Posts belonging to Category USAWA Daily News



Website Upgrade

by Al Myers

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

Parallel Lift Training

by John McKean

Hermann Goerner

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

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

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

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

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

Zercher Strength Classic

by Bill Clark

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

MEET RESULTS:

Zercher Strength Classic
Clarks Gym
January 24th, 2015

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Officials: Bill Clark, Joe Garcia, Steve Schmidt

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

Deanna Springs Meet

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Deanna Springs Memorial Meet

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Date: Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Venue: Clark’s Gym, Columbia, Missouri

Weigh-ins: 8 AM

Entry Fee: None

Entry Form: None

Awards: None

Membership: Must be a current USAWA Member

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

A record day session will follow the meet.

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

TOO SOON OLD

BY DAVE GLASGOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dreaded “Participation” Award

by Thom Van Vleck

Every so often I have this same conversation with Al Myers and Chad Ullom.  Since Al and I are pretty conservative and Chad went to the University of Kansas (the liberal bastion of the midwest) Chad likes to make fun of the fact that Al and I give out participation awards.  The way Chad sees it is that as conservative guys we should believe in “you get what you earn” and that “only winners get awards”.   This goes all the way to how they don’t keep scores in youth sports then everyone gets a trophy at the end of the season.  “Everyone is a winner” mentality that some think is leading to the downfall of America.

Now I’m picking on Chad a bit.  He’s not really that liberal…at least for a guy that went to KU!  But I think he does see it as contradictory that Al and I would believe in the idea you get what you earn then turn around and hand out awards to everyone.  The reality is I DON’T HAND OUT AWARDS TO EVERYONE! I never will!  You do get what you earn.  I also believe in keeping score, winners AND losers, and competition is healthy in all aspects of life.

So how do I believe in all those things and hand out awards to seemingly everyone that comes to my meets?  Here’s how I look at it.  When I went to boot camp we started with over 80 in my platoon.  We ended up graduating 66.  We lost almost 20 guys!  They got booted out along the way.  Some flat out quit, some got booted for not being good enough, I know blew out his knee and was saying he might not recover enough to come back.  In the end those that completed the task won the prize:  The honor of being called a United States Marine!

We also had a “Top Marine” award.  The award went to the guy that did the best.  We had a guy Levier.  He was the “Honorman” and his award was a meritorious promotion to Lance Corporal, a plaque, and a set of dress blues.  At that time you didn’t get dress blues out of bootcamp.  You had to buy your own unless you were assigned to a position where wearing the dress blues was part of your job, like and embassy guard.  So it was a pretty nice award.

The point is you had the “Overall” winner who was number one getting the top prize.  Then you had those that passed the test.  They had worked hard and accomplished what others didn’t dare to do or were unable to do for whatever reason.  They were all awarded the title of “Marine”.  I guess that’s how I feel about those that do what others won’t.  They go to the gym, work hard, then have the guts to sign the dotted line and then show up and put it all out there for everyone to see.  I would never give an award to someone who didn’t show up (and yes, I had someone ask for an award that didn’t show…..seemed to think his entry fee entitled him).  I also only give out ONE award that says “First Place” on it.  You better earn it by beating someone.  A few years back I had only one person show up for a class.  They wanted the first place award I had already made for that group…..NO WAY.  Sorry, but you didn’t win because you didn’t beat anyone. So make fun of me if you want.  I will continue to award those that choose to succeed.

Now, I’m going to take this one step further.  I think we have become a nation so obsessed with winning and being number one being the only acceptable outcome we are becoming a nation of drop outs or “never even tried’s”. I recently talked to someone who runs the amateur and pro strongman meets in the USA.  She told me that the number of women competitors has quadrupled in the past few years and she thinks eventually there will be more women than men competing in Strongman.  What are we going to do when that happens?  Change the name to “Strongwoman”?

The reason she gave is one I think is completely true.  She said that guys come in and if they can’t win, they won’t try.  They also fear embarrassment and if there’s one event that will make them look bad they won’t try.  The women, on the other hand, are ready, willing and able to risk failure for the chance at success.  They haven’t been indoctrinated to believe that winning is the only thing in live.  Personal success is their focus.  They check their ego’s at the door.

So, there you have it.  I hand out awards to everyone that completes the task.  You win when you work hard and finish the game regardless of who else showed up and how they did that particular day.    I have a lot of admiration for the guy that sets several Personal Bests over the guy that “mails it in” and wins.  So,  the only participation awards I hand out are those that participated in being successful.

Final 2014 Postal Series Rankings

by Al Myers

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

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

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

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

WOMENS DIVISION – TOP THREE

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

MENS DIVISION – TOP TEN

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

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

Postal Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

2015 USAWA POSTAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

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

LIFTS:

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

Arthur Lift

Snatch – Dumbbell, One Arm (RIGHT/LEFT)

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

3rd Quarter Postal

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

3RD QUARTER POSTAL MEET

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

LIFTS:

Crucifix

Curl – Cheat, Dumbbell, One Arm

Deadlift – One Arm (opposite arm)

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

2nd Quarter Postal

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

2ND QUARTER POSTAL MEET

LIFTS:

Clean and Seated Press – 2 Dumbbells

Bent Over Row

Rectangular Fix

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

1st Quarter Postal

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

1st QUARTER POSTAL MEET

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

LIFTS:

Pullover and Press

Curl – Cheat, Reverse Grip

Clean and Jerk – Behind Neck

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

Florida Record Day

by Derek Prior

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS:

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

Meet Director:  Derek Prior

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

Lifts: Record Day

Lifters:

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

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

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

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

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

Dino Gym Challenge

by Thom Van Vleck

2015 DINO GYM CHALLENGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS:

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

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official (1-Official System Used): LaVerne Myers

Scorekeeper: Thom Van Vleck

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

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

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

Postal Championships

by Al Myers

The results from the 2014 USAWA Postal Championships are in!

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

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

MEET RESULTS:

USAWA Postal Championships
December, 2014

Postal Director:  Denny Habecker

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

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

WOMENS DIVISION

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

MENS DIVISION

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

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

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

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

STRICT!

John McKean

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bully

by Thom Van Vleck

I recently read a story about an author who tracked down a kid that had been a bully to him in his youth.  He talked about how his father had died and he was placed in a private boarding school.  His one connection to his father was a wrist watch that he carried around and he talked about how the watch “transported” him back to a happier time….until the bully took it from him and threw it out a window!  The story tracked how this bully impacted the author’s life and then his mission to find this bully again.  The story took a familiar turn from one of revenge to one of looking at how his reaction to the bully made him stronger.

I have a “bully” story.  I imagine most of us do.  Considering my size now you might think that I was a big kid.  I was not.  I was actually one of the smallest boys in grade school.   Tommy (aka Shorty) was the only one smaller among my small, rural school that had less than 20 in my class.  I was shy, I was very sensitive, and let’s be honest…..a big bullseye for a bully.  From around the 2nd grade to the 6th grade Bryan was my bully and he made my life hell.  All the usual stories but one sets it up quite well.

We were on the play ground in the 3rd grade.  My Dad’s advice was to stand up to him.  He said bully’s were usually cowards and if you stood up to them they would respect you and back down.  So I tried it.  I got beat up and to make matters worse the teacher made the bully stand up in front of the class and apologize to me.  It was right out of a movie, but as he offered his most sincere apology and the teacher turned around he looked right at me and smashed his fist in his hand and mouthed the word, “LATER”.   Later was on the bus…..I lost count how many times I got punched.

In the 6th grade he recruited me to join his minions.  My initiation was to punch a girl in the back of the head.  I was at an important decision point in my life.  Become like him and join him or hold true to my own beliefs and stand up to him.  I refused and while I’d like to tell you that I beat him up on the spot and lived happily ever after that’s not what happened.  He beat me up….again….and again I went home crying.  He was simply physically superior to me.

Like a lot of kids I turned to weight lifting.  I have to admit, one of my primary motivators was to some day look up Ol’ Bryan and give him a taste of his own medicine.  We moved just far enough south I changed schools and while the two schools were very close this meant I didn’t have to deal with Bryan much.  Soon I graduated and went in the Marines.  Genetics and hard work kicked in and I was soon pretty big…and I like to think I got pretty strong!  Bryan became a memory.

So, about a decade goes by and I was at a bar in town watching football with a couple of friends.  One was my buddy Jay who also attended both schools.  I brought up Bryan the Bully and told him about how I motivated myself to lift weights with the thought of punching Bryan right on the nose.   To my surprise Jay said, “Well, here’s your chance, he’s sitting right over there!”.  I looked over and there was this guy who had once physically been several inches taller and 20 or 30 lbs heavier….now was about 5′7″ and maybe 165lbs.  At that time I was 6′3″ and well over 300lbs.

Jay did not like Brian and wanted to have a little fun.   I have to admit I was thinking about having a little fun myself.  After all, revenge is a dish best served cold.  Jay walked up and began talking.  He and Bryan had went to high school together whereas I don’t think Bryan saw me much after the 6th grade.  My full beard and long hair I’m sure added to the change.  The tables had turned!

Jay began to remind Bryan of who I was, in a teasing way….giving him hints until he figured it out.  When he realized who I was his eyes got really big and that’s when Jay dropped the punch line.  ”You know, Bryan, that Thom told me he started lifting weights so that some day he could look you up and beat the holy living sh!t out of you!”.  Well, the look on his face was priceless and worth it.  But the reality is I’m not a bully.

It was at that bar I found out that Bryan’s father was an alcoholic and abused him.  His father also got caught up in a check kiting scheme and lost everything including the family farm.  Bryan was the classic bully.  He was in pain but took his pain out on others.

I actually owed Bryan a bit of a thanks.  You see, he motivated me.  I know for a fact that there many times in my youth I would think goofing off was a better option than lifting weights but I wanted to be ready for the next bully.  So I lifted.  I did a lot of heavy bag and speed bag work as a teen as the gym was also set up for boxing.  Many times Bryan’s face was on that bag!

We all have negative things happen to us.  Everyone will be bullied at some point.  But to me, the real question is are you going to allow yourself to be bullied.  Some things can’t be helped but the biggest mistake one can make is when they allow what can be helped to be taken out of their hands.  Now when I think of the word bully the first thing that comes to my mind is Teddy Roosevelt.  BULLY FOR YOU!

Colorado RB

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

By Dan Wagman, PhD, CSCS

MEET REPORT:  2014 Colorado Record Breaker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

** Mjölnir is the name Thor gave his hammer.

MEET RESULTS:

Colorado Record Breaker
Denver, Colorado
December 27th, 2014

Meet Director:  Jarrod Fobes

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

Lifts: Record Day Session

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

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

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

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

Art’s Birthday Bash

by Al Myers

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

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

MEET DETAILS:

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

DATE: Sunday, October 18th, 2015

LIFTS: Record Day (max 5 lifts)

A New Year!

by Thom Van Vleck

I know it’s kind of a thing that most of us who lift regularly get fed up with the New Years resolution bunch crowding into the gym and bugging us for training advice that they’ll never use.  At least that’s my perspective but let’s look at this positively.

First of all, when is the best time to be in the gym?  WINTER.  I am mainly a highland games thrower which means as soon as it’s nice out until it’s too cold and snowy I’m out throwing every chance I get.  But even when I was a regular lifter winter was a great time to be in the gym.  It was too dark outside by the time I got off work to do much so why not retreat to the gym.  I generally come out of the busy holidays having traveled, went to a dozen or so parties (most for work or I wouldn’t go!) and find myself in January with a lot of time on my hands.  GYM TIME!

Second, when the New Year’s warriors come seeking advice or crowding the gym I look at it as an opportunity AND a compliment.  It’s a chance to have a positive impact on others and reach out to that one in a thousand that will actually take off with it.  I recall a 15 year old kid coming to the gym.  He had to keep all his clothes on, his wallet and keys in his pocket, to break 100lbs.  He bugged the crap out of me for advice.  More of it was seeking affirmation and motivation than actually lifting advice.  I remember being annoyed as can be….but I did it.  And many years later he made the cover of Powerlifting USA and sent me an autographed copy thanking me for my help.  He pulled more than quadruple bodyweight at 160lbs in the deadlift.  Now I take it as my duty to help others and a compliment they would think I could even help them.

Last, It’s just a great time for a new start.  I have notice in my life time that I have set 100’s of goals, probably more like 1000’s of goals.  And I’ve made very few of them.  My Uncle Phil used to tell me that it’s better to set goals that are almost unreachable because when you set them too low we tend to quit trying when we reach them.  I hear people complaining that they get tired of hearing about all these “New Year’s resolutions” that nobody will keep.  Well, out of a 100, even if just ONE makes that goal then I say keep at it.  Otherwise, what do you say, roll over and quit!

So, as this New Year begins I look forward to the new faces, the questions, and that one guy….that will make the cover of PL USA someday!

Merry Christmas from the JWC!

by Thom Van Vleck

Me driving my Ol' Truck in the Christmas parade pulling our float.

Recently the Jackson Weightlifting Club had a float in the Kirksville Kiwanis Christmas Parade.  The take collections for warm hats, gloves, and scarves for the needy and we added to their collection. We decorated up the truck and trailer and my kids got about a dozen friends to walk in the parade, hand out candy, and ride on the trailer that was covered in lights and loaded with boxes wrapped to look like presents.  Sure, the “presents” were really my boxes used for weight training but it looked good!

My lovely wife rode on the trailer. She has been my personal Christmas present that I've gotten to wake up to every year for nearly 3 decades!

What you can’t see is my two oldest were carrying a JWC banner to lead our group and all the kids handing out candy along the side.  A bonus was it was Ethan Van Vleck’s birthday so we all went out for a birthday dinner afterwards.

We are a small town but I'd guess about 500 folks were out for the parade! And Santa was even there....though he looks suspiciously familiar...like someone I know.

The Jackson Weightlifting Club has been a part of my family’s life for over 75 years and 4 generations.  What you see is the 5th generation.  The JWC is much more than just lifting weights.  So, from the JWC family to your family….Merry CHRISTmas and a happy 2015!  As my Grandpa Dalton Jackson, the founder of the club would ALWAYS say, “The best is yet to come”!   Amen!

A Little Christmas Story

by Denny Habecker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OLE JOHN AND SALLY

BY DAVE GLASGOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JUST TELL THEM ‘OLE JOHN’ SENT YA…..

Quality over Quantity

by Thom Van Vleck

I love being in the gym.  When I first caught the “iron bug” I’d spend hours in the Jackson Weightlifing Club gym.  While I would always be training….not all that time was working out.  I recall reading a story about Paul Anderson.  He would rest for up to 15 minutes between sets while visiting with others or other distractions.  I know I often found myself doing the same thing.  I would visit, read lifting magazines, or be writing down stuff related to my workout.  I was putting value in the quantity of time in the gym over the quality of my time.

I know I’ve been guilty of doing a certain number of sets for a certain number of sets for the simple reason my work out plan called for it.  Most of us go into the gym with a plan.  I have often found myself looking to hit certain benchmarks and success was measured on getting those sets and reps.  I was happy if I made my “goals”.   I was putting value in the quantity of sets, reps, and poundages over the quality of sets, reps, and poundages.

A couple years ago I decided to start focusing on the quality of my workouts.  As I started to use that as a measure over quantity I found myself very lacking.  I found that I could take a weight and lift it….or I could LIFT IT LIKE I MEANT IT!   I also began to notice that I was wasting a lot of time just being in the gym and not doing things that had a direct impact on my lifting.  Oh…you know….like actually lifting weights!   So my re-dedication  involved assessing every part of my work out by constantly asking myself one question, “Is what I’m doing adding quality to my workout or is it just quantity?”.

I began to notice several things.  I started to make gains again.  I lost weight.  I got in better cardio shape (my workouts much faster), I got more done in less time which meant I was working out more and most of all my attitude towards my workouts improved as it re-energized me and gave me confidence in the idea that what I was doing was going to help make me stronger.

So, the next time you work out you might want to ask yourself, “Quality..or Quantity”?

GUNNER TO THE RESCUE

BY DAVE GLASGOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heavy Lift Championships

by Eric Todd

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2015 USAWA HEAVY LIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS

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

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

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

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

ENTRY FORM (PDF) – Heavy Lift Entry

Osteoblasters Update

by Thom Van Vleck

A digital bulletin board on the campus of A.T. Still University advertises the upcoming Still Magazine. Our campus lifting club is featured and we made the cover no less!

I’ve share information before about the lifting club I started on campus.  We continue to grow and make progress.  We hold one or two workouts every day except Sunday.  We are one the youngest, yet largest, club on campus.  We provide supervision to over 200 workouts every week!  While I am the staff adviser the growth and leadership have come from within the club.  To be honest, I feel like I’m showing my age!

Thom Van Vleck presenting a check to the Osteoblasters for volunteering at the Kirksville Scottish Games

When I first started this club I envisioned old school workouts.  We would be doing lots of benches, squats, deadlifts….maybe some snatches and clean & jerks….the stuff I cut my teeth on 35 years ago.  What has evolved is a group dynamic focused more on bodyweight  exercises, lots of reps, fast paced, and less weight.  Similar to the “Crossfit” stuff you see growing ever popular.  I’m perfectly fine with that because it is leading to a new generation learning how to do snatches and clean and jerks and getting fit in the process.

The latest addition the club, a wall mounted lifting rack with chin up bars and roman rings.

Recently we were able to add a new addition, a wall mounted rack in the gym.  This will allow us to do more squats, presses and jerks out of the rack, along with the rings and chin up capabilities.  There are probably a hundred more uses that will come out of this addition and my hope is that if we get a lot of use out of it the Campus Center will be open to buying more equipment!  They have been very generous so far and that has helped tremendously.

I am looking forward to 2015 and seeing where things go with the club.  I hope perhaps we can host a lifting meet of some sort (maybe a USAWA meet).  I know we will help more people achieve a greater level of fitness and I’m sure the club will do more community projects that will promote fitness.  I has been a real pleasure working with these young people and the fact they are all on their way to becoming doctors or dentists makes it all the better!

Florida Record Day

by Derek Prior

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
FLORIDA RECORD DAY

The Iron Cave

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

Venue:

The Iron Cave
13680 101st Street
Fellsmere
Florida
32948

Contact: (Derek Prior) 772 766 2119

Email: castirontraining@zoho.com

New England Gold Cup

by Frank Ciavattone

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS (PDF) – New_England_Records_Day2014

Lifter of the Month – Denny Habecker

by Al Myers

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

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

Dino Gym RD

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
DINO GYM RECORD DAY

Meet Director: Al Myers and the Dino Gym

Meet Date: Sunday, February 15th, 2014 10:00 AM-4:00PM

Location: Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas

Sanction: USAWA

Entry Form: None – just show up

Entry Fee: None

Lifts: Record Day – Pick any lifts you can set a USAWA record in!

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

Grip Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2015 USAWA GRIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

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

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

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

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

MEET DETAILS:

Meet Director: Al Myers

Meet Date: Saturday, February 14th, 2015    10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

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

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

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

Divisions: Juniors, Women, Masters, and Open

Awards: Championship Certificates

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

Lifts:

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

Rules: USAWA General Rules and Scoring Apply.

This will be a DRUG TESTED event.

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

The Race

By Eric Todd

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

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

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

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

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

Colorado Record Breaker

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

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

6441 E. Evans
Denver, CO

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

Clarks RD

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS

CLARK’S RECORD DAY

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS:

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

Meet Director: Bill Clark

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

Results (PDF): ClarksRD-page1 ClarksRD-page2

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