Posts belonging to Category USAWA Daily News



A PLACE TO CALL HOME

BY DAVE GLASGOW

THE WEIGHTROOMS POWER RACK, COMPLETE WITH A GOOD STUMP TO SQUAT TO.

I ENJOY PRIVATE GYMS THE MOST.  MOST PERSONAL GYMS I HAVE BEEN IN HAVE THAT ‘LIVED IN’ FEELING.  THEY ALL HAVE A PERSONALITY OF THEIR OWN.  SOME OF THE MORE RECENT ONES I HAVE BEEN IN ARE FLOYD TRAUB, THOM VAN VLECK AND, OF COURSE, THE MECCA OF THEM ALL, AL’S DINO GYM.

THEY ARE ALL AS YOU WOULD EXPECT FROM THEIR OWNERS.  FLOYD’S SMALL, CONCISE, BASIC.   THOMS IS SMALL BUT CRAMMED WITH LIFTING EQUIPMENT FROM THE PAST AND PRESENT, ALONG WITH MEMORABILIA OF TIMES PAST.  AL’S IS SO JAMMED WITH ITEMS THAT IT IS SOMETIMES HARD TO GET AROUND WHEN THERE IS LIFTING GOING ON!

I SUPPOSE I DIDN’T THINK ABOUT IT UNTIL THOM CAME HOME WITH ME A COUPLE WEEKS AGO FOR A QUICK ‘LOOK SEE’ OF MY PLACE.  WHILE THERE, I NOTICED HIM TAKING A VIDEO OF THE YEAR OLD WEIGHT ROOM I HAVE IN MY TWO YEAR OLD SHOP (YEAH, I’M BRAGGIN’, JUST A LITTLE!).  I WONDERED AT THE TIME WHY HE DID IT BUT I DID’NT SAY ANYTHING TO HIM AT THE TIME.  MAYBE HE WAS PLANNING TO STEAL MY IDEAS!!!

THIS NEW WEIGHT ROOM IS THE CULMINATION OF DECADES OF PRIOR WEIGHTROOMS I HAVE HAD MY STUFF IN.  I TRIED TO COUNT THE PLACES A COUPLE TIMES AND I FINALLY SETTLED ON ELEVEN DIFFERENT SPOTS THAT I COULD RECALL.  THERE HAVE BEEN BARNS, BASEMENTS(ONE IN PARTICULAR REMINDS ME OF A STORY, BUT THAT IS FOR A LATTER TIME), AN OLD V.F.W. HALL, TWO GARAGES, A FORMER BAR (NOW DOJO), WELL, YOU GET THE DRIFT.  JUST ABOUT ANY PLACE THAT SOMEBODY WITH SOME ROOM WOULD LET ME HANG MY HAT. THE UNIQUE THING ABOUT EACH OF THESE DOMAINS WAS THAT EACH HAD THERE OWN LITTLE QUIRKS AND NUANCES.  I HAVE MEMORIES OF EACH OF THESE PLACES THAT I WILL CHUCKLE AT TO THIS DAY.  THE ONE THAT MAKES ME SMILE THE MOST, HOWEVER, INVOLVED MY BOY, DEREK.

WHEN WE HAD THE WEIGHTS IN THE OLD V.F.W. HALL, IT WAS RIGHT NEXT TO A CONVENIENCE STORE.  NOW, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, MY BOY NEVER GAVE TWO HOOTS ABOUT WEIGHTLIFTING (HE WAS 6-7 AT THE TIME), HE DID, HOWEVER, LOVE A SOFT DRINK CALLED ‘CLEARLY CANADIAN’.  IF HE KNEW I WAS HEADED OUT TO LIFT, HE WOULD WANT TO TAG ALONG.  HE WOULD WATCH ME FOR THE HOUR AND A HALF THAT I WORKED OUT, ENTERTAINING HIMSELF IN WHATEVER WAY HE COULD.  THEN, WHEN I WAS FINISHED, HE WOULD RUN TO TURN THE LIGHTS OFF AND HEAD FOR THE DOOR.  ABOUT HALF WAY ACROSS THE PARKING LOT, I WOULD HEAR, “DAD, CAN WE GET A CLEARLY CANADIAN?”  IT MAKES ME A LITTLE MISTY EYED TO THINK OF IT BUT HE NEVER FAILED TO GET WHAT HE CAME FOR AND I GOT A CHRISHED MEMORY I  WILL CARRY TILL THE END.  I EVEN TOOK TO MAKING SURE I HAD THE MONIES ENOUGH TO SNAG A COUPLE DRINKS BEFORE I LEFT THE HOUSE EACH TIME.

THE MOST ACTIVE OF THE PREVIOUS DOMICILES WAS IN THE GARAGE OF THE FIRST HOUSE GUNN AND I OWNED.  IT HAD A DIRT FLOOR UNTIL I SAVED UP ENOUGH TO PUT A CONCRETE FLOOR IN IT.  WE ALSO HAD A WOOD STOVE THAT WOULD RUN YOU OUT OF THE PLACE!!   IN THE SUMMER, HOWEVER,  WE WERE ON OUR OWN!!  WE HAD 5 OR 6 GUYS AT ANY ONE TIME AND I LOOKED FORWARD TO EACH SESSION DUE TO THE COMMERADERIE THAT IT PRODUCED.  MOST OF THE GUYS WERE FOOTBALL PLAYERS FROM THE LOCAL COLLEGE BUT WE HAD CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND OTHER HANGERS ON THAT MADE FOR A ROWDY MIX!

LOCATING THE WEIGHT ROOM IN A DOJO GOT US SOME STRANGE LOOKS AND I LAUGHED MORE THAN ONCE WHEN WE WOULD BE LIFTING AT THE SAME TIME TAE KWON DO CLASSES WERE ABOUT TO START.  THERE WOULD BE LAUGHING, JOKING AND GENERAL ‘GRAB ASSING’ FROM THE STUDENTS UNTIL THEY SAW WE WERE THERE, THEN IT WOULD GET VERY QUET!!!  I HAVE NO IDEA WHY!??

THE ONE THAT CAUSED THE MOST UP-ROAR, HOWEVER, WAS WHEN WE PUT MY GEAR IN A BUDDY’S GARAGE.  HE HAD A THREE BAY SET UP THAT WE WOUND UP USING TWO OF THE BAYS.  THIS CAUSED ALL KINDS OF HELL FROM MY PAL’S WIFE, BECAUSE YOU CAN GUESS WHO’S STALL GOT TAKEN!!  MY PAL WAS A COP, AND HIS REASONING WAS BECAUSE, ONE, HE NEEDED TO STAY IN SHAPE FOR HIS JOB AND, TWO, THERE WAS NO WAY HE COULD LEAVE HIS UNDER COVER COP CAR ON THE STREET!!!  WHICH MEANT HER CAR WAS LEFT OUT IN ALL SORTS OF WEATHER, AND, SEEING AS SHE HAD TO LEAVE FOR WORK VERY EARLY IN THE MORNING, MADE FOR SOME TENSE SITUATIONS!!   I LAUGH AS I WRITE THIS BECAUSE KATHY DIRECTLY BLAMED YOURS TRULY FOR THE INVASION OF “HER SPACE”!  TO MY KNOWLEDGE, SHE STILL HARBORS A CASE OF THE ASS TOWARD ME!!!  (ALTHOUGH, AFTER 25 YEARS, I AM SURE IT IS MOSTLY TONGUE IN CHEEK.)

WHEN THE NEW WEIGHT ROOM WAS BUILT, I KNEW IT WOULD HAVE A FEW STORIES OF IT’S OWN BEFORE IT WAS OVER.  POSSIBLY, THE BEST STORY THAT WILL BE TOLD IS HOW A COUPLE COLLEGE BUDDIES GOT TOGETHER TO BUILD WHAT I HAD ALWAYS DREAMED OF.  I WILL NOT RECOUNT THAT STORY BUT I, MOST CERTAINLY WOULD NOT HAVE IT WERE IT NOT FOR FLOYD TRAUB.  HOW DO YOU REPAY SOMEONE FOR KINDNESSES SUCH AS THAT?? UNLESS THERE IS SOME NATURAL DISASTER, THIS WILL BE THE FINAL RESTING PLACE FOR MY EQUIPMENT. 

BEING A SENTAMENTAL SORT, I CAN’T HELP BUT HONOR ALL THOSE PLACES THAT I HAVE USED FOR MY WEIGHTS AND THE GUYS THAT SHARED THE WORKOUT TIME WITH ME.  I ALSO REMEMBER THE NAME WE GAVE TO THE FIRST PLACE.  SO, TO RECOGNIZE THE PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT HAVE MADE MY WORKOUTS MEMORABLE FOR ALMOST FOUR DECADES, I NAME THIS FINAL WEIGHTROOM, ‘SCRAPIRON WEIGHTHOUSE-#12’, THE CROWN JEWEL OF THE LEDAIG HEAVY ATHLETICS TRAING FACILITY.

My Visit to Ledaig Heavy Athletics

by Thom Van Vleck

Banner that hangs in the Ledaig gym

Recently I got to make my first trip to Ledaig since Dave built his new facility.  This is Dave Glasgow’s family gym.  I say family gym because it belongs to his whole family.  You drive down that road and it’s hard to figure out which “Glasgow” to stop at as each mailbox has that name on it. But if you know Dave and he counts you as a  friend, then you are family, too!  This sits on some family property about 30 miles from Wichita, Kansas but really miles away from anyone!  It is near Rainbow Bend, Kansas and if you can find that then you are right up there with Columbus and Magellan as an explorer.  Dave used to train in a round metal tank that would literally roast you on a hot day.  The frame for the gym was put up years ago, I believe Dave’s Dad had built a metal frame and never finished it.  Dave got it done and there is a gym, shop and garage housed in the large building.  You could park a dozen cars in there if it were cleared out, but Dave has a quarter sectioned off for the gym that is walled in and the rest is full of tools, cars, and projects!

Dave Glasgow cutting some steel rod in his gym to make stakes for Highland Games trigs.

I have been to many gyms overthe years and to me my favorites also include other “manly” pursuits.  My Uncle Phil has a reloading room attached to his gym.  Al Myers has a full scale metal shop in his gym.  Randy Richey (http://www.usawa.com/omega-force-christian-strongman-team/) has one of the coolest gyms I’ve ever seen with the a massive metal shop.   Hard to believe anyone could top Al’s gym, but Randy just might! I can’t top those guys but my gym has a workshop as well. Dave has entered the fray with a huge workshop area with the ability to cut, weld, and shape metal along with working on the two antique corvettes parked in his gym.

Some old school Eleiko bumpers at Ledaig

Another hallmark of a cool gym in my book is to have historical and cool things to lift.  Ledaig has many things, old and new to lift.  I was especially salivating over his Eleiko plates.  They are old and well used, but still cool nonetheless.  Dave has some equipment that he has used for many, many years in his gym and you can just feel the positive “mojo” in there!

If you get a chance to make it to a USAWA meet at Ledaig, it’s worth the journey.  You can fly into Wichita and that gets you close.  But if you drive there just know this:  The cell phone reception is not very good and on more than one occasion I have fielded a call from a lost lifter driving the countryside looking for “Rainbow Bend”.  Be sure you know how to get there!   Because it truly can be one of those places that “you can’t get there from here”!

Boxes for Lifting

by Thom Van Vleck

Boxes of different sizes can be a real plus to any gym.  They can be used for a variety of things.  Let’s look at some of the types.

Squat Boxes

My squat boxes with a 1 inch spacer that I can use to take them from 8" to 25". They are reinforced with a 2x4 frame inside.

Most people think of them for box squats which is what mine probably get used for the most.  I prefer to NOT do the box squats where you actually sit down on the box, but instead use mine to gauge depth.  But that debate is for another article.  These boxes aren’t always the strongest because they typically aren’t used to drop weight on.  Mine are strong enough to hold someone standing on them plus weight, but not drop the weight.  I made mine so that one box could be flipped on a side for a different height (I stole that idea from Al Myers….who probably stole it from someone else).  I have used mine for setting weights on to allow for different starting heights, as plyo boxes, and for many other things over the years.  They are just handy to have!

My "Jerk Boxes" that Al Myers made for me. These are made of metal and are a fixed height.

Jerk  (High) Boxes

These boxes are built with the intent of dropping the weight on them.  They need to be super durable.  I have some high ones that Al Myers made me that I asked for after injuring my should trying to “catch” a heavy push press.  Al made them….then liked them so much he made some for himself.  They have a thick sheet of rubber on them as well.  The High “Jerk” boxes I have are a steel frame with wooden platform on top.  They are usually made of wood.  Mine set high enough from me to do push presses and Jerks while standing over them.  I can also take squats out of them but from a low position. Usually these have a way to makes some adjustments on them, mine were custom for my height.

Pull (Low) Boxes

These are 3"-6" short solid wood boxes. They are stackable up to 9" for the Peoples Deadlift.

These boxes are also built with the intent of dropping weights on them.  In this case they are low for doing pulls and are built very strongly for dropping the heaviest of weights.  I have 4 boxes.  Two are 3″ thick and the other two are 6″ thick.  I can stack them and make them 9″ or the same as a People’s Deadlift.  Mine are scrap boards sandwiched with plywood and rubber matting.  I put handles on them to make them easy to move.  They are solid wood glued and screwed together.

Other “Boxes”.

There are many things you could use to achieve the same purpose and often it can mean re-purposing other objects.   If you are like me, you will find many other uses for these boxes in your training than what they were first built for.  This is especially true as I get older but at the same time as my kids train more and more I find them coming up with creative ways to use the boxes (and not all of it involves lifting…but that’s okay, too!).

Dino Days Record Day

by Al Myers

The Dino Days Weekend finished off with a USAWA Record Day on Sunday.  For the first time EVER, I had a conflict and could not be present at the record day on Sunday.  However, I left Denny Habecker and Scott Tully in charge, and would you believe this – it was the BEST record day the Dino Gym has ever seen!  13 lifters showed up to tackle the USAWA record list and many new records were set.  When I got back home Sunday night, Denny “filled me in” on the day’s top performances.  I was very impressed with the quality of lifting that took place. I just HATED to miss it, especially when it was done in the Dino Gym!!!

There was a wide range of lifts performed.  Just look down over the results and you will see many different lifts mentioned.  The youngest lifter was Gabby Jobe at age ten, and the oldest lifter was Art Montini at age 85.  The lightest lifter was Ruth Jackson at 107 lbs. and the heaviest lifter was Dan Bunch at 379 lbs.  The lightest lift for record was Ruth Jackson’s Rectangular Fix at 38 lbs., and the heaviest lift for record was Eric Todd’s Neck Lift of 1040 lbs.  Several ALL TIME records were set.  ET’s neck lift, Jesse Jobe’s Continental To Belt of 513 lbs., Alison Jobe’s Continental to Belt, Alan English’s Overhead Squat, etc.  Denny Habecker and Art Montini teamed up for a 507 lb. Team Deadlift as well.     

This was a record day that will be remembered.  I want to thank EVERYONE who showed up and supported the USAWA in this meet.

MEET RESULTS:

Dino Days Record Day
Dino Gym, Holland, Kansas
August 18th, 2013

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Lifts: Record Day (5 lift maximum)

Officials (1 official system used):  Denny Habecker, Art Montini, Lance Foster, Eric Todd

Gabby Jobe – Female, 10 years old, 118 lbs. BWT

Bench Press – Feet in Air: 65 lbs
Clean and Press: 50 lbs.
Peoples Deadlift: 176.2 lbs.
Anderson Squat: 180 lbs.

Alan English – 29 years old, 242 lbs. BWT

Apollons Lift: 323 lbs.
Turkish Get Up: 115 lbs.
Clean and Jerk – 2 Dumbbells: 220 lbs.
Squat – Overhead: 277.5 lbs.

Jesse Jobe – 36 years old, 240 lbs. BWT

Press – From Rack: 230 lbs.
Bent Over Row: 322 lbs.
Continental to Belt: 513 lbs.
Phumchaona Lift: 840 lbs.
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 303 lbs.

Alison Jobe – Female, 37 years old, 250 lbs. BWT

Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip: 186.2 lbs.
Continental to Belt: 186.2 lbs.
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip: 236.7 lbs.
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand: 144 lbs.
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand: 130 lbs.
Clean and Press – Middle Fingers: 57.5 lbs.

Scott Tully – 37 years old, 315 lbs. BWT

Turkish Get Up: 88 lbs.
Snatch – 2 Dumbbells: 120 lbs.
Lateral Raise – lying: 90 lbs.

Eric Todd – 38 years old, 261 lbs. BWT

Press – From Rack: 260 lbs.
Bench Press – Hands Together: 300 lbs.
Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 130 lbs.
Pullover – Straight Arms: 95 lbs.
Neck Lift: 1040 lbs.

Lance Foster – 47 years old, 322 lbs. BWT

Jefferson Lift: 360 lbs.
Cyr Press: 85 lbs.
Neck Lift: 330 lbs.

Dan Bunch – 49 years old, 379 lbs. BWT

Deadlift – Stiff Legged: 396.7 lbs.
Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm: 206.2 lbs.
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Left Arm: 220.2 lbs.

Dan Wagman – 50 years old, 180 lbs. BWT

Clean and Press – 12″ Base: 190 lbs.
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 125 lbs.
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 125 lbs.
Deadlift – 2 Bars: 550 lbs.
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 300 lbs.

Ruth Jackson – Female, 51 years old, 107 lbs. BWT

Deadlift – Reeves: 75 lbs.
Rectangular Fix – Fulton Bar: 38 lbs.
Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 105 lbs.
Squat – Piper: 167.5 lbs.
Snatch – Right Arm: 57.5 lbs.

Denny Habecker – 70 years old, 190 lbs. BWT

Press – From Rack: 150 lbs.
Clean and Press – Behind Neck: 135 lbs.
Clean and Press – Heels Together: 140 lbs.
Clean and Seated Press: 125 lbs.

Dean Ross – 70 years old, 265 lbs. BWT

Bench Press – Feet in Air: 195 lbs.
Bench Press – Hands Together: 165 lbs.
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 155 lbs.
Bent Over Row: 204 lbs.
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells: 260 lbs.

Art Montini – 85 years old, 174 lbs. BWT

Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 70 lbs.
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 70 lbs.
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells: 140 lbs.
Bent Over Row: 95 lbs.

Denny Habecker & Art Montini – 70-74 Age Group and 90 KG Weight Class

Team 2-Man Deadlift: 507 lbs.

Team Championships

by Al Myers

2013 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

Group picture from the 2013 USAWA Team Championships.

The Dino Gym hosted the USAWA Team Championships last weekend.  This is a championship event that contests “team lifting”.  Team lifting consists of lifting on the bar with a partner – and consists of three divisions:  2-MAN, 2-WOMAN, and MIXED PAIR.  Mixed pair is a team that consists of a male & female.  Four lifts were contested:  Bench Press – Hands Together, Deadlift – Fulton Bar, One Arm, Deadlift – Heels Together, and the Hip Lift.  The first three lifts went fairly quickly, but we ran into some difficulties with the Team Hip Lift.  To my best knowledge, the Hip Lift being performed as a Team Lift has never been contested before in history.  I had made a extra long Heavy Bar, but it required some slight modifications to it as the event was in progress.   All of the teams could have done MUCH MORE in this lift if given some more time training it and getting used to the timing of performing a Hip Lift with a partner. 

Logan Kressly and Jera Kressly performing a Mixed Pairs Heels Together Deadlift of 600 pounds.

I was very excited to have ALL THREE DIVISIONS represented in this championships.  That has never happened before.  The Ledaig HA was well represented with Jera and Logan Kressly lifting in the Mixed Pairs, and winning the Overall Mixed Pair Championships.  The 2-Woman Division saw a combination of Overall World Champ Ruth Jackson, and Overall Nationals Champ Molly Myers.  They formed a formidable duo.  The 2-Man Division was won by myself and Chad Ullom.   Denny Habecker and Art Montini competed in their first USAWA Team Championships.  Their lifting was superb, and each lift they did appeared to be done very easily.

MEET RESULTS:

2013 USAWA Team Championships
Dino Gym, Holland, Kansas
August 17th, 2013

Meet Director: Al Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Loaders: Dean Ross, Dave Glasgow

Photographer: Doug Kressly

Officials (1-official system used):  Al Myers & Denny Habecker

Lifts: Bench Press – Hands Together, Deadlift – Fulton Bar, One Arm, Deadlift – Heels Together, Hip Lift

WOMENS DIVISION

1. Ruth Jackson (51 years old, & 107 lbs) and Molly Myers (15 years old, & 171 lbs)

Open age class and 80 KG weight class

BP-HT DL-FB DL-HT Hip TOT PTS
160 198-R 375 550 1283 1444.6

EXTRA

Bench Press – Hands Together: 180 lbs.

MIXED PAIR DIVISION

1.  Jera Kressly ( 28 years old, & 231 lbs) and Logan Kressly (15 years old, & 169 lbs)
Open age Class and 105 KG Weight Class

BP-HT DL-FB DL-HT Hip TOT PTS
225 352-R 551 1423 2551 2108.2

EXTRA

Deadlift – Heels Together: 600 lbs.

MENS DIVISION

1.  Al Myers 46 years old, & 235 lbs) and Chad Ullom (41 years old, 252 lbs)
40-44 Age Class and 115 KG Weight Class

BP-HT DL-FB DL-HT Hip TOT PTS
450 452-R 904 2503 4309 3472.2

2.  Denny Habecker (70 years old, & 189 lbs) and Art Montini (85 years old, & 174 lbs)
70-74 Age Class and 90 KG Weight Class

BP-HT DL-FB DL-HT Hip TOT PTS
200 275-R 452 1150 2077 2509.7

EXTRA:

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Right: 308 lbs.

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in pounds. R designates right arm used.  TOT is total pounds lifted.  PTS are adjusted points for age and bodyweight corrections.

Unorthodoxy: A Training Program

By Thom Van Vleck

Bill Pearl autographed this cover of Muscular Development for my Uncle Phil. This picture hangs in the JWC Training Hall and inspires me in my bodybuilding workouts.

Anybody that trains for any length of time will get stale on any particular routine.  Everybody knows that.  We constantly switch things around to keep things fresh.  For many of us this means recycling many of the basic routines over and over….which can become stale within itself.  I have been training for 36 years and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and make no progress.  Or in my case, at age 49….trying to hold off the aging process which means lifting a weight I did 10 years ago is considered progress!!!! With those kinds of goals (avoiding decline instead of making gains) it becomes harder for me to stay motivated and enthusiastic about my training.

So, last year I decided I needed to shake some things up.  I upped my sets and reps, added  more exercises to the mix, and did what I would call an “Old School Bodybuilding” Workout.  Something that would make Reg Park or Bill Pearl happy!  This meant training heavy, but with more sets and reps.  I figured my single rep strength would suffer but to my surprise….it’s doing quite well.  I would credit the routine, but I really think it’s the enthusiasm this routine has created in my training.  My enthusiasm has been the highest it has been in years!

I really tried to start thinking outside the box.  I recalled about 18 years ago working my Bench Press for a solid year and adding a paltry 5lbs to my max.  Back then I was in my early 30’s and expected more!  I went from 360lbs to 365lbs.  I went into my next workout with no real plan and decided to hit ten sets of ten reps with 185lbs (about 50% of my max).  Boy was I sore the next day.  I had been used to a basic 3 sets of 8 reps program and this more then quadrupled my reps.  I went into my next workout still without a plan so I just added 10lbs and decided to make hitting 225lbs for 10 sets of 10 reps my goal.  I spent the next 6 months doing this same routine with NO ASSISTANCE work (of course, I was working back and legs….but no upper body assistance work).  This may be hard to believe, but I eventually did 300lbs for 10 sets of 10 reps.

Now, before Al Myers calls BS on me….let me explain.  When I did the 185, it was full reps, controlled, with a full pause at the bottom.  As I increased my form got sloppier and sloppier…..I didn’t care because I was so frustrated with my bench anyways.  I began to do half reps only locking out the last rep and slamming them harder and harder off my chest.  I also began to wear two, three, and even five tight t-shirts for extra padding.  So, I’m sure if I’d been doing these in a gym there would have been some guy making fun of me, telling me I was a joke, etc. etc.   I will be the first to admit that ten sets of ten reps with 300 was about the ugliest benches you would ever see.

The result.  The next week I warmed up.  I loaded 370 for the easiest PR I’d had in years.  I got cocky and jumped to 390….and got it.  Then I went to 400lbs…and I narrowly missed the first try and then did it on a second attempt!  I jumped up and screamed like I’d won the lottery!  The last Powerlifting meet I was in I got that 400lbs wearing a single ply bench shirt and that was my last  powerlifting meet.  I would point out I got 2 reds on that 400 for moving my feet….but I got it as far as I was concerned.  At that point Highland Games were beginning to consume my interest and I haven’t maxed on the bench since.

More recently, I have went back to that 10×10….with a twist.  I call it the 10×10x10.  Again, this is Unorthodox and will likely get you funny looks in gyms and chastised by most trainers.  But I just don’t care if it gets me results and keeps my interest up.  That’s worth more than “perfect form and the perfect routine”.  So, here are two examples of my 10×10x10.

The first is the Dumbbell Press.  I do 10 sets of 10 reps…..but at 10 different angles.  I have an adjustable bench that goes from a straight up and down to different angles of inclines all the way to a flat bench and then I slide plates under the front end to get two levels of declines.  So it’s ten sets of ten reps done ten different angles.  I have done this with the same weight allowing minimal rest and I’ve done it increasing the weight each set.

The second version of my 10×10x10 is with the box squat.  I have been using a safety squat bar which right there will get you made fun of my some guys.  I contend that you can save your back a lot with that bar and at my age that’s an issue.  I also would contend that you have to be very disciplined in using it as you can easily cheat.  I focus on keeping me weight centered on the balls of my feet and only using my hands to keep my body upright. This limits the weight…which is hard on the ego…but keeps the focus on my legs where I want it.  I do 10 sets of 10 on the squat but I start with a rock bottom squat, then to an 8″ box, then 10″…..in 2″ increments up to 24″ which from me having a 36″ inseam is well above parallel (God forbid!).  All the while I jump up in weight.

I’m not trying to say these are “secret routines” or you will have great gains, I’m just trying to show you how I have used some “Unorthodoxy” in my training to keep me motivated.  So, from time to time try being a little unorthodox in your training.  I would still say a good, structured program is best, but every so often do something outside the box.  A little change from time to time is good.

Team Champs Reminder

by Al Myers

REMINDER – the USAWA Team Championship is this weekend!

Presidential Cup

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS & REPORT

2013 USAWA PRESIDENTIAL CUP

Participants in the 2013 USAWA Presidential Cup (left to right): Al Myers, Denny Habecker, Art Montini, & LaVerne Myers

The second annual Presidential Cup only brought four lifters to the platform, but it was filled with some outstanding lifting performances in the host site, Habecker’s Gym.  This USAWA Championships crowns a Champion of the Record Days.   The basis of this honor is chosen by our USAWA President Denny Habecker on the Record lift that impressed him the most.  After all the dust had settled, our Prez made his decision, and the Champion of the Presidential Cup went to Art Montini with his unreal performance in the Teeth Lift.  I pretty much think all in attendance agreed to this choice!

Art Montini (right) and his Presidential Cup, awarded to him by USAWA President Denny Habecker (left).

The Teeth Lift is not a lift very many lifters would want to try a max lift in.  Art came to this meet with a new fabricated teeth bit all ready to set a new record.  He had worn his old one out!!!  Now that shows commitment to training the ole chompers.  He finished off with a lift of 107 pounds.  I should  remind everyone that Art is 85 years old, and soon to be 86!  I was going to say next that most people his age don’t even have their original teeth, but that applies to Art as well.  He did this with false teeth!  I guess that would build in a little safety margin – if you failed your teeth would just spit out with the bit!  Now that would be a sight to see.

There were also lots of other great lifting.  Denny performed a 176 lb. Hackenschmidt Floor Press and a 200 lb. Bentover Row.  LaVerne set a big record with a 232 lb. One Arm Deadlift record (breaking a mark held previously by Bill Clark), and did it using a Ciavattone Grip. He also did a 200 lb. Bentover Row and a one handed Thumbless Deadlift of 200 lbs.   I broke a couple of records held by my buddy Chad (since he wasn’t in attendance!) which included a 303 lb. Bentover Row and a 211# one arm Thumbless Grip Deadlift.  The highlight of my day was teaming up with my Dad in the Team One Arm Thumbless Grip Deadlift with a lift of 451 pounds.

LaVerne Myers pulling 232 pounds in the One Arm Deadlift, using a Ciavattone Grip.

This is a great event, and hopefully more lifters will attend next year.  Denny has agreed to keeping this as a fixture event in the USAWA.  Congratulations to all lifters who took part.

MEET RESULTS

2013 Presidential Cup
August 10th, 2013
Habeckers Gym
Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker

Officials (3 official system used on all lifts): Denny Habecker, Al Myers, Art Montini, LaVerne Myers, Judy Habecker

Al Myers – 46 years old, 235 pounds

Hackenschmidt Floor Press: 331 pounds
Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm: 200 pounds
Deadlift – No Thumb, Right Arm: 211 pounds
Bentover Row: 303 pounds

LaVerne Myers – 69 years old, 250 pounds

Deadlift – Left Arm: 232 pounds
Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm: 200 pounds
Bentover Row: 200 pounds

Denny Habecker – 70 years old, 187 pounds

Hackenschmidt Floor Press: 176 pounds
Deadlift – Right Arm, Ciavattone Grip: 165 pounds
Bentover Row: 200 pounds

Art Montini – 85 years old, 177 pounds

Hack Lift: 154 pounds
Deadlift – Left Arm, Ciavattone Grip: 122 pounds
Deadlift – Right Arm, Ciavattone Grip: 122 pounds
Teeth Lift: 107 pounds

Al Myers and LaVerne Myers – 45-49 age group, 115 KG Class

Team Deadlift – No Thumb, Right Arm: 451 pounds

Denny Habecker and Art Montini – 70-74 age group, 85 KG Class

Team Deadlift: 303 pounds

Presidential Cup & Century Club

by Al Myers

Susan Sees (left) and Bob Geib (right) at the 2013 USAWA National Championships. At this meet Bob eclipsed 100 USAWA records and joined the Century Club.

The Presidential Cup is coming up fast (THIS WEEKEND)!  It is hosted by our USAWA President Denny Habecker at his gym, Habeckers Gym, in Lebanon, PA.

I have my plane ticket bought and ready to “join in”  this premier Record Day event in the USAWA.  The Presidential Cup is modeled after the IAWA Gold Cup, to allow each lifter to showcase their favorite and best lifts.  There will be a champion crowned.  As per rules of this event, the President is the one to make the decision on which Record Lift performed impresses him the most and that person will be awarded the Champion of the Presidential Cup.  Last year at the inaugural USAWA Presidential Cup the late Dale Friesz was awarded the Championship trophy.  Everyone was in agreement that Dale rightfully deserved this honor.  Dale will forever be known as the FIRST PERSON to be crowned the champion of the Presidential Cup.

It has been awhile since I have given an update on the Records Race and the members of the Century Club.  After doing a little figuring, I was surprised to see the number of record increases and the new members of the Century Club.  I should have recognized a few lifters before now!  The Century Club has now grown to 25 members (from 23 on last count).  I accurately predicted recent Hall of Famer Bob Geib would be joining the list after his latest resurgence in the USAWA, and  Ruth Jackson has came out of nowhere to join the Century Club!!  Ruth has had a stellar year in the USAWA – capped by winning Overall Best Female Lifter at the IAWA World Championships last October.  Congratulations to both of these two for this accomplishment. Since the list has now grown, I am going to break it down into two listings – one for women and one for the men.

WOMEN’S CENTURY CLUB
(as of August 7th, 2013)

RANK LIFTER CURRENT RECORDS PREVIOUS COUNT CHANGE
1 Noi Phumchona  263  265  - 2
2 Ruth Jackson  180  new  ——
3 Mary McConnaughey  117  117  0

MEN’S CENTURY CLUB
(as of August 7th, 2013)

RANK LIFTER CURRENT RECORDS PREVIOUS COUNT CHANGE
1 Denny Habecker 480 447 + 33
2 Art Montini 425 413 + 12
3 Al Myers 411 396 + 15
4 John McKean 291 292 - 1
5 Dennis Mitchell 266 260 + 6
6 Frank Ciavattone 265 262 + 3
7 Joe Garcia 238 243 - 5
8 Bob Hirsh 229 229 0
9 Chad Ullom 200 195 + 5
10 Bill Clark 198 200 - 2
11 Howard Prechtel 174 175 - 1
12 Dale Friesz 160 162 - 2
13 Dean Ross 155 132 + 23
14 Jim Malloy 153 153 0
15 Scott Schmidt 151 148 + 3
16 John Monk 148 148 0
 17 Ed Schock 138 142  - 4
18 Chris Waterman 137 137  0
19 Rudy Bletscher 131 126  - 5
20 Mike Murdock 107 104  + 3
21 John Vernacchio 102 105  - 3
22 Bob Geib 102 new  ———

As you can see there are no “major changes” at the top of the Century Club.  Denny has stretched his lead over Art to such a degree that I won’t even call it a records race anymore between them (I’m calling you out Art to kick it in gear a bit!!! haha).  Denny has added the more records to his count since the previous count (33 records) than anyone else.  He is on pace to break the 500 barrier by the end of this year! I also added a “change” number to this list.  That is how much the lifter’s record count has changed since the last count. You have to remember these are absolute counts, so you may think you have set more records than listed (which is probably true), but some of the records you previously owned might be getting broken in the process.  The only way to keep going forward is to add more records than you are losing – and that is only accomplished by meet participation!  I’ll again mention Art here – as I know Denny is getting great satisfaction out of breaking Art’s records in the 70/85 KG class, thus adding one for himself and taking one away from Art at the same time!!!

I’m getting to pride myself of making predictions on who the next Century Club members will be.  I have been pretty much “right one” with every one.  Now let me make my next predictions.  Pretty easy if you ask me – it will go to a Ciavattone, either Joe Sr., Joe Jr., or Jeff.  They are all “knocking on the door” of getting 100 USAWA records on the books.  Now don’t let me down guys on this!!!

I’m looking forward to celebrating the USAWA this weekend at the Presidential Cup.  See everyone there!

Interview with Chad Ullom

by Al Myers

The start of the Dinnie Walk, one of the events in the World Stone Challenge.

Al: Recently you participated in the World Stone Championships in Scotland. Could you tell me how you got invited to this prestigious event? Please feel free to share any other details of the event.

Chad:  Well, Francis Brebner has been planning on doing this type of challenge for many years, but circumstances caused it to fall through.  He didn’t tell me this, but I believe after the controversy involving the Dinnie stones last year, he decided that this was going to be the year to pull it off.  Given the success in lifting the stones that Al Myers, Mark Haydock and I had last year, he extended an invitation to all of us to come over and compete in this challenge.  I made it clear to Francis that I am NOT a stonelifter!  I had success with the Dinnies because I have a good hook grip and a strong enough back.  After the support he showed us on the Milo forum and in writing the Milo article, I wanted to go and support the event.  Not to mention, it involved a trip to Scotland!

Inver Stone

Al:   What were the events, and how did you do?

Chad: We started off with the Dinnie stone carry for distance.  We were allowed to use straps since the farthest walks on record were done with straps.  This caused even more of a dust up after we were done!  Now, I have rarely lifted with straps so I made a big mistake!  I didn’t wrap my right strap all the way around and after two feet my strap broke!  I was going to try again, but someone shut us down early (that is another story!).   The two feet got met 4th place, Mark finished 2nd with 9 (I need to check that) and a big Hungarian named Peter Putzer   walked 18’4”!  Going over the 5 yard mark that was our target!  It was very impressive to watch!

We then did the bare handed walk with the smaller Dinnie stone.   Mark took 1st in this event with 30ft, and I came in 3rd with 21. 

Next it was on to the Inver stone.  We were given 75 seconds to lift it as many times as we could with 1 points awarded for lapping it, 2 for bringing it to the chest and 5 for an overhead press.  I was able to bring it to my chest 4 times which again placed me 4th

Next was the inverstone carry.   I went 1st here and made a big mistake!  I brought it to my chest and squeezed, cutting off my breath so I only went 37 feet and finished 5th here.

On the final day,  we threw a 98 pound stone that the Portland stone was designed after.  This one turned out to be my best event and with some advice from Ryan Vierra, I took 2nd place with a throw of 12’2.   

Mark ended up tied for 1st, but lost on count back to Istvan Sarai.  Overall, I finished 5th, but it was a lot of fun and I was honored to participate! 

The one handed Dinnie Stone Walk.

Al:  I seen that you lifted the Inver Stone, something that you couldn’t do on the stone tour following the Gold Cup.  I bet this was exciting for you.  Could you share the details of that accomplishment?

Chad:  That was very important to me.  As I’ve said, I’m not a stone lifter, but this was something I really wanted to do.  I was disappointed after the gold cup that I wasn’t able to lift the inver, but I was totally focused on the Dinnies!  Well, before we got there, I felt the butterflies.  After all, this was being filmed and I didn’t want to fail!  I went over to warm up , I grabbed it and it came off the ground very easily!  I had some issues with balance during  the comp, but I was happy to bring it to my chest 4 times.

Hans Darrow hosted a good ole fashioned BBQ on our first night in Germany, and he welcomed us right into his home.

 Al:  I know after this Stone Championships, you went to Berlin, Germany to participate in the IHGF World Amateur Highland Game Championships.  How did that go, and what were the highlights of competing against the International Highland Gamers?

Chad:  That was a very humbling experience!  Hans Darrow and his family treated us like one of their own.  I’m happy to say that the international throwers are a great group of guys and I made some new friends!  I finished in 10th place out of 14, I was happy with how I threw.  I threw pretty close to seasons best in each event, nothing great, but I didn’t bomb anything either.  The highlight for me was definitely caber.  Going in, I wanted to surprise some people with the caber.  I ended up placing 3rd here and was very happy with that.  It was a tough stick, only 5 got a turn I believe.  I’m happy to say that I was able to turn it all 3 times. 

Setting up for the Weight for Height.

Al:  I know there has to be at least one interesting story you would like to share with us from this trip.  I don’t expect for you to share the ones you told me privately about Hamish Davidson, but I’m sure there has to be one that is fit to tell here! 

Chad:  That’s a tough one, LOL.  The best stories aren’t mine to tell, but I can tell you Francis Brebner had me in tears for days after!  So the best story that is PG would be after the bar closed down!  Several of us decided to go out and celebrate.  We started at the field watching the fire show drinking beer, diesel(beer & cola mixed 1:1), and a few shots.  After a stop at a regular bar we moved to a dance club.  Had a great time,  and closed it down!  A few of us decided to walk back to the hotel, a few others took a cab to another bar.  So, 3am in Germany and everyone I was with spoke only broken English!  We weren’t 100% sure where we were so one of the guys stepped away to call a cab and left me with his brother.  Well, we waited….and waited…finally his brother laid down on the sidewalk and passed out! After a half hour, I woke him up and said we have to try to find our way!  We disagreed on where to go, but I finally convinced him to head my way.  Turns out, we were like 3 blocks from the hotel!   We must been out there a half hour!  The best part is we found his brother drinking in the hotel bar!  

Hammer Throw

Al:  What can you tell me about the organizers of these events?             

Chad:Francis Brebner and Ryan Viera make up the IHGF(international highland games federation).  I’m not sure how many countries they went through on this trip, but they are working very hard to expand highland games across the world!  I would say they are having great success, the games in Germany had 14 athletes representing 11 countries!  I believe it was the most countries in an international highland game.  They are taking some heat for reasons I don’t understand in some circles.  I can tell you after spending a week with these two, they are doing this for  the love of the sport!  They have a wealth of knowledge and a true passion for the games.  They also drug test at each of their games which makes them fit right in to our way of thinking!  I wish these men great success in what they’re doing. 

Group picture at the Highland Game Championships.

Al:  Thank you for taking the time to do this short interview.  The USAWA is very proud of you and these great accomplishments! 

Chad:  Thank you Al!

World Postal Meet

by Steve Gardner

MEET RESULTS

Andy Goddard Memorial – World Postal Challenge 2013

A Total of 62 Lifters took part in this year’s event, 25 teams in all. Results from teams that lifted in front of 3 refs, were submitted for record claims. Several prominent lifters were injured and having to lift below par, but the IAWA spirit saw them still compete, and so well done to you all! In the team event: Well done to Hoghton Barbell finishing ahead of the Burton Powerhouse first team, and a great result by The Ciavattones first team to finish third overall. In the individual overall rankings: Well done to Mark Haydock, a clear winner, ahead of Joe Ciavattone Jnr. who was superb in second position just ahead of Steve Andrews. Cast your eyes down the top ten amended totals and see what an impressive list it is, everyone who took part was a winner! Fantastic to have 14 female lifters, and a great big thanks goes out to Cliff Harvey for bringing New Zealand back to the fold with a bang! See all rankings in division order also to find your individual division placing. All results were amended using bodyweight and age formulas.

World Postal Meet Results (pdf):

Andy Goddard 2013 Results

The following result sheets contains the lifters that used 3 officials to qualify for IAWA World Records (pdf):

AndyGoddard2013

OTSM Championships

by Thom Van Vleck

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Third Annual Old Time Strongman Championships

Chad Ullom with a successful unassisted lift with the Dinnie Stones. An OTSM Championship lift for this year!

A date has been set for the OTSM.  December 7th!  So mark your calendars! Here are the details to date:

Date: 12/7/2013

Time: 10:00am weigh in begins, warm ups with a start time of noon.

Place: Kirksville, Missouri (exact location TBD)

Events: Anderson Squat, Anderson Press, Dinnie Lift (order will depend if we have to split into flights)

Entry Fee: $25

I wanted to have a three lift meet with a squat type lift, a press type lift, and a pull type lift.  Also, all the lifts are current OTSM official lifts. Winners will be determine by weight class and age and an overall best male and female lifter will be determined using weight and age formulas.    Lifters will get a JWC club t-shirt, anvil trophy for winners, refreshments, and certificates with meet results for everyone.

Entry Information:  Send your name, entry fee and shirt size to:

Thom Van Vleck
23958 Morgan Road
GreenTop, MO 63546

ENTRY FORM (PDF):  2013 OTSM Championships Entry Form

Grandpa’s Farm: A Legacy of Strength

by Eric Todd

This is a picture of the barn Grandpa built in 1950, that I maintain and use today.

I have shared this story in a number of forms on a number of different occasions.  But I feel it is worth repeating here once again.  For anyone interested in seeing a brief video, the condensed version, please look here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK3NYJs4nec

My Grandpa, Gus Lohman, was a farmer.  He was a farmer all of his life.  He came from generations of farmers.  His Great Grandfather John Lohman came over from Germany.  He built himself a dugout house, and according to a book on the history of Clinton County, Missouri, he became one of the prominent farmers in the area.  Grandpa attended the old Deer Creek one room schoolhouse, where he graduated the eighth grade.  That is the extent of his formal education.  From there he became a farm hand, where he saved up enough money to purchase his own farm.  Through his incredible work ethic and farm savvy, he saved up enough money to purchase the adjacent farm, giving him a farm of almost 500 acres, which he farmed successfully for the rest of his life.  This is the farm I was raised on.

I grew up knowing Grandpa as a gruff, but kind man with a great sense of humor.  But most of all, I remember him for his toughness.  I worked on the farm with him a great deal as a kid.  I started young and continued through my teenage years.  Grandpa was always a fan of feats of strength.  It was a huge compliment when Grandpa referred to someone as “stout”.   However, I have never encountered anybody who was able to work the way Grandpa could.  He never seemed to tire.  And I was working with him when he was in his seventies and eighties. 

I would later hear stories from the old men in the country store or around the neighborhood about Grandpa.  One tells about when someone had been crude in front of a lady, Grandpa punched him so hard it sent him though a barn wall.  Another was a story about a stallion that no one could break.  This is when Grandpa was quite young. When Grandpa claimed that he would be riding that horse to town that night, no one thought it was possible.  Until Aunt Josie and Uncle Sally were in their Model T on the way to the movies that night.  A lone rider came galloping past them.  It was Grandpa on that very stallion.  These are a couple of many stories, and I was always intrigued by stories of Grandpa’s Strength.

However, the most impressive feat of strength was one I learned about after Grandpa passed.  Deep into his eighties, Grandpa developed cancer and fought it off valiantly, but ultimately lost.  I remember when I was very young, Grandpa “retiring”.  He sold off his cattle and all his machinery.  This lasted a couple months, and then he bought it all back and continued farming.  At the time, as a small boy, I didn’t think much of it.  However; after he passed, I was told that at that time, over 20 years prior, Grandpa had been diagnosed with cancer, and was given six months to live.  He fought and lived well past that, and worked every day of it.

After Grandpa died, I decided there was no place I would rather live and raise a family then on Grandpa’s farm.  I moved back, and took to taking care of it as well as weight training and strongman training there.  The Grandpa’s spirit of toughness and hard work served, and still serves today, as a big motivator in my training. 

My mother and father also live on Grandpa’s farm.  They have most of my life.  We always had a pretty simple, hard working life out there.  When I was quite young (I believe 3 years old) I took note of Dad going out to run the country roads for exercise.  I got the notion that I wanted to do what Dad was doing, so I would throw my mud boots on and light out after him.  Before long I was running a mile or two at a time.  When I was about nine, and had discovered that wrestling was something I could do competitively, dad made me a dumbbell to work out with.  I used it religiously, along with doing pushups and sit-ups.  When dad saw how determined I was, we made a makeshift weight room out in the old milk barn, and Dad and I would train together.  After the workout, we would talk about what would make a champion, and even more important, what it took to make a man.

 I never appreciated my father to the extent that I should have growing up.  See, my father was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 13.  HE didn’t have control of it through medication until he was around 30.  At that time, he was finally able to obtain a drivers license.  Because of the late start, he was never confident in his driving, but he braved treacherous roads in the winter without fail.  He was often unsteady in walking due to his medication, but he always made it to work, even after a number of falls to ensure he made it to work to make a living to take care of his family. 

For a few years as I was on the mend from a severe back injury, me and Dad trained together again.  We competed together in powerlifting meets.  It was a valuable experience to be able to train with dad again, and ultimately compete with him, side by side. 

My mother was always the cement that held our family together.  She was the rock that we would lean against for our own strength in hard times.  She always gave to her family first, and often went without herself. A few years ago we had just had our little girl.  My wife had to go back to work, but we were confident, as Mom would be taking are of Phoebe during the days.  This went well for a few months, but one Sunday night, Mom called.  She wasn’t feeling well, and would not be able to take care of Phoebe the next day.  This worried me.  I knew mom would have to be on her deathbed in order to not take care of Phoebe.  The next day, I called to check on her.  She was feeling worse, so I convinced her to get to the ER. She was diagnosed with colon cancer and had to have emergency surgery.  After the surgery was over, I felt like I would need to be strong for her.  What did I know?  Even though she had been through that incredible trauma, had a ventilator in, and was only able to communicate through writing with her swollen hand,   she continued to look after us, checking to be sure Dad had taken his medication and scolding us for not getting anything to eat. 

Yeah, I come from good stock.  Where will this legacy of Grandpa’s farm go?  Where Everett is only 5 months old, Phoebe has been trying to lift things since she could walk.  Though I scold her, when she is bench pressing the coffee table, or   when she is supposed to be going to bed she grabs this 2# antique dumbbell I have setting by my chair and starts lifting it overhead saying “I’m exercising”, I know it is in her blood.  My wife told me one day when she and Phoebe were out on the back deck where I have two throw away ez curl bars setting, and Phoebe went up and futilely tried to lift the first one.  She said to herself, “That’s Daddy’s.”  Then she went to the lighter one and lifted it about 4-5” off the ground.  “That’s mine,” she beamed.  I could only smile.

Yeah, I come from good stock.  So what is my responsibility to the legacy of strength on grandpa’s farm?  I will not push my children into weight lifting or sport if that is not something they want for themselves.  But it is up to me to teach them the value of hard work, determination, tenacity, and more than anything, strength of character.  To do anything less would do a disservice to those who came before them, and the legacy of Grandpa’s farm.

David Webster & the Dinnie Stones

by Al Myers

I was able to catch up with David Webster again (I've met him many times at prior Highland Games) at the 2013 Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. Pictured left to right: Al Myers, David Webster, & Chad Ullom

If it wasn’t for David Webster, the stone lifting World might never have heard of the Dinnie Stones. David Webster  is the man who made the presence of the Dinnie Stones well known.  Without this, all the recent notoriety the Dinnie Stones have received would have never happened.  These famous lifting stones might be laying obscure at the bottom of the river bed in the River Dee instead. Today I would like to share some previous published information about David Webster’s and his tie to the Dinnie Stone’s legacy.

From the book “The Super Athletes” by David Willoughby:

Here is an example of how strong Dinnie was is a simple feat of lifting and carrying.  This information was kindly furnished to me by David Webster of Glasgow, a famous strand-pulling expert and an authority on Donald Dinnie.  Outside the hotel in Potarch, Scotland, are two large and heavy boulders which used to be used in tethering horses (while their masters went into the hotel to refresh themselves). One of the boulders weighs 340 pounds and the other 445.  In the top of each weight is fastened a ring made of 1/2-inch round iron and just large enough to grip with one hand.  The story is that Dinnie’s father was able to lift the 445 pound stone onto a wall 3 1/2 feet high and that Dinnie himself carried both stones (one in front of him and the other behind) a distance of five or six yards.

Another great resource on Donald Dinnie and the Dinnie Stones is David Webster’s and Gordon Dinnie’s  book, “Donald Dinnie – The First Sporting Superstar”. This book is a MUST for anyone who has interest in the Dinnie Stones or stone lifting in general (YES – that’s a plug for the book!).  This is a short piece from the  book, which is written in such manner as to reflect Donald Dinnie’s own account.

In the Deeside district there are many stories told of his extraordinary feats. Just let me tell you one.

On the granite stone bridge that crosses the River Dee at Potarch there were, and still are, two large stones weighing about 8 cwt the pair, placed in a recess.  In the early 1830’s massive iron rings were placed in them, to which ropes were fixed so that scaffolds could be attached for pointing the bridge.  Now, one of those stones was somewhat heavier than the other. Very few strong men of that day could lift the heavy one with both hands, but my father could raise one in each hand with apparent ease, and could throw the heavier stone of the two on to the top of a parapet wall of the bridge.

On one occasion, I have been told, he took one stone in each hand and carried them both to the end of the bridge and back – a distance of 100 yards.  This achievement has been pronounced the greatest feat of strength ever performed in Scotland.

Those stones are still on the bridge and I myself lifted  one in each hand on many occasions and one market day, I carried them across the bridge and back, some four to five yards.  I did not, however, attempt to go to the end of the bridge, as my father had done.

If you want more information than THAT from the book, you should buy it!  I consider both of these literary accounts as the basis of the history and legend of the Dinnie Stones, which David Webster is a big part of.  You can read lots of speculations and opinions from those posting on the internet on how Donald Dinnie intended the Dinnie Stones to be lifted, whether Donald Dinnie actually carried both stones at the same time unassisted across the bridge,  and so on.  All of that is just talk and is meaningless, as I have not been aware of any ACTUAL PROOF of the feats of Donald Dinnie in regard to the Dinnie Stones.  That only actual support to the Dinnie Stone stories are the written accounts passed down in history, like the two above.

I chose to believe the above words of David Webster because I WANT to believe in the legend of Donald Dinnie and the Dinnie Stones . Let the Dinnie Stone legacy continue to  live!

The Wagman Log – Not So Pristine

By Dan Wagman, PhD, CSCS

Publisher/Editor in Chief: Journal of Pure Power (JOPP)

Consultant: Body Intellect Sports Performance Enhancement Consortium

Dan Wagman's homemade wooden log.

Recently Thom Van Vleck wrote a wonderful article about the Jackson Stones on his farm. One of the responses to that article on the USAWA Forum mentioned how strongman should be about lifting such oddly shaped stones, not what you find today with the “pristine standardized stuff you see anymore.” I immediately thought to myself, “Yeah, just like the silly perfectly balanced steel logs they use anymore.” So allow me to introduce you to my log—a real log.

Dan pressing Kaz's wooden log in the 1991 USA Strongman Championships.

In the early 90’s Bill Kazmaier put on the first USA Strongman Championships and I wanted to compete. Of course one of the events included the log press. My gym owner was very supportive of my powerlifting and we even put on a State Bench Press meet together. So as soon as he heard that I wanted to compete in strongman USA’s, he offered to “sponsor” me—by cutting down a tree in his yard so I could practice the log press. I thought he was kidding…until he pulled his truck up to the front of the gym, gesturing me to hop in. We proceeded to head to his place to take down a tree. It actually didn’t take very long at all. He had a chain saw, cut that thing down, cut off the branches, cut the log to four feet, and then used the tip of the chain saw to cut out hand-holds through which we drilled holes and inserted 1-inch pipe as grips—done!

We threw the log in his truck and went straight back to the gym. Next step, weighing the log…200 pounds. Next step…lifting it. My friend had first crack at it and couldn’t lift it. Then I went and with much, much difficulty I was able to press it out for one rep. After applying some of that new science I learned since I had just started my graduate work in exercise science, I was up to 16 reps in two weeks and then over 20 at the end of a month. At Kaz’s meet I ended up with the highest log press rep-count by knocking out 22 reps with Kaz’s real log. Those were the days…

After several months the log dried out and started to lose weight. To make it heavier I would periodically hose it down with water, but that made no difference and it stabilized in weight at 155 pounds. Of course I had to find a way to add weight, which I did by bolting floor flanges to each side and screwing in 2.5 inch pipe; now I could add plates. Time to crank!

After perfecting the clean and press or push-press with that log and then having to press a wonderfully balanced steel log, it’s no wonder why I tend to spank my competition in the log press. I’d go as far as saying that lifting a perfectly balanced steel log serves to limit your strength gains. It’s probably the same thing with stones…Maybe in this day and age STRONGMAN should be renamed to something more pristine such as not-as-STRONG-as-I-could-be-MAN.

Club Award to the Salvation Army Gym

by Al Myers

The Salvation Army Gym - Runner Up CLUB OF THE YEAR in the USAWA.

I was glad to be able to personally award the Salvation Army Gym their Runner Club Award from the USAWA at their USAWA meet last weekend.  These awards, presented on behalf of the USAWA, were given out at the National Championships.  However, since no representatives from the Salvation Army Gym were able to be present at Nationals, this meet of theirs was the perfect opportunity for me to be able to give them the recognition they deserve.

Tim Piper (left) receiving the Club Award from USAWA Awards Director Al Myers (right).

The Club Awards are the only special USAWA awards that are not selected by membership nomination/vote.  Points are accrued throughout the year for various things like USAWA memberships that represent the club, club promotions, and participation of club members in USAWA competitions.  The points are simply “added up”, and the clubs that earn the most points are the winners.  So you can see that this award is actually EARNED! 

Congratulations to the Salvation Army Gym for an outstanding past year in the USAWA!  The next year will be a BIG ONE for them as well as they will be the host of the 2014 USAWA National Championships.

Joe the Turk OTSM

 by Tim Piper

“Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet- Press Release

This is the group picture from the 2013 "Joe the Turk" Old Time Strongman Meet.

The Macomb Salvation Army hosted the “Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet on July 27.  “Joe the Turk” was Macomb Illinois’ original “strongman” and holds a unique and special place in the history of the Macomb Salvation Army.  At the turn of the 2o th century Joe the Turk was in Macomb for a short time helping clean up the town of crooked laymen and henchmen.  He did so by being unafraid of their tactics and standing steadfast in his belief that good would prevail.  While he only spent a short time in Macomb it seemed fitting to name the United States All-round Weightlifting Association (USAWA) sanctioned meet in his honor. 

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

Whitney Piper performing a Peoples Deadlift, enroute to winning the women's division.

The meet was held outside the Salvation Army gym in the warm sun.  The first lift was the Apollon’s lift which involves taking a 2 inch barbell overhead in any manner the lifter chooses.  Twelve year old, 79 pound, Whitney Piper did well setting new records for teenage and open womens divisions with a lift of 33pounds.  Traveling from Pennsylvania 85 year old, 176 pound Art Montini lifted 66 pounds, setting a new master record.  Also from Pennsylvania, 70 year old, 185 pound Denny Habecker set a new master record of 132 pounds.  Weighing in at 202 pounds, 43 year old Tim Piper set a new master record of 198 pounds.  41 year old Chad Ullom of Kansas weighed in 252 pounds and finished up the Apollon’s lift with 253 pounds. 

The next lift was the Dumbbell to shoulder which is nothing more than bringing a heavy dumbbell to shoulder height and displaying control before getting a down signal from the judge.  Whitney lifted 28 pounds for a new womens and teenage record.  Montini lifted 46 pounds, Habecker lifted 112, and Ullom lifted 244 pounds, all good for a new master records.  Piper lifted 189 pounds for a new national and master record. 

Chad Ullom won the Men's Division, and was awarded a set of 40 year old Indian Clubs for his efforts!

The next lift was the Anderson squat, named after the late Paul Anderson.  This lift consists of a partial squat with the barbell starting at 2/3 the individuals standing height.  Whitney lifted 110 pounds for new teenage and open national records.  Montini did well with 198 pounds.  Habecker set a new master record with 308 pounds.  Piper set new master and open records with a 507 pound lift.  Ullom topped the field for the day at 793 pounds, just 7 pounds off his the national record of 800 pounds.

The final lift of the day was the Peoples deadlift, named after Tennessee powerlifter Bob Peoples, and is a deadlift that starts with the barbell at 18 inches off the ground.  Whitney lifter 165 pounds for new teenage and open national records.  Montini pulled 319 pounds, Habecker lifted 374, and Piper lifted 407, all good enough to set new national records.  Chad Ullom was the strongest in this lift with 639 pounds setting new master and open records. 

This is the sign out front of the Salvation Army Gym.

The scoring for USAWA meets consists of adjustments made for age and weight to equalize for fair scoring of the best pound-for-pound lifters.  After all calculations were done Chad Ullom was determined to be the best overall lifter for the day.  All lifters received commemorative “Joe the Turk” mugs.  For his efforts the best overall lifter Chad Ullom received a set of Indian clubs similar to the sort that Joe might have recognized in his days in Macomb.  The meet was a success and plans are already starting for next years “Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman meet as well as the USAWA National meet, both to be held in Macomb Illinois.

MEET RESULTS:

Joe the Turk OTSM Meet
July 27th, 2013
Salvation Army Gym
Macomb, Illinois

Meet Director: Tim Piper

Announcer/Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Head Official/Timekeeper (1 official system used): Thom Van Vleck

Lifts:  Apollon Lift, Anderson Squat, Dumbbell to Shoulder, Peoples Deadlift

WOMENS DIVISION

Lifter Age BWT Apol SQ DB DL TOT PTS
 Whitney Piper 12 79 15 50 13 75 153 381.9

MENS DIVISION

Lifter Age BWT Apol SQ DB DL TOT PTS
Chad Ullom 41 252 115 360 110.5 290 876 705.5
Tim Piper 43 202 90 230 85.5 185 591 545.5
Denny Habecker 70 185 60 140 50.5 170 421 514.4
Art Montini 85 176 30 90 20.5 145 286 400.9

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

Jackson Stones

by Thom Van Vleck

My circle drive, the Jackson Stones in the foreground and my other concrete "strongman" stones behind them.

When you come to my place I have a circle drive in front of my house.  In the center is a tree planted on honor of my mother in law, Peggy Lynn Barton-Baybo, who passed away about 10 years ago.  Around the tree are four limestone fence posts that weigh around 225lbs each that came from central Kansas courtesy of Ryan Batchman.  Ryan is a great lifter (one time USAWA member) and thrower and a real friend.  They came from his farm and are fence posts carved from limestone used in the 1800’s in central Kansas when trees where scarce.  Then around that are my strongman stones.  I have several different sized  concrete stones….kind of your traditional strongman stones from 225lbs to 300lbs.  The biggest round stone sits on a concrete slab from my Great Grandpa Baugher’s well.  It has a hole in it where the pump went and a concrete ring around it.  I like it because it reminds me of a mill stone.  But I also have three natural Granite stones I dug up on my farm starting 20 years ago.

The 220lb "First" Jackson Stone

I eventually dubbed my three natural Granite stones the “Jackson Stones”.  But early on, about 20 years ago I discovered some stones that had been pushed in a draw on my farm.  Years ago the top had been row cropped and I’m sure as they came up with these glacial till stones they pushed them in the draw to get them out of the way.  They were half buried and I just wanted one to practice stone lifting so I picked the smaller one that was around 220lbs.  A good “starter” stone.  This stone was kept in my yard and from time to time I’d lift it.  It was used in my first ever strongman contest as part of a medley event.  Chad Ullom was at that event.

The second Jackson Stone, 299lbs

About 15 years ago I decided I needed a bigger stone so I went back to the draw and after much digging and work pulled this 299lber out.  It looks smaller in the photo but it’s not as round as the first one and the odd shape made it a challenge.  It was at that same time I pulled out the third stone, which weighed in at 330lbs.  This trio of stones was used in several of my strongman contests and was part of my training when I used to work on strongman events.  They also were often used in our strongman shows that USAWA member John O’Brien did with me.  We had a standard Whiskey Barrel that we would lift the stones on.

The 330lbs, the third Jackson Stone.

These stand as a challenge for anyone that comes to my place.  As far as I know, only Eric Todd, John O’Brien, Joe Costello, Brian Kerby, and myself have lifted all three in succession.  While they are rough and easier to grip, they are odd shaped and finding the center of gravity can be a real problem.  Making them challenging in their own way.  For years I just guessed the weight and I was at 225, 300, and 325.  I finally weighed them officially and found I was not too far off!  I have a plan if I can find a 440lber to make some Dinnie Style rings!   The pink granite crystals make them really beautiful in my book over the grey concrete stone.  I hope others will take the challenge.  If you want a crack, just come to my place!

Jobe’s Superman Meet

by Jesse Jobe

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Superman Meet

I have always been fascinated by all forms of lifting. And years ago I remember reading about some meets called Superman meets, where a lifter performed the Olympic lifts and the Powerlifting lifts for a Superman total.  I wanted to be able to stay as close as possible to the traditional lifts so the most logical step to me was to use an axle for all the lifts except the squat.  I think with an axle being used it will definitely limit what some people can clean and snatch, and with the bar being so stiff it will make the deadlift very interesting.

Meet Details:

Meet Director: Jesse Jobe and Jobe’s Steel Jungle

Date: September 15th

Location: Jobe’s Residence 3448 ave. B Council Bluffs, IA 51501

Divisions: Juniors, Masters, Women, and Open.

Rules: USAWA rules and scoring apply to all lifts.  Drug testing rules apply.

Lifts:  

Clean and Jerk - Fulton Bar        
Snatch – Fulton Bar
12” Base Squat
Fulton Bar Bench Press
Deadlift – Fulton Bar

Weigh in: 10:00am to 11:00 day of meet

Lifting: 11:00 am

Entry fee: 20$

Awards: Trophies for top 3 in the overall, Medals for all other top 3. If there are enough Women entered I will do a top 3 for that also. I will also be hosting a BBQ after the meet which will be included with the entry fee.

ENTRY FORM (PDF): Superman Meet Entry Form

Joe the Turk reminder

by Al Myers

Paul Anderson training a partial squat that is very close to the USAWA lift that bears his name in the USAWA - the Anderson Squat. Notice the homemade wooden rack that supports the weight just below lockout.

This will be the last reminder for the “Joe the Turk” OTSM competition tomorrow, hosted by Tim Piper and the Salvation Army Gym in Macomb, Illinois.  It is looking to be a good turnout on hand.  I’m leaving with Chad shortly, and I talked to Denny yesterday and him and Art are making the trek from PA.  Thom will be there as well, and I’m sure several of the local gym members will be competing.  There’s a great selection of Old Time Strongman lifts in this meet – Anderson Squat, Dumbbell to Shoulder, Peoples Deadlift, and the Apollon’s Lift.  That’s a meet for everyone!

Scott Schmidt – New LEVEL 2 OFFICIAL

by Al Myers

Bob Geib lifting under the watch of 3 Level 2 USAWA Officials at the 2013 USAWA National Championships: Chad Ullom (left), Scott Schmidt (center), and Joe Ciavattone (right).

It’s always exciting news when a new USAWA certified official reaches LEVEL 2 officiating status.  Congratulations goes to Scott Schmidt for becoming the most recent Level 2 official.   Scott went about reaching Level 2 status in an unorthodox manner.  Let me explain.

The typical process of becoming a USAWA official involves taking the Rule Test first.  This consists of an open book exam of 100 questions covering the rules in the USAWA Rulebook.  There is no time limit for taking the test, and to pass it you must score over 90%.  After passing the Rules Test, an aspiring official must then perform the Practical Training Sessions, which consists of attending 3 meets and judging alongside a Level 2 official. After this has been completed successfully,  a person becomes a Level 1 Test Qualified Official.  The “other” category of Level 1 officials is the Level 1 Experience Qualified.  This was created to allow those very experienced USAWA officials to be “grandfathered in” as officials when the USAWA Officials Program began in 2009.  To be eligible to become a Level 1 Experience Qualified Official, one must have officiated in over 25 prior USAWA competitions and/or events.  Once a Level 1 Test Qualified official has officiated over 25 competitions they can apply for Level 2 status.

Scott has been an official in the USAWA for over 20 years.  He has officiated 100’s of events, and often serves as the head official in big competitions.  He spent 2 days sitting in the HEAD CHAIR at this past National Championships, and is regarded as one of the best officials in the USAWA by the lifters.  He was formally listed as a Level 1 Experience Official, and now since he has passed the USAWA Rules Test, he has “officially” joined the Level 2 group of elite USAWA officials.  Since Scott grandfathered in, he went about this entire process in reverse order by taking the rules test last!  I have hoped that all of the Level 1 Experience Qualified officials would take the rules test and become Level 2 officials to show support to the USAWA Officials Program.   It is next to impossible to become a Level 2 Experience Qualified official now as the initial grant of  Certified Official status without taking the rules test is not allowed anymore.

Again, Congrats to Scott!

Looking for Mr. Goodbar

My latest addition....a Pendlay bushing bar.

by Thom Van Vleck

I consider Al Myers to be the definitive expert on bars and he has written article before on them that I could never compete with in regards to expertise.  I just have to admit…I’m a bit of an addict when it comes to my training and the equipment involved.  The Pendlay bar is the 19th in my collection.

Since I am a counselor and a Certified Substance Abuse counselor I often make comparisons with my lifting as an addiction.  First of all an addiction is defined as a behavior that is continued despite adverse consequences.  I don’t like to think that my training has adverse consequences but I bet there are some that would disagree.  All the injuries, the increased bodyweight, lifting to the point of getting petechia (red spots from broken capillaries), and all the other things those of us who lift see as “normal”.  Or maybe it might be odd that I have 19 bars to lift on!  I do feel a bit like a addict when it comes to my training!

So, that aside, there are three reasons I bought a new bar.  Each one I have has it’s own use!  Some are specialized, like my trap bar, but most are different variations of a standard Olympic bar.  I think Al Myers has twice as many as me and he’d say the same thing.  I wanted a good bar for push presses as that is one lift I’m doing well on and still hitting some lifetime PR’s on.

There is another reason for a new bar.  When I get something new, it’s “newness” motivates my training.  I get this belief that I can lift more, excitement to go and try it out, and often because I think that…it becomes true and I have some good workouts with my “new toy”.   Of course, I sometimes will pull out the oldest bar in my collection, bought in 1938 and used my my grandfather….or the bar from 1957 that was the first Oly bar the JWC had….those have some mojo of their own and maybe someday my kids or grandkids will think the same of this bar.

Finally, one more reason for a new bar.  I am getting to an age where I have worked hard and have a little more money than I did years ago.  I have taken care of my obligations and let’s be honest, this is a lot cheaper than other mid life crises, like a sports car or motorcycle!   I don’t have many life time “PR’s” left in me and this may help me get “one more”.   A reward for hard work…whatever you want to call it…but this will motivate me as well!

So, I have a new bar.  You can come by and look at it…but for now it’s mine….and you can’t use it because I don’t want it bent!   But eventually, another will come and this will be up for grabs.  Because even though I have a new bar and it’s the best one I’ve ever owned….I’m still looking for “Mr. Goodbar”.

Lifter of the Month: Molly Myers

by Al Myers

Molly Myers pulling a 92.5 KG Ciavattone Grip Deadlift at the 2013 USAWA National Championships.

The lifter of the month for the month of June goes to Molly Myers!  The lifter of the month was established to recognize an outstanding performance over the course of the month in USAWA competitions/events.  Molly was awarded BEST OVERALL FEMALE LIFTER at the 2013 USAWA National Championships in Lebanon, PA.   I consider winning Best Overall Lifter at Nationals as a “slam dunk” in consideration of the Lifter of the Month Award.  Molly established 12 new USAWA records at Nationals (2nd most of any lifter at the meet) which included 3 new National Meet records.  Her lifts were outstanding: 80 KG continental to belt, 70 KG one arm deadlift, 40 KG clean and press, 25 KG one arm snatch, 50 KG pullover and push, and a 92.5 KG ciavattone grip deadlift.  Those are some BIG LIFTS for a girl who is only 14 years old!!!!

Congrats Molly on your  lifter of the month award!!!! (your ole dad  is proud of ya!)

Middle Atlantic Postal Meet

by Al Myers

The “second quarter” USAWA Postal Meet has just been compiled.   The date of completion was the end of the  month of June. Nine lifters took part – 8 men and 1 woman.  It was a great selection of all round lifts contested – press from rack, reverse grip curl, and the hack lift. 

The big winners of the 2013 Middle Atlantic Postal Meet were Dan Wagman (men) and Ruth Jackson (women).  Congratulations to both of these two! 

I just want to make a couple of comments requiring postal meets.  First,  postal meets require lifters to be truthful in their submissions as well as knowledgeable of the current rules for each lift contested.   In this meet the Curl – Reverse Grip was contested.  The USAWA has two curl lifts that use the Reverse Grip – this lift as well as the Curl – Cheat, Reverse Grip.   The difference being the Curl – Reverse Grip is done using the rules of the Rectangular Fix while the Curl – Cheat, Reverse Grip uses the rule of the Cheat Curl.  That’s a big difference, as much more weight is able to be lifted using the rules of the Cheat Curl.  I don’t want to “point  fingers” here – but there seemed to be some big weights lifted in this lift in this meet for using the rules of the Rectangular Fix. Chad did 132 pounds in the Curl – Reverse Grip at the World Championships last fall, and that currently stands as the top Curl – Reverse Grip poundage in the USAWA Record Book.  Five lifters lifted more than Chad did in this meet (hic, hic…. I call BS).  It is a lifters responsibility in a postal meet to read the rule of the lift from the USAWA Rulebook before performing the lift in a postal meet, as it is unfair to the other lifters who are “doing things right”.  And as a reminder – the USAWA Rulebook is FREE OF CHARGE to download  from this website!!

I also received a note from Postal Meet Director John Wilmot when he sent me the results.  He singled out one particular lifter (who I won’t name here) who seems to have problems with his literary neatness in penmanship.  As John put it, “his writing is small and blurred”.  This has happened on multiple occasions now for this unnamed lifter, and makes compiling these postal meet results more complicated for John if he can’t read a lifters handwriting.   I am somewhat sympathetic to this writing deficiency, as I have the same problem.  It seems to be a common affliction amongst those that spend way too many years in College (hint hint as to this lifters identity) that their handwriting degrades to the point of being unreadable (I blame it on taking class notes at a rapid pace,  which I use as my excuse!).  

It is also important to make sure you indicate if your results are turned in in pounds or kilograms.  It is obvious to me that one lifter in this meet turned his lifts into John in kilograms and they got recorded in the official meet results as pounds.  That is a “meet killer” for anyone. 

I apologize for being so critical in this meet report.  But the future of our postal meets depend on lifters being knowledgeable of the USAWA Rulebook, being truthful in their turned in meet results, and submitting result sheets that are properly filled out.

MEET RESULTS:

2013 Middle Atlantic Postal Meet
June 30th, 2013

Meet Director:  John Wilmot

Lifter using the 3-official system:
Bill Crozier – Certified Officials Jim Malloy, Scott Schmidt

Lifters using the 1-Official System:
Denny Habecker – Certified Official Judy Habecker

Lifters using non-certified judges:
Ruth Jackson – Judge Dan Wagman
Dan Wagman – Judge Ruth Jackson
Les Cramer – Judge Monica Cook
Samuel Rogers – Judge Orie Barnett, Judge Aaron Hougland
Orie Barnett – Judge Sam Rogers, Judge Aaron Hougland
John Wilmot – Judge Kay Wilmot
Aaron Hougland – Judge Orie Barnett, Judge Sam Rogers

Lifts contested: Press – From Rack, Curl – Reverse Grip, Hack Lift

WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Press Curl Hack PTS
Ruth Jackson 51 105 85 50 215 544.8

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Press Curl Hack PTS
Dan Wagman 50 185 200 140 425 786.4
Orie Barnett 52 229 178 169 441 738.4
Les Cramer 71 186 140 135 300 706.8
Samuel Rogers 50 204 172 138 349 646.2
Aaron Houghland 36 275 195 200 400 601.6
John Wilmot 66 226 115 95 290 530.9
Bill Crozier 76 208 60 65 175 359.2
Denny Habecker 70 187 65 35 70 206.7

NOTES:  AGE is age in years.  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  All results recorded in pounds.  PTS are adjusted points for age and bodyweight.

New Orleans Anvil Lifting

Columbian Anvil at Sigles Metal Shop in the French Quarter....it waited 57 years for me to come lift it!

by Thom Van Vleck

Recently a friend of mine said that every weightlifter is always secretly sizing up objects around him to see if he can lift them.  I guess I do that to.  Some you know are impossible, others not so impossible.  I like to keep my eye out for Anvils.  Most of you know my affinity for anvils, you can find an previous article I wrote on my own family anvil here:

Grandpa Jackson’s Anvil

This past month I was able to take my wife on a surprise trip to New Orleans.  The choice to go there was almost chance.  I had a credit to use, there was a deal on New Orleans……so there you go!  We were just looking to spend some time sight seeing in the French Quarter.  Now, everyone has heard of Bourbon Street, and it goes right through the middle of the French Quarter.  But there is much more to it than that and my wife and I set about exploring the back streets checking out the unusual stores, bars, and shops.  Some were “interesting” to say the least but I came across one place that was closed on that day that intrigued me.  I was called Sigles Antiques and Metal Craft.

Sigles was a nondescript shop on Royal next to the Andrew Jackson Hotel.  There is a story on the Jackson side of my family that we are related, but I can’t prove it.  But my wife thinks his crusty, stubborn attitude pretty much proves we are related!  Sigles had all kinds of iron work.  Scroll work, hitching post tops, all kinds of stuff.  A very elderly woman ran the shop who I later found out was 91.  She said that she and her husband had owned the shop for 57 years.  My wife bought some fluer-de-lei coat hangers and I found a nice spear top that I’m going to use for one of my Highland Games flags.

Then I noticed a shop door that said no customers in the shop.  ”SHOP”….I had to see the metal shop!  I very politely asked the owner’s wife if I could check it out even if the husband wasn’t there.  She graciously complied and it was like stepping back in time!  All kinds of old tools….I mean really old stuff!   And then….there it was….the Anvil.  She had no idea about where it came from except it came with the shop when they bought it 57 years ago!   I explained I liked to lift things and she gave me the go ahead.  It was not fixed to the stand and it was fairly easy, I would guess it around 150lbs.  I then took some photos so I could learn more about it and promised to share that with her as she was curious herself!

The Anvil had what looked to be a “V” or inverted  pyramid and a large “M” on the other side.  I did some research and found out this was a historically significant anvil.  It was a “Columbian” which were manufactured in Cleveland, Ohio from about 1903 to 1925.  They were the first anvils to be “Cast Steel” in one solid piece.  Evidently this made them very tough compared to the “Wrought Iron” Anvils made before that were welded from pieces into one Anvil.  They were very popular in their time and while the “Cast” or “tool” or “Crucible” type steel was very expensive it required less labor to finish and it was around this time labor was becoming more expensive than materials so they really took off.  This particular Anvil is of the “London Pattern” and it would be valued at 2-4 bucks a pound….but to me it’s priceless!  They made these from 10lbs to 800lbs in increments and in 1925 or 26 the company quit making them and imported a like cast steel anvil from Sweden.  I wonder if it’s the same steel foundry that makes Eleiko!  (or made Eleiko as I hear they get their product from China now….).

I have  work trip that takes me back in September.  I plan to share what I learned and visit the shop again.  These folks live above their shop and are in their 90’s and have no plans to retire.  I think that’s pretty cool and….as far as she knows….NOBODY had lifted that anvil overhead before!  My wife said, “Leave it to you to find something to lift in the French Quarter”.   Yes, I’m always looking for something to lift!

LEDAIG – CLUB OF THE YEAR

by Al Myers

The Ledaig Heavy Athletics club receiving the USAWA Club of the Year Award.

I was glad to be able to personally present Dave Glasgow and the rest of the Ledaig  “gang”  their USAWA Award for 2012 Club of the Year at the Club Championships last weekend! Congrats to the Ledaig HA!!

ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

Chad Ullom (center) receiving the 2012 USAWA Athlete of the Year Award from USAWA President Denny Habecker (left). USAWA Award Director Al Myers (right) also was involved in the presentation.

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

The two winners this year were pretty much a “no brainer”.  These two lifters exemplified the above criteria to a tee.  They both are more than deserving of this prestigious award, which I consider the “Heisman” of the USAWA.  The winners are:

WINNER – CHAD ULLOM

RUNNER UP – DAN WAGMAN

They were chosen by a nomination/vote of the USAWA membership.  Chad and Dan together received over 90% of the votes cast, so I would consider them “landslide winners”.  Chad was SUPER ACTIVE in the USAWA this past year, winning or placing very high in so many meets that it would make a long list.  He added numerous titles to his USAWA resume.  He is “on pace” to be a future USAWA Hall of Famer.  I will try to remember as many as I can here:

2012 Dino Challenge Overall Winner
2012 IAWA Gold Cup  in Glasgow, Scotland  – World Record
2012 USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships – Overall Winner
2012 IAWA World Championships – World Class Champion and 2nd Overall
2012 USAWA Team Championships – part of Overall Winning Team
2012 IAWA World Postal Championships – part of Overall 2-man Winning Team
2012 USAWA National Championships in Las Vegas – National Class Champion and 2nd Overall
2012 USAWA Club Championships – part of Overall Winning Club
2012 USAWA Grip Championships – Class Champion and 3rd Overall
2012 USAWA Postal Championships – Overall Winner
2012 USAWA Postal Series – Overall Winner

I didn’t even mention the numerous other smaller USAWA events that Chad participated in!   Chad’s  yearly success in the USAWA for 2012 could be argued as  one of the BEST years any lifter has ever had in the USAWA.  Runner Up Dan Wagman is just as worthy – as he took the OVERALL WORLD CHAMPION  TITLE at the 2012 IAWA World Championships in Salina, Kansas.   That’s the biggest title any lifter in the USAWA/IAWA can win during the course of a year. Chad received his award at the USAWA National Championships, and I plan to present Dan his award later this summer when I will see him next.   Congratulations to both of these tremendous lifters.

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

Dave Glasgow (left) receiving the USAWA Sportsmanship Award from USAWA Secretary Al Myers (right).

While at the Club Championships at the Ledaig HA Club in Rainbow Bend, Kansas, I was able to personally present a USAWA annual Award Winner.  Every year the USAWA gives a SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD.  This award goes to an individual who “possesses and shows great sportsmanship within the USAWA.  The act of sportsmanship may be conduct at all events, or by an specific example of exceptional sportsmanship.”

This year award winners are:

WINNER – DAVE GLASGOW

RUNNER UP – LANCE FOSTER

Both Dave and Lance are very worthy recipients of this award.  They both are very tough competitors, and always exhibit great effort on the platform, but at the same time are tremendously supportive of the other lifters.  Congratulations to Dave and Lance!

Club Championships

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS
2013 USAWA CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

 

Group picture from the 2013 USAWA Club Championships.

Thanks to Dave Glasgow of the Ledaig Heavy Athletics Club  the club championships was able to be contested again this year.  Dave agreed to host this Championships since it was cancelled last March due to bad weather. Last weekend was a very big weekend for the Ledaig Club of Rainbow Bend, Kansas.  The club hosted its annual Highland Games on Saturday, threw a big party on Saturday night, and then had this USAWA Championship competition on Saturday.  Dave has hosted his annual event for a few years now, and to make it even more of a special occasion, plans it each year around his birthday.  This year was a memorable year for Dave – and on Sunday at the Club Champs Dave turned 60!  I came bearing a gift – a new 175# Atlas Stone.  I thought this present might be in the running for Dave’s favorite BDAY present, but then when I got there I saw that Dave’s wife Gunner had given him a new 4-wheeler!  I should have taken that as “a sign” for how the day’s competition was going to turn out for the Dino Gym.

Only two USAWA Clubs made an appearance at this year’s Club Championships – the host club Ledaig and the Dino Gym.  As per the standing rules of the Club Championships, each registered club of the USAWA is allowed an entry into this Championship event to recognize the top Clubs in the USAWA.  This is NOT an individual competition, and no individual scores are revealed.  Rather, a total point score of the top 3 club members are added together to form the team club score.  A club may enter more than 3 individuals in the competition if wanted, with the advantage being if someone has an “off day” or gets hurt, another club member can “pick up the slack” and become a scoring member.  I want each club to feel unity in their participation as a club, and either win or lose as a club.  To be eligible to participate with a registered club,  a lifter must be affiliated with the club as outlined on the membership application and the membership roster.

Birthday Boy Dave Glasgow performing a 315 pound Zercher Lift.

Well, Club Ledaig came into this with 7 participating club members to the Dino Gym’s 3.   I felt outnumbered and over-gunned  from the start.  I felt my Dino team was solid (Chad Ullom, Dean Ross, and LaVerne Myers), but so was the Ledaig club.  The heavy hitter Larry Traub made the trip from Louisville (2011 OVERALL Best Lifter from the National Championships), so I knew they were going to have a good addition to their clubs points with Larry lifting. This past year Dave built a big new shed and relocated his gym.  This was the inaugural USAWA event in the new facility.  His gym is a perfect setup for all round lifting, and for hosting a meet of this size.  There was plenty of space to move around and warmup for the days lifting.   Club Ledaig has as many (or more!) USAWA members than any other club, and it seemed like most were in attendance (Dave, Larry Traub, Amber Glasgow, Mike Murdock, Kenny Glasgow, Jera Kressly, Doug Kressly, and Logan Kressly). 

By the time the last Peoples Deadlift was completed  (Larry’s 640), I pretty much knew that the Dino Gym was going to be in second place.  We have won the overall best club at the past three Club Championships, but all things come to an end.  The final score was: 

1.  Ledaig Heavy Athletics – 3308.2 pts

Competing members:  Mike Murdock, Larry Traub, Dave Glasgow, Kenny Glasgow, Jera Kressly, Logan Kressly, Amber Glasgow

2.  Dino Gym – 2569.1 pts

Competing members:  Chad Ullom,  Dean Ross, LaVerne Myers

My hat is off to Dave Glasgow and the Ledaig HAC.  Congrats to them on their BIG WIN at the Club Championships, and for all the hard work they did to put on the competition. I would have to say that has to be the best birthday present any club leader could receive from his club members!

MEET RESULTS:

USAWA Club Championships
July 14th, 2013
Ledaig Athletic Club
Rainbow Bend, Kansas

Meet Director:  Dave Glasgow

Announcer & Scorekeeper:  Al Myers

Official (1 official system used):  Al Myers

Loaders:  Everyone present!

Lifts: Zercher Lift, Bench Press – Fulton Bar, Peoples Deadlift

1.  Ledaig Heavy Athletic Club – 3308.2 points

LIFTER AGE BWT Zercher BP-FB Peoples
Mike Murdock  73  199    135  
Larry Traub  59  201  375  275  640
Dave Glasgow  60  250  315  265  475
Kenny Glasgow  76  218  225  130  345
Jera Kressly  28  230  250  150  385
Logan Kressly  15  167  245  175  385
Amber Glasgow  34  149  190  105  300

 2.  Dino Gym – 2569.1 points

LIFTER AGE BWT Zercher BP-FB Peoples
Dean Ross  70  266  250  185  405
Chad Ullom  41  252  415  310  605
LaVerne Myers  69  249  175  140  315

EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD

Jera Kressly: Peoples Deadlift 405
Logan Kressly:  Peoples Deadlift 395

NOTES:  AGE is age in years.  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.

LEADERSHIP AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

Denny Habecker receiving his Leadership Award in the left picture from Al Myers, and Al Myers receiving his Leadership Award from Denny Habecker in the right picture.

The Leadership Award given on behalf of the USAWA goes to individuals “that have shown exceptional leadership qualities within the USAWA during the past year.  This could be going above the level expected of an Officer position, promoting sanctioned events with emphasis being on promoting National or World Competitions, promoting the USAWA by developing a strong club, writing articles for publication about the USAWA, or through any other means of providing leadership within the USAWA.”

This year Leadership Award Winners are:

WINNER – AL MYERS

RUNNER UP – DENNY HABECKER

I was honored to share the stage with Denny in receiving this award from the USAWA.

COURAGE AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

Art Montini (right) receiving the Runner Up Courage from President Denny Habecker (left) at the 2013 USAWA National Championships.

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

The Courage Award Winners for this year go to:

WINNER – DALE FRIESZ

RUNNER UP – ART MONTINI

Several months ago the USAWA lost one of the TRUE SUPPORTERS of the USAWA, with the death of Dale Friesz.  Dale was actively involved in the USAWA for practically the entire time since the organization began.  He was at almost EVERY National Championships, and it was obvious that his passion for all round weightlifting was beyond that of the normal USAWA member.   I miss our weekly email correspondence – Dale always had ideas on how to better our organization.

We all know Dale has been the perennial winner of the Courage Award since the program started.  His persistence to continue competition despite  battling physical hardships and barriers were like nothing I’ve ever seen before, of which I’ve covered in details in previous stories.   Last year at Nationals in Vegas Dale truly gave the grittiest effort on the platform I’ve witnessed.  However, I was somewhat surprised to see Dale gather the most votes for this years Courage Award, considering he is no longer with us on the platform. This goes to show the respect Dale had from his lifting friends and those members of the USAWA to receive an award like this posthumously.  I’ve said this before, but it would seem fitting that the Courage Award in the future take on the name “Dale Friesz Courage Award” as Dale has set “the bar” for deserving it.

Runner Up goes to Art Montini – Dale’s ole friend and competitor.  Art continues to amaze everyone with his active meet participation at the age of 85! At Nationals Art visited with me about plans to attend the IAWA Worlds in England this fall.  His enthusiasm for all round competition is more than most guys a QUARTER of his age!

NEWCOMER AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

James Fuller (left) receiving the Runner Up Newcomer Award following the 2013 USAWA National Championships. The award was presented by USAWA President Denny Habecker (right).

I always enjoy the USAWA Annual Awards presentation.  This program to recognize outstanding accomplishments was started in 2010.  The program is funded by the USAWA bank account, and all award winners are chosen by the membership.  This means if you win one of these awards – it is because your peers deemed you worthy.  That means much more than one individual making the choices, or a selection committee deciding. 

The first award given out was the Newcomer Award.  This award is defined as, “This award goes to an individual who is new to the USAWA or has become involved again in the organization.  It recognizes a lifter who has shown great involvement or outstanding performance throughout the past year.  it doesn’t have to be someone in their first year involved in the USAWA. “

This year Award Winners are:

WINNER – RUTH JACKSON

RUNNER UP – JAMES FULLER

James was on hand at Nationals to receive his award.  I know Ruth has made plans to attend the Team Championships in August at the Dino Gym, so I plan to present her award to her then.  Congrats to both of these lifters!!!!

2013 Minutes

by Al Myers, USAWA Secretary

MINUTES FROM THE 2013 ANNUAL NATIONAL MEETING

The 2013 USAWA Annual National Meeting was called to order by President Denny Habecker at 6:30 PM, Saturday, June 29th at the residence of the Habeckers.  Roll call was taken and there were 14 members in attendance:  Al Myers, Denny Habecker, Chad Ullom, James Fuller, Frank Ciavattone, Dennis Mitchell, Bob Geib, Susan Sees, Randy Smith, Judy Habecker, Scott Schmidt, Dick Durante, Colleen Lane, and Art Montini.  Minutes from the 2012 meeting  in Las Vegas were read by USAWA secretary Al Myers.  Chad moved to accept the minutes with a second by Scott Schmidt.  The minutes passed unanimously.  A treasurer report was then read by Al Myers. A 2013 income and expense report was discussed, along with a 2013 budget which has been previously reviewed and approved by the USAWA executive board. Highlights of the report included a net loss for 2012 of $631.18, and budget plans for how to not lose money for the USAWA in 2013.  Memberships for 2012 were 116 members, which membership dues is the largest source of income for the organization. Bob moved to accept the report, James gave a second, and it passed unanimously. The Officials Report was next read by Denny Habecker, on behalf of the Officials Director Joe Garcia who was not in attendance.  Highlights included the addition of two new Level 2 officials, Chad Ullom and Thom Van Vleck, and the status of 7 officials who let their official certification status lapse by not renewing by retaking the Rules Test.  The report ended with an apology from Joe for not being able to be in attendance, as he had business conflicts.  Chad moved to accept the report, James gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  Next  was the Website  Directors Report by Website Director Al Myers.  Highlights included the reporting over over 1000 blogs on the website, the average hits on the site being over 500 daily, and the status of the online USAWA store which has generated $900 in annual sales last year.  The report included the hope to eventually get sponsors to help offset the website expenses.  Frank moved to accept the report, Scott gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  The next report was the reading of the Records Directors Report by Denny Habecker, again on behalf of Joe Garcia the Records Director.  Highlights of the report included the addition of over 750 records over the past year, trivia record information on the amount of records in different catagories, and the top USAWA record holders.  Joe ended by mentioning that if anyone wants a copy of the record list they should just send him an email and he will send them a current list in Excel format.  James moved to accept the report, Chad gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  The Awards Directors Report was read next by Awards Director Al Myers.  Highlights of the report included how the awards program works,  the purpose of it, with the main purpose being the presentation of the annual USAWA awards.  A budget of $1000 is allocated to the awards program, and in 2012 that entire amount was used to buy the awards presented on behalf of the USAWA.  Chad moved to accept, James gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  Next up was the report from the Drug Enforcement Director Chad Ullom.  Chad stated that 20 drug tests were conducted over this past year at 8 competitions, with no positive tests found.  Discussion included one statement from Scott Schmidt that Chad’s report was very comprehensive, which generated  a very chuckles from the membership. Bob moved to accept the report, Scott gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  The last report was the Postal Meet Directors report read by Al Myers on behalf of John Wilmot, who was not in attendance. Al read a letter to the membership from John in which John stated his goals in developing the postal meets and how he feels they have been well received over the past year, and how he greatly supports the postal series concept which includes a yearly ranking of all lifters who have competed in at least one of the quarterly postal meets.   Chad moved to accept the report, Scott gave a second, and it passed unanimously. Next up on the agenda was the discussion and proposal of one new lift to the membership, the Hackenschmidt Floor Press.  This new Old Time Strongman lift was originally proposed to the Executive Board by Al Myers following it being contested as an exhibition lift in the Dino Challenge Old Time Strongman meet in January.  A written rule for the lift was read which had been previously reviewed and approved by the Executive Board.  There was no discussion.  Frank moved to accept the lift, a second was made by Chad, and it passed unanimously.  Al then moved that the records set at the Dino Challenge be accepted as records retroactively, as the same rule was used at that time for this lift.  Chad gave a second.  There was no discussion and an unanimous vote in favor was taken. At this point, a call to the membership was made by USAWA secretary Al Myers if anyone had any official USAWA lift they would like to see presented to IAWA to be voted on for official IAWA lift status at the IAWA meeting.  This is mandated by the USAWA rules if new lifts are to be presented to IAWA on behalf of the USAWA – they must receive majority membership support at the annual meeting before being presented.  No lifts were proposed by the USAWA memberships to be presented for IAWA lift acceptance.  The next order of business was the discussion of USAWA Rulebook changes.  Al read a short list of proposed changes, which included:  state 18″ max height for seat in seated clean and press, add scoring guidelines to the rulebook, add to measure to the bottom of bar in the Anderson Press, Peoples Deadlift, and the Anderson Squat, develop a different section for guidelines in the rulebook for the National Championships, and add a deadline for turning in meet results to the USAWA Secretary of 1 week following a competition/event or it will result in loss of sanction.  There was no discussion.  Chad moved to accept the rulebook changes, Judy gave a second, and it passed unanimously. Next was any other New Business brought up by the membership. Art brought up a discussion asking why two weighins are required for two day meets (one on each day).  Al explained that the rules state that weighins are not required both days, but a second day weighin is required if a lifter wants to set records on that day, but the first day weighin determines the official weight for the entire two day competition.  Arguments in support of having a one day weighin were made, with several feeling that  a lifters bodyweight is generally not much different the second day than the first.  Art then moved to allow for a weighin on the first day for two day meets which would allow records to be set on the second day under the weighin of the first day.  Scott gave a second.  Discussion continued with those opposed not feeling that it was fair to those current record holders who’s records could be broken by someone who did not weighin that same day as previously been required.  A vote was taken and the motion failed.  Five were in favor – Art, Scott, Dick, Chad, and James.  Nine were against – Al, Denny, Judy, Frank, Susan, Bob, Dennis, Randy, and Colleen.  The next item for discussion was brought up by Chad as to why the USAWA Record List was not on the website yet, considering this issue was discussed at last years Annual National Meeting as well.  Al responded with the same answer  he gave the prior year. Al stated firmly that three criteria must be met for the record list to be included on the website, which are: 1. only official USAWA  lifts recorded in the record list, 2. all lifts be named the same in the record list as in the USAWA rulebook, and 3. overall records kept that are required by the rulebook.   Al went on to state that these requests are minimal requirements for the record list, and if the current record list is placed online as is it would result in a barrage of questions and complaints to himself, the webmaster. Scott moved that these record list requirements be directed to Joe Garcia, the Record List Director, and that compliance is obtained in 90 days or the Executive Board has the authorization to find a replacement. The motion included that this directive be performed by President Denny Habecker. Frank gave the second. There was no further discussion and a vote was taken.  It passed unanimously.  The next agenda item was taking bids for the 2014 USAWA National Championships. Only one bid was submitted, and it was from Tim Piper of the Salvation Army Gym in Macomb, Illinois.  The bid was read by Al, since Tim was not able to be in attendance.  Al went on to state his support of Tim’s bid, and how he feels this would be an excellent venue for the Nationals.  There was no discussion.  Scott moved to accept the bid, James gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  The last agenda item was the election of new officers and executive board members.  Elections are held in the USAWA every two years, on odd-numbered years.   Discussion included support of the current officers and executive board members, and nobody  in attendance voiced any desire to want to run for any position. Bob moved to retain the current officers and executive board members for another term.  Randy gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  Officers and Executive Board members include: President Denny Habecker, Vice President Chad Ullom, Secretary/Treasurer Al Myers, at large Executive Board member Dennis Mitchell, and at large Executive Board member Scott Schmidt.  This concluded the agenda items for the 2013 Annual National Meeting.  Chad moved to adjourn the meeting, James gave a second, and it passed unanimously.  President Denny Habecker declared the meeting adjourned at 7:50 PM.

National Championships

by Al Myers

MEET REPORT
2013 USAWA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
HABECKERS PROMOTE ANOTHER FABULOUS NATIONALS

Group picture from the 2013 USAWA National Championships in Lebanon, PA

Denny and Judy Habecker put on ANOTHER great USAWA National Championships.  The weekend was filled with fun times and great lifting.  Denny had planned the championships to be another “tent meet” like the last one he did in 2010 due to the low initial entry list, but this time he had a surge in late entries and ended up with 17 competitors – 4 women and 13 men.   Luckily we had great weather all weekend (there was ran in the forecast) and uncharacteristic cool temperatures. Denny set up a big platform covered by a big tent in his backyard for the event which gave us lots of room to lift and move around.

The womens division had 4 entries – the most since the 2004 Nationals where 5 women were entered.  This makes this the second most competitive womens class since the first USAWA Nationals was contested.  It was also exciting to see two young Junior gals making their first National appearance – Molly Myers and Brianna Ullom.  These two lifted outstanding, with both edging past last years Overall Champion Susan Sees. Molly was solid in all lifts, and Bree seemed to get stronger with each attempt she took. Both of these girls have “loads” of natural lifting ability, and if they keep interested in lifting both have very promising lifting careers ahead of them.   Susan was great as always, and made MANY fourth attempts for new records. I was glad to see Colleen entered in this meet.  Colleen made her USAWA debut at the Heavy Lift Champs in May, so this made two big meets for her in less than two months.

Frank Ciavattone performing his signature lift, the Ciavattone Grip Deadlift, with 202.5 KG.

The mens division had several of the “regulars” entered.  Going to these meets is like going to a family reunion.  You see old friends that you might only see once a year or so.  There was plenty of great lifting over the two days. I was especially impressed with the three lifters that were over the age of 80 that competed – Art Montini, Dick Durante, and Dennis Mitchell.  These guys are seasoned all rounders who are extremely experienced, and give inspiration to anyone who thinks they are too old to lift weights. 

Randy Smith made the long drive from Marquette, Michigan to compete in his 9th USAWA National Championships. Randy lifted exceptional, gathering a fourth place Overall and earning another National Champ award.  Randy is a very consistent lifter year to year, having placed in the TOP TEN in each of  his National appearances.  He’s on track to becoming an eventual hall of famer. Speaking of Hall of Famers, recent HOF award winner Bob Geib made his appearance at the meet.  Bob is one of my favorite all round lifters to be around at meets.  He is always upbeat, and just seems to always be having a fun time!!  He’s also serves a very critical function in keeping lifters ready to lift, as he has his chiro table on sight and does many adjustments on lifters throughout the weekend.  Bob mentored under THE LEGEND Howard Prechtel and when Bob is “at work” at a USAWA event it keeps Howard’s memory alive in my mind.  Many lifters owe Bob a big thanks for what he does to help out their lifting. Bob also “saved me” over the weekend.  I was doing the scorekeeping and announcing in addition to trying to lift, and it seemed I was a little overwhelmed at times during my lifting session.  I take great pride in not making any scorekeeping or announcing errors, and I would have made one if it wasn’t for Bob.  I accidentally got “out of call order” once, but after talking Bob into changing his attempt to a higher weight, which he agreed to with a smile, it kept my perfect record for the day intact! And he got the lift!!!

James Fuller made his first appearance at a USAWA National Championships.  James is an eccentric individual, who is filled with enthusiasm for all round lifting and the USAWA.  He kept everyone entertained with his jokes and antics over the course of the weekend, in addition to putting on several strength demos in the evening for us (after a day of lifting!!).  He demonstrated unusual all rounds lifts such as the Bent Press, self loaded leg press, Kelly Snatch, and the likes.  He just never seems to tire out!  I consider James one of the great new additions to the USAWA, and I hope that he keeps himself really involved in the organization.  He placed extremely well – fifth place overall in the standings. Several of his lifts really impressed me - his 65 KG One Arm Snatch, the 180 KG Continental to Belt Zercher style, and his 55 KG straight arm pullover.

Joe Ciavattone Jr. performing the best Clean and Press, 12" base of the meet with this 100 KG

It’s always a pleasure having the “Ciavattones” at meets.  Frank is one of our sports foundation members – and his influence on the USAWA has been huge.  Frank still has some BIG LIFTING in him.  He did an easy 162.5 KG right arm deadlift and a 202.5 KG Ciavattone Grip Deadlift.  Frank was the one who introduced the Ciavattone Grip to the USAWA (overhand grip with NO HOOK).  When I explained this to Molly, she had this stunned look on her face as she realized that she had just met the person the lift she was doing  was named after!  Frank spent a good part of the meet sitting in the head officials chair.  Frank is an excellent official – and is very fair in his officiating.  I always feel comfortable with him sitting as the head official.  Now onto the other two Ciavattones in attendance – Joe Jr. and Joe Sr.  I knew announcing I was going to have a problem with these two keeping their names straight in my announcing so I referred to Joe Jr. as Junior most of the day to keep things in order. Junior is a lifter who has LOTS of future potential.  Actually, he is stronger than he realizes right now and with just a little more meet experience he will soon capitalize on his untapped strength.  I said this when I was presenting his Championship Award, but I would like to mention it here as well.  I predict him to be a OVERALL NATIONAL CHAMP  in a future Nationals very soon.  On top of his gifted natural strength, he has a tough lifting mentality and wants to learn more about the all round lifts.   Now a little on Joe Sr., who also lifted excellent.  I will say Joe Sr. does not look his age. My wife initially thought both Joes were brothers instead of father-son.  Joe Sr. could have had a higher total but he backed off on what he could have lifted in the Ciavattone Deadlift because he didn’t want to erase John Vernacchios National Record off the record list. That’s showing great respect to someone who was a role model and great friend. 

My training bud Chad Ullom has had a busy past 6 weeks of competition.  The week he left for Nationals he just got back from a very busy competition schedule in Scotland and Germany (I’ll save the details of that for another story).  He lifted beyond what I expected of him, considering the travel lag he had to be feeling and the lack of contest preparation.  Chad was “nip and tuck” with Denny in the overall till his last lift, which he needed to get to secure a second place overall in the meet.  He pulled a Personal Record 210 KGs in the Ciavattone Deadlift to edge Denny out by only 1 point!  Denny was sitting in the Head Officials chair at the time so I waited till after Chad’s successful lift to inform him that Chad just nipped him!  LOL

The Dino Gym won the BEST CLUB of the National Championships. Club members (left to right) in picture: Al Myers, Molly Myers, Brianna Ullom, and Chad Ullom.

There are still several more stories of this meet that I could tell in this meet report, but I’ll cut it off here (I’ll save my “wordiness” for the writeup of the meetings minutes).   But before I end, I have to mention the work and hospitality done by Judy.  Judy prepared meals for EVERYONE both days – including breakfast!!! I sorta embarrassed myself when I didn’t announce the plans for Sunday night’s banquet until reminded, but I assumed the big delicious meal that Judy served us Saturday night was the banquet meal instead!!  Judy goes way beyond anything expected with her hospitality.  I hope everyone who attended takes the time to write her (and Denny!) a personal thank you card thanking them for the weekend.

I want to mention the outstanding efforts by the officials over the course of the weekend.  The head officials (Frank, Scott, Barry, and Denny) were top notch.  Also, the loaders were outstanding (Terry Barlet and John Horn).  These guys DID NOT make a misload all weekend.  I want to thank my wife Leslie and daughter Kate for taking lots of pictures of the lifting (625 to be precise).  These pictures will be available on the USAWA facebook page for all the view (and download if wanted).  But above all – thanks to the lifters who showed up and supported the USAWA!

MEET RESULTS:

2013 USAWA National Championships
Habeckers Gym
Lebanon, PA
June 29th & 30th, 2013

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

Announcer and Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Caterer & Host:  Judy Habecker

Photographers:  Leslie Myers & Kate Myers

Loaders:  Terry Barlet and John Horn

Officials (3 official system used):  Scott Schmidt, Barry Bryan, Frank Ciavattone, Chad Ullom, Joe Ciavattone Sr., Dennis Mitchell, Denny Habecker

Lifts  Day 1:  Deadlift – One Arm,  Clean and Press – 12″ Base, Pullover – Straight Arm, Continental to Belt

Lifts Day 2:  Snatch – One Arm, Pullover and Push, Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip

WOMENS DIVISION

DAY 1

Lifter AGE BWT DL-1 C&P Pull Con
 Molly Myers  14  167  70-R  40  15  72.5
 Brianna Ullom  15  143  50-R  35  15  40
 Susan Sees  50  214  55-R  35  12.5  70
 Colleen Lane  57  214  60-R  25  10  50

 EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD

Brianna Ullom: Deadlift – Right Arm 60
Susan Sees:  Deadlift – Right Arm 60
Colleen Lane: Deadlift – Right Arm 65
Susan Sees: Clean and Press, 12″ Base 40
Susan Sees: Pullover-Straight Arm 15
Molly Myers: Continental to Belt 80
Susan Sees: Continental to Belt 75

DAY 2

Lifter BWT SN-1 P&P DL-CG TOT LYN PTS
 Molly Myers  169  25-R  50  85  358  354.0  424.8
 Brianna Ullom  143  20-R  40  80  280  308.2  354.4
 Susan Sees  214  17.5-R  40  80  310  266.8  296.2
 Colleen Lane  214  10-R  30  85  270  232.4  274.2

EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD

Susan Sees: Snatch – Right Arm 20
Susan Sees: Pullover and Push 43.5
Molly Myers: Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip 92.5
Brianna Ullom: Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip 85
Susan Sees: Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip 96

MENS DIVISION

DAY 1

Lifter AGE BWT DL-1 C&P Pull Con
 Al Myers  46  231  173-R  80  55  180
 Chad Ullom  41  252  190-R  90  45  200
 Denny Habecker  70  185  120-R  67.5  37.5  122.5
 Randy Smith  58  194  137.5-R  60  35  140
 James Fuller  41  232  140-R  72.5  55  180
 Joe Ciavattone Jr.  20  229  137.5-R  100  40  180
 Joe Ciavattone Sr.  44  217  120-R  77.5  30  155
 Scott Schmidt  60  239  115-R  70  20  110
 Art Montini  85  175  80-R  30  22.5  60
 Dick Durante  81  180  70-R  40  20  80
 Dennis Mitchell  81  151  60.5-R  20  25  50
 Bob Geib  70  264  75-R  45  15  80
 Frank Ciavattone  58  292  162.5-R  0  0  0

EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD

Denny Habecker: Clean and Press, 12″ Base 70
Denny Habecker: Pullover-Straight Arm 40
Denny Habecker: Continental to Belt 130
James Fuller: Deadlift – Right Arm 155
Joe Ciavattone Sr.: Deadlift – Right Arm 137.5
Dennis Mitchell: Deadlift – Left Arm 60.5
Dennis Mitchell: Continental to Belt 52.5
Bob Geib: Continental to Belt 90

DAY 2

Lifter BWT SN-1 P&P DL-CG TOT LYN PTS
 Al Myers  231  65-R  160  195  908  750.0  802.5
 Chad Ullom  253  65-R  150  210  950  750.5  765.5
 Denny Habecker  186  35-R  102.5  140  625  583.3  764.1
 Randy Smith  197  45-R  107.5  160  685  621.9  740.1
 James Fuller  234  65-L  140  200  853  702.0  716.1
 Joe Ciavattone Jr.  228  47.5-R  140  192.5  838  695.2  695.2
 Joe Ciavattone Sr.  219  42.5-L  126  150  701  597.7  627.6
 Scott Schmidt  241  35-R  90  140  580  470.7  569.6
 Art Montini  175  15-R  60  105  373  359.7  525.1
 Dick Durante  DNW  25-L  40  100  375  355.9  505.5
 Dennis Mitchell  151  12.5-R  35  90  293  310.9  441.5
 Bob Geib  264  22.5-R  42.5  130  410  316.5  414.6
 Frank Ciavattone  291  20-R  0  202.5  385  283.0  336.8

EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORD

Bob Geib: Snatch – Right Arm 25
Dennis Mitchell: Pullover and Push 38
Dennis Mitchell: Deadlift- Ciavattone Grip 95
Bob Geib: Pullover and Push 46
Bob Geib: Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip 140

NOTES:  AGE is age in years.  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  All lifts recorded in kilograms.  TOT is total kilograms lifted.  LYN is adjusted Lynch Points. PTS is adjusted points for age correction.  R and L designate arm used.

BEST LIFTER AWARDS

Best Womens Junior:  Molly Myers
Best Womens Master:  Susan Sees
Best Women Overall: Molly Myers
Best Mens Senior 20-39: Joe Ciavattone Jr.
Best Mens Master 40-44: Chad Ullom
Best Mens Master 45-49: Al Myers
Best Mens Master 55-59: Randy Smith
Best Mens Master 60-64: Scott Schmidt
Best Mens Master 70-74: Denny Habecker
Best Mens Master 80-84: Dick Durante
Best Mens Master 85-89:  Art Montini
Best Mens Master Overall: Al Myers
Best Mens Overall: Al Myers
Best Club:  Dino Gym (Al Myers, Chad Ullom, Molly Myers, Brianna Ullom)
Best Club Runner Up: Joe’s Gym (Joe Ciavattone Sr., Joe Ciavattone Jr.)

Gettin’ Flipped Off!

by Thom Van Vleck

Tedd Van Vleck, part of the Jackson Weightlifting Club, works on flipping an 800lb tire

If you are a true All-Rounder you probably are always looking for new ways to train.  I would guess everyone that follows training at all has at least seen the “Tire Flip”.   It has really gained in popularity the past couple decades and is really is a “new lift” in the grand scheme of progressive resistance training.  I can say from my personal experience it is a great “head to toe” exercise and you engage every muscle at some point.  It also build cardio as I know a few flips with an 800lb tire will leave me gasping for air.

Another USAWA member, Eric Todd, has a great video on this that should be watched if you are interested in the tire flip.

YouTube Video: Eric Todd Tire Flip

Eric gives a good description.  Here is what I think about on the tire flip.

Stand about a foot or so away from the edge a little wider than my deadlift, maybe more of a squat stance.  Get low into a squat position and get my fingers under the bottom edge and my shoulders and biceps pressed into the tire so close my chin is on top or over the top of the tire.  I also set up with an angle to drive into the tire…NOT come straight up.  As I come up I’m thinking speed.  Not deadlift, but clean.  Trying to get that tire into the “2nd pull” range of the clean or the “hang clean” range and then exploding up.  When the tire is past that pulling range I take a small step with my left foot and drive my right knee into the tire trying to drive it with my hip and keep the momentum going.  That small step allows me to keep up with the tire as it moves forward.  Then I try to get my hands into a “bench press” position and get my shoulders under the tire to finish it.  If you are in a contest and doing the tire for distance, I liked to try and shove the tire as hard as I could…sometimes you can get a little extra distance on it.  At the least in practice it’s a strong finish to a good exercise.

Here are a few cautions.  First, keep in mind the tire can…and will…fall back on you and many have been seriously injured in this way.  I just try and stay aware but a spotter with a milk crate to slide under the tire as it goes up is a good idea.  We had a guy in a strongman contest I ran a few years ago have it fall back and after that I used the metal milk crate.   Another major issue is guys will try and “curl” the tire.  Trying to move weights that heavy with the biceps only is asking for a blown bicep.  Use your legs, hips, and back.  In Olympic lifting they teach the arms are just hooks and flexing the elbows can actually dampen the pull of the hips.  Finally, use a tire that’s light enough to practice good technique on and not the heaviest one you can barely turn….that’s like maxing on the deadlift every workout.  Eventually it catches up to you!

As I said, I’m seeing tires everywhere.  I think they are great, but like anything, you should know what you are doing!

Nationals Venue Site

by Al Myers

This is just a reminder that the National Championships this coming weekend will be at the home of Denny and Judy Habecker (address is located on the Entry Info Sheet).  Denny has announced this some time back on the USAWA Discussion Forum, but it may have been missed by some.  Denny has a large backyard, and plans to have a tent and platform set up for the competition.  So come prepared to be outside!  When Denny hosted the 2010 Nationals he had it outside as well.  I really enjoyed it – the “environment” of the meet seemed more relaxed than being inside.  Weigh-ins will be 7:30-8:30 Saturday morning, with the lifting starting at 9:30.  There will be enough lifters to have two sessions.  The first session will be in the morning, and the second session will be in the afternoon.    

Also – the Annual National Meeting will be held Saturday afternoon immediately following the day’s lifting.  It is not mandatory to attend this meeting – but if you want to be part of the organizations “politics” this is your chance! 

Now this comes from Judy (the real mastermind behind this weekend’s festivities - I know the truth Denny!!!):

From Judy-
Just want all the lifters and their supporters to know that food will be available at our home on Friday evening, after weigh-in Saturday and Sunday, breakfast will be available until half-hour (9:30) before meet start, and Saturday evening a meal will be served. Sunday afternoon- evening a banquet style meal will be served. So Please come to our home to all of the above or whenever you wish. Please, if you can ,let me know when you’ll be attending, so I can be sure to prepare enough food. Also, please let me know of any allergies so I can serve food safely, Thanks See you June 28,29,30, Hope all have a safe trip, There is a Holiday Inn Express about 5 minutes from our home, Phone Number is717-273-9800–2205 East Cumberland Street and a Day’s Inn with phone number–717-273-6771 at 625 Quentin Road which is about 5 miles from our home.

Thom Van Vleck: NEW Level 2 Official

by Al Myers

Thom Van Vleck (right) is joined by fellow USAWA officials LaVerne Myers (left) and Denny Habecker (middle) at the USAWA Heavy Lift Championships in York in 2011. As you can see, these three took their judging duties very serious as they are getting "down and dirty" to get a good view of the lifting!

Thom Van Vleck has just been promoted to the highest level of officiating status in the USAWA.  He is now a Level 2 Official, and joins a very short list of the most qualified officials within the USAWA.  Since the development of the USAWA Officials Program in 2009,  officials must NOW be certified to judge any USAWA competition/event.    I would like to review a bit of this as it pertains to USAWA Rulebook:

VII. Officials

10.   There will be two levels of classification for Certified USAWA officials.

  • Level 1 Test Qualified – The official has passed the USAWA Rules Test and completed the practical training sessions.
  • Level 1 Experience Qualified – The official has the experience of officiating in 25 or more competitions or events.
  • Level 2 – The official has passed the USAWA Rules Test and has completed the practical training sessions, and has the experience of officiating in 25 or more competitions or events.  

Thom has been officiating in the USAWA for close to 10 years and has officiated at some “BIG” meets.  He has officiated numerous championships events, including the 2006, 2009, and 2011 National Championships.  He also officiated at the 2012 IAWA World Championships.  He earned the Level 2 classification for officiating in over 25 events (as well as passing the USAWA Rules Test).  He is now awarded a LIFETIME OFFICIALS CARD in the USAWA and will have the ability to approve new officials that undergo the Practical Training Sessions.  Congrats Thom!!!

2013 Meeting Agenda

by Al Myers

The 2013 USAWA National Championships is almost upon us, and with that comes the Annual National Meeting of the USAWA. The USAWA is governed throughout the year by the elected 5-person Executive Board, but membership votes at the annual meeting decide the “big issues”.  The agenda for the meeting is set  and has been approved by the Exec Board.   The meeting agenda seems pretty benign this year, with no major problems or issues to solve!  Hopefully, this will keep the meeting shorter than it has been the past couple of years!   The big agenda item is the election of officers and the two “at large” Executive Board members.  Election in the USAWA happens every two years, on “odd-number years”, with the membership in attendance casting the votes.  No absentee or proxy votes are allowed.  If you are displeased with the current administration, this is the time to show up at the meeting  to let your “voice be known” by either running for office yourself or supporting another candidate.  The USAWA is ran by the membership and the Officers and the Executive Board answer to the concerns of the membership in terms of being elected officials.  There are no term limits in the USAWA.  This was fully supported by former USAWA Secretary Bill Clark, and I used to hear him say several times in the past, “if you don’t like who’s in office – then vote em out!”

The Annual Meeting will be held late Saturday afternoon following the conclusion of the day’s lifting.  Approximate time of the meeting will be around 5-6 PM.  The meeting will be held at the Habecker’s house.   The USAWA Awards ceremony will not be held in conjunction with the meeting this year, like it has been in the past.  It will be held on Sunday following the meets award ceremony.   I felt that having the Awards Ceremony for the annual USAWA awards to be “too much” to be held after the meeting, when everyone was exhausted from the long meeting and ready to relax and eat supper.  Now when the meeting is over we can get right to Judy’s good fixings!

Business Agenda for the 2013 USAWA Annual National Meeting

  1. Meeting called to order by USAWA President Denny Habecker
  2. Reading of previous meetings minutes by USAWA Secretary Al Myers
  3. Report of financial status by USAWA Treasurer Al Myers
  4. Report from the Officials Director Joe Garcia
  5. Report from the Website Director Al Myers
  6. Report from the Records Director Joe Garcia
  7. Report from the Awards Director Al Myers
  8. Report from the Drug Enforcement Director Chad Ullom
  9. Report from the Postal Meet Director John Wilmot
  10. Discussion and vote on the new proposed lift
    - Hackenschmidt Floor Press
    - Call for new IAWA lift proposals
  11. Discussion and vote on Rulebook Changes
  12. Discussion of other new business brought forth by the membership
  13. Accept bids for 2014 National Championships
  14. Election of New Officers and Executive Board Members
  15. Meeting adjourned

Lifter of the Month: Dennis Mitchell

by Al Myers

Dennis Mitchell (left) receiving his Championship Award from meet director Frank Ciavattone at the 2013 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships.

The lifter of the Month for the month of May goes to Dennis Mitchell – and for good reason.  At the Heavy Lift Championships last month Dennis has accomplished something VERY FEW lifters EVER achieve.  He eclipsed a milestone of competing for 70 years.  That’s right – 70 years of active competition!  In my book, that’s an amazing accomplishment and worthy of special recognition.  

I first met Dennis at Nationals 10 years ago or so.   Since then I have got to know him very well, as he is always representing the USAWA at national and international events.  He has been one of the most loyal supporters of the USAWA since the organization began.  

Congratulations Dennis on winning this months Lifter of the Month!!!

Denny in the NEWS!

by Al Myers

Denny Habecker makes the paper!

Denny Habecker makes the paper! Recently, our USAWA Denny Habecker was featured in the local Lebanon newspaper. Most don’t realize that Denny is more than just an all round lifter – he has also been very active in Olympic Weightlifting throughout his life.  He has been actively competing for over 50 years!  From this article, it states that Denny has competed in more than 330 competitions.   He has competed in England, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, in addition to all over the United States.  He has been named to “the Top 60 Lebanon County Sports Individuals”.   He is the only lifter to have earned this honor.