Club Challenge

by Al Myers



Meet director John McKean "in action" at last years Club Challenge under the watchful eyes of Art Montini and Rudy Bletscher.

The date for the USAWA Club Challenge has been set!  This meet has become the premier meet in the USAWA which features club (or team) competition. It is unique in that it is NOT a personal competition, but instead a 3-person competition of the representatives of each club.  The scores from each lifter are added together to form a club score.  No individual recognition is given in this meet.   The winning club has the bragging rights of having the “top performing” club in the USAWA for the year.  

John McKean, of the Ambridge Barbell Club, has been the meet director for this meet since it’s beginning.  The Ambridge BBC is one of the longest standing clubs in the USAWA, and has had club membership in the USAWA since 1993.  Only Clarks Gym has a longer running membership status.  The patriarch of the Ambridge Barbell Club, Art Montini, has been one of the most influential men in the history of the USAWA.

Eventually I would like to see each entered club in this challenge consisting of only club members (as identified on the membership roster).  This way the challenge would truly represent each individual club performance. However so far, this has not been required for entry into the Club Challenge.   So if two clubs want to “come together” to field a team, that is allowable.  You may also enter if you can’t be part of a three-person team, but when the scoring is done you will be at a disadvantage because the scoring is based on three individuals and it will be difficult to “single handily” compete against the scores of three.


Date: Saturday, March 2nd

Venue: Ambridge BBC

Meet Directors: John McKean & Art Montini

Entry Fee: None

Start Time: 1:00 PM

Sanction: USAWA


Bench Press – Fulton Bar

Peoples Deadlift

Bent Over Row

There is no entry form for this competition. If interested, contact myself (at or John McKean.

Why a Thick Bar Steinborn Lift?

by Roger LaPointe

Roger LaPointe performing a Steinborn Lift with a thick bar shot-loaded barbell.

I have always loved the Steinborn Lift. So, the question is, why do a thick bar Steinborn lift?

Well, one good reason is if you can’t seem to clean the bar, this is a good way to get it in position for lifting the bar overhead. On a non-rotating thick bar that doesn’t have knurling, there is a good chance that I wouldn’t have been able to explosively lift it. Of course, I may have just done that lift because it’s fun to do, especially with a real shot loading barbell.

As I have been going through old photos, for a project soon to be announced, I found these great older shots of me doing a Steinborn. These shots are about ten years old and, if I remember correctly, the shot loading barbell was empty with a weight of about 150 pounds, with a non-rotating 2 1/4 inch diameter, un-knurled bar. I was lifting in the 69 kg Class at that time, or 152 pound bodyweight.

Essentially, you lift one end of the bar and completely upend it. A shot loading bar is perfect for that, with the rounded heads. The shot will also help the process, as gravity makes it shift. Once you find the center of the bar with your shoulders, you cantilever it down while squatting under it. Finally, you stand up with it and put it over head with either a press from behind the next, or better yet, a jerk from behind the neck.

That is a great lift for a show, because you can have people from the audience try to lift it, then you quickly and easily have it over head and back down on the ground. Then move on to your next lift. The weight will not actually be so much that you are really exhausted. If your bar is of large enough diameter, there is no way anyone will be able to clean it.

Learn more cool show lifts and stunts here:

All the best, Roger LaPointe
“Today is a good day to lift.”