Website Upgrade

by Al Myers

The USAWA website will be undergoing an upgrade over the next 2-3 weeks.  During this time there will be no new material added to the website (blogs, meet announcements, roster updates, etc)  until the new upgrade is complete.  All information on the current site will be transferred to the upgraded site.  There may also be time periods where the website is “down” during this process – just please be patient because before long we will have a new and improved USAWA website!!!!

Parallel Lift Training

by John McKean

Hermann Goerner

Gomers hate Goernor! Yep, those Grumpy Old Men (GOMers) who these days have little to do other than take delight from obnoxious blogging and crabbing on certain weightlifting websites, just detest the many huge poundage lifts that the legendary all-round strongman established during his prime.Though few living were around during the 1920s, our iron game gomers will loudly proclaim that Hermann’s lifts were done improperly,plates or globe bells were hollow, bars were bent for better leverages, etc., etc.. Being this is Superbowl week as I write, I submit that our highly critical WL goms use the same “absolute evidence” to INVALIDATE a lift ( that perhaps hundreds witnessed or was judged good by highly respected officials of that time) as is used by the instant replays in pro football. OK, no exacting vids for proof during Goernor’s heyday, but can ANYTHING,even an old bar, globe,or dumbbell that was used,be produced to reduce stature of one of our historic all time greats? (by the way, Goms, opinions,speculation, and rumors count for nothing!).

I mention the above ,not only to glorify Goernor’s 430 pound Two Hand Anyhow overhead (with kettlebells!), 330 pound right arm cheat curl (you’ll have to read his book for the exact, bizarre technique), and his mind-blowing 727 1/2 pound right hand deadlift, but,rather, to discuss Hermann’s inventive training system. Many have heard of his “chain” warmup where he would move up a dumbbell or kettlebell rack, starting at the lightest weight and progressing to the heaviest ‘bell in the gym. Ole Herm would perform a swing ,then a press, down to a curl, then a final press-all one arm for a single on each event. He often changed the sequence or even the exercises, yet always did a bunch with the individual weights.Yet most all-rounders of today may have missed the fact that “Mr. Mighty” also did “chains” of sorts with his main, heavier lifts!

One passage in “Goernor The Mighty” shows this hard working man doing a combination of various curls, presses, and holdouts for 2 reps each, then increasing the barbell or db weight, going through the same sequence, then usually going through a third rotation. Indications are that Hermann also did this with various types of deadlifts and presses/jerks.

We modern all-rounders could also “chain” certain similar lifts to intensify our efforts by condensing work within a relatively short time frame. For instance, we can put together a routine of rows, hacks, straddles, and, say, one arm deadlifts , starting at maybe 135# for the first round, then progressing up in weight for a single at each of the four events. When a limit is reached on any of the lifts,we merely drop it from the upcoming sequence, until we reach perhaps just a final single by itself on our particular specialty. Not much fuss overall devoted to time wasting, constantly changing weights up and down during a workout ! I’m sure most of our guys can dream up endless amounts of similar poundage, “PARALLEL” all-round combos to sneak in more lifts than formerly possible within one workout!

Most will discover that this “new,yet old” parallel system of simultaneously working several events will supply just the stimulation needed for exciting training during 2015. Heck, ole Al needs to get a bit busier, constantly adding records to the books! And,gees, 50 years from now, we WANT the old Gomers of that day angry over OUR lifts!!

Zercher Strength Classic

by Bill Clark

The only entry was Joe Garcia, age 61, bodyweight 214.  He was injured in the Steinborn lift and could not finish. His lifts for USAWA record – leg press 325, military press feet together 155, two-hand C&J 155, RH deadlift 285, hack 235, zercher 235, heels together deadlift 285, bench feet in air 235, neck 425, Steinborn – failed with 145.   Did not harness, hip, or hand and thigh. His neck, bench and zercher exceeded the records in the current record book.

MEET RESULTS:

Zercher Strength Classic
Clarks Gym
January 24th, 2015

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Officials: Bill Clark, Joe Garcia, Steve Schmidt

Bill Clark – Age 82, bodyweight 230.5#
Hip Lift: 771#
Harness Lift: 1078#

Deanna Springs Meet

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Deanna Springs Memorial Meet

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Date: Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Venue: Clark’s Gym, Columbia, Missouri

Weigh-ins: 8 AM

Entry Fee: None

Entry Form: None

Awards: None

Membership: Must be a current USAWA Member

Lifts: Crucifix, Cheat Curl, Deanna Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, and Hip Lift

A record day session 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.

TOO SOON OLD

BY DAVE GLASGOW

IF YOU WANT QUALITY EQUIPMENT THAT CAN BE CUSTOM MADE TO YOUR NEEDS, GIVE AL MYERS A TRY. NONE BETTER. I GUARANTEE IT. GIVE HIM A TRY! WHY??? 'CAUSE I SAID SO!!!!

RECENTLY, I HAD OPPORTUNITY  TO MAKE A WONDERFUL PURCHASE OF A VERY FINE, SUPERBLY CRAFTED POWER RACK, BUILT BY OUR OWN AL MYERS. I DIDN”T REALLY NEED IT, AS I PURCHASED ONE FROM ANOTHER OUT FIT A COUPLE YEARS AGO. IT WAS VERY BASIC, BUT WELL BUILT, STURDY AND FUNCTIONAL. HOWEVER, WHEN I SAW THAT AL WAS IN BUSINESS, I JUST COULD NOT RESIST AND HAD TO HAVE ONE OF HIS CREATIONS.

CHRISTMAS CAME A COUPLE WEEKS LATE BUT THAT WAS OKAY. ALONG WITH DELIVERY CAME TWO YOUNG MEN TO ASSEMBLE THE RACK RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, SO THIS WAS A WIN/WIN SITUATION. I STILL HAD A LITTLE WORK TO DO TO ATTACH IT TO THE FLOOR BUT THAT WAS MINOR, IN RELATION TO SETTING IT UP.

WHILE I WAS WORKING PLACING THE RACK IN IT’S PERMANENT POSITION, I HAD SOME THOUGHTS THAT MADE ME CHUCKLE. THE ONE THAT KEPT COMING BACK TO ME WAS, ‘WELL, OLE MAN’, NOW YOU HAVE THIS FANCY ASS RACK AND YOU ARE TOO OLD TO PUT ANY SERIOUS WEIGHT ON IT!’ THEN IT OCURRED TO ME JUST HOW ‘LONG’ I HAD WAITED TO HAVE SOMETHING OF THIS QUALITY, WITH ALL THE ‘BELLS AND WHISTLES’ AND SUCH. IT WAS THEN THAT I STARTED A TRIP DOWN ‘MEMORY LANE’.

I GOT OUT OF COLLEGE IN THE MID-SEVENTIES; WITHOUT A DEGREE, I MIGHT ADD. I IMMEDIATLEY WENT TO WORK IN THE ‘OIL PATCH’. MONEY WAS TIGHT, THE WORK WAS HARD AND, SOMETIMES, HARD TO FIND. WHAT IS REFERRED TO, THESE DAYS, AS ‘DISPOSABLE INCOME’ WAS NON-EXSISTANT. WHY MY WIFE, GUNNER, LET ME BLOW THREE BILLS ON A YORK OLY SET IS WELL BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION. TO THINK I COULD ‘BLOW’ MONEY ON SOMETHING AS EXTRAVIGANT AS STORE BOUGHT LIFTING EQUIPMENT WAS OUT OF THE QUESTION.

SO, HAVING RUDIMENTARY WELDING SKILLS, I SET ABOUT MAKING MY OWN EQUIPMENT. THE NAME OF MY FIRST ‘GYM’ WAS ‘THE SCRAP IRON WEIGHT HOUSE’. IT DOES’NT TAKE A GENIUS OR DEEP THINKER TO FIGURE OUT WHY AND HOW IT GOT IT’S NAME. EVERYTHING I MADE WAS FROM THE ‘BONE YARD’ OF SCRAP METAL WE HAD AT THE FARM. I STILL HAVE THE BENCH I MADE AND MY FRIEND CONTINUES TO USE THE SQUAT RACKS I THREW TOGETHER (WHICH WILL BE ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT COULD POSSIBLY LIVE FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, THAT’S HOW HEAVY AND DURABLE IT IS).

THE THING I WAS (AM) PROUDEST OF, HOWEVER, IS THE POWER RACK THAT I MADE, WITH MY DAD’S ASSISTANCE. I SCROUNGED FOUR 4 X 4s FROM AN OLD CRATE WE HAD AND DAD BORROWED A DRILL PRESS FROM A SHOP HE HAD CONNECTIONS WITH. WE HAD A ‘DOWN’ SATURDAY SO WE GOT TO WORK. DRILLING THE HOLES TOOK TWO HOURS AND WE FIGURED, WHEN WE WERE DONE, THAT WE HAD DRILLED 33’ FEET OF ‘HOLE’(COMING FROM THE ‘OIL PATCH’, THIS WAS IMPORTANT TO US!! HAHAHA). WITH SOME ANGLE IRON FOR SUPPORTS AND ‘SUCKER’ ROD FOR CROSS PIECES, I WAS IN BUSINESS!

THAT POWER RACK SERVED WELL UNTIL ABOUT 2007, WHEN I LOST THE PLACE I HAD BEEN LIFTING IN DUE TO AN ‘ECONOMIC DOWNTURN’. IT WAS A COUPLE YEARS BEFORE IT WAS PUT BACK IN USE.

ALL OF THESE THINGS WERE SWERLING OVER AND OVER IN MY HEAD AND I STOPPED AND MARVELED AT HOW FAR WE (GUNN AND I) HAD COME. I WAS SETTING UP A RACK THAT I, REALLY, DID’NT NEED AND WAS APROACHING AN AGE WHERE I COULD NOT, IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, USE TO IT’S FULL CAPABILITIES. DON’T MISUNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING. I WILL CONTINUE TO TRAIN JUST AS HARD BUT IN NO WAY WILL THIS RACK GET WORKED AS HARD AS IT IS FULLY CAPABLE OF. I KNOW I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT HAS BEEN DOWN THIS ROAD, IT’S JUST VERY HARD FOR ME TO REALIZE THAT I AM AT ‘THAT’ TIME IN MY LIFE! AT THIS POINT, I AM FIGHTING JUST TO SAVE WHAT I HAVE!!

FOR SOME REASON, I THOUGHT OF THE MOVIE, ‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’. GEORGE IS COURTING MARY AND STANDING IN FRONT OF A HOUSE WHERE AN ‘OLDER’ MAN IS SITTING ON THE PORCH, READING A PAPER. GEORGE IS STRUGGLING WITH WHAT TO DO AND THE OLE GUY HOLLARS, ‘WHY DON’T YOU GO AHEAD AND KISS HER?!’ AS GEORGE JUST STANDS THERE, MOTIONLESS, THE MAN GETS UP FROM HIS CHAIR AND STARTS WALKING TO THE DOOR TO GO INSIDE. AS HE IS WALKING, HE SAYS, IN DISGUST, ‘AWWW, YOUTH IS WASTED ON THE YOUNG!!!’

HOW TRUE, HOW TRUE! WHEN WE ARE YOUNG, WE HAVE NO COMPREHENSION OF TIME OR WHAT LIFE HAS IN STORE FOR US. AS GEORGE DID, WE MUDDLE THRU BEST WE CAN, AND, USUALLY, AS CHEAP AS WE CAN. IT IS ONLY WHEN WE REACH A CERTAIN AGE THAT WE CAN BE A BIT MORE EXTRAVIGANT AND PURCHASE SOMETHING WE REALLY WANT, NOT NECCESARILY WHAT WE NEED.

STILL, AGED OR NOT, LOWER WEIGHTS BE DAMNED, I WILL ENJOY THIS HOLLAND STRENGTH RACK AND PUT IT TO USE AS BEST AS AN ‘OLD GUY’ CAN. I WILL, WITHOUT A DOUBT, VERY MUCH APPRECIATE IT, AS IT HAS TAKEN FORTY YEARS TO ACQUIIRE.

ODD, IT SEEMS AS THOUGH IT WERE JUST YESTERDAY THAT I ………………………………….

Final 2014 Postal Series Rankings

by Al Myers

The USAWA has 4 postal meets per year (March, June, September, and December), with the last one being designated as the Postal Championships. All these together make up the Postal Meet Series. Each postal meet a lifter competes in generates points for him/her, that total up for the final Postal Series Ranking.

The way the points are generated is pretty simple. I take the overall placings of the meet and then reverse “the count” for the points earned for each lifter. I.E – if three lifters compete lifter number 1 gets 3 points, lifter number 2 gets 2 points, and lifter number three gets 1 point. The Postal Championships is worth “double points”. Obviously then, as more lifters enter more points can be earned for winning the meet, and ALL lifters earn points regardless where they place overall. Just entering will earn points toward the Postal Series Ranking.

Overall there was good participation in the USAWA Postal Meets last year. A total of 18 lifters competed in the various postal meets, which is the EXACT number of lifters who competed last year. The first Postal Meet had 8 lifters, the second had 13 lifters, the third had 7 lifters, and the Postal Championship drew 10 lifters. Several lifters competed in ALL of the postal meets last year and they deserve to be recognized. These lifters are Ruth Jackson,  Eric Todd, Denny Habecker, Barry Bryan, and Lance Foster.

Now for the overall rankings for the 2014 USAWA Postal Series!

WOMENS DIVISION – TOP THREE

PLACING LIFTER MEETS ENTERED POINTS
1 Ruth Jackson 4 10
2 Crystal Diggs 3 3
3 Molly Myers 1 2

MENS DIVISION – TOP TEN

PLACING LIFTER MEETS ENTERED POINTS
1 Chad Ullom 3 31
2 Eric Todd 4 26
3 Barry Bryan 4 25
4 Denny Habecker 4 21
5 Al Myers 1 16
6 Dan Wagman 1 14
7 Lance Foster 4 9
8 Randy Smith 1 8
9 Tim Piper 1 7
10 Logan Kressly 1 5

Congrats to Ruth Jackson and Chad Ullom  for being the OVERALL WINNERS of the 2014 USAWA Postal Series.    Ruth won EVERY one of the quarterly postal meets, and Chad placed 1st in the first and second postal, and second in the Postal Championships.

Postal Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

2015 USAWA POSTAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

The USAWA Postal Championships is the fourth and final meet in our postal series.  It is considered the Championships, and is worth DOUBLE POINTS in the postal series rankings.  Our USAWA Postal Director, Denny Habecker, picked a great assortment of lifts for this championships.

LIFTS:

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

Arthur Lift

Snatch – Dumbbell, One Arm (RIGHT/LEFT)

ENTRY FORM (PDF) – 2015 USAWA Postal Championships Entry Form

3rd Quarter Postal

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

3RD QUARTER POSTAL MEET

Denny picked an interesting assortment of lifts for this postal meet!  It also has an interesting “twist” to make it more challenging – whatever arm you choose for the Dumbbell Cheat Curl you MUST choose the other for the One Arm Deadlift.  Failure to follow this simple rule will result in a forfeit of a lift.

LIFTS:

Crucifix

Curl – Cheat, Dumbbell, One Arm

Deadlift – One Arm (opposite arm)

ENTRY FORM (PDF) – 2015 3rd Quarter Postal Entry Form

2nd Quarter Postal

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

2ND QUARTER POSTAL MEET

LIFTS:

Clean and Seated Press – 2 Dumbbells

Bent Over Row

Rectangular Fix

ENTRY FORM (PDF) – 2015 2nd Quarter Postal Entry Form

1st Quarter Postal

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

1st QUARTER POSTAL MEET

This is the announcement for the first quarterly postal meet promoted by the USAWA.  Results must be turned into the USAWA Postal Meet Director Denny Habecker by the deadline stated on the entry form.

LIFTS:

Pullover and Press

Curl – Cheat, Reverse Grip

Clean and Jerk – Behind Neck

ENTRY FORM (PDF) – 2015 1st Quarter Postal Entry Form

Florida Record Day

by Derek Prior

Group picture from the Florida Record Day (left to right): Theo Prior, Derek Prior, Stephen Santangelo, Chad Ullom, and Al Myers

We had three very different lifters for the first ever Florida USAWA record day at the Iron Cave on Saturday 24th January:

Stephen Santangelo is just starting out with the teeth lift, but managed 100lbs. He also did some impressive vertical bar lifts with both the 1-inch and 2-inch bars.

Theo Prior, age 13, bent pressed 50lbs and Ciavatone dead lifted 185, and 235 staggered. He also managed an incredible 705lbs Travis lift.

Derek Prior hit a personal best dumbbell bent press of 85lbs, and another personal best barbell bent press of 85.6lbs.

Al Myers and Chad Ullom officiated, after wrestling gators on the way down from Orlando.

We finished off at the Marsh Landing restaurant for gator tail and frogs legs.

MEET RESULTS:

Florida Record Day
The Iron Cave
Fellsmere, Florida
January 24th, 2015

Meet Director:  Derek Prior

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

Lifts: Record Day

Lifters:

Theo Prior – Age 13, BWT 130#
Bent Press – Dumbbell, Left: 50#
Bent Press – Dumbbell, Right: 50#
Bent Press – Bar, Right: 45#
Travis Lift: 705#
Deadlift – Ciavattone: 185#
Deadlift: 235#
Clean and Press – Dumbbells: 80#

Derek Prior – Age 46, BWT 185#
Bent Press – Dumbbell, Right: 85#
Bent Press – Dumbbell, Left: 50#
Bent Press – Bar, Right: 85#
Travis Lift: 585#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip: 315#
Clean and Press – Dumbbells, Heels Together: 120#

Stephen Santangelo – Age 62, BWT 160#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left: 180#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right: 190#
Pinch Grip – Two Hands: 141.5#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right: 145.5#
Dumbbell Walk: 76#

Chad Ullom – Age 43, BWT 263#
Bent Over Row: 295#
Cheat Curl – Dumbbell, Left: 100#
Cheat Curl – Dumbbell, Right: 100#
Snatch – Dumbbell, Left: 85#
Pullover and Press – Wrestlers Bridge: 85#

Al Myers – Age 48, BWT 237#
Bench Press – Feet in Air: 280#
Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 280#
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 280#
Bench Press – Hands Together: 250#

Dino Gym Challenge

by Thom Van Vleck

2015 DINO GYM CHALLENGE

Group picture from the 2015 Dino Gym Challenge - (front left to right): Kyle Jones, Chad Ullom, Eric Todd, Lance Foster, (back left to right): LaVerne Myers, Dave Glasgow, Dean Ross, Thom Van Vleck

The Dino Gym Challenge was held at the Dino Gym near Abilene, Kansas on January 17, 2015. Meet director Al Myers has held this meet the 3rd weekend in January for some time and I believe I’ve attended most of them. Every year Al comes up with a new challenge and this year his focus was the deadlift. There were five lifts contested and six lifters showed to test themselves against the iron.

The first lift was the Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip with the Fulton Bar. This lift can be very humbling as the Ciavattone grip is a double overhand grip with no hooking allowed. The deciding factor is the grip and having a Fulton bar that is 2 inches in diameter just adds to the difficulty. Two time Highland Games Masters World Champion Dean Ross was the oldest competitor present. He pulled in 203 pounds. He was matched by Lance Foster. Eric Todd made a 256lb pull. Eric just turned 40 so he’s now in the master’s class. Newcomer Kyle Jones, who has been training with Al Myers recently, pulled 276lbs. Kyle is 27 years old and recently out of the Army. He was matched by Dave Glasgow who was more than twice Kyle’s age. Both pulled 276lbs. Chad Ullom was the only lifter to get more than 300lbs. He finished a nice pull of 323lbs.

The next lift was the one hand deadlift. Everyone went right handed on this lift. Dean Ross got things started with a 164lb effort. Lance and Kyle tied with 242lbs. Dave Glasgow pushed the bar over 300lbs with a nice 314lb effort. Eric Todd pulled 363lbs. Normally this would wind most meets but Chad Ullom really excels at this event and he when over the 400lb barrier with a 418lb pull. Chad one one more pull left and he chose to go to a record 453lbs! Everyone was pretty excited to see this feat and it got pretty loud as Chad pulled the bar to the finish position. He basically had the lift completed, then disaster struck. Chad said later he thought the bar was slipping out. It wasn’t the bar slipping….it was Chad’s skin tearing away from his hand! As the bar popped out and dropped back to earth a flap of skin shot across the platform. It was pretty ugly, but Chad taped it up and the meet continued. I think everyone there took a photo of his hand and it was soon all over social media. Everyone likes a good train wreck!

The Third lift was the Deadlift, no thumbs, overhand grip. Dave Glasgow ended up missing his opener. Dean was next out at 253lbs and Lance Foster ended with 303lbs. Eric Todd was next at 325lbs and Kyle made 369lbs. Chad Ullom was the only lifter to make it to 400 with a nice 402lber. Considering his right hand was taped and the damage done, I was impressed he could pull anything at all.

The fourth lift was the Deadlift, Ciavattone Grip. This time Lance was the first out with a 297lb pull. He was followed by Dean Ross at 314lbs. Eric Todd had 347lbs while Dave Glasgow matched the youngster Kyle Jones at 374lbs. Chad Ullom waited everyone out before even starting his pulls and eventually hit the meet best at 467lbs.

Chad Ullom pulling a new USAWA record in the Heels Together Deadlift at 551 pounds.

The last lift was the Deadlift, heels together. This lift was sure to produce the heaviest poundage lifted for the day. It also, in my opinion, produced a couple of the best efforts of the day. Dean got us started with a 242lb lift with Lance pulling 352lbs. Eric Todd pulled 402lbs. Then Dave Glasgow called for 418lbs. He missed it and called for it on his third attempt. He had such a tough miss I think most of us thought this would be a really tough lift. It was as tough lift, but Dave pulled it through nicely! Kyle Jones finished his first every USAWA meet with a 452lb pull. Hopefully we’ll see more of him. I know he had much more in the tank but he had never even seen some of the lifts, let alone practiced them. Oh…wait, I almost forgot! Chad Ullom called for 551lbs for his final attempt. He pulled it so cleanly that he honestly made it look easy…..making it one of the best efforts of the day along with Dave’s comeback third attempt.

Once the points were tabulated the top three included Eric Todd (3rd), Kyle Jones (2nd) and Chad Ullom (1st). Dave Glasgow might have given Chad a run for his money had he not bombed on one of the lifts. I know he certainly would have been 2nd. Dave looked as strong as I’ve seen him in years! Overall, we had a great day for lifting and it seemed to me that everyone had fun. Other than Chad’s skin tear there were no injuries.

Al Myers was the meet director, I was the scorekeeper and announcer, while Laverne Myers was the judge (single judge system). The lifters all took turns helping load. After the meet we all hung around telling some stories. That is one of my favorite things, the “after meet glow”. It looks like we have several meets coming up but this was a nice start to the new year.

MEET RESULTS:

Dino Gym Challenge
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
Saturday, January 17th, 2014

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official (1-Official System Used): LaVerne Myers

Scorekeeper: Thom Van Vleck

Lifts: Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip, Deadlift – One Arm, Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip, Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Deadlift – Heels Together

LIFTER AGE BWT DL-FBCG DL-1 DL-NTOH DL-CG DL-HT TOT PTS
Chad Ullom 43 255 323 418-R 402 467 551 2161 1765
Kyle Jones 27 244 276 242-R 369 374 452 1713 1376
Eric Todd 40 263 256 363-R 325 347 402 1693 1322
Dave Glasgow 61 261 276 314-R 0 374 418 1382 1309
Dean Ross 72 260 203 164-R 253 314 242 1176 1216
Lance Foster 49 323 203 242-R 303 297 352 1397 1077

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

Postal Championships

by Al Myers

The results from the 2014 USAWA Postal Championships are in!

Many thanks goes to USAWA Postal Director Denny Habecker for getting these results tabulated so quickly (considering the circumstance!)!

I want to mention the lifters that competed in every one of the 4 postal meets promoted by the USAWA.  These lifters deserve special recognition for their support to our postal series: Eric Todd, Barry Bryan, Denny Habecker, Ruth Jackson, and Lance Foster.

MEET RESULTS:

USAWA Postal Championships
December, 2014

Postal Director:  Denny Habecker

Lifter/Official (1-Official System Used):
Al Myers – Chad Ullom
Chad Ullom – Al Myers
Dan Wagman – Jarrod Fobes
Eric Todd – Lance Foster
Barry Bryan – Denny Habecker
Denny Habecker – Barry Bryan
Cale Dunlop – Al Myers
Lance Foster – Eric Todd
Ruth Jackson – Jarrod Fobes
Molly Myers – Al Myers

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

WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT SN DL1 P&P TOT PTS
Ruth Jackson 53 106 65 180-R 115 350 554.6
Molly Myers 16 174 83 140-R 93 316 336.9

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT SN DL1 P&P TOT PTS
Al Myers 48 236 155 373-R 340 868 773.5
Chad Ullom 42 258 190 417-R 320 927 745.6
Dan Wagman ? 185 167 350-R 250 767 716.8
Eric Todd 39 255 175 310-R 411 896 704.2
Barry Bryan 56 191 127 184-R 221 532 570.3
Denny Habecker 72 197 83 184-R 198 465 557.5
Cale Dunlap 19 149 95 180-R 143 418 455.1
Lance Foster 48 336 95 220-R 155 470 352.9

NOTES:  AGE is age in years.  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  All lifts recorded in pounds.  R and L designate right and left arms. TOT is total pounds lifted.  PTS are overall adjusted points for age and bodyweight corrections.

The combined totals for the 5 lifters that did all four postals are:

Eric Todd – 2325.75 Points
Barry Bryan – 2192.96
Denny Habecker – 2161.35
Ruth Jackson – 1980.69
Lance Foster – 1517.50

STRICT!

John McKean

Melvin Wells (left) easily took "best arms" awards at Mr America contests by training just two, strictly performed All-Round lifts. On the right is that years winner,for comparison sake, the famous Jack Delinger.

Our very first USAWA Hall-of-Famer, John Grimek, originally developed his amazingly thick arms from heavy, STRICT presses and equally good form barbell curls. Heck, he had to do strict presses, because in the old days of lifting (John won the U.S. Nationals and made our team for the Olympics , flirting with the world press record several times !) the lifters had to press at the speed of the head ref slowly raising his finger! (our own Art Montini is still mad at the late Bob Hoffman, who turned Art down on a 235 pound press for going just a bit faster than Bob’s finger raise!!).

Yet it will surprise many that during Grimek’s heyday there was another competitor that not only pressed and curled better, but according to serious, expert officials of the time, actually displayed more impressive arm musculature!! His name was Melvin Wells, a physique man who placed second in a few early 1950s Mr. America contests, while always winning “best arms” , “best back”, and “most muscular” awards. It is said that no photo did this man justice, but he achieved the first REAL 19″ arm ,so full, thick, and defined, as to defy description during those pre steroid times. And he got size and strength with a very basic All-Round training scheme.

Mel’s entire arm program consisted only of 3 sets of ten in the strict curl and the press! Yet when I say STRICT, Wells took this to a whole ‘nuther level- our USAWA rules tell us for curling to put a sheet of paper behind our head & butt, backed up to a wall, then curl(without paper slipping) ; for training, Wells didn’t use the paper thing, but very reliable witnesses observed him ALWAYS performing very SLOW, picture perfect barbell curls ,full range, with 150 pounds for his 3 sets of 10 (one writer counted him doing 12 perfect reps with 145 in front of a large crowd at the famous York picnic!). His presses were perhaps even more noteworthy – 3 sets of 10 ,super strict with 120 pounds ! Oh, wait, I forgot to mention, these were one arm presses!! Absolutely no side leaning or back bend either. Hmm, this guy coulda done some major damage to the USAWA record book for curling & pressing!!

Now I write this not only to publish great lifting history and get guys thinking of training more on strict curls and our one arm dumbbell press, but due to recently my wife joining a local health spa, and dragging me along to keep her company. Fortunately, this gym has plenty of olympic weights, and good heavy dumbbells, and they tend to leave ya alone (nobody has yelled at me for using chalk -YET!)! But, man, talk about STRICT lifting – i see NONE of it!! Seems in the old days at public gyms I expected to see high squats by the uninitiated, but nowadays it seems that overhead presses ,incline work, bench presses, pulls, etc, whether with barbells are dumbbells, are ALL performed as QUARTER lifts -many only through mere inches of movement at the top ends! And most trainees are not even using big weights (but I guess they THINK they are!)! Seems there’d certainly be better functional strength and lasting development if modern gym people would adopt our “old fashioned” concept of complete lifts!

Just a thought -maybe those of us in the USAWA ought to visit local commercial gyms and arrange to put on free exhibitions of some of our lifts. I know from talking to a few guys, that many of those training would love to get into meets -it’s just that no one is available to show them proper procedures! It sure would be nice to increase our membership, as well as possibly opening up new venues for contests!

As for me, ole Mel Wells has inspired me onto more strict curling and one arm DB presses (tho “early middle age” allows me only to press right handed!) ; must be working -at 5′3″ tall I recently measured my right arm at 18 inches (hey, you do measure from your shoulder down to the base of yer hand, don’t ya??!!)! Train hard ,but strictly and safely, during 2015 ,guys!

Colorado RB

Dan Wagman is back in action, performing a USAWA record lift in the Wrist Curl! (photo courtesy Dan Wagman)

By Dan Wagman, PhD, CSCS

MEET REPORT:  2014 Colorado Record Breaker

On December 27, 2014 four lifters got together at Denver Martial Arts (DMA) for record-breaking attempts in varied types of all-round lifts. Jarrod Fobes, our meet director, trains and teaches martial arts at DMA and they have a weight room in the basement that’s equipped with the essentials, so I had to bring some of my all-round toys. Prior to commencing the Record Breaker, Ruth Jackson and I “warmed up” via maximal efforts in the Postal National lifts. Although the results of all lifters across the country competing in this Postal event will be posted soon, I’m happy to report that Ruth’s pullover and push broke the USAWA record by a large margin, as did my deadlift-dumbbell-one arm-left.

I suppose I was the one to start the Record Breaker festivities because immediately after pulling the deadlift-dumbbell-one arm-left for the Postal I pulled the same weight with my right arm, thus registering the first Record Breaker lift of the day. After Ruth completed her Postal lifts she transitioned smoothly into her Record Breaker attempts while meet director Jarrod Fobes and new USAWA member Marcus Lucero were going through the record book in an effort to determine which lifts to choose for record attempts.

Ruth seems to have never-ending passion for lifting weights and putting scientific training to the test on the platform. Besides the three Postal lifts, she broke records in 17 additional lifts. Although women-specific research into an athlete’s muscles does account for why a woman could do so many maximal attempts more easily than a man, I’m amazed that she has the psychological wherewithal to do so. After the meet Ruth explained that she was most proud of her finger and grip lifts. She recalled that it was exactly two years ago that she first met Jarrod when he put on a Record Breaker. At the current event she was able to increase her strength in the little finger lift by nearly 20 pounds, in the ring finger lift by 12 pounds, and in the middle finger lift by 34 pounds. She was also stoked about taking her dealift-no thumbs-overhand from 155 pounds to 175 pounds.

Ruth is a perfect example of how shedding old training fiction from one’s programming and replacing it with new science-based information can result in unparalleled and continuous gains, but there can also be a dark side to doing so. You see, I had employed one of the latest science-based training methods referred to as Intra-Set Rest or simply ISR.* In addition, since there was no need to travel the day prior to the meet I was able to train most of my competitive lifts heavily the day prior. As a result I ended up severely underestimating my strength in most of my lifts. To illustrate, my deadlift-dumbbell-one arm ended up being 35 pounds over what I had thought I could do. In the deadlift-middle finger I had projected a training gain of about 10 to 15 pounds over the record I set a year ago but ended up turning an almost 40-pound increase into repping weight and running out of attempts. The situation was similar with almost all other lifts. Bear in mind that in general terms, these training approaches take the knowledge exercise scientists have acquired about neuromuscular physiology to provide you with something akin to a rubber band effect in which your gains slingshot ahead (in science lingo referred to as supercompensation, a term often misapplied and misunderstood when training for it). The dark side of this, however, is that it’s difficult to know exactly by how many pounds your performance will slingshot ahead on competition day. That, however, is a downside I can live with. Heil science!

Jarrod’s passion for martial arts is undeniable and it has resulted in a world championship win. But he’s one of those guys who understands to what extent lifting weights can enhance his performance on the mat. And when he approaches the weights, he does so as if all Norse warrior gods are behind him. Sadly, a back injury has prevented him from training to the extent that he’s used to and thus he tried to keep his record attempts to only four lifts. Despite his lack of training, his Turkish get up with a barbell was smooth and solid and it seemed as though he derived the most pleasure out of quickly getting a feel for Thor’s hammer, a lift he’s never done before. His 40.5-pound attempt shows that with more practice he’s going to turn that lift into “Jarrod’s Mjölnir.”**

Showing up out of the blue was Marcus Lucero. Initially, as Ruth and I started with our Postal lifts, I got the impression that he was one of the martial arts guys who just got done training upstairs and wanted to see what all the yelling, grunting, and groaning—mainly by Ruth—was all about. Turns out, however, that he’s been an avid reader of old-time strongmen and one book/article made reference to USAWA, he learned about the Colorado Record Breaker, and decided to head down to Denver from northern Colorado to see what all-round is all about. Jarrod was very welcoming and gave Marcus a quick primer on the basics, then they both started to sift through the record and rule books. Marcus was, in my estimation, a bit overwhelmed by all of the possibilities in all-round. As he seemed to contemplate his approach he was helpful in loading the bars for us and decided that the dumbbell side press would be his first lift. Unfortunately he got out of the grove in his first attempt at 84 pounds. Yet after some rest he came back and smoked it. His dumbbell Turkish get up was so smooth, you’d think that’s the way he gets out of bed every morning. He revealed to us that he’s had some practice through wrestling in a similar movement. He then decided to join Jarrod in tossing Thor’s hammer, but although he was able to register a USAWA record, the requisite coordination and balancing strength in his wrist proved a real challenge. Although he’s a much quieter and reserved lifter than Jarrod and I, he seemed to have enjoyed the challenge and I hope to see him in many more USAWA meets.

I’d like to thank the owners of DMA for allowing us to lift in clouds of chalk and Jarrod for putting on another Record Breaker. And the fact that Ruth and Jarrod also judged is much appreciated. Till next time…

*Disclaimer: Implementing ISR is a complicated process in which you need to manipulate all training variables based on physiological adaptation patterns specific to your goals. Without doing so you’ll end up like the guy who wants a faster truck, throws in a 600 hp engine, and wonders why he keeps snapping axles and his driveline, and why his stock tranni ends up on the asphalt behind him. Thus, simply “doing ISR” will prove ineffective on one end of the spectrum and injurious on the other.

** Mjölnir is the name Thor gave his hammer.

MEET RESULTS:

Colorado Record Breaker
Denver, Colorado
December 27th, 2014

Meet Director:  Jarrod Fobes

Officials (1 official system used); Jarrod Fobes, Ruth Jackson

Lifts: Record Day Session

Ruth Jackson – 53 years old, 106 KG BWT
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 100#
Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip: 175#
Curl – Wrist: 115#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Hand: 170#
Press – Dumbbell, Left Hand: 40#
Clean and Press – Fulton Bar: 73#
Clean and Push Press – Fulton Bar: 83#
Thor’s Hammer: 20.5#
Finger Lift – Little, Left: 28.8#
Finger Lift – Little, Right: 33.8#
Finger Lift – Ring, Left: 48.8#
Finger Lift – Ring, Right: 48.8#
Finger Lift – Middle, Left: 68.8#
Finger Lift – Middle, Right: 78.8#
Pinch Grip – Left Hand: 50.4#
Pinch Grip – Right Hand: 55.4#
Teeth Lift: 52.8#

Jarrod Fobes – 37 years old, 197# BWT
Bench Press – Left Arm: 95#
Turkish Get Up: 96#
Abdominal Raise: 45#
Thor’s Hammer: 40.5#

Dan Wagman – Open Age Class, 185# BWT
Deadlift – Middle Fingers: 275#
Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip: 345#
Bentover Row: 320#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 350#
Curl – Wrist: 275#

Markus Lucero – 23 years old, 170# BWT
Side Press – Right: 84#
Thor’s Hammer: 35.5#
Turkish Get Up: 119#

Art’s Birthday Bash

by Al Myers

2015 is barely underway and in the mail today I received a sanction request from Art Montini announcing his 2015 Annual Birthday Bash! Art’s Birthday Bash is the longest running sanctioned event in the USAWA (besides our Nationals). Last year Art celebrated his 87th birthday and he’s already in training for year number 88. He likes to celebrate his birthday every year by hosting a record day in conjunction with it! So come prepared to break a few records and share a little birthday cake with Art (or donuts, as we all know Art likes his donuts!).

I should mention that this meet is still over 10 months away!! That’s giving some advance notice. There are those in the organization who should “take note” of Art’s punctuality in getting his sanction request in this early, and realize that if someone ”pushing 90″ doesn’t have a problem meeting the ”6 week notice” you  sure don’t have an excuse.

MEET DETAILS:

Art’s Birthday Bash
Ambridge VFW BBC
1098 Duss Avenue
Ambridge, PA 15003

DATE: Sunday, October 18th, 2015

LIFTS: Record Day (max 5 lifts)

A Little Christmas Story

by Denny Habecker

When four of Santa’s elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs. Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drunk all the cider and hidden the liquor.

In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said very cheerfully, ‘Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn’t this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?’

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

OLE JOHN AND SALLY

BY DAVE GLASGOW

(A SEASONAL, NON-LIFTING, BUT UP-LIFTING STORY)

I ENJOY HISTORY, ESPECIALLY MY OWN FAMILY HISTORY. ONE STORY I HEARD MANY TIMES WAS TOLD BY MY DAD, JOHN. IT WAS ABOUT MY GREAT GRAND DAD, WHO I HAVE ALWAYS CALLED ‘OLE JOHN’, TO DIFFERENTIATE HIM FROM MY DAD. I THINK THIS IS THE APPROPRIATE TIME OF YEAR TO PASS THE STORY ON.

OLE JOHN WAS A SOLDIER IN THE ‘CIVIL WAR’. HE WAS IN THE CAVALRY, WHICH SEEMED ODD TO ME, AS HE WAS A SAILOR FROM THE TIME HE WAS TWELVE YEARS OLD. AT ANY RATE, HE WAS CAPTURED BY THE CONFEDERATES AND SENT TO THE NOTORIOUS PRISON CAMP, ANDERSONVILLE, IN GEORGIA. THE CONDITIONS IN THIS CAMP WERE HORRID. MANY DIED OF DISEASE, STARVATION AND JUST PLAIN LOSS OF HOPE. SOMEHOW, OLE JOHN SURVIVED, BUT HE DID NOT GO UNSCATHED. HE LOST ALL HIS UPPER TEETH AND HAD PERMANENT SKELETAL PROBLEMS FROM SCURY AND MALNUTRITION.

AS THE STORY GOES, OLE JOHN TOLD HOW THE MEMBERS OF THE SALVATION ARMY (WHOM I HAVE ALWAYS CALLED ‘SALLY’) WOULD SNEAK UP TO THE WALLS AT NIGHT AND THROW SWEET POTATOES OVER THE FENCE TO THE PRISONERS. HE SAID THAT THIS KIND, HUMANITARIAN GESTURE WAS ONE OF THE REASONS HE MADE IT OUT ALIVE.

SO, EVERY CHRISTMAS, WHEN MY KIDS WERE GROWING UP, I WOULD ENCOURAGE AMBER AND DEREK TO ‘THROW SOMETHING IN SALLY’S POT’, IN HONOR OF OLE JOHN AND TO HELP OUT SALLY, WITHOUT WHOM WE WOULD , PROBABLY, NOT BE AROUND.

THEN, A FEW YEARS BACK, I WAS LISTENING TO THE RADIO AND THEY WERE SPEAKING TO SOME MEMBERS OF THE SALVATION ARMY, AS IT WAS CHRISTMAS TIME AND THEY WERE IN NEED OF MONIES AND CLOTHING DONATIONS TO GIVE TO THOSE IN NEED. NATURALLY, I THOUGHT OF OLE JOHN. SO, WHEN I HAD TIME I DID A LITTLE RESEARCH ABOUT ‘SALLY’. WHAT I DISCOVERED DISAPPOINTED ME, GREATLY.

SEEMS THAT SALLY WAS STARTED IN ENGLAND IN 1865, AND WAS NOT FOUNDED IN THE STATES UNTIL 1880! CLEARLY WELL PAST THE TIME OF OLE JOHN’S CONFINEMENT!! IMMEDIATELY, QUESTIONS FORMED IN MY MIND AS TO THE VALIDITY OF THIS CONTRADITION IN THE STORY. UNFORTUNATELY, ANYONE WHO WOULD KNOW THE ANSWER TO THIS MYSTERY HAS LONG SINCE PASSED.

AFTER A LOT OF DILIBERATIONS, I CAME TO SOME OF MY OWN CONCLUSIONS. COULD IT BE IT WAS THE BAPTISTS, METHODISTS OR MEMBERS OF SOME OTHER RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATION WHO FOUND THE COMPASSION TO HELP THESE UNFORTUNATE INDIVIDUALS?

TO HAVE SURVIVED ALMOST A YEAR IN THAT FILTH AND DEGRADATION, CERTAINLY, BRINGS TO MY MIND THAT SOMEONE WAS HELPING THOSE PRISONERS! JUST BECAUSE THE DISCREPANCY OF THE ORGANIZATION IS IN QUESTION DOES NOT TAKE AWAY FROM THE MEAT OF THE STORY. ORAL HISTORY HANDED DOWN FROM ONE TO ANOTHER LEAVES THE DOOR OPEN TO ERRORS AND A MISTAKE COULD HAVE VERY WELL BEEN MADE BY ONE WHO HAD ONLY HEARD THE STORY, NOT THE ONE THAT WAS THERE, LIVING IT.

REGARDLESS, DO I THINK THAT SWEET POTATOES MADE THEIR WAY INTO UNION PRISONERS HANDS? ABSOLUTELY! A STORY, SUCH AS THIS, IS TOO GOOD TO HAVE BEEN ‘MADE UP’. FURTHER, WHY WOULD HE FABRICATE SUCH A TALE IF IT WERE NOT TRUE?? IN MY MIND, OLE JOHN WAS THE RECIPIENT OF A KINDNESS THAT CAN NEVER BE REPAID.

SO, IN THIS SEASON OF GIVING, MIGHT I ENCOURAGE EACH OF YOU TO ‘THROW SOMETHING IN SALLY’S POT’? THEY ARE A VERY WORTHY ORGANIZATION AND HELP UNTOLD NUMBERS OF THOSE LESS FORTUNATE. EVEN IF SALLY WAS NOT THE ONES THAT HELPED OLE JOHN, MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, YOU WILL HELP THEM HELP SOMEONE ELSE THAT NEEDS A HAND UP!

JUST TELL THEM ‘OLE JOHN’ SENT YA…..

GUNNER TO THE RESCUE

BY DAVE GLASGOW

I MARRIED ONE HELL OF AN ATHLETE. MY WIFE, GUNNER, WAS BORN AT A TIME WHEN WOMEN’S SPORTS WERE NOT AS PROMINENT AS THEY ARE NOW. WHAT A SHAME! I ALWAYS FELT AS THOUGH SHE COULD HAVE ‘BEEN SOMEBODY’ IN THE ATHLETIC WORLD. SHE IS FAST, COORDINATED AND HAS THAT MAGIC ELEMENT THAT YOU CAN’T TEACH OR COACH……….HEART!

OH, SHE PLAYED INTRAMURAL SPORTS IN COLLEGE BUT THAT WAS NOT NEAR WHAT HER TALENT BASE COULD HAVE HANDLED. WHEN WE WERE FIRST MARRIED, SHE RAN DISTANCE IN LOCAL 5/10K RACES AND DID VERY WELL. SHE RAN SIX DAYS A WEEK FOR ABOUT 5 YEARS UNTIL HER KNEES DECIDED THEY HAD HAD ENOUGH. WHEN THAT HAPPENED, SHE TURNED TO A MOUNTAIN BIKE, AND HAS DONE THAT EVER SINCE. IF MY COUNT IS CORRECT, SHE IS ON HER SIXTH BIKE. ALL OF THOSE, EXCEPT THE LATEST ONE, WERE OVERHAULED AT LEAST ONCE.

HER TRAVELS ON THE BIKE TAKE HER AS FAR AS TEN MILES OUT IN THE COUNTY, IN ALL DIRECTIONS. SHE COULD PROBABLY SHOW THE DEPUTYS A PLACE OR TWO THEY DON’T KNOW ABOUT!! IT IRRITATES ME WHEN I ASK HER WHAT DIRECTION SHE IS GOING IN, SO IF SHE DOES’NT COME BACK, I KNOW WHAT WAY SHE WENT AND THE SEARCH PATERN CAN BE NARROWED (THIS MAY SEEM FATALISTIC BUT ONE DAY, IT ALMOST HAPPENED. THAT IS ANOTHER STORY). HER STOCK ANSWER IS, ‘OH, I’LL FIGURE THAT OUT WHEN I GET ON THE ROAD.’ FOLKS, I MIGHT ALSO ADD, SHE IS NOT OUT FOR A LEASURELY RIDE. SHE HITS THE RODE AND HAMMERS!!

WHICH BRINGS US TO THE MEAT OF THE STORY. ON ONE PARTICULAR DAY, GUNNER WAS IN THE RIGHT PLACE, AT THE RIGHT TIME AND MAYBE (I THINK SHE DID), SHE SAVED A LIFE.

AS I SAID BEFORE, SHE GOES ALL OVER THE COUNTY, ON ROADS THAT ARE GRAVEL AND SOME THAT ARE NOTHING MORE THAN POORLY MAINTAINED DIRT. IT WAS ON ONE OF THESE ‘DIRT’ ROADS, AFTER A HEAVY RAIN, THAT SHE PUT HER ATHLETIC ABILITY AND CONDITIONING TO GOOD USE.

SHE HAD GONE ABOUT A HALF MILE ON THIS ROAD WHEN SHE CAME UPON A CAR THAT WAS SQUARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD, STUCK UP TO THE FRAME. AS SHE APPROACHED, SHE DID’NT SEE ANYONE IN THE CAR. HOWEVER, WHEN SHE GOT UP TO IT, SHE SAW AN ELDERLY WOMEN SLUMPED DOWN IN THE FRONT SEAT ON THE PASSENGER SIDE, SHE APPEARED TO BE UNCONCIOUS. UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES, IT WAS’NT HARD TO SEE THERE WAS A PROBLEM.

SHE SPOKE AND NUDGED THE WOMAN, WHO ONLY MUMBLED A REPLY. IT WAS OBVIOUS TO GUNNER THAT THE OLE DAME WAS IN DIRE DISTRESS. SHE WAS IN DIRECT SUNLIGHT, ON A 95 DEGREE DAY, NOT TO MENTION THE HUMIDITY IN KANSAS ON A SUMMER DAY. THERE WAS NO WAY OF KNOWING HOW LONG SHE HAD BEEN THERE.

GUNN QUICKLY GRABBED HER WATER BOTTLE AND POURED A GOOD AMOUNT OVER THE WOMAN’S HEAD. THIS SEEEMED TO HELP, AS SHE WAS MORE RESPONSIVE. AT THIS POINT, GUNN GOT SOME WATER IN HER AND CONTINUED DOING THAT WHILE SHE DECIDED WHAT TO DO.

NOW, YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER, THIS IS PROBABLY SEVEN OR EIGHT YEARS BEFORE EVERYONE WAS USING A CELL PHONE. SO, WITH NO OTHER RECOURSE, SHE LEFT THE WATER BOTTLE WITH THE NOW MUCH MORE ALERT WOMAN, TURNED AROUND AND HAULED ASS TO THE NEAREST FARM HOUSE, WHICH WAS ABOUT A MILE AND A HALF AWAY. I HAVE A PICTURE IN MY MIND OF HER POUNDING THOSE PEDALS AS HARD AS SHE COULD, MUSCLES STRAINING AND SWEAT POURING, TO GET TO THAT HOUSE. I BET IT WAS SOMETHING TO SEE!

ARRIVING AT THE FARM HOUSE, SHE FOUND NO ONE AT HOME. LUCKILY, THERE WERE FARMERS IN THE FIELD, AND, AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT, SHE KNEW THEM. SHE JUST CYCLED RIGHT ACROSS THE WHEAT STUBBLE, GOT THEIR ATTENTION AND AWAY THEY WENT! ONE WENT TO CALL FOR HELP AND ONE WENT WITH HIS WATER BUCKET TO ASSIST THE WOMAN. ONCE HELP ARRIVED FROM TOWN, SHE, SIMPLY, RODE OFF.

IT WAS ONLY LATER THAT GUNN FOUND OUT ‘THE REST OF THE STORY’.

SEEMS AS THOUGH THE WOMAN HAD BEEN WITH HER HUSBAND, WHO WAS ELDERLY AS WELL, BECAME CONFUSED AND WENT DOWN THE DIRT ROAD BY MISTAKE. BY THE TIME HE FIGURED OUT HE WAS LOST, IT WAS TOO LATE. HE DID EVERYTHING HE COULD TO GET THEM OUT BUT WHAT HE DID ONLY MADE THE SITUATION WORSE. WHEN HE COULD NO LONGER MOVE THE VEHICLE, HE LEFT HIS WIFE IN THE CAR AND SET OUT ON FOOT TO GET HELP. I NEVER DID HEAR WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM BUT I DO KNOW THE STORY HAD A HAPPY ENDING AS EVERYONE WAS REUNITED.

WHEN SHE TOLD ME THE STORY THAT DAY, I SAID, ‘GUNN!! YOU SAVED THAT WOMAN’S LIFE!’ SHE POO-POOED THAT NOTION RIGHT AWAY. ‘OH, I DON’T KNOW ABOUT THAT.’ WHICH IS THE VERY HUMBLE, UNASSUMING, ATHLETIC GIRL I HAVE BEEN HOOKED UP WITH FOR FORTY YEARS.

Heavy Lift Championships

by Eric Todd

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2015 USAWA HEAVY LIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS

Make plans now! The 2015 USAWA Heavy Lift Championship will be held on May 2 at ET’s House of Iron and Stone. This location is about an hour north of Kansas City right in the center of God’s Country. We will be contesting the three traditional lifts in this meet: Neck Lift, Hand and Thigh, and Hip lift. Come ready to lift big and see big weights moved. I know we are still a few hundred pound plates shy of the Dino Gym, but with 24 of them and plenty of change, we should be able to accommodate any lifter in these lifts.

I know I mention this with every meet announcement, but I don’t want anyone coming here with delusions of lifting at Caesar’s Palace or anything. The only frills in my gym are lots of weights. It is typically beautiful weather around May 2 in Missouri. However, if it is cold out we will get cold, and if it is hot out, we will get hot. I have plenty of places to drop a whiz in the green grass. OR, if you are bashful, there is an outhouse out back. Last meet, I even swept out all the wasps nests and spider webs. TP is in the ammo box. So, if those conditions don’t suit you, see you at the next meet at someone else’s gym.

With that being said, I would like to see all the big hitters in the heavy lifts make this meet. This meet has been dominated by a handful of people. See if you can add your name to the list. I have seen a number of guys posting heavy lift videos. Hope you can all make it to the meet and make your mark.

We will have a short record breaking session after the meet for anybody who has not done enough by that time. See you there!

ENTRY FORM (PDF) – Heavy Lift Entry

Florida Record Day

by Derek Prior

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
FLORIDA RECORD DAY

The Iron Cave

Cast Iron Training is pleased to announce the first ever Florida USAWA record day on Saturday 24th January 2015 at 11 A.M. The event is open to all USAWA members.

Venue:

The Iron Cave
13680 101st Street
Fellsmere
Florida
32948

Contact: (Derek Prior) 772 766 2119

Email: castirontraining@zoho.com

New England Gold Cup

by Frank Ciavattone

Frank's Barbell Club member Jeff Ciavattone performed a 193 KG 2" Bar Hack Lift on the same day at a Record Day in England hosted by Steve Gardner and the Burton Powerhouse Gym.

The New England Gold Cup was a big success! On that particular week Jeff my son was in England! Steve Gardner would also have his team compete as well that day Nov. 29! They competed as a record breaker day as well. They had three referee’s on all lifts and lifted under the New England Gold Cup theme to make Jeff was able to compete and Steve’s team made him feel at home! Our team in New England were honored of there thoughtfulness of Steve and his team! There results all speak for them selves! Great job to Steve and his team!

The New England Gold Cup could not have been the success it was without the help of USAWA President Denny Habecker Barry Bryan! They both came in from Pennsylvania with over a 400 mile drive the day before. They helped me with all the aspects of running the meet. Especially with both of them being referees it helped to have all lifts be USA and World records! The next to come a long distance was Jim Fuller who came down from Maine! Between Denny, Barry and Jim the three out of state lifters turned in some super lifting! There were a lot of experienced Olympic lifters training at the venue and there eyes would all turn to watch these 3 when they lifted. As there is a lot of experience amongst the three! The rest of my team did so well that I feel you will be hearing a lot from them in the future! There turning into great lifters along with them already being ladies and gentleman. This team has the utmost respect for each other! All of there goals were met as the results indicates!

I would also like to mention Paul Dalallis’s entry as a wheelchair athlete! He gave an excellent demonstration of the importance that what this sport would do for these special athletes! Then proceeded to perform a left handed upright row, while seated. The weight was loaded on a makeshift type kettlebell and weighed 61 lbs. It was inspiring to watch this 57 year old athlete who is an amputee battling Cancer! Paul is now a USAWA member and a true example of the word COURAGE!

As far as my record of 404lb. In the One Hand Dead, it put me in the record books to have a 400lb. plus One Hand Deadlift in 5 different age groups! Do to illness’s at age 55 to 58 this lift was impossible, till the New England Gold Cup!

The finally was a home cooked turkey dinner by Colleen at our home! All the lifters received there Gold Cups and comradeship by all! Looking forward to 2015!!!

MEET RESULTS (PDF) – New_England_Records_Day2014

Lifter of the Month – Denny Habecker

by Al Myers

Denny Habecker performed one of his favorite lifts, the Pullover and Push, for a new IAWA World Record at the most recent Gold Cup in England.

A big CONGRATS goes to our USAWA President, Denny Habecker, for being selected as the USAWA Lifter of the Month for October.  The “big meet” in October was the IAWA Gold Cup in England, and Denny was there to represent the USA.  Denny has been a loyal lifter at Gold Cups, and can always be counted on to be there on behalf off our organization.   Denny has been a superb leader of the USAWA since taking office as President.  Denny makes a huge commitment to the USAWA and travels the country to various meets as well as being at the Worlds and Gold Cups every year.

Dino Gym RD

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
DINO GYM RECORD DAY

Meet Director: Al Myers and the Dino Gym

Meet Date: Sunday, February 15th, 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

Grip Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2015 USAWA GRIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 2015 USAWA Grip Championships will again be held the second Saturday of February, on February 14th.  I know this is Valentine’s Day, and the Grip Champs has been held on this day before as well.  Instead of using this as an excuse not to attend, I recommend that you tell your sweetie that you have planned a special weekend getaway for her, and then bring her to the Dino Gym for the meet.

As usual I picked a very challenging group of grip lifts from our list of official USAWA lifts.   All Championship events must contest official lifts of the organization, and not exhibition lifts.  One of the exciting lifts in this meet that has not been contested before in a Grip Champs is the Bearhug.  There are minimal records in it, so there will be several new USAWA records established.

The following day there will be a record day at the Dino Gym.  If anyone wants to go after a record of two after the meet that will be ok.  However, usually once the meet is over everyone is ready to go to town and  eat a celebration meal, as is the tradition following meets at the Dino Gym.  So unless you want to get several glares from holding up the food consumption from several hungry lifters, make your record lifts quickly.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the Grip Championships!!!

MEET DETAILS:

Meet Director: Al Myers

Meet Date: Saturday, February 14th, 2015    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:

Finger Lift – Index, Right
Finger Lift – Index, Left
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, One Arm
Bearhug
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2 Bars, 2″

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

The Race

By Eric Todd

I remember the race very clearly. I was in the 8th grade and had been lifting weights for a spell, when a couple of my school chums became interested in the iron as well. Both were rather athletic. One was the biggest guy in our grade, the star tackle on our junior high football team. The other was smaller than I, but very little body fat, and very strong for his size. Anyhow, the bigger of the two went with his grandparents to Sam’s Club where they had a membership and purchased a weight bench and a 300 pound iron weight set. As they both lived in town, they were able to spend time working out together on this new toy.

At this time, it was known that I was the strongest kid in class. I could do more pull-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups than anyone else in gym class. I was our starting fullback and linebacker, and was winning most of my wrestling matches this year. And it was this particular year that we got a new head football coach, also our PE teacher, who was invested in weight training. So I was able to demonstrate my physical superiority in gym class every couple weeks when he had us train on the universal in the boy’s locker room. It was about half way through the school year when “the race” began. Our coach decided it was time to bring in a real bench and show us proper technique during PE. After a couple times of practice, he had everyone get a one rep max. It was a fine day for me. Out of all the 8th graders in Cameron, I had the top mark of 200 pounds. However, our star tackle was close behind at 185. And when we figured the best pound for pound, the other guy was right behind me as well.

Well, the race was on. They kept training on their super slick Wal-Mart Iron, and I kept lifting on my second hand plastic clad sand weights on the milking floor. Every time one of us hit a new benchmark, the other’s phone would ring. I maintained my lead for a while. But one day the phone rang. I couldn’t believe my ears. The bigger guy hit a 215, and the smaller fellow surpassed me on pound per pound percentage. I tried to be a good sport, congratulating them on a job well done, but when I hung up the phone, I felt a rage in my heart. I had to get back to the top. I did the only thing I could think of. I went out to the milk barn. I upped my training intensity. My focus was rock solid. After I won the small fry state championship in wrestling that year, I was able to spend more time in the milk barn. Later that spring, after track practice, we were at the field house and I decided to see what I had (I could always do more on an iron set than I could with sand for whatever reason). I hit a solid 225#, putting me back ahead either way you looked at it. And there I stayed.

One day after school, I went over to the house where they trained with both fellows. They wanted to show me a neat trick. It was one they had used to take me down earlier that year. They were putting a full roll of paper towels on their chest to bounce the weight off of when they were bench pressing. While this method was a fine training tool (known as towel bench) in the old “Bigger, Faster, Stronger” program, it was a partial movement that they had beaten me with!

However, any way you look at it, it was by being brought down that motivated me to dig in, and fight to be the best. If I had not received that call, I might have been content just resting at the top of the hill. Funny thing about that weight set, too. They gave up training weights after a couple years, and sold the set to another friend of mine. He gave it up after another year or two. I think it was about my freshman year in college, that I inherited that old Sam’s Club iron weight set. It was the first real iron I owned, and it is still part of my collection.

Colorado Record Breaker

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Jarrod Fobes has sanctioned a record breaker day at his gym on December 27th.  The location of the meet is:

6441 E. Evans
Denver, CO

The meet will start at 10:30 AM.  If you plan to attend please contact Jarrod for further information on this meet.  He can be reached by cell phone or text at 720-202-7857.

Clarks RD

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS

CLARK’S RECORD DAY

Bill just sent me the results from his meet last weekend.  It looks like it was a busy affair!  I’ll start with the bad news before the good.  Bill had sanctioned the Backbreaker along with a record day on this day, but he had no entries in the Backbreaker.  The Backbreaker is a traditional meet in Clark’s Gym that consists of the Hip Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Harness Lift, Neck Lift, and the Back Lift.  Truly a grueling ordeal. I’ve done it before and can attest to the extreme soreness afterwards.  Can’t really blame the guys for passing on it!

But the GOOD NEWS is that all round lifting is still alive and flourishing in Clark’s Gym.  Six lifters took part in the record day event.  The day was highlighted by the appearance of Steve Schmidt as he attacked another Guinness World Record.  Steve was successful in adding his name to the Guinness Record Book once again.  Steve, at age 59 and 215 pounds BWT, pulled five nails from wood with his teeth in 7.44 seconds! He then set a second record for most nails pulled from wood in one minute – with an astonishing count of 27!  I will try hard to get a follow-up story on this.

Veteran gym member Joe Garcia set the pace for adding more records to the USAWA record list.  It practically fills up a full page.  I guess now since Joe has passed on keeping the record list up to date to me – he doesn’t mind making a lot of work for me!  I don’t remember him EVER doing that many record attempts in a day when he was keeping up the list!  Great job Joe – and I really don’t mind adding your name many more times! David Emslie continues to be a presence at Clark’s meets, and added many records himself. He set records in ALL combinations with the vertical bars which is quite the accomplishment. Bill Clark, at age 82, still has record setting performances in him.  I was really impressed to see the list of new records he set.  He set a new USAWA record in the Hip Lift with a fine lift of 907 pounds, but in his letter he told me that he hopes to get another 1000# Hip Lift before long.  I should remind everyone that this is done with a plethora of artificial joints, too many to count on your fingers using both hands.

MEET RESULTS:

Clark’s Record Day
November 8th, 2014
Clark’s Gym
Columbia, Missouri

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Officials  (1 Official System Used): Bill Clark, Joe Garcia

Results (PDF): ClarksRD-page1 ClarksRD-page2

Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
DINO GYM CHALLENGE PRESENTS THE -

“Herman Goerner Deadlift Medley”

Every year I like to change up the theme of the Dino Gym Challenge to give it variety.   I have honored several of my favorite Old Time Strongmen in the past by hosting meets in their memory, ie Arthur Saxon and Warren Lincoln Travis.   This year the meet will honor the great German lifter and strongman – Herman Goerner.   He was an outstanding deadlifter in many pulling disciplines, so this meet will feature an entire meet of various deadlift movements.  It ought to provide for a very challenging meet.

I encourage prior meet registration, or at least let me know if you plan to attend ahead of time so I can prepare accordingly.  The meet will be held in the Dino Gym on the main platform.

LIFTS:

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

Deadlift – One Arm

Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip

Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip

Deadlift – Heels Together

ENTRY FORM (PDF) – 2015 Dino Challenge Entry Form

Taking 2015 Memberships

by Al Myers

It’s time to start renewing your USAWA memberships for the next year!  Memberships in the USAWA run for the calendar year – first of January to the end of December. A few have already renewed their memberships, and are listed at bottom of the membership roster under 2015 memberships.  Once January 1st rolls around, the 2014 membership list is be “archived” and the 2015 list will come to the top as the active membership list.

Membership applications are located on the upper left column of the website under “forms and applications”.   Just print out the form, write a check for $25 to the USAWA, and mail it to me.  Once I get it I will add your name to the membership roster.   This roster is the official listing of our current members.  It is always kept up to date to allow for anyone to check their membership status or for meet directors to verify memberships.

OTSM Championships

by Eric Todd

This Saturday past, ET’s House of Iron and Stone played host to the third annual “Battle in the Barn”. This year’s affair also served as the Old Time Strongman Championship for the USAWA. It turned out to be a great competition with some new lifters as well as some of the old players as well. The weather was cold, but the competition was not. Some fantastic lifting was done.

We started out with the Saxon Snatch. To my knowledge, this is only the second time this lift has been contested in the USAWA. Keith Thompson and I tied for the top mark of 105 pounds, just shy of Mark Mitchell’s all time record of 107. Next we hit the Apollon’s Lift. In this Discipline, Keith Thompson once again tied for top honors, this time with Mike Lucht, making his return to all-round. They both hit 305 pounds. However, this was possibly overshadowed by Jenna Lucht’s 150 pound lift, which tied her for the all-time female record with the powerful Felicia Simms. As the day progressed, the weights got heavier. We moved into the Dinnie Lift. This time, I had the top lift of 700 pounds, missing a 780 record attempt. Greg Cook hit a very impressive 650 his very first time trying the lift, and Keith Thompson hitting a 600 without the aid of a hook grip. We headed to the last lift of the day, the Hand and Thigh. Keith Thompson hit an easy PR of half a ton. I finally hit the elusive 1500, first time going this high in a meet. I missed a record attempt of 1565. Jenna hit an easy 600 for her top lift in the meet, but then shamed us all with a huge 810 record attempt. Mind you, on my top end lifting, an ant could have squeaked through. Jenna cleared by four inches!

Also in attendance were Lance Foster and Dean Ross. Both cease to amaze me with their dedication to our organization and their attendance at meet in the area. Both came ready to battle, and actually flip flopped in places. Lance got fourth in total weight lifted, and Dean when formula and age adjustment was made.

MEET RESULTS

USAWA OTSM Championships
November 1st, 2014
ET’s House of Iron and Stone
Turney, Missouri

Meet Director: Eric Todd
Judges: Lance Foster, Mike Murdock, Eric Todd
Record keeper and expeditor: Mike Murdock
Loaders: Scott Tully and all competitors
Celebrity Guest appearance: Conan Wass

Lifts: Saxon Snatch, Appollon’s Lift, Dinnie Lift, Hand and Thigh

Women’s Results

LIFTER AGE BWT SAX APP DIN H@T TOT PTS
Jenna Lucht 23 144 40 150 420 600 1210 1321.9

Men’s Results

LIFTER AGE BWT SAX APP DIN H&T TOT PTS
Eric Todd 39 255.5 105 300 700 1500 2605 2042.8
Greg Cook 57 250 80 190 650 950 1870 1749.4
Keith Thompson 28 239.5 105 305 600 1000 2010 1628.3
Dean Ross 71 267.5 60 115 420 720 1315 1330.3
Lance Foster 48 335 65 170.5 490 720 1445 1066.1
Mike Lucht 32 227.5 90 305 525 xxx 920 765.6

Notes: BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts recorded in pounds. TOT is total pounds lifted.  PTS are total adjusted points for age and bodyweight corrections.

4th attempt for records:
Apollon’s Lift: Greg Cook 205#
Hand and Thigh: 810#

Record breaking after meet:
Snatch From Hang: Mike Lucht 170# judged by Mike Murdock and Lance Foster
Right hand 2” Vertical Bar: Keith Thompson 215# judged by Lance Foster and Mike Murdock
Cyr Press: Jenna Lucht 70# judged by Lance Foster and Mike Murdock
Harness Lift: Eric Todd 2560 Judged by Lance Foster

Burton Record Session

by Al Myers

Group picture from the Burton Powerhouse Record Session.

I had an absolutely great time last weekend in England at the 2014 IAWA Gold Cup, promoted by Steve Gardner of the Burton Powerhouse Gym.   I met so many great enthusiastic all rounders, and witnessed some outstanding lifting.  Plus I got to share stories with many ole friends from overseas, and be part of the largest attended Gold Cup in IAWA history.

However, the fun didn’t end on the day of the Gold Cup for me.  The Monday afterwards Steve hosted a Record Day Session in his gym for his gym members which my Dad, Denny, and I got to be part of.  Since there were SO MANY lifters at the Gold Cup, it was virtually impossible for everyone to get their second Gold Cup lift in on the meet day.  All of the Burton gym members, along with myself, my dad, and Denny postponed our second lifts for this record session to help accommodate getting the Gold Cup finished on time.

I truly enjoy getting the opportunity to lift in new gyms – especially gyms whose training focus is All Round Weightlifting. Steve has just recently moved his gym to a new facility which is much larger.  This was my first time seeing his new gym, and I was very impressed!  Steve has the gym set up with great lifting atmosphere, with the walls lined with many pictures, awards, and  other items of motivation.  I tried to take it all in – but know I missed some of it.  It has to be one of the best All Round gyms in the World!

Eight  Burton Powerhouse gym members took part in this Record Session (James Gardner, Chris Findon, Graham Saxton, Steve Gardner, Karen Gardner, John Gardner, Pete Tryner, and Paula Thompson), plus myself, my dad LaVerne, and Denny Habecker.  This made for a full night of lifting!   Steve ran the evening of lifting like he runs meets – very efficiently and quick.  The two platforms were constantly in action with more record lifts being done.   I was most impressed with Chris Findon doing a dumbbell Snatch of 48Kg after recent elbow surgery, Big Graham and John’s 2 man hack lift of 350 Kg,  and Karen’s 90 kg Trap Bar Deadlift.   And I got to add that getting to see Denny set another record in the Pullover and Push was a pleasure (remember to get the big belly bounce Denny!!!).    Denny was eating so well on this trip that he went UP a weight class in 2 days after the Gold Cup and decided to pick his same Gold Cup lift for his record session lift!

Denny Habecker with a record 95 KG Pullover and Push.

I picked the Index Finger Hack Lift for my second lift – and succeeded with a 90 kg lift which I was pleased with.  I still have the proof of that lift on my torn left index finger as I type.  After watching John Gardner lift a huge thumbless grip DL at the Gold Cup, and since this is also on of my favorite lifts,  I talked John into joining me for a 2 man thumbless deadlift.  This is not an official lift in IAWA, so we were doing it just for fun.  We lifted 345 Kgs, and just missed 365.   We have our sights set on 400 KG now!

The evening ended with myself introducing the Burton Gym to teeth lifting.  I made a teeth bit for them, and challenged Graham to a lift off.  This was not really a fair fight, since Graham has never done any teeth lifting before and I have, but he was a gamer and took me on.  We had lots of fun with it – and I bet the next time I go back to the Burton Powerhouse the gym will have mastered the teeth lifting and will be putting up big numbers in it.

All this was finished in an hour and a half.    I want to thank Steve and all the members of the Burton Powerhouse Gym for all they do for the IAWA, and especially for their work in making the 2014 IAWA Gold Cup a great success!

MEET RESULTS (PDF) – Record_Session_at_Burton_27.10.14

My Gyms

by Eric Todd

I expect everyone has an aptitude for something. Everyone else in my immediate family has an aptitude for art or music. About as far as my aptitude for anything artistic goes, however, is listening to songs on the radio in my truck. I always leaned more to the physical side of things. It is not that I was a dummy. When in elementary, I was selected for our school’s gifted program…twice. Yep, that’s right, I may have been the only two time quitter of Parkview Elementary’s “independent Study”. It was supposed to be challenging, yes? No, it was boring and caused me to miss recess and PE. So I quit. However, they saw the intellectual giant that I was, and made the exception to try and get me back in a couple years later. My parents thought maybe being a bit older would help, so I was back in. Still boring, and I was still missing PE and recess. On top of that, it was in an old turn of the century school with dim lighting and lockers and desks that smelled of old bologna sandwiches. After I quit again, they said I could not return. OK by me!

Through the years I have trained in a number of environments. Some, just on a visit, and some played the role as “my” gym for a while. I started off at home. At three, I started to run with my dad. I saw him take off, and did not want to be left behind. I put on my mud boots and took chase. I think that day, he ran about a mile. I ran about a third of that. Mom and Dad were impressed, and I kept on chasing him, day after day. My distances would increase, and my speed would improve. Why was I doing it though? I guess because my dad was, and maybe I was just born with something that made it appeal to me.

For whatever reason, I always had a love for strength. I was always asking my dad to flex for me. I would assume it got tiresome to him. I remember going to see The Shepherd of the Hills play in Branson, MO. In the story, “Young Matt” lifted a steam engine so his dad could work on it. We would visit the site during the daytime, and I would try and lift the steam engine. I think I gave it my first try at 5 years old. I never was able to get that thing off the ground. But, I was lifting everything else: the edges of furniture, rocks, logs, etc. One time Grandpa cut a couple old locust trees that were out past the old outhouse near our home. I spent hours pretending the cut branches were weights and I was a weightlifter.

I grew up wrestling with dad. I was a rough and tumble boy, and I liked it when dad would get on the floor to tussle with me. I started probably about as young as when I could walk, and we would grapple often. When I was nine, we were talking to this guy at church. He was a custodian at a nearby school. He told us of a small fry wrestling club that practiced there. I had no idea that it was something you could do competitively against people your own age, and I was immediately in love with the idea. It was about the time I started wrestling, that dad got me lifting. At first, he just made me a 10# dumbbell out of some old sand weights and showed me a one arm curl and a one arm standing press. I added these to my regiment of pushups, sit-ups and running. I did this routine almost every night. After I had started getting a bit of a foundation, I started working out in the milkbarn with dad. This was my first “gym” We had a concrete weight set that we would do curls, military presses, and floor presses on the concrete milking floor. That is, until I was at a junk sale at the salebarn. There was a weightlifting bench at it, and I had the winning bid of $1.75. From then on, we benched in style. After seeing Rocky IV, I filled a gunny sack with rocks and sand and hung it from one of the pulleys on the ceiling. I had my first lat pull machine.

When I was in high school, I would lift both at home and at the school. The school gym came in two forms. There was an old universal ,a “good girl” machine, a “bad girl” machine, and an old apparatus called a leaper that was like a squat machine for improving your vertical leap. These items were in the boys locker room at the school. Then down the road at the field house, there was a better weight room with power racks, benches, bumper plates, etc.

When I want to college at Missouri Valley, their weightroom was unimpressive. I was able to get OK workouts there, but they would only let you do “safety squats”. I mean actual safety squats where you hold onto the rack and use your arms and upper back to help pull yourself back up into an upright position. Their selling point when they first showed me the weightroom was 4 “back tracks”. They said there were five of them in the nation, and MO Valley had four of them, with Bo Jackson owning the other. Just so you know, that if there are only five of such a groundbreaking piece of equipment out there, and no other colleges have jumped on the bandwagon, there is probably a reason why. They were an absolute piece of crap , and doing them was an absolute waste of time.

After my fourth year of wrestling I was out of eligibility, but I had to go a fifth year to complete my degree. Well, for individuals who were not on sports teams, you could normally get a workout in in the school weightroom at around midnight. As I usually enjoy sleeping at that hour, I went to get a membership at the local YMCA. Since I had no money, it was only like $10 a month. And since my wrestling career at Valley was over, I had lots of free time. So, I spent most of it lifting at the Y.

During the summers, me and my brother would get a membership at “Camelot Fun and Fitness” in Cameron to work out together. The only place in town, it was as lame as it sounds. The weights were right there with the cardio equipment. There was a Metallica cassette tape in a tape deck, but as soon as you turned it on, the old ladies on the treadmill turned up Oprah a little louder. You would turn up Metallica just so you could hear it, but they would soon poke at the remote until Oprah drowned it out. Not exactly a place to get hardcore. So we started using membership fees to buy bits and pieces of equipment at a time.

Upon graduation, I got a teaching and coaching gig at Excelsior Springs. They had a decent weightroom there, and I spent lots of time after school and/or practice in there. While I still enjoyed lifting, something was missing. I was going through the motions. Why was I lifting? Was it just cause I always had? I had always lifted to get strong so I could excel at wrestling, I felt. Well, I was done wrestling. I needed something new. I found strongman. This was something that came rather naturally to me. Meanwhile I took a position at Kearney School District. While they had a nice weightroom, I soon decided I would be better served just taking my workouts at home. I had been accumulating equipment for a number of years, and had a decent setup in my basement. So, for I time I split where I was training. One day, however, I was in the school weightroom after track practice. I was going for a top end overhead press. Unfortunately, there was a group of high school kids from another sports team in there jacking about. Their coach was in there with them and in on the fun, so I did not feel it was my place to reprimand them. After 4 or 5 misses, I was fed up. I couldn’t perform in that atmosphere. So I left, and never looked back.

I went back to my home gym full time. Eventually, I built my tin can barn and moved all my strongman stuff (as well as some weightlifting stuff) out there. So, now I have two gyms! I take most of my weekday gym workouts in my basement gym, and my weekend workouts take place in the barn. So, I guess I kinda came full circle. I started off my weightlifting career about a mile from where I train now. I have been lots of different places, and weight is weight. I have loved lifting it everywhere, in whatever form, from sand filled to iron, to stone. It has become a part of me. I still cannot paint a picture. I still cannot play an instrument (well, I do play a mean “Old Suzanna” on the mouth harp). And though I enjoy eating a bologna sandwich as much as the next guy, the smell of those lockers still haunt me. But I can lift me some weights!

Gold Cup

by Steve Gardner

James Gardner won the overall Gold Cup Award, the Prechtel Memorial Award, with this amazing lift in the Shoulder Drop of 92.5 kilograms!

The Gold Cup took place at the Burton Powerhouse All Round Weightlifting Academy in Burton on Trent on Saturday 25th October. In short…it was a fantastic day! We had 56 lifters entered for the day, the biggest turnout in IAWA’s 28 year history for an International event, with 6 Nations represented (Unfortunately Kim and Graham Alway had to leave before the event started due to a death in the family and our deepest sympathy goes out to them) but it was still a massive event.

I was so proud to be there on the day with so many great people and to witness them performing so many outstanding lifts. Thanks to all the overseas lifters who brought the International Flare. Every lifter brought new energy to the platform and we saw about 50 different lifts performed to exceptional standard, I wish I could mention them all in this report but there are just too many.  There were several records on the day that were the ‘heaviest ever performed’ in IAWA. I know big Mark Haydock had two….one in the 2 Inch Bar Deadlift and one in the Alternate Grip Clean and Press. James Gardner also with a massive 92.5 kilos in the Shoulder Drop, and Neil Keddy too with the French Press I think. James’s lift earned him the ‘Howard Prechtel Memorial Award’ which was presented to him by last years winner  Al Myers’ and Neil Keddys exceptional 60k French Press saw him in the Runners Up spot. The lifting was just ‘Outstanding’ and Frank Ciavattone hit big numbers in the Ciavattone Deadlift. It was great for me to see my 8 year old Grandson Dominic perform a lift to earn a Gold Cup, and my heart melted when I heard he asked his Mum if the cups were real Gold. So proud to have lifted on the same platform as my Wife, and my two Sons: John and James and also my Grandson..three generations! I am so very pleased with the tremendous help from my team members at our Burton Club as they helped load all the lifts for the other loaders. Everyone helped everyone else, and that is what enabled us to get through at least 275 record attempts. The final showdown between Al Myers and his Dad Laverne brought the house down as they went head to head in the struggle for supremacy in the One Hand 2 inch Dumbbell Deadlift, Laverne winning out over Al in the finish. It was most refreshing to have 12 female competitors really leading the way for the Ladies..well done girls, and 8 Junior lifters as well, from young Dominic at 8 yrs, Elena De La Mata at 9yrs through to Matt Jones at 18yrs and Maddie Ell at 19 yrs, well done young ones you are the future of our sport. Our Masters division was really well represented too with 78 yrs old Gerry Davidson our most Senior lifter on the day.

Steve Gardner (right) was presented this new gym sign by IAWA President Al Myers (left) for all his hard work in promoting the IAWA Gold Cup on behalf of the IAWA membership.

It was just so great to have so many people from the IAWA family with me, and the evening Dinner and Presentation was also tremendous. As well as the Gold Cup presentation, I was knocked out by the super present given to me by Al Myers..the stunning Gym sign to hang in the Burton Powerhouse, thanks again big Al. And then later in the evening, well how could anyone forget Nick Swain and his mate Ben performing as ‘ The King Elvis’s..Lol! Just Priceless.Thanks again to everyone, and I mean everyone who helped me to make the day a great success…..Long Live IAWA!

MEET RESULTS:

2014 IAWA Gold Cup
Burton Powerhouse Gym
Burton, England
October 25th, 2014

Meet Promoter:  Steve Gardner

Announcer: Steve Gardner

Recorder: Judy Habecker

Record Keeper: Chris Bass

Loaders: All members from Powerhouse Gym

Officials:  Several IAWA Officials in attendance

Results (PDF) – Gold Cup 2014 Results

Art’s Birthday Bash

by John McKean

Group picture from Art's Birthday Bash 2014.

Since it’s impossible to drive to Ambridge from any direction without going through beautiful wooded hills and dense forest lands, our visitors this year were treated to this Fall’s most spectacular leaf colors, on a perfect bluebird sky day! It was almost a shame to have to go indoors to lift weights! HOWEVER, that was immediately corrected as we all left the gym to go OUTDOORS to watch newcomer Steve Freides perform an Inman Mile(!!!) at the high school parking lot across the street!! Of course ,Steve didn’t go a mile (nobody ever has!) but did waddle back & forth with 243# on his back for 114 meters!I teased Steve by saying his efforts cost me 50 bucks-that I’d bet Art he would die if he tried the whole mile!

Back in the gym, Art & I were treated to watch another newcomer to our meets, Stephen Santangelo, perform a terrific Reeves deadlift with 235 pounds! Art & I agreed that neither of us can even reach the plates to perform this dynamic lift!

Denny Habecker, and long time veteran lifter, 82 year old Dick Durante, had a gorgeous drive through the mountains across state to show us their typical strong lifting and always smiling faces!

Of course, in this year’s group of all MASTER competitors, good ole Denmis Mitchell and wife Flossy drove in from Cleveland to charm us with their usual cheerful personalities, and Denny’s well perfected lifting.

Star of the show, birthday boy Art Montini (87) performed 5 world records in fantastic style, and was the usual gracious host to his guests. In an amazing coincidence, the figure on Art’s meet shirt was the comic character Popeye (with Art’ face imposed!) -seems both Art & the famous Popeye were created in the same year!!(and both were sailors!). Art’s only challenge this year was in the donut eating challence where my grandson Draes (just turned 9) may have bested him (we’re never sure as Art gobbles the donuts in hiding!).

It was so great to have always smiling,joke telling Bob Geib and his gal,Susan, attending! Both lifted great and are healthy and happy, soon with a new house to move to. Funny thing,Bob was trying to explain to me where this small town is that he’s been residing at for several years(a mile from his new place), and I had to laugh out loud -it is the vacation town on Lake Erie that our family travels to many time each year and I’ve been going to all my life! I woulda ’bout croaked to run into Bob up there during a morning fishing expedition! Bob brought with him a beautiful plaque that the late,great Howard Prechtel was awarded as a new inductee to the Cleveland Hall of Fame. Howard had passed on his skillful chiropractic maneuvers, which he utilized to tremendous effect on my 35 year old son Rob,who’s had a presistant neck/shoulder pinch (Rob felt so good afterward,that we couldn’t cooerce him into doing any lifts! Thanks,Bob!!).

Even yours truly got into the act- I’d promised Al earlier that if he got the Kennedy lift approved I’d unretire just to do that old “health Lift” ! And figgered ,since I was there, to finally get off my butt and set enough to records to take me over the 300 mark.

As usual, a day well spent with good friends! Onward to training for Art’s 88th!

MEET RESULTS

Art’s Birthday Bash 2014
Oct 12, 2014
Ambridge VFW Barbell Club Ambridge, PA

USAWA officials: Denny Habecker, Art Montini, Dennis Mitchell,  (3 officials used on all record lifts)

SUSAN SEES female age 57 weight 219# div: 55+ F 100K
Deadlift Fulton Ciavattone 160 pounds
Deadlift Fulton bar 170#
Deadlift thumbless 180#
Dumbbell Deadlift right 95#
Dumbbell Deadlift left 95#

DENNIS MITCHELL age 81 weight151# div: 80+ 70K
Thumbless deadlift 170#
One Hand Dumbbell deadlift left 130#
One Hand Dumbbell deadlift right 130#
Seated press behind neck 40#

STEVE FREIDES age 59 weight 152.8# div: 55+ 70K
Steinborn 80 K
Inman Mile 113.79 meters
Hip Lift 1020#
Jefferson 315#
Jefferson Fulton bar 280#
Kennedy lift 405#

ART MONTINI age 87 weight 172# div: 85+ 80K
2″ Vertical Bar lift left 59#
Middle finger deadlift  110#
Ring Finger deadlift     99#
Index finger deadlift   85#
Dumbbell deadlift left 75#

JOHN McKEAN age 68 weight 173.5# div:65+ 80K
Kennedy lift 405#
People’s Deadlift 315#
One arm Dumbbell Ciavattone deadlift right 173#
Fulton bar Ciavattone Deadlift 200#
Strict Curl 55#
Dumbbell Walk 26#
1″ Vertical bar lift right 85#
1″ Vertical bar lift left 85#
1″ Vertical bar lift 2 bars 170#
2 Dumbbell Cheat Curl 70#
right Dumbbell Cheat Curl 35#
Left Dumbbell Cheat Curl 35#
Right arm Fulton Dumbbell deadlift 58#
Left Arm Fulton Bar Deadlift 58#
2 Arm Fulton Dumbbell Deadlift 116#

STEPHEN SANTANGELO  age 62 weight 174# div: 60+ 80K
Reeves Deadlift 235#
One arm Dumbbell deadlift left 170#
One arm Dumbbell Deadlift right 210#
Dumbbell Walk 56#
Kennedy Lift 325#

RICHARD DURANTE  age 82 weight 175# div: 80+ 80K
One arm Deadlift left 95#
One arm Deadlift right 95#
Fulton Bar Deadlift 170#
Strict Curl 55#
Kennedy Lift 225#

DENNY HABECKER age 72 weight 194# div: 70+ 90K
Kennedy Lift 225#
Stiff Leg Deadlift 270 #
Reverse Grip Cheat Curl 119#
Thumbless Grip Deadlift 270#
Dumbbell Press left 50#
Strict Curl 75#

BOB GEIB age 71 weight 219# div: 70+ 100K
Fulton Deadlift Ciavattone 170#
Fulton Deadlift 180#
Thumbless Deadlift 200#
Dumbbell Deadlift right 130#
Dumbbell Deadlift left 130#

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

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.