Lifter of the Month: Frank Ciavattone

by Al Myers

Frank Ciavattone in action at the 2014 IAWA World Championships.

Congrats goes to Frank Ciavattone for being selected as the Lifter of the Month for the month of September. Frank is definitely deserving of this award after the unbelievable contributions he made to the USAWA during the past month. Frank not only promoted the IAWA World Championships, but competed and won his 20th IAWA World Championships. He also was recognized by the IAWA with the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit, the highest honor given out by the IAWA.

Frank Ciavattone –  the USAWA LIFTER OF THE MONTH FOR SEPTEMBER!

Update on the OTSM Championships

by Al Myers

***NEWS FLASH***

It has recently been decided that this year’s USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships will be held in conjunction with Eric Todd’s “Battle in the Barn.” Eric has promoted several OTSM competitions over the past few years, and his facility will make the perfect venue for our OTSM Championships.

If you haven’t decided to attend ET’s meet yet – NOW IS THE TIME!  Let’s make  a great turnout this year for the USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships!

Postal Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2014 USAWA POSTAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The big finale of our USAWA Postal Meet Series is upon us!

The Postal Championships will be held during the full month of December, with the entry deadline the last day of the month.  USAWA Postal Meet Director Denny Habecker has picked a good selection of lifts to test everyone’s strength in our Championship event.  Also – I want to remind everyone that this meet “counts double” in generating points toward the yearly postal series point totals.  Let’s have another good turnout of participation!

The lifts:

Snatch – From Hang
Deadlift – One Arm, Dumbbell
Pullover and Push

Denny has let me know that SIX lifters have taken part in all three of the previous quarterly postal meets this year.  Denny commented, “I thought some people might be interested to see the cumulative point totals of the people who have done all the postals so far this year. So here they are.”

Barry Bryan – 1622.62 points
Eric Todd – 1621.58 points
Denny Habecker – 1603.83 points
Ruth Jackson – 1426.12 points
Lance Foster – 1164.63 points
Crystal Diggs – 669.51 points

POSTAL CHAMPIONSHIPS ENTRY FORM (PDF) – 2014 USAWA Postal Championships Entry Form

Are you feeling Slunk?

by Thom Van Vleck

Slunk [sluhngk]

Adjective

1.  Being in a temporary state where one’s mental and physical abilities are impaired by a lack of sleep achieving a similar state to being drunk.

Every year there are new words added to the dictionary. This past year words like “Crap Shoot” and “Demonizing” were added among several HUNDRED others.  While the unabridged dictionary just keeps adding new words the concise versions have to trim words to keep balanced.  Recent words removed included “Video Jockey” and “Cassette Player”.  Some words once commonly used are rarely used and there are words that have been commonly used that are still not in the dictionary at all.  They all have something in common and that is someone, somewhere, had to make up a word to describe a feeling or situation.  That word either caught on or disappeared from our lexicon.

For years my Mom has made up words when her vocabulary has been lacking.  This has been amusing to me and my brother.  One of her words is “Befaffeldated” that means she was very confused and surprised.  I assume she meant befuddled and exasperated then kind of slammed these words together.  She has also used a word I’ve learned is being considered for the Oxford dictionary but didn’t quite make the cut…..yet.  That word is  “Slickery” and means that there are slippery conditions outside.   Again, I think she slammed “Slick” and “Slippery” together and I thought for a long time it was just another one her made up words.  Maybe she invented that word and now it has spread across the English speaking world and my achieve “real” word status by being included in the dictionary like other great made up words such as “Humongous” or “Ginormous”.  (Yes….ginormous is a word….it passed spell check so it must be a real word).

So, what does this have to do with “Slunk”.  Recently I traveled to Scotland to participate in the Masters World Championships of Highland Games.  Chad Ullom and Jackson Weightlifting Club members Bill Leffler and Jim Spalding were along.  If you’ve ever traveled internationally you may have experienced jet lag.  You also end up with these epically long travel times.  Chad told me that when he and Al Myers traveled to the IAWA World’s a couple years back they spent 40 hours on the road!  They got back Sunday night and Chad had to go to work Monday morning.  He said he was so exhausted that he couldn’t function….or was he “Slunk”?  So sleepy he felt drunk!

On my  recent trip to Scotland I had trouble sleeping on the overnight flight and ended up having marginal sleep for many hours and I jokingly said to Chad that I was “Slunk”.  We were all so tired we wondered if we should even be driving and kept taking turns as we caught naps.  I got to thinking and there have been many times I have been “Slunk”.  When I was in the Marines I was on a schedule where I would work two day shifts the first two days, then two 11-7 shifts the next two days, followed by two afternoon shifts the following two days.  I would then get 80 hours off and repeat.  I often stayed up between the two day intervals and became very sleep deprived.  I once fell into such a deep sleep afterwards that they almost called an ambulance when I wouldn’t wake up!

So, I’m going to try and go viral with this new term to describe that state of being so sleepy that you feel drunk….or Slunk!  It’s real, and we need a word to describe it so why not this word.  Sure, I’m in it for some personal glory, too.  I won’t lie.  If this word makes it I’ll probably cut the page out of a dictionary and hang it on my office wall and then gloat to all my friends saying, “I made that up”.

Do you still need to be sold on it?  Well, think of all the great ways it can be modified to describe things that we currently just can’t describe with one word.  So, if you are so sleepy you feel drunk you are simply “Slunk”.  If someone does this often, then you could call them a “Slunkard”.  If you plan on doing it then you can say you are going to be “Slunking” or maybe you are going to get “slanked”.  If you did it the day before you can say you were “slunked” yesterday.  I haven’t figure out “Slinking”…..maybe it’s the time leading up to getting “Slunked”. I haven’t worked out all these details yet….I’m an idea man not a detail guy.

Okay, so you have a new word!  The revolution begins.  Make me a superstar in the world of Etymology!  Start using “Slunk” every chance you get and, please remember….don’t slink and drive!  Now, if you excuse me….it’s my nap time.  I don’t want to end up a “Slunkard”.

3rd Quarter Postal

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS

THIRD QUARTER POSTAL MEET

3rd Quarter Postal Results

MEET RESULTS:

3rd Quarter Postal Meet
September 1st – September 30th, 2014

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

Lifts: Holdout -Raised, Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, One Arm, Continental to Belt

Officials:
Ruth Jackson – Certified Official Jarod Fobes
Crystal Diggs – Certified Official Ruth Jackson
Barry Bryan – Certified Official Denny Habecker
Denny Habecker – Barry Bryan
Eric Todd – Lance Foster
Keith Thompson – Eric Todd and Lance Foster

Gold Cup Getting Close!

by Al Myers

IAWA Gold Cup 2014

Well the entry deadline has “came and went” for the 2014 IAWA Gold Cup in Burton, England – hosted by Steve Gardner.  This is one of the premier competitions with the IAWA, and attending it is a prestigious occasion for all those involved.  All USAWA members should at least once attend an IAWA Gold Cup.   The USAWA will be represented this year in England by these lifters: Al Myers, LaVerne Myers, Denny Habecker, Frank Ciavattone, and Colleen Lane.  I apologize if I have forgotten someone – and if I have please let me know so I can give you the proper kudos!

Steve is the master lifting promoter, and I’m sure this Gold Cup will be excellent like all of the other events he has promoted in the past.

Joe Garcia Appreciation Award

by Al Myers

Joe Garcia's Appreciation Award

Another USAWA appreciation award was given to another great contributor to the USAWA.  Joe Garcia has been the USAWA Records Director/Record Keeper for the USAWA since the very beginning, and just recently stepped down from this position.  Joe’s efforts single handedly are the reason we have a very comprehensive record list in the USAWA.  We owe him eternal thanks for this, as the Record List is a very important entity within our organization.  It has been kept up to date with diligence for over 25 years, consisting now of over 10,000 records. That’s a lot of records!!!  Joe has undoubtedly spent thousands of hours  of work on this.  It also requires that things are done with perfection to prevent wrong information incorporated into our official Record List.  Not very many people would have the energy  and persistence to keep a list like this up to date!!!!

Again, I had hoped to present this Appreciation Award firsthand to Joe, but could not get something worked out in a timely manner so it was mailed to him.  Joe contacted me immediately by phone upon receiving this award to give his thanks to the USAWA for it.  He seemed very surprised and moved by this. I’m hoping at a later date to interview Joe to highlight his accomplishments and efforts as the USAWA Record Director/Keeper.

Congrats Joe!!!

John Wilmot Appreciation Award

by Al Myers

John Wilmot's Award

The strength of the USAWA is made up by the contributions of our membership.  One individual who has made powerful contributions to the USAWA was recently recognized by the USAWA Executive Board and the USAWA membership.  This man is John Wilmot – who spear headed the beginning of the USAWA Postal Meet Series.  John began promoting postal meets within the USAWA in 2007, which eventually became adopted officially as the USAWA Postal Series.  This consists of 4 quarterly postal meets, culminating with the USAWA Postal Championships in December. John’s efforts with this has allowed many lifters to enjoy the participation in these postal meets. After several years of having the responsibility of directing these meets John has stepped down, passing the job off to Denny Habecker as the USAWA Postal Director.

On behalf of our organization, John was sent this nice plaque in recognition of his efforts.  We had hoped to present this award in person, but was unable to make the arrangements.  I recently received this letter from John which I would like to share, “Thanks for the very nice USAWA plaque.  In 2007, I started directing postal meets to continue the tradition of the International Postal Championships.  You helped me by lifting in the postal meets and encouraging other USAWA members to compete.  The postal meets were successful because of the participation of a great group of athletes!  Thanks again, John Wilmot.”

Congrats again John – your contributions have been very much appreciated by the USAWA!!

New England Gold Cup

by Frank Ciavattone

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

This meet will be the same as Art’s, a limit of 5 lifts for records.  This meet will have no entry form to fill out or need an entry.  Just an email or a call to me. The date of the meet is 11/29/2014 at the Norwood Recreational Center, 165 Nahatan St., Norwood.

E-mail: fdc2955@aol.com

Home Phone: 508-668-5200

Cell Phone: 508-801-6279

Entry fee of $20 will help cover cost of awards, insurance, etc.  This can be given at weigh in.

Entry deadline by phone or email November 22nd, 2014.

Also, there will be a pioneer meet for a trial of wheelchair lifts by Paul Dallalis!  The town of Norwood is again helping us out with a venue.  Pizza to follow the meet!

IAWA Annual Meeting

by Steve Gardner

A brief run down on business at the 2014 IAWA Council Meeting…..

2014 IAWA Council Meeting – 8pm Friday 26th September – Norwood, Massachusetts USA

Members Present: Frank Ciavattone, Colleen Lane, Dave Ellis, Frank Ciavattone Jr., John Mahon, Sam Trew, George Dick, Denny Habecker, Paula Thompson, Art Montini, Steve Gardner, Chris Bass, Frank Allen, Dick Durante, Judy Habecker, Janet Dick, Chad Ullom, Dennis Mitchell, Flossy Mitchell, Al Myers, Steve Sherwood, Paul Dallalis, Karen Gardner

Minutes of the 2013 Meeting: IAWA General Secretary Frank Allen took the meeting through the minutes from last year’s AGM. All agreed they were a true and accurate record.

Confirmation of International Vice Presidents: All current International Vice Presidents for England, USA and Scotland remained in position. Confirmation for Australia was received as: Robin Lukosious and Peter Phillips, New Zealand as Cliff Harvey and Spain as Jose Jara.

Rule Change / Addition: On safety grounds, IAWA Technical Committee proposed that the rules for the Shoulder Drop be amended to allow the lifter to bend the legs during the lift, giving the lifter a safer position to catch the weight. After discussion amendment accepted!

New Lift for Approval: The Domal Squat had been proposed by Aqeel Afzal and supported by IAWA UK and the Technical Committee. After further discussion the lift was accepted. (the lift is: one arm locked out overhead with barbell, kettlebell or dumbbell, the lifter then performs a full squat!) Rules of performance and full description of the lift will be circulated!

IAWA International Development: Steve Gardner reported to the meeting that two Nations are currently getting organised as full IAWA Member Nations: New Zealand and Spain. Both Countries have already organised their initial board of officers and are working on establishing officials etc as we speak. This is great news for the development of all round weightlifting in IAWA. More details will be circulated at a later date!

A report on the 2014 World Postal Competition: The Meet Director for the World Postal Steve Gardner informed the meeting that the event had been an overwhelming success, with 32 teams representing 8 Nations taking part, 78 Individual lifters in all, and including Juniors Open and Master lifters from the Men’s and Women’s Divisions. All present agreed the event should take place again in 2015, lifts will be 3 from the 2015 IAWA Worlds!

An Update on the World Championships for 2015: The event to be promoted by David McFadzean will take place on weekend of 10th /11th October at the Castlemilk Community Centre in Glasgow, Scotland. The lifts Proposed were – Day One: Clean & Push Press, Cont. Snatch, Pullover & Press, One Hand Deadlift – Day Two: One Hand Zercher, Dumbbell and Barbell Anyhow, Straddle Deadlift. All details of venue date and the lifts were agreed!

An update on the IAWA Gold Cup for 2015: John Mahon and Sam Trew will be promoting the Gold Cup in Perth, Australia on Friday November 27th at the Belmont Recreational Centre. There will also be a Highland Games event next day – all agreed venue and date!

Finalisation of Agreement of IAWA Gold Cup 2016: Al Myers will promote this event in Kansas USA!

Finalisations of Agreement of World Championships 2016: Clive Madge will be the promoter of this event which will take place on the North Island near to the Capital City of Wellington!

Applications for Promotion of IAWA International Events
IAWA World Championships 2017: Application from Mark Haydock for Manchester, England was accepted!
IAWA Gold Cup 2017: Application from George Dick for Glasgow, Scotland was accepted!

A proposal for Wheelchair Disability All Round Weightlifting within IAWA: A presentation was put to the meeting by Paul Dallalis. After discussion the meeting agreed that Paul will look further into the matter over the next 12 months to see what can be achieved, Al Myers proposed that Paul liaise with another lifter in the US and report back at the next IAWA Council meeting. All agreed.

World Championships

by Steve Gardner

2014 IAWA World All Round Weightlifting Championships

Norwood, Massachusetts USA September 27th and 28th

Promoter: Frank Ciavattone Snr

Group picture from the 2014 IAWA World Championships.

The 28th Annual IAWA World Championships was an outstanding success, due in no small part to the work undertaken by the promoter ‘Big Frank’ and his willing team of supporters and helpers…known as ‘Franks Barbell Club’. After a wonderful get together on the Friday evening the IAWA World Council Meeting took place at the Old Colonial Hotel in Norwood, where all the business of IAWA was addressed in good fashion with IAWA International President: Al Myers Chairing the meeting. At 8am on Saturday morning the weigh in was open with Steve Gardner, Denny Habecker and George Dick taking care of business in that Department. When all at the score table were ready (where Steve Gardner and Al Myers performed the announcing duties, assisted with scoring by Judy Habecker and Chris Bass) the lifters for Group One were introduced to the audience and the lifting began at 10am sharp. Group one sailed through and at 1.30pm Group two were introduced, and the lifting was completed by 4.30pm. That the lifting went through so smooth was also aided by the great job undertaken by the loaders! Day two’s lifting followed the same format and lifting was complete by 4pm.

The lifting over the weekend was absolutely fantastic. A mix of new lifters to the IAWA platform alongside seasoned World Championships proved to be a winning formula with many outstanding performances. The Junior ranks were represented by two young men that I cannot say enough about, Matt Triatti and Matt Hancock lifted ‘out of their boots’ and were a credit to coach Frank C. Two young men with a big future in all round lifting for sure. The ladies division was exciting too, Paula Thompson lifted very well and showed great form as she went on to score the best amended total followed by Karen Gardner. I can say (and I know this for sure) it is the best performance Karen has put on since her Breast Cancer Surgery and as she continues her recovery treatment it is great to see her getting back closer to her previous lifting ability. Jessica Hopps was great, very keen and a strong girl too, in her first major tournament she lifted like a seasoned professional, with Susan Sees lifting stronger than ever, it was great to see Bob Geibs gleaming face as he said ‘shes a strong girl aint she!’. Colleen Lane looked so happy as she performed, smiling through out and putting on a good display, as well as being there to help partner Frank in running the whole show!

The Senior Masters showed everyone the way to go, with superb performances from our 80 plus lifters Dennis Mitchell and Dick Durante, and of course the ever impressive Art Montini still forging ahead at 86 years young. Denny Habecker and Bob Geib represented the 70 plus division with style and several new records between them. In the 60 plus division there was also great lifting from George Dick and Steve Sherwood, and Steve just rolls on like a machine putting out great numbers and to good effect too! In the 50 plus groups we had Dave Ellis, it was great to see him back lifting after 18 years, and Big Frank the promoter pulled some big lifts to please the crowd, and Steve Gardner took to the platform in a rare appearance these days to support his friend Big Frank (and despite lifting in a lesser capacity these days, got to say I really enjoyed it). The 40 plus Masters were a real hot bed of power, we had Joe Ciavattone Snr putting it out there along with the very strong trio of James Fuller, Al Myers and Chad Ullom who put together the biggest total of the meet. The Open Division was a strong contest between John Mahon, Sam Trew, Frankie Ciavattone Jnr, Jim Delaney, Jeff Ciavattone and Joe Ciavattone Jnr, with Joe Jnr coming out on top ahead of Jeff Ciavattone, with great lifting from all. The 2014 World Championships was ‘one of the best’ Well done big Frank!

The presentation of the Awards took place at the Old Colonial Hotel on the Sunday evening following a sumptuous Banquet, it was a terrific occasion with such a lot to applaud, Frank had one of the Town Selectmen there to assist him and Colleen, and also Kathy Triatti who had been a big support to Frank. After the Championships Awards there was a very special presentation, as two IAWA members received the coveted ‘IAWA Award of Merit’ this had only been presented twice before, and it is IAWA’s highest award. The Awards were made for personal endeavour, continued hard work and support of the organisation over many years. The first award was presented by Steve Gardner to Frank Allen from Liecester, England, and the second award was presented by Al Myers to Frank Ciavattone Snr. Of East Walpole Massachusetts, USA. After the speeches and presentations were made, there was not a dry eye in the house as the occasion touched everyone emotionally. A truly inspiring occasion. I for one will not forget our weekend in Norwood, and the IAWA family now looks ahead to Scotland in 2015 – Long Live IAWA!

MEET RESULTS (PDF) – IAWA 2014 WORLD RESULTS

BEST LIFTERS (PDF) – HONOURS BOARD

All Round Mountaineering

by Thom Van Vleck

Chad atop the mountain!

After the recent Highland Games Masters World Championships Chad Ullom joined me on a “Mountaineering” expedition.  Last time I made a pretty epic climb but this time we took it a little easier after such a tough, three day competition. It is my opinion that a true “all rounder” should be in shape to do pretty much whatever he wants.  I enjoy hiking and hill climbing.

We had rented a house that overlooked Loch Ness.  Honestly, it was the best place I’ve ever stayed.  About as stereotypical Scotland as you could get and the views were spectacular.  While we were up above the Loch we were far from the top and that became Chad and I’s goal.  We heard you could see for 50 miles in every direction.  We set out up a road that met a trail.  The trail was was through woods and fairly steep.  We reached a logging road and after some discussion picked a route.  As we got above the tree line we were in fields covered with heather and rocks.

We were hoping for good weather as the view promised to be spectacular….but a heavy fog (or maybe it was clouds!) rolled in.  I’m glad we took layers as the wind picked up and it was very damp.  While the long distance view was ruined, it was still pretty interesting to pick you way down a trail in that heavy fog.  If you didn’t pay attention you could get easily turned around.

Thom Van Vleck at the top.

We ended up hiking down the other side and picking our way through several trails in the Abraichian Forest.  We ran across deep woods, unusual mushrooms as big as dinner plates and some bright red and some orange.  We saw an illicit Whiskey still reproduction (the Scottish version of a moonshine still).  There were glacial tills filled with rocks and we even saw some Scottish Red Deer.

As always, I had a bit of a side mission as well.  In 1971 my mother gave me my first bible.  Then for Christmas in 1978 by grandfather Dalton (Jackson Weightlifting Club founder) gave me a bible.  They were both small versions but have meant a lot to me because they are symbolic of the Christian principles I was taught and have come to embrace.  I know Christ is my savior and I’m a better man for it.  So, I brought those bibles along and laid them out at the top of the peak.

Two Bibles given to me by my mother and grandfather setting at the top of the mountain.

I can’t believe I’ve been to Scotland three times….and I can’t say I won’t again.  I’m sure there are many beautiful places in the world but there is so much I haven’t seen there and it’s a “sure thing” I’ll like it versus and unknown place.  Plus, the family history connection and the highland games are hard to beat.  I’ve already got a “next mountain” planned when I make it back.

Frank Ciavattone – IAWA Award of Merit

by Al Myers

Frank Ciavattone (right) receiving the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit from IAWA President Al Myers.

The “second Frank” that was awarded the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit at the 2014 IAWA World Championships went to Frank Ciavattone. It was a great honor to me to be the one  that got to  make this presentation – as I’ve always looked up to Frank and have considered him a role model.  Below is my presentation speech, for those that were not there to here it firsthand.

I’m honored to be the one that gets to award the IAWA Award of Merit to Frank Ciavattone. This Presidential Award has only been given out a few times, as it represents recognition of the highest form in the IAWA. I could go on forever about Franks lifting accomplishments in the IAWA. As I was doing preparation for this presentation, I realized that Frank has won so many titles and has set so many records and has so many lifting accomplishments that this speech could get very long on me if I wasn’t careful. I’m not going to make Frank stand up here that long – so I’ll just hit a few highlights of his IAWA lifting career. I’ll try to keep this speech as short as I can here.

• Started training in 1971 under coach Joe Mills of the Central Fall Weightlifting Club
• Began involvement in the IAWA in 1988
• IAWA World Championship Meet Promoter 1993, 2000, 2014
• IAWA Gold Cup Meet Promoter 2010
• Holds MANY IAWA World Records
• First US lifter to lift the Dinnie Stones barehanded in 1995
• Won 20 IAWA World Championship titles
• Founder of Franks Barbell Club, and has mentored and coached many new lifters
• Best lifts: One Arm Hack 402.5#, One Arm Deadlift 562.2#, One Arm Ciavattone DL 331#, Neck Lift 808#,Hand and Thigh 1610#, Hip Lift 2515#
• Lifted overseas 7 times – in 6 IAWA World Championships and the Millennium Gold Cup

I’m sure I’ve left off many of Frank’s accomplishments within the IAWA in this short list – but you get the idea here – he has been a major contributor to the IAWA during the entire span of the history of the IAWA. I would like to say a few words about why Frank REALLY deserves this honor. I made this comment in Frank’s USAWA Hall of Fame writeup, and I would like to repeat it here as I think it sums up Frank Ciavattone – “Frank is the ultimate sportsman by demonstrating that a big man can be very strong without the use of drugs, showing that strength comes from within, and displays the unselfish attitude of always helping out his fellow competitors.”

When I first became involved in this great sport of all round weightlifting , I immediately took notice of Frank. We both shared being in the heavier weight classes together. But instead of becoming heated opponents, Frank encouraged me in ways I wasn’t expecting. My involvement in IAWA might not have matured like it has if not for Frank Ciavattone. He has been an inspiration to me, as well as many others, to become more involved in IAWA. Frank has always strived to “give back” to our sport more than he has taken. We would not be here this weekend if not for Frank.

Frank – I consider you a great friend. You are more than deserving of this Presidential Award of Merit and it is my privilege to be the one to get the opportunity to present this award to you. Thank you for all you’ve done for our sport.

Frank Allen – IAWA Award of Merit

by Al Myers

Frank Allen (right) receiving the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit from Steve Gardner (center) and IAWA President Al Myers (left).

It was a very exciting last weekend in Boston.  One of the most important aspects of the weekend was the presentation of the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit.  This the IAWA version of the “Hall of Fame”, and only goes to individuals that are extremely worthy.  Only a handful have been presented this prestigious award, and this weekend included the presentation of the Merit Award to two outstanding men.

To earn this award, a person must not only have shown outstanding accomplishments in performance in All Round Weightlifting in IAWA events, but have been a major contributor in other aspects as well – such as event promotions, leadership responsibilities within the organization,  and be of outstanding character.

It was an honor to be part of the induction ceremony honoring the great Frank Allen. Steve Gardner gave a very eloquent speech highlighting Frank’s illustrious career in IAWA.  Frank was an original member of IAWA, and was the promoter of the VERY FIRST IAWA World Championships in 1988.  He has attended practically every Worlds and Gold Cup through the years.  Congrats Frank!

World Championship News Flash

by Steve Gardner

I am very proud to have been at this year’s World Championships at big Frank Ciavattones in Boston it was a great competition and the British lifters were just brilliant. In the ladies event I am so chuffed that Karen and Paula from my own club both took World titles in their weight classes and both won outstanding lifter awards in their age divisions.  Paula at 40 plus and Karen at 50 plus and finished first and second in the overall rankings..well done ladies! George Dick was super at 125 plus taking 65 plus title and outstanding lifter at 65 plus also. Steve Sherwood was out of this World winning has weight class and outstanding lifter in his age division and winning the overall champion of champions title case best lifter at the championship by a huge margin over very strong challenges from Chad Ullam and Al Myers and James Fuller. All of the lifters did great and Frank C put on a superb competition. Chris Bass was great helping me at the score table and the evening finished off with two award of merit presentations, the IAWA highest award. I was proud to present the award to Frank Allen and Al Myers presented to Frank Ciavattone two great awards, a perfect end to a perfect championships. Looking forward to getting things sorted now for the Gold Cup….long live Iawa!

Highland Games Masters 2014

by Thom Van Vleck

Chad Ullom tossing the caber in Scotland!

Recently USAWA members Dave Glasgow, Chad Ullom, and Thom Van Vleck went to Inverness, Scotland to attend the Masters World Champs of Highland Games.  Unfortunately, Dean Ross was unable to attend.  Dean was the last person to have attended EVERY SINGLE MWC since it’s inception a dozen years ago.  Larry Traub was in attendance to watch and cheer us on.  Dave and Larry had brought their wives along….I was stuck rooming with Chad…..

The event was great fun and I’ve already talked about the Guinness caber toss record.  This was a three day event and it worked out where I could help Chad in the morning sessions when he threw and he could help me in the afternoon sessions.  I know for a fact Chad helped me out and I hope he found me helpful as well.  We would video each other throwing and assess mistakes and changes.

Chad Ullom between Wilbur Stam and Tommy DeBruijn....and Chad beat them both in the caber!

Chad was 4th in what I would call one of the toughest 40-44 age groups I’ve ever seen.  He had former champ Mike Dickens to deal with as well as 6′10″ Tommy DeBruijn.  Chad did extremely well against a field of some 20 throwers.  His best event was the caber toss where he was one of only three in his group to turn the caber.  He was in a dead tie going into the third and final attempt and ended up 2nd by a fraction.  I have to say in my opinion I thought he won it….but they didn’t let me judge!  It was that close.

I was in the 50-54 age group and I was dealing with two of the all time Scottish greats….Mark McDonald and Allister Gunn.  Both former pros and it was no contest with 18 throwers in my group about who would be in the top two.  Allister pulled out a close victory and the rest of use were really contending for 3rd.  I was very pleased to have my 2nd best finish ever with a 5th.  However, what really made my trip was winning the Weight Over Bar event for the 4th time at the World’s.   I really thought I had no chance at beating the two legendary Scots but it ended up being my day!  Chad was a big help spotting for me and keeping me focused.  I get deservedly kidded for focusing on this event but I love it and I won’t apologize for enjoying my win even if it’s just one event!

Thom Van Vleck winning the WOB event.

I know Dave was in a very tough group.  It was great to see him in Scotland with Larry.  Dave’s best events were the hammers where he placed 4th in both the light and heavy.  He was also 5th in the Heavy weight for distance.  Dave was in the 60-64 age group…..Which had THREE former or current World Champs in his group….by far the toughest in my opinion relative to the competition and age. I think Dave would be at the top had he not blown both quads a few years back.  I think he’s an amazing story recovering from that injury and coming back to throw well enough to contend for the podium.

Next year the World’s are slated for St. Louis, Missouri…back in the USA!  Looking forward to it all ready!

Tomatin Toss

by Thom Van Vleck

All lined up for the "Tomatin Toss" which was an attempt to break the Guinness Word Record for a mass caber toss! photo by Chad Ullom

USAWA members Chad Ullom and myself recently took a trip to Inverness, Scotland to take part in the Masters World Championship of Highland Games.  I will report on that later, but first I wanted to tell you about an exciting event Chad and I got to take part in.

There is a Guinness World Record for simultaneous Caber tossing and it stood at 53 Cabers.  Cabers are “logs” or “telephone poles” that are stood on end and the athlete has to pick it up, run with it, and flip it end over end for an “official turn”.  The previous record was held by a Highland Games in Fergus, Canada.  After the Games in Inverness we were invited with some 126 other throwers to try and break this record.  I have to be honest at this point and admit that Chad and I had some reservations regarding this as it could be quite dangerous with 126 logs flying through the air at once.  Previous attempts were very dicey!  But, in the end, we couldn’t pass up the chance to take part.

Tomatin Scotch Distillery was sponsoring the event so it was call the “Tomatin Toss”.

As we set up the sun was setting.  An official from Guinness had been flown in and he appeared to be a very proper Englishman!  He walked around with his head up and seemed to be scrutinizing everyone and everything!  We lined up on two sides and were throwing at one another….we had to question that!  There was a truck with a big screen TV at the end televising the event.  We had to wait for what seemed to be forever to get the “go”.

The instructions we received were a bit vague and this led to some confusion.  It’s tough enough to turn a caber but to do it on cue….well…that’s a real trick.  Chad is a master at the caber and I feel pretty confident with it myself.  I was only one of 6 that turned the caber in by age group of 20 athletes who were all proficient with the caber.  Still, it was a tall order!  The cabers were also not well made, as they were made for a “one time” turn.  This is NOT to say they preparation was poor…just that the cabers had been cut over the past 6 months and some had dried too much!  Chad and I knew we could have a caber snap on us and when that happens you never know what will happen.

Finally, we got a countdown.  As I began to “pick” (lift the caber into the tossing position) I had to simply focus on my caber and no one elses.  This put me at the total trust of the athletes around me that they wouldn’t lose control and dump it on my head.  As I heard the announcer hit “one” I ran up the caber and at zero gave it a pull….and much to my own pleasure it went flying over.  I glanced to my right and saw that Chad had successfully turned his and as it hit the ground it snapped in half!

While 126 had attempted and we only needed 54 for the record it was apparent as I looked around we might have a problem.  Many of the athletes were not as adept at the caber and had failed to get a turn.  Others had misjudged the timing and while they turned the caber it was not “simultaneous” with the rest.  The video was reviewed over and over and we were asked to stay in position as the judges reviewed the video and scored each turn individually.  The Guinness judge made his way up and down the field repeatedly…..about a half an hour went by and we were beginning to wonder if we had done it!

Finally, the Guinness judge took the microphone….and he did milk it a bit….but in the end he declared we had broken the record with 66 successful turns.  We all immediately headed to the beer tent to celebrate….not just the Guinness record…but the weekend as a whole.  I was really actually pretty glad to just survive the whole thing.  I remember as a kid reading the Guinness record book and wondering if I would ever be a part of it….and now I am!

World Postal

by Steve Gardner

This year was the first official IAWA World Postal championships, and what a terrific success it has been. When you look through the results you will be amazed to see that 78 lifters representing 8 different Nations took part in the competition. 32 teams in total. Well done to all the lifters who took part and the officials, supporters and helpers that made it happen. I am sure that Andy would be really impressed with everyone’s efforts and I think we did his memory proud! Look through the results to see 1 the team rankings, 2 the individual lifter rankings, and 3 the class titles awarded in bodyweight and age divisions!

World Postal Championships Results – WORLD POSTAL 2014. Results

Backbreaker Pentathlon

By Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Backbreaker Pentathlon

Meet Director: Bill Clark  & Joe Garcia

Date: Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Venue: Clark’s Gym, Columbia, Missouri

Weigh-ins: 8- 9 AM

Entry Fee: None

Entry Form: None

Awards: None

Membership: Must be a current USAWA Member

Lifts: Neck Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Back Lift, Hip Lift, Harness Lift

Record Day will follow the meet.

To enter, a confirmation must be sent to Bill Clark by the Tuesday preceding the meet. Bill can be reached by phone: 573-474-4510, Fax: 573-474-1449, or mail: Bill Clark, 3906 Grace Ellen Drive, Columbia, Missouri, 65202

Battle in the Barn

by Eric Todd

November 1, 2014, ET’s House of Iron and Stone will play host to the third annual “Battle in the Barn, an Old Time Strongman event. This year, three Old Time Strongman events will be contested, along with one traditional all-round lift. The lifts are as follows:

Saxon Snatch
Apollon’s lift
Hand and Thigh
Dinnie Lift

As we did last year, we will score this meet in 2 different ways. The first is by formula; the second is by straight weight lifted. I am not sure what they will look like yet, but there will be awards at this event.

Anyone who has been to my gym before know it is a “no-frills” facility. Climate control looks like an open window and a fan in the summer and a wood fire in the winter. The “restroom” is located outside, back behind the giant tin can that we lift in. But there is lots of iron. It is a great place to lift big weights and get strong.

After the meet, I am hoping to have a short record breaking session. I plan on having a couple records to shoot for and hope you do as well. Please contact me at SalGuimino@yahoo.com or on the forum with any questions or if you have a particular record you would like to attempt after the meet. Hope some of you can make it out for a great day of lifting. Entry is attached.

ENTRY FORM (PDF):  Battle in the Barn Entry

TRAIN HARDER AND SMARTER

BY DAVE GLASGOW

Kenny Glasgow, of the Ledaig Heavy Athletics Club, lifting 345 pounds in the People's Deadlift at the 2013 USAWA Club Championships. Kenny, at 76 years of age, is proof that you can train "hard AND smart"!

MIKE ROWE IS MY HERO. YEAH, MIKE ROWE. YOU KNOW HIM, HE’S THE HOST OF THE TV SHOW, ‘DIRTY JOBS’. HE IS THE CHEERLEADER FOR WHAT MOST FOLKS WOULD CONSIDER ‘BLUE COLLAR’ WORKERS. HIS MAIN CONCERN IS THAT THE ‘INFRA-STRUCTURE’ OF OUR NATION IS DECAYING DUE TO A HUGE DECREASE IN FOLKS WHO, ONE, WANT TO WORK AND GET DIRTY AND, TWO, KNOW HOW TO DO THE TRADESMAN’S OCCUPATIONS. ###(SIDE BAR… THE ELECTRICAL COMPANY NEXT DOOR TO WHERE I WORK IS SHUTTING IT’S DOORS, AFTER DECADES IN BUSINESS. THE REASON?? THE OWNER CAN NOT FIND DEPENDABLE, SKILLED ELECTRICIANS TO DO THE WORK, ALTHOUGH HE IS PAYING STARTING WORKERS $28-31/HOUR!! (THIS IS A NON-UNION SHOP.)###

MR. ROWE FURTHER LAMENTS A POSTER HE SAW AT HIS HIGH SCHOOL WHEN HE WAS A STUDENT THERE. IT STATED; ‘WORK SMART, NOT HARD!’ HE SUGGESTS A DIFFERENT SCENARIO: ‘WORK HARD AND SMART’.

WHAT BROUGHT ABOUT THE THOUGHTS FOR THIS ARTICLE WERE TWO THINGS THAT OCCURRED TO ME JUST ABOUT AN HOUR APART, THIS MORNING.

THERE WERE SEVERAL OF US COMMUNICATING VIA EMAIL, WHICH WENT BACK AND FORTH FOR SOME TIME. THE CONVERSATION TURNED TO SEEKING HELP AND ADVICE IN WHATEVER YOUR ENDEAVOR MAY BE; LIFTING, RUNNING, WHAT HAVE YOU. WE AGREED THAT ONE SHOULD SEEK THIS INTERACTION WHENEVER THE OCCASION PRESENTS ITSELF. NEVER BE TOO PROUD TO GET INSTRUCTION FROM PEOPLE WHO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE ABOUT.

THE SECOND EVENT IN THE MIX WAS A CHANCE OBSERVATION WHILE I WAS RUNNING SOME ERRANDS OVER MY LUNCH BREAK.

WHILE DRIVING DOWN THE STREET, I NOTICED A WOMAN ON A BIKE WITH A TWO-WHEELED CART BEHIND HER THAT SHE WAS PULLING. NOW, I WOULD ASSUME THIS WOMAN WAS DOING THIS FOR THE EXERCISE RATHER THAN OUT OF NECESSITY, DUE TO THE FACT THAT THE TEMPERATURE WAS NINETY AND THE HUMIDITY WAS IN THE HIGH 50s. WHAT STRUCK ME WAS HOW HARD SHE WAS WORKING! SHE WAS ON A GEARED BIKE BUT SHE WAS POWER STROKING WITH THE PEDALS BARELY MOVING, EXERTION CLEARLY EVIDENT ON HER GRIMACING FACE. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, THE TERRAIN WAS FLAT. THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN FAIRLY EASY GOING. MY FIRST THOUGHT WAS, ‘LADY, GRAB A GEAR!’ I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE THAT USING THE RIGHT GEARS MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD, POINTED OUT ON MY FIRST TRAINING RIDE WITH AN EXPERIENCED BIKER WHEN I WAS DOING TRATHLONS ‘BACK IN THE DAY’.

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE ANY OF US DONE OUR TRAINING IN A ‘HARD’ MANNER, THINKING WE WERE REALLY KILLING IT WHEN, IN ALL ACTUALITY, WE WERE REALLY KILLING OURSELVES NEEDLESSLY.

THE ODD LIFTS ARE A PERFECT EXAMPLE AND I WILL USE MYSELF AS AN EXAMPLE; TRYING TO FIGURE OUT THE ‘ONE ARM C/J’. TO CUT TO THE CHASE, I WAS DOING IT AS A CONVENTIONAL C/J, WITH THE HAND OVER THE BAR RATHER THAN UNDER. I CHASED THAT DAMN BAR ALL OVER THE PLATFORM; WORN OUT BEFORE I EVER GOT TO THE JERK PORTION. MUCH TO MY SURPRISE AND RELIEF, WHEN I WAS PROPERLY INSTRUCTED, I FOUND IT MUCH EASIER TO PERFORM THE CLEAN, THEREFORE, I COULD WORK ON THE JERK WITH MORE ENERGY. SIMPLY PUT, I WAS NOW WORKING HARD AND SMART!

SO, THE POINT BEING, IF YOU TAKE THE TIME TO ‘LEARN THE TRADE’, YOU CAN WORK IN A MORE EFFICIENT MANNER AND YOU CAN WORK HARDER AND, THEREFORE, HAVE A MORE PROFITABLE WORKOUT!

SO, THE NEXT TIME YOU HIT A WORK OUT, THINK ABOUT IT. WORK HARD AND SMART AND SOMETHING TELLS ME YOUR EFFORTS WILL BE REWARDED FOR IT. THEN, WRITE MIKE A LETTER AND THANK HIM!

(THANKS TO CHAD ULLOM AND THOM VAN VLECK FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS ESSAY.)

The Gada: Part III

by Thom Van Vleck

Dalton would do any kind of movement he did with a dumbbell with his modified "Gada" or "Indian Club" dumbbells.

In part three I said I’d get to how you would train Dalton Jackson style with the Gada.  I first want to explain to you that his is not intended to be a comprehensive training program.  It is very simply what I remember seeing my grandfather do.  Upon reviewing his notes and memories of our talks I know that he studied Arthur Saxon, Eugene Sandow, Sig Klien, Earle Liederman, The Great Gama, and Charles Atlas.  These 5 weren’t the only ones, but I would say most of his training came from these men.  I know he ordered courses from Klien (I still have it and it’s autographed!), Liederman, and Atlas.  What you are getting are my recollections of what he did that I know know to be related to the Gada.

The first was basic dumbbell work.  Very simple, Dalton would do any kind of dumbbell work using these “off set” dumbbells you see in the photo above.  The photo has him doing some basic dumbbell presses with the weight “top heavy”.  He also would switch it to make it bottom heavy. I recall when he retired at 65 he worked hard for the next 7 years and got in tremendous shape.  His goal was to duplicate some feats of strength at age 75 he had done at 50 and he came very close!  His body weight was at least 220lbs around age 70 but my Uncle Phil says he got as heavy as 240lbs!  All I know is I recall his forearms being so large that they made his upper arm look small.  I believe using the “gada” style dumbbells helped in that development.  So I would do presses, various curls, cleans, snatches, top heavy, bottom heavy….he was a big believer in mixing his workout up so he rarely did the same thing twice.

The book that the illustration of Kehoe is from.

The next thing I recall is your basic Indian Club swings.  I didn’t see him do this often but he would do one or two and get them rotating around.  This involved swing the clubs around and I believe he mostly did this to loosen his shoulders up.  I wish I had paid more attention to the specifics but I do know this, I found an illustration in his notes that he had cut out of some magazine long ago that had an illustration of Sim Kehoe doing “Figure no. 5″ from his book “Indian Club Exercises” which can be found online.

Specialized work.  My grandfather believe that his training should closely follow what he was trying to get better at.  For him this was never a contest so it was life events.  For example if winter was coming he would load a long barbell and do “snow shovel” movements, 5 reps left, then 5 reps right.  He always wanted to be balanced!  A few years ago I know Al Myers made an implement that mimicked the sheaf toss movement and it was bar like a pitch fork that could have plates loaded on the “business” end.  I remember Dalton told me that he had a “corn shucking” working for when he shucked corn by hand!  He would use his offset dumbbells whenever they suited this purpose.

Another “quirk” to my grandfather’s training was that he would always load his left hand a little heavier.  Regardless if it were the “Gada” dumbbells or a barbell or dumbbells.  He told me that his left side was always weaker and needed more work since his right side got more work on the job and doing chores.  To this day I keep his old barbell set loaded in my gym in such a fashion.  I’ve never heard of anyone training that way.

I wish I’d paid more attention.  To this day I’ll see something and think, “I saw Pop do that!”.  As I remember stuff I try and write it down.  He wrote volumes of journals and I go through them occasionally and find things I missed or didn’t connect the dots at the time.  He often wrote in a sort of short hand that makes him a tough read sometimes.  In a way it’s like finding a little treasure every time I revisit!  I hope you have enjoyed my three part series and find some time to try a “Gada” out in your training program!

IAWA Meeting Time SET

by Al Myers

The IAWA World Championships is fast approaching!  I have been in contact with meet promoter Frank Ciavattone, and everything is “in place” for a great weekend of competition and fun.   An important part of this annual event is the annual general meeting of the IAWA.  All IAWA members are invited to attend.  The meeting will occur Friday evening, September 26th, at 7 PM.  The location of the meeting is the Old Colonial Café, 171 Nahatan St, Norwood, MA, 02062.  Frank has reserved us an outside garden type pavilion for the meeting.  If anyone wants to meet for dinner beforehand be there at 6 PM.  Frank told me that this is a favorite place for the locals!

The banquet will occur Sunday night, September 28th at the same place.  The IAWA World Championships Banquet will start at 6 PM.  The phone number of the restaurant is 1-781-762-2058.    Frank said he is very pleased with the entries so far for Worlds, and it is looking to be a 20+ lifter meet.  The deadline is approaching fast so get your entries in soon if you haven’t already!

Team Championships

by Al Myers

2014 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

Group picture from the 2014 USAWA Team Championships (left to right): LaVerne Myers, Al Myers, Chad Ullom, and Dean Ross.

I started promoting the USAWA Team Championships in 2007, so this year makes it the 8th year! I remember thinking this would become a popular meet amongst the lifters because it gave a different element to lifting than other meets -that being you lifted “on the bar” with a team mate! Well, in these 8 years it has not seemed to grow as I imagined back then, but none the less, always gives an entertaining day of lifting.  This year Chad and I again competed to “defend our title” from last year, and were challenged by the Dino Gym elders LaVerne Myers and Dean Ross.  These two team up well in size and lifting ability, plus have “been around the block a time or two” so they know how to play dirty.  I knew they would give us a good fight.  That was true.  Dean employed various means of chemical warfare against us, while LaVerne used mental persuasion to get us to swap out a lift for another to give them a competitive advantage.  When Chad and I was still dizzy from the nerve gas that Dean imposed upon us, we agreed to this request of LaVerne’s without contention.  Their teamwork was in full force before the meet even started!

So the Clean and Jerk with the Fulton Bar AND the Jefferson Lift was replaced by the Deadlift with the Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip.  And as it turned out – the meet came down to this last lift.  LaVerne and Dean pulled together an outstanding lift of 551 pounds!  I knew with their added age allowance this was going to make us really push ourselves.   But thankfully, my partner didn’t let me down and Chad and I pulled a PR of 672# for the win and a new Dino Gym Record (breaking our previous record of 640#).

This may have been a small meet, but we had a lot of fun in the gym today.  The meet even got over quick so the meet report/results is being posted on the same day as the meet.  That might be a first!

MEET RESULTS:

2014 USAWA Team Championships
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
August 24th, 2014

Meet Director: Al Myers

Officials (1 official system used): Al Myers, Chad Ullom, LaVerne Myers

Lifts: Clean and Jerk – One Arm, Curl – Cheat, Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

Lifters:

Dino Gym 1
Dean Ross – 71 years old, 267 pounds
LaVerne Myers – 71 years old, 247 pounds

Dino Gym 2
Al Myers – 48 years old, 236 pounds
Chad Ullom – 42 years old, 253 pounds

TEAM C&J-1 Curl DL-FB,CG TOTAL POINTS
Dino Gym 2 105 165 305 575 467.1
Dino Gym 1 40 105 250 395 400.2

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in kilograms.  TOTAL is total kilograms lifted.  Points are adjusted points for age and bodyweight corrections.

Holland Strength and Fitness

by Al Myers

Holland Strength and Fitness

Last week I launched a new business, specializing in gym equipment and other items that will aid in the strength developing process.  The name of the business is Holland Strength and Fitness, and can be found online at www.hollandstrength.com.  I’ve always been involved in making gym equipment for the past 25 years, and have sold many pieces privately through the years.  The reason I’m doing this is because I think it is about time that I share some of my ideas in strength equipment with others.  For those of you that have been to the Dino Gym and seen some of the stuff I’ve designed and built will understand this – as most of my equipment is very unique and designed for the lifter in mind.

My philosophy is to make gym equipment very functional for it’s intended purpose.  Too many times in commercial gyms I’ve used equipment that makes me ask, “why did they build it like THAT!”  Something is positioned wrong – in the wrong place – or something is missing that would make the piece of equipment more beneficial.  I’m hoping the equipment made by Holland S&F will not be that way.  I have the best “testing lab” there is -  an actual gym where the equipment is pushed to it’s limits on a daily basis.  I know pretty quick if something needs improved in any way.  I WILL NOT sell an inventory piece unless it has been put through the rigors of heavy testing.

My main focus to start with will be with custom orders for power racks, platforms, and benches.  I have the ability in my fab shop to customize the equipment any way you may want.  This may include a personalize banner, or even a cutting a personalize name into the equipment itself. I have several stock items in inventory, but if anyone wants a stock item customized, please let me know and I’ll give you a quote. Also, keep an eye on the website as my product line will be expanding rapidly over the next few months. A “lack of ideas” is not something I have!

Club of the Year

by Al Myers

Members of the Dino Gym that were present at the 2014 Nationals to recieve the Club of the Year Award, (left to right): Al Myers, Dean Ross, Chad Ullom. The award was presented by Mike Murdock (right).

At the USAWA National Championships this summer, the USAWA awarded a Club of the Year for the past year.  I am extremely proud of the members of my Dino Gym for winning the award!  It takes an entire club’s involvement and participation to win this award in our organization.  Runner up went to Habecker’s Gym, ran by the USAWA President Denny Habecker.  These awards were presented by members of last year’s Club of the Year, the Ledaig HA.  Mike Murdock and Logan Kressly had the honors of presenting the awards on behalf of the Ledaig Club.

CLUB OF THE YEAR – DINO GYM

RUNNER CLUB – HABECKER’S GYM

Logan Kressly (left) presenting the Runner Up Club of the Year Award to Denny Habecker (right).

The Gada: Part II

by Thom Van Vleck

Overall view of my loadable Gada

In Part I you learned what the Gada was and a little history behind it.  Next up will be my own design of the ultimate “Gada” training tool.  You may have seen this before as I have used it for weaver stick style training and sledge hammer training a la’ Slim “the Hammerman” Farman.   The typical Gada is a set weight and size.  I wanted it to be loadable so I could use it with progressive resistance without having a whole collection of them.  The first one I made was very heavy and ranged from 12 to 28lbs depending on the load.  This one ranges from 6lbs to 18lbs.

A close up of the 1lb insert weights. These are 3 inches and fit perfectly into the hammer case.

I had seen similar “maces”, “gada’s, and hammers where you simply loaded barbell plates on the end of a rod.  I wanted mine to  have the weights internal.  It looks slicker and also you don’t have to change your movement to compensate for the larger size.  It’s the same size no matter how much it weighs.  You will also note I have the handle marked with inches so that you can know where you are holding the handle.  Sometimes the tendency might be to choke up as you get tired and this helps keep you honest whether doing traditional Gada exercises, leverage exercises for the forearms, or whatever creative way you may come up to use this tool.

The Gada open and ready to be loaded.

My first effort has 1.5lb standard plates that can be loaded on a mini bar and inserted in a 4 inch “hammer” case which is really an iron pipe with threaded caps.  My second prototype has 1lb weights that a solid cores.  Even if they are loose they don’t bang around as much as you might think but it’s simple matter to put something in the hammer to buffer the plates from moving around.

Next: Gada Part III How to train with the Gada Dalton Jackson Style.

Presidential Cup

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2014 USAWA Presidential Cup (left to right): Art Montini, Al Myers, Denny Habecker

Denny Habecker,  our USAWA President, hosted the USAWA Presidential Cup this past weekend at his gym in Lebanon, PA.  This is the third year for this now annual event.  The Presidential Cup is the USAWA version of the IAWA Gold Cup – which features lifters picking their best and favorite lifts to be contested in a record day format.  The Presidential Cup is the “Championship” of record days in the USAWA.  Each year the USAWA President picks a lift/lifter that he feels “worthy” of winning the Presidential Cup. Denny watches each lift with scrutiny as he is making his decision!

The Presidential Cup

This year only Denny, Art, and myself participated.  Art and I have been to this meet each year.  Art,  the defending Champion of the Presidential Cup, is tough competition.  Practically everything he lifts is worthy of being the winning lift. He started off with a 163# 2-bar deadlift.  I knew that would be tough for me to beat. So I started off with breaking Chad’s record in the Dumbbell Walk.  I was hoping that would “seal the deal” for me, but I could tell that Denny wasn’t fully impressed.  Art then went onto to some impressive finger lifts. He lifted 113 pounds on the ring and middle finger.  That’s IMPRESSIVE! Art’s fingers are hardened like steel cables, and I doubt if he has any pain sensor’s in them anymore.  I also planned to do some finger lifts beforehand as well – and felt good breaking a couple of records held by USAWA legends Joe Garcia and Bill Clark, but my finger lifts were not comparable to the ageless Art Montini’s finger lifts.  Now I knew things were “on the line” for me as it looked to me that Art was going to repeat as the Presidential Cup Winner.  So I had to stoop to a low and go after my dads best lift  in the one handed pinch. I managed a 83 pound performance using each hand, topping his best of 77 pounds.  My dad has become known for his gripping strength, always placing high in the USAWA Grip Championships.  This must have done it for me – as I was honored to win the Presidential Cup.  Denny even commented “that is was won by my pinch lifts!!!”   Sorry Dad.  You should have came along.

Denny did several very impressive lifts himself. His pressing of 143 pounds in the Press from Racks and Maxey Press stood out.  Also his 90 pound Two Hands Anyhow which almost took out a light bulb was memorable.  This was a great meet and I encourage others to attend next year.  Anytime one gets to spend time with Denny and Art is something to remember.  After all – these two guys are NUMBER ONE and NUMBER TWO on the All Time USAWA Record List!

MEET RESULTS:

USAWA Presidential Cup
August 9th, 2014
Habecker’s Gym
Lebanon, PA

Meet Director:  Denny Habecker

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Officials (2 used on all lifts with both deeming the lifts good): Denny Habecker, Art Montini, Al Myers

Lifters/Lifts:

Al Myers – 47 years old, 236 pounds BWT

Dumbbell Walk 107 lbs.
Finger Lift – Left Little 69 lbs.
Finger Lift – Right Little 69 lbs.
Finger Lift – Left Ring 113 lbs.
Finger Lift – Right Ring 113 lbs.
Finger Lift – Right Index 130 lbs.
Pinch Grip – Left Hand 83 lbs.
Pinch Grip – Right Hand 83 lbs.

Denny Habecker – 71 years old, 193 pounds BWT

Two Hands Anyhow 90 lbs.
French Press 53 lbs.
Maxey Press 143 lbs.
Pullover and Press 187 lbs.
Press – From Rack 143 lbs.
Jackson Press 121 lbs.

Art Montini – 86 years old, 176 pounds BWT

Deadlift – 2 Bars 163 lbs.
Finger Lift – Left Middle 113 lbs.
Finger Lift – Right Middle 113 lbs.
Finger Lift – Left Ring 113 lbs.
Finger Lift – Right Ring 113 lbs.

WINNER OF 2014 PRESIDENTIAL CUP

AL MYERS w/ 83 POUND PINCH GRIP ONE HAND

The Gada Part 1

by Thom Van Vleck

The Great Gama with his Gada (Mace).

When I was a kid my first influence in physical fitness was my grandfather Dalton Jackson  He started training in 1928 at the age of 13.  At that time training information was sparse and what was available was often poor and sometimes dangerous!  One area my grandfather was interested in was wrestling and this led him to one of the greatest of all time….the Great Gama.  Gama wrestled in India (although I have learned he was ethnically Pakistani) for 50 years and was undefeated in that span!  He lived from 1880 to 1963 and his exploits were legendary.  He beat everyone in India and then sailed to England and challenged the world.  He had a “Gar Nal” that weighed over 200lbs that was a stone ring that he would put around his neck to do squats.  There is a story that he lifted a 1200kg (2645lbs) stone.  It is claimed he lifted this stone to his chest and then carried it.  I think that’s impossible but I do think it’s possible he may have lifted the stone in some fashion (such as lifting the edge off the ground or flipping the stone or some other partial lift).  Both of these stones are in a museum in Pakistan now.   It is also interesting that Bruce Lee studied Gama’s training habits very closely and adapted them to his own philosophies.

Classic use of the Indian Clubs in both hands from an old English book on training.

One of Gama’s favorite training tools was his Gada (or Mace).  It was a very heavy version of an Indian club.  The legend behind it is that it was the main weapon of the Hindu god Hanuman.  Hanuman was the god of strength and was the god that Indian wrestlers worshiped.  So basically it is a war club what the Europeans called a “Mace”.  I often think of it as being the first weapon ever and picture a cave man carrying his club!  It became one of the traditional training pieces in Hindu physical culture and was eventually transferred to England in the from of the “Indian Club” that was a popular part of the early physical culture movement in Victorian England over 100 years ago.  One Gada could be used or two.  You will often see the Indian club trained with two at a time.

Dalton Jackson doing his modified "Gada" exercises.

When I was a kid I would watch my Uncle’s train with barbells and dumbbells. They were Olympic style lifters and trained as such.  Meanwhile my grandfather always seemed to be doing something different.  I hate to say it but there was a point where I was a teen that I was “all in” to weightlifting and when my grandfather tried to teach me on some of his training I didn’t listen well (politely…but not closely as I always respected him).  I have few photos of him training but one I do shows him with makeshift “Gada” style dumbbells.  I realize now that much of his training was based on “Indian” style training and since the Great Gama favored the Gada, so did my grandfather.

Part II:  Building the Ultimate Gada

Neck Lifting all the Way to a Guinness Record

by Lance Foster

Eric Todd enroute to a 1000 pound Neck Lift on October 19th, 2013 for a new Guinness World Record.

USAWA history was made for the second time in May 2014, when Eric Todd’s 1000 pound neck lift from October 19, 2013 was approved as a Guinness World Record, breaking the previous record of 800 pounds that had been set by Frank Ciavattone almost 8 years ago. Eric had set other USAWA records in the neck lift. On May 12, 2012 at the Heavy Lift Championships with an extra attempt of 905 pounds. A few months later he vastly exceeded that amount during the “Neck Lift Challenge” between him and Chad Ullom on October 7, 2012, held following the IAWA World Championships, edging out Chad for the win with 1030 pounds. While Eric’s world record is 30 pounds lighter, it is definitely worth mentioning that Guinness requires that a weight lifting attempt must be held for 2 seconds in the locked out position to be considered a good lift, in contrast to the USAWA standard that a big bar lift is considered good immediately upon the weight coming off the ground.

Gold Cup

by Al Myers

This is a great picture from the Gold Cup in England in 2011. It was a trip I'll always remember!

It’s hard for me to believe that 3 years have went this fast!  That’s the last time Steve Gardner promoted the IAWA Gold Cup in Burton, England.  I remember it like yesterday -  as my daughter Emily attended it with me and we did some 2-person lifting, including a 800 pound Male/Female deadlift. Steve is one of the best IAWA meet promoters in the organization.  I’ve been to several of his comps and things are always well planned and well organized.

Plus this year it will be held at his new gym – The Burton Powerhouse All Round Weightlifting Academy.  I’m very excited to see this new facility.  I’ve seen pictures of it – but nothing compares to seeing it firsthand! Afterwards, there will be a banquet and awards presentation at the Branston Golf and Country Club. It will be a top notch affair. You have my word on that.

To qualify for the Gold Cup, you must be a current IAWA World Record Holder and be a current member of IAWA (being a current member of USAWA entitles you IAWA membership).  You must also attempt an IAWA World Record on your opening attempt in your selected lift.   You will be allowed one chosen lift for sure, and a second lift if time permits.

The other important detail is the entry deadline is October 11th.  USAWA lifters must send their entry form to Steve by then, but he will allow overseas lifters to pay him when we get there.

The Gold Cup is one of the TWO prestigious IAWA events every year.  It is a must-attend event for all serious IAWA lifters.  Lets really represent the USAWA in England this October!  If anyone has any questions on the Gold Cup and might be interested in attending, please contact me and I will help in answering any questions you may have.

ENTRY INFORMATION:

2014 GOLD CUP INFO (pdf)

2014 GOLD CUP INFO (word document)

ENTRY FORM:

2014 IAWA GOLD CUP ENTRY (pdf)

2014 IAWA GOLD CUP ENTRY (word document)

Club Championships

BY DAVE GLASGOW

CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS ON THE GREAT PLAINES

Group picture of the lifters from the 2014 USAWA Club Championships.

FOUR CLUBS AND THREE STATES WERE REPRESENTED AT THE USAWA CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS, HOSTED BY THE LEDAIG HEAVY ATHLETICS, IN RAINBOW BEND, KS. THOSE PARTICIPATING RANGED IN AGE FROM ELEVEN TO EIGHTY SEVEN! QUITE A RANGE. YET, THERE WERE GREAT LIFTS POSTED BY ALL WHO COMPETED.

ALEX WHETSTONE HAD NEVER DONE ANY OF THE LIFTS PRIOR TO THE MEET DAY. HE WAS GIVEN A CRASH COURSE ON THE LIFTS BY HIS UNCLE, 9 TIME MASTERS NATIONAL POWER LIFTING CHAMPION , LARRY ‘FLOYD’ TRAUB AND HIS GRANPA, DAVE GLASGOW. FOR ONE SO YOUNG AND WITH NO EXPERIENCE, WE ALL THOUGHT HE DID VERY WELL! I DOUBT VERY SERIOUSLY IF WE HAVE SEEN THE LAST OF HIM!

ANOTHER NEW CAST MEMBER TO THE LEDAIG TEAM AND THE USAWA IS DREVON KRESSLY. YOU WILL SOON NOTICE THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS OF TEAM LEDAIG ARE KRESSLYS AND DREVON ADDED A NEW FACE! WHAT A GREAT, YOUNG TALENT THIS KID IS!! VERY UNASSUMING AND SOFT SPOKEN, DREVON WAS SHOWED THE ‘SPLIT’ TECHNIQUE FOR THE ONE ARM C/J AND THEN PROCEDED TO PERFORM IT TO PERFECTION ON HIS VERY NEXT LIFT!! IMPRESSIVE! HE HAS THAT POWER/QUICKNESS QUALITY THAT YOU CAN’T TRAIN OR TEACH. VERY GOOD TO HAVE HIM ABOARD. DREVON’S BROTHER, LOGAN, SHOWED UP AND DID VERY WELL, ALSO. HAVING RETURNED FROM NATIONALS LAST MONTH, HE IS NO STRANGER TO THE USAWA. HE KEPT THE LEDAIG TEAM IN THE HUNT FOR THE TITLE WITH SOLID, CALCULATED LIFTS!

CONTINUING WITH THE KRESSLYS, DOUG AND JERA ARE ALWAYS GREAT TO HAVE AROUND! THEY COME TO LIFT AND ALWAYS ATTEMPT TO PERFORM AT THEIR BEST. THIS DAY, SADLY, WAS NOT TO THEIR LIKING. SOMETIMES THE EXCITEMENT OF THE DAY MAKES FOR MISCALCULATIONS AND THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED IN THIS CASE HERE FOR THEM. JERA COULD’NT MANAGE HER OPENER FOR THE TWO HAND, FULTON, CIVATONNE LIFT. HAVING MADE THE SAME WEIGHT IN WARM-UP, SHE WAS NOT ABLE TO PULL IT ON ANY OF HER ATTEMPTS. JERA WOWED THE SPECTATORS WITH HER ONE HAND C/J AND TRAP BAR DL, SO THE DAY WAS NOT A TOTAL LOSS! DOUG MUST HAVE HAD SOME OF THE SAME PORRIDGE AS JERA AS HE COULD’NT MANAGE HIS OPENER ON THE SAME LIFT!! HE WAS PERTURBED BUT CAME BACK ON THE REMAINING LIFTS TO POST GOOD NUMBERS AND SAVE SOME FACE.

Dave Glasgow helped lead his club to club victory with this 450 pound Trap Bar Deadlift (picture and caption by Al Myers).

ART MONTINI AND DENNY HAYBECKER MADE THE LOOONG TRIP FROM PENNSYLVANIA TO COMPETE. THESE TWO HAVE MADE THEIR WAY TO THE GREAT PLAINES MORE THAN ONCE AND WE ARE AWAYS GLAD TO SEE THESE TWO GENTLEMEN AT OUR GATHERINGS! ART DID HIS USUAL CALCULATED AND SCRIPTED LIFTING. OF HIS NINE ATTEMPTS, I THINK HE MISSED ONLY ONE! THAT IS KNOWING YOURS ABILITIES, FOR SURE! DENNY IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES IN THE USAWA. ALWAYS GREAT TO BE AROUND AND TALK TO, DENNY IS A GIFTED LIFTER. HE APPEARS COMFORTABLE WITH ANY LIFT THAT IS BEING CONTESTED. HIS KNOWLEDGE, BACKROUND AND EXPERIENCE ARE VERY APPARENT.

I AM FAIRLY CERTAIN THAT DEAN ROSS NEVER PRACTICES THE LIFTS PRIOR TO SHOWING UP FOR THE MEETS!! DEAN ALWAYS KEEPS THE CONVERSATION GOING AND NEVER MET A STRANGER. HIS LIFTS WERE SOLID AND UNDER CONTROL. HE, ALSO, DOES MORE THAN HIS FAIR SHARE OF LOADING AND SPOTTING, AS WELL. IT WAS GOOD TO SEE MIKE MURDOCK, AGAIN!! LOOKING VERY SVELTE AT HIS NEW WEIGHT OF 174, HE WAS AIMING AT SOME RECORDS IN HIS NEW FOUND WEIGHT CLASS. MIKE ALWAYS JUMPS IN AND HELPS WHEREVER HE CAN. HE EVEN SAID ‘GOOD-BYE’ TO EVERYONE THIS TIME, WHEN HE LEFT!!

AL MYERS AND CHAD ULLOM, EVER THE TRAVELING COMPANIONS, JUST RETURNED FROM A THREE WEEK LIFTING/THROWING EXTRAVAGANZA IN NORWAY AND EASTERN EUROPE. BOTH WERE PRETTY BEAT UP AND WEARY FORM THE COMPETITIONS AND THE TRAVEL. REGARDLESS, THEY ’COWBOYED UP’ AND HIT THE PLATFORM. AL WAS NURSING A TORN GROIN MUSCLE RESULTING IN VERY TIMID AND CONSERVATIVE LIFTS. THE FACT THAT HE COULD TRAP BAR LIFT AT ALL SURPRISED EVERYONE. AL IS A REAL STUDENT OF THE LIFTS AND LIFTING IN GENERAL, SO HIS LIFTING WAS NOT HAP HAZARD OR RECKLESS. CHAD CONTINUES TO AMAZE ME. HE HAS TO BE THE BEST OVERALL LIFTER AND ATHLETE I HAVE EVER RUN ACROSS. THERE JUST DOES’NT SEEM TO BE ANY LIFT HE DOES’NT DO WELL. HE CARRIED THE DAY AS HE WAS ALWAYS THE LAST LIFTER ON EACH LIFT. THIS BACKFIRED ON HIM, HOWEVER, AS, WHEN HE FINISHED FOR THE DAY, ALL THE FOOD WAS GONE!! I WONDER WHERE IT ALL WENT!?

LARRY TRAUB CAME TO BE A PART OF THE FESTIVITIES FROM INDIANA. HAVING A LONG HISTORY OF SUCCES IN THE POWERLIFTING GAME, HE SLIDES INTO MOST OF THE LIFTS VERY WELL. HOWEVER, HAVING SOME MOBILITY ISSUES AS OF LATE, HE TOOK PRETTY MUCH ‘TOKEN’ LIFTS IN THE TRAP BAR DL. TEAM LEDAIG WOULD NOT BE THE SAME WITHOUT HIS PRESENCE. THE HOST OF THE GAMES, YOURS TRULY, HAD A PRETTY GOOD DAY! HAVING HAD THE CHANCE TO DO THE LIFTS FOR THE PAST SIX WEEKS DID’NT HURT ANYTHING AND BEING ON HOME TURF IS ALWAYS A POSITIVE.

BIG THANKS TO LAVERNE MYERS FOR JUDGING. I WAS GLAD TO SEE HE COULD MAKE IT. WHEN IT WAS ALL SORTED OUT, THE LEDAIG HEAVY ATHLETICS TEAM CARRIED THE DAY FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP!

TEAM SCORES:

LEDAIG HEAVY ATHLETICS 2477.74
DINO GYM 2165.25
HABECKERS 763.54
AMBRIDGE BBC  550.04

ALL IN ALL, A GREAT TIME. I LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING THIS MEET FOR YEARS TO COME, AS WELL!! MANY, MANY THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO CAME OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE TO BE A PART OF THIS MEET! I AM MUCH OBLIGED!!

MEET RESULTS:

USAWA Club Championships
July 19th, 2014
Ledaig HA
Rainbow Bend, Kansas

Meet Director: Dave Glasgow

Official (1-official system used): LaVerne Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Lifts: Clean and Jerk – One Arm, Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip, Trap Bar Deadlift

1. Ledaig Heavy Athletics – 2477.74 points

LIFTER AGE BWT C&J DL-FB,CG TRAP
Alex Whetstone 11 79 22 R 72 105
Draven Kressly 13 131 70 R 182 250
Logan Kressly 16 171 95 R 257 350
Jera Kressly 29 237 80 R 0 350
Doug Kressly 34 285 110 R 0 450
Larry Traub 60 206 70 R 272 500
Dave Glasgow 61 253 105 L 304 450
Mike Murdock 74 172 22 R 142 135

2. Dino Gym – 2165.25 points

LIFTER AGE BWT C&J DL-FB,CG TRAP
Chad Ullom 42 253 130 R 327 550
Al Myers 47 236 125 R 327 420
Dean Ross 71 264 0 237 330

3. Habecker’s Gym – 763.54 points

LIFTER AGE BWT C&J DL-FB,CG TRAP
Denny Habecker 71 197 75 R 237 330

4. Ambridge BBC – 550.04 points

LIFTER AGE BWT C&J DL-FB,CG TRAP
Art Montini 86 176 27 R 152 210

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORDS

Jera Kressly: Clean and Jerk – Right Arm 85
Chad Ullom: DL-Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip 342
Dean Ross: DL-Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip 242
Denny Habecker: DL-Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip 242
Alex Whetstone: DL-Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip 82
Alex Whetstone: Trap Bar Deadlift 110
Mike Murdock: Rectangular Fix 55
Mike Murdock: Curl – Reverse Grip 55
Mike Murdock: Curl -  Cheat, Reverse Grip  65

NOTES: AGE is age in years. BWT is bodyweight in pounds. R and L designate right and left arms. All lifts recorded in pounds.

Leadership Awards

by Al Myers

Tim Piper (left) presenting the Leadership Award to Denny Habecker.

Tim Piper (left) presenting the Runner Up Leadership Award to Thom Van Vleck.

The Leadership Award in the USAWA goes to an individual “that has shown exceptional leadership qualities within the USAWA during the past year.  Things that should be looked at are going above the level expected of an Officer position, promoting sanctioned events with emphasis being on promoting National or World Competitions, promoting the USAWA by developing a strong club, writing articles for publications about the USAWA, or through other means.”

The two winner of this award, and very deserving of it, were:

WINNER – DENNY HABECKER

RUNNER UP – THOM VAN VLECK

Both Denny and Thom were on hand to receive their awards at our National Meet Ceremony.  But then you would expect that out of them as they are leaders in the organization.  Their inputs at our National Championships was vital.  Thom served as the Head Official of the entire meet and did not compete because he would rather “give” than “take”.  Thom’s contributions of writing for the USAWA Website on a frequent basis has helped ensure it’s success.

Denny has been our USAWA President for many years now.  He is the ultimate leader of the USAWA.  He attends practically every big event promoted within the USAWA and the IAWA.  If a lifter does not know Denny it is because they are not very involved!  Denny attends meets all across the country and interacts with the entire USAWA membership.  At Nationals he sat in the officials chair WHILE he was lifting just because that duty needed attended to.   I think Denny is the best President the USAWA has ever had.

I’m glad to see the USAWA membership recognize these two for their contributions to the organization. They have earned it!

Sportsmanship Runner Up

by Al Myers

Dave Glasgow (right) is presented the USAWA Runner Up Sportsmanship Award by Al Myers.

At the USAWA Club Championships last weekend I was able to formally present Dave Glasgow the Runner Up Sportsmanship Award.  I was hoping to keep it a secret till this past weekend in order to surprise him!

Dave’s a humble guy, which makes it even more enjoyable to present him an award such as this. He never thinks he’s deserving of it (and usually has a few choice words for me when he’s accepting his award!)

But he’s more than deserving of it!  After taking part in the Club Champs which he and the Ledaig HA crew promoted, and being treated with such hospitality while there, I thought on the way home how this is how meets should be ran.  Dave is always “for the athletes” first and foremost in any event he promotes.

That’s just part of the reason the USAWA membership awarded Dave with this yearly award.  Congrats Dave!

Records now online

by Al Myers

As some of you may have noticed, the USAWA Record List is now available on the USAWA website.   It is placed under the top heading section “record list”.  I will try to keep an  updated version of the record list uploaded.  The record list is very large PDF of the excel file.  It may take a while for some systems to download it.   There are now over 10,000 records in the USAWA Record List.

It has also been awhile since I have updated the Century Club, a listing that includes all lifters that have over 100 USAWA Records.  It’s been over a year since I have published this update – but since there has been no real changes in it, there has not been much reason to do so. The “top ten” is exactly the same order, and no one new has been added.  The BIG NEWS of the list is that Denny Habecker has become the FIRST USAWA lifter to top 500 records!  That’s a big number, and has given Denny a huge lead over Art Montini.  The biggest placing changer in the Mens Club has been Dean Ross, who has moved up two places to number 11.  Ruth Jackson is closing in on Noi – and I predict will pass her within the next couple of years.  The sad news is USAWA legend John Vernacchio has dropped out of the Century Club, leaving the total number at 24.

WOMEN’S CENTURY CLUB
(as of July 19th, 2014)

RANK LIFTER CURRENT RECORDS PREVIOUS COUNT CHANGE
1 Noi Phumchona 261 263 +2
2 Ruth Jackson 213 180 +33
3 Mary McConnaughey 117 117 0

MEN’S CENTURY CLUB
(as of July 19th, 2014th)

RANK LIFTER CURRENT RECORDS PREVIOUS COUNT CHANGE
1 Denny Habecker 501 480 +21
2 Art Montini 445 425 +20
3 Al Myers 421 411 +10
4 John McKean 290 291 -1
5 Dennis Mitchell 278 266 +12
6 Frank Ciavattone 268 265 +3
7 Joe Garcia 247 238 +9
8 Bob Hirsh 229 229 0
9 Chad Ullom 210 200 +10
10 Bill Clark 207 198 +9
11 Dean Ross 188 155 +33
12 Howard Prechtel 174 174 0
13 Dale Friesz 159 160 -1
14 Jim Malloy 156 153 +3
15 Scott Schmidt 150 151 -1
16 John Monk 148 148 0
17 Ed Schock 138 138 0
18 Chris Waterman 137 137 0
19 Rudy Bletscher 126 131 -5
20 Mike Murdock 113 107 +6
21 Bob Geib 101 102 -1

Sportsmanship Award Winner

by Al Myers

Tim Piper (left) awarding Dennis Mitchell (right) the winner of the Sportsmanship Award in the USAWA.

The Sportsmanship Award went to a lifter who I felt really deserved it – Dennis Mitchell.  The definition of the Sportsmanship Award is, “This goes to an individual who possesses and shows great sportsmanship within the USAWA.  The act of sportsmanship may be by conduct at all events, or by an specific example of exceptional Sportsmanship.”

This sums up Dennis Mitchell.  Dennis is one of the most supportive lifters I know.  He always is encouraging others – and well as supporting the USAWA in any way he can.  This  includes always giving encouraging words to other lifters, sitting in the officials chair when he’s competing, writing for the USAWA website,  or helping the USAWA by being a valuable member of the USAWA Executive Board.  Dennis is a VERY IMPORTANT PERSON in the USAWA, and it’s nice to see the membership rewarding him in this way by voting  him the Sportsmanship Award of the Year.

Congrats Dennis!!!!!

IT’S ALL ISO

by John McKean

“You look like a 3 pound duck ,trying to lay a 5 pound egg !” was my comment to a buddy’s pressing form. Bill Irish had asked me to critique his admittedly powerful overhead lift as he trained for a USAWA record. Now Bill had always specialized in the press, did quite well in this lift for local Olympic style meets (when the press was still part of it), but never mastered the modern form where superstars such as March, Knipp, and Kono thrust hips forward with a lean back to use the body’s musculature to maximum advantage. Rather, Bill always trained like the real oldtimers of he 20s, trying to remain ramrod straight while powering up the barbell with mostly arm& delt strength. The result was, he acquired an inward curve in his lower back, while his tensed butt prominently pointed staight backwards like, well, a duck’s tail ! And though always of a fairly sturdy frame (198-230 pounds), yet trim, he acquired a rather massive set of unwanted glutes. Since he never put much time or effort into squatting,I’m sure his pants splitting size was mostly derived from the ISOMETRIC flexing & tension created by max poundages while using his strange pressing technique over the years.

My favorite quote from the great Norbert Schemansky came when he was asked if he ever did isometrics. “Sure,” laughed mighty Norb, “everytime I miss a lift!” For ,like most of the prominent American lifters of the 40s ,50s, and 60s, every lifting session was essentially like a contest -they’d single up to limit weights,then try one or two more beyond that. In fact, our guys were at the top of the world olympic lifting heap -UNTIL they switched from these all-out programs to the rumored Soviet cycling & percentage programs! But their big weights, and more central to this story, the TOTAL BODY TENSION, built some terrifically rugged physiques. IMO, the training lifts themselves were secondary here, it was the ISO effect that built tremendous size and strength!! I was fortunate enough to watch Schemansky, Knipp, Lowe, Alexeev, Reding, and Rigert go through their programs and onto huge lifts on the platform -all had the muscle density of an above average granite slab! When lifting you could see every rock-like fiber in their bodies flexed to the max ,under the isometric support needed for record weights.In fact, during my teens while watching Mr Schemansky warm up and then proceed to a near world record snatch at a local club, it became such an epiphany as to just what had built those 20″ arms (iso tension from the pulls) that I never bothered with curls or tricep extensions again!

Recently a crossfitter wrote me as to how best to get his max single deadlift up 12 weeks from now, for one of their contests. He admitted he’d been suffering an upper body injury (a recent Sports Illustrated story gave documentation that 73% of these high reppers suffer injury, some requiring surgery) from a previous meet, caused by some form of high rep,light weight maneuver that was used. I informed him that the one universal “secret” of reaching big weights was just to single up, every workout, to a top weight and one beyond that for an iso hold. A strong hint was given that it’s not the high rep ,pumping format that creates strength or true,lasting muscle development, but instead the body tension in struggling with really big weights!

If one would carefully research the methods from the early 1900s to about 1930, all the heralded old time strongmen singled up ,sometimes daily as did Goernor and Saxon, achieving that mind blowing development from the constant total tension throughout their bodies. I really don’t think a heavy singles, max effort program has ever failed anybody (that stuck with it!) since the beginning of organized weightlifting! Though I did have a British guy, Mick, who constantly hounded me for new updates to his routine, report a lack of success -until I found out that he changed “limit singles” down to 80% of maxes, always added many sets of rep curls into any program to delete energy, did all deadlift types WELL OFF the floor in a rack, and would take long layoffs every 3 weeks or so ! In other words, he wouldn’t allow the “glorious pain” of body tension isos, from really pushing limits, to ever cause him discomfort!

Now ,we in all-round training already treat every LIFT, as just that ;not a mere “exercise”! I propose that there is never a need to add high rep” body toning movements” to pump up the ole physique; just go for broke on any of our 150+ maneuvers to let the holds, supports, struggles, and overloads do the building for us! I’ll bet you’ll never see old, “caveman-body” Art Montini running to a modern health spa!!

Courage Award Winners

by Al Myers

(Left Picture): Tim Piper presenting the Courage Award to Art Montini. (Right Picture): Tim Piper presenting the Courage Award to Dean Ross.

The Courage Award is described as, “This goes to an individual who shows the courage to overcome an obstacle in order to return to competition. This may be a comeback from an injury, or just having to deal with difficult personal issues, but still shows the courage to compete in the USAWA”.

Since the USAWA Award Program began, NO ONE has been the winner of this award besides Dale Friesz.  Dale was the definition of courage, competing up till his final days.  He set a standard for lifting courage that will be hard for anyone to duplicate.  I often think of this award now as the Dale Frieze Courage Award.

However, there’s another lifter in the USAWA who has plenty of courage as well, and after being last year’s runner up, repeated this year as runner up in the Courage Award by the others in the USAWA this year.  That man – who defies the myths of age and weightlifting – is ART MONTINI.

RUNNER UP - ART MONTINI

WINNER  - DEAN ROSS

Dean “Hot Foot” Ross was the Winner, and well deserving.  His input to the USAWA over these past few years exceeds what most can accomplish in a lifetime of participation in the USAWA.  You don’t attend a meet that Dean is at without getting to know him! Everyone knows Dean.

Congrats to Art and Dean for being the winners of the USAWA Courage Award!

Newcomer Award Winners

by Al Myers

Logan Kressly (right) receiving his USAWA Newcomer Award from 2014 USAWA Meet Promoter Tim Piper (left) at the National Championships.

I always enjoy the USAWA Annual Awards presentation. This program to recognize outstanding accomplishments was started in 2010. The program is funded by the USAWA bank account, and all award winners are chosen by the membership. This means if you win one of these awards – it is because your peers deemed you worthy. That means much more than one individual making the choices, or a selection committee deciding.

The first award given out was the Newcomer Award. This award is defined as, “This award goes to an individual who is new to the USAWA or has become involved again in the organization. It recognizes a lifter who has shown great involvement or outstanding performance throughout the past year. it doesn’t have to be someone in their first year involved in the USAWA. “

Two very deserving lifters earned this award this year -

WINNER – MIKE MCINTYRE

RUNNER UP – LOGAN KRESSLY

Mike, lifting for the JWC, made a big impact in the USAWA during the prior year.  He competed in several competitions promoted by Thom Van Vleck, and in my 2013 Dino Gym Challlenge OTSM competition.  It was at that meet that Mike caught my attention when he performed a 410 pound Hackenschmidt Floor Press.  Last December Mike placed 3rd overall in the USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships, in a very tough field of lifters. I was extremely impressed with his 315 pound Anderson Press in that meet!  Mike was not on hand at the Awards ceremony to receive his award so Thom Van Vleck accepted it on his behalf.

Logan, lifting for the Ledaig Heavy Athletics, has shown great improvement over the past year in his lifting.  At only 16 years old, his future is bright as lifter. Last year Logan competed in the USAWA Team Championships, and paired with Jera Kressly, to win the overall award in the mixed pairs division.  He entered the 2014 Dino Gym Challenge, a tribute to Warren Lincoln Travis, and placed 3rd overall competing against many seasoned all rounders.  His 1300# Harness Lift and 1600# Back Lift impressed me the most.  You often do not see young lifters put up big lifts in the heavy lifts. At my record day last February he did a 550 pound Dinnie Lift!  And at this meet, the 2014 Nationals, he was crowned outstanding Junior Lifter.  I would say he has had a great year in the USAWA!

Congrats to both of these guys!

3rd Quarter Postal

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

3RD QUARTER USAWA POSTAL MEET

The lifts for this postal meet are:

Holdout – Raised

Deadlift – One Arm, Ciavattone Grip

Continental to Belt

ENTRY FORM – 2014 3rd Quarter Postal Entry Form