Nationals Update

by Tim Piper

We are slowly getting entries in for the National Championships on June 21st. We are hoping for a good turnout but to make sure we are not short on awards or food for the banquet it would be great if we could get a head count by next thursday. The event is coming together well.

We have the catering set up already and will be starting the buffet style dinner around 6:30 on Saturday night at Free Range Yoga, my wife’s studio downtown Maocmb. The banquet fee will be $15 to cover cost of food, entertainment, and studio fees (I am still working on getting the facility rent free…HA!) We are serving fried chicken, tortilla crusted talapia, mashed potatoes and gravy, shells and cheese, and a broccoli dish, with some homemade desserts to follow. We will be supplying some drinks but if you wish to bring in your favorite beverage that is fine with us. ALSO, we have some very unique entertainment lined up that we think you all will enjoy. Won’t tell you what it is but it should be a fun surprise for all who attend and it will certainly it will be a first for USAWA banquets.

The meet will be held at 505 N. Randolph outside under the big top. We are running a two session meet so things should run smoothly. Not sure how we will split the sessions up yet but that will all fall into place as we get the entries sorted out. Lifting for the first session will start at 10 a.m. The meet site is fully equipped with plenty of kilo plates for the meet, warm-up area, an Apollon’s axle form Ironmind, and we will be using old-school York dumbbells for the crucifix. We have a crew of experienced loaders from our gym to help make sure the meet runs quickly as they know kilos well. We only use kilos in our gym so bring your conversion charts!

We need a final headcount for the meet and banquet by June 11th to make sure we have the right amount of food and awards so please email me at tj-piper@wiu.edu if you haven’t already sent in your entry forms.

Can’t wait to show off our little gym, our studio, and Macomb to all the great lifters and family of the USAWA.

Tim and Dawn Piper

Recent Death of Joe McCoy

by Al Myers

I received some sad news this week, passed along to me by Dale Harder, that longtime USAWA Joe McCoy has died. Joe was one of the pioneers of the USAWA and all round weightlifting in the Missouri Valley Region. His influence in the early days helped shape our organization.  I’ve spent many hours visiting with Joe on the phone over the past 10 years, and his passion for the all rounds was still as great as it was when he was younger.  Physical issues kept him from competing in these later years, but I know if he would have been capable,  he would have been at many USAWA meets.

The following was from his obituary:

Joe McCoy, 71, passed away Friday May 30, 2014, in Fort Worth.  The service was at 1:30 PM Monday at the Wiley Funeral Home in Glen Rose, Texas. Joe was born Jan 1st, 1943 in Stephenville Texas to J.C. and Louise McCoy.  He married Mary Jo Phillips, June 10, 1961, in Burleson. He had lived in Glen Rose most of his life.   He enjoyed weight lifting and working out.  He also made movies of weight lifting contests.. He was preceded in death by his father.

I welcome comments and tributes on the USAWA Discussion Forum regarding those that knew Joe, and any stories you may have of him.  If you prefer to just email them to me instead, that is alright.  I plan to take these comments and write a tribute blog story in Joe’s remembrance.

Club Championships

by Al Myers

The Club Championships has been sanctioned and scheduled!    I consider this meet as one of our “signature events” in the USAWA since it is a Championship Event, and these are the meets that really need to be contested every year. The Club Championships began in 2010 with the Ambridge Barbell Club hosting it the first couple of years. Dave Glasgow, the leader of the Ledaig Heavy Athletics, promoted it last year and has made plans to promote it this year as well!

The Club Championships is much different than other competitions. It is NOT an individual competition, but rather, a club competition. The scores of three members of a club are “added together” to form a club score. This way clubs are pitted against each other, with each member making their own contribution to their club. Awards will be given out on a “club basis” – there will be no individual recognition at this event.

The rules for the Club Championships are pretty straightforward:

1. Each Club brings  three lifters to compete. Clubs may enter with less than three members, but will be at a disadvantage when scores are added together. A club may enter more club members than three, but only the top three will be added for the “club score”.

2. Club members MUST be registered with their club of participation (as documented on the membership roster).

3. Adjusted Point scores are added together to form a club score.

4. Club with the highest Club Score is awarded the Club Champion.

The Ledaig HA’s has been a big club player in the USAWA over the past few years. Now since Dave has his new training facility built I expect even more involvement with promotions. I consider Ledaig as one of the TOP CLUBS in the USAWA. At the 2012 IAWA World Championships, their club won the team title at the Championships (combined pt scores of all members participating). That’s a big club win – winning Worlds!!!! In 2011 Ledaig won the team title at the USAWA Nationals in Kirksville. At Nationals in Las Vegas they were awarded the Runner Up Club of the Year in the USAWA.  In 2012, they won the Club of the Year Award in the USAWA.

I’m really excited about this year’s Club Championships. I truly believe the success of the USAWA lies with club involvement. Meets like this one foster that involvement. Year’s ago it was important to lifters to be “part of a club” when going to competitions. Club spirit was high – and lifters often competed in their club shirts showing their support to their club. I want to bring that feeling back, and this meet is a great way to do that. It should be an honor for a club member to get selected to represent their club at the Club Championships. Let’s make this a great meet!

MEET DETAILS:

2014 USAWA Club Championships
Saturday, July 19th, 2014
Ledaig Heavy Athletics Training Facility
Rainbow Bend, KS

Sanction – USAWA

Entry Fee – None

Weighins: 9:00 AM

Start time: 10:00 AM

LIFTS:

Clean and Jerk – One Arm

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

Trap Bar Deadlift

There will be a record breaker session after the competition if anyone is interested. Award certificates will be awarded to the winning clubs. There is no entry form, but please contact Dave prior to the event if you are entering a team at dglasgow@cox.net . The directions to the meet are:

GPS Coordinates are: Decimal coordinates (latitude, longitude):
37.16499343231285,-97.13128566741943

Dino Gym Club of the Year

by Al Myers

Every year the USAWA gives out yearly awards honoring special achievements amongst the membership for the prior year.  This Awards Program began in 2009.  The award recipients are voted on and chosen by the membership with the exception of the Club of the Year.  This award is earned on merit -with points being accrued by participation in the USAWA by each registered club.  I just calculated the club points for all registered clubs in 2013 – and I’m excited to announce the Club of the Year for 2013 is the DINO GYM!  This is a team effort with each club member earning points.  For this I want to congratulate the Dino Gym members: Darren Barnhart, Rudy Bletscher, Scott Campbell, Chuck Cookson, Ben Edwards, Tasha Ullum, Alan English, Mark Mitchell, LaVerne Myers, Molly Myers, Dean Ross, Scott Tully, Brianna Ullum, and Chad Ullom.  Extra points were generated by club participation in the “big meets” by Molly, Bri, LaVerne, Dean, Chad and myself.

Club Awards are determined by adding up club points using this 4-Step System:

1. One point awarded to the club for EACH USAWA registered member that lists the club as their affiliated club on their membership application. This designation is also listed beside the members name on the membership roster.
2. Two points awarded to the club for EACH club member that participates in the National Championships, World Championships, and Gold Cup. Points are awarded for each competition, so if one club athlete competes in all three of these big meets it would generate 6 points for the club.
3. Three points awarded to the club for EACH USAWA sanctioned event or competition the club promotes.
4. Four bonus points awarded to the club for promotion of the National Championships, World Championships, and Gold Cup.

Habecker’s Gym won the Runner Up spot in the Club of the Year Award.  Despite only having 3 registered gym members (Denny Habecker, Judy Habecker, and Barry Bryan), thru big meet participation and promotion of the 2013 Nationals and 2013 Gold Cup by club leader Denny, they secured a solid second place finish.

Club of the Year Final Standings (Top Five Listed)

1.  Dino Gym – 46 points
2.  Habeckers’s Gym – 28 points
3.  Frank’s Barbell Club - 20 points
4.  Ambridge BBC – 10 points
5. (tie) Clark’s Gym – 7 points
5. (tie) – Jobe’s Steel Jungle

Frank’s Barbell Club came in fourth by being “well rounded” in their point generation, and getting points in all areas. The club had 5 registered members (Frank Ciavattone, Jeff Ciavattone, Colleen Lane, Jessica Hopps, and James Delaney), had participation in the Nationals and Gold Cup by Frank and Colleen, and promoted three meets (including the Heavy Lift Championships).

Ambridge BBC came in fourth – all due to one man! Art Montini was the only one from the Ambridge Club to register membership in the USAWA for 2013, but thru Art’s devotion to the USAWA by participation in Nationals, Worlds, and the Gold Cup, plus promotion of his annual birth day bash he generated all the points himself!

You may notice that the 2012 Club of the Year Ledaig HA is not listed on the above list.  There’s a reason for that – the defending Champ is not eligible the following year.  This was put in place originally as to not allow the same club to win the club of the year award year after year.  The Ledaig HA Club will have the honors of presenting the Club of the Year awards this year at the National Championships during the awards ceremony.

All together there were 13 registered clubs in the USAWA for 2013.  All of these clubs need mentioned as they are the “backbone” of our memberships.  Over 75% of our yearly membership comes with lifters affiliated with a registered club.  The USAWA Clubs for 2013 were: Al’s Dino Gym, Ambridge VFW BBC, Clark’s Championship Gym, Frank’s Barbell Club, Habecker’s Gym, Jackson Weightlifting Club, Joe’s Gym, Jobe’s Steel Jungle, KC Strongman, Ledaig Heavy Athletics, Salvation Army Gym, Schmidt Barbell Club, and M&D Triceratops (owned and operated by the late Dale Friesz).   Making the “TOP FIVE” is a great achievement for any club, and one each USAWA club should strive for!

Time for Nominations!

by Al Myers

It’s that time of the year again to nominate deserving lifters for the yearly awards! The USAWA award program was started in 2009 to honor those individuals that displays outstanding achievements throughout the year in different categories. I have been the USAWA Award Director that entire time and was the one who started the USAWA Awards Program. Part of the USAWA budget goes to these awards, which means that part of your membership dues support this program. These awards are awarded at the Annual General Meeting of the USAWA, which occurs at the same time as the National Championships. It is important to remember when “casting your vote” that these awards are for the calendar year 2013 (which is the calendar the USAWA follows for memberships, etc.). Now for a little “overview” of the rules for nominations:

  • You must be a USAWA member to make a nomination or cast a vote
  • Nominated individuals must be a USAWA members to be eligible
  • Only one individual may be nominated per person per award
  • Two nominations for each award may be submitted, one for your choice of the Winner and one for your choice of the runner-up.
  • The awards are for the calendar year 2013
  • An individual may be nominated for more than one award

These are the different awards for which you should chose your nominations for:

Athlete of the Year This award is for the individual who has accomplished the most athletically within the last year in the USAWA. Top placings at the Nationals and World Championships should figure in high. Also, participation in other Championship Competitions such as the Heavy Lift Championships, the Grip Championships, the Club Championships, the OTSM Championships, the Team Championships, or the National Postal Championships could factor in. Participation in elite IAWA events such as the Gold Cup should make an influence on earning this award as well.

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

Sportsmanship AwardThis goes to an individual who possesses and shows great sportsmanship within the USAWA. The act of sportsmanship may be by conduct at all events, or by an specific example of exceptional sportsmanship.

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

Newcomer AwardThis award goes to an individual who in new to the USAWA or has become involved again. It doesn’t have to go to someone in their first year of being involved in the USAWA.

As stated earlier in the rules, I would like you to submit your choice for the WINNER and your choice for the RUNNER UP for each award. I will score it this way: for each nomination per award I will give 2 points for the nominated winner and 1 point for the nominated runner up. I will then add up all the points from all nominations with the person receiving the most points declared the winner and the one with the second most points the runner up. So you can see that the Award Winners are chosen by YOU THE MEMBERSHIP! That’s the way it should be done.

Please email me at amyers@usawa.com with your nominations. The deadline for this is this Friday. I’m only giving a week because it has been my experience with this is that if a person does not make their nominations shortly after reading this announcement, it never gets done. So make it easy on yourself (and me!) and turn your nominations in today!!!!

Heavy Lift Championships

by Al Myers

2014 USAWA HEAVY LIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS

Group picture from the 2014 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships (left to right): Dennis Mitchell, Dave Hahn, Chad Ullom, Eric Todd, Lance Foster, and Dean Ross

What a big day at the Dino Gym!!! Saturday, May 3rd, the Dino Gym hosted a “double-header” of strength events – the USAWA Heavy Lift Championships in the morning and the Kansas Strongest Man in the afternoon.  Six brave all rounders showed up to tackle the heaviest of the lifts in the USAWA.  Veteran Dennis Mitchell made the longest trek to Holland Kansas to compete, coming from Cleveland, Ohio.  I was very glad to see Dennis and Flossy here, as less than a year ago Dennis had a knee replaced and I didn’t think Dennis would be up to taking on these heavy types of lifts yet.  But Dennis was an eager as ever, and lifted solid in all lifts.  Eric Todd and Lance Foster from the KC STRONGMAN club made their appearance as well.  ET set the tone early on that he was going to be the guy to beat when he went three for three, and set the highest Neck Lift of ALL TIME with a 1080 pound successful lift!!!  I’ve seen ET lift over 1000 pounds several times in the Neck Lift to date, but I’m continually amazed at seeing it again.  This big lift of ET’s overshadowed Chad Ullom’s herculean Neck Lift as well. Chad lifted a personal record 1014 pounds in the Neck Lift.  Very rarely do you get to see two lifters put up these type of Neck Lifts on the same platform.  Eric went on to win the overall best lifter of the day, with Chad a close runner-up.

We had a welcomed newcomer to the USAWA on Saturday – if you could really call him that.  I say that because Dave Hahn of Overland Park, Kansas made his return to the USAWA after a 23 year absence!  The previous time he lifted in our organization was at one of Bill Clark’s Zercher Meets in the early nineties.  I was very impressed with Dave’s lifting ability – and he seemed to have knowledge of the heavy lifts as well.  He put up great numbers – 350 Neck, 520 H&T, and 900 Hip.  He took a shot at over 1000 in the Hip, and if not for a little balance issues, would have got it.  After the meet I told Dave not to wait another 23 years before lifting in the USAWA again!!

Now who have I forgot to mention????  I guess I saved the best for last – Dean Ross!  Dean has been one of the biggest supporters of the Dino Gym events over the years, and rarely misses anything!  He’s also been a tremendous supporter of the USAWA these past few years and probably does more USAWA events than any other lifter!  One thing about Dean – when he’s in attendance there’s never a dull moment!  I was most impressed by his 700 pound Hand and Thigh.   Also – once the meet was over Dean had to “hit to road” immediately to make it to Texas for a Highland Games the next day!

I hope all the lifters had a great time at this championships.  I know I pushed things along at a fast pace to get done in time for the strongman meet afterwards.  From start to finish the meet lasted just a little over 3 hours!   I especially want to thank my dad LaVerne for officiating and helping me out, all the guys who pitched in loading, Chad for helping me finish the awards and helping with the BBQ,  and Scott who was my partner in the day’s promotion.

MEET RESULTS:

2014 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships
Dino Gym, Holland, Kansas
May 3rd, 2014

Meet Director: Al Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Officials (3-official system used): Al Myers (head), LaVerne Myers, Lance Foster, Chad Ullom, Eric Todd, Dennis Mitchell

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

LIFTER AGE BWT NECK H&T HIP TOT PTS
Eric Todd 39 247 1080 1350 1810 4240 3384.4
Chad Ullom 42 254 1014 1210 1610 3834 3107.5
Dave Hahn 76 152 350 520 900 1770 2560.7
Dean Ross 71 267 250 600 760 1610 1631.3
Dennis Mitchell 82 153 246 350 475 1071 1611.2
Lance Foster 48 332 300 600 850 1750 1320.9

EXTRA FOR RECORDS:

Dean Ross – Hand and Thigh 700#
Dean Ross – Hip Lift 800#
Dennis Mitchell – Hip Lift 600#

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

Try DIGGING into a heavy workout!

by John McKean

" Winning one of Al's Dumbbell Walk Handles helped crafty ole John to develop an enjoyable new fitness movement! Can ya DIG it?!"

Before we started dating, my future wife, Marilyn, told me I couldn’t touch her with a 10′ pole. So I got an 11′ pole – it musta worked as we’ll be married for 45 years this September!

Seriously, the long pole has figured its way into my training regimen ever since I studied and practiced Chinese long pole FORMS over 20 years ago in Wing Chun Kung Fu. In addition to use as a self defense tactic, this leverage form of resistance has been terrific for both cardio training, when done for a sufficient length of time, and is fantastic for a warmup to an all-round lifting program. A long pole’s smooth flow and circular motions, when done in precise martial arts patterns, really activates and awakens every muscle of the body.

However, while playing around with training tools this past winter, it occurred to me that the long pole, with one of Al’s homemade “Dumbbell Walk Handles” slid down and positioned on one end would yield a lot more resistance from the pole’s other far side. This would yield a heavier, rep oriented, leverage-weighted exercise, that maybe wouldn’t require a half hour of work, for use as a pre workout warmup. I recalled how my old friend, the late Dr. Len Schwartz, in his original “Heavyhands” text had advocated a digging type movement with the small dumbbells that he employed for aerobic training. Dr. Len was very high on all the benefits of his shoveling motion, but couldn’t convince many to attempt it, as this particular exercise seemed awkward to maneuver with 2 dumbbells. Later, however, as Schwartz formulated awesome “Longstrength” programs – which were much shorter duration than standard aerobic sessions, with slightly heavier fitness movements – shoveling fit right in. He even devised a screw-in 6″ dumbbell connector which welded two dumbbells into one solid unit.

Now my LONG lever “shovel” makes this exercise quite a bit more hardy than did Dr. Schwartz’ tool. With added barbell plates and collars it can be loaded heavy enough, if desired, to produce an actual one rep maximum lift ! Yet I still keep it unloaded as pictured here to go through wide arc front circles, back circles, and realistic over the head shoveling. Hitting both left and right sides, I find that about 35 reps for these 6 maneuvers instills a robust feeling that just begs the ole bod to attack some serious heavy barbell work!

Of course, there is plenty of room for much further exploration, and many other digging style exercises to be discovered. From my initial experimentation I can assure that besides a superb warmup, my forearms, biceps, and obliques are becoming seriously toned from this fun activity! Even Marilyn must see the positive benefits – I’m now allowed a mere 7′ pole around her and for workouts!

Heavy Champ Update

by Al Myers

I’m busy getting the final plans made for this weekend.  The good news is that the weather forecast is looking positive for a very nice sunny day!  There will be a lot of activity going on at the Dino Gym on Saturday.  In addition to the USAWA Heavy Lift Championships in the morning we will be hosting the Kansas Strongest Man in the afternoon.  Scott and I have planned the competitions in such a way that a person can compete in both if they want!  I have made some very nice custom awards for both of the competitions which I think everyone will really like.

The Heavy Champs will be conducted in the Dino Gym on the heavy lift platform.  I will have loaner neck harness’s and hip belts available.  The KSM will be contested on the athletic field behind the gym.   I have made some new equipment for the competition (including new yokes and farmers implements).  There is a shelter house for those just wanting to watch and stay out of the sun.

Afterwards I will be having a deck BBQ for anyone who wants to stay for it.  There’s nothing better after a long day of competing than sitting back, eating,  and relaxing with friends!  I’m looking forward to the weekend!!! See everyone soon!

Joe the Turk OTSM

by Tim Piper

MEET PRESS RELEASE AND RESULTS

“Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet 2014

The Macomb Salvation Army hosted the “Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet on April 19th. “Joe the Turk” was Macomb Illinois’ original “strongman” and holds a unique and special place in the history of the Macomb Salvation Army. At the turn of the 20th century Joe the Turk was in Macomb for a short time helping clean up the town of crooked laymen and henchmen. He did so by being unafraid of their tactics and standing steadfast in his belief that good would prevail. While he only spent a short time in Macomb it seemed fitting to name the United States All-round Weightlifting Association (USAWA) sanctioned meet in his honor.

The USAWA was formed over 25 years ago to continue the longstanding tradition of old-time weightlifters like Eugene Sandow, Louis Cyr, Apollon, Paul Anderson, and countless others. The organization hosts meets throughout the country and is a member of the International All-round Weightlifting Association (IAWA). The lifts contested in USAWA meets are often based upon lifts that were performed in traveling circus performance acts, side shows, and festivals. Many bear the name of the old-time strongman who made them most famous. The lifts are quite atypical; involving often rarely seen variations of squats, deadlifts, and overhead movements, employing primarily simple bars and plates without the benefit of spotters. Like the old-time strongman, the lifter is tested for maximum strength while maintaining control of the barbell at all times. This was a small but exciting meet with all lifters setting numerous national records.

The meet was held outside the Salvation Army gym in the warm sun. The first lift was the Cyr Press which involves taking a standard dumbbell to the shoulder and then pressing it overhead one handed. 34 year old January Rowland of Independence Iowa did well setting a new womens national record of with a lift of 25 kilos or 55 pounds. Twenty-eight year old, 250 pound Jared Abry from Good Hope Illinois set a new personal best of 127 pounds.

The next lift was the Anderson squat, named after the late Paul Anderson. This lift consists of a partial squat with the barbell starting at 2/3 the individuals standing height. Jan Rowland lifted 225 pounds for a new womens national record. Jared Abry set a new personal best with a squat of 540 pounds.

The next lift was the Hackenschmidt Floor Press which consists of a barbell press performed on the floor with the barbell starting at a height of not more than 15 inches of the ground. Rowland lifted 121.25 pounds for a new national record. Abry also set a new national record with a press of 275 pounds.

The final lift of the day was the Peoples deadlift, named after Tennessee powerlifter Bob Peoples, and is a deadlift that starts with the barbell at 18 inches off the ground. Rowland lifted 275 pounds for new personal and national record. Abry lifted a new personal best of 518 pounds.
All lifters received commemorative “Joe the Turk” mugs. For his efforts the best overall lifter Jared Abry received a set of Indian clubs similar to the sort that Joe might have recognized in his days in Macomb. While small, the meet was a lot of fun for me and I think Jared and Jan had a good time. Plans are already starting for next years “Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman meet.

MEET RESULTS

Joe the Turk OTSM
Salvation Army Gym
Macomb, Illinois
March 19th, 2014

Meet Director: Tim Piper

Official (1 Official System): Tim Piper

Lifts: Cyr Press, Anderson Squat, Hackenschmidt Floor Press, Peoples Deadlift

LIFTER AGE BWT Cyr SQ FP DL TOT
January Rowland (F) 34 319 55 226 121 275 677
Jared Abry (M) 28 250 127 540 275 518 1460

Notes: BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts recorded in pounds.  TOT is total pounds lifted.

Lifter of the Month: Joe Garcia

by Al Myers

Joe Garcia lifting a up a big Hip Lift!

The Zercher Strength Classic, a long held traditional meet held at Clark’s Gym, was the featured meet of the month of March.  So it comes as no surprise that the winner of this prestigious meet is crowned as the USAWA LIFTER OF THE MONTH for MARCH.  Joe Garcia defended a tough class of 4 hard-nosed competitors to take the overall win, and because of this, earned the lifter of the month.  Way to go Joe!!!!

I’m guessing that Joe has competed in more Zercher’s than any other lifter thru it’s 25 year plus history.  There is no harder meet than the Zercher – having to do 13 different all-round lifts in one day, and amongst the lifts several heavy lifts.  It’s the same as several meets packed into one!

Congrats to Joe Garcia for being awarded USAWA Lifter of the Month for March, 2014.

1st Quarter Postal

by Al Myers

1st QUARTER USAWA POSTAL MEET

The results are in!  Two women and six men tackled the 1st Quarter USAWA postal meet with great results.  Ruth Jackson won the overall womens division, with Crystal Diggs second.  Chad Ullom took the overall in the mens division, with Barry Bryan a close runner up.  Congrats to all who competed!

I would like to take “a minute” and make a few comments on these postal meets and the submission of results.  A certified official makes sure you complete the lifts in appropriate manner, but there is no one to supervise the filling out of the result sheet. This is left up to the individual lifter.   I noticed in this meet that there are several instances where a lifter didn’t designate an arm in the result sheet for the one arm lifts.  Not that that is a problem for figuring up your total, but it takes you out of consideration for potential records as they are kept per hand.  Also, make sure the official/officials sign your entry form and it is completed entirely and neatly.

Also – I have no problem with lifters completing the lifts and sending them into Denny if  not a current USAWA member. Enjoy the free meet!  But don’t expect to see your results in the final meet results here on the website if you are not a current USAWA member.  Not sure if you are???? It’s easy to tell – check the membership roster – it’s always up to date.   I WILL NOT notify anyone if this occurs, so please don’t expect that out of me.  I have no interest in being a collection agent for the USAWA.  I got a simple rule – NO PAY, NO PLAY.  Make sure you membership registration is up to date BEFORE you enter if you want to be part of the official tally.

I’m glad to see the USAWA Postal Series Meets continuing in the USAWA.  Thanks again to Denny for taking on the role of Postal Meet Director.  I think this will be another great year for these competitions!

MEET RESULTS

1st Quarter Postal Meet
March 1st-31st, 2014

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

Lifts: Swing – Dumbbell, One Arm, Deadlift – No Thumb, One Arm, and Deadlift – 2 bars

Lifters using a Certified Official:

Ruth Jackson – Certified Official Jarrod Fobes
Crystal Diggs – Certified Official Ruth Jackson
ChadUllom – Certified Official Al Myers
Eric Todd – Certified Official Lance Foster
Barry Bryan – Certified Official Denny Habecker
Denny Habecker – Certified Official Barry Bryan
Lance Foster – Certified Official Eric Todd
Keith Thompson – Certified Official Eric Todd

WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT SWING DL-NT DL-2 TOT PTS
Ruth Jackson 52 108 55-R 97-R 210 362 539.4
Crystal Diggs 27 134 30-R 60-R 150 240 276.6

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT SWING DL-NT DL-2 TOT PTS
Chad Ullom 42 258 135-R 209-R 562 906 729.0
Barry Bryan 56 196 80-R 187.3-R 330.7 598 632.4
Denny Habecker 71 196 60-R 143.3-R 319.7 523 624.0
Eric Todd 39 256 125 210-R 450 785 615.6
Lance Foster 48 334 55 155 310 520 439.9
Keith Thompson 27 228 105 230 —— 335 278.6

NOTES: BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts in pounds. R and L designate arm used. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are adjusted points for age and bodyweight correction.

2nd Quarter Postal Meet

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2ND QUARTER POSTAL MEET

The lifts have been chosen by Postal Director Denny Habecker for the 2nd quarter USAWA postal meet.  This is one of the four postal meets promoted by the USAWA every year that counts toward to Postal Series rankings.  Again, the lifts look like a good listing which should challenge everyone!

LIFTS:

Curl – Cheat

Snatch – One Arm

Clean and Push Press

ENTRY FORM (PDF): 2014 2nd Quarter Postal Entry Form

EVERYONE IS A TEACHER

BY DAVE GLASGOW

ONE OF THE MANY HATS I HAVE WORN IN MY ADULT LIFE IS THAT OF A PARAMEDIC/RN. FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS, I PLYED MY TRADE AND FED MY FAMILY AS AN EMERGENCY MEDICAL WORKER. DURING THIS TIME, I WORKED ‘ON THE STREET’ AS WELL AS IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT OF A LEVEL 1 TRAUMA CENTER IN A METROPOLITAIN SETTING.

IN THAT CULTURE, I HAVE RUN INTO ALL SORTS OF ‘CHARACTERS’, BOTH IN THE FORM OF PATIENTS AND IN THE MEDICAL PROFESSION, AS WELL. FROM THE OUT HOUSE TO THE PENTHOUSE, AS IT WERE. DURING THIS TIME, I HAVE HAD SOME EXCELLENT INSTRUCTORS AND SOME NOT SO , WELL…, GOOD. THE ONES I LEARNED THE MOST FROM WERE ‘OLD SCHOOL’ MEN AND WOMEN THAT HAD ‘BEEN DOWN THE OLE HARD ROAD’. USUALLY, THESE FOLKS WERE QUIET, CONFIDENT AND UNASSUMING PROS THAT MADE THEIR JOBS AND ACTIONS LOOK EFFORTLESS. THEN, AGAIN, THERE WAS THE OTHER END OF THE SPECTRUM.

ONE OF THESE INDIVIDUALS IMMEDIATELY STANDS OUT, WHENEVER I THINK ABOUT THIS SUBJECT. ONE THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET.

TERRY (NOT HIS REAL NAME) WAS A GEM. I CAN STILL SEE HIM HOLDING ‘COURT’ OVER A ROOM OF EMT STUDENTS, IMPARTING HIS ‘WISDOM’ IN A MANNER THAT, TO THOSE NOT ‘IN THE KNOW’, WAS FULL OF GREAT TIPS AND KNOWLEDGE FROM A GRIZZLED VETERAN. TRUTH BE KNOWN, TERRY WAS A MARGINAL TECH, AT BEST; AND FAR FROM A VETERAN. DON’T GET ME WRONG, WHEN IT CAME TO THE DIDACTIC END OF THE JOB, HE WAS TOP DRAWER. WHEN HE TRIED TO WORK IT TO THE STREET, HOWEVER, THERE WAS AN ISSUE. HIS CALLS WERE A NIGHTMARE OF INDECISION AND CHAOS. SOMEHOW, HE JUST NEVER SEEMED TO BE ABLE TO PUT IT TOGETHER. HOWEVER, WHEN THE HEAT WAS OFF, HIS BATTLESHIP MOUTH WAS SURE TO OVER LOAD HIS ROW BOAT ASS. YOU COULD COUNT ON IT.

WELL, BEING AS I AM, THIS BRAVADO BEHAVIOR BOTHERED ME TO NO END. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE TYPE TO LIVE IN A ‘PUT UP OR SHUT UP’ TYPE WORLD. I DON’T NEED TO EXPLAIN THIS, I’M SURE.

I TOOK MY FRUSTRATION WITH TERRY TO MY PARTNER, THE GUY WHO TAUGHT ME EMERGENCY MEDICINE, WHEN I WAS A ‘PUP’ AND CONSIDERED, BY ALL, TO BE THE ‘REAL DEAL’. HE LET ME VENT FOR 10 MINUTES OR SO, CALMLY LIT HIS CIGARETTE AND QUIETLY SAID, ‘DON’T YOU SEE HOW MUCH YOU CAN LEARN FROM TERRY?’

HUH?? ARE YOU SHI**ING ME?? WHAT COULD I POSSIBLY LEARN FROM TERRY?? HOW TO TURN A ROUTINE CALL INTO A DISASTER?? MY VENUNCULAR PARTNER SAID, “SIMPLE. YOU CAN LEARN FROM TERRY BY SEEING WHAT HE DOES WRONG AND MAKING SURE YOU DON’T DO IT YOURSELF!’. SIMPLE AND BRILLIANT! I HAD NEVER THOUGHT OF IT IN THAT LIGHT. THAT CHANGED MY WHOLE THOUGH PROCESS, FROM THEN ON.

WHAT MADE ME THINK OF THIS IS DUE TO THE RECENT BOOM OF ‘SOCIAL MEDIA’, I HAVE NOTICED MORE AND MORE FROM ‘YOU TUBE’ VIDEOS THAT PEOPLE POST THEIRS LIFTS, EXERCISES OR WORKOUTS. AS WITH MY EXPERIENCES IN THE ER WORLD, THEY, TOO, RUN THE GAMET FROM GOOD, TO POOR, TO, DOWNRIGHT, DANGEROUS!

ONE NEEDS TO BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THESE ‘KEY BOARD’ EXPERTS. THEY MAY VERY WELL BE LEGITIMENT BUT SOME COMMON SENSE NEEDS TO BE APPLIED.

SO, THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE OR HEAR ABOUT AN INDIVIDUAL THAT DID SOMETHING YOU DEEM DANGEROUS OR SILLY, REMEMBER THIS…….

YOU CAN LEARN FROM ANYBODY. YOU JUST HAVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.

EPILLOGUE………………….SOME YEARS LATER, I FOUND OUT THAT I HAD ONE MORE THING TO LEARN FROM TERRY.

ONE RAINY NIGHT WHEN TERRY AND HIS PARTNER WERE WORKING A MOTOR VEHCLE ACCIDENT IN SOUTHERN TEXAS, AN ELDERLY MAN, DRIVING A PICK UP, WAS CONFUSED BY THE RAIN, THE DARK AND THE FLASHING LIGHTS. TERRY SAW THE CAR COMING DIRECTLY AT THEM AND COULD HAVE, EASILY, JUMPED CLEAR. INSTEAD, HE SCREAMED A WARNING AND WITH ONE DESPERATE, MIGHTY SHOOVE, HE PROPELLED THE CART, WITH THE PATIENT ON IT, INTO HIS PARTNER. THE MOTION KNOCKED BOTH THE PATIENT AND HIS PARTNER WELL CLEAR OF THE ONCOMING MISSLE, WITH NOT AN INSTANT TO SPARE. TERRY WAS CRUSHED BETWEEN THE CAR AND HIS UNIT. HE DIED INSTANTLY.

IN THE END, HE TAUGHT THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON OF ALL. “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” JOHN 15:13

Zercher Classic

by Al Myers

ZERCHER STRENGTH CLASSIC

The Zercher Strength Classic, the oldest meet in the USAWA, just concluded with another year of competition. This long-standing meet has been a fixture at Clark’s Gym since the early 80’s to honor the St. Louis Strongman Ed Zercher.

Four brave lifters showed to tackle this 13 event affair – all held over the course of one day.  Joe Garcia came out the champion of the meet, with a 7470 pound total. Newcomer Dave Emslie came in second over a couple of wily veterans Bill Clark and Al Springs. Bill Clark commented in a letter to me with the results that Dave “may be a tough competitor in the future in many lifts.”

I was glad to see Bill lifting in the meet.  He put up a solid hip lift of 805 pounds, even though he commented in his letter that he had hoped to get 1000 pounds, but said he must be careful with the replaced hip and broken femur. For those unaware of Bill’s joint replacements, he has had more than most people have fingers!

Afterwards there was a record day session, as if the 13 event Zercher meet wasn’t enough! Many new USAWA/IAWA records were set by Joe, Bill, and Dave.  It looked like a great day of lifting!

MEET RESULTS:

Zercher Strength Classic
Clark’s Gym
Columbia, MO
March 29th, 2014

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Officials: Bill Clark, Joe Garcia

Lifts: Leg Press, Clean and Press- Heels Together, Continental to Chest and Jerk, Deadlift – One Arm, Hack Lift, Deadlift – heels Together, Zercher Lift, Steinborn, Bench Press – Feet in Air, Hand and Thigh, Neck Lift, Hip Lift, Harness Lift

Joe Garcia Dave Emslie Bill Clark Al Springs
AGE 60 73 81 72
BWT 214 175 238 196
Leg Press 400 400 200 300
C&P 155 95 —– 95
C&J 165 105 —– ——
DL-1 225R 225R 155R 155R
Hack 280 250 185 250
DL-HT 280 250 135 250
Zercher 225 200 —– 125
Steinborn 145 105 —– 105
BP-FIA 215 165 100 135
H&T 1175 475 325 400
Neck 405 235 100 145
Hip 1665 805 805 705
Harness 2065 1105 1105 875
TOTAL 7470 4270 3105 3545
ADJ PTS 7779.6 5524.9 3587.2 4234.4

NOTES:  All lifts in pounds. BWT is bodyweight in pounds. ADJ PTS are adjusted points corrected for age and bodyweight.

RECORD DAY LIFTS

Bill Clark

Crucifix 10lbs
Curl – Cheat 45 lbs
Deanna Lift 235 lbs.
Deadlift – Left Arm 155 lbs.

Dave Emslie

Crucifix 50 lbs.
Curl – Cheat 95 lbs.
Deanna Lift 430 lbs.
Deadlift 215 lbs.
Deadlift – No Thumbs 265 lbs.
Deadlift – Middle Fingers 145 lbs.
Deadlift – Ring Fingers 145 lbs.
Deadlift – Index Fingers 145 lbs.
Pullover – Stiff Arms 65 lbs.
Pullover and Press – Wrestlers Bridge 65 lbs.

Joe Garcia

Crucifix 70 lbs.
Curl – Cheat 135 lbs.
Deanna Lift 430 lbs.
Deadlift – Fulton DB, Left Arm 157 lbs.
Saxon Snatch 65 lbs.
Brick Holdout – Right Arm 14 lbs.
Brick Holdout – Left Arm 14 lbs.

Dave Beversdorf

Leg Press 700 lbs.

Bryan Mann

Leg Press 700 lbs.
Bench Press – Feet in Air 325 lbs.

It is not the critic who counts

by Eric Todd

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”-Teddy Roosevelt

This quote by President Roosevelt was introduced to me by Coach Fallein, my high school wrestling coach. It always stuck with me, I guess because I was competitive in nature. One could argue that through this quote, a parallel can be drawn between weightlifting and life.
There has been more than one occasion where I have witnessed someone who weightlifting (or another competitive avenue) came easy to. They try it a few times, whip the competition, and then disappear into the night. My first thought always was that if I was that natural at something, I would do it as much as possible, and be the best in the world. But alas, it was not to be and I had to scratch and claw for every PR and victory I have achieved. So why did these guys disappear? While pondering this question with colleagues, we determined that the success had come too easy for these guys. They had not felt the sting of failure. They did not have to go back to the gym, back to the drawing board, refocus and re-attack. Thus when they re-entered the arena and were victorious, they knew not of the contrast between the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

It is those hills and valleys that make our companionship with the weights so rewarding. Clearly, winning is the goal. But the ride to get there is what it is all about. Am I satisfied with a win if I did not lift as I am capable? There have been a time or two (no more) that I was almost satisfied with second, as I performed above and beyond anything I could have hoped for, the other guys was just better (which stings a bit anyhow). Throughout it all, though, you have got to allow yourself to enjoy the ride.

There was a time in 2003, when I was just off winning my weight class at strongman nationals. I was top 3 overall, 1 point out of second, and the first place guy received his pro card. I knew that I was going to go pro at my next contest. I poured all my eggs into 2003 Lumberjack days in Stillwater, MN. I trained like a maniac for this contest; I could not lose. I knew Dave Ostlund (of World’s strongest Man fame) would be there, and he was tough, just coming off a top 3 placement in his weight class at nationals, but I was 2 and 0 against him, and knew I could make it 3 in a row. Well, the meet came and went. I ended up 3rd. I lifted fairly well, but it just was not enough. I was devastated. I had to regroup and do some soul searching. I had to re-prioritize things, and decide if I was even going to get back to the drawing board. This loss stung.

I am glad I chose to remain stalwart in my pursuit of strength. I tried a few more times for my heavyweight pro card, and was close, achieving a couple second place finishes. Ultimately, I chose to drop to the new 105 kilo division, and within half a year, I had earned my pro card at the 2005 Monsters of the Midwest. It happened in the most dramatic of fashions. Me and Dino Nick were tied going into the final event: the Atlas Stones. I had gone first and put up a quick time. However, when Nick started, he was on pace to beat me. He was on pace until the final stone, and he just was not quite able to load it. Believe me, at that moment, I was at the top of the world. That peak was so high, because of the depth of the valleys.

The highs and lows, that is the spice of our lives. I love living in the country in Missouri. I love seeing the seasons change. The May days that are sunny and in the seventies are so much sweeter because of the blizzards in January. The peaks are made remarkable because of the valleys we are made to toil through.

A couple years ago, right before thanksgiving, Mom called and said she would not be able to watch Phoebe the next day as she was not feeling well. Well we scrambled to make alternate plans, but something in the back of my mind kept me a little worried about Ma. Any of you who know her know that she is never sick, or at least wont hardly admit to being, and NOTHING will stand in the way of her time with her grandbabies. So I felt that something as a bit off. Well, I called the next day, and she was clearly not well. I talked her into going into the ER, and she ended up having an emergency surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from her colon. Though surgery went as well as could be expected, it was an invasive surgery, and she had to spend some time in ICU recovering.

I spent a lot of time at the hospital over that holiday break, spending time with ma, and spending time with dad. He clearly was worried. He had been a bit ill himself, with what appeared to be something respiratory. Dad, Jennifer, and Phoebe ate Thanksgiving dinner at Cameron Regional Medical Center that year. Me and Dad stayed most of the day, and into the night. We then made our way home, and I to bed, trying to get a little sleep, as during this time I had been lacking. At around midnight; however, I was awakened by the telephone. It was Dad. He asked me to take him to the ER. We went in, and as it turns out, his affliction was not respiratory at all. He had atrial fibrillation which was causing his heart to go crazy, and as it turns out it was a miracle he did not have a heart attack. So, that night, I got to move dad into the ICU next to Mom. I spent the rest of the night going back and forth to the hospital getting medications, clothes, etc. I finally was able to sleep around 8:00 in the morning. Those days were some dark ones. It was tough keeping everything together and trudging on through. I was in a valley.
Mom and Dad both recovered miraculously. They are both are doing wonderful. I enjoy each and every minute I get to spend with them. I have a beautiful wife and two amazing kids. I have a job I love, and get to lift for fun. I am not lifting the best I ever have, but am still confident my best years are ahead of me. My life is a grand one. Those valleys I have been to let me know just how glorious these peaks can be.

I can tell you this, learning to deal with the peaks and valleys in sport goes a great deal toward teaching us how to deal with adversity in our lives. Getting my tail kicked on the wrestling mat (I can tell you, it is personal-you physically get your tail beat by another individual, saying he is the better man that day) on the football field, the track, in the weightlifting arena, and having to figure out how to deal with it and come back from it has helped teach me how to face the trials and tribulations in life. And it has shown me just how precious each victory, no matter how small, can be.

The rest of the story….

by Eric Todd

Growing up, when we listened to the radio, it was always 61 Country (an AM station out of KC) or KMRN (a local AM station). On both of those stations, I enjoyed listening to Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story”. Last year, I wrote an article called “Where Do We Go?” that detailed some of the reasons that I feel our membership in the USAWA is not terribly substantial. Well, in this article, I would like to discuss “The Rest of the Story”, benefits of all-round that draw lifters to the USAWA.

The USAWA offers something for everyone. Everyone has their own strengths. There are a multitude of lifts in the USAWA across many different aspects of strength. There are grip lifts, heavy lifts, 2 man lifts, dumbbell lifts, and barbell lifts. There are eccentric lifts and very standard lifts (variations of the Olympic and powerlifting movements). So there are many different ways to demonstrate your strength. One should never be bored doing all-round. Even if you have an injury, or are limited in some way, you should be able to find some way to excel in the USAWA.

Secondly, the USAWA is drug tested. If you are new to the USAWA, you will probably be tested. IF you have dramatic increases in your lifts, you will probably be tested. Please take no offense. It is how we maintain the integrity of our drug free organization. I, for one, take a great deal of comfort knowing that I am lifting on an even playing field with other drug free lifters.

There is definitely camaraderie, a brotherhood, whilst lifting in the USAWA. It is a small enough organization that you get to know most of the good folks lifting within it. Because of this, the meets are not only competitions, they are like family reunions. I want to out lift the other competitors, but I am rooting for them all the while to lift their very best. It is the best environment to be lifting in.

Then there are the Heavy Lifts. No other organization has them, to my knowledge. If you want to inflate your ego a little, and swell up in the chest, do some Heavy lifting. Through no other means will you lift as much. I have done a ton or more in 4 lifts now, and I am not close to being the best of the best.

There is nothing more old school than lifting all-round. Because of that, you will get to lift in some of the coolest old school gyms you have ever seen. If you love the history behind weightlifting, some of our old school USAWA gyms are wealthy is weightlifting history. I know I have not been to all of them, but if you want to experience strength training and weightlifting history, visit Al’s Dino Gym, Clark’s championship gym, or the JWC Training Hall. I am sure there are many others in the USAWA.

The USAWA is a very unique organization for strength training. Sometimes it can be humbling, but is always a great time. For any strength enthusiast who has not tried competing in a USAWA meet, you are missing out. I suggest coming out. You will meet some great people and get to challenge yourself in ways you never had before.

Lifter of the Month: LaVerne Myers

by Al Myers

LaVerne Myers in action with a 300# Deadlift with the Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip at the 2013 Grip Championships (I did not get any pictures at the 2014 meet because I was busy being the head official, my apologizes).

March is over so it’s time to get the lifter of the month for February announced!  I had to think “long and hard” on this decision, but I’ve made the choice of choosing my father LaVerne Myers as the 2014 USAWA February Lifter of the Month. Now before you start accusing me of “playing favorites” in my choice let me tell you why!

The only USAWA competitions held in February were the Grip Championships and the Dino Gym Record Day, which were held “back to back” on a weekend in February. They were sanctioned as separate competitions. The Grip Championships is one of our Championship events held every year so I decided the lifter of the month should come from that meet.  LaVerne placed second in a very strong men’s field (9 lifters) that included guys like Dan Wagman, Eric Todd, Lance Foster, Dave Glasgow, Keith Thompson, Scott Tully, Dean Ross, and Mike Murdock, .  It was one of the best attended Grip Championships the USAWA has had. LaVerne placed second to the “unbeatable” Dan Wagman by only 6 points in the overall.  LaVerne had a great meet – with lifts of 123# Dumbbell Walk (the top lift in the meet), 280# Fulton DB DL, 253# one arm deadlift, and 165# middle fingers deadlift.

LaVerne receiving his award at the 2014 Grip Championships (left), presented by myself (right).

Congrats to LaVerne on a being the LIFTER OF THE MONTH!!!

Frank’s BBC RB

by Frank Ciavattone Sr.

MEET WRITEUP AND  RESULTS

Frank’s Barbell Club Record Breaker

This meet was held March 15, 2014. This meet had seven competitors, all showing up before 9:00 am. Immediately following weigh-in there was a pancake breakfast, enjoyed by all.

After that we had a list of records to be broken with a rules clinic. Lifting started promptly at 10:00 am. There were two female, two teenage and three male lifters. The women lifters did an outstanding job with newcomer Taylor Richards. She was inches away from breaking the all time Left Hand Ciavattone Lift with a weight of 167 pounds. Also not to be out-done was Colleen Lane, lifting with an injury still managed to compete.

In the teenage division we had two new members pulling off some great lifting which enabled them to get into the record books. Brenden McAuliffe, 16 years old and Matthew McCarthy, 18 years old, both lifted 1200 pounds in the Hip Lift with very little training before this meet.

In the open division we have returning lifter Joseph Ciavattone, Jr. Joesph did some unusual USAWA lifts. Joe Sr. also performed some extraordinary gripping strength and pressing movements.

Last but not least, Frank Ciavattone, Sr. Meet Director, due to injury performed a couple of lifts, all with ease and impressive form, leaving the crowd in awe.

The two referees were Joe Ciavattone Sr. and Frank Ciavattone Sr. Everyone that attended truly was amazed at the lifting and comradeship had by all. The meet ended with a buffet style banquet. All food at this meet was prepared by one of the lifters, Colleen Lane, which helped to round out this outstanding day of lifting.

LIFTERS AND LIFTS:

Taylor Richards 23 years old,   194 lbs. BWT

Left Hand Ciavattone 153 pounds
Hip Lift 700 pounds

Colleen Lane 57 years old,  211 lbs. BWT

Left Hand Ciavattone 122 pounds
Right Hand Ciavattone 122 pounds

Brenden McAuliffe 16 years old, 178 lbs. BWT

Left Hand Ciavattone 166 pounds
Hip Lift 1200 pounds

Matthew McCarthy 18 years old,  213 lbs. BWT

Two Hand Ciavattone 375 pounds
Hip Lift 1200 pounds

Joseph Ciavattone Jr. 20 years old,  218 lbs. BWT

Clean and Seated Press 200 pounds
2 inch Clean and Press 208 pounds
Close Grip Bench 270 pounds

Joe Ciavattone Sr. 45 years old,  225 lbs. BWT

Left Hand Ciavattone 218 pounds
Fulton Lift Left Hand 166 pounds
Fulton Lift Right Hand 142 pounds
2 inch Clean and Press 168 pounds
Close Grip Bench 240 pounds

Frank Ciavattone Sr. 59 years old, 285 lbs. BWT

Left Hand Fulton Lift 166 pounds
Right Hand Fulton Lift 166 pounds
Hands Together Bench 180 pounds

Presidential Cup

by Al Myers

Denny took me to one of his favorite places last year at the Presidential Cup, and as you can tell from this picture, we had a good time at the Downtown Lounge!!!

Our Prez Denny Habecker has sanctioned this year’s Presidential Cup again!  The President’s Cup is the KING of USAWA Record Days.  I like to think of it as the CHAMPIONSHIP OF RECORD DAYS in the USAWA.   It is under direction to be promoted by the USAWA President, with the lift that impresses the President the most being recognized as the winner of the Presidential Cup.

The meet will be held at Denny’s private gym – Habecker’s Gym.  The number of different lifts one can perform is up to the number of lifters that enter and time allotment.  Come prepared to do at least 4 or 5 for record purposes as that is usually the number each lifter gets with the turnout of lifters in the past. Maybe you will get to join this exclusive list of past winners!!!

PAST PRESIDENTIAL CUP WINNERS:

2012 – Dale Friesz

2013 – Art Montini

There is no entry form or entry fees for this meet, but please contact Denny ahead of time if you plan to attend.

ARNOLD’S MULTI-RINGED CIRCUS

BY DAVE GLASGOW

The heart of team HASA, Dave Glasgow throwing at the Arnold (photo and caption by Larry Ventress)

I HAVE HEARD OF ‘THE ARNOLD’ ALMOST FROM THE BEGINNING, ALL SORTS OF STORIES AND RECOLLECTIONS FROM THOSE THAT HAVE MADE THE TREK. I NEVER FIGURED I WOULD MAKE THE JOURNEY MYSELF, AS LARGE CROWDS ARE JUST NOT MY STYLE. HOWEVER, WHEN I MADE THE CUT TO BE ONE OF THE FIRST GROUP OF AMATEUR THROWERS FOR A HIGHLAND GAMES AT THE ARNOLD, I FIGURED THIS TO BE A ONCE IN A LIFE TIME ENDEAVOR. (I WANT TO QUALIFY, RIGHT NOW, THAT I WAS NOT ONE OF THE FIRST TO BE INVITED. THERE WAS A ‘DROP OUT’, SO I GOT THE NOD.)

SO, OFF TO OHIO I GO. LUCKILY FOR ME, CHAD ULLOM HAD BEEN CHOSEN AS WELL AND WITH THOM VAN VLECK FOR SUPPORT, WE WERE ON OUR WAY. NOT TO BE LEFT OUT, LARRY ‘FLOYD’ TRAUB CAME FOR THE RIDE, SO, AS YOU CAN SEE, CHADER AND I HAD ALL THE SUPPORT WE NEEDED!

WE PROCEDED TO THE EXPO HALL ON SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND THE STORIES I HAD HEARD WERE, INDEED, TRUE. TO CALL THIS A FREAK SHOW IS QUITE AN UNDERSTATEMENT. EVERY POWER AND STRENGTH SPORT YOU COULD IMAGINE WAS REPRESENTED. THIRTEEN HUNDRED BOOTHS FOR ANYTHING RELATED TO THOSE AFOREMENTIONED SPORTS WERE LINED UP AS FAR AS THE EYE COULD SEE. I HAD NO EARTHLY CONCEPT THAT THERE WERE THAT MANY PROTEIN POWDERS AVAILABLE!!

NOW, AS STATED EARLIER, I HAVE NO DESIRE TO ATTEND THIS TYPE GATHERING SO QUITE A FEW OF THE THINGS I SAW WERE NOTEWORTHY. FOR EXAMPLE, I HAD NO IDEA THAT WOMEN COULD HAVE A ‘TWELVE PAK”. NOT A SIX PAK, MIND YOU, BUT A TWELVE PAK!! HOWEVER, RIGHT THERE, BOYS AND GIRLS, IN THE FLESH, STOOD NOT ONE, BUT TWO FEMALES WITH MORE MUSCULATURE IN THEIR ABDOMINAL AREA THAN, WELL, I HAVE. PERIOD.

SPANDEX!!!? YOU WANT SPANDEX? THIS PLACE COULD HAVE CARPETED THE VAST HALLS AND HAD MATERIAL LEFT OVER! TATOOS AND THE FAKE ‘LAT SPREAD’. THOSE GUYS HAD TO HAVE BEEN TIRED AT THE END OF THE DAY!! FOLKS STANDING IN LINE FOR 30 MINUTES FOR FREE STUFF. REALLY!!? NOT THIS GUY.

POLE FITNESS. MR. TRAUB TOOK AN IMMEDIATE INTEREST IN THIS ACTIVITY. I HAD NEVER HEARD OF ‘POLE FITNESS’, OUTSIDE OF WHAT I HAD HEARD WENT ON AT ‘GENTLEMAN’S’ CLUBS. BUT THERE IT WAS! IN THE FLESH, BABY! LITERALLY(YES, THEY WERE CLOTHED BUT JUST BARELY (PUN INTENDED). UNBELIEVEABLE. NOW, I REALLY DID’NT UNDERSTAND IT BUT I OVER HEARD ONE YOUNG LADY TELL ANOTHER THAT IT WAS THE ‘PERFECT EXERCISE’ FOR TOTAL FITNESS. OK. I’LL TAKE YOUR WORD FOR IT. I MEAN, REALLY, COULD THE CREATOR OF ‘POLE FITNESS’, ‘BAD KITTY’ (I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP), BE WRONG?

I WOULD HAVE REALLY LIKED TO HAVE SEEN SOME OLY LIFTING AND THE COMBAT SPORTS, BUT THIS WAS JUST NOT THE VENUE FOR THE AVERAGE ONLOOKER. THE PLACE WAS, ABSOLUTELY, PACKED. WE STAYED, AND HAD PRETTY GOOD SEATS, FOR THE PRO DEAD LIFT COMPETITION. THAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE! JUST VERY AWE INSPIRING.

NOW, FRIENDS, I WILL NOT GO INTO THE GAMES A WHOLE LOT, AS THIS IS NOT A ‘GAMES’ WEB SITE, HOWEVER, I WOULD LIKE TO NOTE THAT THIS WAS THE FIRST OF MARCH IN OHIO. WE KNEW THE WEATHER WOULD NOT BE CONDUSIVE TO OPTIMAL THROWING OR GOOD MARKS. WE WERE CORRECT IN THAT ASSUMPTION! NEAR WHITE OUT CONDITIONS GREETED US FROM THE GET GO. REGARDLESS, OVER 60 ATHLETES IN 5 DIFFERENT CLASSES TOOK TO THE FIELD. MY ONLY COMMENT TO THIS MADNESS WAS TO SAY, ‘WELL, SOMEDAY, WE WILL LOOK BACK AND TELL ONE ANOTHER, “REMEMBER THE ARNOLD IN ’14!!?”

WOULD I GO BACK?? I DOUBT IT. I SAW AND DID WHAT I WENT TO DO. THAT’S ENOUGH FOR ME.

HOWEVER, IF ‘BAD KITTY’ CALLED AND WANTED ME TO CRITIQUE HER GIRLS, I MAY HAVE TO RECONSIDER!!

Lifter of the Month: Dave Glasgow

by Al Myers

Dave Glasgow with a 1200 pound Harness Lift at the 2014 Dino Gym Challenge in January.

Congrats goes to Dave Glasgow for being the USAWA Lifter of the Month for January!!  Dave competed in the Dino Gym Challenge in January – the tribute to Warren Lincoln Travis.  Along with competing, Dave encouraged other Ledaig Club members to attend (Larry Traub, Doug Kressly, and Logan Kressly).  Without Dave’s support of this meet – it would not have been the success it was!  Dave has been one of the most active members in the USAWA these past few years and has promoted several meets (including last year’s Club Championships).  He is well-deserving of this award, and is a great representative of the organization.

Postal Series 2013

by Al Myers

Dan Wagman performing a 350 pound Reverse Grip Bench Press at the recent Dino Gym Record Day.

As the first quarterly postal meet of 2014 is less than 30 days from being completed, I finally got the results from the 2013 Postal Series tabulated.  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.  The first Postal Meet had 17 lifters, the second had 9 lifters, the third had 9 lifters, and the Postal Championship drew 11 lifters.   Several lifters competed in ALL of the postal meets last year and they deserve to be recognized.  These lifters are Ruth Jackson, Dan Wagman, Sam Rogers, Orie Barnett, Denny Habecker, and John Wilmot.

Now for the overall rankings for the 2013 USAWA Postal Series!

WOMENS DIVISION – TOP TWO

PLACING LIFTER MEETS ENTERED POINTS
1 Ruth Jackson 4 6
2 Gabby Jobe 1 1

MENS DIVISION – TOP TEN

PLACING LIFTER MEETS ENTERED POINTS
1 Dan Wagman 4 51
2 Orie Barnett 4 35
3 Al Myers 2 32
4 Sam Rogers 4 30
5 Barry Bryan 2 29
6 Chad Ullom 2 26
7 Eric Todd 3 22
8 Denny Habecker 4 18
9 John Wilmot 4 15
10 Les Cramer 2 15

Congrats to Ruth Jackson and Dan Wagman for being the OVERALL WINNERS of the 2013 USAWA Postal Series.  On top of winning the series both of these lifters won EACH and EVERY Postal Meet of 2013!  That has never been done before in the history of the USAWA Postal Series.

Ruth Jackson new USAWA Official

by Al Myers

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

National Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2014 USAWA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Tim Piper (left), meet promoter of the 2014 USAWA National Championships, and Al Myers (right) at last years meet at the Salvation Army Gym.

The date has been set – June 21st – so mark this day off your calendar and make plans to attend the USAWA Nationals in Macomb, Illinois. Tim Piper, of the Salvation Army Gym, will be this years host and meet director.  Macomb is the perfect location for our National Championships since it is located in the center of USAWA activity.  It’s within driving range for practically everyone.

Tim has planned a one day meet with 6 lifts. The lifts chosen are very traditional all round lifts, and lifts most everyone should like.  Tim is a very seasoned meet promoter and I know he will have everything planned and organized well for a great day of lifting for everyone.

LIFTS:

Crucifix
Snatch – One Arm (Barbell)
Clean and Push Press
Jefferson Lift – Fulton Bar
Curl – Cheat
Zercher Lift

ENTRY FORM – USAWA 2014 Nationals-Macomb IL

Texas Power Bar

by Al Myers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dino Gym RD

by Al Myers

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall, a great day for the everyone!!!

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

MEET RESULTS:

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

Meet Director: Al Myers

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

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Lifters and Lifts:

Ruth Jackson – 52 years old, 108 lbs. BWT

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

Logan Kressly – 14 years old, 168 lbs. BWT

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

Dan Wagman – Open, 184 lbs. BWT

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

Doug Kressly – 34 years old, 286 lbs. BWT

Teeth Lift: 179 lbs.

Chad Ullom – 42 years old, 255 lbs. BWT

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

Grip Championships

by Al Myers

2014 USAWA GRIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

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

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

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

Awards given at the Grip Champs to the Overall Winners.

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

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS:

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

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): Al Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

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

WOMENS DIVISION

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

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORD

Ruth Jackson: Deadlift-Middle Fingers 100#

MENS DIVISION

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

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORD

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

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

Heavy Lift Championships

by Al Myers

I’m excited to be hosting the 2014 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships.  This is my first opportunity to be able to host this long time prestigious event.  The Heavy Lift Championships are to recognize the best “heavy lifters” in the USAWA.  Three lifts have become the traditional format for this meet over the past few years – Neck Lift, Hand and Thigh, and the Hip Lift.   The meet will be held in the Dino Gym on the heavy lift platform – which is the part of the gym DEDICATED to the heavy lifts only.  The nice thing about that is there will be no weights to move for a setup as it’s all there in place, and no heavy cleanup required afterwards.  That will give everyone more time to just enjoy the meet and commit all energies to their lifting.

MEET DETAILS:

Meet Director: Al Myers

Meet Date: Saturday, May 3rd, 2014    9:00 AM – 1:00 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:  8:00-9:00 AM the day of the meet. Lifting will start at 9:00 AM

Divisions: Junior, Senior, and Masters Age Groups

Awards: Championship Certificates

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

Lifts:

Neck Lift

Hand and Thigh Lift

Hip Lift

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

Zercher Strength Classic

by Al Myers

Bill and Joe have made plans to host the annual Zercher Strength Classic at Clark’s Gym on March 29th.  The date is later this year than usual – which hopefully will help with the attendance.  The ”traditional day”   often fell on Super Bowl weekend which might hinder those passionate football fans from attending, and having it later will help avoid those nasty winter storms in Missouri.   This meet has a deep history in the USAWA, and could be said to be the meet that “started it all”.  Many great all rounders got their start by entering the Zercher.  It contains 13 hard all round lifts to be completed.  Bill stated in his letter to me that the meet will be a one day affair this year.  So get a good night’s sleep,  eat a energy rich breakfast, strap on those lifting shoes tight,  and come prepared for a full day of lifting!!!

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Zercher Strength Classic and Record Day

Meet Director: Bill Clark and Joe Garcia

Date: Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Venue: Clark’s Gym, Columbia, Missouri

Weigh-ins: 8 – 9 AM

Start Time: 10 AM

Entry Fee: None

Entry Form: None

Awards: None

Membership: Must be a current USAWA Member

Lifts: Leg Press, Deadlift – One Arm, Deadlift – Heels Together, Hack Lift, Continental Clean and Jerk, Clean and Press – Heels Together, Zercher Lift, Steinborn Lift, Neck Lift, Hip Lift, Harness Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, and Bench Press – Feet in Air

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

Frank’s BBC Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Frank’s Barbell Club Championships

Meet Director: Frank Ciavattone

Meet Date: Saturday, March 15th

Location:

Frank’s Barbell Club

204 East Street, Walpole, MA 02032

Contact Frank if you plan to attend.

Year in Review

by Al Myers

Cover page for the 2013 USAWA Year in Review.

I’ve announced this in the USAWA Discussion Forum, but would like to as well in a blog so everyone is aware of the 2013 Year in Review.  I’ve compiled the entire year of 2013 in the USAWA (from all website stories) into a document for print.  I’m planning on taking it to the printers next week.  If anyone is interested in one of these “hard copies” please let me know so I can get a proper count for printing.  I only plan to do this once.  The price will be the cost of printing (I would guess around 50 dollars).  The book is over 400 pages long and contains all the website information from the past year – stories, meet results, etc.

If anyone would prefer just a digital copy of this – let me know and I’ll email it to you “free of charge”.

World Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

2014 IAWA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

There are many attractions in Boston and the surrounding area to fill several days of enjoyable sight seeing.

It’s exciting to be able to announce the 2014 IAWA World Championships – to be held September 27-28th in Norwood, MA.  Longtime meet promoter Frank Ciavattone Jr. will be the meet director.   Frank is a well-organized and seasoned promoter and has many things planned for the event. Frank is the type of  meet director that thinks of the lifters first and foremost.  You will NOT be disappointed.  It will be an epic weekend!

The events for the weekend are:

SATURDAY – DAY ONE

Cheat Curl

Pullover and Press

One Hand Deadlift

SUNDAY – DAY TWO

One Hand Clean and Jerk

Continental Clean and Jerk

Two Hand Ciavattone Lift

Frank has included meet information that includes local area attractions, a cover page that outlines all details of the meet, and an entry form.  The deadline for entering is September 1st (so don’t be late!!!!).

COVER PAGE (PDF)  - 2014 World Championships Cover Page

ENTRY FORM (PDF)  - 2014 World Championships Entry Form

AREA ATTRACTIONS (PDF) – 2014 World Championships Area Attractions

Joe the Turk OTSM

by Tim Piper

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT AND PRESS RELEASE

Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet

The Macomb Salvation Army will host the 2nd annual “Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet on April 19th. “Joe the Turk” was Macomb Illinois’ original “strongman” and holds a unique and special place in the history of the Macomb Salvation Army. At the turn of the 20th century Joe the Turk was in Macomb for a short time helping clean up the town of crooked laymen and henchmen. He did so by being unafraid of their tactics and standing steadfast in his belief that good would prevail. While he only spent a short time in Macomb it seemed fitting to name the United States All-round Weightlifting Association (USAWA) sanctioned meet in his honor.

If the weather permits, the meet will be held outside. Being that the meet is slated for April in Illinois this may be a long shot but our outside meets are always fun. We have a fun list of OTSM lifts scheduled as well as an optional record setter slated for the meet. Our local lifters are excited about the meet and we hope to recruit as many as possible to become USAWA members. Since the Salvation Army gym is hosting the 2014 Nationals this should give us a good opportunity to get more of our local gym members involved in the USAWA.

The lifts include:
Cyr Press
Anderson Squat
Hackenschmidt Floor Press
Peoples Deadlift

We know we are quite a trip for many USAWA lifters but all are welcome. If anyone needs help with directions or hotel information feel free to contact me at the phone and address on the entry form.

ENTRY FORM:  Joe the Turk OTSM 2014

Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2014 Dino Gym Challenge.

I was quite surprised by the turnout at this year’s Dino Gym Challenge.  On Saturday 8 brave lifters showed up to take on some of the favorite lifts of the famous old time strongman Warren Lincoln Travis.  I decided to have this meet in tribute to WLT – as he has always been one of my favorite old time strongmen.

The teeth lift was the first lift up – and as to the best of my knowledge has never been contested before in a USAWA competition (all USAWA records have been set at record days).  All of us had really no idea of what our capabilities were in this – but ET and myself ended up with the best lifts at 175 pounds.  I felt “maxed out” but ET has much more in him.  Doug Kressly took his third attempt at 95 pounds, and then a fourth record attempt at 155 pounds which he got! Dean Ross about lost a tooth. Larry Traub had the mouthpiece in backwards and cut up his chin with the connecting bolts.  Lance Foster was the smartest by saying “no can do”.

We then moved onto the finger lift with the middle finger using a ring.  It wasn’t really anyone’s favorite – but the lifting surprised me. Eric Todd had the best lift at 200 pounds, and Doug Kressly had a solid 180.   Several pulled skin off the favorite finger – with Dave Glasgow shedding the most blood. I thought I was going to have to get my hot iron to cauterize his wound for a while.

The Kennedy Lift was next on the agenda.  This is an exhibition lift (not an official USAWA lift) which follows the rules of the Peoples Deadlift except includes a straddle stance on the bar.  It was very well received.  I had the top lift at 750 pounds, followed by Larry’s 675. Young Logan Kressly was extremely impressive with his record attempt at 500 pounds. Everyone seemed to enjoy this lift, and by the positive response I got I’m going to propose it as a new OTSM lift.

Doug Kressly Harness lifting as Lance Foster waits his turn.

Now time for the BIG STUFF.  The Harness Lift and Back Lift were a couple of Travis’s favorites.  We started with the Harness.  It took a while to get everyone to figure out how to get the harness’s on, but once they did the lifting was outstanding!  I had the top harness at 2400.  Other impressive harness lifts were Doug’s at 1800, Larry at 1750, and Dave at 1200.  Lance gave an exceptional effort at 1605 to break a 20 year plus record held the one and only Tom Ryan who had held the record at 1600 from the 91 Zercher.  I told Lance I would make sure to tell Mr. Ryan that his harness lift record was no more.

The back lift very rarely gets the chance to be in meets (mainly because it requires a specialized machine!).  I had the top at 2200, followed by Doug at 2000.  However, the youngster Logan really impressed us the most with his 1600.  I told him he may be the best junior in the USAWA right now – and I expect him to be at Nationals to prove it! Dean Ross came into the day sporting a new pair of fire resistant lifting shoes  - and used them to good use to go over 1000 pounds in both the Harness and Back.  I don’t know of anyone else who has fire resistant lifting shoes, but then again, Ross the Boss tends to burn up the platform when he lifts!

I got to thank my dad LaVerne for “sitting in the chair” as head official all day.  He did a marvelous job and no one really gave him any crap.  He judged everyone very fairly, and didn’t give me any breaks either because I’m his sonny boy.  I was very impressed by the help the lifters provided in loading and putting stuff away afterwards.  We had a nice awards ceremony with each lifter getting a Dino Gym Tshirt and a hand made award by me featuring a metal cut-out of Warren Lincoln Travis.  It will be an award that will stand out in everyone’s trophy case (or should I say stand up?).  I know I had lots of fun at this meet – and like I commented on Facebook – “Days like today make me realize how much I like my USAWA family!”

MEET RESULTS:

Dino Gym Challenge
Dino Gym
Holland, Kansas
January 18th, 2014

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): LaVerne Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Lifts: Teeth Lift, Finger Lift – Middle, Kennedy Lift, Harness Lift, Back Lift

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Teeth Fing Kenn Harn Back TOT PTS
Al Myers 47 234 175 155 750 2400 2200 5680 5034.5
Larry Traub 60 206 95 170 675 1750 1300 3990 4242.3
Logan Kressly 15 166 95 95 450 1200 1500 3340 3831.4
Doug Kressly 34 286 95 180 550 1800 2000 4625 3433.6
Dave Glasgow 60 260 105 160 525 1200 950 2940 2763.7
Dean Ross 71 267 75 125 400 1010 1050 2660 2695.2
Lance Foster 48 330 0 155 500 1605 850 3110 2353.9
Eric Todd 39 260 175 200 500 1010 1050 2935 2282.8

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORD:

Logan Kressly: Teeth Lift 115#
Logan Kressly: Middle Finger Lift 105#
Logan Kressly: Kennedy Lift 500#
Logan Kressly: Harness Lift 1300#
Logan Kressly: Back Lift 1600#
Doug Kressly: Teeth Lift 155#
Lance Foster: Middle Finger Lift 170#

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in pounds. BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All Middle Finger Lifts done with right hand. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are overall adjusted points for age and bodyweight correction.

Postal Championships

by Al Myers

The results of the 2013 USAWA Postal Championships are in!!!  It’s been another good year of postal meets within the USAWA, with 11 lifters taking part in our postal meet grand finale.  The big winners in the Postal Championships are WOMEN – RUTH JACKSON and MEN – DAN WAGMAN.  Congrats to both of these exceptionally lifters for their big victories.  On top of their lifting talents, both Ruth and Dan are great representatives of the USAWA.

I want to mention some of the top lifts and other “stats”.  The biggest weight lifted in the one arm clean and jerk was 140 pounds by Chad Ullom and myself.  Chad had the heaviest dumbbell cheat curl at 210 pounds, and my 550 pound heels together deadlift was the heaviest lifted. Denny Habecker was the oldest lifter entered at 71 years of age, and Eric Todd was the youngest at 38.  Ruth was the lightest lifter entered at 107 pounds, and Lance Foster the heaviest at 330 pounds.

I especially want to thank John Wilmot in his “send off” meet as the USAWA Postal Director.  This position will be taken over by Denny Habecker for 2014.  John wrote me a short letter when sending me the results.  In it he said, “With Denny Habecker as the new Postal Meet Director the postal meets are in very good hands!”  I agree – and I am looking forward to another great year of postal meets in the USAWA.

MEET RESULTS

2013 USAWA Postal Championships
December 31st, 2013

Meet Director: John Wilmot

Lifts: Clean and Jerk – One Arm, Cheat Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Deadlift – Heels Together

Lifters with Certified Officials:
Barry Bryan – Certified Official Denny Habecker
Denny Habecker – Certified Official Barry Bryan
Al Myers – Certified Official Chad Ullom
Chad Ullom – Certified Official Al Myers
Eric Todd – Certified Official Lance Foster
Lance Foster -  Certified Official Eric Todd

Lifters with non-official judges:
Ruth Jackson – Judge Dan Wagman
Dan Wagman – Judge Ruth Jackson
Samuel Rogers – Judge Orie Barnett
John Wilmot – Judge Emile LeMoigne
Orie Barnett – Judge Samuel Rogers

WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT C&J CURL DL TOT PTS
Ruth Jackson 52 107 52-L 80 195 327 506.2

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT C&J CURL DL TOT PTS
Dan Wagman 50 183 115-L 180 505 800 833.3
Al Myers 47 236 140-R 170 550 860 758.9
Barry Bryan 55 196 121-R 150 402 673 706.1
Chad Ullom 42 257 140-R 210 500 850 685.1
Orie Barnett 52 236 85 160 425 670 618.6
Samuel Rogers 51 210 85 140 397 622 605.7
Eric Todd 38 256 131 180 400 711 557.6
John Wilmot 66 214 55-R 100 345 500 546.5
Denny Habecker 71 193 72-R 92 286 450 541.7
Lance Foster 48 330 75 150 350 575 445.6

NOTES:  BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts recorded in pounds. R & L stand for right and left. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are overall points adjusted for age and bodyweight.

1st Quarter Postal Meet

by Al Myers

There has been a big change this year in our USAWA Postal Meet Series.  John Wilmot has “stepped down” as the Postal Meet Director after many years of doing an excellent job in this capacity.  Our USAWA Postal Meets have become a BIG PART of the yearly USAWA schedule, with quarterly meets culminating in the final Postal Meet Championships in December.  Many USAWA lifters have taken part in some or all of these postal meets.  It has become a great tradition for the USAWA – with thanks going to John Wilmot for starting this tradition.

I was initially  concerned about the future of these events with John’s resignation.  But then – lo and behold – our USAWA President Denny Habecker agreed to taking the position of Postal Meet Director.  Denny has a long resume of being a very successful meet promoter, and this position is in no better hands than Denny’s.  I feel confidant that the future of the USAWA Postal Meets will be strong as long as Denny is in the position.

The first quarterly Postal Meet has been announced for the year.  The format will remain the same as before – with three lifts chosen per meet.  There are two single arm lifts in this meet – and you only need to do the lift the arm of your choosing.  Make sure to circle which arm you use on the entry form.

Also, the big difference is to remember to send your results to Denny from now on instead of John.

LIFTS:

Swing – Dumbbell, One Arm

Deadlift – No Thumbs, One Arm

Deadlift – 2 Bars

ENTRY FORM: 2014 1st Quarter Postal Entry Form

Art’s Birthday Bash

by Al Myers

2014 is barely underway and in the mail today I received a sanction request from Art Montini announcing his 2014 Annual Birthday Bash!  Art’s Birthday Bash is the longest running sanctioned event in the USAWA (besides our Nationals).  Last year Art celebrated his 86th birthday and he’s already in training for year number 87. 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” they sure don’t have an excuse.

MEET DETAILS:

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

DATE:  Sunday, October 12th, 2014

LIFTS: Record Day (max 5 lifts)

ENTRY FORM: 2014 Arts Birthday Bash Entry Form

Top Lifts of 2013

by Al Myers

Art proudly displaying his homemade Teeth Bit!

Today welcomes in a New Year, and  with it comes the excitement of another very promising year in the USAWA.   2013 had to be one of the best EVER in the history of the USAWA.  There were many great competitions and great individual performances.  Of the 22 official competitions that occurred in 2013 in the USAWA, I was a participant or attended 18 of them!

As I’m sitting here sipping a cup of coffee in the early morning hours of 2014 (my internal clock would not allow me to sleep in!), I’m reflecting on some of the fantastic lifts I was able to witness “first hand” in the USAWA in 2013.  It didn’t take me long to come up with a list of over 20, but I’m gonna narrow the list today to the TOP TEN lifts that impressed me the most. I want to reiterate  that this is MY LIST of the lifts that I was able to watch, and only reflects my viewpoints.  Many, many others were extremely impressive that did not make the list. A few individual lifters had multiple lifts that impressed me, but I’m only including THE ONE that impressed me the most by an individual lifter.  It took me three times as long to come up with my list as it did to write this blog!  Here it goes – counting down from number ten:

10. Lance Foster and his 575# Dinnie Lift at the OTSM Championships

This had to be one of the most tenacious lifts of the year.  Lance struggled at the Battle of the Barn with the Dinnie Lift, but came back a month or so later to up his performance by 75 pounds! If the USAWA offered a TRUE GRIT AWARD Lance would win it.

9.  Jera Kressly and Logan Kressly 600# heels together deadlift at the Team Championships.

Jera and Logan did this mixed pair (man/woman) lift quite easily at the Team Champs.  I should mention that Logan was only 15 at the time!  That’s a big deadlift for any mixed pair with a normal stance – let alone having the heels together!

8.  James Fuller and his 60 KG Bent Press at the Gold Cup.

James has been on a mission to mastering the Bent Press this year.  The Bent Press is one of the MOST old and obscure lifts of all round lifting.  Very few even know how to go about doing one.  I first saw James bent pressing Frank’s axle at the Heavies, with was extremely cumbersome to handle.  I was going to include that effort instead of this one for James, but his Gold Cup lift really deserves it more as it was done in a big competition.  It won’t be long before James puts up the highest Bent Press record of All Time in the USAWA.

7.  Joe Ciavattone Sr. and his 805# Neck Lift at the Heavy Lift Championships.

This HAD to make my list.  Joe is one of the best neck lifters in USAWA history, and held the overall record for many years.  To come back and hit a personal record now several years later shows true ability.  I was glad to be able to witness his lift (as I had not seen his previous record lift).

6.  Troy Goetsch and his 260# one handed Vertical Bar Lift at the Grip Championships.

I’ve seen many great VB lifts in the past, but Troy’s is one of the best.  Troy won the overall lifter at the Grip Champs, and his VB was the lift that I will remember from him on that day.

5.  Frank Ciavattone and his 202.5 KG Ciavattone Grip Deadlift at Nationals.

Frank still has some great lifting in him, as shown with this big lift at our National Championships which is named after him.  I never get tired of watching Frank do Ciavattone Grip Deadlifts – and this is one I’ll never forget.

4.  Dan Wagman and his 120# Pullup at the Dino Gym Record Day.

YES – that’s 120 pounds strapped to the waist and then performing a pullup with the chin OVER the bar with no kipping!!! And hold for a down command!  Not too many around could even come close to this performance of Dan’s.  I’ve seen a lot of great lifting out of Dan and often what he does does not surprise me – but this pullup did!

3.  Joe Ciavattone Jr. and the 1400# Hand and Thigh Lift at the Heavy Lift Championships.

Junior doesn’t realize yet that he will be a future superstar of the USAWA, but I see it.  His untapped strength is unreal, and this big H&T proves it.  He just finished with a 1200 at the meet,  I gave him a couple of tips between lifts, and then he adds 200 pounds and gets it easily!  Impressive to say the least…

2.  Eric Todd and this 1000# Neck Lift at the Battle of the Barn II.

ET has put up 1000 pound Neck Lifts before several times – but this one was done with rules beyond those of the USAWA.   He cleared the floor substantially, and then HELD the lift for over 2 full seconds recorded on a stop watch.  I’m still shaking my head after seeing that effort!

1.  Art Montini and his 107# Teeth Lift at the Presidential Cup.

All I can say is that I still don’t know how he did this!  Art is 85 years old and has FALSE TEETH.  This lift won him the Presidential Cup of the USAWA for the year, and I would say deserving of the lift that impressed me the most!  Art has been one of the most active lifters in the USAWA this year – attending most of the championship events, attending the “Big Three” (Nationals, Worlds, and the Gold Cup), and still involved with promoting his annual Birthday Bash.  He has a deeper resume than anyone in the history of the USAWA, and I’m glad to name Art’s lift as the most impressive lift of 2013.  Congrats Art!!

Perfect Powerful Pulls

by John McKean

Little known Pennsylvania lifter Jim Dorn of the 1963 era pressing 300 pounds!

Audience chanting called a halt to the proceedings at the 1963 Senior National Weightlifting Championships. No, not due to a poor judging decision, nor a new record lift. Rather the mere appearance of a little known 181 pound wonder named Jim Dorn created this immediate stir. The uninformed in the crowd assumed him to be a bodybuilder, rather than the dedicated olympic lifting stylist that he was, yet everyone demanded to see him flex his wing like lats! Heck, even the normally gruff, stoic John Terpak later wrote that Dorn had “unquestionably the broadest back in the world for his height and weight”! Fortunately the MC of the evening was Bob Hoffman, who was more than happy to promote one of his York team members, and to plug his top selling power racks (on which Dorn trained exclusively)! Of course the packed auditorium went berserk when the 5′7″ phenomenon flexed those lats, seeming wider than he was tall.

What an all-rounder Jim would have made! In addition to a 315 pound press, 285 pound snatch, and a North American Championship title (among others), Dorn performed a 275 pound cheat curl (205 strict), a 670 pound parallel squat (with hands on thighs), and a 405 pound jerk off the rack. And when pushed into it by Coach Hoffman, later took the Mr. Pennsylvania crown. Hard to believe that this type of power and physique were built primarily with mostly single holds inside a power rack, using 8 key partial lifts!

As indicated in an early 60s Strength & Health story, Jim’s usual home training featured only these power rack holds and ONE SET OF ONE format: top press 520 X 1, eye level press 360 X 1, chin level press 520 X 1,quarter squat 1000 X 6, middle pull 420 X1, front squat (from bottom up) 390 X 3, deadlift (just off floor for the start) with shrug 670 X 1, and bench press (starting from a rack pin 4″ above chest) 470 X1. On each of the single rack holds, he held either just off starting pins, into a slightly higher rack pin, or maintaining a support (as in the top press and quarter squat) for 10 SECONDS. Oh yeah, he finished each session with a set of 6 in a slow stretching type of chin behind the neck. However, I’m convinced that it was his pulling HOLDS over that TIME, that created his awesome pulling power and super wide upper back!

I’ve written previously, of course, of the value of slightly moving isometrics & holds, but wish to put forth some pulling experiments I’ve been doing for a while that just may make this treacherous exercise a bit more user friendly! After all, none of us in the all-round bunch are getting any younger, and these heavy duty holds are nasty to one’s blood pressure! But, though mostly forgotten, we should strive to discover how to make such miraculous, short & concentrated rack routines work for us. We may never get the world record pulls and back structure of Bill March, Lou Riecke, or Serge Redding. In case you don’t know Serge, he used mostly standard olympic lift training, tho included one special pull iso — musta worked because at 5′8″ and up to 308# bwt, he did an official 502 pound WR press, a 401 snatch, and measured 65″ around the shoulders!! More on him in another story!! However, using TIME in holding a row, continental from thigh level, snatch grip pulls, etc., could mean a whole bunch of ‘Rounder records!

Now, what I’ve found, old gomer that I’m becoming (68 last Sunday! and his wife who is proofing this reminded him that he’s well into full bloom gomerhood!), is that I don’t need to explode head veins from a 10 to 12 second hold as twenty-something Dorn & March were doing. Instead, I separate my rack lifts into 2 sets of 2, with each hold into a slightly higher rack pin, lasting only 3 seconds. I still get in the all-important HOLD of 12 seconds, but have not come even close to passing out as I did in the old days (so that’s what happened to him y’all are saying!)! For instance, I’ll get a pretty hefty poundage on the strict row, pull to a pin 4″ above and hold for 3 seconds, lower and pull/hold for another 3 seconds, then rest for a few minutes and do the second set. By the way, if you don’t have access to a power rack, this same performance can be achieved with chains & “S” hooks over the bar to secure various pull positions, or even rig up a thick rubber bungee around one’s barbell!

It must be working – my poundages are going up, even at an age where gains should NOT be achieved, and the all-round pulling lifts are feeling much easier! I’m even noting a big increase in wideness these days – though I expect this is mostly from Marilyn’s fresh stacks of Christmas cookies, rather than extra muscle on the upper back!

Shoulder Drop Continued…..

by Al Myers

Last month when Thom wrote that “controversial” story on the Shoulder Drop I thought maybe there would be some hotly discussed forum debate on it – but there wasn’t!!!  I guess that goes to show that the Shoulder Drop is not an All Round Lift that warrants attention, and most lifters really don’t care “one way or the other” what the rules dictate on it.  I was not really surprised by this.  The Shoulder Drop is one of those Official Lifts of the USAWA and the IAWA that is rarely performed, and only at a handful of record days.  There has been only a handful of records ever set in it.

I was intrigued by Thom’s history of the Shoulder Drop, as it was an old lift he learned from his Grandfather Dalton Jackson.  I’ve spent a lot of time researching old time all round  lifts – and there is very little information of the Shoulder Drop being a lift performed by lifters 100 plus years ago.  It does not have the rich historical significance  of lifts like the Steinborn Lift, Jefferson Lift, the One Arm Deadlift, and others. In fact, important old time strength writers like George Jowett and WA Pullom didn’t discuss it in their writings, which included many rules and regulations of the many lifts at the time. The Shoulder Drop appears to have originated as an USAWA/IAWA lift.

I did “some digging’ in my USAWA archives and found just a little as to the origins of the Shoulder Drop in the USAWA. This following is from the February 1st, 1990 issue of the Strength Journal (Vol. 1, No. 3) written by journal editor Bill Clark.

Two new lifts were approved by the board on January 20. They were the Travis Lift and the Shoulder Drop. The rules for each:

Shoulder Drop

The bar must be cleaned either to the chest and then to the shoulders or may be cleaned directly to the shoulders. Once the bar is motionless and held by both hands at the shoulders, the official will give the command to drop.  The hands are removed and the bar either dropped or shrugged from the shoulders at the moment of hand release. The bar then must be caught at arm’s length behind the body.  Once it is held motionless at arm’s length behind the body, the referee will give the command, “down”, thus completing the lift.  The weight may not be rolled down the back, but must be dropped.  Balancing the bar on the shoulders while placing the hands in position prior to the drop is not allowed.  Also – the body must be erect before the command to stop.

Bill then went on to state that the Shoulder Drop was nominated by Dr. Jim Clark of Houston, Texas.  This was a specialty lift of Dr. Clark, who was reported to be capable of big poundages in the Shoulder Drop. However, looking over the record list I see no mention of his name which tells me that he never did complete an official Shoulder Drop in the USAWA.

In reading these initial rules, do you see something missing???  I  sure do – there is no mention that the legs must be straight throughout, only that the body must be “erect” before the official’s down command, or as worded, “command to stop”.  Now that is interesting to me!  So it appears that Thom is not left lost out in the right field  bleachers eating popcorn by himself here with his argument of allowing knee bend.   This initial Shoulder Drop rule supports Thom’s cause!

When did the Shoulder Drop rule change to require straight legs throughout????  Who knows.  There is no mention of it is subsequent meeting minutes that a vote was ever taken.  However, the “straight leg requirement” was put into the initial 2002 USAWA Rulebook, as well as the IAWA(UK) Rulebook.   Maybe a vote was taken at a meeting sometime and due to sloppy minute taking, was never recorded. Or maybe the “straight leg requirement” was just added as an afterthought by the rulebook editor  with no vote approval???

It is obvious that the Shoulder Drop was not in the initial list of official USAWA/IAWA lifts since it was added in 1990 (3 years after the formation of the USAWA/IAWA).    I have performed the Shoulder Drop on a few occasions and I do agree with Thom that allowing leg bend with the lift would make it much safer (and more enjoyable to practice).   Maybe if the Shoulder Drop rule was changed to allow knee bend it would become a more popular All Round lift?

Let your “voice be heard” on this controversial (haha, said tongue-in-cheek) topic in the USAWA Discussion Forum.  If enough support is gathered – it may be time to make a change in the rules of the Shoulder Drop.