Articles from February 2014



Ruth Jackson new USAWA Official

by Al Myers

Congrats to Ruth Jackson for becoming the latest new USAWA Official.  RJ was the first one to undergo the more strenuous requirements to become an official.   A couple of years ago the USAWA began requiring practical training after passing the written rules test in order to become a certified official. Ruth just completed her practical training at the USAWA Grip Championships/Dino Gym Record Day earlier this month.  She is now listed on the Official’s List, and will receive a 3 year officials card.

OCPD: Weightlifting Sub-type

by Thom Van Vleck

Most, but not all, of my Scottish Hammers....I don't see a problem with having 20 plus hammers....that's normal, right?

Recently the DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) was released.  It has the criteria for diagnosing mental health disorders.   I end up referring to it a great deal as part of my job as a Licensed Professional Counselor.   The DSM 5 is actually the 7th revision which plays into the fact that there are lots of arguements about what is in it because Mental Health is not as an exact science as we would like.  It relies heavily on the observation and self report of a client and not so much on hard science.  Someday it will, but not now.

The big argument that comes up every time they revise this thing is what is mentally ill and what is not.  Many factors play into this.  Some are pretty legit, some are very politically and culturally driven, and some may be related to special interests such as pharmaceutical companies and mental health facilities that stand to make a profit.  I’m not cynical, just realistic.

So with that in mind I decided to come up with my own disorder.  Obsessive Compulsive: Weightlifting Sub-type.  Now right now I need to clarify something.  Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is different  than Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD).  Many get these confused.  OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts that produce anxiety.  The individual then seeks to reduce the anxiety producing thoughts by developing a preoccupation with some obsessive/compulsive behavior.  OCPD is a personality disorder and is characterized by a preoccupation with perfectionism and orderliness.  This can be with the things around them or the people around them.  The funny thing about OCPD is that the person afflicted with it often sees it as a huge plus and a reason for their success….and fail to see how destructive it is to those around them.

So, my OCPD Weightlifting sub-type (and if you haven’t figured out this is mostly tongue in cheek…..and a little not) is geared towards those whose preoccupation with the iron has become a chronic, non-adaptive pattern.  Their drive to achieve perfection in training, diet, and all aspects of life that will lead to that holy grail of being the best they can be has led to them becoming asocial, impossible to deal with, and actually leads to the opposite of what they want to achieve.  Some of the sub-types include narcissism, passive aggressive, paranoid, antisocial, and histrionic (look that one up…it’s interesting).

Now, I said this was tongue in cheek and it mostly is.  There is no way this will ever be a real diagnosis.  But I will tell you that I think weightlifters are a “special breed” (that means “crazy” and “nuts” to the average person).  We see what we do as good and we often reinforce each other especially when one of those “average” persons points out our insanity.  However, we also can box ourselves in with our obsession to the point where we think what we are doing is working and effective when it’s really not.  That’s what OCPD: Weightlifting Sub-type really is.  I know I’ve had bouts with it.  The very nature of the obsessiveness needed to be successful in weightlifting works against you from time to time.

So what do you do?  You need to take a step back every once in awhile and take a look at yourself, what you do, have you convinced yourself what you are doing is working or is it REALLY WORKING.  Take a look at those around you.  Are the blind leading the blind?  Sometimes if you are getting angry because someone contradicts your beliefs that may be a good sign you actually are OCPD:WS.  A good lifter is always open to new ideas.  If you are surrounded by people who agree with you all the time….you better watch out!  That means you are all OCPD:WS! Finally,  take a hard look at what you do.  I was once told by an employer if he asked me why we do something a certain way and my answer was “Because that’s how we’ve always done it” he would fire me on the spot.  I made a joke recently that if I ate hot dogs before ever squat workout I could easily surmise hot dogs were the secret if things went well.  Never assume, always experiment and you will stay away from the chronic, non-adaptive pattern that characterizes OCPD:WS!

So, do you have OCPD: WS….well….do ya?

Texas Power Bar

by Al Myers

Three different Texas Power Bars in the Dino Gym: 1. Mac TPB (bottom), 2. 10 year old Capps TPB (middle), and 3. New Capps TPB (top).

The Texas Power Bar has become synonymous with THE STANDARD of powerlifting bars over the past 25 years. This bar was initially marketed in the early 80’s and has been used by many powerlifters thru the years, both in training and in competition.  It is a general PL bar – meaning that it is a good bar to be used for all the powerlifts.  It is fairly rigid, has good aggressive knurling, and holds up to “hardcore”  use.  The name “Texas Power Bar” has name value to anyone who has been involved with powerlifting, and most all lifters associate the Texas Power Bar with quality.

I bought my first Texas Power Bar in the early 80’s from Mac Barbell Equipment. At that time, the main advertising for lifting was through the PL magazine, Powerlifting USA.  You could count on there being an advertisement for the Texas Power Bar in every issue.  One of the company’s selling pitches was this comment in their ads, “The Mac Texas Power Bar has been used in more World and National Championships than all other brands combined. Make sure you don’t get a cheap imitation or counterfeit”. Mac Barbell was located in Grand Prairie, TX, thus the reason for the name being called the Texas Power Bar.

The end cap of a TPB which contains the official logo of the Texas Power Bar.

Now a little history lesson.  This bar is the “brainchild” of Buddy Capps. He has, for over 30 years, owned and operated Capps Welding and has been in the weight lifting bar manufacturing business this entire time. His business is located in Irving, Texas. Buddy Capps was a former Texas State Powerlifting Champ, so he knows something about the needs of powerlifters. The TPB (Texas Power Bar) was influenced in design by a couple of other very good powerlifters, Doug and Clay Patterson. However, Mac owned “the rights” to the TPB, and shortly afterwards Capps and Mac Equipment had a “falling out”.   Capps then did a redesign of the TPB, and started making his newer (and improved) version.  Since then, he deals through distributers for resale. Mac Equipment has now been out of business for several years, so the earlier “Mac Texas Power Bar” is no longer being produced.  The only TRUE Texas Power Bar on the market is the Capps TPB.  I say this because I have seen other advertised Texas Power Bars on the market  that are not made by Capps, and are imposters.  Every Texas Power Bar contains a sticker logo on the end of the bar indicating it as the OFFICIAL Texas Bar.  Bill Ennis, of Weightlifters Warehouse, told me that the steel used by Capps in the Texas Power Bars is American high-quality steel, and has always been that way.  I have owned several Capps TPB’s and from my lifting experience on them, I agree with this.  The steel seems the same to me in the new TPB’s as the ones I got over 20 years ago. I’ve had only one Capps TPB bend on me, and that was because is was being used inappropriately and not the fault of the bar.   Capps believes in producing high-quality bars and this can only be achieved by using “top of the line” steel.

The bar specs on a few of my Texas Power Bars are:

BAR Length Shaft Diameter Center Knurling Center Spacing Width Inside Collar Collar Width
Mac TPB 7-’2″ 1- 1/8″ Yes-6″ 16-1/2″ 52-1/8″ 1-1/2″
Capps TPB (10 years old) 7′-1 3/4″ 1-1/8″ Yes-4″ 17″ 51-3/4″ 2″
Capps TPB (NEW) 7′-1 3/4″ 1-1/8″ Yes-4″ 17″ 52″ 2″

My Mac Texas Power Bar is still in good condition even though I have had it and been using it for over 25 years.  It still has a very aggressive knurling that hinders most from wanting to use it. The newer TPB’s have less aggressive knurling, but still I would consider as aggressive in terms of depth of knurling cut. The newer TPB’s are coated in Black Oxide and have a nice finish.  The sleeves rotate very well for power bars, but not well enough to be used as Olympic Lifting bars if you are an experienced Olympic lifter.  The are plenty “stiff”, which make them great bench and squat bars and general purpose training bars.

I believe Texas Power Bars are very consistent in quality (at least the ones I’ve lifted on – and that’s been many).   They have several of Capps distinguishing features – wide 2″ collars, aggressive knurling cut pattern, and the use of two roller pins to secure the sleeve. The end cap is recessed as well.   His bars have a look unlike all others.  If you are looking for a good bar that will last for a long time – I highly recommend Texas Power Bars.

Dino Gym RD

by Al Myers

Dan Wagman performing a Feet in the Air Bench Press at the 2014 Dino Gym Record Day. Dan set a new record with a lift of 375 pounds!

Last weekend was a full weekend of great lifting at the Dino Gym!  Sunday picked up where Saturday left off with 5 lifters attempting to break/set new USAWA records.  I was surprised to see 3 new faces on Sunday who could not make the Grip Champs – Chad Ullom, Doug Kressly and Logan Kressly.  Dan Wagman and Ruth Jackson where the only Saturday lifters who made the full two day competition.

The record day started off strong with Dan setting a new USAWA record in the Bench Press – Feet in Air.  Dan broke a long standing record held by the great Barry Bryan (at 374 lbs. set in 1990) with a lift of 375 pounds. It was a very impressive lift.  Dan then backed it up with a record in the Bench Press – Reverse Grip at 350 pounds.

Ruth lifted fantastic as usual.  She set several new records – with some outstanding lifts in the Vertical Bar Deadlifts. She also completed her official’s practical on this day.  Once the paperwork has been approved – she will be added to the official’s list as a Level One Official.

Chad Ullom picked several of his favorite lifts to set new records in (Arthur Lift, Ziegler Clean, Continental to Belt).  Looked solid and strong as ever!

I was glad to see Doug and Logan back to the gym.  These two made my Dino Challenge in January as well.  Doug upped his teeth lift record from the Dino Challenge, and then helped Logan to many new records.  Logan had some tremendous marks – Fulton Bar Deadlift of 352, Dinnie Lift of 550, and a front squat of 300.  He tried 320 in the front squat, and took it way too deep to recover from. That’s a huge front squat for a young kid only 15!

Overall, a great day for the everyone!!!

My companion in the gym during the meet - Dan's dog Gram - short for Hamilton vom Naglersee.

MEET RESULTS:

Dino Gym Record Day
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
February 9th, 2014

Meet Director: Al Myers

Officials (1-official system used): Al Myers, Chad Ullom  In-training Ruth Jackson

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Lifters and Lifts:

Ruth Jackson – 52 years old, 108 lbs. BWT

Clean and Press – Alternate Grip: 80 lbs.
Jackson Press: 75 lbs.
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2 bars, 2″: 176 lbs.
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2 bars, 1″: 202 lbs.
Deadlift – Fulton Bar: 187 lbs.
Squat – Front: 120 lbs.

Logan Kressly – 14 years old, 168 lbs. BWT

Squat – Front: 300 lbs.
Deadlift – Fulton Bar: 352 lbs.
Deadlift – Reeves: 155 lbs.
Dinnie Lift: 550 lbs.

Dan Wagman – Open, 184 lbs. BWT

Bench Press – Feet in Air: 375 lbs.
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 350 lbs.
Bent Over Row: 300 lbs.
Curl – Cheat, 2 Dumbells: 160 lbs.

Doug Kressly – 34 years old, 286 lbs. BWT

Teeth Lift: 179 lbs.

Chad Ullom – 42 years old, 255 lbs. BWT

Ziegler Clean: 182 lbs.
Teeth Lift: 200 lbs.
Arthur Lift: 220 lbs.
Continental to Belt: 440 lbs.
Snatch – On Knees: 115 lbs.

Grip Championships

by Al Myers

2014 USAWA GRIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

Participants in the 2014 USAWA Grip Championships held at the Dino Gym on February 8th.

The USAWA Grip Championships turned out to be much more successful than I predicted with the bad weather and snow that preceded it.  At one point last week I was wondering if anyone would show up!  Then to my surprise – 10 lifters made it to the Dino Gym Saturday morning.

Ruth Jackson made the trip from Colorado and was the lone woman lifter in the meet, but even without any “one on one” competition she lifted outstanding. She set several USAWA records enroute to winning the Overall Best Lifter in the Womans Division.  Ruth competes in the same bodyweight class as the Hall of Famer Noi Phumchaona did – so she has some pretty good records of Noi’s to contend with. Ruth also brought me some new plates for my plate collection (which has earned her some bonus votes for the lifter of the month award!!!)

Awards given at the Grip Champs to the Overall Winners.

Where to start with the mens lifters?  That’s pretty easy – we had a newcomer entered in the meet!  Keith Thompson entered his first USAWA meet as part of the KCSTRONGMAN club.  Keith was also the youngest lifter in the meet.  Keith lifted exceptional – with his 310 pound fulton dumbbells deadlift being his highlight lift.  I’m looking forward to seeing Keith entered in more meets.  Other KCSTRONGMEN members Eric Todd and Lance Foster had solid days of lifting as well.

Dan Wagman pulled off a close overall victory over LaVerne Myers and Dave Glasgow.  It came down to the last event (the middle fingers deadlift) to determine the overall men’s champion.  These three ended up very close in points (854 pts for Dan, 848 pts for LaVerne, and 832 pts for Dave) in the final placings.  LaVerne started off with a great record-setting Dumbbell Walk of 123 pounds which was the tops of the meet.  Dave lifted a 308 pound one arm deadlift which was quite impressive, as well as a 290 pound fulton dumbbells deadlift.   However, it came down to “the fingers” (like a lot of past Goerner Meets) to decide the winner – and Dan’s big MF deadlift of 236 sealed the deal for him.

Scott Tully lifted big – and posted the top total of the meet at 1002 pounds.  That’s quite an accomplishment in a field like this.  Scott’s BIG LIFT was his record setting fulton dumbbells deadlift of 322 pounds.  This earned Scott a new USAWA record as well as setting a new DINO GYM record (breaking the record held by Ben Edwards at 320 pounds).   USAWA faithfuls Dean Ross and Mike Murdock rounded out the field.  Dean and Mike have been extremely active in the USAWA over the past few years, and always enhances the meet atmosphere when they are in attendance.

Great day for the USAWA Grip Championships!  I would say this HAS to be one of the best grip champs that the USAWA has had.  I want to thank everyone who made the competition.

MEET RESULTS:

2014 USAWA Grip Championships
Saturday, February 8th, 2014
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): Al Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Lifts: Dumbbell Walk, Deadlift-2 Fulton Dumbbells, Deadlift-One Arm, Deadlift-Middle Fingers

WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT WALK DL-FDB DL-1 DL-MF TOT PTS
Ruth Jackson 52 107 48-R 130 185-R 95 458 712.8

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORD

Ruth Jackson: Deadlift-Middle Fingers 100#

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT WALK DL-FDB DL-1 DL-MF TOT PTS
Dan Wagman OP 184 103-L 270 303-L 236 912 854.6
LaVerne Myers 69 249 123-R 280 253-L 165 821 848.4
Dave Glasgow 60 259 98-R 290 308-R 187 883 832.8
Eric Todd 39 257 93-R 250 352-R 253 948 741.8
Keith Thompson 27 229 118-R 310 203-R 242 873 724.7
Scott Tully 38 333 108-R 322 341-R 231 1002 692.9
Dean Ross 71 269 63-R 210 162-R 165 600 605.7
Lance Foster 48 330 73-R 210 203-R 181 667 504.9
Mike Murdock 73 193 48-R 130 115-R 115 408 498.3

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORD

Dan Wagman:  Deadlift-2 Fulton DBS 290#
Mike Murdock: Deadlift-Middle Fingers 132#

NOTES: BWT is bodyweight in pounds. AGE is age in years. All lifts recorded in pounds. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are adjusted points for age and bodyweight correction.

Grip Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2014 USAWA GRIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

LaVerne Myers performing a 112# Dumbbell Walk at the 2012 USAWA Grip Championships under the watch of Denny Habecker (left) and Dave Glasgow (right). The Dumbbell Walk will be in this year's Grip Championships as well.

I will be hosting the USAWA Grip Championships again this year at the Dino Gym.  Last year this meet was a great success with many entrants – and hopefully this year will be even better.  This is one of the USAWA’s Championship events, and one of the signature competitions within the USAWA each year.  It is designed to recognize the top lifters in a selection of grip events, which are official lifts of the USAWA.  The USAWA has several lifts that are “grip oriented” and since this is a Championship Competition only official lifts of the USAWA are eligible to be in this competition. 

It is always a difficult thing for me to pick the lifts for this meet.  It seems no matter what I pick – there is always someone who doesn’t like my choices!  So this year I got myself “off the hook” by letting others chose a lift a piece for the Grip Champs.  The lucky participants for this assignment were Thom, Chad, Dave, and my Dad LaVerne.  I won’t reveal what each of their choices were – but it is pretty easy to tell by looking at the selected lifts in this meet.  Three of them picked their “pet lift” while the choice of the fourth was just being sadistic.

As with keeping with the traditional date of the Grip Championships, it will be held on the second Saturday in February (Feb 8th).  Put this date on your calendar and make it to the Dino Gym for a day of fun!!! 

MEET DETAILS:

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Meet Date:  Saturday, February 8th, 2014    10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Location:  Dino Gym, 1126 Eden Road, Abilene, KS 67410

Sanction: United States All-Round Weightlifting Association.  Individual USAWA membership is required of each participant. 

Weigh-ins:  9:00-10:00 AM the day of the meet.  Lifting will start at 10:00 AM

Divisions:  Juniors, Women, Masters, and Open

Awards:  Championship Certificates

Entry Fee:  None – but please notify me ahead of time if you plan to enter

Lifts:

Dumbbell Walk
Deadlift – 2 Fulton Dumbbells
Deadlift – One Arm
Deadlift – Middle Fingers

Rules: USAWA General Rules and Scoring Apply.

This will be a DRUG TESTED event.

Registration: No Entry Form, but please contact me ahead of the meet if you plan to attend at amyers@usawa.com

Dino Gym Record Day

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
DINO GYM RECORD DAY

Meet Director: Al Myers and the Dino Gym

Meet Date: Sunday, February 9th, 2014 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!

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