NE Record Breakers

By James Fuller

James Fuller doing a 504 pound dumbbell deadlift at the New England Record Breakers.

2013 in East Walpole Mass at Frank’s Barbell Club gravity got told to, “Go take a hike!” Two brothers, Frank and Joe Ciavattone graciously gave of their time and resources so seven of us could show our dominance over the iron. Faces familiar and new pulled, pushed and squeezed to fight for a place in the record books. So much lifting defiance, it seemed like a revolt!

First up in our war on the weights were new lifters Jessica Hopps, 29,  and James Delaney, also 29 and new protégé of Frank Ciavattone.  Jess did some fine lifting with a smile. Her most impressive lift is her 100lb Bent Row. Jess must have some strong back muscles to be able to hold this in position until the down command. Also worth mentioning: she did a Left Arm Ciavattone Deadlift with 110lb!! I’m curious to see what she does next!!

Other new lifter(and Jessica’s fiancée) James Delaney had a superb day!! He was dying to bury a record!! James wasted no time and put a 150lb One Legged Deadlift on the books! After a short tutorial, James then went after a 37lb Turkish Get Up for a good lift. James is just getting his feet wet in the iron pool and with Frank Ciavattone the man himself in his training corner, how can James go wrong? Watch for James to put up some substantial numbers soon. It was great to have a new ‘lifting couple’ here today. I hope everyone gets a chance to meet them!

Third new lifter(isn’t that great….THREE!) is Steve Freides 58 and ready to lift anything not nailed down!!! Previews of Steve’s intent were shown on the USAWA Facebook page. Someone was actually going to do a Van Dam Lift?!?! No, not the Volvo truck commercial with Jean Claude Van Damme . Steve was going to be crazier than that; Let’s do a split between two benches AND then pick up some weight! And pick up some weight he did. Steve got over HALF BODYWEIGHT with 81lb. His lifting dominance on this lift was so contagious I had to give it a try. Yes folks, we had TWO lifters do the Van Dam Lift!! Steve went animal on eight other lifts. I was afraid we were going to have to make up some new lifts for him to try for a record. Folks, think about it, how do you challenge a guy who has done the Van Dam Lift?

Jessica Hopps doing a 110 pound Ciavattone One Arm Deadlift at the New England Record Breakers.

Next up was Colleen Lane. She was phenomenal today! This was the best lifting I’d seen from her. Inside story, this morning she said to Frank,”I don’t know if I can lift today…my back hurts.” How badly did her back hurt? Well, she only got 200lbs on the Ciavattone Deadlift!?! I teased her,”Hey Colleen, I wish MY back hurt that much!!” I think she was doing the ‘work my aching back ‘til it feels better’ therapy. She followed up with a 100lb Bent Row AND One Arm Ciavattone Deadlifts that kept going up. Each time I turned around, she was attempting more weight. She kept going until she felt like the iron had been punished enough. Colleen wound up with a Left and Right Hand lift of 110lbs….WOW! How could she NOT feel better ?!?!

Long time USAWA member and judge Joe Ciavattone 45 got out of the judge’s chair and showed us what a Deadlift that bears the family name looks like done with One Arm!! 225lbs with the Right and 235lbs with the Left. He has such a smooth setup. He doesn’t waste a bit of energy on these lifts. Almost seems like he finds a bar path that we do NOT!!

Speaking of great One Arm Deadlifts with the Ciavattone name attached, Frank Ciavattone 58 also took off time from coaching, directing, and judging to put up some ridiculously easy lifts of Right 285lb and Left 255lb. Frank’s grip is only limited by his mind. If he believes he can grip it, its as good as done!!

Ready for more Ciavattone greatness?? Joe Jr. stepped up to the bar and Bent Over Rowed 186lb…225lb..305lb and finally 325lb!! For me this was the ‘lift of the meet’ plain and simple. Seeing him row 325lb and hold it still for the down command blew my mind. Maybe it’s the training he and his dad do for football…I don’t know. Folks, go to a bar loaded with weight, row it to your gut and hold it there for a down command. IT IS HARD!!

James Fuller 42 decided that Steve Freides shouldn’t have all the fun on the Van Dam Lift. Having never done this before, it took a couple of lifts before he found his groove. He eventually lifted 150lb. James did a 2 Dumbbell Deadlift with 501lb last winter in his driveway. No longer wanting to be a driveway hero, James decided to make it official. He did the Art Montini ,”My first attempt IS my warmup” with a 424lb lift followed by 504lb for a record.

Colleen quit lifting early to make sure we were fed after the meet. We were fed well. Its amazing how well she always takes care of us before(muffins), during(bottled water) and after(pizzas AND home made food) the meet THANK YOU COLLEEN!!

Without the Ciavattone brothers, All-Round Lifting in New England would be dead. Three new lifters this time around. If this keeps up, we’re going to have to move the meet to somewhere bigger!! Thank you Joe and thank you Frank for this meet!

Why you wished you were at this meet: Two lifters doing the Van Dam Lift, Joe Jr. hitting 325lb on the Bent Over Row, Joe Jr., James Fuller and Steve Friedes taking turns doing Dumbbell Bent Presses, Chance to see Colleen’s ‘oh my aching back’ record breaking routine. The New England Record Breakers is a necessary meet to help grow All-Round Lifting in New England. Once Joe Jr and James Fuller pass their judge’s test, All-Round Lifting will have more two more judges to help run more meets in New England.

MEET RESULTS:

New England Record Breakers
Frank’s Barbell Club
Walpole, Massachusetts
November 30th, 2013

Meet Director:  Frank Ciavattone

Officials (1 official system used): Frank Ciavattone, Joe Ciavattone

Lifts: Record Day Lifts

Jessica Hopps 29, 197lb

Bench Press-Reverse Grip 70lb
Bent Over Row 100lb
Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip, One Arm L 110lb
Pinch Clean & Press L 10lb R 10lb

Colleen Lane 57, 210lb

Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip 200lb
Bench Press-Reverse Grip 65lb
Bent Over Row 100lb
Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip, One Arm L 110lb R 110lb
Pinch Clean & Press L 20lb R 20lb

Joe Ciavattone Jr. 20, 222lb

Bent Over Row 325lb
Bent Press-Dumbbell R 100lb
Pinch Grip Clean& Press L 50lb R 50lb

James Delaney 29, 178.75lb

Deadlift-One Leg 150lb
Turkish Get-Up 37lb
Pinch Clean & Press L 31lb R 31 lb

James Fuller 42, 235.25lb

Van Dam Lift 150lb
Bent Press-Dumbbell L 120lb R 120lb
Deadlift-2 Dumbbells 504lb
Pinch Clean & Press L 50lb R 50lb

Joe Ciavattone Sr. 45, 222.5lb

Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip, One Arm L 235lb R 225lb
Pinch Clean & Press L 44lb R 44lb

Steve Freides 58, 152.25lb

Van dam Lift 81lb
Deadlift-Fingers, Middle 155lb
Turkish Get –Up 42lb
Gardner-Full 45lb
Bent Press-Dumbbell L 56lb R 56lb
Curl-Strict 65lb
Pinch Clean & Press L 20lb R 20lb

Frank Ciavattone 58, 294lb

Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip,One Arm 255lb R 285lb

HUBanero Training or Setting Your Grip On Fire

by James Fuller

Driving home from the 2013 Heavy Lift Championships, I realized I had a puzzle to solve.  How to continue improving my Hub lifting ability without the aid of Frank Ciavattone’s large hub Yorks? Remember, Frank’s hubs are the SAME 4  3/4″ across as on my 100 lbers!! Lifting by the hub is NOT at all like lifting a thick bar, pinch gripping a bunch of 10 lb plates or crushing a gripper to death. Hub lifting is uniquely it’s own. The performance is not straightforward as Al Myers can tell you.

4 Spoke Grip Nemesis

To Frank’s meet, I brought 2 45lb BEN Deep Dish plates. These were my Hub Lifting practice plates. The hubs are the same 3  1/2″ across as my York Deep Dish 45’s but have only 3 ’spokes’.  The spokes are the risers on plates most people don’t notice. Near the lip or flange of the plate, they start low and and gradually get taller like a ramp until they merge into the hub.

I showed Al how to grab the hub with index and middle finger together while the ring finger is on the other side of the spoke. The thumb doesn’t seem to contribute much. The pinky ‘backs up’ the ring finger at best. From here twist hand INWARDS against the spokes, as if to unscrew the top off a pickle jar. Now pick up the weight. When I’m done training with these plates it is the ring finger(s) that feel the most stress/work. The twisting helps get my hands closer to the hub and effectively ’shortens’ my fingers. As Al pointed out a smaller hand person has the advantage when it comes to Hub Lifting. The larger the hand, the more work that has to be done  by the finger tips alone.

My 4 spoke York 45’s give me nothing to twist against. The spokes are laid out differently and require me to pick them up ’straight on’ by the finger tips. I can not lift them this way…yet. I need something lighter but with similar dimensions. I believe I’ve found a possible solution. I bought a couple of Fire Hydrant Nozzle Caps(FHNC) at a local Antique shop.

Comparison of Nozzle Cover: Gripping Lip (left) and Gripping Base (right)

These caps provide 3 different gripping ‘handles’ to train. The top is a pentagon. One fits a thumb and 3 fingers while the other fits a thumb and 2 fingers. Oddly, the smaller pentagon is on the heavier cap. The second ‘handle’ is a lip just below the base of the pentagon. The lip can only be picked up by the finger tips. The 3rd handle is the base below the lip. This is the widest part of the cap. One measures 4  3/4″  and the other is 4  1/4″.  One flares out much like a hub. The other  is straight and has finger holds. With hand over the pentagon, there’s more distance between the palm and the fingers, requiring more fingertip strength to pick up the cap. The insides are threaded so that I can attach a pipe and add weight.  The whopping cost for these caps were 10.00$. Some rattle can rust converter to keep the tetanus down to a minimum and I’m off to the races. I’m curious to see how training with these turns out. You certainly can’t beat the price. Remember, there’s nothing like fire hydrant parts to add fire to your training.