.W.A. Championships held in Pennsylvania, U.S. As being a prior Olympic lifter I needed some coaching on the All-Rounds. He never once did not take my call and was able to coach me to win my first championships in both the Worlds and the U.S. title. Most of all through him I met a true family which is second to none over my acclompishments and thats Judy & Denny Haybeker, Karen & Steve Gardner, Steve Angell, Barry Bryan, Bill Clark, Dennis & Flossy Mitchell, Howard Prechtell, John Mckean, Art Montini and there families! I went through many diffacult times in my life and without my All-Round family and my own family it would have been tough. My condolenses to the Vernacchio family and to thank John for making me part of this family.

by Steve Andrews

John was a top guy and a great lifter. I remember him hosting Worlds in Pennsylvania in 1989 where i lifted with Adrian Blindt and Frank Allen. I enjoyed competing with him over the years. Condolences to John’s family at this sad time. RIP John.

by Tom Ryan

I am very sad to read this. Yes, John was 75 and would have been 76 near the end of the year. Technically, he didn’t live in Philly but lived outside Philly. John was indeed a USAWA pioneer and was very active in staging competitions, including competitions in the building that housed his carpet business! I knew him well, especially from the 1989-90 academic year that I spent in the Philly area and trained a few times in John’s gym. John told me after one of those training sessions that his father suffered a lot during the final years of his life. Since John had a stroke a few years ago, as Denny informed us some time ago, his final years obviously weren’t great, either, so at least he is now free of earthly pain and troubles. RIP, John, you were a very giving person in many ways, including once treating my mother and I to dinner at that famous all-you-can-eat place that I believe was/is in Collegeville. You contributed a lot to the USAWA and you will be greatly missed.

John Vernacchio performing a Fulton Bar Deadlift of 375 pounds at the age of 68 at the 2005 USAWA National Championships in Youngstown, Ohio.

by Steve Angell

Been thinking about John a lot today (Feels the same as when my father passed away) I am full of sadness AND guilt as i lost contact with John in resent years. Just wanted to re-share the post i put up a couple of months ago regarding John. Looking back John was there to shout for me during all of my best ever lifts and i will always be grateful for the help & support he gave me. I have looked at the results of resent IAWA world championships with a little envy, as i would love for my body to have given me one chance to put it on the line against Al, Chad & Mark Haydock. That would have been a battle royal! But do you know what? Being around in the 90’s and sharing a platform with and being inspired by John, Howard & co were amongst the best days of my life. I would not change that for anything. Al asked for stories about John. I have an encyclopaedia full of them, but this will make you all smile. John was telling me about when he was a school teacher and one of his pupils who was a good football player was getting a hard time from the school bully. John kept him back after class. Had a John V type chat with him (I loved those no BS chats we had). Then looked him in the eye and said “Now go kick his fucking ass” which the kid duly obliged. The world should have more teachers like JV!!!!

Quote from home page.
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.

I just wanted to elaborate a little on John as some of you guy’s may never have had the pleasure of meeting him. John Vernaccio is a LEGEND pure and simple. Not only was he a National Masters Champion in Olympic lifting, All-Round lifting and Powerlifting; He was also World Champion in all three sports Winning the Masters World Olympic lifting Championships on Oxford (England) in 1992?. I had the absolute pleasure of staying with, training with and competing with John on many occasions, and i will openly say, i love John Like another Father, and i owe him so much for all the help and support he gave me during the 90’s.

Just some of the competitions i lifted in with (Against) John that he promoted include:

England V America 3 match tour 1994
England v America v Scotland 2 match tour 1996
1996 Gold Cup
1997 World Championships

I also stayed with John and travelled across to Ohio for the 1994 Gold Cup and 1995 World Champs. I also Competed in the WNPF World Powerlifting Championship with John in 1995. He won the Masters title and i won the Deadlift title. Unfortunately, i have not been in contact with John for a while, and the last i heard he was having some health issues. I just wanted to take the opportunity on this forum to let the World know how John played an integral part of my success as a strength Athlete, and i put him along side Howard Pretchtel in my list of heroes and strength legends.

by Al Myers

I first met John at the 2003 National Championships in Youngstown, Ohio. I have to admit that at first I was taken back by John’s imposing physical presence – heavily muscled physique, commanding voice, strong facial features, and slicked back dark hair. I had previously “heard about him” and his involvement in the USAWA, and I would have to say, was a little intimidated by him at first impression! We didn’t talk much during the meet. However, the day following the meet as I was hitting the hotel’s continental breakfast, John was there already eating and invited me to join him at his table. I couldn’t believe how nice he was to me. He commended me on my lifting performance, and offered several words of encouragement to me in pursuing all round weightlifting. I was a little taken back – as I was just “newbe” to the USAWA, yet this legend of the sport was taking interest in me and thanking me for making it to the meet? It made an impression on me as I left that morning. That’s how John was to all new lifters. He is responsible for getting more lifters involved in the USAWA than probably anyone else throughout the years. He also was a man who put “the organization” above his own personal lifting goals, and because of this, has left a legacy in the minds of many.


John V laid to rest today

by Steve Gardner

John Vernacchio pressing big weight in his earlier lifting days. This picture is on the wall of Steve Gardner's Powerhouse Gym in Burton. (caption by webmaster)

Long time All Round Weightlifting enthusiast from Pennsylvania USA: John Vernacchio, is being laid to rest today. John was a superb lifter, Promoter of several World Championships and Gold Cup Events, Official, and USAWA Board of Officials Member. John had suffered ill health in recent years and finally suffered a very bad heart attack which led to his sad demise. On this day of his funeral I am sure all members of IAWA(UK) would join me in sending our deepest sympathy to his family and friends, and keeping John and them in our thoughts. John was a really good guy, friendly and helpful to everyone, not only in lifting but in life too. I and many others in the UK had the pleasure of knowing him well. He was a good friend and he will be missed by many! John will leave a big hole in the family of friends that is all round weightlifting, but John V you will never be forgotten xxx

John’s Funeral Plans

by Steve Gardner

Details for John Vernacchio’s Funeral:

 Boyd Horrox Funeral Home
200 W. Germantown Pike
Norristown, PA 19401

Viewing Wednesday evening 6pm-8pm
Viewing Thursday morning 9am-10am, followed by service\

Sympathy and/or Remembrane cards can be sent to John’s brother Sal at:

Sal Vernacchio
2929 Third Street
Trooper, Norristown PA 19403, USA

Dan Lurie – For Real

by Tom Ryan

(Webmaster’s note: Occasionally posts are made on the USAWA Discussion Forum that deserve to be seen by more than just those that follow the forum, and this post by Tom Ryan regarding Dan Lurie is one of those.  A while back Dennis Mitchell wrote a nice bio story on Dan Lurie, and these were the followup comments made by Tom Ryan, which included a few pictures he emailed to me.  Thanks Tom for providing this interesting information!)

Dan Lurie Bent Pressing Miss California.

I did want to add a few comments to supplement Dennis’s article on Dan Lurie.

Dan has both a website and a Wikipedia entry and I have observed that the latter is updated almost immediately when someone passes away. So I am pretty sure that Dan is still alive — at the age of 89.

I recall seeing Lurie appear on TV each week in the early or mid-1950s as “Sealtest Dan, the Muscle Man” on the Sealtest Big Top show. He can be seen in this YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZldsSnESew at about the 6:25 mark doing some overhead presses on the show, in what amounts to a commercial for Sealtest milk. There is also an interview of him, conducted a few years ago, here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbHKzhpZ61c

Sealtest Dan, The Muscle Man

During the late 1950s, when I was getting started in weight training, he had a mail order catalog that included a photo of him bent pressing Miss California. Now we know that Dave Whitley goes around bent pressing women when they are vertical, but Lurie did it when they were more like horizontal.

I had a copy of that catalog but I no longer have it. Although I am not a big collector of strength memorabilia, I do some collecting, so about 10 years ago I contacted Lurie’s son in an attempt to obtain a copy of that catalog, or at least the photo. He knew what photo I was referring to but they no longer had either the catalog or the photo. He did send me a photo of his father bent pressing some other woman, however, as Lurie may have made a habit of this. LOL

Dan Lurie Bent Pressing a man that weighs around 200 pounds.

Fortunately, one of my collector friends has the catalog and sent me the photo and a photo of the cover of the catalog. I also have a photo of Lurie bent pressing a young man of maybe 200 pounds that presumably occurred on the TV show. I am e-mailing these photos to Al.

Now about Lurie’s claim that he bent pressed 285. That would be a prodigious bent press for someone his size and I doubt if he ever lifted that much. John Y. Smith also weighed 168 (same as Lurie) when he bent pressed a dumbbell weighing 275.5 and Willoughby claimed that was equivalent to doing 313 with a barbell. Lurie was not in the same league with Smith as a strongman, however.

Lurie does, however, deserve a prominent place in history as a bodybuilder, promoter of physique contests, entrepreneur (I still have some Lurie barbell plates), and TV strongman performer.

Rest in Peace, John Vernacchio

by Al Myers

Two legends in All-Round Weightlifting, John Vernacchio (left) and Frank Ciavattone (right) at the 2009 IAWA World Championships in Lebanon, PA.

Yesterday brought some bad news to the All-Round Community with the news of the passing of John Vernacchio.  Anyone who has been involved with the USAWA for any length of time knows John.   John has been one of the primary leaders in our organization since the beginning, and without his efforts the USAWA might not even exist today.  I could go “ON AND ON” regarding John’s titles and lifting resume, but today I want to take the time to remember John for “the man he was”, and from the comments that I have received about him, it is obvious that he was loved and well-respected by all.  Please continue to send any comments and/or stories about John, and I’ll share them here on the USAWA website.

by Steve Gardner

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but for those who knew him, just wanted to let you know John Vernacchio has passed away. John was my very good friend and buddy from Philadelphia USA, a prolific all round weightlifter and powerlifter in his early days and a big mover and shaker in the US all round organisation too. John was 75 I think, and he suffered a fatal heart attack this morning. So very very sad. Rest in peace John.

by Andrew Tomlin

he was a gentleman and a legend R.I.P john

by Barry Bryan

Very sad news to hear. I lifted for his gym,trained with him, and he is the one who got me in the all round lifting. We had many great times.

by James Gardner


by Joe Garcia

Sad news indeed. Remember a lot of good times with John at his meets. I called Bill and let him know. If anyone has current address or funeral data shoot them to me.

by John Gardner

Very sad to loose the legend will miss you mr v

by Steve Angell

Am sitting here with tears in my eyes. This has just become one of the saddest days of my life. l owe that man so much and had a love for him like a father. RIP John. You really were a legend!

by Rick Meldon

Horrible news, a great bloke indeed

by David Horne

Very sad news. I always remember my time at his place in Philly with fondness. A great chap!

by Tom Ryan

Yes, very sad news. I echo the comments made above. I knew John well, especially from the 1989-90 academic year that I spent in the Philly area and trained a few times at his gym. John was very active in staging competitions during the early years of the USAWA, in which he was a charter member. And he was a force on the lifting platform! He was a good Olympic lifter who switched to powerlifting after the press was eliminated, as the press was his best lift. John retained his strength as he aged much better than most of us do, as he squatted with 601 at the age of 47, which tied his personal record. Yes, John was 75 and would have turned 76 near the end of the year.

by Graham Saxton

Very sorry to hear the news. I had the pleasure to spend sometime with him on a number of occasions. Treasured memories.


Olympic Dumbbell Swing

by Roger LaPointe

Chad Ullom performing a 150 Right Arm Dumbbell Swing at the 2012 USAWA Club Challenge in Ambridge, PA. Chad has the best Dumbbell Swing of ALL TIME in the USAWA.

As a competitive lift, the dumbbell swing has not been part of the Olympics since the first one, or maybe it was the second modern Olympics? I don’t know and the records are a least a little sketchy. So why do it?

Dumbbell Swings are simply AWESOME for your grip work.

Leading up to our last All-Round Weightlifting Meet, I hadn’t done any traditional deadlifting and hardly any clean pulls. Instead, I did a lot of stone lifting, snatches, cleans and the three lifts in that competition: the crucifix hold, one arm deadlift and thick bar Jefferson lift. I was doing the stone lifting because I was training Casey Pelton for the German American Festival Steinstossen event and because I just love summer outdoor stone lifting.

“Wow! Isn’t that actually over training you back?” exclaimed my Dad.

The quick answer, is “Yes… and No.” The volume of back training was pretty big, but most importantly, the volume of grip training was really high. I needed to hit my grip and single arm work, in a genuinely periodized fashion. I really needed to hit some lighter weights, with super high intensity. I felt like the dumbbell swing might just fit the bill.

There is no way to do a serious dumbbell swing being highly intense about it. Without intending to create this dichotomy, it also happens to be a nearly perfect lift to balance out the crucifix hold. Nice.

If you want to see the dumbbell I use to train the Dumbbell Swing, check out this shot. It is a very nice Olympic Plate Loading Rotating Dumbbell. The handle diameter and knurling is about as perfect as you could hope for and my York weights were not sloppy, like on the old one I was previously using. It was a wonderful upgrade. Check it out here:


Live strong, Roger LaPointe

Lifter of the Month: Dale Friesz

by Al Myers

Dale Friesz (center) at the 2012 USAWA Nationals in Las Vegas. He is surrounded by Dennis Mitchell (left) and the meet venue owner John Broz (right).

The choice for the lifter of the month of August was a pretty simple one – DALE FRIESZ.   In the month of August he won the prestigious Presidential Cup, the premier of the USAWA Record Days.  Dale has been involved with the USAWA from the very early days, and at the USAWA Nationals was “one of four” awarded the special award of Top Participation Award of past USAWA Nationals.  I consider Dale one of the “founding members” of the USAWA.  He has a passion for All-Round Weightlifting and the USAWA that very few others have. Despite having endured MANY physical hardships that would have put other lifters “on the sideline”, he continues to make a presence at meets, and in turn gives inspiration to any lifter that is facing a physical obstacle themselves.  Because no matter how bad you may think your issue is – it is NOTHING compared to what Dale has been faced with, and yet he continues to work out and compete.  That puts things in perspective.  In fact, I have NEVER met anyone like Dale who has such a underlying passion for weightlifting.   He is a true champion and very deserving of winning this month’s LIFTER OF THE MONTH.

Last Day for Knee Sleeve Poll

by Al Myers

I just want to remind everybody that today is the LAST DAY to cast your vote in the knee sleeve poll.  The deadline is September 1st, so tomorrow I will be turning the USAWA poll results into IAWA President Steve Gardner so he can tabulate the “Worldwide vote”.  At that time you have “missed the boat” to cast a vote in this poll.   Shortly after that, the poll results will be announced on the website. 

This issue has been a “hotly contested” discussion item on the USAWA Discussion Forum.  It has been the most discussed single thread the forum has seen, and has “by far” the most views (closing in on 1000 views!!!).  I want to thank everyone who participated in this forum discussion, because the opinions expressed by everyone represent the voice of the USAWA.   I know there are those that have strong feelings on this (for and against) and will be disappointed however the poll turns out (either way), but I hope that those “hard feelings” can be placed to the side, and a sense of pride can be felt by knowing the fact that the USAWA now operates in a democratic fashion, with the direction of the organization determined by the majority vote of the membership.  I grant that there are still “rules in the book” that seem hypocritical, but this healthy debate brought those issues to the surface and now can be addressed in the future.


Entry for Worlds Reminder

by Al Myers

The IAWA World Championships in now just a little over a month away – with the entry deadline being September 15th.  Entries have been coming in slow, so if you are coming it’s now TIME to get that entry in.  Chad and I are going to alot of work to make this a great meet, but we need to get a good “head count” to make the appropriate plans.  I have only 1 more week to turn in my shirt and awards order to get things done in time, and knowing the number of lifters that plan on attending is VERY IMPORTANT in our making this decision on how much to order.  It’s costing us enough the way it is without estimating too high on awards & shirts, and then having too many extras.  Depending on the number of entries by the deadline, we MAY or MAY NOT accept late entries.  But if we do take late entries, the entry charge will be $100 instead of the $75 it is if you get your entry in on time.  I want to also mention that oversea lifters need only to email me their entry by the deadline, and may pay at the time of meet checkin.  But this DOES NOT apply to USAWA lifters!

The blog outlining the details of the 2012 IAWA World Championships is found here:


The host hotel for Worlds is the Ramada  Conference Center and Hotel .  The blog giving the details on this can be found here:


If you are just interested in the entry form, here it is again:

2012 World Championship Entry Form


Presidential Cup

By Al Myers

Winner of the FIRST EVER Presidential Cup Dale Friesz (left). The USAWA President Denny Habacker presented the award (right).

The FIRST EVER Presidential Cup hosted by USAWA President Denny Habecker was a huge success this past weekend in Lebanon,PA.  Six experienced and veteran lifters took part – Denny Habecker, Barry Bryan, Art Montini, John McKean, Dale Friesz, and myself.  As per the rules of the Presidents Cup, our Prez had to pick which  lifter had the record lift which “was worthy” of winning the cup. I’m glad this wasn’t my decision to make – as there were several championship worthy lifts put up over the course of the day.

Denny ended up choosing Dale THE MIRACLE MAN Friesz as the winner of the inaugural Presidential Cup with his efforts in the Ring Fingers Deadlift. Dale put up a 154 pound record in this lift.  I was simply amazed at Dale’s lifting.  Dale then followed up this lift with several other finger lift records, as it appears that these type of painful finger lifts are becoming his specialty.  When asked how he can handle this many record lifts on the sensitive fingers, he replied, “just train them everyday and your fingers get used to it.”  That hardcore attitude is one of the reasons he won this years Presidential Cup!

Participants in the 2012 Presidential Cup (left to right): Art Montini, Al Myers, Dale Friesz, Denny Habecker, Barry Bryan, & John McKean.

I really enjoyed catching up with John THE BIG FISH McKean.  John has a wealth of information on the history of the USAWA, and I always learn new things from him in our conversations.  Art THE MAN OF STEEL Montini made the trip with him, and put up a couple of nice records himself.  The plans for Art’s birthday bash are obviously underway as both John and Art were sporting the meet tshirts for this years meet in October on Art’s 85th!  I have never seen lifters wearing shirts for a meet that hasn’t happened yet!

It was also great to see Barry THE BOMB Bryan in action again on the platform.   When Barry lifts, the weights just explode!   I know most of the younger lifters don’t know Barry – but just look back in the past history of the USAWA and you soon will!  Barry was the overall best lifter in the 1990 USAWA National Championships and 4th overall at the 1991 USAWA Nationals.   He also placed 4th overall at the 1990 IAWA World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland and 5th overall at the 1991 IAWA World Championships in Collegeville, PA. Those type of titles are not just handed out to anyone! Barry is one of the true champions of our organization.

In closing, I want to sincerely thank Denny and Judy for hosting this weekend of fun. This meet is now our premier record day within the USAWA, and again, congrats to Dale for being crowned the LIFTER OF THE DAY by winning the first-ever  Presidential Cup.


2012 Presidential Cup
Habecker’s Gym
Lebanon, PA
August 25th, 2012

Meet Director:  Denny Habecker

Officials (three used on each lift): Al Myers, Denny Habecker, Art Montini, Barry Bryan, John McKean, Dale Friesz

Dale Friesz – 72 years old, 160# BWT

Deadlift – Ring Fingers: 154#
Deadlift – Index Fingers: 115#
Finger Lift – Right Ring: 112#
Finger Lift -Right Middle: 129#

Denny Habecker – 69 years old, 193# BWT

Clean and Jerk – Behind Neck: 145#
Clean and Press – 12″ Base: 141#
Clean and Press – Heels Together: 141#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 231#
Snatch – Fulton Bar: 88#
Deadlift – No Thumbs: 286#

Barry Bryan – 54 years old, 193# BWT

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Right Arm: 132#
Clean and Press: 176#

Art Montini – 84 years old, 173# BWT

Arthur Lift: 66#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Hand: 132#

John McKean – 66 years old, 163# BWT

Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells: 324#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 162#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 162#
Hack Lift: 256#

Al Myers – 46 years old, 247# BWT

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Right Arm: 176#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Left Arm: 154#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar: 475#

Knee Sleeve Analysis

By Dan Wagman, PhD., CSCS

Consultant, Body Intellect

Publisher/Editor in Chief, Journal of Pure PowerBody Intellect Sports Performance Enhancement Consortium

As part of my training for worlds, I have visited the USAWA website off and on. A topic that caught my attention is the consideration by the IAWA to allow lifters to use knee sleeves. I thought that a rational and scientific analysis of this question might aid in the decision-making. Thus, I will look at what this sport stands for, what research shows on the topic of knee sleeves from a health and performance enhancement perspective, and what the sum of that information indicates in terms of allowing knee sleeves in all-round weightlifting.


As step one let’s clarify what the sport of all-round weightlifting stands for. The mission of all-round weightlifting is to test pure, raw, unadulterated maximal strength in a large number of different exercises. A review of IAWA rules supports this. Only in the squat and front squat is the type of equipment that artificially enhances the strength of an athlete—in the form of knee wraps—allowed. This, despite the fact that many other lifts also test the muscles that provide strength and stability to the knee.

In the case of the squat and front squat the main mission of all-round weightlifting seems to be compromised. But consider that in all other lifts the use of performance-enhancing devices isn’t permitted and one must still come to the conclusion that in this sport the use of implements that artificially inflate an athlete’s strength is contrary to the sport’s purpose, mission, and conviction. Indeed, even the use of minor aids such as taping of the thumbs and/or fingers (as permitted in weightlifting) or the use of baby powder for the deadlift (permitted in powerlifting) is not allowed in all-round weightlifting. Though the use of wrist wraps and a belt is authorized, they don’t fall into the same category as knee wraps; the former’s primary function is to only provide joint stability as opposed to outright performance enhancement by aiding in the movement of the joint through its range of motion as knee wraps do. Admittedly, there does appear to be a lack of consistency within the rules of the sport regarding the use of equipment. However, it is equally apparent that because in the overwhelming majority of lifts no outright performance enhancing equipment such as knee wraps is allowed, the sport’s main mission is to remain pure and uncontaminated in the test of maximal strength.


With the fundamental purity of all-round weightlifting in mind, what argument would support changing the rules to allow for the use of knee sleeves? Could it be overall knee health? From a sports medicine perspective, there is absolutely no reason, nor evidence, as to why a healthy knee would require any degree of support, or warming, or anything else in order to move through its full range of motion, even under the sort of substantial load you would experience from, say, a heavy squat.

Consider that one of the ligaments of the knee (posterior cruciate ligament or PCL), designed to keep the thigh and leg together firmly, has been found to have an ultimate strength of up to around 1,000 pounds and another (anterior cruciate ligament or ACL) up to 540 pounds (10, 12, 15), and that the forces of a squat would actually be distributed among a total of four ligaments (though to varying degrees), not to mention tendons and muscles and bones, then it seems clear that the knee joint doesn’t need any artificial help. Of course you might argue that the stresses of lifting weights adds to the stresses of the knee. But first you ought to consider that there is a training effect. In other words, as you train to get stronger so does the rest of your body, including all structures of the knee from exercises that stress that joint. Then consider that research has shown that the max forces of a 615-pound squat only amount to about 450 pounds of shearing forces upon the most highly stressed ligament of the knee during that exercise (PCL) (9), and you’ll have to again conclude that the knee doesn’t require any additional help.


But what about an unhealthy knee, say a knee with arthritis? Might that knee benefit from a knee sleeve? And does that benefit constitute the type of performance enhancement that would violate the spirit of all-round weightlifting? Allow me to share my findings with you from a search of all relevant sports medicine research on knee sleeves.

In a review study that looked at a total of 444 people with arthritic knees, knee sleeves improved pain over just taking medication (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).(2) In another study that looked at overuse injuries to the knee (not arthritis) in 395 army recruits, those that wore a simple elastic knee sleeve had significantly better comfort levels than those who didn’t.(5) Another study wanted to find out about the time-period of improvement.(11) Here, in the beginning weeks of the study patients with osteoarthritis who took meds and wore a knee sleeve did better than those who only took meds. But toward the end of the two-month study there was no difference between using a knee sleeve or just taking meds. Another study also found that wearing an elastic knee sleeve provided immediate pain relief for subjects with osteoarthritis who participated in a stair-climbing power test.(3)

So what about the heat-retaining aspect of a knee sleeve? Many athletes believe this to be perhaps the most important aspect of a knee sleeve. A study conducted at the Indiana University School of Medicine found that the differences were so minor between the knee sleeve and the no knee sleeve conditions, that the investigators couldn’t draw any meaningful conclusions.(8) Of course you have to take exercise into consideration, too. So a study seeking to find out what differences might exist in treating an arthritic knee with exercise, a knee brace, exercise and knee brace, or exercise and knee sleeve found no statistical differences between any of the treatments.(7) In other words, if you exercise, you get just as much pain relief as you would from adding a knee brace or a knee sleeve.


A critical concern for any sports organization has to deal with what sort of ergogenic aids it will or won’t allow. As it pertains to knee sleeves, one must obviously consider the type of knee sleeve because they aren’t all created equal. I have a knee sleeve that I received as a promotional gift from Titan Support Systems. It is difficult to argue that this knee sleeve is the same as what you would get from a pharmacy or physical therapist; it’s very thick, tight, and rather non-elastic providing much spring to a squat. Unfortunately, there is no research available that sought to quantify the differences in ergogenic properties from this sort of knee sleeve to the one manufactured for people suffering from arthritis. Despite the lack of empirical evidence, it seems rather clear that there is little difference between the Titan knee sleeve and knee wraps, especially if you also consider that a tighter knee sleeve, one that might require two people to don, just like tighter knee wraps will enhance performance more than loser ones. And of course, the more stability a knee sleeve provides the joint, it naturally follows that it will also provide resistance to bending the joint, which in turn means more assistance during lockout.

But performance enhancement doesn’t need to be limited to the obvious, such as aiding the knee in locking out. It can also entail more subtle things such as how a knee sleeve might be able to benefit your balance, kinesthetic feedback, brain signaling, etc. Naturally, the person who doesn’t get this sort of benefit is at a sporting disadvantage. Please consider that all of the findings that follow employed a medical knee sleeve, not the kind you find in powerlifting circles. Now, obviously balance is a big part in most if not all lifts contested in all-round weightlifting, but perhaps most in one-armed lifts. With that in mind, consider that patients wearing a knee sleeve were able to balance better in static and dynamic conditions compared to those who didn’t wear such a sleeve.(4)

Part of being able to balance effectively means that you actually have a sense of where your body is in space. A lot of this sort of kinesthetic feedback comes from the joints. So might wearing a knee sleeve improve a person’s sense of knee joint position during a leg extension and leg press? Yes, but perhaps the most interesting finding of a study that looked precisely at that was that the degree of benefit derived from wearing a knee sleeve was highly person-dependent.(1) In other words, some people got a lot from it, others much less. Another similar study found that wearing a knee sleeve consistently improved proprioceptive acuity, meaning that your sense of position and movements are enhanced.(6) Of course as an athlete you have to deal with the effects of fatigue. Obviously, as you fatigue your performance will suffer. A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports found that by wearing a knee sleeve while fatigued, joint position senses were significantly enhanced.(14)

From a scientific perspective, it seems rather clear that wearing a knee sleeve can be beneficial in terms of enhancing performance. But what could be causing this? Scientists from the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy at Ghent University Hospital in Belgium looked at brain activity while wearing a knee sleeve.(13) They used a method called functional magnetic resonance imaging, which allows you to watch changes in the brain as they occur. What they found is that wearing a knee sleeve while moving influences brain activity in a positive way.


A logical and rational approach to answering the question regarding knee sleeves in all-round weightlifting must first address whether doing so would compromise what the organizations that govern this sport stand for. In this case, it seems clear that the overwhelming evidence stands for testing maximal strength sans any type of equipment that might enhance performance. Of the over 100 lifts that can be contested, only the squat and front squat allow for performance-enhancing knee wraps. Though perhaps misguided, to the rational person this only constitutes an aberration to the overall mission of the sport, not necessarily a precedent for allowing additional equipment.

And yet one must ask that if it’s indeed permissible to use knee wraps in two lifts, by what logic would it not be permissible to use the exact same equipment in all similar lifts? And by this extension of rational thought, why would knee sleeves not be permissible? Of course if they do become permissible, one must also ascertain under what rules of logic would it then not be permissible to use elbow sleeves? After all, an argument based on anatomy and physiology would fall way short in allowing for a sleeve around the large and powerful knee joint, yet not for the elbow joint.

Clearly the research on knee sleeves in an arthritic population shows that it can hold many benefits from pain reduction to increased proprioception and being able to deal with the effects of fatigue. A legitimate need to wear a knee sleeve would be having an arthritic knee. But from an organizational perspective, how does one determine the degree of arthritis and the extent to which it limits the athlete and causes pain? Does that athlete have to bring a doctor’s note to competition? How else would one determine wether a competitor suffers from this sort of medical condition, or a related one, or just wants to have an unfair advantage over his/her competition? And why should an allowance be made in the first place for an injured athlete? Isn’t sport supposed to test the most capable of bodies? It’s one thing to allow a person to use drugs to control pain, an entirely different situation for allowing the use of mechanical devices a person wears to control pain (and thus enhance performance).

In the final analysis it seems that the first test is what the sport of all-round weightlifting stands for. With that in mind, the only rational answer to the knee sleeve question is not to permit it for any lift. The second tier of reasoning ought to look at any anatomical, physiological, or biological need for the use of knee sleeves. As we have learned, the knee and its associated structures are immensely strong, rendering the need of knee sleeves gratuitous, even in the arthritic knee as exercise controls pain well. And in all-round weightlifting, we sure exercise.


1. Birmingham, T.B., et al. Effect of a neoprene sleeve on knee joint position sense during sitting open kinetic chain and supine closed kinetic chain tests. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 26(4):562-566, 1998.

2. Brouwer, R., et al. Braces and orthoses for treating osteoarthritis of the knee. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 25;(1):CD004020, 2005.

3. Bryk, F., et al. Immediate effect of the elastic knee sleeve use on individuals with osteoarthritis. Revista Brasileira De Reumatologia. 51(5):440-446, 2011.

4. Chuang, SH., et al. Effect of knee sleeve on static and dynamic balance in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Journal of Medicine and Science. 23(8):405-411, 2007.

5. Finestone, A., et al. Treatment of overuse patellofemoral pain. Prospective randomized controlled clinical trial in a military setting. Clinical Orthopaedics And Related Research. 293:208-10, 1993.

6. Herrington, L., et al. The effect of a neoprene sleeve on knee joint position sense. Research in Sports Medicine. 13(1):37-46, 2005.

7. Lun, V., et al. Effectiveness of patellar bracing for treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. 15(4):235-240, 2005.

8. Mazzuca, S.A., et al. Pilot study of the effects of a heat-retaining knee sleeve on joint pain, stiffness, and function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Arthritis and Rheumatism. 51(5):716-721, 2004.

9. Nissel, R., et al. Joint load during the parallel squat in powerlifting and force analysis of in vivo bilateral quadriceps tendon rupture. Scandinavian Journal of Sports Science. 8:63-70, 1986.

10. Noyes, F., et al. Biomechanical analysis of human ligament grafts used in knee-ligament reparis and reconstructions. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 66A:344-352, 1984.

11. Pajareya, K., et al. Effectiveness of an elastic knee sleeve for patients with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized single-blinded controlled trial. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand. 86(6):535-42, 2003.

12. Race, A., et al. The mechanical properties of the two bundles of the human posterior cruciate ligament. Journal of Biomechanics. 27:13-24, 1994.

13. Thijs Y., et al. Does bracing influence brain activity during knee movement: An fMRI study. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy. 18(8):1145-1149, 2010.

14. Van Tiggelen, D., et al. The use of a neoprene knee sleeve to compensate the deficit in knee joint position sense caused by muscle fatigue. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 18(1):62-66, 2008.

15. Woo, S., et al. Tensile properties of the human femur-anterior cruciata ligament-tibia complex. The effects of specimen age and orientation. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 19:217-225, 1991.

Records Were Smashed

by Roger LaPointe

Dave Polzin set several new USAWA & IAWA records, including in this lift, the Fulton Bar Jefferson Lift.

National and World record sized lifts were made at the Atomic Athletic Tractor Pull Weekend USAWA Weightlifting Meet! There were 10 National and 5 World Record level lifts. Not too shabby…

We also had a lot of fun, which is what it is really about.

The lifts were the Fulton Bar (2” Diameter Thick Bar) Jefferson lift, the One Arm Barbell Deadlift, and the Crucifix Hold. Record attempts succeeded in each of the lifts. Some of the highlights included:

Dave Polzin’s (Age 62, 100 Kg Wt. Class) 402 lbs. Fulton Bar Jefferson Lift
Roger LaPointe’s (Age 41, 80 Kg Wt. Class) 75 lbs. Crucifix Hold
John McKean’s (Age 66, 75 Kg Wt. Class) 276 lbs. Right Arm Dead Lift
Scott Schmidt’s (Age 59, 110 Kg Wt. Class) 90 lbs. Crucifix Hold

Tshirts from the meet are still available for sale!

If you have never tried any of these old school lifts, you probably should. As John Kurtz, one of the officials, pointed out to me, “these are great old lifts that you can find in all the old York, Healthways and Milo Bar Bell courses. Everyone did these before the age of machines!”

We have a couple of shirts left in each of the various sizes. Make sure to jump on those. They are done in an awesome green with black printed artwork. Here is the link:


Stay tuned for future events!

Live strong, Roger LaPointe

OTSM Championships is now a FUNDRAISER!

by Thom Van Vleck

The OTSM Championships will be used to raise funds to buy more equipment for the Osteoblasters Weightlifting Club

The Old Time Strong Man Championships are just around the corner!  October 14, 2012 is the date for the 2nd  OTSM Championships and I have some exciting news.  This year we will be raising money for the Osteroblasters Weightlifting Club.  The OWC was formed just this past spring and has already been made an official University Organization with a membership of over 50 students making it one of the largest organizations on campus.  To give you some perspective, we have around 350 students on campus at any give time (with many students out on clinical rotations as our primary mission is creating physicians).  So, our membership represents a significant portion of the student population.   We have members of our club that are involved in Olympic lifting, Power lifting, Strongman, boxing, martial arts, cross fit, highland games, and many other sports where they use weightlifting to get better.  However, many of our members just realize that lifting weights is an integral part of an all around fitness program.  We promote a healthy, drug free lifestyle and for that reason, a USAWA meet seemed a great fit for a fundraiser.

Mike McIntyre is our club President and a student in our Biomed program (working on his master's degree) and a driving force in getting the OWC organized. Here Mike is doing Deadlifts with over 500lbs on the thick bar.

As the staff adviser for the club I help them with whatever their needs may be.  Right now, we need more equipment!   And you can help!  Come and compete at the OTSM Championships and I will be donating 100% (that’s right, 100%) of the entry fee money to the club!  You still have to buy your USAWA memberships (but really….shouldn’t you already have it!), but you can know that your entry fee will go to a good cause.

I have been amazed at the interest our club has generated and while the director of our campus Rec Center has been very generous in buying us equipment, we had no idea how many students would turn out for the club workouts!   We have over 30 showing up at 4 organized lifting sessions each week!  We need your help!  Sign up to compete today….and if you are feeling generous, anything extra you give will go to buying equipment and I would even consider donations of equipment for a trade for your entry!.  So bring what you have and we’ll let you donate it as your entry fee!   We will also have club shirts on sale for a fundraising (don’t worry, you will get a meet shirt, this is something just for the club).

Jared Nichols

I will repeat a previous story on the OTSM, we have moved it to the old Williard School Gym where I held Nationals last year!  Great location for a meet!   So come out and lift, and if you can’t lift, please come and help.  Don’t worry, you won’t get roped into loading (I have student club members for that!!!!)   I DOl need USAWA certified judges and experienced lifters to help coach my newbies in the warm up area on the rules and lifts…..there will be a lot of NEW lifters at this meet and they need coaching and mentoring!  While I will accept entries on the day of the meet, a heads up is always appreciated.  See you soon!

Tractor Pull Meet

by Roger LaPointe

The 2nd Annual Atomic Athletic Tractor Pull Weekend Meet went very well. Everyone had a blast.   While it is not yet official, it looks like we may have collectively broken 10 US records and 5 World Records. Each of our lifters broke some sort of record.

We had an unexpected surprise, thanks to the efforts of Scott Schmidt. We have two Ohio based officials that are getting back into the All Round Weightlifting game: John Kurtz and Jim Malloy. As John McKean pointed out, both were very active lifters, with John being both a founding member and an official at many of Howard Prechtel’s events, including the Nationals. I had never previously met them, but hope to make them a fixture at Atomic Athletic events. They each seemed to enjoy themselves and fit right in with our group. By the end of the meet, they each seemed to be itching to pick up some weights. Who knows, maybe we can convince them to do a little coaching or even get them on the platform. I know that I have learned a good deal from lifting with Dave Polzin, who has continued his annihilation of almost every record he sets his sights on. Maybe I will get a chance to learn a bit from Jim and John as well.

I would like to thank everyone who lifted, officiated and helped to clean up. I hope to see everyone at the next Atomic Athletic meet. If anyone would like to make some lift suggestions, please send the requests to me.  We also have meet shirts left over. If you would like to buy one,  the photo will be up on the site tomorrow, but it reflects the general design of the site graphic with black ink on a green shirt. I will make sure to note which sizes are left tonight. Here is the link:



2012 Atomic Athletic Tractor Pull Weekend Meet
August 18th, 2012
Atomic Athletic, Bowling Green, Ohio

Meet Director: Roger LaPoint
Officials: Scott Schmidt, Jim Malloy, John Kurtz, John McKean

Lifts: Deadlift – One Arm, Jefferson Lift – Fulton Bar, Crucifix
USR = New “possible” U. S. Record
WR= New “possible” World Record

 LIFTER  DL-1 Arm  Jefferson FB  Crucifix
 David Polzin,216# BW,Age 62  311#R USR/WR  402#USR/WR  60#USR/WR
 John McKean,165#BW, Age 66  267#R  303#USR/WR  35#USR
 Scott Schmidt,242# BW, Age 59  282#R  281#USR/WR  90#USR
Roger LaPointe,167# BW, Age 41 267#R USR 303#USR 75#USR

If anyone is wondering about the odd weight increments for the 1 Arm Deadlift, we were using a 45 pound bar,but lifting with kilo plates. The Crucifix Hold was done with antique York Kettlebell Handles, which are about half a pound lighter than the current kettlebell handles we sell at Atomic Athletic, making the handles, bar and collars a combined weight of 10 pounds. It was a convenient set up for use with pound increment standard size plates.

New Rulebook Available

by Al Myers

USAWA Rulebook 6th Edition

The new, updated Rulebook is now available on the website.  I’m a little behind on my August 1st deadline, but I have lots of excuses.  I have included the bylaws in this years book, so everything is “nice and tidy” concerning the rules and regulations of the USAWA.  All of the passed agenda items from this year’s National Meeting have been included.  As always, it is free to download it but a printed bound Rulebook comes with a pricetag.  It will continue to be available in the online store.

Jefferson Lift Origin & Techniques

by Roger LaPointe

Jefferson Lift

So you want to build some crazy back and leg strength?

Try out the Jefferson Lift, also called the Straddle Deadlift in Great Britain.

I have loved the Jefferson Lift since the day I first started lifting. My Dad taught it to me as, “the best and safest way to squat.” Well, it’s not technically a squat, but a deadlift and it is also not necessarily the safest.  However, it is a great alternative to traditional deadlifting, which can replicate the feel of a front squat, at least in the legs.

Check it out here


Or check it out here, with some “How To” and discussion:


The Jefferson Lift gets its name from the old circus strongman Charles Jefferson (1863?-July 12, 1911). Originally from Canaan, New Hampshire, he traveled and performed with Barnum and later with Barnum & Bailey. He was known for chain breaking and lifting “enormous” weights. I have never been able to find out what was considered “enormous”.

Alan Calvert, of Milo Barbell, seemed quite fond of the Jefferson Lift, as he wrote about two different variations, including photos, in his book “Super Strength”. Interestingly, when I worked at York Barbell, Jan Dellinger told me that John Grimek was also extremely fond of the Jefferson Lift, and considered “Super Strength” to be his single reference work for lifting. Of course, Grimek did modeling for the Milo Barbell Company before working for Hoffman. At the time, Jan had told me that Grimek believed in only doing the Jefferson Lift as a partial lift off of blocks. Both of the methods shown in Calvert’s book reflect Grimek’s opinion. Calvert also writes, “In performing this exercise, the legs are bent no further than shown in the picture,”

As for technique, beyond Calvert’s book, I have seen a number of other methods. In some photos, I see the the bar is perpendicular to the shoulders with a high degree of twist to the spine. In other shots, which I call the Hirsh technique, the bar is lifted with an alternate grip, like a standard deadlift, but the legs straddle the bar in a fashion very similar to a split jerk, with the heels being allowed to rise. Al Myers, of the USAWA, did an excellent article about the Jefferson Lift, featuring this photo of Bob Hirsh, who easily had the best modern Jefferson Lift.  Check it out on this website.

If you would like to compete in a variation of the Jefferson Lift, you can do so at our Atomic Athletic Tractor Pull Championship Weekend Meet, this Saturday, August 18th. The variation we will be contesting is with a 2 Inch Thick Bar, called a Fulton Bar in the USAWA. Here is the link:


Live strong, Roger LaPointe

Update on Knee Sleeve Poll

by Al Myers

This is a reminder to everyone that the worldwide poll on knee sleeves is underway.  This issue was brought up at the USAWA National Meeting, ending with a motion to refer it to the IAWA Technical Committee for evaluation before being placed on the IAWA agenda at the IAWA Meeting in October at the IAWA World Meet.  Steve Gardner and myself decided that a world-wide poll should be taken on this issue as well, as both of us feel that this issue is one that should be decided by ALL members, not just the membership that is attendance at the meeting.  A couple of weeks ago a blog was ran on this website which included the details of the poll, so if you missed it, look back in the archives of the USAWA Daily News. I’m not going to “rehash” all that again in this story.  

There has been some  discussion in the USAWA Discussion Forum on this.  Discussion has included the pros and cons by several members. If you haven’t been “keeping up” with this issue, that is a good place to look to “get up to speed”.  So far only 26 USAWA members have voted, and the vote is tied at 13-13.  It is important to remember that the deadline in this poll is September 1st. I’m going to include some of the forum posts in this blog to stimulate thought:

By Big T -

I guess I want to discuss this a little as I’m surprised at the results.

My feeling is that it’s a pandora’s box. In Highland Games we have the Weight Over Bar event where the thrower has to throw a 56lb weight over a bar, kinda like a high jump bar that goes higher and higher with the highest being the winner. Well, the rules don’t say you can’t spin but traditionally, it was done from a standing position. One day, someone did spin, and while it was debated, nobody stopped it. Soon, guys were spinning all over the place. Hell, I did it when I realized it was a superior way to do it. Now, some games allow it, some don’t and it is a point of contention. Why? Because you can throw higher spinning….but then others argue you don’t! In my mind, it’s a separate event. Guys argue about it and in the mean time records are broken until only the spinners have all the records and nobody can remember who did what standing, spinning, or whatever. Now, there are guys double spinning!

My point, I like spinning, but I don’t consider it the same. I like knee sleeves, I own two pair! But this is an pandora’s box and we either need to create a “geared” record list and ungeared (good lord…how many records would that be!……500 pages!) or just keep it raw and a guy can were his knee sleeve to keep warm, take it off to lift, then go on with life. For the record, I voted no, but in reality, I would rather see all gear allowed with limitations. But to me, it’s all or nothing and its disrespectful to past champs to beat records with advantages they didn’t have.

By Dinoman –

Thank you for your input on this, you made some very good points. I’ll be honest here – I’m REALLY disappointed in the number of votes cast so far for an issue this big and the the lack of opinions from lifters defending their viewpoints. Only 25% of the membership so far have even voted! That tells me that this issue doesn’t mean much to the remaining 75%. Or maybe it is just the apathy of voting now-a-days, with the attitude that an individuals opinion doesn’t count for anything so why show up to vote.

I’m really glad we are doing this poll as it gives EVERYONE an opportunity to be part of this decision. I will say this – if you don’t vote NOW I don’t want to hear you B***** later!!


I voted yes, but did so with reservation-that I completely see your point. However, I disagree whole heartedly with the separate record list bit. So, you have used knee sleeves? Have you ever lifted anything with them that you would not have lifted without? Maybe there are types where that would be the case. I have used york and Dino sleeves, and have never gotten a single pound over what I would have done without them. Just like Benching with wrist wraps. Never a single pound over, but it allows me to protect a joint in order to not have to spend the next month rehabbing it. Now, like I said, maybe there are some that would give you weight, and maybe that is something that needs to be researched out before a decision is made, I dont know. And if the knee sleeves thing fails I will not lose a moments sleep over it, I will just train with them, when I feel I need them, and compete without. It wont make any difference, as I will lift the same amount one way or the other, as long as I am healthy.

By casinoman -

Neoprene knee sleeves are not geared. To say they aid in a lift is a miseducated statement, meaning no offense. But I am with ET I get nothing out of a NEOPRENE knee sleeve, but I do own knee sleeves that are like a knee wrap and do get some poundages out of them. But they help immensly in being in less pain. I am amazed especially by the amount of older lifters by how many no votes there are. I can guarantee when I am in my 40 and 50s I will be wearing neoprene damn near head to toe, hell I am almost that way now on workout days. I think people need to understand that neoprene sleeves are not geared lifting, they don’t give you any extra poundages, but they help keep the joint warm. I have had both meniscus removed and on squat days, if I go without my sleeves I pay for it dearly, can I squat without and squat the same amount of weight, yes, but the next day the pain is worse.


REMINDER – Tractor Pull Meet

by Roger LaPointe

“Why do you like the All Round Weightlifting so much?”

Of course I like the competition. I also like variety in my competitions. The idea that I am competing in a lift that was historically significant, if you consider anything that only one or two circus guys performed as significant, is also cool. However, it is more than that. I love the USAWA because of the people.

The lifters in the USAWA are some of the nicest people you will ever meet. The vast majority are also Masters Age lifters and have tons of knowledge. Yet, there are many strength organizations that are potentially huge sources knowledge, but I have never seen anyone hoard that knowledge in the USAWA.

Atomic Athletic is holding the 2nd Tractor Pull Championship Weekend Meet this Saturday, August 18th. I encourage any of our readers to come and watch. I would love it if you lifted, but new strange lifts can be a bit intimidating. I won’t lie about that. Most serious lifters have never heard of a Jefferson Lift. The fact that we will be doing the Crucifix Hold with a pair of antique kettlebell handles from the 1930s, is lost even on my wife. Don’t let any of these things stop you from watching.

Unlike the Picnic we had in the spring, this is a small, more typical, All Round meet. The atmosphere will be relaxed and you can fire away with the questions, just wait until the lifters are off the competition platform…

Remember, it is FREE to watch.

Here is the link to the Event Page:


I hope to see you there.

Live strong, Roger LaPointe

Today is a good day to lift.

Dino Days Record Day

by Al Myers

The first Team (2-Man) Neck Lift ever performed, by Al Myers and Chad Ullom, at the Dino Days Record Day. We lifted 1205 pounds.

Seven lifters performed record attempts at the Dino Days Record Day on August 12th.  Of these 7, three made it that didn’t compete the previous day in the Dino Gym – Tim Songster, Mike Murdock, and Molly Myers.

I’ll start the report with the youngest lifter of the day.  My daughter Molly continues to amaze me with her lifting ability. She has spent some time in her young life training, but never anything consistent.  I keep telling her that she has great ability lifting weights, but I haven’t over-pressured her to be a weight lifter.  Usually in record days, I have picked lifts for her that she could set records in easily, as I didn’t want her to feel disappointed if she couldn’t exceed a previous record.  But this time, I picked a few records that I knew she would have to get a great performance to exceed the current record on the books.  The first choice was the Fulton Bar Ciavattone Grip Deadlift.  The previous record was 148# (which I consider a very good mark) and Molly exceeded it with her last attempt at 151#.  This got her very excited and after that the records fell at a rapid pace, ending with a very fine 130# 12 inch base squat.

Mike Murdock performing one of the "first ever" Jackson Presses at the Dino Days Record Day.

Since I’m reporting in the order of age, that makes Chad at 40 the next in line!  Chad started the day off with a 135# Jackson Press.  When he finished he made the comment that he picked that lift to recognize the JWC, since none of the JWC members were in attendance.  He then started focusing on regaining his Neck Lift record, which he lost to Eric Todd at the Heavy Lift Championships.  I decided I would join him in the Neck Lift, but I knew I would only be his “pace car” as he proceeded to heavier and heavier poundages!  I dropped out at 700 but to Chad it seemed as he was still just warming up.  He finished with 915# for the new ALL TIME record in the Neck Lift. After that we decided to do some 2-Man Neck Lifts.  This was our first time trying out this new bar apparatus I had made to do this lift, and we finished with 1205#.  We could have done alot more, but we need some more training time to synchronize our efforts.  Unlike other 2-Man lifts, this one is performed “totally blind” as you are looking up and have no visual cues.  Add in the element of danger, and this lift becomes much more difficult than other 2-Man lifts.

I was glad to meet another lifter from Jobe’s Steel Jungle.  Tim Songster made his first appearance in the Dino Gym. Tim set 8 new records in various different lifts.  I could tell Tim is a true all-rounder, as he seems to really enjoy the variety of the different lifts.  If someone else was trying a different lift, he wanted to “give it a try” as well, and in the process learn how to do this new lift. Welcome to the USAWA Tim!

LaVerne made an appearance on both days at this year’s Dino Days.  The day before he teamed with Dean Ross in the Team Championships. It appeared to me that he must have still been on this “team approach” as it seemed they did all the same lifts!  LaVerne, Dean and Mike started the day off doing the Bear Hug. The Bear Hug is a lift very rarely contested in the USAWA, and it seemed like they were doing it for over an hour.  They must have tripled the weight they started with.  LaVerne ended up on tops with a lift of 206#, followed by Dean at 181#, and then Mike at 156#.  However, in the new USAWA lift, the Fulton Bar Bench Press, Dean and Mike had the best lifts (178#), followed by LaVerne at 123#. Another lift that “stuck out in my mind” was the 1250# Back Lift by Dean.  That is a huge lift!

Again, I want to thank everyone who attended this record day.  I really enjoy watching others have fun lifting weights, and afterall, that is what it should be all about.


Dino Days Record Day
Dino Gym
Abilene, Kansas
August 12th, 2012

Meet Director: Al Myers

Officials: Al Myers, Mike Murdock, Chad Ullom, Jesse Jobe, LaVerne Myers


Molly Myers – Female, Age 13, 164# BWT
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 151#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar: 201#
Deadlift – Heels Together: 182#
Bench Press – Feet in Air: 100#
Curl – Cheat: 75#
Jackson Press: 45#
Press – From Rack: 45#
Squat – 12″ Base: 130#

Chad Ullom – Age 40, 253# BWT
Jackson Press; 135#
Clean and Press – On Knees: 211#
Neck Lift: 915#
Turkish Get Up: 71#

Tim Songster Sr. – Age 45, 208# BWT
Bear Hug: 181#
Swing – 2 Dumbbells: 130#
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 85#
Turkish Get Up: 53#
Extension – Back: 110#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 85#
Bench Press – Roman Chair: 65#
Jackson Press: 160#

Al Myers – Age 45, 248# BWT
Neck Lift: 690#
Extension – Back: 140#

LaVerne Myers – Age 68, 249# BWT
Jackson Press: 75#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 123#
Bear Hug: 206#

Dean Ross – Age 69, 275# BWT
Jackson Press: 95#
Arthur Lift: 75#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 178#
Bear Hug: 181#
Turkish Get Up: 35#
Back Lift: 1250#

Mike Murdock – Age 72, 225# BWT
Jackson Press – 115#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 178#
Bear Hug: 156#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 201#

Al Myers and Chad Ullom
Team Neck Lift: 1205#

NOTES:  All lifts are recorded in pounds.

Team Championships

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2012 USAWA Team Championships. (front left to right): Al Myers, Chad Ullom, Mac Chapello, Jesse Jobe. (back row left to right): Jera Kressly, Doug Kressly, Darren Barnhart, LaVerne Myers, Dean Ross

What a GREAT WEEKEND!  The annual Dino Days Weekend started of with the USAWA Team Championships on Saturday and finished with the Dino Days Record Day on Sunday.   The Team Champs started out with a BANG, with 4 teams in attendance.  Chad and I lifted together again, Jobes Steel Jungle brought a team of Jesse Jobe and Mac Capello, two other Dino Gym members teamed up – Dean Ross and LaVerne Myers, and for the first time we had a Mixed Pair  (male & female) team compete.  Doug and Jera Kressly made their USAWA debut, and put up big lifts together. 

Jesse and Mac took "bragging rights" in the Team Bent Over Row, as they put up the top lift of the meet at 560 pounds.

Chad and I were able to defend our USAWA Team Title, but had some serious competition from the apes that represented Jobes Steel Jungle.  The KING APE Jesse brought a sibling primate along to team up with him, and Mac BABY CHIMP Chapello showed that he has what it takes to someday be the king of the jungle.  It was a close comp till the final event, the 12″ base deadlift, when Chad and I “pulled it out”.   We took what we needed for the win (1020#), and then took a fourth attempt which was successful with 1100#.   That now becomes the top 2-MAN deadlift of all-time in the USAWA, exceeding the effort of Bryan Benzel/Troy Goetsch (a couple other Jungle lifters) set earlier this year. 

Doug and Jera Kressly showed "perfect harmony" with each other all day long, as they won the first Mixed Pair Team Title in the history of the USAWA.

I can’t say enough how much I was impressed with Doug and Jera Kressly.  I have known both of them for many years (through the Highland Games), and I knew they would also be great All-Round lifters.  I sure hope they make it back to a USAWA competition soon.  Their Mixed Pair victory makes them the FIRST Mixed Pair team to win the USAWA Team Championships.  Hopefully next year, another Mixed Pair team will join in the fun of this competition so Doug and Jera can have some “two-on-two” competition.  I was especially impressed with their Team One Arm Clean and Jerk. 160 pounds is a HUGE lift for a 2-Man team, let alone a Mixed Pair team. 

LaVerne Myers and Dean Ross and their 380# Fulton Bar Ciavattone Grip Deadlift. These two teamed up quite nicely as they both are physically built very similar.

The Dino Gym’s OLD GEEZERS Dean Ross and LaVerne Myers showed up with one goal in mind, to beat the Mixed Pair team of Doug and Jera.  Doug and Jera was leading after the first two events, but then Dean and LaVerne used their strong callused hands  in the Fulton Bar Ciavattone Grip Deadlift to go past them.  It was a tense moment when Doug and Jera was deadlifing, after the OLD GEEZERS  had finished.  However, in the end the OLD GEEZERS edged them out (but ONLY because of the 29% age correction they received!).  So there are benefits to being a Senior Citizen Weightlifter!!

Al Myers and Chad Ullom and their record-setting team deadlift of 1100 pounds.

I want to thank everyone who attended this meet this year.  I especially want to thank Darren Barnhart for showing up just to officiate. Darren is “that guy” in the Dino Gym that I can always count on to show up to help out when he’s not competing, and I hate to think how much I owe him for the contributions he has made over the years.  

This is truly one of the “most fun” meets in the USAWA.  As I was explaining after the meet to Jesse, the reason I like this meet is because if you don’t do well in a lift – you can always blame it on your team mate.  That’s when I noticed the BABY CHIMP nodding his head in agreement…


USAWA Team Championships
Dino Gym
Abilene, Kansas
August 11th, 2012

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official: Darren Barnhart

Lifts: Clean and Jerk – 1 arm, Deadlift – Fulton bar, Ciavattone Grip, Bent Over Row, Deadlift – 12″ base


Dino Gym – 115 KG Class, 40-44 Age Group, 2-Man
Al Myers – 45 years old, 247# BWT
Chad Ullom – 40 years old, 252# BWT

Jobes Steel Jungle – 110 KG Class, Senior Age Group, 2-Man
Jesse Jobe – 35 years old, 235# BWT
Mac Capello – 34 years old, 240# BWT

Team Kressly – 115 KG Class, Senior Age Group, Male/Female
Doug Kressly – 32 years old, 252# BWT
Jera Kressly – 27 years old, 209# BWT

The Old Geezers – 125 KG Class, 65-69 Age Group
Dean Ross – 69 years old, 274# BWT
LaVerne Myers – 68 years old, 250# BWT

Lifters C&J-1A DL-FB,CG Row DL-12″ Total Points
Myers & Ullom 260R 640 550 1020 2470 1970.8
Jobe & Capello 240R 600 560 950 2350 1903.7
Myers & Ross 85L 380 304 500 1269 1241.2
Team Kressly 160R 420 304 650 1534 1211.9

NOTES: All weights recorded in pounds. Total is total pounds lifted. Points are corrected points for age and bodyweight.


Myers & Ullom: Deadlift – 12″ Base 1100#


Mixed Pair – Doug and Jera Kressly
Senior Age Group – Jesse Jobe and Mac Capello
Master 40+ Age Group – Al Myers and Chad Ullom
Master 60+ Age Group – LaVerne Myers and Dean Ross

Building a Better Deadlift

by Roger LaPointe

Promotional poster for the Tractor Pull Championship Weekend Meet.

What is the ultimate measure of strength?

With the Olympics currently taking place, now is a good time to ask this question. Obviously, to many people it is the total of the two hand snatch and two hand clean & jerk, but to many people this is actually a question up to debate. After all, why have Powerlifting contests, if Olympic weightlifting is the ultimate measure of strength?

Then there are the old Odd Lift Contests, which evolved into the All Round Weightlifting Association, as well as the various strongman contests. When it comes to variations on the deadlift, I can come up with a dozen pretty quickly.

In the days before the Trap Bar, guys were really trying to find a way to deadlift that would more closely replicate the upright body position of an Olympic weightlifter’s front squat. One method was the Jefferson Lift. The Jefferson Lift is also called the Straddle Deadlift. You literally straddle the Olympic barbell and have on hand holding the bar in front and one in the back. While this seems a little goofy, with potential danger to certain body parts if you lift the bar too high, there have been some really significant poundages lifted like this. For example, ask anyone in the USAWA 80 kg (176 pound) class about Bob Hirsch. Bob so totally dominated the various deadlift type events that his Jefferson Lift record is the absolute world record, regardless of weight class, at 318.5 kg (702.2 Pounds).

We will be contesting the 2 Inch Diameter Bar Jefferson Lift at the 2nd Annual Atomic Athletic Tractor Pull Championship Weekend Meet August 18th. It will be a three lift meet that also includes the Crucifix Hold and the One Hand Barbell Deadlift. Make sure to get your application in soon. Here is a link to the page:


If you want to see some incredible All Round Lifting, including some amazing Jefferson lifts, check out our Moore Muscle Classic:


or the USAWA 2000 Nationals, which doesn’t have the Jefferson Lift, but does have the Hack Lift, Zercher Lift (off the floor) and 6 other great lifts.


Never let it get boring…

Today is a good day to lift.
Roger LaPointe

Lifter of the Month: Bryan Benzel

by Al Myers

The USAWA Lifter of the Month for July Bryan Benzel performing a 705 pound Peoples Deadlift at the Battle of the Barn to secure his overall victory. This meet was an Old Time Strongman competition promoted by Eric Todd last spring.

I’m getting a little behind on announcing the USAWA Lifter of the Month for the month of July. Congrats go to the BIG BULL himself Bryan Benzel of Jobe’s Steel Jungle!  Bryan pulled out a tight win in the second USAWA quarterly postal meet, the Middle Atlantic Postal, over several very good lifters.  This feat earned him the Lifter of the Month for the month of July.

I have also started a section on the website to maintain a listing of this accomplishment.  It is titled “Past Lifters of the Month”.

Host Hotel for Worlds

by Al Myers

The host hotel for the 2012 IAWA World Championships in Salina, Kansas - the Ramada Conference Center and Hotel.

The countdown is “under way” for the 2012 IAWA World Championships to be held October 6-7 in Salina Kansas.  It’s now time to get your room booked.  The host hotel in Salina will be the Ramada Conference Center and Hotel.  Some of you might remember this place from a prior event I hosted, as it was the meet venue site for the 2006 USAWA National Championships.  At that time it was a Holiday Inn.  This hotel is a nice place for a good price.  My cohort Scott Tully talked them into giving us a group rate at $61 per night, but to get this rate you must use this code word when making your reservations – “IAWA”.  I hope everyone can remember that one! 

The Dino Training Center (which is the meet venue) is less than a 2 minute drive from this hotel, and you can walk it in only about 5 minutes.  There are lots of great eating places very close as well.  The Ramada even has a big pool inside to let you cool off after a hard day of lifting, as well a bar to get yourself rehydrated!  This rate should also include a free continental breakfast.  The best way to make your reservations is to go to their website and either book it online, or give them a call:

Ramada Conference Center Salina, Kansas

Dan Lurie

by Dennis Mitchell

Dan Lurie

Dan Lurie was born in Brooklyn New York, April 1, 1923.  Doctors soon found that he had a hole in his heart, and told his parents that he would not live very long. However Dan did live. and growing up he took part in the normal activities that boys his age did. At age thirteen he got interested in boxing and started training in order to enter in the Golden Gloves.  A pre-fight exam found that he had a heart murmur and he and was not allowed to compete. It was at this time that he met former boxer turned body builder, Terry Robinson.  Terry convinced him to switch body building.  Not to long after Dan entered his first physique contest and placed last. Not giving up he continued to train and in 1942 entered the AAU Mr.America contest and won Most Muscular, and took a second place. He also won several best body parts.

At the height of 5′ 5.5″ and weighing 165 pounds, he had a 46″ chest (expanded 47.75″), 16.75″ arms, 12.5″ fore arms, 16″ neck, 21.5″ thighs, and 15 5 ” calves.  He was very good at endurance lifting and did 1,665 pushups in ninety minutes, 1,225 parallel bar dips in ninety minutes, and 1,200 pullovers with 55 pounds.  He could leg press 1,230 pounds, and did a back lift of 1,810 pounds.  His most outstanding lift was a 285 pound bent press while weighing 168 pounds.

Dan continued entering the AAU Mr. America Contests, winning most muscular, and body parts but always came in second in the Mr. America. He was then not permitted to enter any further AAU contest as he was declared to be a professional, because his picture was used in some of Joe Weiders ads. Although he could no longer compete, he stayed active as a meet promoter. He opened his first gym in 1943 in Brooklyn New York, and in time had eight gyms in New York and one in Florida.  He also published a magazine called Muscle Training Illustrated.  H also promoted magazines on boxing, wrestling, karate, rock and role music, and a ladies magazine.  Dan once performed on CBS TV on a Saturday morning circus show for children.  He made and sold his own weightlifting equipment along with his body building course. It was Dan who ran the first IFBB (International Federation of Body Builders) contest in New York.  Later the Weider organization used the IFBB in their organization.

I have not been able to find a death notice or current address for Dan. He would be 87 years old.

World Postal LEG 2

by Steve Gardner

(scroll down to see leg 1 results)

Al and Chad showing Dino Gym team spirit by drinking a few Mai Tai's in Kauai shortly after completing their World Postal lifts.

Leg Two Results:Lifts: Steinborn – OH C+Jerk – Zercher
Results that were performed before two referees have been submitted for any records to be checked
and ratified!

Headings: Name -Bwt-Class-Age-Division-Steinborn-OH C+Jerk-Zercher- Total-AmendedCoalville

Outcasts – 1 Ref only
Mark Shaw 76.0 80 51 M50+ 85 30 115 230 255.4
Jason Reed 80.0 80 31 Open 75 40 120 235 225.8
Team Total 645 Amend 481.2
Powerhouse Gym 1 – 3 refs
Mark Price 91.3 95 47 M45+ 150 57.5R 165 367.5 353.3
James Gardner 89.8 90 28 Open 125 67.5R 175 365.0 328.0
Team Total 730 Amen 681.3
Powerhouse Gym 2 – 3 Refs
Graham Saxton 122.8 125 50 M50+ 145 55R 190 390 330.1
Luke Davis 79.2 80 28 Open 115 50R 145 310 299.8
Team Total 700 Amen 629.9
Powerhouse Gym 3 – 3 Refs
Paula Delamata 49.4 50 38 Open 55 26.5R 75 156.5 282.6
Calvin Morant Hudson 69.3 70 19 J18/19 110 42.5R 70 222.5 251.1
Team Total 379 Amen 533.7
Powerhouse Gym 4 (Just 4 Andy) – 1 Ref only
Steve Gardner 140.1 125+ 55 M55+ 70 45R 100 215 178.5
Karen Gardner 71.1 75 53 LM50+ 40 20R 50 110 167.2
Team Total 325 Amen 345.7
W Australia 1 – 3 Refs
Peter Phillips 109.2 110 58 M55+ 145 55R 175 375 360.9
John Mahon 103.8 105 29 Open 145 55R 175 375 311.4
Team Total 750 Amend 672.3
W Australia 2 – 3 Refs
Sam Trew 116.0 120 29 Open 155 60R 185 400 313.8
Paul McManus 111.8 115 38 Open 165 50 185 400 319.7
Team Total 800 Amend 633.5
Granby Grippers – (1 Ref = Steve) 2 Refs = Daniel
Steve Andrews 70.0 70 53 M50+ 105 50L 142.5 297.5 354.4
Daniel Andrews 65.3 70 16 J16/17 50 25.5L 75.5 151 182.4
Team Total 448.5 Amend 536.8
Tiverton 1 – 3 Refs
Mark Rattenberry 64.0 65 50 M50+ 60.4 29.9L 140.4 230.7 284.2
Gary Ell 85.1 90 41 M40+ 105 52.9R 140 297.9 280.4
Team Total 528.6 Amend 564.6
Tiverton 2 – 3 Refs
Tom Perry 87.7 90 22 Open 102.3 60.4 R 150.4 313.3 285.3
Patrick Burt 72.5 75 24 Open 60 37.9L 92.9 190.8 194.9
Team Total 504.1 Amend 480.2
Tiverton 3 – 3 Refs
Tom Cleverley 76.4 80 21 Open 100 47.9 R 120.4 268.3 265.2
Axel Amos 83.6 85 24 Open 115 50.4R 130.4 295.8 276.9
Team Total 564.1 Amend 542.1
Castlemilk Expendables 1 – 2 Refs
Matt Finkle 66.5 70 46 M45+ 80 40R 122.5 242.5 280.5
Andy Tomlin 91.5 95 44 M40+ 80 55R 150 285 266.1
Team Total 527.5 Amend 546.6
Castlemilk Expendables 2 – 2 Refs
George Dick 128.2 125+ 63 M60+ 100 35R 115 250 231.5
Habeckers Gym USA – 1 Ref
Denny Habecker 86.1 90 69 M65+ 80 32.5R 80 192.5 237.4
Mo. Aqeel Afzal (Guest) 120.5 125 Open 81 41 R 111 233.0 179.3
Team Total 425.5 Amend 416.7
Dino Gym USA – 1 Ref
Chad Ullom 112.0 115 40 M40+ 182.5 63.5R 201.9 447.9 361.2
Al Myers 109.3 110 45 M45+ 155 65.8R 201.9 422.7 362.3
Team Total 870.6 Amend 723.5

Team Country – Amended Team Total

Dino Gym USA 723.5
Powerhouse 1 ENG 681.3
W Australia 1 AUS 672.3
W Australia 2 AUS 633.5
Powerhouse 2 ENG 629.9
Tiverton 1 ENG 564.6
Castlemilk Expendables 1 SCO 546.6
Tiverton 3 ENG 542.1
Granby Grippers ENG 536.8
Powerhouse 3 ENG 533.7

Lifters Rankings Second Leg Top Ten Lifters
Name – AmendedTotal

Al Myers 362.3
Chad Ullom 361.2
Peter Phillips 360.9
Steve Andrews 354.4
Mark Price 353.3
Graham Saxton 330.1
James Gardner 328.0
Paul McManus 319.7
Sam Trew 313.8
John Mahon 311.4

FINAL Team Rankings After Two Legs:Team Country Leg 1 Leg 2 Grand Amended Total

1st Dino Gym USA 801.8 723.5 1525.3
2nd Powerhouse 1 ENG 745.8 681.3 1427.1
3rd Powerhouse 2 ENG 689.1 629.9 1319.0
4th W Australia 1 AUS 641.0 672.3 1313.3
5th Tiverton 1 ENG 627.7 564.6 1192.3
6th W Australia 2 AUS 558.4 633.5 1191.9
7th Granby Grippers ENG 602.9 536.8 1139.7
8th Castlemilk Expendables 1 SCO 582.2 546.6 1128.8
9th Powerhouse 3 ENG 592.8 533.7 1126.5
10th Tiverton 2 ENG 580.8 480.2 1061.0
1th Tiverton 3 ENG 513.0 542.1 1055.1
12th Coalville Outcasts ENG 498.8 481.2 980.0
13th Habeckers Gym USA 552.9 416.7 969.6
14thPowerhouse 4 (Just 4 U Andy) ENG 446.8 345.7 792.5
15thCastlemilk Expendables 2 SCO 525.0 231.5 756.5
16th Hoghton Barbell ENG 614.3 — 614.3

Lifters Final Rankings after 2 Legs
Top Ten amended Totals:

Name Leg 1 Leg 2 Total
Al Myers 426.3 362.3 788.6
Mark Price 387.0 353.3 740.3
Chad Ullom 375.5 361.2 736.7
Steve Andrews 376.0 354.4 730.4
James Gardner 358.8 328.0 686.8
Graham Saxton 355.1 330.1 685.2
Peter Phillips 321.9 360.9 682.8
Luke Davis 334.0 299.8 633.8
John Mahon 319.1 311.4 630.5
Sam Trew 295.5 313.8 609.3
Gary Ell 321.4 280.4 601.8
Mark Rattenberry 306.3 284.2 590.5
Tom Perry 304.9 285.3 590.2
Paul McManus 262.9 319.7 582.6
Paula Delemata 292.8 282.6 575.4
Matt Finkle 289.9 280.5 570.4
Denny Habecker 324.9 237.4 562.3
Andy Tomlin 292.3 266.1 558.4
Thomas Cleverley 265.1 265.2 530.3
Axel Amos 247.9 276.9 524.8
Mark Shaw 242.2 255.4 497.6
Calvin M. Hudson 233.0 251.1 484.1
George Dick 251.8 231.5 483.3
Jason Reed 256.6 225.8 482.4
Patrick Burt 275.9 194.9 470.8
Steve Gardner 240.7 178.5 419.2
Daniel Andrews 226.9 182.4 409.3
Mark Haydock 381.3 — 381.3
Karen Gardner 206.1 167.2 373.3
John Gardner 300.0 — 300.0
Jim Madden 273.2 — 273.2
Rudy Bletscher 228.0 — 228.0
Mo. Aqeel Afzal — 179.3 179.3


Top Junior Lifter: Calvin Morant Hudson
Top Female Open Lifter: Paula Delemata
Top Female Master Lifter:Karen Gardner
Top Open Class Lifter: James Gardner
Top Masters 40+ Lifter: Chad Ullom
Top Masters 45+ Lifter: Al Myers
Top Masters 50+ Lifter: Steve Andrews
Top Masters 55+ Lifter: Peter Phillips
Top Master 60+ L:ifter: George Dick
Top Master 65+ Lifter: Denny Habecker


The Dino Gym – USA Team Members: Al Myers and Chad Ullom
Congratulations to Al and Chad!

The Top Two Teams from each Country Count towards the ‘ Nations’ Team Score
(1st Place = 15pts, 15th Place = 1pt etc.Results of Leg One and Leg Two Combined:)

1 ENGLAND 52 Points
2 AUSTRALIA 43 Points
3 USA 38 Points
4 SCOTLAND 22 Points

NEW LIFT – Bench Press with the Fulton Bar

by Al Myers

It is always exciting to get new lifts in the USAWA.  At the Annual National Meeting in Las Vegas, this new lift was passed by the membership: Bench Press – Fulton Bar.  It was presented to the Executive Board for review last spring by Dino Gym member Scott Tully.  A year ago it was passed by the membership that ALL new Fulton Bar lifts MUST be approved to become official lifts of the USAWA, just like any other new proposed lift.   Scott just wondered why the common Bench Press was not represented, as several of the other common lifts (ie Snatch, Clean and Jerk, Deadlift, Clean and Push Press Continental to Chest, Maxey Press, etc)  were represented in our official lifts listing.  He made a great point – so now welcome the Bench Press to the list of Fulton Bar Lifts.

The official Fulton Bar lifts now stand at 13 lifts and include a good representation of all round lifts.  For those not familiar with the fulton bar terminology, the fulton bar is defined in the USAWA Rulebook as a 2″ bar with these specifications:

  • The diameter of the bar must be a minimum of 1 15/16 inches.
  • The bar may be a pipe or a solid steel shaft.
  • There must be no rotation to the sleeves of the bar.
  •  The minimum distance between the inside collars is 51 inches.
  • The maximum distance between the inside collars is 58 inches. 
  • The minimum total length must not be less than 7 feet.
  • There must not be any knurling on the bar.
  • The weight of the bar must be clearly marked.
  • The bar must be straight.

Now for the Official USAWA rule on the Bench Press – Fulton Bar:

Bench Press – Fulton Bar: The rules of the Bench Press apply except a Fulton Bar is used.

That’s it!!!  Pretty simple rule.   The only confusion may arise concerning whether the feet should “be in the air” (following the rule of the Bench Press – Feet in Air), which they do not.  If fact, that would be technically illegal to perform this new lift that way, as the rules of the Bench Press require the feet to be flat on the floor without movement.  Now let’s add some records to the Record List in the Fulton Bar Bench Press!!!!

More on Knee Sleeves

by Al Myers

In today’s blog,  the IAWA President Steve Gardner revealed a poll concerning the use of knee sleeves in the IAWA, of which the USAWA is a part of internationally.  This issue was brought forward at the USAWA National Meeting in Las Vegas, and a motion was made and passed to refer it the IAWA Technical Committee to evaluate the “pros and cons” of it before presentation at the IAWA World Meeting in Salina this fall, for the IAWA membership to vote and decide.  I felt this was the right move, as I have said, this issue is WAY BIGGER than the USAWA, and ALL countries should have a vote in it.  If the USAWA allowed knee sleeves while everyone else in the IAWA didn’t, USAWA lifters would be lifting with different rules at the IAWA competitions.  And what about World IAWA records?  It would technically make all USAWA events not eligible for World Record consideration if the USAWA allowed knee wraps while the “rest of the World” didn’t. 

I feel the IAWA Technical Committee is doing the right thing here in polling all members of the organization in their feelings on this issue.  That way, it is clear how the membership feels as a whole, not just the membership that is present at the World Meeting.  This makes this poll very important.  Also, this is not an absolute vote for or against the use of knee sleeves, but just a poll to determine how the majority feels.  That way at the meeting the voting membership present will know the true overall feelings of the IAWA membership in helping decide how to vote. 

Steve included a form to fill out and send in.  If you just prefer to email me your opinion on this that is acceptable, even if you are neutral.  I have printed off the membership roster and will mark “yes or no” beside your name.   This is one poll that your vote counts – so if you have feelings on this issue please send me your vote.  I hope to get at least responses from over half the membership.   I will take non-responses as one of two ways – you don’t care one way or the other, or as Bill used to say in his Strength Journal, you are a lifter who is either “DEAD and/or COMATOSE”.

I also welcome commentaries from lifters who have strong feelings one way or the other on this issue.  Please send your comments to me and I will run them on the website.  Take this as an opportunity to lobby for your cause!!!

REMEMBER – the deadline for this poll is the first of September.

Poll on Knee Sleeves

by Steve Gardner,  IAWA International President                        

Dear IAWA member:

An issue will arise at the World Council meeting in October 2012 that will need to be decided.  We consider it serious enough to warrant a poll of all members to find the exact strength of opinion  to decide the matter, rather than it be left to a show of hands amongst those who happen to be  present in Salina Kansas USA in October.

The proposal that is submitted from members of USAWA, is that an elastic ‘non supportive’ knee sleeve should be allowed to be worn by lifters during IAWA competitions. (Note: this is not knee wraps, but rather described as a knee cover that is not supportive or aiding a lifters ability to lift more weight).

The proposer’ will put forward the case that it is a knee aide for joint comfort and keeping the knee warm.

A view of conflict with the previous stance taken by IAWA since its inception is that IAWA does not allow any form of lifting aide other than a belt and wrist wraps and knee wraps for front and back squat. And though proposed as a knee comfort or warming device, others might feel this is still a move towards more lifting aides.

If the motion is passed at the Council Meeting in October, then IAWA will announce exactly what the allowable ‘non supportive’ elastic knee sleeve will be, and there will be no allowable deviation from that example allowed.

We want your view please so that we can make an informed decision that reflects the wishes of the majority of our IAWA membership to conform to our democratic principle.

Please return this form with your vote to:

(Steve Gardner in the UK,  Al Myers in the USA, Robin Lukosius in Australia)  


Post This Form To: Steve Gardner  IAWA(UK) – 18 Holly Road, Barton, Staffs DE13 8LP

Name:  ______________________________________                          

(please tick one of the following)           

    Vote For:                                         Vote Against:

Any further comment on the matter you wish to make:

Macomb Record Setter

by Tim Piper

Brady Popkin, of the Salvation Army Gym, lifted 601 pounds in the Peoples Deadlift at the Macomb Record Setter.

July 21, 2012 –  Six lifters from the Salvation Army Gym in Macomb Illinois competed in the 2012 Macomb Record Setter meet establishing a total of 27 American records in the United States All-round Weightlifting Association.  The United States All-round Weightlifting Association (USAWA) is a lifting organization dedicated to drug free lifting in many forms, from exercises performed in old-time circus strongman acts to lesser known unorthodox exercises often referred to as “odd lifts”.  Many of the lifts are named after their originators or in honor of strongmen and women of the past.

The lifts of this meet included: Cyr Press, a one hand dumbbell overhead press; Peoples Deadlift, a deadlift starting 18” off the ground; Anderson Press, an overhead barbell press starting at forehead height; Apollon’s lift, a clean and press with a 2” barbell; Fulton Bar Jefferson Lift, a straddle deadlift with a  2” barbell; Cheat Curl, a barbell curl which allows preliminary fast lowering of the barbell and back arching during completion; Dumbbell Cheat Curl, similar to the cheat curl with dumbbells; Strict Curl, a barbell curl performed with the head and hips held motionless against a wall, heels no more than 3 inches from the wall and no form of body movement during the curl; Deadlift with heels at 12” spacing; Bench Press with hands together; Bench Press with feet in the air; Bench Press with mixed grip; Bench Press with reverse grip; 1 hand Bench Press; and the Piper Squat, a below parallel barbell squat with the barbell held upon the lower back.

The youngest of the lifters, 11 year old Whitney Piper, set 4 records in the 30k/66 pound category.  She set records of 15 pounds in the Cyr Press, 22 pounds in the Piper Squat, 38.58 pounds in the Anderson Press, and 88 pounds in the Peoples Deadlift. 

Dawn Piper, who already holds 9 records in the USAWA, set records of 30 pounds in the Cyr Press, 49.6 pounds in the Apollon’s Lift, 71.6 pounds in the Anderson press, and 176.37 pounds in the Peoples Deadlift.

17 year old, 164 pound Brian Jenkins set six records total, all in press exercises.  His lightest lift was a 104.72 pound 1 Right arm Bench Press.  He went on to set a very impressive 90 pound Cyr Press, followed by the 148.8 pounds in the Bench Press with hands together, 209.44 pounds in the Reverse Grip Bench Press, 220 pounds in the Alternating Grip Bench Press, and 233.69 pounds in the Bench Press with feet in the air. 

185 pound Jon Myres set four records total starting with an exciting 2 Dumbbell Cheat curl of 120 pounds.  He went on to set an impressive 80 pound left hand Cyr Press, a 90 pound right hand Cyr Press, and finished the day with a 275.58 pound Peoples Deadlift. 

165 pound Jay Allen had a big day setting 5 records.  Jay started with a 60 pound right hand Cyr Press followed by a 65 pound left hand Cyr Press. He went on to set a 132 pound Piper Squat, a grueling 385.8 pound Fulton Bar Jefferson Lift, completing the day with a 440 pound Peoples Deadlift.

Brady Popkin, weighing 239 pounds, had the biggest lifts of the day.  He began with a 148.8 pound Strict Curl, followed up with Cheat Curl of 242.5 pounds, then matching his curl weight with a 242.5 pound Bench Press with hands together.  He finished the day up with Deadlift with heels at 12” apart of 562.17 pounds, and then put up the second heaviest ever Peoples Deadlift of 600.7 pounds. 

The Salvation Army Gym lifters are now preparing for the upcoming International All-round Weightlifting Association World Championships, to be held in Kansas in October.  Anyone interested in drug free lifting sports is welcome to stop by the Salvation Army Gym weekdays between 3 and 5 p.m.  While competition is not required, many compete in the USAWA, the American Drug Free Powerlifting Federation, and USA Weightlifting.  The gym is free and open to drug free lifters, and is coached by Roger Gedney, Judy Gedney, Tim Piper and Mike Chase. 


Macomb Record Setter
Salvation Army Gym
Macomb, Illinois
July 21st, 2012

Meet Director:  Tim Piper

Official (1 official system used): Tim Piper

NAME age BW Class Lift BEST
Whitney Lee Piper 11 29.9 30 Cyr Press (right) 15
        Anderson Press 38.58
        Piper Squat 22.05
        People’s DL 88.18
Dawn Piper 41 64.3 65 Cyr Press (right) 30
        Anderson Press 71.65
        Apollons Lift 46.90
        People’s DL 176.37
Brian Jenkins 17 74.4 75 BP feet in air 233.69
        BP hands together 148.81
        BP mixed grip 220.46
        1 Hand BP (right) 49.60
        BP reverse grip 209.44
        Cyr Press (right) 90
Jonathan Myres 26 84.8 85 Cheat Curl-2 DB’s 120
        Cyr Press (right) 90
        Cyr Press (left) 80
        Peoples DL 275.58
Jay Allen 25 74.9 75 Cyr press (right) 60
        Cyr Press (left) 65
        Peoples DL 440.92
        Jefferson Lift Fulton Bar 385.81
Brady Popkin 26 108.5 110 Strict Curl 148.81
        Cheat Curl 242.51
        DL 12” heels 562.17
        Peoples DL 600.75
        BP Hands Together 242.51

Note: All Cyr Press attempts in case records are kept for each hand. All records are recorded in pounds, many of them have been converted from our calibrated kilo plates. BW is bodyweight in kilograms.

Middle Atlantic Postal

by Al Myers

The 2012 Middle Atlantic Postal Meet appeared to be a HUGE SUCCESS for the “second installment” of the USAWA quarterly postal series.  The meet had three women lifters and 13 men lifters entered.  All three women lifters were junior lifters, with my daughter Molly pulling out the victory over Brianna and Gabby, two girls from fine “lifting stock” I would have to say.  Congrats to all these young gals for their performances – and I hope to see more of it in the future.

The men’s division was “hotly contested”.  I officiated Chad Ullom with his lifts, and when he finished the postal meet I thought for sure that his efforts wouldn’t be topped.  But then again – I didn’t take into account the BIG YOUNG  BULL Bryan Benzel from the Jobe’s Steel Jungle.  Bryan edged Chad out by only 5 adjusted points!!


Middle Atlantic Open Postal Meet
June 1-30, 2012

Meet Director:  John Wilmot

Lifts:  Clean and Push Press – 2 Dumbbells, Snatch – From Hang, Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat

Lifters using 3 Certified Officals (or 2 that BOTH passed the lift):

Brianna Ullom – Officials Al Myers, Chad Ullom
Molly Myers – Officials Al Myers, Chad Ullom
Troy Goetsch – Officials Jesse Jobe, Bryan Benzel, Dan Bunch
Tim Songster Jr. – Officials Jesse Jobe, Bryan Benzel
Bryan Benzel – Officials Dan Bunch, Jesse Jobe
Scott Tully – Officials Darren Barnhart, Mark Mitchell, Al Myers
Darren Barnhart – Officials Scott Tully, Mark Mitchell, Al Myers

Lifters using only one Certified Official:

Gabby Jobe – Official Jesse Jobe
Denny Habecker – Official Judy Habecker
Jesse Jobe – Official Dan Bunch
Chad Ullom – Official Al Myers
Dan Bunch – Official Bryan Benzel

Lifters using a judge that is NOT a certified official:

Les Cramer – Judge Monica Cook
Samuel Rogers – Judge Orie Barnett
Orie Barnett – Judge Sam Rogers
John Wilmot – Judge Kay Wilmot


Molly Myers 13 163 60 75 90 225 283.6
Brianna Ullom 14 136 50 45 70 165 225.5
Gabby Jobe 9 96 40 22 40 102 205.2



Bryan Benzel 25 290 234 205 214 653 481.5
Chad Ullom 40 253 210 198 190 598 476.3
Les Cramer 70 182 120 132 130 382 470.9
Troy Goetsch 25 192 174 150 154 478 437.1
Orie Barnett 51 231 170 132 160 462 427.6
Jesse Jobe 35 234 164 155 164 483 396.4
Tim Songster 45 216 160 135 140 435 394.5
Denny Habecker 69 191 110 99 120 329 392.2
Samuel Rogers 49 205 150 110 140 400 387.8
Dan Bunch 47 328 174 145 174 493 378.5
Scott Tully 36 346 200 154 170 524 372.5
Darren Barnhart 44 313 170 154 170 494 368.7
John Wilmot 65 221 100 100 100 300 319.7

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

Ledaig Record Breakers












Ledaig Record Breakers
Rainbow Bend, Kansas
July 15th, 2012

Meet Director:  Dave Glasgow

Officials:  Dave Glasgow,  Chad Ullom, Mike Murdock


Chad Ullom – 40 years, 253# BWT

Curl – Reverse Grip: 115#
Deadlift – No Thumbs: 510#
Gardner – Full: 95#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Right: 129#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Left: 129#
Clean and Jerk – Behind Neck: 225#

Ben Edwards – 37 years, 205# BWT

Deadlift – No Thumb, Right: 220#
Deadlift – No Thumb, Left: 220#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right: 254#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left: 242#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 312#

Dean Ross – 69 years, 272# BWT

Rectangular Fix: 65#
Curl – Reverse Grip: 75#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Right Arm: 175#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Left Arm: 165#
Deadlift – No Thumbs: 315#
Squat – 12″ Base: 145#
Squat – Front: 145#
Bench Press – Hands Together: 145#
Maxey Press: 112#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, right: 127#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, left: 127#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, left: 59#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, right: 59#

Dave Glasgow – 59 years, 249# BWT

Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Right: 129#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Left: 109#

Mike Murdock – 72 years, 224# BWT

Curl – Reverse Grip: 75#
Deadlift – Trap Bar: 270#
Squat – Front: 170#
Maxey Press: 117#
Deadlift – Fingers, Index: 95#

Ken Glasgow – 75 years, 219# BWT

Deadlift – One Arm, Right: 175#
Deadlift – Trap Bar: 280#
Squat – 12″ Base: 145#
Bench Press – Feet in Air: 105#

Century Club Gets a New Member

by Al Myers

This may have been the record-setting lift that put Dean Ross into the Century Club at the 2012 USAWA National Championships in Las Vegas.

The BIG NEWS with the recent record-setting activity has been that the CENTURY CLUB now has a new member.  Just like I predicted in a blog a couple of months ago, Dean Ross has  joined this group of elite record breakers in the USAWA.  This is a big deal, and Dean has worked hard to accomplish this.  His lifting efforts at the 2012 USAWA National Championships “put him over the hill” in going over 100 USAWA records.  There is not a better place to accomplish something like this to make it a memorable event.  Congrats Dean – the next time I see ya in the gym I’m going to give you a big pat on the back!  Dean becomes the FOURTH Dino Gym member to make the Century Club.  

The Records List has received a “shake up” with the addition of National Records.  I thought about this for a while, should I include these new records in a lifters record count?  But it didn’t take me long to decide.   OF COURSE!  Setting a National Record is probably MORE IMPORTANT than others, and SHOULD be included.  If someone complains about this, I’ll tell them to show up at Nationals and set a few National Records for themselves, and then they’ll see that is no easy feat.   The addition of National Records got John Vernacchio back “in the club”.  John had recently “fell out” of the Century Club, but now he’s back.  With the addition of Dean and John, the Century Club now stands at 22 members. 

There weren’t  any change in the top rankers.  Denny still holds a comfortably lead over Art, 428 to 403.   I’m narrowing the gap on them very slowly, and now my count stands at 399.  Maybe I’ll make these two wily veterans of odd-lifting a little nervous so they’ll “kick up the pace”????  The addition of adding in National Records really helped Frank Ciavattone, Noi Phumchona, Bob Hirsh, myself, and Chad Ullom.  Chad “jumped past” Dale and Scott.  Now don’t you feel bad Chad for not letting Dale do another finger lift record at Nationals??? You must have known the record count and realized you were one ahead of him at the time!  Frank owns the most National Records, and it really upped his overall count, as it moved him from 8th to 6th, passing Dennis and Joe.  John McKean was holding around a 30 count lead last time sitting in fourth, but now there are several lifters “on his heels”.   John – it’s time for you to lay the fishing pole to the side and spend a little more time in the weight room getting ready for your next USAWA competition.

Who’s going to be the NEXT lifter to make the Century Club???  My guess is still on Mike Murdock.  If he gets a few this weekend at the Ledaig Record Breakers,  then he will be “set up” to make history at my record day in August.  I’m also “keeping my eye” on Dave Glasgow.  After his recent outstanding showing at the Nationals in which he broke several records, I’m putting him as an “outside  chance” of being the next to make the club. 

I also want to make a few comments about my opinion on breaking records.  If you are going to SET RECORDS – go all out doing it.  I don’t think it is very sporting just to take token efforts to set a large quantity of records at a USAWA record day. After all, anyone can find “blank spots” in the record list to fill with a record, just to add to their “record count”.   That’s chickenshit. If you do that you deserve a boot in the ***!   Be a real lifter and show the record list the respect it deserves!  Anytime I see a lifter set/break more than 10 records at a record day, I question their efforts in the records they set.  Any lifter who gives max effort on 10 lifts in a day should be spent.  Anymore than that and I start to wonder if  they are “sandbaggin” their efforts on their record attempts.  It’s not against the rules or anything, but I will tell you that I will be “talking behind your back” if I see this going on.  And words like sissy lifter, girly boy, etc will be in the conversation!!!!!

CENTURY CLUB (as of 7/14/2012)

1 Denny Habecker 428
2 Art Montini 403
3 Al Myers 399
4 John McKean 279
5 Noi Phumchona 268
6 Frank Ciavattone 256
7 Dennis Mitchell 254
8 Joe Garcia 248
9 Bob Hirsh 229
10 Bill Clark 203
11 Howard Prechtel 175
12 Chad Ullom 160
13 Dale Friesz 159
14 Jim Malloy 149
15 John Monk 148
16 Scott Schmidt 146
17 Ed Schock 142
18 Chris Waterman 137
19 Rudy Bletscher 128
20 Mary McConnaughey 117
21 John Vernacchio 106
22 Dean Ross 105

Update on the OTSM Championships for 2012

by Thom Van Vleck

2011 Group Photo....I hope to DOUBLE that number this year!

With the recent approval of new Old Time Strong Man events recently approved at the National meeting in Las Vegas I thought this would be as good a time as any to put in a plug for this year’s Championships.  Last year we had 10 lifters show for the contest.  This year I anticipate even more participants in this fun and exciting new area of lifting!  Regular readers of the website will know that I recently started a Weightlifting Club (see the article http://www.usawa.com/?s=osteoblasters&x=8&y=10) at the University I work at.  Many are interested in competing and helping out.  I have also been getting several inquiries from lifters who did not attend last year….so interest is looking good!

A great photo of Al doing the DB to the Shoulder, a newly recognized OTSM lift!

I recently ordered anvils for my awards.  These will be miniature anvils mounted on a base with the meet name and date.  The anvil has has become my “signature” award as it relates to the Jackson Weightlifting Club’s early beginnings and the lifting of Grandpa Jackson’s Anvil.  Which will be on hand if you want to lift a piece of family history!

So, click on the meet link on the homepage and download your meet entry today!   Make it a weekend and attend the Highland Games the day before the OTSM meet.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Bob People’s Deadlift

by Thom Van Vleck

Bob Peoples doing some rack work showing the inspiration for the OTSM "Peoples Lift" (photo from www.zacheven-esh.com)

The Bob Peoples’ Deadlift was recently approved at the USAWA National meeting as an OTSM “official” lift.  You can take a crack at setting a record in this lift at the OTSM Championships to be held by the JWC in Kirksville, Missouri on Oct. 14 and entry can be found on the upcoming meets section on the USAWA homepage.  It is basically a Deadlift from 18″ off the ground instead of the standard Deadlift.  Here are the Official Rules:

Peoples Deadlift – This is a partial deadlift, where the bar height must not be over 18″ from the platform (measured from the top of the bar). The plates or bar may be supported on stands, rack supports, or blocks to obtain this height. The lifter must have the bar in front of the legs, as in a normal deadlift. The hands must be on the outside of the legs (NO SUMO STANCE) during the entire lift. Lifting straps or any other gripping aid is not allowed. It is NOT an infraction to drag the bar up the legs, bounce the bar up the legs, or support the bar on the legs during the lift (hitching). A one minute time limit is allowed for the lifter to make a legal lift, during which time a lifter may make multiple tries. Once the lifter is totally upright and the bar motionless, an official will give the command to end the lift.

Now, a little history.  I’m not gonna try an do a comprehensive history on Bob Peoples.  But if you know your lifting history you would know that Bob was one of the greatest Deadlifters in history.  Bob was pretty strong all the way around, but his best lift was the deadlift and he came with many new and innovative ways to do the lift.  One of these things was to utilize the power rack, which formed the basis of the Peoples lift.  He also utilized heavy negatives using a hydraulic lift on a tractor to reset the weight and he also used a ring while on a platform that allowed him to drop well below what you would with a regular deadlift.  It honestly looks like the forerunner of the Trap Bar!

Try your hand at the Peoples Deadlift!  Sign up for the OTSM today!!!!

25 Year Performance Award

by Al Myers

Award winners for the 25 Year Performance Award - Al Myers (left) & Art Montini (middle). Denny Habecker (right) presented this award during the USAWA Awards Ceremony.

It was a great honor to “share the stage” with Art Montini in receiving the 25 Year Performance Award.  This award went to the 2  lifters who have won the most Overall Best Lifter Awards at the National Championships over the 25 year history of the USAWA.  Art and I have 4 apiece.  My years – 2010, 2009, 2008, & 2006.  Art’s years were – 1995, 1993, 1992, & 1991.

I have a long ways to go to “fill Art’s shoes”.   Art’s last Overall Best Lifter Award in 1995 occurred when he was 67 years of age!  His first was when he was 63.  I have to do some checking to verify this fact, but I’m pretty sure that that he is the oldest lifter to ever win this prestigious title.  It is simply amazing everything Art has accomplished in the USAWA over the last 25 years, and when you realize that all of this lifting success happened after the age of 60 it even makes it more unbelievable!

25 Year Promotion Award

by Al Myers

USAWA President Denny Habecker and the "first Lady of the USAWA" Judy Habecker receiving the 25 Year Promotion Award.

Another “special award” presented at Nationals was the 25 Year Promotion Award.  This award went to the 4 Meet Promoters who have promoted the most National Championships over the 25 year history of the USAWA.  These 4 promoters each have promoted 3 Championship events.  They are:  Denny and Judy Habecker (2010, 2007, & 2000), John Vernacchio (2004, 1989, & 1988), Bill Clark and Joe Garcia (2001, 1997, & 1995), and Art Montini and John McKean (2002, 1999, & 1991). 

So to sum it up – these 4 promoters together have promoted about HALF of the National Champinships to date!  That’s worthy of a special award in my book!  Congratulations!!!

25 Year Participation Award

by Al Myers

Winners of the 25 Year Participation Award: Denny Habecker (left), Art Montini (middle), and Dennis Mitchell (right). Missing from this picture is Dale Friesz.

As part of our yearly USAWA Awards Ceremony, this year it included several “special awards”.  These were awards that were presented by the USAWA for accomplishments over the entire 25 history of the USAWA.  That’s quite a hard award to win – it is the result of years and years of effort and contributions!  The lifters that won these awards are the TRUE LEADERS of the USAWA, and it is only the right thing to do to thank them by recognizing them with these special awards.  The first 25 YEAR AWARD given out was the participation award.  This award went to 4 individuals – Dennis Mitchell, Denny Habecker, Art Montini, and Dale Friesz.  These guys have competed in over 80% of the USAWA Nationals in the 25 year history of the USAWA.  Dennis leads the pack with an amazing 24 of 25 (only missing the first year in 1988).   Denny has been in 23 of 25 (only missing the first two years, 1988 & 1989).  Art is third in this race with competing in 21 of 25 (missing 1997, 2004, 2006, & 2011).  Dale rounds out this field of “superstars” with a record of 20 of 25 (missing only 1988, 1989, 2000, 2006, & 2011).  I would have to say that these lifters have had “amazing runs” of National Championship entries and will be a “tough act” to follow for future USAWA lifters.   Congrats!!!!


by Al Myers

Overall Women's BEST LIFTER Susan Sees set the most records at the 2012 USAWA National Champinships, with a total of 18 new records.

I have finally found time to look over the records that fell at the 2012 USAWA National Championships.  I was quite surprised to see that a total of 83 records were set!  That is much more than I would have guessed, but then again, there was alot of exceptional lifting going on.  Of these 83 records, 26 were new NATIONAL RECORDS.  National records are records that are set only in competition events at the National Championships, and represent the highest amount of weight ever set in each weight class.  Age groupings are not recorded, but instead just the overall BEST RECORD  LIFT in each weight class.   As I’ve said previously in a Daily News Story, setting records at the National Championships is not like setting a record at a record day or small meet.  The officiating is TOP NOTCH (and always 3 officials are used) and the meet’s pressure makes setting records at Nationals harder – that is why this National Record List was developed. 

The women’s OVERALL BEST LIFTER Susan Sees set the most records.  Susan set a total of 18 records, 6 of which were National Records. The top 5 records setters were:

Susan Sees 18 6
Al Myers 12 5
Larry Traub 9 3
Dennis Mitchell 9 0
Dave Glasgow 7 1

For a complete list of records (PDF) – 2012 National Records