Articles from August 2013



Phumchaona Lift

by Al Myers

Noi Phumchaona performing a Clean and Press at the 1999 IAWA World Championships in Australia.

The USAWA is full of odd and weird all round lifts.  Some have been performed rarely – and some NEVER!  Well, at my Dino Days Record Days one of these lifts was performed for USAWA Record for the first time.  It took someone as odd as the lift itself to finally make this happen in the USAWA (and that is supposed to be a compliment!). Anyone with normal sense would have passed on attempting this lift for record.

Jesse Jobe, of the Jobe’s Steel Jungle, performed a Phumchaona Lift of 840 pounds.  This is the FIRST and ONLY record lift established in the Phumchaona Lift. I appreciate lifters like Jesse bringing recognition to the “less popular” lifts in the USAWA by performing them in record days.  If you look hard in the Rule Book and compare it to the Record List you will find there are a few other USAWA lifts that have never been performed for record.  I know which ones they are – but I’ll leave it up to you to figure out the ones!

The Phumchaona Lift was named after Noi Phumchaona, the most celebrated female USAWA lifter in history.  Noi was the OVERALL BEST LIFTER at the USAWA Nationals four times (2002, 1999, 1998, & 1997).  She was married to the legendary Hall of Famer Howard Prechtel.  Together they made a dynamic husband/wife duo, and their presence was at most every major competition during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Together they have more USAWA/IAWA Championships than any other husband/wife combo in the history of our organization. The Phumchaona Lift is an official lift of the USAWA only (not an IAWA lift).

The rules for the Phumchaona Lift are as follows:

I14. Phumchaona Lift

This lift combines a Hip Lift and a Clean and Press with two dumbbells. The rules of the Hip Lift and Clean and Press – 2 Dumbbells apply with these exceptions. The lifter gets in position for a Hip Lift holding two dumbbells at arms’ length by the sides. The dumbbells may be cleaned and pressed before, during, or after the Hip Lift. Any combination of movements is allowed. The only command from an official during this lift will be a command to end the lift when both the Hip Lift and the Clean and Press with two dumbbells are completed.

As you can see, this is a extremely difficult lift which combines a heavy lift and a dumbbell lift.  It is definitely a “one of a kind” lift.  The interesting thing is that there is not a documented case of Noi actually performing this lift.  I have done some research on when this lift originated – and I am at a dead end. I even went to the effort of contacting several of the “long in the tooth” USAWA members to give me input for this story,  and I’ve only received one email response back in which he didn’t have anything to add.  So this makes the Phumchaona Lift an all-round mystery for now.

A PLACE TO CALL HOME

BY DAVE GLASGOW

THE WEIGHTROOMS POWER RACK, COMPLETE WITH A GOOD STUMP TO SQUAT TO.

I ENJOY PRIVATE GYMS THE MOST.  MOST PERSONAL GYMS I HAVE BEEN IN HAVE THAT ‘LIVED IN’ FEELING.  THEY ALL HAVE A PERSONALITY OF THEIR OWN.  SOME OF THE MORE RECENT ONES I HAVE BEEN IN ARE FLOYD TRAUB, THOM VAN VLECK AND, OF COURSE, THE MECCA OF THEM ALL, AL’S DINO GYM.

THEY ARE ALL AS YOU WOULD EXPECT FROM THEIR OWNERS.  FLOYD’S SMALL, CONCISE, BASIC.   THOMS IS SMALL BUT CRAMMED WITH LIFTING EQUIPMENT FROM THE PAST AND PRESENT, ALONG WITH MEMORABILIA OF TIMES PAST.  AL’S IS SO JAMMED WITH ITEMS THAT IT IS SOMETIMES HARD TO GET AROUND WHEN THERE IS LIFTING GOING ON!

I SUPPOSE I DIDN’T THINK ABOUT IT UNTIL THOM CAME HOME WITH ME A COUPLE WEEKS AGO FOR A QUICK ‘LOOK SEE’ OF MY PLACE.  WHILE THERE, I NOTICED HIM TAKING A VIDEO OF THE YEAR OLD WEIGHT ROOM I HAVE IN MY TWO YEAR OLD SHOP (YEAH, I’M BRAGGIN’, JUST A LITTLE!).  I WONDERED AT THE TIME WHY HE DID IT BUT I DID’NT SAY ANYTHING TO HIM AT THE TIME.  MAYBE HE WAS PLANNING TO STEAL MY IDEAS!!!

THIS NEW WEIGHT ROOM IS THE CULMINATION OF DECADES OF PRIOR WEIGHTROOMS I HAVE HAD MY STUFF IN.  I TRIED TO COUNT THE PLACES A COUPLE TIMES AND I FINALLY SETTLED ON ELEVEN DIFFERENT SPOTS THAT I COULD RECALL.  THERE HAVE BEEN BARNS, BASEMENTS(ONE IN PARTICULAR REMINDS ME OF A STORY, BUT THAT IS FOR A LATTER TIME), AN OLD V.F.W. HALL, TWO GARAGES, A FORMER BAR (NOW DOJO), WELL, YOU GET THE DRIFT.  JUST ABOUT ANY PLACE THAT SOMEBODY WITH SOME ROOM WOULD LET ME HANG MY HAT. THE UNIQUE THING ABOUT EACH OF THESE DOMAINS WAS THAT EACH HAD THERE OWN LITTLE QUIRKS AND NUANCES.  I HAVE MEMORIES OF EACH OF THESE PLACES THAT I WILL CHUCKLE AT TO THIS DAY.  THE ONE THAT MAKES ME SMILE THE MOST, HOWEVER, INVOLVED MY BOY, DEREK.

WHEN WE HAD THE WEIGHTS IN THE OLD V.F.W. HALL, IT WAS RIGHT NEXT TO A CONVENIENCE STORE.  NOW, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, MY BOY NEVER GAVE TWO HOOTS ABOUT WEIGHTLIFTING (HE WAS 6-7 AT THE TIME), HE DID, HOWEVER, LOVE A SOFT DRINK CALLED ‘CLEARLY CANADIAN’.  IF HE KNEW I WAS HEADED OUT TO LIFT, HE WOULD WANT TO TAG ALONG.  HE WOULD WATCH ME FOR THE HOUR AND A HALF THAT I WORKED OUT, ENTERTAINING HIMSELF IN WHATEVER WAY HE COULD.  THEN, WHEN I WAS FINISHED, HE WOULD RUN TO TURN THE LIGHTS OFF AND HEAD FOR THE DOOR.  ABOUT HALF WAY ACROSS THE PARKING LOT, I WOULD HEAR, “DAD, CAN WE GET A CLEARLY CANADIAN?”  IT MAKES ME A LITTLE MISTY EYED TO THINK OF IT BUT HE NEVER FAILED TO GET WHAT HE CAME FOR AND I GOT A CHRISHED MEMORY I  WILL CARRY TILL THE END.  I EVEN TOOK TO MAKING SURE I HAD THE MONIES ENOUGH TO SNAG A COUPLE DRINKS BEFORE I LEFT THE HOUSE EACH TIME.

THE MOST ACTIVE OF THE PREVIOUS DOMICILES WAS IN THE GARAGE OF THE FIRST HOUSE GUNN AND I OWNED.  IT HAD A DIRT FLOOR UNTIL I SAVED UP ENOUGH TO PUT A CONCRETE FLOOR IN IT.  WE ALSO HAD A WOOD STOVE THAT WOULD RUN YOU OUT OF THE PLACE!!   IN THE SUMMER, HOWEVER,  WE WERE ON OUR OWN!!  WE HAD 5 OR 6 GUYS AT ANY ONE TIME AND I LOOKED FORWARD TO EACH SESSION DUE TO THE COMMERADERIE THAT IT PRODUCED.  MOST OF THE GUYS WERE FOOTBALL PLAYERS FROM THE LOCAL COLLEGE BUT WE HAD CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND OTHER HANGERS ON THAT MADE FOR A ROWDY MIX!

LOCATING THE WEIGHT ROOM IN A DOJO GOT US SOME STRANGE LOOKS AND I LAUGHED MORE THAN ONCE WHEN WE WOULD BE LIFTING AT THE SAME TIME TAE KWON DO CLASSES WERE ABOUT TO START.  THERE WOULD BE LAUGHING, JOKING AND GENERAL ‘GRAB ASSING’ FROM THE STUDENTS UNTIL THEY SAW WE WERE THERE, THEN IT WOULD GET VERY QUET!!!  I HAVE NO IDEA WHY!??

THE ONE THAT CAUSED THE MOST UP-ROAR, HOWEVER, WAS WHEN WE PUT MY GEAR IN A BUDDY’S GARAGE.  HE HAD A THREE BAY SET UP THAT WE WOUND UP USING TWO OF THE BAYS.  THIS CAUSED ALL KINDS OF HELL FROM MY PAL’S WIFE, BECAUSE YOU CAN GUESS WHO’S STALL GOT TAKEN!!  MY PAL WAS A COP, AND HIS REASONING WAS BECAUSE, ONE, HE NEEDED TO STAY IN SHAPE FOR HIS JOB AND, TWO, THERE WAS NO WAY HE COULD LEAVE HIS UNDER COVER COP CAR ON THE STREET!!!  WHICH MEANT HER CAR WAS LEFT OUT IN ALL SORTS OF WEATHER, AND, SEEING AS SHE HAD TO LEAVE FOR WORK VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING, MADE FOR SOME TENSE SITUATIONS!!   I LAUGH AS I WRITE THIS BECAUSE KATHY DIRECTLY BLAMED YOURS TRULY FOR THE INVASION OF “HER SPACE”!  TO MY KNOWLEDGE, SHE STILL HARBORS A CASE OF THE ASS TOWARD ME!!!  (ALTHOUGH, AFTER 25 YEARS, I AM SURE IT IS MOSTLY TONGUE IN CHEEK.)

WHEN THE NEW WEIGHT ROOM WAS BUILT, I KNEW IT WOULD HAVE A FEW STORIES OF IT’S OWN BEFORE IT WAS OVER.  POSSIBLY, THE BEST STORY THAT WILL BE TOLD IS HOW A COUPLE COLLEGE BUDDIES GOT TOGETHER TO BUILD WHAT I HAD ALWAYS DREAMED OF.  I WILL NOT RECOUNT THAT STORY BUT I, MOST CERTAINLY WOULD NOT HAVE IT WERE IT NOT FOR FLOYD TRAUB.  HOW DO YOU REPAY SOMEONE FOR KINDNESSES SUCH AS THAT?? UNLESS THERE IS SOME NATURAL DISASTER, THIS WILL BE THE FINAL RESTING PLACE FOR MY EQUIPMENT. 

BEING A SENTAMENTAL SORT, I CAN’T HELP BUT HONOR ALL THOSE PLACES THAT I HAVE USED FOR MY WEIGHTS AND THE GUYS THAT SHARED THE WORKOUT TIME WITH ME.  I ALSO REMEMBER THE NAME WE GAVE TO THE FIRST PLACE.  SO, TO RECOGNIZE THE PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT HAVE MADE MY WORKOUTS MEMORABLE FOR ALMOST FOUR DECADES, I NAME THIS FINAL WEIGHTROOM, ‘SCRAPIRON WEIGHTHOUSE-#12’, THE CROWN JEWEL OF THE LEDAIG HEAVY ATHLETICS TRAING FACILITY.

My Visit to Ledaig Heavy Athletics

by Thom Van Vleck

Banner that hangs in the Ledaig gym

Recently I got to make my first trip to Ledaig since Dave built his new facility.  This is Dave Glasgow’s family gym.  I say family gym because it belongs to his whole family.  You drive down that road and it’s hard to figure out which “Glasgow” to stop at as each mailbox has that name on it. But if you know Dave and he counts you as a  friend, then you are family, too!  This sits on some family property about 30 miles from Wichita, Kansas but really miles away from anyone!  It is near Rainbow Bend, Kansas and if you can find that then you are right up there with Columbus and Magellan as an explorer.  Dave used to train in a round metal tank that would literally roast you on a hot day.  The frame for the gym was put up years ago, I believe Dave’s Dad had built a metal frame and never finished it.  Dave got it done and there is a gym, shop and garage housed in the large building.  You could park a dozen cars in there if it were cleared out, but Dave has a quarter sectioned off for the gym that is walled in and the rest is full of tools, cars, and projects!

Dave Glasgow cutting some steel rod in his gym to make stakes for Highland Games trigs.

I have been to many gyms overthe years and to me my favorites also include other “manly” pursuits.  My Uncle Phil has a reloading room attached to his gym.  Al Myers has a full scale metal shop in his gym.  Randy Richey (http://www.usawa.com/omega-force-christian-strongman-team/) has one of the coolest gyms I’ve ever seen with the a massive metal shop.   Hard to believe anyone could top Al’s gym, but Randy just might! I can’t top those guys but my gym has a workshop as well. Dave has entered the fray with a huge workshop area with the ability to cut, weld, and shape metal along with working on the two antique corvettes parked in his gym.

Some old school Eleiko bumpers at Ledaig

Another hallmark of a cool gym in my book is to have historical and cool things to lift.  Ledaig has many things, old and new to lift.  I was especially salivating over his Eleiko plates.  They are old and well used, but still cool nonetheless.  Dave has some equipment that he has used for many, many years in his gym and you can just feel the positive “mojo” in there!

If you get a chance to make it to a USAWA meet at Ledaig, it’s worth the journey.  You can fly into Wichita and that gets you close.  But if you drive there just know this:  The cell phone reception is not very good and on more than one occasion I have fielded a call from a lost lifter driving the countryside looking for “Rainbow Bend”.  Be sure you know how to get there!   Because it truly can be one of those places that “you can’t get there from here”!

Boxes for Lifting

by Thom Van Vleck

Boxes of different sizes can be a real plus to any gym.  They can be used for a variety of things.  Let’s look at some of the types.

Squat Boxes

My squat boxes with a 1 inch spacer that I can use to take them from 8" to 25". They are reinforced with a 2x4 frame inside.

Most people think of them for box squats which is what mine probably get used for the most.  I prefer to NOT do the box squats where you actually sit down on the box, but instead use mine to gauge depth.  But that debate is for another article.  These boxes aren’t always the strongest because they typically aren’t used to drop weight on.  Mine are strong enough to hold someone standing on them plus weight, but not drop the weight.  I made mine so that one box could be flipped on a side for a different height (I stole that idea from Al Myers….who probably stole it from someone else).  I have used mine for setting weights on to allow for different starting heights, as plyo boxes, and for many other things over the years.  They are just handy to have!

My "Jerk Boxes" that Al Myers made for me. These are made of metal and are a fixed height.

Jerk  (High) Boxes

These boxes are built with the intent of dropping the weight on them.  They need to be super durable.  I have some high ones that Al Myers made me that I asked for after injuring my should trying to “catch” a heavy push press.  Al made them….then liked them so much he made some for himself.  They have a thick sheet of rubber on them as well.  The High “Jerk” boxes I have are a steel frame with wooden platform on top.  They are usually made of wood.  Mine set high enough from me to do push presses and Jerks while standing over them.  I can also take squats out of them but from a low position. Usually these have a way to makes some adjustments on them, mine were custom for my height.

Pull (Low) Boxes

These are 3"-6" short solid wood boxes. They are stackable up to 9" for the Peoples Deadlift.

These boxes are also built with the intent of dropping weights on them.  In this case they are low for doing pulls and are built very strongly for dropping the heaviest of weights.  I have 4 boxes.  Two are 3″ thick and the other two are 6″ thick.  I can stack them and make them 9″ or the same as a People’s Deadlift.  Mine are scrap boards sandwiched with plywood and rubber matting.  I put handles on them to make them easy to move.  They are solid wood glued and screwed together.

Other “Boxes”.

There are many things you could use to achieve the same purpose and often it can mean re-purposing other objects.   If you are like me, you will find many other uses for these boxes in your training than what they were first built for.  This is especially true as I get older but at the same time as my kids train more and more I find them coming up with creative ways to use the boxes (and not all of it involves lifting…but that’s okay, too!).

Dino Days Record Day

by Al Myers

The Dino Days Weekend finished off with a USAWA Record Day on Sunday.  For the first time EVER, I had a conflict and could not be present at the record day on Sunday.  However, I left Denny Habecker and Scott Tully in charge, and would you believe this – it was the BEST record day the Dino Gym has ever seen!  13 lifters showed up to tackle the USAWA record list and many new records were set.  When I got back home Sunday night, Denny “filled me in” on the day’s top performances.  I was very impressed with the quality of lifting that took place. I just HATED to miss it, especially when it was done in the Dino Gym!!!

There was a wide range of lifts performed.  Just look down over the results and you will see many different lifts mentioned.  The youngest lifter was Gabby Jobe at age ten, and the oldest lifter was Art Montini at age 85.  The lightest lifter was Ruth Jackson at 107 lbs. and the heaviest lifter was Dan Bunch at 379 lbs.  The lightest lift for record was Ruth Jackson’s Rectangular Fix at 38 lbs., and the heaviest lift for record was Eric Todd’s Neck Lift of 1040 lbs.  Several ALL TIME records were set.  ET’s neck lift, Jesse Jobe’s Continental To Belt of 513 lbs., Alison Jobe’s Continental to Belt, Alan English’s Overhead Squat, etc.  Denny Habecker and Art Montini teamed up for a 507 lb. Team Deadlift as well.     

This was a record day that will be remembered.  I want to thank EVERYONE who showed up and supported the USAWA in this meet.

MEET RESULTS:

Dino Days Record Day
Dino Gym, Holland, Kansas
August 18th, 2013

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Lifts: Record Day (5 lift maximum)

Officials (1 official system used):  Denny Habecker, Art Montini, Lance Foster, Eric Todd

Gabby Jobe – Female, 10 years old, 118 lbs. BWT

Bench Press – Feet in Air: 65 lbs
Clean and Press: 50 lbs.
Peoples Deadlift: 176.2 lbs.
Anderson Squat: 180 lbs.

Alan English – 29 years old, 242 lbs. BWT

Apollons Lift: 323 lbs.
Turkish Get Up: 115 lbs.
Clean and Jerk – 2 Dumbbells: 220 lbs.
Squat – Overhead: 277.5 lbs.

Jesse Jobe – 36 years old, 240 lbs. BWT

Press – From Rack: 230 lbs.
Bent Over Row: 322 lbs.
Continental to Belt: 513 lbs.
Phumchaona Lift: 840 lbs.
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 303 lbs.

Alison Jobe – Female, 37 years old, 250 lbs. BWT

Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip: 186.2 lbs.
Continental to Belt: 186.2 lbs.
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip: 236.7 lbs.
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand: 144 lbs.
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand: 130 lbs.
Clean and Press – Middle Fingers: 57.5 lbs.

Scott Tully – 37 years old, 315 lbs. BWT

Turkish Get Up: 88 lbs.
Snatch – 2 Dumbbells: 120 lbs.
Lateral Raise – lying: 90 lbs.

Eric Todd – 38 years old, 261 lbs. BWT

Press – From Rack: 260 lbs.
Bench Press – Hands Together: 300 lbs.
Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 130 lbs.
Pullover – Straight Arms: 95 lbs.
Neck Lift: 1040 lbs.

Lance Foster – 47 years old, 322 lbs. BWT

Jefferson Lift: 360 lbs.
Cyr Press: 85 lbs.
Neck Lift: 330 lbs.

Dan Bunch – 49 years old, 379 lbs. BWT

Deadlift – Stiff Legged: 396.7 lbs.
Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm: 206.2 lbs.
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Left Arm: 220.2 lbs.

Dan Wagman – 50 years old, 180 lbs. BWT

Clean and Press – 12″ Base: 190 lbs.
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 125 lbs.
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 125 lbs.
Deadlift – 2 Bars: 550 lbs.
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 300 lbs.

Ruth Jackson – Female, 51 years old, 107 lbs. BWT

Deadlift – Reeves: 75 lbs.
Rectangular Fix – Fulton Bar: 38 lbs.
Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 105 lbs.
Squat – Piper: 167.5 lbs.
Snatch – Right Arm: 57.5 lbs.

Denny Habecker – 70 years old, 190 lbs. BWT

Press – From Rack: 150 lbs.
Clean and Press – Behind Neck: 135 lbs.
Clean and Press – Heels Together: 140 lbs.
Clean and Seated Press: 125 lbs.

Dean Ross – 70 years old, 265 lbs. BWT

Bench Press – Feet in Air: 195 lbs.
Bench Press – Hands Together: 165 lbs.
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 155 lbs.
Bent Over Row: 204 lbs.
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells: 260 lbs.

Art Montini – 85 years old, 174 lbs. BWT

Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 70 lbs.
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 70 lbs.
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells: 140 lbs.
Bent Over Row: 95 lbs.

Denny Habecker & Art Montini – 70-74 Age Group and 90 KG Weight Class

Team 2-Man Deadlift: 507 lbs.

Team Championships

by Al Myers

2013 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

Group picture from the 2013 USAWA Team Championships.

The Dino Gym hosted the USAWA Team Championships last weekend.  This is a championship event that contests “team lifting”.  Team lifting consists of lifting on the bar with a partner – and consists of three divisions:  2-MAN, 2-WOMAN, and MIXED PAIR.  Mixed pair is a team that consists of a male & female.  Four lifts were contested:  Bench Press – Hands Together, Deadlift – Fulton Bar, One Arm, Deadlift – Heels Together, and the Hip Lift.  The first three lifts went fairly quickly, but we ran into some difficulties with the Team Hip Lift.  To my best knowledge, the Hip Lift being performed as a Team Lift has never been contested before in history.  I had made a extra long Heavy Bar, but it required some slight modifications to it as the event was in progress.   All of the teams could have done MUCH MORE in this lift if given some more time training it and getting used to the timing of performing a Hip Lift with a partner. 

Logan Kressly and Jera Kressly performing a Mixed Pairs Heels Together Deadlift of 600 pounds.

I was very excited to have ALL THREE DIVISIONS represented in this championships.  That has never happened before.  The Ledaig HA was well represented with Jera and Logan Kressly lifting in the Mixed Pairs, and winning the Overall Mixed Pair Championships.  The 2-Woman Division saw a combination of Overall World Champ Ruth Jackson, and Overall Nationals Champ Molly Myers.  They formed a formidable duo.  The 2-Man Division was won by myself and Chad Ullom.   Denny Habecker and Art Montini competed in their first USAWA Team Championships.  Their lifting was superb, and each lift they did appeared to be done very easily.

MEET RESULTS:

2013 USAWA Team Championships
Dino Gym, Holland, Kansas
August 17th, 2013

Meet Director: Al Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Loaders: Dean Ross, Dave Glasgow

Photographer: Doug Kressly

Officials (1-official system used):  Al Myers & Denny Habecker

Lifts: Bench Press – Hands Together, Deadlift – Fulton Bar, One Arm, Deadlift – Heels Together, Hip Lift

WOMENS DIVISION

1. Ruth Jackson (51 years old, & 107 lbs) and Molly Myers (15 years old, & 171 lbs)

Open age class and 80 KG weight class

BP-HT DL-FB DL-HT Hip TOT PTS
160 198-R 375 550 1283 1444.6

EXTRA

Bench Press – Hands Together: 180 lbs.

MIXED PAIR DIVISION

1.  Jera Kressly ( 28 years old, & 231 lbs) and Logan Kressly (15 years old, & 169 lbs)
Open age Class and 105 KG Weight Class

BP-HT DL-FB DL-HT Hip TOT PTS
225 352-R 551 1423 2551 2108.2

EXTRA

Deadlift – Heels Together: 600 lbs.

MENS DIVISION

1.  Al Myers 46 years old, & 235 lbs) and Chad Ullom (41 years old, 252 lbs)
40-44 Age Class and 115 KG Weight Class

BP-HT DL-FB DL-HT Hip TOT PTS
450 452-R 904 2503 4309 3472.2

2.  Denny Habecker (70 years old, & 189 lbs) and Art Montini (85 years old, & 174 lbs)
70-74 Age Class and 90 KG Weight Class

BP-HT DL-FB DL-HT Hip TOT PTS
200 275-R 452 1150 2077 2509.7

EXTRA:

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Right: 308 lbs.

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in pounds. R designates right arm used.  TOT is total pounds lifted.  PTS are adjusted points for age and bodyweight corrections.

Unorthodoxy: A Training Program

By Thom Van Vleck

Bill Pearl autographed this cover of Muscular Development for my Uncle Phil. This picture hangs in the JWC Training Hall and inspires me in my bodybuilding workouts.

Anybody that trains for any length of time will get stale on any particular routine.  Everybody knows that.  We constantly switch things around to keep things fresh.  For many of us this means recycling many of the basic routines over and over….which can become stale within itself.  I have been training for 36 years and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and make no progress.  Or in my case, at age 49….trying to hold off the aging process which means lifting a weight I did 10 years ago is considered progress!!!! With those kinds of goals (avoiding decline instead of making gains) it becomes harder for me to stay motivated and enthusiastic about my training.

So, last year I decided I needed to shake some things up.  I upped my sets and reps, added  more exercises to the mix, and did what I would call an “Old School Bodybuilding” Workout.  Something that would make Reg Park or Bill Pearl happy!  This meant training heavy, but with more sets and reps.  I figured my single rep strength would suffer but to my surprise….it’s doing quite well.  I would credit the routine, but I really think it’s the enthusiasm this routine has created in my training.  My enthusiasm has been the highest it has been in years!

I really tried to start thinking outside the box.  I recalled about 18 years ago working my Bench Press for a solid year and adding a paltry 5lbs to my max.  Back then I was in my early 30’s and expected more!  I went from 360lbs to 365lbs.  I went into my next workout with no real plan and decided to hit ten sets of ten reps with 185lbs (about 50% of my max).  Boy was I sore the next day.  I had been used to a basic 3 sets of 8 reps program and this more then quadrupled my reps.  I went into my next workout still without a plan so I just added 10lbs and decided to make hitting 225lbs for 10 sets of 10 reps my goal.  I spent the next 6 months doing this same routine with NO ASSISTANCE work (of course, I was working back and legs….but no upper body assistance work).  This may be hard to believe, but I eventually did 300lbs for 10 sets of 10 reps.

Now, before Al Myers calls BS on me….let me explain.  When I did the 185, it was full reps, controlled, with a full pause at the bottom.  As I increased my form got sloppier and sloppier…..I didn’t care because I was so frustrated with my bench anyways.  I began to do half reps only locking out the last rep and slamming them harder and harder off my chest.  I also began to wear two, three, and even five tight t-shirts for extra padding.  So, I’m sure if I’d been doing these in a gym there would have been some guy making fun of me, telling me I was a joke, etc. etc.   I will be the first to admit that ten sets of ten reps with 300 was about the ugliest benches you would ever see.

The result.  The next week I warmed up.  I loaded 370 for the easiest PR I’d had in years.  I got cocky and jumped to 390….and got it.  Then I went to 400lbs…and I narrowly missed the first try and then did it on a second attempt!  I jumped up and screamed like I’d won the lottery!  The last Powerlifting meet I was in I got that 400lbs wearing a single ply bench shirt and that was my last  powerlifting meet.  I would point out I got 2 reds on that 400 for moving my feet….but I got it as far as I was concerned.  At that point Highland Games were beginning to consume my interest and I haven’t maxed on the bench since.

More recently, I have went back to that 10×10….with a twist.  I call it the 10×10x10.  Again, this is Unorthodox and will likely get you funny looks in gyms and chastised by most trainers.  But I just don’t care if it gets me results and keeps my interest up.  That’s worth more than “perfect form and the perfect routine”.  So, here are two examples of my 10×10x10.

The first is the Dumbbell Press.  I do 10 sets of 10 reps…..but at 10 different angles.  I have an adjustable bench that goes from a straight up and down to different angles of inclines all the way to a flat bench and then I slide plates under the front end to get two levels of declines.  So it’s ten sets of ten reps done ten different angles.  I have done this with the same weight allowing minimal rest and I’ve done it increasing the weight each set.

The second version of my 10×10x10 is with the box squat.  I have been using a safety squat bar which right there will get you made fun of my some guys.  I contend that you can save your back a lot with that bar and at my age that’s an issue.  I also would contend that you have to be very disciplined in using it as you can easily cheat.  I focus on keeping me weight centered on the balls of my feet and only using my hands to keep my body upright. This limits the weight…which is hard on the ego…but keeps the focus on my legs where I want it.  I do 10 sets of 10 on the squat but I start with a rock bottom squat, then to an 8″ box, then 10″…..in 2″ increments up to 24″ which from me having a 36″ inseam is well above parallel (God forbid!).  All the while I jump up in weight.

I’m not trying to say these are “secret routines” or you will have great gains, I’m just trying to show you how I have used some “Unorthodoxy” in my training to keep me motivated.  So, from time to time try being a little unorthodox in your training.  I would still say a good, structured program is best, but every so often do something outside the box.  A little change from time to time is good.

Team Champs Reminder

by Al Myers

REMINDER – the USAWA Team Championship is this weekend!

Presidential Cup

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS & REPORT

2013 USAWA PRESIDENTIAL CUP

Participants in the 2013 USAWA Presidential Cup (left to right): Al Myers, Denny Habecker, Art Montini, & LaVerne Myers

The second annual Presidential Cup only brought four lifters to the platform, but it was filled with some outstanding lifting performances in the host site, Habecker’s Gym.  This USAWA Championships crowns a Champion of the Record Days.   The basis of this honor is chosen by our USAWA President Denny Habecker on the Record lift that impressed him the most.  After all the dust had settled, our Prez made his decision, and the Champion of the Presidential Cup went to Art Montini with his unreal performance in the Teeth Lift.  I pretty much think all in attendance agreed to this choice!

Art Montini (right) and his Presidential Cup, awarded to him by USAWA President Denny Habecker (left).

The Teeth Lift is not a lift very many lifters would want to try a max lift in.  Art came to this meet with a new fabricated teeth bit all ready to set a new record.  He had worn his old one out!!!  Now that shows commitment to training the ole chompers.  He finished off with a lift of 107 pounds.  I should  remind everyone that Art is 85 years old, and soon to be 86!  I was going to say next that most people his age don’t even have their original teeth, but that applies to Art as well.  He did this with false teeth!  I guess that would build in a little safety margin – if you failed your teeth would just spit out with the bit!  Now that would be a sight to see.

There were also lots of other great lifting.  Denny performed a 176 lb. Hackenschmidt Floor Press and a 200 lb. Bentover Row.  LaVerne set a big record with a 232 lb. One Arm Deadlift record (breaking a mark held previously by Bill Clark), and did it using a Ciavattone Grip. He also did a 200 lb. Bentover Row and a one handed Thumbless Deadlift of 200 lbs.   I broke a couple of records held by my buddy Chad (since he wasn’t in attendance!) which included a 303 lb. Bentover Row and a 211# one arm Thumbless Grip Deadlift.  The highlight of my day was teaming up with my Dad in the Team One Arm Thumbless Grip Deadlift with a lift of 451 pounds.

LaVerne Myers pulling 232 pounds in the One Arm Deadlift, using a Ciavattone Grip.

This is a great event, and hopefully more lifters will attend next year.  Denny has agreed to keeping this as a fixture event in the USAWA.  Congratulations to all lifters who took part.

MEET RESULTS

2013 Presidential Cup
August 10th, 2013
Habeckers Gym
Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker

Officials (3 official system used on all lifts): Denny Habecker, Al Myers, Art Montini, LaVerne Myers, Judy Habecker

Al Myers – 46 years old, 235 pounds

Hackenschmidt Floor Press: 331 pounds
Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm: 200 pounds
Deadlift – No Thumb, Right Arm: 211 pounds
Bentover Row: 303 pounds

LaVerne Myers – 69 years old, 250 pounds

Deadlift – Left Arm: 232 pounds
Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm: 200 pounds
Bentover Row: 200 pounds

Denny Habecker – 70 years old, 187 pounds

Hackenschmidt Floor Press: 176 pounds
Deadlift – Right Arm, Ciavattone Grip: 165 pounds
Bentover Row: 200 pounds

Art Montini – 85 years old, 177 pounds

Hack Lift: 154 pounds
Deadlift – Left Arm, Ciavattone Grip: 122 pounds
Deadlift – Right Arm, Ciavattone Grip: 122 pounds
Teeth Lift: 107 pounds

Al Myers and LaVerne Myers – 45-49 age group, 115 KG Class

Team Deadlift – No Thumb, Right Arm: 451 pounds

Denny Habecker and Art Montini – 70-74 age group, 85 KG Class

Team Deadlift: 303 pounds

Presidential Cup & Century Club

by Al Myers

Susan Sees (left) and Bob Geib (right) at the 2013 USAWA National Championships. At this meet Bob eclipsed 100 USAWA records and joined the Century Club.

The Presidential Cup is coming up fast (THIS WEEKEND)!  It is hosted by our USAWA President Denny Habecker at his gym, Habeckers Gym, in Lebanon, PA.

I have my plane ticket bought and ready to “join in”  this premier Record Day event in the USAWA.  The Presidential Cup is modeled after the IAWA Gold Cup, to allow each lifter to showcase their favorite and best lifts.  There will be a champion crowned.  As per rules of this event, the President is the one to make the decision on which Record Lift performed impresses him the most and that person will be awarded the Champion of the Presidential Cup.  Last year at the inaugural USAWA Presidential Cup the late Dale Friesz was awarded the Championship trophy.  Everyone was in agreement that Dale rightfully deserved this honor.  Dale will forever be known as the FIRST PERSON to be crowned the champion of the Presidential Cup.

It has been awhile since I have given an update on the Records Race and the members of the Century Club.  After doing a little figuring, I was surprised to see the number of record increases and the new members of the Century Club.  I should have recognized a few lifters before now!  The Century Club has now grown to 25 members (from 23 on last count).  I accurately predicted recent Hall of Famer Bob Geib would be joining the list after his latest resurgence in the USAWA, and  Ruth Jackson has came out of nowhere to join the Century Club!!  Ruth has had a stellar year in the USAWA – capped by winning Overall Best Female Lifter at the IAWA World Championships last October.  Congratulations to both of these two for this accomplishment. Since the list has now grown, I am going to break it down into two listings – one for women and one for the men.

WOMEN’S CENTURY CLUB
(as of August 7th, 2013)

RANK LIFTER CURRENT RECORDS PREVIOUS COUNT CHANGE
1 Noi Phumchona  263  265  - 2
2 Ruth Jackson  180  new  ——
3 Mary McConnaughey  117  117  0

MEN’S CENTURY CLUB
(as of August 7th, 2013)

RANK LIFTER CURRENT RECORDS PREVIOUS COUNT CHANGE
1 Denny Habecker 480 447 + 33
2 Art Montini 425 413 + 12
3 Al Myers 411 396 + 15
4 John McKean 291 292 - 1
5 Dennis Mitchell 266 260 + 6
6 Frank Ciavattone 265 262 + 3
7 Joe Garcia 238 243 - 5
8 Bob Hirsh 229 229 0
9 Chad Ullom 200 195 + 5
10 Bill Clark 198 200 - 2
11 Howard Prechtel 174 175 - 1
12 Dale Friesz 160 162 - 2
13 Dean Ross 155 132 + 23
14 Jim Malloy 153 153 0
15 Scott Schmidt 151 148 + 3
16 John Monk 148 148 0
 17 Ed Schock 138 142  - 4
18 Chris Waterman 137 137  0
19 Rudy Bletscher 131 126  - 5
20 Mike Murdock 107 104  + 3
21 John Vernacchio 102 105  - 3
22 Bob Geib 102 new  ———

As you can see there are no “major changes” at the top of the Century Club.  Denny has stretched his lead over Art to such a degree that I won’t even call it a records race anymore between them (I’m calling you out Art to kick it in gear a bit!!! haha).  Denny has added the more records to his count since the previous count (33 records) than anyone else.  He is on pace to break the 500 barrier by the end of this year! I also added a “change” number to this list.  That is how much the lifter’s record count has changed since the last count. You have to remember these are absolute counts, so you may think you have set more records than listed (which is probably true), but some of the records you previously owned might be getting broken in the process.  The only way to keep going forward is to add more records than you are losing – and that is only accomplished by meet participation!  I’ll again mention Art here – as I know Denny is getting great satisfaction out of breaking Art’s records in the 70/85 KG class, thus adding one for himself and taking one away from Art at the same time!!!

I’m getting to pride myself of making predictions on who the next Century Club members will be.  I have been pretty much “right one” with every one.  Now let me make my next predictions.  Pretty easy if you ask me – it will go to a Ciavattone, either Joe Sr., Joe Jr., or Jeff.  They are all “knocking on the door” of getting 100 USAWA records on the books.  Now don’t let me down guys on this!!!

I’m looking forward to celebrating the USAWA this weekend at the Presidential Cup.  See everyone there!

Interview with Chad Ullom

by Al Myers

The start of the Dinnie Walk, one of the events in the World Stone Challenge.

Al: Recently you participated in the World Stone Championships in Scotland. Could you tell me how you got invited to this prestigious event? Please feel free to share any other details of the event.

Chad:  Well, Francis Brebner has been planning on doing this type of challenge for many years, but circumstances caused it to fall through.  He didn’t tell me this, but I believe after the controversy involving the Dinnie stones last year, he decided that this was going to be the year to pull it off.  Given the success in lifting the stones that Al Myers, Mark Haydock and I had last year, he extended an invitation to all of us to come over and compete in this challenge.  I made it clear to Francis that I am NOT a stonelifter!  I had success with the Dinnies because I have a good hook grip and a strong enough back.  After the support he showed us on the Milo forum and in writing the Milo article, I wanted to go and support the event.  Not to mention, it involved a trip to Scotland!

Inver Stone

Al:   What were the events, and how did you do?

Chad: We started off with the Dinnie stone carry for distance.  We were allowed to use straps since the farthest walks on record were done with straps.  This caused even more of a dust up after we were done!  Now, I have rarely lifted with straps so I made a big mistake!  I didn’t wrap my right strap all the way around and after two feet my strap broke!  I was going to try again, but someone shut us down early (that is another story!).   The two feet got met 4th place, Mark finished 2nd with 9 (I need to check that) and a big Hungarian named Peter Putzer   walked 18’4”!  Going over the 5 yard mark that was our target!  It was very impressive to watch!

We then did the bare handed walk with the smaller Dinnie stone.   Mark took 1st in this event with 30ft, and I came in 3rd with 21. 

Next it was on to the Inver stone.  We were given 75 seconds to lift it as many times as we could with 1 points awarded for lapping it, 2 for bringing it to the chest and 5 for an overhead press.  I was able to bring it to my chest 4 times which again placed me 4th

Next was the inverstone carry.   I went 1st here and made a big mistake!  I brought it to my chest and squeezed, cutting off my breath so I only went 37 feet and finished 5th here.

On the final day,  we threw a 98 pound stone that the Portland stone was designed after.  This one turned out to be my best event and with some advice from Ryan Vierra, I took 2nd place with a throw of 12’2.   

Mark ended up tied for 1st, but lost on count back to Istvan Sarai.  Overall, I finished 5th, but it was a lot of fun and I was honored to participate! 

The one handed Dinnie Stone Walk.

Al:  I seen that you lifted the Inver Stone, something that you couldn’t do on the stone tour following the Gold Cup.  I bet this was exciting for you.  Could you share the details of that accomplishment?

Chad:  That was very important to me.  As I’ve said, I’m not a stone lifter, but this was something I really wanted to do.  I was disappointed after the gold cup that I wasn’t able to lift the inver, but I was totally focused on the Dinnies!  Well, before we got there, I felt the butterflies.  After all, this was being filmed and I didn’t want to fail!  I went over to warm up , I grabbed it and it came off the ground very easily!  I had some issues with balance during  the comp, but I was happy to bring it to my chest 4 times.

Hans Darrow hosted a good ole fashioned BBQ on our first night in Germany, and he welcomed us right into his home.

 Al:  I know after this Stone Championships, you went to Berlin, Germany to participate in the IHGF World Amateur Highland Game Championships.  How did that go, and what were the highlights of competing against the International Highland Gamers?

Chad:  That was a very humbling experience!  Hans Darrow and his family treated us like one of their own.  I’m happy to say that the international throwers are a great group of guys and I made some new friends!  I finished in 10th place out of 14, I was happy with how I threw.  I threw pretty close to seasons best in each event, nothing great, but I didn’t bomb anything either.  The highlight for me was definitely caber.  Going in, I wanted to surprise some people with the caber.  I ended up placing 3rd here and was very happy with that.  It was a tough stick, only 5 got a turn I believe.  I’m happy to say that I was able to turn it all 3 times. 

Setting up for the Weight for Height.

Al:  I know there has to be at least one interesting story you would like to share with us from this trip.  I don’t expect for you to share the ones you told me privately about Hamish Davidson, but I’m sure there has to be one that is fit to tell here! 

Chad:  That’s a tough one, LOL.  The best stories aren’t mine to tell, but I can tell you Francis Brebner had me in tears for days after!  So the best story that is PG would be after the bar closed down!  Several of us decided to go out and celebrate.  We started at the field watching the fire show drinking beer, diesel(beer & cola mixed 1:1), and a few shots.  After a stop at a regular bar we moved to a dance club.  Had a great time,  and closed it down!  A few of us decided to walk back to the hotel, a few others took a cab to another bar.  So, 3am in Germany and everyone I was with spoke only broken English!  We weren’t 100% sure where we were so one of the guys stepped away to call a cab and left me with his brother.  Well, we waited….and waited…finally his brother laid down on the sidewalk and passed out! After a half hour, I woke him up and said we have to try to find our way!  We disagreed on where to go, but I finally convinced him to head my way.  Turns out, we were like 3 blocks from the hotel!   We must been out there a half hour!  The best part is we found his brother drinking in the hotel bar!  

Hammer Throw

Al:  What can you tell me about the organizers of these events?             

Chad:Francis Brebner and Ryan Viera make up the IHGF(international highland games federation).  I’m not sure how many countries they went through on this trip, but they are working very hard to expand highland games across the world!  I would say they are having great success, the games in Germany had 14 athletes representing 11 countries!  I believe it was the most countries in an international highland game.  They are taking some heat for reasons I don’t understand in some circles.  I can tell you after spending a week with these two, they are doing this for  the love of the sport!  They have a wealth of knowledge and a true passion for the games.  They also drug test at each of their games which makes them fit right in to our way of thinking!  I wish these men great success in what they’re doing. 

Group picture at the Highland Game Championships.

Al:  Thank you for taking the time to do this short interview.  The USAWA is very proud of you and these great accomplishments! 

Chad:  Thank you Al!

World Postal Meet

by Steve Gardner

MEET RESULTS

Andy Goddard Memorial – World Postal Challenge 2013

A Total of 62 Lifters took part in this year’s event, 25 teams in all. Results from teams that lifted in front of 3 refs, were submitted for record claims. Several prominent lifters were injured and having to lift below par, but the IAWA spirit saw them still compete, and so well done to you all! In the team event: Well done to Hoghton Barbell finishing ahead of the Burton Powerhouse first team, and a great result by The Ciavattones first team to finish third overall. In the individual overall rankings: Well done to Mark Haydock, a clear winner, ahead of Joe Ciavattone Jnr. who was superb in second position just ahead of Steve Andrews. Cast your eyes down the top ten amended totals and see what an impressive list it is, everyone who took part was a winner! Fantastic to have 14 female lifters, and a great big thanks goes out to Cliff Harvey for bringing New Zealand back to the fold with a bang! See all rankings in division order also to find your individual division placing. All results were amended using bodyweight and age formulas.

World Postal Meet Results (pdf):

Andy Goddard 2013 Results

The following result sheets contains the lifters that used 3 officials to qualify for IAWA World Records (pdf):

AndyGoddard2013

Grandpa’s Farm: A Legacy of Strength

by Eric Todd

This is a picture of the barn Grandpa built in 1950, that I maintain and use today.

I have shared this story in a number of forms on a number of different occasions.  But I feel it is worth repeating here once again.  For anyone interested in seeing a brief video, the condensed version, please look here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK3NYJs4nec

My Grandpa, Gus Lohman, was a farmer.  He was a farmer all of his life.  He came from generations of farmers.  His Great Grandfather John Lohman came over from Germany.  He built himself a dugout house, and according to a book on the history of Clinton County, Missouri, he became one of the prominent farmers in the area.  Grandpa attended the old Deer Creek one room schoolhouse, where he graduated the eighth grade.  That is the extent of his formal education.  From there he became a farm hand, where he saved up enough money to purchase his own farm.  Through his incredible work ethic and farm savvy, he saved up enough money to purchase the adjacent farm, giving him a farm of almost 500 acres, which he farmed successfully for the rest of his life.  This is the farm I was raised on.

I grew up knowing Grandpa as a gruff, but kind man with a great sense of humor.  But most of all, I remember him for his toughness.  I worked on the farm with him a great deal as a kid.  I started young and continued through my teenage years.  Grandpa was always a fan of feats of strength.  It was a huge compliment when Grandpa referred to someone as “stout”.   However, I have never encountered anybody who was able to work the way Grandpa could.  He never seemed to tire.  And I was working with him when he was in his seventies and eighties. 

I would later hear stories from the old men in the country store or around the neighborhood about Grandpa.  One tells about when someone had been crude in front of a lady, Grandpa punched him so hard it sent him though a barn wall.  Another was a story about a stallion that no one could break.  This is when Grandpa was quite young. When Grandpa claimed that he would be riding that horse to town that night, no one thought it was possible.  Until Aunt Josie and Uncle Sally were in their Model T on the way to the movies that night.  A lone rider came galloping past them.  It was Grandpa on that very stallion.  These are a couple of many stories, and I was always intrigued by stories of Grandpa’s Strength.

However, the most impressive feat of strength was one I learned about after Grandpa passed.  Deep into his eighties, Grandpa developed cancer and fought it off valiantly, but ultimately lost.  I remember when I was very young, Grandpa “retiring”.  He sold off his cattle and all his machinery.  This lasted a couple months, and then he bought it all back and continued farming.  At the time, as a small boy, I didn’t think much of it.  However; after he passed, I was told that at that time, over 20 years prior, Grandpa had been diagnosed with cancer, and was given six months to live.  He fought and lived well past that, and worked every day of it.

After Grandpa died, I decided there was no place I would rather live and raise a family then on Grandpa’s farm.  I moved back, and took to taking care of it as well as weight training and strongman training there.  The Grandpa’s spirit of toughness and hard work served, and still serves today, as a big motivator in my training. 

My mother and father also live on Grandpa’s farm.  They have most of my life.  We always had a pretty simple, hard working life out there.  When I was quite young (I believe 3 years old) I took note of Dad going out to run the country roads for exercise.  I got the notion that I wanted to do what Dad was doing, so I would throw my mud boots on and light out after him.  Before long I was running a mile or two at a time.  When I was about nine, and had discovered that wrestling was something I could do competitively, dad made me a dumbbell to work out with.  I used it religiously, along with doing pushups and sit-ups.  When dad saw how determined I was, we made a makeshift weight room out in the old milk barn, and Dad and I would train together.  After the workout, we would talk about what would make a champion, and even more important, what it took to make a man.

 I never appreciated my father to the extent that I should have growing up.  See, my father was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 13.  HE didn’t have control of it through medication until he was around 30.  At that time, he was finally able to obtain a drivers license.  Because of the late start, he was never confident in his driving, but he braved treacherous roads in the winter without fail.  He was often unsteady in walking due to his medication, but he always made it to work, even after a number of falls to ensure he made it to work to make a living to take care of his family. 

For a few years as I was on the mend from a severe back injury, me and Dad trained together again.  We competed together in powerlifting meets.  It was a valuable experience to be able to train with dad again, and ultimately compete with him, side by side. 

My mother was always the cement that held our family together.  She was the rock that we would lean against for our own strength in hard times.  She always gave to her family first, and often went without herself. A few years ago we had just had our little girl.  My wife had to go back to work, but we were confident, as Mom would be taking are of Phoebe during the days.  This went well for a few months, but one Sunday night, Mom called.  She wasn’t feeling well, and would not be able to take care of Phoebe the next day.  This worried me.  I knew mom would have to be on her deathbed in order to not take care of Phoebe.  The next day, I called to check on her.  She was feeling worse, so I convinced her to get to the ER. She was diagnosed with colon cancer and had to have emergency surgery.  After the surgery was over, I felt like I would need to be strong for her.  What did I know?  Even though she had been through that incredible trauma, had a ventilator in, and was only able to communicate through writing with her swollen hand,   she continued to look after us, checking to be sure Dad had taken his medication and scolding us for not getting anything to eat. 

Yeah, I come from good stock.  Where will this legacy of Grandpa’s farm go?  Where Everett is only 5 months old, Phoebe has been trying to lift things since she could walk.  Though I scold her, when she is bench pressing the coffee table, or   when she is supposed to be going to bed she grabs this 2# antique dumbbell I have setting by my chair and starts lifting it overhead saying “I’m exercising”, I know it is in her blood.  My wife told me one day when she and Phoebe were out on the back deck where I have two throw away ez curl bars setting, and Phoebe went up and futilely tried to lift the first one.  She said to herself, “That’s Daddy’s.”  Then she went to the lighter one and lifted it about 4-5” off the ground.  “That’s mine,” she beamed.  I could only smile.

Yeah, I come from good stock.  So what is my responsibility to the legacy of strength on grandpa’s farm?  I will not push my children into weight lifting or sport if that is not something they want for themselves.  But it is up to me to teach them the value of hard work, determination, tenacity, and more than anything, strength of character.  To do anything less would do a disservice to those who came before them, and the legacy of Grandpa’s farm.

David Webster & the Dinnie Stones

by Al Myers

I was able to catch up with David Webster again (I've met him many times at prior Highland Games) at the 2013 Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. Pictured left to right: Al Myers, David Webster, & Chad Ullom

If it wasn’t for David Webster, the stone lifting World might never have heard of the Dinnie Stones. David Webster  is the man who made the presence of the Dinnie Stones well known.  Without this, all the recent notoriety the Dinnie Stones have received would have never happened.  These famous lifting stones might be laying obscure at the bottom of the river bed in the River Dee instead. Today I would like to share some previous published information about David Webster’s and his tie to the Dinnie Stone’s legacy.

From the book “The Super Athletes” by David Willoughby:

Here is an example of how strong Dinnie was is a simple feat of lifting and carrying.  This information was kindly furnished to me by David Webster of Glasgow, a famous strand-pulling expert and an authority on Donald Dinnie.  Outside the hotel in Potarch, Scotland, are two large and heavy boulders which used to be used in tethering horses (while their masters went into the hotel to refresh themselves). One of the boulders weighs 340 pounds and the other 445.  In the top of each weight is fastened a ring made of 1/2-inch round iron and just large enough to grip with one hand.  The story is that Dinnie’s father was able to lift the 445 pound stone onto a wall 3 1/2 feet high and that Dinnie himself carried both stones (one in front of him and the other behind) a distance of five or six yards.

Another great resource on Donald Dinnie and the Dinnie Stones is David Webster’s and Gordon Dinnie’s  book, “Donald Dinnie – The First Sporting Superstar”. This book is a MUST for anyone who has interest in the Dinnie Stones or stone lifting in general (YES – that’s a plug for the book!).  This is a short piece from the  book, which is written in such manner as to reflect Donald Dinnie’s own account.

In the Deeside district there are many stories told of his extraordinary feats. Just let me tell you one.

On the granite stone bridge that crosses the River Dee at Potarch there were, and still are, two large stones weighing about 8 cwt the pair, placed in a recess.  In the early 1830’s massive iron rings were placed in them, to which ropes were fixed so that scaffolds could be attached for pointing the bridge.  Now, one of those stones was somewhat heavier than the other. Very few strong men of that day could lift the heavy one with both hands, but my father could raise one in each hand with apparent ease, and could throw the heavier stone of the two on to the top of a parapet wall of the bridge.

On one occasion, I have been told, he took one stone in each hand and carried them both to the end of the bridge and back – a distance of 100 yards.  This achievement has been pronounced the greatest feat of strength ever performed in Scotland.

Those stones are still on the bridge and I myself lifted  one in each hand on many occasions and one market day, I carried them across the bridge and back, some four to five yards.  I did not, however, attempt to go to the end of the bridge, as my father had done.

If you want more information than THAT from the book, you should buy it!  I consider both of these literary accounts as the basis of the history and legend of the Dinnie Stones, which David Webster is a big part of.  You can read lots of speculations and opinions from those posting on the internet on how Donald Dinnie intended the Dinnie Stones to be lifted, whether Donald Dinnie actually carried both stones at the same time unassisted across the bridge,  and so on.  All of that is just talk and is meaningless, as I have not been aware of any ACTUAL PROOF of the feats of Donald Dinnie in regard to the Dinnie Stones.  That only actual support to the Dinnie Stone stories are the written accounts passed down in history, like the two above.

I chose to believe the above words of David Webster because I WANT to believe in the legend of Donald Dinnie and the Dinnie Stones . Let the Dinnie Stone legacy continue to  live!

The Wagman Log – Not So Pristine

By Dan Wagman, PhD, CSCS

Publisher/Editor in Chief: Journal of Pure Power (JOPP)

Consultant: Body Intellect Sports Performance Enhancement Consortium

Dan Wagman's homemade wooden log.

Recently Thom Van Vleck wrote a wonderful article about the Jackson Stones on his farm. One of the responses to that article on the USAWA Forum mentioned how strongman should be about lifting such oddly shaped stones, not what you find today with the “pristine standardized stuff you see anymore.” I immediately thought to myself, “Yeah, just like the silly perfectly balanced steel logs they use anymore.” So allow me to introduce you to my log—a real log.

Dan pressing Kaz's wooden log in the 1991 USA Strongman Championships.

In the early 90’s Bill Kazmaier put on the first USA Strongman Championships and I wanted to compete. Of course one of the events included the log press. My gym owner was very supportive of my powerlifting and we even put on a State Bench Press meet together. So as soon as he heard that I wanted to compete in strongman USA’s, he offered to “sponsor” me—by cutting down a tree in his yard so I could practice the log press. I thought he was kidding…until he pulled his truck up to the front of the gym, gesturing me to hop in. We proceeded to head to his place to take down a tree. It actually didn’t take very long at all. He had a chain saw, cut that thing down, cut off the branches, cut the log to four feet, and then used the tip of the chain saw to cut out hand-holds through which we drilled holes and inserted 1-inch pipe as grips—done!

We threw the log in his truck and went straight back to the gym. Next step, weighing the log…200 pounds. Next step…lifting it. My friend had first crack at it and couldn’t lift it. Then I went and with much, much difficulty I was able to press it out for one rep. After applying some of that new science I learned since I had just started my graduate work in exercise science, I was up to 16 reps in two weeks and then over 20 at the end of a month. At Kaz’s meet I ended up with the highest log press rep-count by knocking out 22 reps with Kaz’s real log. Those were the days…

After several months the log dried out and started to lose weight. To make it heavier I would periodically hose it down with water, but that made no difference and it stabilized in weight at 155 pounds. Of course I had to find a way to add weight, which I did by bolting floor flanges to each side and screwing in 2.5 inch pipe; now I could add plates. Time to crank!

After perfecting the clean and press or push-press with that log and then having to press a wonderfully balanced steel log, it’s no wonder why I tend to spank my competition in the log press. I’d go as far as saying that lifting a perfectly balanced steel log serves to limit your strength gains. It’s probably the same thing with stones…Maybe in this day and age STRONGMAN should be renamed to something more pristine such as not-as-STRONG-as-I-could-be-MAN.

Club Award to the Salvation Army Gym

by Al Myers

The Salvation Army Gym - Runner Up CLUB OF THE YEAR in the USAWA.

I was glad to be able to personally award the Salvation Army Gym their Runner Club Award from the USAWA at their USAWA meet last weekend.  These awards, presented on behalf of the USAWA, were given out at the National Championships.  However, since no representatives from the Salvation Army Gym were able to be present at Nationals, this meet of theirs was the perfect opportunity for me to be able to give them the recognition they deserve.

Tim Piper (left) receiving the Club Award from USAWA Awards Director Al Myers (right).

The Club Awards are the only special USAWA awards that are not selected by membership nomination/vote.  Points are accrued throughout the year for various things like USAWA memberships that represent the club, club promotions, and participation of club members in USAWA competitions.  The points are simply “added up”, and the clubs that earn the most points are the winners.  So you can see that this award is actually EARNED! 

Congratulations to the Salvation Army Gym for an outstanding past year in the USAWA!  The next year will be a BIG ONE for them as well as they will be the host of the 2014 USAWA National Championships.

Team Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

2013 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

I'm a little reluctant to share this picture, as I don't want to discourage participation in the Team Championships. But Team lifting can be a different challenge - and when things go bad - there can be a disaster! It's pretty easy to tell how this lift ended for Chad and I as we were preparing for the Team Champs a few years back!!! Not good and it was all Chad's fault.

Every year the Dino Gym has an annual weekend celebration which we call the DINO DAYS.   It usually includes competitions of different kinds, and lots of good food and socializing!   This year will be no exception to that.  It is a gym affair, but the invite goes out to anyone else who wants to show up and be part of the fun.  Also, as has been the case the past few years, the USAWA Team Championships will be held at the Dino Gym that same weekend. 

The Team Championships are different than any other type of meet that you can enter.  It involves having a teammate that joins you in lifting – with BOTH of you lifting on the bar at the SAME TIME!  Team Lifting has three categories for Team Lifts:  2-Man (male & male), 2-Female (female & female), and Mixed Pair (female and male). The weight class the team is entered in is the weight class of the heaviest lifter, and the age group the team is entered in is the age class of the youngest lifter.  An exception is if a Junior lifter is teamed with a Senior (20-39 age) or Master Lifter (great than age 40).  In that case, the age class designation will be designated as open.

This is a fun event to compete in.  As I’ve said before – if you have a bad day you can always blame it on your partner!  And if you have a great day – you can take all the credit!   This is one of the “signature events” in the USAWA since it is one of our Championship Events, and the winners will be declared the USAWA Team Champions for the year. 

ENTRY FORM – TeamChampionships2013

Dino Days Record Day

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT  – DINO DAYS RECORD DAY

Meet Director: Al Myers and the Dino Gym

Meet Date: Sunday, August 18th, 2013 10:00 AM-4:00PM

Location: Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas

Sanction: USAWA

Entry Form: None – just show up

Entry Fee: None

Lifts: Record Day – Pick any lifts you can set a USAWA record in!

Maximum of 5 lifts for record is set.

Contact me at amyers@usawa.com if you have any questions

Presidential Cup

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
THE 2013  USAWA PRESIDENTIAL CUP

The BIG AWARD given out in 2012 for the winner of the Presidential Cup!

For the second year in a row, the now “Annual” USAWA Presidential Cup is being hosted again by our USAWA President Denny Habecker.  This is one of the CHAMPIONSHIP events hosted in the USAWA, and is the Championships of Record Days.  It follows along “the lines” of the IAWA Gold Cup – a lifter picks their best lift and contests it for a USAWA record in this prestigious record day.  After all lifters have performed their record lifts, Denny will pick the effort that impresses him the most and award that lifter the PRESIDENTIAL CUP.  Only one lifter will receive this very important award.   If time allows, lifters will have the opportunity to perform other record day lifts.  So it is a good idea to come with the BIG LIFT in mind, but also be prepared to do other lifts for record if the time allows.  

Last year the late Dale Friesz won the Presidential Cup with his 154 pound Ring Fingers Deadlift.  It was a very impressive lift considering the physical issues Dale was dealing with at the time.   When Denny chose Dale as the winner of the Presidential Cup, I was very glad to see it.  Now looking back, it was a “fitting end” to Dale’s long and distinguished USAWA career.  He will forever be THE ONE who won the first ever Presidential Cup.

Now a little “rehash” on the Presidential Cup.  This is a reprint of the guidelines laid out last year:

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.

MEET DETAILS:

USAWA Presidential Cup

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

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