Posts belonging to Category USAWA Daily News



The Race

By Eric Todd

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

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

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

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

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

Colorado Record Breaker

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

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

6441 E. Evans
Denver, CO

No other details were sent with the sanction request.   Please contact Jarrod for further information on this meet.

Clarks RD

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS

CLARK’S RECORD DAY

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS:

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

Meet Director: Bill Clark

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

Results (PDF): ClarksRD-page1 ClarksRD-page2

The Smartest Man in the World!

by Thom Van Vleck

Recently I was talking to someone about lifting and why it’s a great idea to lift weights.  They seemed to struggle with the idea of lifting unless they were going to be the best at it.   Otherwise, why not find something else to do!  I enjoy weightlifting but in case you didn’t notice….I’ve yet to be the strongest man in the world.  I’ve also noticed that many people won’t enter an athletic meet unless they have a chance to win.  I think there’s a problem with that attitude.

Here’s my thought.  Nobody would say, “Well, if I can’t be the smartest in the world (or even that given day) then why bother ever learning anything….I’ll just stay stupid”.  The first thing you need to do when you start a lifting program is to do it for yourself.  Make yourself stronger.  Irregardless of who else is stronger.  Sometimes surprising things can happen.

I worked for 2 years and finally one day I was ready to attempt a 225lb squat.  TWO YEARS of HARD WORK led up to this moment.  I was 16 years old and weighed about 175lbs.  Some of you will know that I had to overcome two broken legs and a broken hip so I started not even being able to squat my bodyweight.  I had a couple buddies over to spot me.  To be honest, I had them come over to witness this and so I could show off a little.  Well, when I got done and racked the weight triumphantly one of my buddies…who had never done a squat with weights…said, “Hey, can I give that a try”.  Long story short, he squatted it with ease and threw on a couple of tens and did three reps before telling me that my lift was good, too.  Needless to say, I questioned my effort.  But I shouldn’t have.  I had went from a kid they thought might never walk again to squatting 225lbs.  I also want to point out I eventually did 600…..and that other guy never touched a weight again as far as I know!

While it’s good to have a little perspective, the guy you should always be concerned most about it the guy in the mirror.  Making that person you see in the mirror better is more important than what anyone else can do.  There’s always going to be someone stronger than you and smarter than you.  I just work on myself and let the chips fall where they may.  That’s been a tough lesson for me, but one that has led to my greatest gains.

Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
DINO GYM CHALLENGE PRESENTS THE -

“Herman Goerner Deadlift Medley”

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

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

LIFTS:

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

Deadlift – One Arm

Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip

Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip

Deadlift – Heels Together

ENTRY FORM (PDF) – 2015 Dino Challenge Entry Form

Four Corners

by Thom Van Vleck

The Jackson Weightlifting Club has been a big part of my life.  As those who know me will already be aware it was started by my grandfather Dalton Jackson in 1928.  It was just him and some friends who were interested in weightlifting.  They never competed.  They were interested in training to get better, be stronger, healthier, and maybe impress some girls!  The club wasn’t official then, just friends.

Then in 1957 he got my Uncles, Wayne and Phil Jackson into lifting.  Wayne eventually won the Teenage Nationals in Olympic lifting and was a 4 time Missouri State Olympic lifting champion and won the powerlifting title once.  Phil won some meets as well but got more into bodybuilding and was in Muscular Development one time and in Strength and Health another time.  Phil got an “official” club going with a logo they wore on their lifting suits when in competition and they actually achieved something quite remarkable.  They won two state team titles in Olympic lifting against clubs in St. Louis and Kansas City.  Not bad for a little club from a little town.  They charged dues and opened a key gym as well.  At one time it had almost 30 members and had Phil not joined the Air Force (he was due to be drafted anyways) and left for four years I wonder where the club would have went.

As it was, the club kind of played out and by 1971 it was all but gone.  I joined my Uncle Wayne starting in 1977 with my own training and the “key gym” was again started in 1980.  We soon had about 20 members and had a couple of guys competing at the state level in powerlifting.  In 1982 I joined the Marines and soon the club died again.

Then, in 1988, I got back into hard training.  Slowly, I revived the concept of the JWC and in 1992 started competing again.  I had a few guys that traveled with me and we were mostly “unofficial” but we were a group of guys that lifted, traveled to meets, and shared a love of the iron.

In 1997 I had a chance to do a strongman show with Omega Force.  I invited my buddy Brian Kerby and we did 6 shows in 4 days in St. Louis including one final event that was the warm up for the US Nationals Strongman Contest at the Family Arena in St. Charles.  There were several thousand people there.  Brian and I were invited to travel to Austrailia and New Zealand with Omega Force but we had full time jobs, families….but we became open to the idea of doing strongman shows as part of an evangelism effort and decided to start a local group of our own.

We were trying to come up with a “catch” name for our group when Brian came to me and said that he thought we should go by the name “Jackson Weightlifting Club”.  At that time it really got me to thinking of what the club was really about.  I will say that since then we have done over 250 shows that have reached out to over 25,000 people plus we have directed about 20 lifting meets (including the USAWA Nationals) and at a couple dozen Highland Games and Strongman Contests.  But the club was something much deeper than that for me.

As I explored in my mind and heart what the club was all about I came up with what I call the “Four Corners” of the JWC foundation.  These four cornerstones are what everything the JWC does is built upon.

Faith:  First comes Faith.  The JWC exists because of the Christian Principles laid down by my grandfather and passed on to each subsequent generation.  The most importan principle being faith.  Faith is the belief in something with strong conviction.  My own interpretation is that it gives us the ability to believe in something even when the evidence seems to be against it.  Faith is important in lifting because it takes a long time and  lot of work to make progress in lifting.  You have to have faith in yourself, your lifting program, and believe it will pay off.  Many fail in lifting because they didn’t have faith.  To me it is most important.

Honor:  Honor has several meanings and the one I intend means having integrity.  There is a Viking poem I have hanging in my gym that talks about how everything can be taken away from you.  You can lose you fortune, your family, even your life.  But the one thing that NO ONE can take from you, only you can give away, is your Honor.  It is your reputation.  It is a core value in my family and thus the JWC.

Strength:  This word implies being strong.  But strong in what?  My use of this word in the JWC is that it strength goes beyond the physical state.  I know that lifting weights gives me strength.  Sure, I become stronger, but I also gain strength to endure.  I gain emotional and mental strength.  Most of all I gain spiritual strength from having goals and achieving them leading to a belief in myself and what I can accomplish in all things through hard work and sweat equity.

Wisdom:  Wisdom is last on the list but it’s still important.  Wisdom to me it the ability use intelligence for a greater end.  It is the ability to use knowledge with good judgement, common sense, and prudence.  I want to gain knowledge but if I can’t find the best way to use it then I have failed.  Lifting smart brings me success.  The best lifting routine will give you the greatest results with the least effort and the least chance of injury.  Weightlifting quantifies that result and makes it easier for me to be wise in all things in life.  Even when the results aren’t as easy to quantify I know wisdom is at work.

Over the years, at our strongman evangelism shows, these core values were at the base of our messages.  While our shows often focused on Christ and were at Churches and Bible Camps we often did shows at schools and community gatherings that focused on citizenship, staying off drugs, and other more secular topics.  We never denied who we were, Christians, but the “four corners” were always there.

I hope that some day another generation in my family picks up the JWC flag. That is my next goal in life, passing this tradition on.  The JWC has produced many champions and contest winners, but it is most proud of who those people were rather than their athletic accomplishments.  It always has been and hopefully always will be!

Taking 2015 Memberships

by Al Myers

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

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

OTSM Championships

by Eric Todd

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS

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

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

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

Women’s Results

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

Men’s Results

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

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

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

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

Burton Record Session

by Al Myers

Group picture from the Burton Powerhouse Record Session.

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

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

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

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

Denny Habecker with a record 95 KG Pullover and Push.

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS (PDF) – Record_Session_at_Burton_27.10.14

My Gyms

by Eric Todd

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gold Cup

by Steve Gardner

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

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

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS:

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

Meet Promoter:  Steve Gardner

Announcer: Steve Gardner

Recorder: Judy Habecker

Record Keeper: Chris Bass

Loaders: All members from Powerhouse Gym

Officials:  Several IAWA Officials in attendance

Results (PDF) – Gold Cup 2014 Results

Art’s Birthday Bash

by John McKean

Group picture from Art's Birthday Bash 2014.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lifter of the Month: Frank Ciavattone

by Al Myers

Frank Ciavattone in action at the 2014 IAWA World Championships.

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

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

Update on the OTSM Championships

by Al Myers

***NEWS FLASH***

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

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

Postal Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2014 USAWA POSTAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

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

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

The lifts:

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

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

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

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

Are you feeling Slunk?

by Thom Van Vleck

Slunk [sluhngk]

Adjective

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3rd Quarter Postal

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS

THIRD QUARTER POSTAL MEET

3rd Quarter Postal Results

MEET RESULTS:

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

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

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

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

Gold Cup Getting Close!

by Al Myers

IAWA Gold Cup 2014

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

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

Joe Garcia Appreciation Award

by Al Myers

Joe Garcia's Appreciation Award

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

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

Congrats Joe!!!

John Wilmot Appreciation Award

by Al Myers

John Wilmot's Award

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

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

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

New England Gold Cup

by Frank Ciavattone

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

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

E-mail: fdc2955@aol.com

Home Phone: 508-668-5200

Cell Phone: 508-801-6279

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

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

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

IAWA Annual Meeting

by Steve Gardner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Championships

by Steve Gardner

2014 IAWA World All Round Weightlifting Championships

Norwood, Massachusetts USA September 27th and 28th

Promoter: Frank Ciavattone Snr

Group picture from the 2014 IAWA World Championships.

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

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS (PDF) – IAWA 2014 WORLD RESULTS

BEST LIFTERS (PDF) – HONOURS BOARD

All Round Mountaineering

by Thom Van Vleck

Chad atop the mountain!

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

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

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

Thom Van Vleck at the top.

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

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

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

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

Frank Ciavattone – IAWA Award of Merit

by Al Myers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frank Allen – IAWA Award of Merit

by Al Myers

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

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

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

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

World Championship News Flash

by Steve Gardner

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

Highland Games Masters 2014

by Thom Van Vleck

Chad Ullom tossing the caber in Scotland!

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

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

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

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

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

Thom Van Vleck winning the WOB event.

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

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

Tomatin Toss

by Thom Van Vleck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

World Postal

by Steve Gardner

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

World Postal Championships Results – WORLD POSTAL 2014. Results

Backbreaker Pentathlon

By Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Backbreaker Pentathlon

Meet Director: Bill Clark  & Joe Garcia

Date: Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Venue: Clark’s Gym, Columbia, Missouri

Weigh-ins: 8- 9 AM

Entry Fee: None

Entry Form: None

Awards: None

Membership: Must be a current USAWA Member

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

Record Day will follow the meet.

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

Battle in the Barn

by Eric Todd

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

Saxon Snatch
Apollon’s lift
Hand and Thigh
Dinnie Lift

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

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

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

ENTRY FORM (PDF):  Battle in the Barn Entry

TRAIN HARDER AND SMARTER

BY DAVE GLASGOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Gada: Part III

by Thom Van Vleck

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

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

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

The book that the illustration of Kehoe is from.

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

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

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

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

IAWA Meeting Time SET

by Al Myers

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

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

Team Championships

by Al Myers

2014 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

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

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS:

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

Meet Director: Al Myers

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

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

Lifters:

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

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

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

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

Holland Strength and Fitness

by Al Myers

Holland Strength and Fitness

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

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

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

Club of the Year

by Al Myers

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

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

CLUB OF THE YEAR – DINO GYM

RUNNER CLUB – HABECKER’S GYM

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

The Gada: Part II

by Thom Van Vleck

Overall view of my loadable Gada

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

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

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

The Gada open and ready to be loaded.

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

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

Presidential Cup

by Al Myers

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

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

The Presidential Cup

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

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

MEET RESULTS:

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

Meet Director:  Denny Habecker

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

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

Lifters/Lifts:

Al Myers – 47 years old, 236 pounds BWT

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

Denny Habecker – 71 years old, 193 pounds BWT

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

Art Montini – 86 years old, 176 pounds BWT

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

WINNER OF 2014 PRESIDENTIAL CUP

AL MYERS w/ 83 POUND PINCH GRIP ONE HAND