2012 Minutes

by Al Myers, USAWA Secretary

Minutes from the 2012 Annual National Meeting

The 2012 USAWA Annual National Meeting was called to order at 6:30 PM June 29th by USAWA President Denny Habecker at the Cantina Restaurant within the Silverton Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Roll call was taken by USAWA secretary Al Myers, with 14 USAWA members in attendance: Denny Habecker, Al Myers, Scott Tully, Darren Barnhart, Chad Ullom, Susan Sees, Dennis Mitchell, Judy Habecker, Dave Glasgow, LaVerne Myers, Art Montini, Dale Friesz, Larry Traub, and Bob Geib.  The only USAWA Executive Board member missing from attendance was Scott Schmidt.  The minutes from the 2011 Annual National Meeting were read by Al Myers.  Judy Habecker moved to accept the minutes, with a second by Chad Ullom, and they passed unanimously. Next up was the financial status report by USAWA treasurer Al Myers. A net profit of $1120.95 was reported for 2011.  Al presented a budget that was approved by the Executive Board which showed a budget of $5200 for 2012.  Judy Habecker moved to accept the treasurer report, with a Bob Geib second. The motion passed unanimously. The report of the Officials Director Joe Garcia was next.  Since Joe was unable to be in attendance, he prepared a report that was presented by Al Myers.  In Joe’s report, he stated that 9 new officials have passed the written exam.  He also stated that the organization should look into ways to improve practical judging experience, such as sitting with other certified officials to increase experience. Bob Geib moved to accept the report with a second by Chad Ullom.  It passed unanimously. The report from the website director Al Myers was next.  Al gave several website statistics, along with website registration numbers and website activity.  He also stated that the USAWA website is now approaching 1000 blogs, and includes all meet results since 2009.  Al also commented on the online store, which he estimated has made around $300 for the USAWA to date.  After the report, Chad Ullom mentioned that we should look into setting up a Paypal Account so that members can pay online.  Al remarked that he has looked into this and it could be easily set up, but explained there are charges with it that would have to be reflected in higher prices on the part of the USAWA.  Again, Bob Geib moved to accept the report with a second by Chad Ullom.  It passed unanimously.  The report from the Records Director Joe Garcia was again given by Al Myers on Joe’s behalf. Joe stated that there are now close to 10,500 records on file and so far this year over 500 records have been set.  Joe stated in his report that anyone wanting a copy of the record list should send him an email requesting it, and it would be sent by email free of charge.  If you want a paper copy, there would be a “price” with it.  Chad Ullom moved to accept the report, with a second by Judy Habecker.  It passed unanimously. The report by the Awards Director Al Myers was next. Al stated the fuction of the awards program, such as providing the USAWA yearly awards and any special awards given on behalf of the USAWA.  He stated that $850 was spent last year on the awards program, with the budget this year being $1000.  Chad moved to accept the report, Darren Barnhart gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  The report from the Drug Enforcement Director Chad Ullom was next.  Chad reported that 8 USAWA events were tested last year at random, with around 15 lifters being tested.  No positive tests were reported. Judy moved to accept the report.  Bob Geib gave a second, and it passed unanimously. Next agenda item was the discussion and vote on 8 new proposed lifts which have all been reviewed and accepted by the USAWA Executive Board. These 8 lifts are: Peoples Deadlift, Anderson Press, Anderson Squat, Dumbbell to Shoulder, Bench Press – Fulton Bar, Curl – Reverse Grip, Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip, and Total Poundage. The rules and descriptions of each of these lifts was read to the membership in attendance. There was discussion to name the Bench Press – Fulton Bar the “Tully Bench” since he was the one to propose it, but Scott refused that name stating that he “hates that lift”.  Darren moved to accept these new proposed lifts as official lifts, with a second made by Judy.  Al then moved to amend the motion by allowing any of these lifts done this prior year by these accepted rules to have any records set retroactively as official.  Chad Ullom gave a second on the amendment.  After no discussion, the amendment passed unanimously.  Then a vote was taken on the original motion and it passed unanimously, so these new proposed lifts are now official lifts and will be added to the rulebook. As required by the USAWA rules, Al asked if anyone had a lift, which included these new 8 lifts, that they would like to see presented to the IAWA for IAWA approval.  No motions were made so no lifts will be presented on behalf of the USAWA this year at the IAWA general meeting for IAWA lift approval. The next agenda item was the proposed rulebook changes.  This list of  proposed rulebook changes had been previously approved by the Executive Board. Several changes were proposed in individual rules that were clarifications of rules.  The big item was adding a provision to the Officials Section, which would now require all new officials undergo a practical training period of 3 events after passing the written rules test before attaining certified official status. Another proposed rule change outlined a method for keeping track of repetition records based on Lynch Points. Darren moved to accept the proposed rule changes with a second by Scott Tully.  There was no discussion and it passed unanimously.  The next agenda item was proposed bylaw changes, all of which have received previous unanimous support by the Executive Board.  The changes involved raising sanction fees and club dues to $30, and assigning a USAWA Postal Director who would be responsible for organizing the USAWA Postal Series and the USAWA National Postal Meet. Darren moved to accept the new bylaw changes, with a second by Chad Ullom.  It passed unanimously.  At this point, Al moved to assign John Wilmot as the USAWA Postal Director since he has been unofficially performing this duty for several years now.  Included in Al’s motion was for the USAWA to sponsor the sanction fees for the events in the Postal Series.  Bob Geib  gave a second, and the motion passed unanimously. At this point in the meeting it seemed like everyone was in agreement on issues and everything was going smooth with no controversy. But all this changed with the next meeting agenda item – new business. Scott Tully started new business discussion with a proposal of allowing knee sleeves in all lifts within the USAWA.  After several “gasps” amongst a few of  the members in attendance and  several glances of awkward stares, a few members started voicing their disapproval of this.  Dale Friesz made several good points about how not allowing supportive equipment in the USAWA was a founding principle in the USAWA.  Art Montini also spoke against it for the same reason.  At this point, Darren explained how knee sleeves are not really that supportive and are worn mostly for safety reasons and joint protection.  Dennis Mitchell then spoke out against the use of knee sleeves, and made a good argument that by allowing knee sleeves it will just lead the way to more supportive equipment being allowed in the future.  Scott countered that by not allowing knee sleeves it is keeping most younger lifters from competing in the USAWA because they don’t want to ruin their joints and have to have joint replacements in the future.  Larry Traub made several good points in favor of knee sleeves, and commented that open patella knee sleeves are not really that supportive.  It was at this point Bob Geib moved to allow only open patella knee sleeves, with a second by Darren.  This was followed by comments by Al Myers that this issue is really bigger than just the USAWA, and should be a matter resolved by the IAWA.  Al remarked that if we would allow knee sleeves while the rest of IAWA doesn’t, it could disqualify any of our record lifts for World Record consideration. Bob Geib then withdrew his motion.  Chad Ullom then moved that we propose allowing knee sleeves to the IAWA technical committee, and that a proposal be written by the Executive Board to be submitted to the IAWA technical committe and that this issue be placed upon the IAWA general meeting agenda at the next world meeting.  Bob seconded the motion.  A vote was taken - 10 in favor (Denny, Bob, Chad, Darren, Scott, Larry, Dave, Judy, Susan and Dennis), 3 opposed (Art, Dale, and LaVerne) and 1 abstaining (Al).  It passed by majority vote.   The next new business item brought to the meeting floor was by Darren Barnhart, who started discussion on having the USAWA record list on the website so all members could have easy access to it.  Most members were in favor of this, and when this issue was directed to Al Myers, the webmaster, why this hasn’t happened he had to explain.  Al made a point to the membership that anything he will say he has already  said to the records director Joe Garcia concerning this issue.  Al stated firmly that for him to put the record list on the website three criteria must be met: 1. only official lifts in the record list, 2. all lifts named the same in the record list as in the rulebook, and 3. overall records kept that are required by the rulebook.   Most seemed in favor of this. Chad Ullom then moved that this order be made to Joe Garcia that these changes be made, and be done within 90 days.  Darren gave a second and the motion passed unanimously.  There was no other new business. The last agenda item was accepting bids for the 2013 National Championship.  Denny gave the lone bid.  Judy moved that the bid be accepted, Al gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  The meeting ended by President Denny Habecker declaring the meeting adjourned after 2.5 hours.

Bob Geib – New Inductee into the USAWA Hall of Fame

by Al Myers

Bob Geib (center) receiving his USAWA Hall of Fame Plaque. Presenters include Al Myers (left) and Dennis Mitchell (right).

The big HIGHLIGHT of the USAWA Annual Awards Presentation was the induction of Bob Geib into the USAWA Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame is the highest honor one can receive in the USAWA, and there is not a person more deserving than Bob Geib.  Bob has been involved with the USAWA since almost the very beginning.  Bob got started in the USAWA under the guidance of USAWA legend Howard Prechtel. I’m sure Bob spent many hours training with Howard in the Prechtel Athletic Club in Cleveland developing his skills with the all-round lifts. I know this because Bob has frequently mentioned Howard to me, and gives Howard credit for getting him involved in the USAWA.  Bob also often traveled with Howard to big National and World meets.  At this years Nationals, Bob even brought a plaque honoring Howard to the meet venue, so in a small way Howard Prechtel was a part of this years big 25 year celebration.

This brings the USAWA Hall of Fame membership to 23 members over our 25 year history.  So you can see it is hard to reach Hall of Fame status – that’s less than 1 new member every year.  This award is not just HANDED OVER – you have to earn it!   Bob has quite the resume of USAWA involvement.  Dennis Mitchell (a fellow Cleveland native who has known Bob for a long time) gave Bob’s  induction speech.  In his speech, Dennis summarized Bob’s involvement which I would like to share with you.

  • Competed in the USAWA Nationals 14 times -  2012, 2011, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1997, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991
  • Competed in the IAWA Worlds 9 times – 2005, 2004, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991
  • Competed in the Gold Cup 8 times – 2005, 2004, 2003, 1998, 1996, 1994, 1992, 1991
  • Bob promoted the IAWA Gold Cup in 2005 in Hawaii.  He also competed in the very first Gold Cup which was promoted by Howard Prechtel in 1991.  He has competed oversees 5 times – England three times, Australia once, and Scotland once.
  • Currently holds 77 USAWA records.

Soon I will write a complete biography on Bob for the USAWA Hall of Fame archives.  But in the meantime – CONGRATULATIONS Bob on this big honor.  You are now part of the elite USAWA crowd. You deserve it!!

Lean Mass Building Workouts

by Roger LaPointe

Adding Medicine Balls to your training program can help build lean muscle mass.

Summer is a time when you want to just pack on some great, quick lean mass. Try out this two workout combination. Take a day of rest between these workouts. There is a lot of lower body work here and you will feel it the next day. You will really feel it the day after Workout B. Give yourself two days of rest after Workout B, or just do some easy jogging or medicine ball work.

Workout A

Bodyweight Squats 3 sets of 10
Front Squat 3 sets of 10
Back Squat 5 sets of 5 up to 60%
Stiff Leg Deadlift 5 sets of 5 – see how high you can go using perfect form. You may hit 300 #, which would be great
Iron Boot Leg Ext. 2 sets of 20
Iron Boot Hanging Leg Curl 2 sets of 20
Hanging Frog Crunches 3 sets of 10

Workout B

Body weight squats
5 sets of 6 depth jumps
Isometrics in the power rack: Squat, Standing Press, Deadlift, Bench – in that order

Live strong, Roger LaPointe

National Championships

by Al Myers

Group picture of the 2012 USAWA National Championships (picture courtesy of John Broz).



So much happened over this past weekend in Las Vegas at the “25th Anniversary” of the USAWA National Championships that I don’t know where to begin!  I had been looking forward to this for a long time – and it’s hard to believe that it already over!   The first thing I want to do is thank the people who had a “big hand” in making this year’s National Championship a HUGE SUCCESS!  First – a BIG, BIG THANKS to John Broz of Average Broz’s Gym who hosted the meet venue.  John has an unbelievable facility in Las Vegas – complete with top notch equipment.  John was very supportive of us (the USAWA) and went out of his way to make sure that everything was in order for the meet to run successfully.  I HIGHLY recommend if anyone is ever in Vegas and needs a place to train – look up Broz’s Gym.  Without John’s support in this venture  this meet would not have been possible.  Next I want to thank two of my outstanding training partners for showing up to help – Scott Tully and Darren Barnhart.  These two made the trip to Vegas just to help – and help they did – judging, loading, and helping facilitate the meet.  Scott and Darren are the ones responsible for the meet getting over in a RECORD FOUR HOURS. Up next is the Habeckers.  Denny and Judy are “the backbone” of our organization and are always doing work behind the scenes to insure competitions run smoothly.  They hauled all the awards and tshirts to the meet, as well as Denny helping officiate and Judy doing all the scorekeeping and announcing. Finally, I want to thank Chad Ullom for organizing ”all the other stuff”.  Chad took care of all the details of organizing the evening fun, organizing the National Meeting,  as well as providing transportation to and from the meet.

I will keep this meet report to the meet itself. There were several other significant things that occurred – but I will save those for another days story.  A total of 13 lifters made this celebration – 12 men and 1 woman.  Susan Sees won the overall best womans lifter and I won the overall best mens lifter. Susan was “runner up” at last years Nationals, but this year she took the title! Congrats Susan!  It was a close battle between Larry Traub and myself for the mens overall, which went down to the last event.  Larry is one strong lifter, and at age 58, lifts like someone in their 20’s!  Chad Ullom came in a solid third, and only had one missed attempt all day. Fourth place went to the Ledaig AC leader – Dave Glasgow.  Denny Habecker came in fifth, barely ahead of Tim Piper.  It was  really tight to decide 7th from 8th place (only 5 adjusted points, the closest finish of the day), but Dean Ross came out in front of LaVerne Myers. The age group these two were in was  ”the hottest” contested age group of the day for best lifter awards. Denny had a ”tough fight” to beat out Dean, LaVerne and Bob.  Ninth place went to Bob Geib, with the “top ten” being rounded out by Dennis Mitchell.  However, the two lifters who placed 11th and 12th were the two who “took the show” in my book.  Dale Friesz and Art Montini are two tough ole’ ironheads who REFUSE to give up.  Dale has been facing some difficult physical issues lately and STILL showed up at Nationals and competed, and gave a gallant effort that most lifters in his situation would be mentally unable to do. Art at 84 years of age is living proof that you are NEVER too old to lift and compete in a big competition. Art had some issues with dehydration with the hot dry heat of Las Vegas (why would someone in their 80’s try to cut water weight before weighins??), but made a strong recovery to finish the meet.   Both of these guys are my heros – and give me inspiration to “keep after it” and not give up despite what I may be faced with, because it is NOTHING compared to what they deal with!

I really feel this Nationals will be one that will go down “in history” as one of the best USAWA National Championships of ALL TIME.  We will be talking about the events that unfolded this weekend for many years to come.  I really feel sorry for those that didn’t make it to this one – because I will say this – YOU missed out on a GOOD TIME!  And Happy 25th Anniversary to the USAWA!!!!!


2012 USAWA National Championships
Average Broz’s Gym
Las Vegas, Nevada
June 30th, 2012

Meet Director: Al Myers & the USAWA Executive Board

Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker

Announcer: Judy Habecker

Meet Venue: John Broz and Broz’s Gym

Officials (3 official system used):  Scott Tully, Darren Barnhart, Al Myers, Chad Ullom, Denny Habecker, Art Montini, Dennis Mitchell

Loaders: Scott Tully, Darren Barnhart, and lifters

Lifts: Clean and Jerk – One Arm, Curl – Reverse Grip, Pullover and Press, Hack Lift – One Arm, Jefferson Lift


 Lifter  Age  BWT  C&J  Curl  P&P Hack   Jeff  TOT  PTS
Susan Sees  49  211  22.5R  40  40  45R  80  227.5  216.97


Susan Sees: Clean and Jerk – One Arm 15L
Susan Sees: Curl – Reverse Grip 42.5
Susan Sees: Hack – One Arm 47.5R


Lifter Age BWT C&J Curl P&P Hack Jeff TOT PTS
Al Myers      45 240 65R 95 145 150R 250 705 605.39
Larry Traub 58 201 40R 75 105 102.5R 240 562.5 596.35
Chad Ullom 40 251 65R 95 140 145R 250 695 555.80
Dave Glasgow 58 246 50L 82.5 105 100L 182.5 520 495.04
Denny Habecker 69 194 35R 57.5 90 82.5R 132.5 397.5 469.78
Tim Piper      42 191 52.5R 60 102.5 100R 160 475 448.59
Dean Ross 69 265 30R 60 70 60R 155 375 375.57
LaVerne Myers 68 247 25L 65 65 85L 120 360 370.68
Bob Geib 69 270 30R 50 45 60R 135 320 317.66
Dennis Mitchell 80 152 12.5R 25 30 50R 90 207.5 308.96
Dale Friesz 71 160 7.5R 22.5 40 35R 67.5 172.5 232.62
Art Montini 84 173 0 0 0 0 60 60 84.59


Dale Friesz: Deadlift – Little Fingers 35
Dale Friesz: Deadlift – Index Fingers 45
Dennis Mitchell: Clean and Jerk – One Arm 12.5L
Dennis Mitchell: Pullover and Press 35
Dennis Mitchell: Hack Lift – One Arm 50L
Bob Geib: Hack Lift – One Arm 67.5R
Dean Ross: Hack Lift – One Arm 65R

NOTES:  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  All lifts recorded in kilograms. R & L designate right and left arms. TOT is total kilograms lifted. PTS is adjusted points for bodyweight and age.


Womens Overall:  Susan Sees
Mens Overall:  Al Myers
Womens Master Overall:  Susan Sees
Mens Master Overall:  Al Myers
Mens Master 40-44 Age Group: Chad Ullom
Mens Master 45-49 Age Group: Al Myers
Mens Master 55-59 Age Group: Larry Traub
Mens Master 65-69 Age Group: Denny Habecker
Mens Master 70-74 Age Group: Dale Friesz
Mens Master 80-84 Age Group: Dennis Mitchell
Team Champion: Dino Gym (Al Myers, Chad Ullom, LaVerne Myers, Dean Ross)

See everyone in Vegas!

by Al Myers

The weekend is approaching fast for the big event of the year – the USAWA Nationals in Las Vegas!!  I have everything “ready to go” and all plans have been made.  I’m looking forward to seeing everyone there and celebrating the 25 year anniversary of the United States All Round Weightlifting Association. 

See everyone in Vegas!!

Meeting Agenda

by Al Myers

This is the week!!  The USAWA National Championships is now less than a week a way.   Everything has been going “according to schedule” and all plans are in place to have an exciting and fun time in Las Vegas this coming weekend. 

The USAWA National Meeting will be held Friday night at the Silverton.   The plan is for everyone to gather in the lobby at 6 PM.  I will have a meeting room secured by then.  I don’t see the meeting lasting more than 1 hour, as there is not really any “controversial” topics on the agenda.  Immediately after the meeting, we will have the annual USAWA Awards Ceremony.  This will be the HIGHLIGHT of the evening!!!  You will not want to miss the presentation of a BIG AWARD being given to a USAWA lifter who has achieved stardom in the USAWA.

The evening meal Friday night will be “on your own”.  I know several lifters will be trying to make weight, so I don’t want to have any function that might interfere with that.  Weighins will be early on Saturday morning (announced at the meeting), and will be done at the hotel instead of the meet site to allow for time to eat and rehydrate afterwards.  Denny will be in charge of these weighins.

Transportation will be arranged to get lifters from the Silverton to the meet site.  Details of this will be announced Friday night at the meeting.  Also, the group entertainment for Saturday night and Sunday will be discussed following the meeting and orders will be taken for anyone interested in participating. So bring your money to the meeting Friday night!!!  The meet awards will be presented immediately following competition on Saturday.  Hopefully, the meet will keep a good pace so plenty of time will be left to have time to relax and get ready for the evening entertainment (which Chad has spent considerable time arranging for us).

I think that pretty much sums of the plans for this weekend.  I’m looking forward to seeing everyone!!

Business Agenda for the 2012 USAWA Annual National Meeting

  1. Meeting called to order by USAWA President Denny Habecker
  2. Reading of previous meetings minutes by USAWA Secretary Al Myers
  3. Report of financial status by USAWA Treasurer Al Myers
  4. Report from the Officials Director Joe Garcia
  5. Report from the Website Director Al Myers
  6. Report from the Records Director Joe Garcia
  7. Report from the Awards Director Al Myers
  8. Report from the Drug Enforcement Director Chad Ullom
  9. Discussion and vote of new proposed lifts
  10. Discussion and vote on Rulebook Changes
  11. Discussion and vote on By Law Changes
  12. Discussion of other new business brought forth by the membership
  13. Accept bids for the 2013 National Championships
  14. Meeting adjourned

National Records for Lifts at Vegas

by Al Myers

I know everyone has to be wondering what the National Records are for the lifts being contested at this years Nationals.  I sorted them off and included them in this blog (at the bottom).  Four of the five lifts have been contested at several past Nationals, but the Curl – Reverse Grip will be contested for the first time.  This means that the top lift in each weight class will be a NEW National Record in that lift! 

The One Arm Clean & Jerk has been contested at 6 past Championships (2010, 2008, 2005, 2004, 2002, 1994).  The best women’s National Record belongs to Carolyn Goolsby, who at the 2002 Nationals, performed a 1-arm C&J of 66 pounds.  The top men’s lift is held by Matthew Doster, who lifted 166 pounds at the same 2002 Nationals in Ambridge. Close behind is Barry Bryan, who lifted 160 pounds at the 1991 Nationals.

The One Arm Hack has been contested 5 times (2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 1994), and is the 13th most represented lift at the National Championships. The best women’s mark belongs to Amorkor Ollennuking, who at the 2001 Nationals lifted 220 pounds!  That is an unbelievable lift!  The best men’s record belongs to Frank Ciavattone – who at the 2002 Nationals in Ambridge lifted 402 pounds with his right arm. That great lift is also the best one arm Hack of ALL TIME in the USAWA.  That’s one reason why Frank is the GRAND BEST LIFTER in the history of the USAWA – he has put up BIG LIFTS in BIG NATIONAL MEETS!

The Pullover and Press has been contested in three past Nationals (2009, 1998, 1996).  The top womens record belongs to Cara Collins, who lifted 77 pounds at the 1998 Championships.  The top men’s mark also is held by Frank Ciavattone, who lifted 336 pounds at the 1996 Nationals in Mansfield.  I’m close behind with 320 pounds at the 2009 Champs, followed by Chad Ullom at 311 pounds.

The Jefferson Lift has been contested 3 times as well (1994, 1993, 1992). As you can see, it has been several years since this lift has been in a Nationals, so it is nice to see the Jefferson Lift (or Straddle as some call it) has made it’s way back to the big stage. The top womens mark belongs to Jacqueline Caron/Simonsen who lifted 342 pounds in the 1993 Nationals, while the top mens record is held by Bob Hirsh, who lifted 634 pounds at the 1994 Nationals in East Lake.  Bob did this huge lifted while lifting in the 75 kilogram class!!! Other top lifts were by Bob Moore (1992) and Frank Ciavattone (1993).

I fully expect to see several National Records to be broken this year.  After all now we have an incentive to do so since these National Records will be available to give everyone something “to shoot for”!




by Al Myers

As promised the other day, I am going to announce the GRAND BEST LIFTERS (for both men and women) in the 25 year history of the USAWA.  This award is going to the lifters that currently have the most National Records (records set only at the National Championships).  To do this requires a lifter not only to be a GREAT LIFTER, but also has shown the committment to have competed in several championships, thus showing longterm support to the USAWA.  Just winning the OVERALL BEST LIFTER at a couple of championships won’t be enough.  Now the drumroll please…..



Frank has a total of 45 Nationals Records and Noi has a total of 53 National Records.  Those are amazing accomplishments!!  Both of these lifters are well-deserving of this title, the BEST of the BEST, as there are several other “worthy” lifters in the running.  With the men I’m thinking of guys like Bob Hirsh, Chris Waterman, John McKean, John Monk, Ed Schock, Bill Spayd, and others.  For the women, I’m thinking of Jacqueline Caron/Simonsen, Amorkor Ollennuking, Cara Collins, and others.

The National Record List contains 902 records covering 57 lifts (including single arm lifts) that have been contested in the National Championships.

(for lifters that have 10 records or more)

1 Noi Phumchaona 53
2 Cara Collins 19
3 Jacqueline Simonsen 15
4 Amorkor Ollennuking 13
5 Jeanne Burchett 11
6 Kerry Clark 10
7 Cindy Garcia 10

(for lifters that have 10 records or more)

1 Frank Ciavattone 45
2 Al Myers 30
3 Bob Hirsh 27
4 John Monk 26
5 Chris Waterman 23
6 Denny Habecker 21
7 (tie) Randy Smith 19
  John McKean 19
9 Jim Malloy 18
10 (tie) Joe Ciavattone 17
  Chad Ullom 17
12 (tie) Joe Garcia 14
  Bob Geib 14
14 (tie) Dennis Mitchell 13
  Bill Spayd 13
  Art Montini 13
17 John Vernacchio 12
18 Dale Friesz 11
19 Ed Schock 10

Osteoblasters Weightlifting Club

by Thom Van Vleck

The Osteoblasters Logo.

I work at A.T. Still University in Kirksville, Missouri (and we have a sister campus in Mesa, Arizona).  The University centers on several programs that are all healthcare related.  The “granddaddy” of them all is the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine which was founded in 1892 and produces some of the finest Doctors in the world!  I am the Director of Counseling and I really enjoy my work helping these students who will in turn help so many in their career.

For years, I have wanted to start a weightlifting type club.  We have a fine fitness center (Thompson Campus Center) run by Dan Martin who is very supportive of weightlifting and fitness in general.  Since I have worked here, I have had many students involved in the Jackson Weightlifting Club, my Scottish Highland Games, and in a few of the USAWA meets as well (last year Joe Costello, an ATSU graduate, competed in the Old Time Strongman Nationals).  Recently, I finally found a couple of motivated students who helped me get this done.   Their names are Mike McIntyre and Jared Nichols.  Out of that, the Osteoblasters Weightlifting Club was born.  The sports teams of the past at ATSU had a skull and crossbones as their logo and an “O” as their “letter”.  So I created a logo that had crossed barbells with a skull surrounded by an “O” as a tribute to the school’s past.  The world Osteoblaster comes from the name of a cell that helps break down bone to rebuild it stronger after stress (such as exercise).  That cell is called an “Osteoblast” (I can’t make that up!).  Plus, KCOM is an Osteopathic school so it just seemed right.

I had hoped we might get 10 or so to join the club. Imagine my surprise when over 50 joined!   We had a wide range of students from many different athletic backgrounds.  Some had been outstanding college athletes, some just weekend warriors, but they all had the common thread of using weightlifting to reach their goals and wanted something more than a weight room full of machines, benches, and squat racks.  They wanted to be able to do Olympic style lifting and training, strongman training, and more dynamic type stuff than is typically allowed in the average gym.  So, we got Dan Martin of the TCC to buy us some bumpers and other equipment and we utilize the basketball gym area by pulling out large rubber mats for platforms.  We started 4 sessions a week and this fall we will move to 6 a week!  We will go out back of the TCC and lift off the parking lot, throw Highland Games weights, toss kettlebells around, pull sleds, you name it and we’ve probably done it.  Today’s youth want to lift, but they don’t want to be boxed into powerlifting, weightlifting type meets.  They want variety, and I’m hoping the USAWA will give them some variety.

My hope is that the OWC will help the JWC when it comes to the meets that I do.  The JWC is hosting the Old Time Strong man Championships again this fall and I’m hoping that students will volunteer to help as well as compete! I am also hoping to sanction a meet for the OWC this fall!  This could be a beautiful relationship!     Plus, I can help these guys lift and train….and I”m “on the clock”!   Can’t beat that!

Curl – Reverse Grip

by Al Myers

One of the lifts that will be contested at Nationals this month, as well as at the IAWA World Championships in October, will be the Reverse Grip Curl.  However, I want to point out that at each of these meets this lift will be done in a completely different fashion!!  The reason for this is that the USAWA rules for the Reverse Grip Curl are completely different than the IAWA rules!  This makes this lift  “one of many” all round lifts in which for some reason the rules have been written differently for the USAWA than the IAWA – thus causing problems when one of these lifts is selected for an IAWA competition because USAWA lifters have been doing it differently.  Add in the issue that it completely makes World record keeping for these lifts impossible!!!


D8. Curl – Reverse Grip

The rules of the Curl – Cheat apply with this exception. The grip on the bar must be a reverse grip, with the palms of the hands facing down or towards the lifter.

D7.  Curl – Cheat

The bar begins on the platform, and at the lifter’s discretion, is picked up with a grip that has the palms of the hands facing up or away from the lifter. Feet placement and hand spacing is optional, but must remain the same throughout the lift.  The heels may rise during the lift. Once the lifter is upright in a standing position with the arms and legs straight, the bar on the thighs hanging at arms’ length, an official will give a command to curl. The knees must remain locked and the legs straight during the lift. The lifter is permitted to bend at the waist, sway the body, or drop the shoulders to gain momentum of the bar. The bar may be lowered prior to the beginning of the curl, including lowering the bar below the knees. The bar must be curled from arms’ length to touching the upper chest or neck in one motion. Any downward movement of the bar during the curl is a disqualification. Once the bar is motionless, and the lifter is upright, an official will give a command to lower the bar. The lift ends when the bar returns to the platform under control by the lifter.



The rules of performance for the rectangular fix apply, except that once the curled bar reaches the midway point, it does not stop fixed, but continues in one movement, until the bar is at the top of the sternum / neck configuration.


The barbell should be held at arms length, resting across the lifters thighs with the legs and body upright and erect. With a hand grip spacing of no more than shoulder width, and with the knuckles facing the front, the referee will signal to start the lift. With the upper arms remaining held in contact with the torso, the lower forearms will raise, holding the bar firm (not sagging at the wrist) until they are at right angles to the body and parallel to the floor. No raising of the heels and toes, or swaying of the body is allowed. When the bar is held fixed and motionless in the finished position, the referee will signal to replace the bar.

Causes for Failure:
1. Starting the lift prior to the referees signal.
2. Failure to hold the bar in the fixed, finished position, forearms at right angles to the body and parallel to the floor, until the referees completion signal.
3. Any movement of the feet or swaying of the body during the lift.
4. Failing to keep the legs and torso braced, upright and erect during the lift.
5. Failure to keep the upper arms in contact with the torso throughout, or allowing wrists to sag.

As you can see from reading these two rule descriptions for the Reverse Grip Curl (or Curl – Reverse Grip if you are using USAWA lingo, or Reverse Curl if you are using the IAWA-UK name), this is obviously two completely different lifts!  The USAWA version follows the rules of the Cheat Curl while the IAWA(UK) version follows the rules of the Rectangular Fix.  The ONLY THING that is in common is that a reverse grip must be used.  Other than that, the USAWA version is as different as “night and day” from the IAWA(UK) version.   I wouldn’t even consider this the same lift. 

I’m writing this blog today so hopefully any lifter planning on competing at Nationals will know that the USAWA Rule will be followed there, as well as any lifter planning on competing at Worlds will know that the IAWA rule will be followed at that meet.  I have been to enough IAWA meets in the past where I was “surprised” by rule differences that I was not aware of previously, and I don’t want anyone else to be in this situation with the Reverse Grip Curl at either of these meets!

National Records

by Al Myers

The other day I was thinking about all of the records that have been recently set and established in the USAWA, and it got me a thinking, “what about National Records?”.  There has never been any list of records from our National Championships, and I think there should be.  So I took a little time and put together this list of records.  This list ONLY includes the best lifts in each bodyweight class in lifts that have been in our National Championships.  I didn’t break it down into age groups, because I feel the National Championships Records should be for the BEST RECORD regardless of age in each bodyweight class.  I designated these records as NATIONAL RECORDS.  To break one of these records requires you to lift in a Nationals – and then set the highest mark ever in your weight class in a lift that is part of the championships.  Now – that’s a record worth having!

It is easy to set a record at a record day versus setting a USAWA record at a major competition like the National Championships.  I consider it a “unlevel” playing field when a lifter breaks a record at a record day in their own gym that was previously set a big meet in a high pressure situation.  In a record day you can come in focused on any record in question – and not have to worry about things that create obstacles in competitions.  Add in the added stress of competing in a big meet where there is added pressure to perform well throughout the day, as your goal is getting the best total for the day, not a best lift in any particular lift.  In a record day, you can warm up perfectly for your max attempt whereas in a meet you are under the timeline of the meet schedule.  Plus in a record day, you are usually more familiar with the bar and weights you are using, as record days are typically held in one’s gym where the equipment the record is set on is the same as what the lifter has been training on.  Also, there is LOTS less pressure on you as a lifter versus competing in the National Championships!  I typically don’t take extra attempts at Nationals for records because record attempts don’t count in your day’s total – so what’s the point of it if your goal is performing the best you can for the day.  I consider it wasted energy in which you should be saving for your next meet lift.  Add in the drain it takes on you in traveling to the Championships, because rarely is the Nationals a close trip.

The point I’m trying to make is that setting records at Nationals is COMPLETELY a different standard, and the great lifts set by these lifters at this meet should be recognized separately from the other USAWA records.  However, I was surprised by several of the National Records being the same as the Overall Records.  This goes to show the exceptional lifting that takes place at our biggest meet of the year. 


2004 Nationals  Lansdale, PA 70
2005 Nationals  Youngstown, OH 58
1990 Nationals  Akron, OH 57
2000 Nationals  Lebanon, PA 56
1994 Nationals  East Lake, OH 54
1991 Nationals  Ambridge, PA 46
1998 Nationals  Mansfield, MA 45
1999 Nationals  Ambridge, PA 45
2003 Nationals  Youngstown, OH 45
1995 Nationals  Columbia, MO 43

COMING NEXT – The list of USAWA lifters who have the MOST National records.  The is the ultimate in determining who really is the best lifter in the past 25 year history of the USAWA.  I going to call this lifter the GRAND BEST LIFTER of the USAWA.  Every year a OVERALL BEST LIFTER is crowned at the National Championships – but this lifter is the BEST of the BEST – thus the GRAND BEST LIFTER of All-Time in the USAWA for his/her record setting performances at past National Championships.  I’m going to leave everyone in suspense here and wait to name this person in a latter Daily News Story.  So in the meantime I welcome “guesses” and comments in the USAWA Discussion Forum who this award goes to.

Bill Leffler, JWC Member

by Thom Van Vleck

JWC Member Bill Leffler. 7 time Highland Games World Champion

Bill Leffler will be an unfamiliar name to USAWA members, but he is a member of the Jackson Weightlifting Club which is  a USAWA club so I thought it might be of interest to some of you.  Bill is involved in Scottish Highland Games and recently accomplished a pretty amazing feat.  He not only won his 7th World Championships in 9 years (he was 2nd twice) he also won his 6th World’s in a 5 year age group!  Let me explain.

In the world of Scottish Highland Games Masters you become a “master” at age 40.  Most competitions have masters classes, but usually just 40 and over or maybe 40-49 and 50 and up.  USAWA members such as myself, Dave Glasgow, Mike Murdock, Chad Ullom, and Dean Ross have all thrown as masters in highland games.  Once a year, we have a World Championship.  At that time, we break the age groups down into 5 year blocks (40-44, 45 – 49, 50-54, etc.).  The meet is held at a different location every year (twice it has been in Inverness, Scotland) and the dates often vary.  As a result, due to when Bill’s birthday is and the fact you are considered “that age” on the day of the meet Bill accomplished the feat of winning 6 World Championships in 5 years!  His friends Mark Buchannan (who has the rare honor of beating Bill once….and losing losing to him a half dozen other times…sorry, Mark!) and Jim Spalding presented him with a specially engraved sword to honor his accomplishment.  Next year Bill moves up to the 60-64 age group and there are no doubt going to be many records shattered and if Bill wants to keep going, more championships are sure to come his way!

Bill is an amazing athlete.  During his run of Championships he has beaten all the best throwers over age 50 at on time or another.  When he has lost, he comes back to beat whoever has beaten him!   Recently, at the 2012 Master’s Worlds the greatest performances ever accomplished as measured by a formula were listed.  The #1 all time for 50 and over was Bill!  Not only that, only one other thrower has won more World’s and nobody else is even close.  I would point out that this year there were over 100 throwers at the MWC…so it is well attended and competitive!   That one thrower with more is none other than our training partner and one of the presenters of the sword….Jim Spalding…also a JWC member!

Bill is very humble regarding his talents.  He doesn’t brag, he let’s his throwing speak for him.  However, I have found him to be very driven and pushes himself very, very hard.  He accepts no less than his best and rarely is he satisfied, he always wants to do better!  Bill’s background is in track & field and he’s been throwing shot and discus for almost 50 years.  It was in 2002 I got him to try the highland games and he’s been at it ever since!   Bill is a great friend and I know I am a better thrower for having trained with him.  Recently he gave me some credit for helping him, but really, he’s a one man wrecking crew on the field.   I just pointed him in the right direction from time to time!   I am hoping one of these days Bill will try the USAWA.  His lifts are top notch and I know he would do well.  But at heart, he’s a thrower and that’s why he lifts.

Congrats to JWC member Bill Leffler!   The JWC is proud of you!!!

USAWA History – 2011 Nationals

by Al Myers

A full meet report of the 2011 USAWA National Championships is available on the website: http://www.usawa.com/national-championships-4/ 


2011 USAWA National Championships
June 25th, 2011
Willard Elementary School
Kirksville, Missouri

Meet Director: Thom Van Vleck
Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker
Announcer: Al Myers
Loaders: Mitch Ridout, Tedd Van Vleck
Photographer: Flossy Mitchell
Sound System: Brett Kerby
Officials: Steve Schmidt, Joe Garcia, Randy Smith, Denny Habecker, Dennis Mitchell

Lifts: Snatch – Dumbbell, One Arm, Curl – Cheat, Pullover and Push, Continental to Chest – Fulton Bar, Deadlift – 12″ base, Zercher Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Larry Traub, Indiana
2. Eric Todd, Missouri
3. Chad Ullom, Kansas
4. Sam Cox, Kansas
5. Sammy Ibrahim, Missouri
6. Randy Smith, Michigan
7. John O’Brien, Missouri
8. Dave Glasgow, Kansas
9. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
10. Joe Garcia, Missouri

Women: Top Three Placings
1. Amber Glasgow, Kansas
2. Susan Sees, Ohio
3. Helen Kahn, Michigan

Best Lifter Awards:
Overall Womens – Amber Glasgow
Overall Mens – Larry Traub
Men Junior – Sammy Ibrahim
Men Senior – Eric Todd
Women Senior – Amber Glasgow
Women Overall Master – Susan Sees
Men Overall Master – Larry Traub
Men Master 40-44 – John O’Brien
Men Master 55-59 – Larry Traub
Men Master 65-69 – Denny Habecker
Men Master 70-74 – Mike Murdock
Men Master 75-79 – Rudy Bletscher
Team Award – Ledaig Heavy Athletics Club

USAWA History – 2010 Nationals

by Al Myers

A full meet report of the 2010 USAWA National Championships is available on the website: http://www.usawa.com/national-championships-2/


2010 USAWA National Championships
June 26th & 27th, 2010
Habecker’s Gym
Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: Denny and Judy Habecker
Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker
Loaders: Terry Barlet, Don Brandt, John Horn
Announcers: Denny Habecker, Judy Habecker, Aidan Habecker
Officials: Chad Ullom, Scott Schmidt, Barry Bryan, Randy Smith, Dennis Mitchell, Art Montini, Frank Ciavattone

Lifts: Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 bar, 2″, one hand, Pullover and Push, Clean and Jerk – One Arm, Trap Bar Deadlift, Snatch – From Hang, Deadlift – One Arm, Clean and Press, Zercher Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Al Myers, Kansas
2. Chad Ullom, Kansas
3. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
4. Randy Smith, Michigan
5. Scott Schmidt, Ohio
6. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
7. Kohl Hess, Pennsylvania
8. Dennis Mitchell, Ohio
9. Dale Friesz, Virginia
10. Barry Bryan, Pennsylvania

Best Lifter Awards:
Men Overall – Al Myers
Men Master – Al Myers
Men Open – Chad Ullom
Men Junior – Kohl Hess
Men 40-44 Age Group – Al Myers
Men 50-54 Age Group – Barry Bryan
Men 55-59 Age Group – Randy Smith
Men 65-69 Age Group – Denny Habecker
Men 75-79 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell
Men 80-84 Age Group – Art Montini

USAWA History – 2009 Nationals

by Al Myers

A full meet report of the 2009 USAWA National Championships is available on the website:  http://www.usawa.com/national-championships/


2009 USAWA National Championships
June 20th, 2009
Dino Gym
Abilene, Kansas

Meet Director: Al Myers
Scorekeeper: Scott Tully
Loaders: Darren Barnhart, Ryan Batchman
Officials: Bill Clark, Thom Van Vleck, Mark Mitchell

Lifts: Snatch – one arm, Cheat Curl, Clean & Jerk – Fulton Bar, Deadlift – 2 Bars, Pullover and Press, Back Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Al Myers, Kansas
2. Mike McBride, Missouri
3. Chad Ullom, Kansas
4. Joe Garcia, Missouri
5. Randy Smith, Michigan
6. Rudy Bletscher, Kansas
7. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
8. Ben Edwards, Kansas
9. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
10. Tim Piper, Illinois

Best Lifter Awards:
Men Overall – Al Myers
Men Open – Al Myers
Men Master – Al Myers
Men Top Total – Al Myers
Men 20-39 Age Group – Mike McBride
Men 40-44 Age Group – Al Myers
Men 50-54 Age Group – Randy Smith
Men 55-59 Age Group – Joe Garcia
Men 65-69 Age Group – Denny Habecker
Men 70-74 Age Group – Rudy Bletscher
Men 75-79 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell
Men 80-84 Age Group – Art Montini

Zottman Curl

by Al Myers

Zottman and his collection of thick shafted bars (photo taken from Atomic Athletic Website).

I know most all-rounders don’t get all “pumped up” about bicep exercises, but Roger’s story the other day involving thick bar training and his mention of George Zottman and the Zottman Curl (from his website link) got me thinking a little about this old-time  exercise and strongman.   George Zottman was a strongman from Philadelphia in the early 1900’s who this lift is named after.  Most gym lifters have never heard of  the Zottman Curl, and it’s benefits.  I did them frequently when I was a “young lifter” but have given them up in recent years as my lifting focus has changed (with less emphasis based on bicep strength and size, especially since my two bicep surgical re attachments!).  I have seen lifters in gyms doing this curl exercise (or a slight deviation of it) and weren’t even aware of George Zottman and this exercise being named after him.  I have also seen lifters “thinking” they were doing Zottman Curls when in fact they weren’t – they were doing hammers curls or supinating curls. 

The method of performing a Zottman Curl is the combination of two steps: 1. the first being a standard standing  dumbbell curl (not a hammer curl) with palms forward during the upward or positive portion of the lift, and 2. turning the dumbbells over at the top 180 degrees so the palms are facing away from the body (reverse grip)  for the downward  or negative portion of the lift.  So you can see this is the combination of two movements.  The Zottman Curl is intended to be done in strict fashion, which is the safe way to do it. It is an “overload” exercise on the forearms, especially on the brachioradialis muscle.  George Zottman is said to have done this curl with 50 pound dumbbells for repetitions.  I feel this exercise is more a forearm exercise than a bicep brachii exercise, however, the benefits to the biceps muscle is there. The downward portion with the reverse grip is like a “negative”, since you can curl much more with a dumbbell with an underhand grip than you can reverse curl a dumbbell with an overhand grip (if done strictly that is!).   When I have done them in the past, I do remember the strain that is put on the elbows, especially when the dumbbells are turned at the top.  That is reason enough NOT to do them!

Interesting exercise about an interesting old time strongman nonetheless.

Now for a question to the readers – does anyone know who it was that originally named the Zottman Curl???

USAWA History – 2008 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the August, 2008 issue of the Strength Journal, Vol. XIX No. 4.)


Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 3, 2008 – Al Myers won both the open and master classes at the USAWA’s National Championships, but had plenty of competition in what was an embarrassing field of only 11 entrants.

Scott Schmidt, who had lifted a day earlier in the Ohio State Weightlifting Championships, proved to be one tough opponent.  Al used an 1,800-lb. hip lift to total 1,392.5 kilos.  Scott also did an 1,800 lb. hip to total 1,240 kilos. Scott is 55; Al “only” 42.  The age difference gave Al 1,150.0 points to Scott’s 1,115.05.

The battle for third place was a nail-biter.  Chad Ullom,  Myers’s running mate, had lost 50 pounds in the past nine months and came into the meet at 99.7 bwt.  He wound up with a total of 1,240 kilos, matching Schmidt, but a total newcomer, who called two days before the meet for permission to enter, slipped past Chad for the third spot.

Andy Durniat, 28, from Wooster, Ohio, weighed in at 100.5 kg., only 8/10 of a kilo heavier than Chad, then proceeded to make a 1,700 lb. hip and beat Chad by 20 kilos in total with 1,260 and take third in points with 1,064.57 to Chad’s 1,052.14.

Jim Malloy, 67, was the fifth best lifter with 988.21 points.

Andy not only came with a big hip lift, he blew everyone away in the one-hand deadlift – with both hands, no less.  His third lift in the meet was 185.0 kilos with his left hand.  He then continued on with record lifts, doing 195.0 kg. with his right and 200.0 kg. with his left.

If memory is correct, Andy, in his first effort for record, became the first person since Joe Nanny in the mid-1960’s to break 400 pounds with each hand on the same day.

A second newcomer, Don Bisesi, a 36-year-old from North Olmsted, Ohio, lifted in the 75-kg. class and finished seventh overall, primarily because he was not familiar with the hip lift.  That will change.  Don was eager to learn more.

From the absolute disappointment of the embarrassingly small field, we found gold.  Both new lifters have a chance to become USAWA champs for many years to come.


2008 USAWA National Championships
August 3rd, 2008
Ohio State Fair
Columbus, Ohio

Meet Director: Dennis Mitchell and Megan Tornstrom DeFourny of the
Columbus Weightlifting Club
Emcee: Bill Clark
Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker
Loaders: Zach Beadle, Brandon Rhines, Bob Davis, Paul Stey
Officials: Bill Clark, Denny Habecker, Art Montini, Jim Malloy, Dale Friesz, Al Myers, Chad Ullom, Dennis Mitchell, Scott Schmidt

Lifts: One-Arm Clean & Jerk, Pullover & Push, Zercher, One-Arm Deadlift, Hip Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Al Myers, Kansas
2. Scott Schmidt, Ohio
3. Andy Durniat, Ohio
4. Chad Ullom, Kansas
5. Jim Malloy, Ohio
6. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
7. Don Bisesi, Ohio
8. Dale Friesz, Virginia
9. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
10. Dennis Mitchell, Ohio

Best Lifter Awards:
Men Open – Al Myers
Men Master – Al Myers

Gold Cup

by Al Myers


Members of the Castlemilk Gym Club at the 2010 IAWA World Championships, which they hosted.

I’m very excited to finally announce the plans for this year’s IAWA Gold Cup, to be held at the Castlemilk Community Centre in Glasgow, Scotland.  I have been to the Castlemilk Gym a few times now, and each experience has been a very enjoyable time!  They have a very active all-round lifting club, with members that are very enthused about All Round Weightlifting. The promoters of this year’s Gold Cup are Andy Tomlin and Matthew Finkle (as listed on the entry form), but I know the promotion of this will be an entire club affair, so no details will be left unattended.  This is the FOURTH time that the Castlemilk Gym Club has hosted the Gold Cup ( also in 2009, 2004, & 1999).  David McFadzean was the promoter in 2009 and Willie Wright was the promoter in 2004. 

One “special addition” to this year’s Gold Cup will be a CHALLENGE EVENT.  This idea was the “brainchild” of Andy Tomlin and myself after last year’s Gold Cup in England at the awards banquet (after a few too many if I may say…).   A debate ensued  involving which country had the best One-Arm Deadlifters, one thing lead to another, and a challenge was made. We decided it could only be decided on the platform – thus this year’s Gold Cup Challenge of the TEAM TWO MAN ONE HAND DEADLIFT CHALLENGE.  

Another very nice addition to this year’s Gold Cup is the day trip to the see the Dinnie Stones the day following.  The Castlemilk Gym Club is making all the travel arrangements for this trip.  The cost is 15 pounds, which is to defray the expenses of renting a van and fuel.  So if you also want to get your chance at lifting the Dinnie Stones – this is your opportunity!! 


Event: 2012 IAWA Gold Cup

Venue:  Castlemilk Community Centre, Glasgow, Scotland

Meet Promoters:  Matthew Finkle and Andy Tomlin

Date:  November 3rd, 2012

ENTRY FORM (word document): 2012 Gold Cup Entry Form

ENTRY FORM (pdf):  2012 Gold Cup Entry Form

USAWA History – 2007 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the August, 2007 issue of the Strength Journal, Vol. XVIII No. 4.)


Ed Schock won the best lifter title at the USAWA Nationals in Lebanon, Pa., on July 7, but he had plenty of competition from both Al Myers and John Monk and he got a break when Al broke his wrist.

Ed was lifting in the 100.0-kg. class of the 50-54 age group.  He came up with a 685-kg. total good for 680.30 Lynch points adjusted by age. Myers had the best poundage as a 115.0-kg. lifter in the 40-44 age group with an 815.0 total, but age made a difference. Al had an age-adjusted total of 653.74 points.

Monk was close behind with 644.39 points.  John, a new member of the 40-44 age group, totaled 637.5 kilos and had a point total of 644.39.  He was in the 80.0-kg. class.

Elizabeth Monk was the only female lifter and the 11-year-old had a great day with a 502.29 total. (points, that is.)

Myers was in the lead until he dropped a pullover and push.  The wrist was broken, but he was able to continue in the Arthur Lift and the one-hand deadlift, thus managing to barely stay ahead of Monk.

Denny Habecker and wife Judy did their usual excellent meet administration and it was disheartening to see only 20 lifters show.  The Habeckers send thanks to Rex Monahan whose large entry fee allowed the meet to break even.


2007 USAWA National Championships
July 7th, 2007
Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: Denny Habecker
Emcee: Bill Clark
Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker
Loaders: Terry Barlet, John Horn, Don Brandt
Officials: Denny Habecker, Jim Malloy, John Vernacchio, Barry Bryan, Art Montini, Dennis Mitchell, John McKean

Lifts: One-Arm Clean & Jerk, Clean and Press Heels Together, Stiff Legged Deadlift, Pullover & Push, Arthur Lift, One-Arm Deadlift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Ed Schock, Pennsylvania
2. Al Myers, Kansas
3. John Monk, Pennsylvania
4. Randy Smith, Michigan
5. Chad Ullom, Kansas
6. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
7. John McKean, Pennsylvania
8. Jim Malloy, Ohio
9. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
10. Bob D’Angelo, Pennsylvania

Women: Top Placing
1. Elizabeth Monk, Pennsylvania

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Overall – Elizabeth Monk
Women Junior – Elizabeth Monk
Men Junior – James Gilligan
Men 20-39 Age Group – Chad Ullom
Men 40-44 Age Group – Al Myers
Men 45-49 Age Group – Paul Montgomery
Men 50-54 Age Group – Ed Schock
Men 60-64 Age Group – Denny Habecker
Men 65-69 Age Group – Jim Malloy
Men 75-79 Age Group – Art Montini
Men Master – Ed Schock
Men Open – Al Myers

USAWA History – 2006 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the July 5th, 2006 edition of the Strength Journal, Vol. XVII No. 3.)


Salina, Kan., June 17 – Al Myers did what few have been able to do in the past – direct a national championship and then win the best lifter award.  Normally, the guy with all the administrative problems performs sub-par.  Not so here!

Al put together an outstanding championship meet in a great venue – the Holiday Inn Select – and topped it off with a buffet fit for the biggest hogs around.

Al won the meet with a 2800-pound harness lift following a 600 deadlift.  He needed every pound to beat his 19-year-old gym mate, Ian Reel, who also logged a 2800 harness lift and left little doubt that he’s a contender for USAWA championships for many years to come.

Amorkor Ollennuking was on hand, easily winning the women’s title and finishing seventh overall – regardless of gender, weight or age…. a magnificent performance.

There was one problem with the weekend – Al gave a great party and almost no one came.

The smallest field ever totaled 20 lifters.  Exactly four of them were from east of the Mississippi River – Tim Piper from Macomb, Ill., about 30 miles east of the Mississippi; Randy Smith, who rode his motorcycle all the way to Salina from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; Dennis and Flossie Mitchell, who drove in from Cleveland; and Denny and Judy Habecker, who drove from Lebanon in eastern Pennsylvania.

Al took a brutal financial beating because he was looking for up to 50 lifters. Not only did the USAWA lifters let him down, but many of his friends in the Highland Games and the Strongman crowd who had promised to make the meet a roaring success were nowhere to be found.

The USAWA has a standing policy that anyone who loses money because of lack of support will be compensated for that loss. That’s what our treasury is all about.  Al refused to accept the USAWA check.  We’ll figure out some way to get his expenses covered – maybe we’ll buy his wife a new car.

It is surely time for the USAWA membership to look inwardly and see where this organization wants to go in the future.  Twenty lifters in a national championship is an absolute insult to Al Myers – and to anyone else who dares to take on USAWA events in the future.

Back to the positive – we had our first 90-year-old in a national title meet.  Al’s 90 year old grandfather, Clyde, was on hand all day and did five of the six lifts – choosing to by-pass the harness lift.


2006 USAWA National Championships
June 17th, 2006
Salina, Kansas

Meet Director: Al Myers
Emcee: Bill Clark
Scorekeepers: Scott Tully, Karla Barnhart
Loaders: Ryan Batchman, Tom Maxey
Officials: Thom Van Vleck, Bob Burtzloff, Chuck Cookson, Eric Todd, Doug Longbine, Mark Mitchell

Lifts: One-Arm Snatch, Clean and Press Heels Together, Bench Press Feet in Air, Steinborn, Deadlift 12″ Base, Harness Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Al Myers, Kansas
2. Ian Reel, Kansas
3. Bret Carter, Nebraska
4. Joe Garcia, Missouri
5. Dan Wagman, Colorado
6. Laynne Burnett, Kansas
7. Dan Mather, Kansas
8. Tim Pinkerton, Nebraska
9. Randy Smith, Michigan
10. Darren Barnhart, Kansas

Women: Top Two Placings
1. Amorkor Ollennuking, Missouri
2. Stephanie Beemer, Kansas

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Junior – Stephanie Beemer
Women Master – Amorkor Ollennuking
Women Open – Amorkor Ollennuking
Men Junior – Ian Reel
Men 20-39 Age Under 175lb – Dan Mather
Men 20-39 Age 176lb-200lb – Dan Wagman
Men 20-39 Age 201lb-231lb – Bret Carter
Men 20-39 Age 232lb-265lb – Al Myers
Men 20-39 Age 266lb-300lb – Darren Barnhart
Men 40-49 Age Group – Laynne Burnett
Men 50-59 Age Group – Joe Garcia
Men 60-69 Age Group – Denny Habecker
Men 70-79 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell
Men 90 Plus Age Group – Clyde Myers
Men Open – Al Myers
Men Master – Joe Garcia

USAWA History – 2005 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the Strength Journal, Vol. XVI No. 5. )


Youngstown, Ohio, June 25-26 – Mike McBride used a 630 neck lift to beat Al Myers for the best lifter award at the USAWA National Championships held at the Jump Stretch Gym – the home of the championship sponsor.

McBride was in second place behind Big Al and barely ahead of Randy Smith from Marquette, Michigan, at the end of the first day’s five events. Randy, who has just turned 50, was in the best condition of his USAWA career and had some left in the tank after each lift.

By the time the field reached the neck lift – the last of the nine lifts forming the championship, McBride had fallen to third and Smith was within easy striking distance of Myers. When starting poundages were posted, it was obvious things would change.  Smith, once again, was capable of doing more than the 300 on his attempt.  Myers opened with 400 and made it with ease, but failed with 500 – which was Mike’s opener.  Had Al done 500, Mike would need 555.  With Al’s failure, Mike went on to do a personal record of 630, beating Frank Ciavattone along the way.

It was an exciting battle for top honors.  Another close battle came in the junior division when Ian Reel, a member of Myers’ Dinosaur Gym, upheld the honor of Kansas by slipping past Jump Stretch’s Andrew Loudon, a first-time competitor, who, like Smith, cut himself short in the neck lift and cost himself a title.  Both Randy and Andy will know better next time.

Ian nipped Andy in total points, 1842-1837.  Andy had done 400 on his third neck lift attempt and had already set an age group record.  He misread the record list and thought he needed 475 to set a new mark.  He made the 475 with ease and it was truly a national record – by more than 100 pounds.  Had Andy done the 475 as a third attempt, Ian would have joined Al Myers in second place.  Live and learn.

Close battles and some outstanding efforts could not hide the fact that only 21 lifters were in the competition.  We’ll discuss that problem later in The Journal.

McBride and Myers have hooked up several times in recent years at Clark’s Gym and their classic battle will continue at the Goerner Deadlift Dozen, the Zercher Meet, the Deanna Meet, Al’s Dinosaur Challenge in Jan., and the USAWA Nationals next June – which will be held in Salina, KS. with Al the meet director.

Thanks to the Jump Stretch folks – Dick Hartzell, Carl LaRosa and his staff and family – for an excellent weekend.  The wind-up dinner was outstanding.  Clark enjoyed the chicken as much as any I’ve ever eaten. 


2005 USAWA National Championships
June 25-26, 2005
Jump Stretch Fitness Center
Youngstown, Ohio

Meet Directors: Dick Hartzell and Carl LaRosa
Emcee: Bill Clark
Scorekeeper: Bill Clark

Lifts: Deadlift with Fulton Bar, Bench Press feet in air, Cheat Curl, French Press, 2-Hand Anyhow with Barbell & Dumbbell, Vertical Bar 1 Bar 2″ 1 Hand, 1-Arm Hack Lift, Clean & Seated Press, Neck Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Mike McBride, Missouri
2. Al Myers, Kansas
3. Randy Smith, Michigan
4. Jim Malloy, Ohio
5. Frank Ciavattone, Massachusetts
6. John McKean, Pennsylvania
7. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
8. Scott Schmidt, Ohio
9. Ian Reel, Kansas
10. Andy Loudon, Ohio

Best Lifter Awards:
Men Junior – Ian Reel
Men Open – Mike McBride
Men Master – Randy Smith

Presidential Cup

by Al Myers

The USAWA President has just announced a new exciting meet within the USAWA – THE PRESIDENTIAL CUP.  This Record Day will be promoted by our USAWA President, Denny Habecker, and will be the prestige record day promoted by the USAWA.  Hopefully this will develop into an annual event that recognizes outstanding achievement in record days, which allow lifters to perform their favorite (or best) lifts for USAWA record. 

The Presidential Cup will follow along some of the same guidelines as the Gold Cup, which is the IAWA meet which recognizes outstanding performances by lifters in the lift/lifts of their choosing.  The Gold Cup started in 1991 under the direction of then-IAWA President Howard Prechtel.  However there will be some differences in the guidelines of the USAWA Presidential Cup:

  • The Presidential Cup is hosted annually by the USAWA President only.
  • Must be a USAWA member to participate.
  • A lifter may choose any official USAWA  lift/lifts (number set by the President) to set a USAWA record/records  in.
  • The lifter must open at a USAWA Record Poundage on first attempt.
  • The top performance record lift of the entire record day,  which will be chosen by the President, will be awarded the PRESIDENTIAL CUP.

So you can see, this is quite different than most record days.  This meet is NOT about setting a large number of USAWA records, but rather a record lift that is WORTHY of consideration to win the Presidential Cup.   You would be best set to save your energy for the lift you most excel in, and put it into THAT lift alone.  Also, the choice of the winner  will be left up to Denny as to what lift IMPRESSES him the most – so factors like bodyweight and age will be factored into his decision.  Denny is an honest, trustworthy person who I KNOW will make an impartial decision in choosing the winner.  Also, the winner of the Presidential Cup is not open to debate – because the President’s choice is the FINAL DECISION -  and it’s all about impressing the President.  However, I’m still going to play it safe and bring a gift.


USAWA Presidential Cup

Saturday, August 25th

Meet Director:  Denny Habecker

Location: Habecker’s Gym, Lebanon, PA

Lifts:  Bring your best lift for record!

Start time:  10 AM,  with weigh-ins before this

Entry Form:  None, but advance notice is required.  Denny may be reached by email – dhabecker@usawa.com

USAWA History – 2004 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the July, 2004 issue of the Strength Journal, Vol. XV No. 5.)


The world, it seems, belongs to Ed Schock.

Ed, a 51-year-old lawyer from Lebanon, Pa., made a clean sweep of best-lifter honors in 2004 to date.

He was the best lifter in the USAWA Nationals, despite missing one of the seven lifts in the championship totally.  Then he added best lifter honors in the IAWA International Postal Competition.

At the USAWA Championships, he missed all three attempt in the one-hand, 2-inch vertical bar deadlift.  Then on fourth attempt, he switched from the failed right hand to the untried left and was easily successful.  So much for the right hand the next time around.

Even with no score in the vertical bar lift, Ed easily won the best lifter award over John Monk, Tony Succarotte, and Bill Spayd.

Ed will have a chance to add a third major title on August 28 and won’t even have to leave home.  The USAWA Heavy Lift meet has been switched from Massachusetts to Lebanon and Ed will have his first chance to try the chain stuff. He is the favorite to win, even though he’s never done them.

Though strong everywhere, it is Ed’s pulling power which sets him apart.  Lifting in the 100-kg. class, Ed did a 440-lb. Zercher, a 363-lb. Fulton DL with overgrip in the postal meet and added a 635 trap-bar DL and a 330-lb. one hand hack in the USAWA Nationals. His 635 trap-bar was the best in the USAWA by anyone at any age or bodyweight.

The meet, run by John Vernacchio, came off without a hitch, despite an entry list which didn’t fill till the final moments prior to the entry deadline.

John has now turned his attention to the Silver Cup which he plans to do on the beach near Philadelphia in mid-September which the weather is still great. More on that meet later.  Thanks to John for putting on the latest tribute to Ed Schock.


2004 USAWA National Championships
June 5-6, 2004
North Penn YMCA
Lansdale, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: John Vernacchio
Emcee: Larry Butts

Lifts: Cheat Curl, Vertical Bar 1 Bar 2″ 1 Hand, Trap Bar Deadlift, Straight Arm Pullover, Bench feet in air, Continental to Belt, One-Arm Hack Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Ed Schock, Pennsylvania
2. John Monk, Pennsylvania
3. Tony Succarotti, Delaware
4. Bill Spayd, Pennsylvania
5. Frank Ciavattone, Massachusetts
6. Larry Silvestri, Massachusetts
7. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
8. Randy Smith, Michigan
9. Bob D’Angelo, Pennsylvania
10. Richard Durante, Pennsylvania

Women: Top Three Placings
1. Pam Maciolek, Pennsylvania
2. Tammie Rudisell, Pennsylvania
3. Maria Guaret, Pennsylvania

Best Lifter Awards:
Women 20-39 Age Group -Tammie Rudisill
Women Master Overall – Pam Maciolek
Women Open – Pam Maciolek
Men Junior 16-17 Age Group – Cale Demille
Men 20-39 Age Group – John Monk
Men 40-44 Age Group – Larry Silvestri
Men 45-49 Age Group – Frank Ciavattone
Men 50-54 Age Group – Ed Schock
Men 55-59 Age Group – Larry Blockston
Men 60-64 Age Group – Denny Habecker
Men 65-69 Age Group – John Vernacchio
Men 70-74 Age Group – Richard Durante
Men 75-79 Age Group – Joe Amendalaro
Men 80-84 Age Group – John Dorylis
Men Open – Ed Schock
Men Masters – Ed Schock
Men Junior – Cale DeMille
















USAWA History – 2003 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the June, 2003 issue of the Strength Journal, Vol. XIV No. 4)


Youngstown, Ohio – June 7-8 — Bob Hirsh has been on the sidelines for more than two years with a variety of injuries.  Long rehab sessions with Howard Prechtel, the USAWA president, finally paid off and Bob, elected to the USAWA Hall of Fame two years ago, returned to action at the USAWA National Championships this weekend…. and he came back as if he had never been gone.

Bob won the best lifter award at Nationals, as well as being the best master and the best lifter in the 45-49 age group.  Lifting in the 70-kg. Class, Bob used a 525 hack lift and a 375 Zercher to rise to the top in a very competitive field.  Bill Spayd, now a state trooper in Pennsylvania, was close behind in second place with John Monk, Brandan Aldan, Chris Waterman, and Al Myers as close behind as one missed third attempt.

The point totals: Hirsh – 2250.38, Spayd – 2218.88, Monk – 2212.36, Aldan – 2144.60, Waterman – 2144.57, Myers – 2127.91.  Talk about close!!!

Rita Hall took the women’s crown in a close battle with 63-year-old Marian LaRosa.  Rita, a 41-year-old, tallied 1107.26 points with Marian close on her heels at 1096.67. 

Best junior was Joshua Monk.


2003 USAWA National Championships
June 7-8, 2003
Jump Stretch Fitness Center
Youngstown, Ohio

Meet Directors: Dick Hartzell and Carl LaRosa
Emcee: Bill Clark
Scorekeeper: Bill Clark
Loaders: Chris Rice, Gary Smith, Jason Groves, Bob Carcelli, Chris Waterman

Lifts: One-Arm Snatch, Clean & Press Heels Together, Stiff Legged Deadlift, Hack Lift, Bench Alternate Grip, Cheat Curl, Vertical Bar 2 Bar 2″, Zercher Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Bob Hirsh, Ohio
2. Bill Spayd, Pennsylvania
3. John Monk, Pennsylvania
4. Brandan Aldan, Ohio
5. Chris Waterman, Ohio
6. Al Myers, Kansas
7. Jason Groves, Ohio
8. Antonio DelSignore, Ohio
9. Randy Smith, Michigan
10. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania

Women: Top Two Placings
1. Rita Hall, Pennsylvania
2. Marian LaRosa, Ohio

Best Lifter Awards:
Women 40-44 Age Group – Rita Hall
Women 60-64 Age Group – Marian LaRosa
Women Master – Rita Hall
Women Open – Rita Hall
Men Junior 14-15 Age Group – Joshua Monk
Men Junior 16-17 Age Group – Kiff Kincaid
Men Junior 18-19 Age Group – Joe Hunter
Men Junior Overall – Joshua Monk
Men 20-39 Age Group – Bill Spayd
Men 40-44 Age Group – David Olsavsky
Men 45-49 Age Group – Bob Hirsh
Men 55-59 Age Group – John McKean
Men 60-64 Age Group – Denny Habecker
Men 65-69 Age Group – Andy Komorny
Men 70-74 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell
Men 75-79 Age Group – Art Montini
Men 80-84 Age Group – Jack Lano
Men Master Overall – Bob Hirsh
Men Open – Bob Hirsh

USAWA History – 2002 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the July, 2002 issue of the Strength Journal, Vol. XIII No. 3.)


Bill DiCioccio and Noi Phumchaona were the overall winners in the USAWA’s National Championships at the Ambridge, Pa., VFW Club the weekend of June 29-30, giving the masters another sweep of overall honors.

Noi, lifting in the 55-59 age group and the 55 kg class, 688.3 kgs. and was an easy winner.  Carolyn Goolsby was second in her first-ever USAWA competition.  Carolyn is from South Carolina.  DiCioccio used a 1,725-pound hip lift at 62 years of age to edge past John Monk, Jr. for the men’s title.

The meet, directed by Art Montini and John McKean, was a friendly affair, as usual, topped off by a great dinner which cost the lifters the best price in history – nothing.  Still – only 27 lifters made it to the platform, even though the Pittsburgh area is almost in the center of the major concentration of USAWA members.

Thanks go to John and Art – and to Marilyn McKean for putting up with John and for handling the scorers’ table for both days.


2002 USAWA National Championships
June 29-30, 2002
Ambridge, Pennsylvania

Meet Directors: Art Montini and John McKean
Scorekeeper: Marilyn McKean

Lifts: Steinborn, One-Arm Hack Lift, Trap Bar Deadlift, Clean and Seated Press Behind Neck, One-Arm Clean and Jerk, Stiff Legged Deadlift, Hip

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Bill DiCioccio Sr., Pennsylvania
2. John Monk, Pennsylvania
3. Brandon Aldan, Ohio
4. Frank Ciavattone, Massachusetts
5. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
6. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
7. Larry Silvestri, Massachusetts
8. Dennis Mitchell, Ohio
9. Joe Hunter, Ohio
10. Bob Geib, Hawaii

Women: Top Two Placings
1. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio
2. Carolyn Goolsby, South Carolina

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Open – Noi Phumchaona
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Open – John Monk
Men Master – Bill DiCioccio, Sr.
Men Junior – Joe Hunter
13 and Under Junior – Joshua Monk
15 and Under Junior – Cale Demille
17 and Under Junior – Joe Hunter
20-39 Age Group – John Monk
40-44 Age Group – Nils Larson
45-49 Age Group – Frank Ciavattone
55-59 Age Group – Denny Habecker
60-64 Age Group – Bill DiCioccio Sr.
65-69 Age Group – Andy Komarny
70-74 Age Group – Art Montini
75-79 Age Group – Rex Monahan

Lifter of the Month: Eric Todd

by Al Myers

Eric Todd performing the Hip Lift that won him BEST LIFTER at the 2012 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships.

Since I’ve started this monthly award last month, I better continue it!  However, I am finding that this is going to be an ongoing difficult process as there seems to be several “worthy candidates”!  But this month the award goes to Eric Todd because of his big overall victory at the 2012 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships at Bowling Green.  Despite the great individual performances at Jobes Steel Jungle Record Days, a championship triumphs any record day, so it is only fitting that ET is crowned the LIFTER OF THE MONTH for May, 2012. 

Eric not only won the Heavy Lift Show, but he did it in record fashion.  His 905 pound Neck Lift is bound to make the “top ten” lifts of the year for 2012.  Also, his victory puts him on a “short list” of past USAWA Heavy Lift Champions.  This meet in the past has been dominated by just a few individuals – Steve Schmidt, Joe Garcia, and Frank Ciavattone. 

Also figuring into my decision was the manner in which ET won the meet.  It wasn’t easy for him – and came down to getting his last attempt on the Hip Lift to make it possible.  The weight (2075#) was more than he had ever attempted in the Hip – but his focus and great preparation allowed him to be successful with it.  Congrats ET – for being the LIFTER OF THE MONTH for May, 2012.

News from the IAWA(UK)

by Steve Gardner

IAWA(UK) British All Round Championships 2012 Tiverton, Devon – Saturday 2nd June

Steve Andrews receiving the H&S trophy from Chris Bass for outstanding lifter.

Steve Andrews retained his grip on the Health and  Strength Trophy to win the overall best lifter title at  the 2012 British Championships. He beat off the  challege from Barry Gordge who finished second  overall ahead of young Tom Perry. The lifting was  very good (see full results on results page on IAWA(UK) website).

Best Open Lifter: 1st Steve Andrews, 2nd Tom Perry, 3rd  Barry Gordge

Best Master Lifter: 1st Steve Andrews, 2nd Barry Gordge, 3rd Gary Ell


Well done to Mark Rattenberry and his support team  for staging a good championships, and well done to all who took part, includiong the loaders, officials,  organisers and the loaders, with a special mention  for Axel Amos and his young assistant who loaded  for every lift!

Salvation Army Gym RB

by Tim Piper


2012 Salvation Army Gym Record Breaker

Sanctioned by: USA All~Round Weightlifting Association


WHEN:      July 21st , 2012

WHERE:    Salvation Army, 505 N. Randolph, Macomb, IL

TIME:        WEIGH-IN: 9-10 a.m.     Lifting Starts at 10 a.m.

ENTRY FEE:      $10, any extra donations will help support the Salvation Army Gym

ELIGIBILITY:    Open to drug free lifters Note: must register for USAWA

($25 fee payable to USAWA) on or before meet day

AWARDS:  may have medals, trophies, or t-shirts, to be set at a later date

RULES:  USAWA rules for all lifts attempted

ENTRY FORM (PDF):  2012 USAWA record setter

Movement Summer Meet

by David Dellanave


Date: July 28th,  2012

Location: The Movement Minneapolis, Plymouth

Weigh-in: 9-9:45am

Lifting: 10am


Clean and Press – Heels Together

Steinborn Lift

One Arm Dumbbell Press

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip (Double Overhand Axle Deadlift)

Contest is free, but advance registration is required and can be done online at https://www.movementminneapolis.com/contest-registration/

Drug testing along USAWA guidelines.

USAWA History – 2001 Nationals

by Al Myers

(The following meet report was written by Bill Clark in the July, 2001 issue of the Strength Journal, Vol. XII No. 5.)


Columbia, Mo. June 24 – The smallest crowd in the history of the USAWA National Championships enjoyed a “fun” weekend, came away with a good share of records, engaged in close battles for best lifter awards, all in an air-conditioned setting at Lange Middle School – which proved to be an excellent venue for a national competition.

Only 17 lifters were on hand and two others – Chris Waterman and Frank Ciavattone – paid entry fees which they knew they’d not use, just to support the meet.  The meet sponsor, Clark’s Gym, didn’t take in enough money from entry fees to pay the rent, let alone pay for awards and other details.

Thanks to generous entry fees from Rex Monahan, Howard Prechtel, and Ciavattone, the losses were cut tremendously and the USAWA voted to cover any losses after the latest Monahan contribution.

But – the fact remains – the USAWA membership did not support the championships…..for whatever reason.  Maybe it was high gas prices, maybe it was distance, maybe it was a shrinking economy.  Or maybe it was either none of the above or all of the above.  The gut feeling was that the membership has come to show only limited support for the title meet, even when it was in such a setting as Ambridge or Lebanon.

Regardless of those who stayed home – those who enjoyed the weekend engaged in some of the closest competition ever.   John Monk won the grand champion award over 19-year-old Abe Smith of the host club, then teamed with Abe to set a two-man deadlift record of 825 pounds in a post-meet record session.  Joe Garcia used a 1,500-pound hand-and-thigh to finish third overall.

Amorkor Ollennuking and Noi Phumchaona did some great lifting with Amorkor taking the grand champion award and Noi the top master plaque for the women.

The closeness of the competition was pinpointed by the difference between Dennis Mitchell and Al Springs.  When the dust settled, Al totaled 1843.491 points (age corrected) and Dennis finished with 1843.472 points.  Talk about the thinnest of margins!

The meet was also a battle of the walking wounded.  Art Montini had back surgery less than two weeks earlier and was told to lift no more than five pounds.  He didn’t exactly comply, but often took only a light opener and moved on.  Dale Friesz was making his first start after hip replacement surgery three months earlier.  Dave DeForest had minor surgery on his calf two days before the meet.  Howard Prechtel had a badly damaged right quad and could do only three of the seven lifts.  Bill Clark set aside degenerating cartilage in the lower back and neck and a totally unusable left shoulder to turn in some of the more grotesque performances of the weekend.  A fun time was had by all.

The meet was a “gym” meet.   Because of the small field, the press was not invited to attend and no public announcement was made.  When people are lured into a national championship, they expect to see a full field and not a small group, half of whom were barely moving.  To have brought in the press would have been to embarrass the USAWA.

For those on hand, it will go down as a truly “fun” meet, even if they could not walk on Monday.  Clark’s Gym thanks to group which worked all weekend, loading and moving equipment, meaning that no lifter had to load a weight all weekend.  In fact, the lifters had to do very little officiating as well.  The slave laborers are listed in the results.


2001 USAWA National Championships
June 23-24, 2001
Columbia, Missouri

Meet Director: Bill Clark and Joe Garcia
Emcee: Bill Clark
Scorekeeper: Bill Clark
Loaders: Joel Anderson, Jonathan Anderson, James Foster, Tom Powell
Officials: Art Montini, Kerry Clark, Casey Clark, Joe Garcia, Dale Friesz, Howard Prechtel, John Monk

Lifts: 1-Arm Snatch, 2-Barbell Deadlift, Hand and Thigh, 1-Arm Hack, Clean and Press heels together, Steinborn, 2-hand Anyhow with Barbell and Dumbbell

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. John Monk, Pennsylvania
2. Abe Smith, Missouri
3. Joe Garcia, Missouri
4. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
5. Bob Geib, Hawaii
6. Al Springs, Missouri
7. Dennis Mitchell, Ohio
8. Dave DeForest, Missouri
9. Rex Monahan, Colorado
10. Art Montini, Pennsylvania

Women: Top Two Placings
1. Amorkor Ollenuking, Missouri
2. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Open – Amorkor Ollennuking
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Open – John Monk
Men Master – Joe Garcia
Men Junior – Abe Smith

USAWA History – 2000 Nationals

by Al Myers

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


Lebanon, Pa., July 1-2, 2000 – Newcomer Ed Schock, a 47-year-old attorney from Lebanon, was the surprise winner of the Best Lifter trophy at the USAWA Nationals here – in his hometown – in the closest battle for MVP honors ever at a USAWA Championship weekend.

Schock finished with an age-corrected total of 1027.37 points, barely edging past Frank Ciavattone (1023.57 points), John Monk (1020.91), and John McKean (1016.79).  The battle was not decided until the final neck lift when Frank, who had won the last USAWA heavy lift title, failed with a 300-kg record effort.  Jim Loewer, a 15-year-old from Ambridge, Pa., easily won the junior top lifter award. Great future here.

The women’s title went to Su. J. Mason, a 36-year-old from nearby Selinsgrove.  She slipped past 56-year-old Noi Phumchaona, 595.68 to 505.37.  Best of the older master lifters was Art Montini.   The 72-year-old had a 982.63 point total and set eight records in the 85 kilo class of the 70-74 age group.

Hats off to Denny Habecker for an outstanding meet.  Not only did he run the meet, he also was the best lifter in the 55-59 age group.


2000 USAWA National Championships
July 1-2, 2000
Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: Denny Habecker
Emcee: Bill Clark
Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker
Assistant: John Long
Loaders: Terry Barlet, Tom Minnich, Neely Frye, Jason Hlavaty, John Hlavaty, Chris Loewer, Doug Campbell, Reggie Hayes, Brandon Pensyl, Mark O’Brien

Lifts: One Hand Snatch, Clean and Press Heels Together, One Hand Ciavattone Deadlift, Pullover and Push, Hack Lift, Clean and Jerk Behind Neck, Zercher Lift, Neck Lift

Men: Top Ten Placings
1. Ed Schock, Pennsylvania
2. Frank Ciavattone, Massachusetts
3. John Monk, Pennsylvania
4. John McKean, Pennsylvania
5. Art Montini, Pennsylvania
6. Bill Spayd, Pennsylvania
7. Joe Ciavattone, Massachusetts
8. Denny Habecker, Pennsylvania
9. Jeff Ciavattone, Massachusetts
10.Brian Crowe, Pennsylvania

Women: Top Three Placings
1. Su.J. Mason, Pennsylvania
2. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio
3. Cara Collins, Massachusetts

Best Lifter Awards:
Women Open – Su.J. Mason
Women Master – Noi Phumchaona
Men Junior Overall – Jim Loewer
Men Open – Ed Schock
Men Master – Ed Schock
Men 20-39 Age Group – John Monk
Men 45-49 Age Group – Ed Schock
Men 50-54 Age Group – John McKean
Men 55-59 Age Group – Denny Habecker
Men 65-69 Age Group – Dennis Mitchell
Men 70-74 Age Group – Art Montini
Men 75-79 Age Group – Howard Prechtel
Men 80-84 Age Group – Paul Eberhardinger


by Thom Van Vleck

Chad Ullom and Thom Van Vleck at the 2012 Master's World Championships in Greenville, South Carolina.

Chad Ullom sets up "to pick" the Caber.

Recently, Chad Ullom and myself  traveled to Greenville, SouthCarolina to participate in the  2012 Master’s World Championships (MWC) of Scottish HighlandGames.  Most USAWA members know Chad for his lifting.  I knew Chad as a Highland  Games athlete long before his decorated USAWA lifting career.   As a matter of fact, I think I have competed with Chad in more competitions than any other athlete ever between our Highland Games exploits and USAWA meets!   Chad just turned 40 and has made a bit of a “comeback” to his Highland Games roots to compete in the the MWC.  In his first MWC he garnered a 4th place finish out of about 20 throwers in his class (40-44).  I placed 6th in my group (45-49) which also had about 20 competitors.  The overall competition had over 100 throwers!  So, as you can tell, this is a very competitive group.

Chad shows explosiveness and outstanding form as he drives the caber into the air.

First, a quick primer for those of you who don’t know what the Highland Games are.  There are 9 events that include Hammer Throwing, Weight for Distance throwing, stone putting (think “shot put”), and Weight Over Bar event, a sheaf toss, and the uniquely Scottish event, the Caber toss.  This event involves picking up a tree trunk, running with it, then attempting to flip it end over end.  You can win individual events, but the goal is the overall win which is much like the “total” in weightlifting.

Chad was in an extremely stacked class which was eventually won by Braidy Miller.  Braidy has held the NCAA record in the discus and I believe the indoor weight and was an All American in those events and National Champion.  He missed going to the 1992 Olympics by a fraction.  But Chad was able to pull the caber win out in a decisive manner.  As a matter of fact, only Braidy and Chad turned the caber at all and  both of Chad’s turns were superior to Braidy’s.  So, even though Braidy was victorious, Chad won the caber toss and to me, that is a special event to win due to it being the premier Scottish event!

..... and Chad seems to be trying to push the caber over from afar as he completes the winning caber toss at the 2012 Master's World Championship in Greenville, South Carolina. (Caber photos by Melanie Mullally)

I had hoped to win my 4th Weight Over Bar event at the World’s, but it was not to be.  Still, 2nd place in that event makes me proud and I was so close to winning!  But that will only make me work out even harder to get that title back next year!  I would also like to point out that two other JWC members who aren’t USAWA members went with me and won titles.  Jim Spalding won the under 200lb over 50 class and Bill Leffler won the 55-59 group.  So the JWC did well!

So, now you know me and Chad’s secret.  We put on skirts and toss telephone poles when we aren’t lifting in USAWA meets.  But we have several USAWA brothers and sisters that have that “other” passion as well such as Dean Ross, Mike Murdock, Dave Glasgow, Scott Campbell, just to name a few!   Chad and I are already making plans for next years MWC to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Updated Century Club

by Al Myers

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

CENTURY CLUB (as of 5/29/2012)

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

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

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

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

A RECORD Record Day

by Al Myers

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

USAWA History – 1999 Nationals

by Al Myers

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Women: Top Placing
1. Noi Phumchaona, Ohio

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

Dumbbell Swing vs. Kettlebell Swing

by Roger LaPointe

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

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

What is the competitive lifter to do?

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

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

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

Live Strong, Roger LaPointe

Jobe’s Steel Jungle RD

by Jesse Jobe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet Results

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

Meet Director:  Jesse Jobe

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

Tim Songster Jr. 7 years old, 66# BWT

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

Scott Tully 36 years old, 359# BWT

Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat: 200#

Darren Barnhart 44 years old, 296# BWT

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

Josh Haggin 38 years old, 198# BWT

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

Bryan Benzel 25 years old, 288# BWT

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

Mac Capello 34 years old, 242# BWT

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

Gabby Jobe FEMALE,  9 years old, 91# BWT

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

Zach Jelinek 23 years old, 199# BWT

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

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

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

Troy Goetsch 25 years old, 193# BWT

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

Corey Kenkel 29 years old, 186# BWT

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

Tim Songster 45 years old, 209# BWT

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

Jesse Jobe 35 years old, 228# BWT

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

Bryan Benzel and Troy Goetsch

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

Josh Haggin and Troy Goetsch

Team Deadlift:  850#

USAWA History – 1998 Nationals

by Al Myers

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

USAWA History – 1997 Nationals

by Al Myers

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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