Posts belonging to Category USAWA History

Oldest USAWA Members

by Al Myers

Jack Lano performing a Snatch. Is he the oldest current or past USAWA member?

After last weeks quiz, Tom Ryan presented some  additional questions on the USAWA Discussion Forum.  Tom’s questions were quite a bit harder than mine, and after much discussion on the forum, the group has came to a unified conclusion on the answers.  I think these should be shared in the USAWA Daily News because I know not everyone follows the discussion forum.  The answers to these two questions are a very important part of USAWA history.  These were Tom’s questions:

I’ve got another quiz question for you regarding USAWA members. Actually it is a two-part question:

(a) What deceased USAWA member was born before every other person who has at any time been a member of USAWA?

(b) Among current and past USAWA members who are still alive, which one has the earliest birthdate?

Immediately, I thought I knew the answer to the first question without looking anything up.  How could it be anyone other than the St. Louis Strongman Ed Zercher I ??  Ed competed in the first years of the USAWA and was in his early 80’s at the time.  I couldn’t imagine anyone who was a member born before Ed Zercher.  Ed Zercher I was born on 8-19-07.   But  I was wrong on this, and Tom pointed it out to me.  The legendary, ageless powerlifter Henri Soudieres actually has the oldest birthdate among any past USAWA members. He was born on 8-5-06.   There was some discussion that another lifter, the longtime well-known AAU Weightlifting official Jim Messer may have been the correct answer because he  had an older birthdate ( he was born on  10-19-05),  but his past membership in the USAWA could not be confirmed.  He competed once but it must have been just exhibition.

The second part of Tom’s question was even more difficult.  Everyone knows that the current active member who is the oldest is none other than Art Montini (Art was born on 10-11-27).   But surely there is a PAST USAWA member who is older?  Lots of names where proposed, and many lifters with older birthdays than Art were mentioned.  But are they still alive?  That is when the difficulty in answering this question comes into play.   My guess was none other than the man of many talents – Jack Lano.  Jack was born on 4-17-22.   No one came forth on the forum to prove me wrong on this – so that is the answer I’m going with.  However, Tom is still skeptical.  That is just how he is about confirming the facts (he will have to visit all past lifters gravesites before he is convinced),  but it is a good thing because he keeps me in check from giving out wrong information.   He is right in that several lifters were mentioned that had older birthdates, but confirming they were STILL ALIVE was the question.  I will gladly print a retraction of this story if someone proves things differently.  Please check out the discussion forum if you want more details concerning the discussions that led up to these answers.

And finally – thank you Tom for asking this question!  It was very thought provoking and brought up many names of lifters  that I have heard about.

Coming tomorrow

Since we are in the discussion mode of talking about old lifters, I want to mention a past USAWA member who was the oldest lifter to EVER compete at a USAWA National Championship.  He was 90 years old at the time.  This is a question that I have personal first hand information on, since this lifter was very close to me.  But that’s tomorrow’s story!!

Heart of America Festival – Day 2

(Webmasters note: This is a reprint of the meet report covering the Heart of America Festival that occurred in August 1963 as published by the oldtime lifting magazine, the Lifting News. Dale Friesz passed this along to me to share, which characterizes one of the early-days All-Round Weightlifting Meets. Dale’s brother, Leonard, is included in the results as he was a member of the Columbia Athletic Club at the time. Our very own Bill Clark served as Meet Director, Head Judge, and Meet Reporter. He also competed! Past meets such as these are the reason why Bill organized All-Round Weightlifting into the USAWA. You will recognize several of the “meet stars” as they are legends in All-Round Weightlifting today. The meet was a two day affair, so I will divide the story into two parts, one covering each day. Enjoy!)

by Bill Clark

On the second day the squat and dead lift marks of Saturday are used and four other events are added to test a man’s back, endurance and will power.  The front squat opens the second day and Miller was very unhappy with his 390 front squat.  Wachholz made 385 and Friesz 380.  The Jefferson lift was next and Wachholz almost caught the lanky Kansas wheat farmer.  Miller did a straddle with 650, but Wachholz surpassed him on bodyweight with a 640 and moved within range with two lifts remaining.  Paul was able to make “only” 600 in the hack lift, but Miller endured with a 650 effort.  In the Zercher lift, Miller made 425 while Wachholz was good for only 365.   The meet was Miller’s once again.  This time with a total of 3320 and 2148 points.  Wachholz was close behind with 3020 pounds and 2072 points.  Your writer was third and felt happy with a mediocre performance after not working out more than five times since February.  He squatted 470 cold, made a 530 dead lift, front squatted 320, straddled up 560, hacked only 500 (has done 600) and Zerchered just 420 – 40 pounds under tops.  This was the meet he had planned to make a 600 squat, but baseball took care of that boast.  Maybe next year.  Too much umpiring this year and not enough time in the gym.

Lifter Squat Front Sq Deadlift Hack Zerch Strad Total Points
Miller 530 390 675 650 425 650 3320 2148
Wachholz 455 385 585 600 365 640 3020 2072
Clark 470 320 530 500 420 560 2800 1817
Friesz 445 380 490 450 385 475 2625 1790
Hahn 400 320 475 475 385 475 2530 1771
Hamilton 280 205 420 420 315 440 2080 1714
Witt 470 295 525 315 335 500 2400 1596
McPheeters 375 475 500
Lewellen 385 500 500
B. Fellows 420 315

Meet Director:  Bill Clark

Officials:  Bill Clark, Don Wickell, Ed Zercher

The question here, then, is how these two great lifters rank with strong men of the past.  Surely, in two days, few men of this size have ever lifted more.  To dead lift 675, hack 650 and straddle 650 along with the others is a phenomenal performance, and Wachholz was superb.  His 640 straddle must rank with the best.

These men are not goons, as power lifters have often been called.  Wachholz has done over 800 as a mid-heavy in the Olympic lifts and won the 100 yard dash, final event of the meet, in an amazing time of 11.3 seconds, running on asphalt in tennis shoes after a hard day on the platform.  Wachholz also throws the discus well over 160 feet and has a beautiful frame, placing high in every physique contest he enters.  He’s married and has two children.  He works in a bank and travels thousands of miles a year to meets. (No relation between his work and his ability to travel).  The marks he set at the Power Festival were all personal records.  In addition, he entered several of the side contests and won them.  He was best in the bench press with 315 pounds and did a stiffarm pullover with 110.

Miller was impressive as always.  He stands 6′3″, and weighs 235.  In high school he was a top miler and turned down a track scholarship at Kansas University after finishing his senior year at Ensign (Kansas) High School.  In his final high school race, he covered the mile in 4:33.6 and wound up third behind two great runners – Wes Santee, who later ran the mile in 4:00.2 and was America’s greatest miler until barred by the AAU for excessive expense money – and Billy Tidwell, a half-miler who represented the U.S. on many international fields.  Miller has done 930 in the Olympic Lifts and was second in the Junior Nationals this year.  He won one other event in the Power Festival, doing an abdominal raise with 105 pounds.  When the meet was over, a side bet came to pass concerning Wilbur’s ability to lift cars.  He promptly picked up the rear end of a Volkswagon, engine and all, and held it a foot off the ground.  He made the lift from the normal deadlift position.

Ed Zercher Sr., an old-timer who has moved enough weight to kill an elephant in his forty years on the platform, refereed all the lifts and branded Miller and Wachholz as two mighty strong youngsters.  He pointed out that their lifting was different from that in the old days when bars were not machined, but allowed the pair could have held their own with many of the greats.  Zercher, at 56, proved to be a horse even yet.  He took 600 pounds on his feet, and without any supporting devices, made 10 reps and held his balance perfectly in the leg press.  He then built a Roman Chair all by himself with 235 pounds balanced on his feet: 145 pounds in his hands and 130 pound Art Tarwater sitting astride the chair doing presses with 100 pounds.  When Tarwater lost his balance, Zercher held the chair steady – much to the amazement of the onlookers.

This meet was held in a shelter house the first evening and on the grass under a large shade tree the second day.  People driving through the park would stop and watch the lifting until they grew tired.  The crowd changed many times and townspeople still talk about the show they say in the park – for no charge.  It seems until someone comes up with a better performance, this must go down as one of the greatest ever.

Heart of America Festival – Day 1

(Webmasters note:  This is a reprint of the meet report covering the  Heart of America Festival that occurred in  August 1963 as published by the oldtime lifting magazine, the Lifting News.  Dale Friesz passed this along to me to share, which characterizes one of the early-days All-Round Weightlifting Meets.  Dale’s brother, Leonard, is included in the results as he was a member of the Columbia Athletic Club at the time.  Our very own Bill Clark served as Meet Director, Head Judge, and Meet Reporter.  He also competed!   Past meets such as these are the reason why Bill organized All-Round Weightlifting into the USAWA.  You will recognize several of the “meet stars” as they are legends in All-Round Weightlifting today.  The meet was a two day affair, so I will divide the story into two parts, one covering each day. Enjoy!)

by Bill Clark

Wilbur Miller, the Cimarron Strongman, and Paul Wachholz, an outstanding athlete from Englewood, Colorado, waged a duel in the Heart of America Power Festival, August 3-4 in Columbia, Missouri, which brought nostalgia to the hearts of the old timers in the crowd and may have established an all-time record for weight hoisted in a two-day period.  The Power Festival, in its third year, is sponsored by the Columbia Athletic Club, Inc., and is a fun meet all the way.  Many lifts, pets of various lifters, are contested and except for eight established events, the meet follows only a vague pattern.  Often more than one contest is under way at the same time.  Last year Homer Lewellen, a mid-heavy from the host club, lifted in 34 different events and totaled well over 15,000 pounds during the two-day session.

This year, however, the number of events was cut down by the tremendous interest in the Miller-Wachholz battle.  There are two sets of trophy lifts in the meet.  On the first day, a Saturday, the contest is the jerk from the rack, squat, and dead lift.  The entire meet is on a bodyweight formula basis because never more than 15 hardy souls enter.  Medals are given for each lift and trophies back five places overall.  Leonard Friesz won the jerk from the rack with a 350 jerk at a bodyweight of 198.  Miller was close behind with 370 and Wachholz was third with 320.

Lifter BWT Jerk Squat Dead Lift Total Points
Miller 235 370 530 675 1575 1014.30
Wachholz 195 320 455 585 1360 932.96
Friesz 198 350 445 490 1285 876.37
Witt 214 225 470 525 1225 807.98
Hahn 187 275 400 475 1150 805.00
Tarwater 130 230 260 410 900 801.00
Fellows 160 265 345 400 1010 776.69
Hamilton 145 230 280 420 930 766.32
Skinner 129 230 280 340 850 760.75
McPheeters 232 260 375 475 1080 698.76
Lewellen 190 280 385
B. Fellows 238 305 420

Meet Director:  Bill Clark

Officials:  Bill Clark, Don Wickell,  Ed Zercher

Friesz, an army captain stationed in Columbia, stayed in the running with a 445 squat, but Miller made 530 to grab the lead and Wachholz came up with 455.  In the dead lift, Wachholz shot ahead of Friesz with a great 585 effort and a near miss with 600.   Miller opened with 600, a weight he does five reps with, then jumped to 675.  He held the listed world amateur heavyweight record at 672 1/2 and made the 675 so easily that 700 or more seemed quite possible.  Miller is a perfect deadlifter.  The weight never touches his thighs as it goes up.  His shoulders are back before weight and thighs get together.  The 700 broke loose twice and went easily to the knees but Wilbur couldn’t get his shoulders back after such a fine effort and the lifts were no good.  He vowed that he would make 700 in Leavenworth in September.

Miller thus won the first day’s trophy event with a 1575 total and 1014.3 points.  His dead lift was a world mark and his lifts and total were all Missouri Valley records.  Wachholz made a 1360 total and established himself as a strong young man. He strengthened this fact considerably the following day.


Ken McClain – An All-Round Pioneer

by Al Myers

Ken McClain performing a Clean and Jerk with 162.5 Kilograms in 1989.

As I was checking over the USAWA Record List to see what records were broken in the JWC Straight Weight Postal Challenge, I noticed that John O’Brien, of the JWC, broke a record that was held by Ken McClain.  John did a 335 pound Continental to Chest in the 40 age group, unlimited weight class breaking the record of 320 pounds held by Ken McClain, which he established  in the FIRST YEAR of the USAWA, in 1987.  Everyone that has been around for several years in the lifting game in the midwest has heard of Ken McClain.  He is a legendary Olympic Lifter (multiple World Championships and several times Mo Valley lifter of the year) , and he competed in the very beginning of the USAWA  preceded by a lengthy All-Round Weightlifting career in the Mo Valley.  He is  indeed an All-Round Weightlifting Pioneer!

It is quite a honor for John to break a record held by Ken McClain that has been around this long in the USAWA Record List.   John deserves a “pat on the back” for this accomplishment, but at the same time it is pretty obvious this lift was MUCH under Kenny’s abilities.  After all,  at the time this record was set  he was STILL performing Clean and Jerks in Olympic Meets close to 400 pounds.  This lift was listed in the record list as being performed in Wichita, Kansas. I know the meets in Wichita at that time were performed in Sailor’s Gym, which had the reputation of being the most hardcore gym in the city.  Also,  many of the meets contested there  were 25 lift marathon meets, under the direction of Bill Clark.  Bob Burtzloff competed in several of these meets, and when telling me about them, explained that you had to “pace yourself” to have enough energy and strength left to finish the meet.  Most of the time the lifters didn’t really even warm up for the next lift, and only took  a couple of attempts with the last one being 90-95% of your max so you could conserve your energy in order to get a lift in all the events.  Bob said it wasn’t uncommon for half the entrants to have dropped out by the end of the day!!

Just out of curiosity, I checked the USAWA Record List to see how many records are still “on the books” from the first year of USAWA record keeping in 1987.  I counted 37 records.  That isn’t much considered the record list is over 9000 records long now!  The good news is that Ken McClain still has some records from 1987.  These records are a 240# Clean and Press with Dumbbells – Heels Together, a 353# Jerk from the Racks, and a 165# One Arm Snatch (Right).  These were done in this same meet in Wichita on the same date, and in the Masters 40 age group, unlimited weight class.  Truly very impressive lifts!!!  These are the only USAWA Records that Ken McClain has, as he retired from All-Round Weightlifting after that. But when you look back in the old Region IV  All-Round Record List (which I consider the fore-runner of the USAWA), you will see the name Ken McClain splattered all throughout it!  He “had” the Military Press record at 300# which he set  in 1968!  This was done in the 242# class. Only the SHW record was higher. (By the JWC lifting legend, Wayne Jackson at 330#).  How ’bout a 350# middle fingers deadlift?? A lift like that would turn heads today.  Kenny did that for record in 1984.  In 1981, he did a Pinch Grip with 185 pounds.  In 1984, he did a one handed Dumbbell Clean and Jerk with 150 pounds. Plus many more from a period of close to 20 years.

Guys like Ken McClain need to be remembered by the USAWA.  Just due to timing, their participation may have been limited in our organization (or for others not at all)  but their  contributions they made to the sport of All-Round Weightlifting  in the United States is great.  As I’ve said many times before, these PIONEERS  “paved the way” for the formation of the USAWA, which gives us an organized place to compete  in All-Round Weightlifting Meets today.

A Look Back in USAWA History

by Al Myers

5 Years ago (June-August 2005)

* Frank Ciavattone won the USAWA/World Heavy Lift Championships in Walpole, Massachusetts on August 27, 2005.  Twelve competitors were in the competition.

* Steve Schmidt had a busy summer putting on strongman shows.  In North Judson, Indiana on June 18th, 2005 he pulled a 58,200# caboose 90 feet with his teeth.  On August 27th, 2005 in Knox, Indiana he pulled with his teeth a 18-Wheeler weighing 32,200 pounds.

*  Mike McBride wins Best Lifter at the USAWA National Championships on June 25-26, 2005 in Youngstown, Ohio.  The meet was hosted by Dick Hartzell and Carl LaRosa of the Jump Stretch Training Facility.

* The United States was the winner of the IAWA World Postal Championships promoted by the West Australian All-Round Association.  The six-man USAWA  team members included: Ed Schock, Eric Todd, Abe Smith, Al Myers, Lon Beffort, and Mike McBride.

* Frank Ciavattone, on June 11th 2005, performed a 800# Neck Lift at the New England Championships.

10 Years ago (June-August 2000)

*  On September 2-3, 2000, the IAWA World Championships was held in Mansfield, Massachusetts, hosted by meet director Frank Ciavattone.  A total of 39 lifters entered.

* Art Montini received the Ciavattone Award at the IAWA Awards Banquet.   This award was given annually by the Ciavattone Family in remembrance of Frank Ciavattone, Sr.

*  Howard Prechtel, the President of the USAWA and the IAWA at the time, broke a harness lifting record set by Warren Lincoln Travis in 1906.  To accomplish this record, Howard lifted 510 pounds for 3120 repetitions in 62 minutes, for a total poundage of 1,591,200 pounds.

* Three USAWA Clubs participated in the Postal League.  These clubs were the Powerzone Club, Ambridge BBC, and Clark’s Gym.

*  The 2000 USAWA National Championship’s Best Lifter was Ed Schock.  Schock just edged out Frank Ciavattone, John Monk and John McKean.  This championship  was hosted by Denny Habecker on July 1st and 2nd.

*  Bob Hirsh was inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame.

15 Years ago (June-August 1995)

*  Clark’s Gym was the host for the 1995 USAWA National Championships held in Columbia, Missouri on June 3-4.  Kerry Clark was the  Female Best Lifter and Art Montini was the Male Best Lifter.

*  Howard Prechtel broke a long standing record set by Warren Lincoln Travis in 1927.  Travis had lifted 5,500,000 pounds using 1000 pounds for 5,500 repetitions in the Back Lift in 3 hours, 9 minutes.  Prechtel did 1,111 pounds for 5,460 repetitions for a “total poundage” of 6,066,060 pounds.  Howard was 57 years old when he accomplished this amazing record.

*  Howard Prechtel hosted the 1995 IAWA World Championships in Eastlake, Ohio on August 12-13, 1995.  Bob Hirsh was the men’s Best Lifter and Noi Phumchaona was the women’s Best Lifter.

20 Years age (June-August 1990)

*  The third annual IAWA World Championships was held in Glasgow, Scotland.  The best USAWA performances were by Noi Phumchona (2nd among women), Art Montini (second among the masters) and Barry Bryan (third among the men).

*  Barry Bryan was the top Open Male Lifter at the USAWA National Championships, hosted by Attilio Alacchi on July15-16.  Art Montini was the top Masters Lifter.  Jeanne Burchett was the top women’s lifter.


(Credit is given to The Strength Journal, written and published by Bill Clark, for which all of the preceding information was found for this historical review.)

History of Formulas used in the USAWA

by Al Myers

When you KNOW it's time to blame the formula!

This past week on the USAWA Discussion Forum a lively debate got started on the fairness of using Formulas in comparing athletes for overall placings. The USAWA is unique in doing this compared to other lifting organizations which prefer to just give awards for different divisions or classes.  Sure these other organizations might use a Formula to award a Best Lifter, but the USAWA uses a formula to determine the overall ranking of every athlete in the competition, from the top to the bottom.  No OTHER organization does this!!  We now use the Lynch Formula to make the “handicap” adjustment for bodyweight differences and use a Age Allowance Percentage for Junior Lifters and Lifters age 40 and above.  I am NOT going to give my viewpoint and opinion on the fairness of using formulas  in this article, as that is better left for the Discussion Forum.  Instead, I would like to review the history of formulas used in the USAWA, and give insight to how these different formulas were derived.

The main All-Round competitions that occurred prior to the USAWA (1987)  were “odd lift” meets promoted by Bill Clark out of Missouri.  These meets were contested under the direction of the Missouri Valley Weightlifting Federation, the Region IV division of the USWF.  The formula used at that time to determine rankings was the Schwartz Formula. Numerous old Zercher Meet results verified this. The USAWA really began in the summer of 1987, with the first official records recorded for the USAWA in the fall of 1987.  At this point the USAWA adopted the use of the O’Carroll Formula for bodyweight adjustment and it was used extensively in the USAWA in 1988.  The Zercher Meet in 1988 used the O’Carroll Formula.  The National Masters Weightlifting Program started using the Sinclair Formula at this time, and even used a unique formula developed by Joe McCoy that adjusts for bodyweight AND age at the 1987 National Masters Olympic Lifting Championships directed by USAWA Hall of Famer John Vernacchio. It was called the Sinclair-McCoy Formula and ONLY applied to Olympic Lifting totals.  The FIRST USAWA National Championships directed by John Vernacchio in 1988 used the O’Carroll Formula. I did find a few old USAWA meet results from the late 80’s where the Sinclair Formula was used for All-Round Meets.  The Sinclair Formula was developed by Canadian mathematician/weightlifting enthusiast Roy Sinclair.  He used the weightlifting results from the Olympics as his data base to determine the coefficients for his formula. Another interesting formula brought forth from the IAWA in the early 90’s was the Blindt Formula, developed by British lifter Adrian Blindt.  It didn’t correct for bodyweight, but for the lifts involved.  Each lift had its own factor.  The idea was this would make it more fair, in example, to compare a lift where lots of weight can be lifted, like a Hip Lift to a lift where much less weight is lifted, like a Press.  This formula was never used in the USAWA, but was used in some IAWA competitions.  I remember it was used in the IAWA World Postal Meets promoted by the Australians a few years back.

However, by the early 1990’s most all USAWA results started using the Lynch Formula, which we still use today.  The Lynch Formula was developed in 1988 by Ian Lynch, a lifter from England. The Lynch Factors (or coefficients)  have not changed since its inception.  I know this because I found an old Lynch Chart from the early 90’s and compared it to today’s Lynch Chart and it’s the same.  No updates and no modifications.  Recently, we have been faced with a problem using the Lynch Formula, and that problem is the highest bodyweight factor on the Lynch Chart is 150 kilograms.  It is not uncommon nowadays to get a lifter that weighs over 330 pounds, and we have no way to correct for them!  In the past when this happened the meet director would either  “estimate” a Lynch Factor for them or just give the athlete the highest bodyweight correction on the chart. I don’t think EITHER of those solutions are acceptable – and thus I began to try to find the “original Lynch Formula” so the chart could be extended for higher bodyweights.  I inquired several places and couldn’t find any leads.  Finally, thanks to Tom Ryan and our IAWA President Steve Gardner, Ian Lynch was located and I could go right to the source of the Lynch Formula!  Unfortunately, the exact formula and method of reproducing it has been lost.  However, Ian Lynch was very helpful in sharing some details and information on why the Lynch Formula was developed and used in All-Round Weightlifting.  The Lynch Formula is very similar to the O’Carroll Formula with the differences being that the Lynch Formula is slightly more favorable for lighter lifters. In a sense, it “leveled out the curve”  on the light end of the  O’Carroll Formula.   Both the Lynch and O’Carroll Formulas were derived using body factors whereas the Schwartz and Sinclair Formulas are based on Olympic lifting performances or World Records for Olympic Lifting.  I think this makes the Lynch Formula more applicable to All-Round Weightlifting. It sure doesn’t make sense to me to use a formula based on the two Olympic Lifts, and then expect it to correlate to over the 200 lifts we do in All-Round Weightlifting!  Ian Lynch had this to say about the development of the Lynch Formula from the O’Carroll Formula considering body factors , ” The O’Carroll Formula assumed all lifters non-muscular weight was constant, ie bones etc. That didn’t work well particularly for lighter lifters.” That must have been the reason for the points being adjusted slightly in favor of lighter lifters.

Just out of curiosity I “recalculated” the results of last year’s World Championships using the Sinclair and O’Carroll Formulas.  This is how it would change “the top ten”:

Lifter BWT Lynch Pts. Sinclair Pts. O’Carroll Pts.
Mark Haydock 122.9 764.3 1005.2 771.1
Al Myers 114.7 763.1 978.5 768.6
Chad Ullom 104.3 749.8 936.2 758.9
Roger Davis 81.6 736.6 896.9 737.0
Denny Habecker 86.1 661.1 805.3 661.9
John Monk 79.8 658.3 802.1 658.4
Bill Spayd 107.9 655.3 825.0 659.1
Scott Schmidt 119.7 598.6 779.3 603.6
Art Montini 78.2 588.9 718.3 589.1
Josh Haydock 66.9 582.2 724.6 565.7

This group of lifters make up an interesting data base for this comparison, because lifters of different body weights are represented (from 66.9 kgs to 122.9 kgs).  Not much changes in the placings between the three formulas being applied except for Bill Spayd.  He placed 7th overall using the Lynch Formula, but would have been 5th using the Sinclair Formula. You can really see how the Lynch Formula favors lighter lifters compared to the O’Carroll Formula.  Just compare Mark Haydock (at 122.9 kgs) to Josh Haydock (at 66.9 kgs). Mark’s Lynch Points are LOWER than his O’Carroll Points while Josh’s Lynch Points are MORE than his O’Carroll Points.  John Monk, at 80 kilograms, has the bodyweight that gives the same points using both the Lynch Formula and the O’Carroll Formula.  The Sinclair Formula MUCH favors heavier lifters.  Just look at the top four placings where the bodyweights of the lifters decrease with each placing. It is  pretty close using the Lynch Formula, but with the Sinclair Formula the point gap widens much more with each subsequent placing.

This doesn’t answer the long debated notion that “formulas are not fair”, but I hope that it provides some insight to how the formulas work and why we use them in the USAWA.

Summary of Heavy Lift Competitions

by Dale E. Friesz

Men’s Division

Event Winner Harness Hip H&T Neck Back Total
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2009-5/16 Lebanon, PA

Al Myers

Age 42 BWT 254

NC 1845 1204 405 NC 3454
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2008-11/15 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 53 BWT 224

3000 2020 1300 355 2750 9425
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2007-11/09 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 52 BWT 224

2885 2000 1300 315 2705 9345
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2006-11/12 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 51 BWT 223

2700 2100 1200 355 2805 9160
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

2005-11/13 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 50 BWT 218

3010 1900 1300 400 2705 9315
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

2005-8/27 Walpole, MA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 50 BWT 270

2200 1900 1200 702 1800 7802
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

2004-11/14 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 49 BWT 220

3110 2105 1400 415 2615 9645
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2004-8/28 Lebanon, PA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 49 BWT 267

NC 1902 1203 653 NC 3758
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon & USAWA Heavy Lift Meet

2003-11/09 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 48 BWT 208

2900 2000 1300 405 2700 9305
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

2002-11/10 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 47 BWT 209

3005 2050 1000 400 2600 9055
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2002-10/19 Walpole, MA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 47 BWT 263

2000 2005 1450 650 2000 8105
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2001-11/10 Columbia, MO

Dale Spry

Age 41 BWT 196

2005 1400 625 335 1000 5365
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2000-11/05 Columbia, MO

John Monk

Age 35 BWT 152

1685 1325 1005 555 1305 5875
Steve Schmidt’s Backbreaker

1999-10/31 Columbia, MO

James Foster

Age 30 BWT 204

1400 1200 1005 505 1500 5610
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

1999-9/11 Walpole, MA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 44 BWT 278

2400 1750 1400 650 NC 6200
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

1998-12/05 Walpole, MA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 43 BWT 273

2350 1800 1200 550 NC 5900
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1998-11/01 Columbia, MO

Joe Garcia

Age 45 BWT 222

1680 1475 1275 475 1670 6575
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1997-11/01 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 39 BWT 229

3405 2305 1275 400 2000 9385
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1996-10/27 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 38 BWT 226

3015 2335 1205 400 2300 9255
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1995-10/29 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 37 BWT 222

2905 2305 1105 400 2600 9315
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1994-10/30 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 36 BWT 215

2500 2525 910 400 2300 8635
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1993-10/24 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 35 BWT 208

2505 2310 900 400 2205 8320
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1992-10/25 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 37 BWT 209

3315 2390 1100 502 2912 10219
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1991-10/20 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 36 BWT 220

3515 2420 1013 547 2902 10377
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1990-10/21 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 35 BWT 219

2867 2350 1124 506 2800 9647
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1989-10/22 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 34 BWT 220

3505 2200 1005 505 2822 10037
Strongman Pentathlon

1988-10/16 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 33 BWT 223

3500 2200 1200 475 2850 10231
Schmidt’s Pentathlon

1987-10/11 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 32 BWT 218

3300 2400 1225 470 2805 10200
Strongman Pentathlon

1986-10/25 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 31 BWT 224

3000 2135 1150 435 2610 9330

Women’s Division

Event Winner Harness Hip H&T Neck Back Total
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

2005-8/27 Walpole, MA

Cara Collins

Age 33 BWT 205

920 900 390 250 378 2788
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2002-10/19 Walpole, MA

Cara Collins

Age 30 BWT 240

800 880 600 250 1000 3530
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

1998-12/05 Walpole, MA

Cara Collins

Age 26 BWT 187

1000 600 600 250 NC 2450
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1997-11/01 Columbia, MO

Amy Burks

Age 19 BWT 125

1085 885 465 175 850 3470
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1995-10/29 Columbia, MO

Emily Gordon

Age 12 BWT 77

450 300 165 85 250 1250
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1994-10/30 Columbia, MO

Kerry Clark

Age 30 BWT 165

1075 1055 450 345 1360 4285
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1993-10/24 Columbia, MO

Kerry Clark

Age 29 BWT 163

1305 1125 525 325 1210 4490
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1992-10/25 Sullivan, MO

Deanne Hartwig

Age 43 BWT 135

900 701 352 167 706 2826
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1989-10/22 Sullivan, MO

Cindy Garcia

Age 36 BWT 152

850 700 450 185 1000 3185
Strongman Pentathlon

1988-10/16 Sullivan, MO

Ruth Thrasher

Age 24 BWT 113

860 700 280 215 750 2805

BWT – bodyweight

NC – Lift Not Contested at Meet

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

The One and Only Steve Schmidt

There is only one SUPER HEAVY LIFT LIFTER:


by Dale E. Friesz

Steve Schmidt set many Back Lift records using his custom-built Back Lift Apparatus.

What follows is a history of the male and female winners of what has progressed, in name only, from the STRONGMAN PENTATHLON, to the SCHMIDT’S PENTATHLON, to the SCHMIDT’S BACKBREAKER PENTATHLON, to the USAWA NATIONAL HEAVY LIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS, to the STEVE SCHMIDT’S BACKBREAKER, and to the USAWA HEAVY LIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS.  The data source is our former organization’s newsletter written by Bill Clark, the STRENGTH JOURNAL.  I believe it is safe to assume that Bill Clark was involved in the meet name changes.  The same five lifts have been contested since the first meet on 11/25-1986 – the lifts are the NECK LIFT, the HAND & THIGH, the HIP LIFT, the HARNESS LIFT, and the BACKLIFT.  It seems that Steve Schmidt, together with Bill Clark, conceived of the meet as it contains the four chain lifts and the biggest lift of all the USAWA – the BACKLIFT.  Steve has competed in 14 of these meets since the first in 1986 in his yard and barn in Sullivan, Missouri. He is UNDEFEATED!  The small table that follows shows how Steve has managed to cheat father time:

10377 1991 Sullivan 220 36
10231 1988 Sullivan 223 33
10219 1992 Sullivan 209 37
10200 1987 Sullivan 218 32
10037 1989 Sullivan 220 34
9647 1990 Sullivan 219 35
9645 2004 Columbia 220 49
9415 2008 Columbia 224 53
9345 2007 Columbia 224 52
9330 1986 Sullivan 224 31
9315 2005 Columbia 218 50
9305 2003 Columbia 208 48
9160 2006 Columbia 223 51
9055 2002 Columbia 209 47

I have enjoyed the recent forum discussions that Steve’s apparatus and large diameter heavy bar made it possible for him to lift such “unreal” poundages. Also, as he aged he was not able to lift as much weight.  I point out that no one has been able to beat him regardless of the equipment used.  Also, that after nearly a quarter century of training he cracked the 3000 pound backlift ceiling twice in one meet, maxing at 3050 pounds.  Big Al was very much present when it was done as it took place in his gym, using his state of the art backlift equipment.

Best Crucifix Lifts of All-Time

by Al Myers

Eric Todd and his USAWA record performance in the Crucifix, with a lift of 140 pounds at the 2005 Deanna Springs Memorial Meet.

I think it is only appropriate to HIGHLIGHT the best lifts ever in the Crucifix since it is our signature lift, as demonstrated by the USAWA logo.  The rules of the Crucifix are often misunderstood.  People will  assume it is the same as other similar lifts like the Iron Cross, Muscle Out or Side Lateral, but the Crucifix Lift is much different. The USAWA Rules of the Crucifix Lift is as follows:

Two evenly loaded dumbbells or kettlebells are used for this lift. The lift begins at the lifter’s discretion. The dumbbells are taken to arms’ length overhead with the palms of the hands facing each other and dumbbells touching. The lifter must bring the feet together so the heels are together and touching. The body must be upright at the start of the lift. Once in this position, an official will give the command to start the lift. The lifter will then lower the dumbbells to the side with arms’ straight and palms up. Elbows must be fully locked. The lifter may lean back to any extent when lowering the dumbbells. The wrists do not need to be held straight. The legs must remain straight and knees locked throughout the lift. The heels must remain together and the heels and toes must not rise during the lift. Once the arms are parallel to the platform, and the dumbbells motionless, an official will give a command to end the lift.

The best All-Time USAWA lift in the Crucifix is held by Eric Todd, with a lift of 140 pounds performed at the 2005 Deanna Springs Memorial Meet in the 110K Class.  This lift was judged under the strict judging of Bill Clark.  Eric holds a couple of other weight group records with lifts of 130 pounds and 120 pounds, so he is the REAL DEAL when it comes to the Crucifix Lift.  I have competed several times in meets with Eric when the Crucifix was being contested, and I am always amazed at what he does. Only four other USAWA lifters have ever done over 100 pounds – these being Sam Huff, Mike McBride, Bill Spayd, and Ed Schock (who has the top Master Lift in the Crucifix at 100  pounds). The top teenager in the Crucifix is Abe Smith, who did 70 pounds. Amokor Ollennuking has the top female lift in the USAWA with a lift of 60 pounds.

The famous picture of Joe Southard, performing a Crucifix Lift of 130 pounds in 1963.

What is the best Crucifix in history?  I did some research and their are several “claims” but most seem to have not been verified.  I consider Louis Cyr to be the best in history.  Cyr did a Crucifix with 94 pounds in the right hand, and 88 pounds in the left, for a total weight of 182 pounds. Marvin Eder and Doug Hepburn both were credited with a “Crucifix- like lift” of 100 pounds per hand, but were judged “less than strict”.  Among Old-Time Strongmen, George Hackenschmidt did a Crucifix 0f 180 pounds in 1902.  But even Hackenschmidt said in his own words that it was performed “in a less strictly correct style”.

One thing is certain – the description and rules of the Crucifix has been different throughout history, and not always conforming with today’s set USAWA rules. Actually, the USAWA rules make the Crucifix as difficult as possible with these criteria: heels being together throughout, elbows fully locked at finish, and the lift being completed upon official’s command, thus requiring the weight to be momentarily paused. Joe Southard, the great Illinois All-Rounder, did 130# in the Crucifix at 165# bodyweight in 1963.  This was considered the World Record for quite some time for a competitive Crucifix Lift. The picture of Joe Southard doing this record became well known to USAWA lifters, as it graced the cover of our Rule Book for several years.  But look at the picture closely – and you will notice the dumbbells Southard was using were not loaded evenly on both ends, which would not comply with  today’s USAWA Rules. How much that would help I have no idea. Another couple of lifters who excelled at the Crucifix in the Mo-Valley All-Rounds (before the USAWA was formed) was Steve Schmidt (110# Crucifix at 220# BW in 1985) and Bob Burtzloff (100# Crucifix at HWT in 1982).  Both of these lifts were officiated under the same rules as we use today.

The Crucifix has only been performed in one meet in the USAWA these past few years, and that is the Deanna Springs Memorial Meet, hosted by Bill Clark.  It is in the Deanna Meet EVERY year, as the events in that meet don’t change. The Crucifix Lift is the perfect example of a true “odd lift”, and for this reason makes a great “poster lift” for the USAWA .

History of the Deanna Springs Memorial Meet

Written and Compiled by Dale Friesz

There has been 15 Deanna Springs Memorial Meets.  Joe Garcia owns this meet – he has won 9 of these meets.  He participated in two others – 2003 and 1997.  Amazingly he failed to total in 2003 and 1997.  In 2003, he was unable to do a Hand and Thigh Lift and in 1997 he failed in the Hip Lift.  He could not do the Hand and Thigh Lift in 2003 as he had been kicked by his own horse! In 1997, his choice of weight in the Hip Lift was too heavy.  That amounts to 9 wins in 11 contests. My hat is off to Joe!!

Deanna and Al Springs, performing a 2-person Cheat Curl

The following is from the USAWA Strength Journal, Vol. VI-7 11/25-1995:

Deanna Springs Dies in Auto Crash
by Kerry Clark, a national USWF titlist like Deanna, contributed the following eulogy for her close friend.

On October 5, 1995, Deanna Springs was killed in a car accident at the age of 45. Deanna was the wife of Al Springs of Dearborn, Missouri. Deanna met Al when she came to his fitness center for rehabilitation for shoulder and wrist problems. She lifted in her first USAWA meet at Steve Schmidt’s in 1992, and although she continued to battle back and arm problems she developed into an excellent and enthusiastic lifter over the last few years.  Al and Deanna were rightfully proud of her record-making marks of 600 pounds in the Hand and Thigh and 1100 pounds in the Hip Lift. But more than a devoted lifter, Deanna Springs was a wonderful person.  She and Al came to all of our meets at Clark’s Gym. Deanna was always the friendliest and most supportive person in the room.  She worked hard to become a better lifter herself and she always gave out encouragement, even to her competitors.  I always looked forward to our meets because I knew that Deanna would be there.  At her funeral, the minister spoke of Deanna’s accomplishments in the USAWA and her National Championship medal was placed in the casket with her.  I felt glad to know that Deanna cared so much about the USAWA because I know that my experience in this organization was enriched by her presence. Deanna Springs was a great lifter, supporter of the USAWA, and a friend. She was also Al’s greatest booster.  Her death was an unexpected blow and she will be greatly missed.

Past Winners of the Deanna Springs Memorial Meet:

2010 – 3/28
56 215 3770 3611.64
2009 – 3/28
55 240 3950 3711.88
2008 – 4/06
42 239 3525 2948.17
2007 – 3/25
25 171 3610 3534.55
2006 – 3/26
52 245 4035 3655.85
2005 – 4/02
23 165 4105 4111.98
2004 – 4/04
50 231 3980 3650.87
2003 – 4/06
47 215 3940 3654.37
2002 – 4/07
48 241 4120 3627.67
2001 – 3/31
47 242 3195 2783.60
2000 – 3/26
24 209 2960 2581.12
1999 – 3/28
45 241 4525 3876.54
1998 – 3/28
44 229 4140 3608.4
1997 – 4/12
39 226 4245 3553.07
1996 – 3/30
42 223 2550 2210.98

2004 – 4/04
28 188 1850 1712.18
2001 – 3/31
22 132 2140 2490.32
1996 – 3/30
33 175 1875 1810.50

Notes:  BWT is bodyweight in pounds. Total is total pounds lifted. Points are bodyweight and age adjusted.


1996 – Cheat Curl, Zercher Lift, Crucifix, Jefferson Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift
1997 – Cheat Curl, Crucifix, Jefferson Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Hip Lift
1998 to present – Crucifix, Cheat Curl, Deanna Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Hip Lift


1996 – Springs’ Garage Gym (Dearborn, Missouri)
1997 to present – Clark’s Championship Gym (Columbia, Missouri)

Zercher Strength Classic – Review of Participants and Lifts Contested

by Dale Friesz

Oldest Lifter – Ed Zercher Sr. (age 81 at 1989 Classic)

Youngest Lifter – Jeremiah Schmidt (age 11 at 1990 Classic) and Jason Carter (age 11 at 1990 Classic)

Lightest Lifter – Jeremiah Schmidt (77.4 pounds at 1990 Classic)

Heaviest Lifter – Joe McCoy (324 pounds at 1994 Classic)

Lifts contested by year:

Leg Press 1985, 1986, 1988-2010

Clean and Jerk 1985-2010

Zercher Lift 1985-2010

One Hand Deadlift 1985-2010

Neck Lift 1985-2010

Hack Lift 1985-2010

Hip Lift 1985-2010

Bench Press Feet in Air 1985-2010

Clean and Press Heels Together 1985-2010

Deadlift Heels Together 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991-2010

Hand and Thigh Lift 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991-2010

Steinborn Lift 1985, 1988-2010

Harness Lift 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991-2010

One Hand Snatch 1985

Snatch 1985

One Hand Clean and Jerk 1985

Cheat Curl 1987, 1988

Back Squat 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988

Seated Press 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988

Front Squat 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989

Jefferson Lift 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988

Crucifix 1985

Number of Lifts by Year:

1985 – 20

1986 – 16

1987 – 16

1988 – 18

1989 – 14

1990 – 10

1991 to 2010 – 13

(1982, 1983 and 1984 data not yet available)

Summary of the Zercher Strength Classic

America’s Oldest All-Round Weightlifting Contest
by Dale Friesz

The concept of the ZERCHER STRENGTH CLASSIC originated with the founder of the United States All-Round Weightlifting Association, Bill Clark. The first ZERCHER STRENGTH CLASSIC was held in 1982, six years before the first USAWA National Championships became a reality. The meet was created to honor Ed Zercher Sr., the famous St. Louis Missouri Strongman who performed at an extremely high level for over sixty-five years in all areas of the strength games.


2010 – 1/30
28/180 13 8105 7698.90
2009 – 1/31
27/180 13 8370 7950.66
2008 – 1/26
54/226 13 8020 7635.38
2007 – 2/03
53/233 13 8135 7635.20
2006 – 1/21
24/172 13 7897.5 7708.75
2005 – 1/29
51/242 13 8085 7304.83
2004 – 1/31
50/240 13 8190 7364.64
2003 – 2/01
70/238 13 5180 5523.64
2002 – 2/02
20/169 13 7790 7684.84
2001 – 2/03
47/241 13 8050 7029.97
2000 – 2/05-06
46/239 13 8792.5 7654.33
1999 – 1/30
38/185 13 6765 6321.90
1998 – 1/31-2/01
40/224.5 13 10080 8542.71
1997 – 2/01-02
39/227.5 13 9895 8243.50
1996 – 2/02-04
38/225 13 10645 8918.30
1995 – 2/04-05
37/218.5 13 9790 8334.23
1994 – 2/05-06
36/211.5 13 9345 8097.44
1993 – 2/06-07
37/215.5 13 10470 8975.93
1992 – 1/18-19
36/223 13 10250 8628.45
1991 – 1/19-20
35/227 13 10380 8656.92
1990 – 1/20-21
34/225 10 6430 5387.06
1989 – 1/21-22
33/212 14 8285 7189.72
1988 – 1/23-24
32/215 18 12260 10568.12
1987 – 1/24-25
31/215 16 10955 6139.18
1986 – 1/25-26
30/161 16 9345 6672.33
1985 – N/A
29/165 20 8320 5969.29
1984 – 1/21-22
28/- 17 N/A N/A
1983 – 1/22-23
27/- 18 N/A N/A
1982 – 1/23-24
26/- 16 N/A N/A


2003 – 2/01
40/165 13 6165 6226.65
2001 – 2/03
38/158 13 6355 6538.66
1999 – 1/30
19/136 13 3740 4235.37
1998 – 1/31-2/01
19/124 13 3470 4235.83
1997 – 2/01-02
34/171 13 6070 5897.00
1996 – 2/03-04
33/176 13 5920 5699.30
1995 – 2/04-05
30/171 13 4565 4473.24
1994 – 2/05-06
29/165 13 4695 4702.98
1993 – 2/06-07
28/163 13 4660 4794.67
1989 – 1/21-22
29/147 14 3420 3687.79
1988 – 1/23-24
28/142 18 4395 4880.65


STEVE SCHMIDT – (8) – 1983, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993
JOE GARCIA – (6) – 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008
JOHN CARTER – (5) – 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998
SID LITTLETON – (4) – 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986
ABE SMITH – (4) – 2002, 2006, 2009, 2010
DAVE DEFOREST – (1) – 1999
BILL CLARK – (1) – 2003


AMORKOR OLLENNUKING – (4) – 1996, 1997, 2001, 2003
KERRY CLARK – (3) – 1993, 1994, 1995
DORIS De La ROSA – (2) – 1988, 1989
AMY BURKS – (1) – 1998
ANGELA McBRIDE – (1) – 1999


MISSOURI STATE PENITENTIARY (Jefferson City, MO) – 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986
CLARK’S CHAMPIONSHIP GYM (Columbia, MO) – 1988 to 2010

History of USAWA Records

by Al Myers

I was thinking the other day about the history of the number of records set in the USAWA throughout the years.  Joe Garcia has been the Official Records Chairman since the beginning of the USAWA, and has entered THOUSANDS of records into our Record List. Joe’s efforts on this has been impressive and the USAWA owes him  a lot of thanks for all the work he has done in giving us a 20 plus year Record List.  The list is now approaching 10,000 line items in length.  But, what years have the most records been set in?  This can’t possible be answered because records are continually broken and the list updated, so an absolute count is about impossible for any year except the most current year. However, we can count the records that are STILL on the books from previous years.  Well, I did this and found the results interesting so I am going to share my research with you!

Year Records Year Records
1987 38 1999 453
1988 114 2000 586
1989 154 2001 422
1990 250 2002 682
1991 307 2003 538
1992 294 2004 474
1993 291 2005 702
1994 346 2006 566
1995 468 2007 367
1996 425 2008 360
1997 427 2009 475
1998 433 2010 103

As you can see, 2005 was the year that resulted in the MOST records.  The last three years there has been a drop-off. But it appears 2010 is off to a good start – maybe THIS YEAR will be the year the most records are set??

Congratulations to Dave Glasgow for passing the Official’s Test and becoming an USAWA Official!

What happened 10 years ago in the USAWA?

by Al Myers

Garcia wins Zercher

On February 5-6, 2000, Joe Garcia wins his first Zercher Strength Classic at Clark’s Gym.  Fellow gym members Mike McBride  took second place while James Foster came in third.  Seven lifters participated in this 13 lift meet which occurred over two days. Garcia dominated the Chain Lifts – with lifts of 1600# in the Hand and Thigh, 2300# in the Harness Lift, and 1805# in the Hip Lift.  This meet also included the comeback of John Carter, who had been sidelined for two years with two knee surgeries.

Postal League

Four registered clubs (Clark’s Gym, Prechtel Athletic Club, Ambridge VFW Barbell Club and Frystown Power Zone) have entered the Postal League.  The first leg of this year long competition was completed.

Nebraskaland Strength Classic

Meet director Kevin Fulton won the Nebraskaland Strength Classic, barely edging out Elijah Kucera.  Fulton put up big lifts in the Jerk-Behind Neck (305 pounds) and the Deadlift – Fulton Bar (505 pounds) to secure the win over 17 year old Kucera.

Deanna Springs Memorial

Josh Pemberton won the Deanna Springs Meet, beating Abe Smith and Al Springs.  The meet was very close, with Josh slipping past Abe by only 13 points!  A highlight of the meet was having two old JWC lifters in attendance – Wayne Smith and Wayne Jackson.  Smith had developed a reputation by being a one arm pullup champion, and on this day he performed a record in the Pinch Grip with a lift of 90 pounds.

Buckeye Record Breaker

This record day was promoted by USAWA President Howard Prechtel on March 4th. An amazing 16 lifters took part!  The list of those competing: Noi Phumchaona, Anna Holter, Jim Loewer, Dennis Stahnke, Chris Waterman, Bob McKenzie, Lee Gesbeck, Dennis Mitchell, Bob Cox, John McKean, Art Montini, Bob Hirsh, Walter Moss, Bill Crozier, Bob Geib, and Scott Schmidt.

Courtesy of The Strength Journal published by Bill Clark.

History of Past USAWA Officers

by Al Myers

Dale Friesz at the 2009 Heavy Event Nationals

Thanks to the work of the unofficial USAWA Historian Dale Friesz, the website now contains the history of the past officers of the USAWA. Dale has been a very active lifter since the beginning of the USAWA, and has been an integral part of past USAWA National Meetings. Dale deserves a pat on the back from the USAWA for taking time during his vacation to get this project finished. Thanks Dale! Below is the listing of the Past USAWA Officers since the origin of the USAWA in 1987, courtesy of Dale Friesz.

Effective January 1st, 2010 (elected 6/20/2009)

PRESIDENT: Denny Habacker, PA




Effective July 7th, 2007 (elected 7/7/2007)

PRESIDENT: Denny Habecker, PA




Effective January 1st, 1993 (elected 11/27/1992)

PRESIDENT: Howard Prechtel, OH


Frank Ciavattone, MA

Art Montini, PA



Effective January 1st, 1989 (elected 1/22/1989)

PRESIDENT: John Vernacchio, PA




Effective January 1st, 1987 (appointed 11/29/1986)



Round 4 – Yesterday versus Today

Yesterday’s 242# & SHW Classes versus Today’s 105k to 125K+ Classes

by Al Myers


Lift Yesterday Today Winner
Deadlift – One Arm 455# – Joe Nanney (1961) 562# – Frank Ciavattone (2000) Today
Deadlift – Heels Together 670# – Lou Greenlaw (1982) 650# – Al Myers (2004) Yesterday
Deadlift – Middle Fingers 350# – Ken McClain (1984) 400# – Kevin Fulton (1999) Today
Deadlift – One Leg 305# – Bill Clark (1963) 309# – Al Myers (2005) Today
Hack Lift 650# – Wilbur Miller (1963) 620# – Ed Schock (2002) Yesterday
Jefferson Lift 650# – Wilbur Miller (1963) 617# – Bob Moore (1992) Yesterday
Hand and Thigh Lift 1150# – Steve Schmidt (1986) 1910# – Joe Garcia (1997) Today
Neck Lift 470# – Steve Schmidt (1986) 805# – Joe Ciavattone (2005) Today
Harness Lift 3000# – Steve Schmidt (1986) 3500# – Steve Schmidt (1988) Today
Hip Lift 2135# – Steve Schmidt (1986) 2515# – Frank Ciavattone (2007) Today
Back Lift 2610# – Steve Schmidt (1986) 3050# – Steve Schmidt (2009) Today
Clean and Press 330# – Wayne Jackson (1971) 276# – John Dundon (1997) Yesterday
Clean and Seated Press 280# – Wayne Jackson (1983) 275# – Brian Meek (1988) Yesterday
French Press 135# – Wayne Jackson (1981) 140# – Joe Ciavattone (2009) Today
Bent Press 220# – Bob Burtzloff (1984) 105# – Mike McBride (1998) Yesterday
Bench Press – Feet in Air 465# – Gary McClain (1980) 441# – Brian Meek (1989) Yesterday
Bench Press – Hands Together 265# – Callie Dealy (1982) 310# – Dave Beversdorf (2009) Today
Front Squat 470# – Terry Stephens (1979) 507# – Brian Meek (1989) Today
Snatch – One Arm 170# – Bob Burtzloff (1982) 171# – Bob Burtzloff (1987) Today
Continental to Chest 363# – Bob Burtzloff (1987) 358# – Frank Ciavattone (1992) Yesterday
Jerk – From Rack 407# – Clay Oliver (1986) 397# – Clay Oliver (1987) Yesterday
Clean & Jerk – One Arm 253# – Bob Burtzloff (1983) 175# – Bob Burtzloff (2004) Yesterday
Swing – Dumbbell, One Arm 145# – Bob Burtzloff (1985) 143# – Chad Ullom (2007) Yesterday
Zercher Lift 505# – Bill Davis (1979) 529# – Bob Moore (1992) Today
Steinborn Lift 460# – Al Robbins (1967) 430# – Chad Ullom (2007) Yesterday
Cheat Curl 253# – Ray Bradley (1979) 260# – Antoniano DelSignore (2003) Today
Pinch Grip 210# – Jim Easley (1981) 200# – Matt Graham (2002) Yesterday
Crucifix 110# – Steve Schmidt (1985) 140# – Eric Todd (2005) Today
Pullover – Straight Arm 126# – Steve Schmidt (1985) 132# – Al Myers (2009) Today
Pullover and Push 474# – Bob Burtzloff (1986) 474# – Bob Burtzloff (1987) TIE
Clean & Press – Behind Neck 220# – Bob Burtzloff (1984) 251# – Ernie Beath (2009) Today
Clean & Press – Heels Together 300# – Wayne Jackson (1983) 300# – Brian Meek (1989) TIE
Deadlift – Dumbbells 520# – Wilbur Miller (1984) 480# – Al Myers (2009) Yesterday
Clean & Press – Dumbbells 240# – Ken McClain (1986) 240# – Ken McClain (1987) TIE
Pullover and Press 165# – Ed Zercher Sr. (1963) 352# – Al Myers (2007) Today
Bench Press – Roman Chair 210# – Bob Burtzloff (1985) 250# – Dave Beversdorf (2009) Today
It was close – but Today’s Lifters pull out the WIN!

Final score in Round 4 – Today 19 wins, Yesterday 14 wins, 3 ties.

So overall – Today’s Lifters win 3 Rounds to Yesterday’s Lifters winning 1 Round.  Does this review comparison really answer the  question, “Are today’s lifters stronger than yesterday’s lifters?”.  I still can’t say that for sure because Today’s lifters do have a few advantages that the lifters before us didn’t have – such as better bars and equipment to compete with, a better understanding of proper training learned from those before us, and more opportunities to compete than they did.  I do think this study showed that several lifters from the past would still be great in today’s lifting world.  In all rounds, Today’s lifters dominated the Heavy Lifts which definitely helped in margin of victory but if taken out wouldn’t have changed the outcome.  I found this study to be very interesting – and was glad to see “the numbers” of several oldtime lifters that I have only heard about.  ANYONE making these lists are/were truly great lifters.  I welcome any comments from those who have memories of these past lifts/lifters.  I think it is very important to keep track of the history of our sport.  We have to remember that those before us paved the way for what we have today. If it wasn’t for interest in All-Round Weightlifting 50 years ago – we may not even have All-Round Weightlifting today!!

Round 3 – Yesterday versus Today

Yesterday’s 198# Class and 220# Class versus Today’s 90K, 95K, and 100K Classes

by Al Myers


Lift Yesterday Today Winner
Deadlift – One Arm 352# – Clay Oliver (1985) 410# – Don Verterosa (1989) Today
Deadlift – Heels Together 600# – Stan Frenchie (1986) 605# – Ed Schock (2003) Today
Deadlift – Middle Fingers 335# – Daryl Johnson (1980) 309# – Bill DiCiccio (2003) Yesterday
Deadlift – One Leg 270# – Steve Schmidt (1987) 295# – Eric Overfelt (1989) Today
Hack Lift 700# – Stan Frenchie (1986) 615# – Ed Schock (2002) Yesterday
Jefferson Lift 700# – Stan Frenchie (1986) 605# – Ed Schock (2001) Yesterday
Hand and Thigh Lift 1225# – Steve Schmidt (1987) 1620# – Joe Garcia (1995) Today
Neck Lift 500# – Steve Schmidt (1987) 676# – Joe Ciavattone (1992) Today
Harness Lift 3325# – Steve Schmidt (1987) 3515# – Steve Schmidt (1991) Today
Hip Lift 2515# – Steve Schmidt (1987) 2525# – John Carter (1994) Today
Back Lift 2805# – Steve Schmidt (1987) 2912# – Steve Schmidt (1992) Today
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells 500# – Clay Oliver (1985) 332# – Chuck Urbanski (1995) Yesterday
Clean and Press 280# – Ron Sisk (1965) 231# – Drue Moore (1997) Yesterday
Clean and Seated Press 253# – Don Gleneski (1987) 245# – Phil Anderson (1988) Yesterday
French Press 185# – Homer Lewellan (1962) 125# – Randy Smith (2009) Yesterday
Bent Press 175# – Bruce Stresnider (1962) 110# – Robert English (1998) Yesterday
Bench Press – Feet in Air 385# – Bob Burtzloff (1986) 480# – Tony Succarotte (2004) Today
Bench Press – Hands Together 250# – Rocky Proctor (1984) 225# – Mike McBride (2004) Yesterday
Front Squat 380# – Leonard Friesz (1963) 441# – Tim Bruner (1989) Today
Snatch – One Arm 154# – Bob Burtzloff (1986) 171# – Thomas Incledon (1999) Today
Continental to Chest 358# – Phil Anderson (1987) 380# – Phil Anderson (1989) Today
Jerk – From Rack 350# – Leonard Friesz (1963) 331# – Don Venterosa (1993) Yesterday
Clean & Jerk – One Arm 187# – Bob Burtzloff (1986) 154# – Don Venterosa (1995) Yesterday
Swing – Dumbbell, One Arm 120# – Clay Oliver (1985) 120# – Ed Schock (2002) TIE
Zercher Lift 460# – Stan Frenchie (1987) 500# – Phil Anderson (1988) Today
Steinborn Lift 365# – Ray Wells (1974) 375# – Steve Schmidt (1989) Today
Cheat Curl 245# – Homer Lewellan (1962) 235# – Phil Anderson (1988) Yesterday
Pinch Grip 198# – Kevin Fulton (1983) 170# – Doug Fulton (1999) Yesterday
Crucifix 104# – Steve Schmidt (1983) 100# – Bill Spayd (2001) Yesterday
Pullover – Straight Arm 135# – Steve Schmidt (1984) 110# – Tony Succarotte (2004) Yesterday
Pullover and Push 441# – Bob Burtzloff (1986) 446# – Phil Anderson (1989) Today
Clean & Press – Behind Neck 220# – Jimmy Lott (1978) 198# – Terry Grow (1994) Yesterday
Clean & Press – Heels Together 237# – Ron Sisk (1986) 254# – Tim Bruner (1989) Today
Clean & Press – Dumbbells 200# – Bob Burtzloff (1986) 200# – Ed Schock (2004) TIE
Pullover and Press 314# – Steve Schmidt (1984) 281# – Robert English (1998) Yesterday
Bench Press – Roman Chair 200# – Steve Schmidt (1985) 100# – Lewis Heater (2009) Yesterday
Yesterday’s lifters finally WIN one!!

It was close, but Yesterday’s Lifters get 18 wins to Today’s Lifters 16 wins, with two ties.  Now the overall score is Today 2 wins – Yesterday 1 win.  Tomorrow’s round will be the final round – with Yesterday’s 242# and SHW Classes battling Today’s 105K, 110k, 115K, 120K, 125K, and 125K+ Classes. Some really BIG NAMES will take each other on in this one.  Yesterday’s team will include guys like Wilbur Miller, Bob Burtzloff, Steve Schmidt, Wayne Jackson, and Clay Oliver versus Today’s team of Frank Ciavattone, Joe Ciavattone, Bob Moore, Chad Ullom, Mike McBride and others.  Yesterday’s team needs this win to say that Yesterday’s lifters are just as good as Today’s lifters.  I can’t wait to see how this turns out – as it appears Yesterday’s team is stacked with a lot of great talent.  Come back tomorrow to the USAWA Daily News for the final results -  and the answer to that long asked question.

Round 2 – Yesterday versus Today

Yesterday’s 165# & 181# Classes versus Today’s 75K, 80K, and 85 K Classes
by Al Myers


Lift Yesterday Today Winner
Deadlift – One Arm 317# – Ray Esquibel (1987) 441# – Bob Hirsh (1995) Today
Deadlift – Heels Together 570# – Sid Littleton (1986) 560# – Bob Hirsh (1995) Yesterday
Deadlift – Middle Fingers 350#- Bill Broadnax (1981) 235# – Dale Friesz (1995) Yesterday
Deadlift – One Leg 160# – Ray Esquibel (1987) 260# – Abe Smith (2001) Today
Hack Lift 600# – Sid Littleton (1985) 670# – Bob Hirsh (1997) Today
Jefferson Lift 580# – Sid Littleton (1986) 702# – Bob Hirsh (1996) Today
Hand and Thigh Lift 1000# – Kevin Hale (1986) 1350# – Bill DiCiccio, Jr. (1994) Today
Neck Lift 450# – Ed Zercher III (1987) 605# – Dale Friesz (1995) Today
Harness Lift 2300# – Rick Evans (1986) 2060# – Abe Smith (2005) Yesterday
Hip Lift 1900# – Sid Littleton (1987) 2030# – Bill DiCiccio, Sr. (1997) Today
Back Lift 1265# – Ed Zercher III (1987) 2200# – Tim Pinkerton (2005) Today
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells 410# – Sid Littleton (1985) 515# – Bob Hirsh (1995) Today
Clean and Press 285# – Robert Burnett (1967) 220# – Abe Smith (2004) Yesterday
Clean and Seated Press 210# – Dave Hahn (1962) 220# – Bob Hirsh (1996) Today
French Press 190# – Jim Charlton (1981) 121# – Bob Hirsh (2001) Yesterday
Bent Press 115# – David Lloyd (1975) 90# – Dennis Mitchell (1990) Yesterday
Bench Press – Feet in Air 352# – Ronnie Kinnamon (1984) 364# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Bench Press – Hands Together 275# – Ronnie Kinnamon (1984) 250# – Lon Beffort (2005) Yesterday
Front Squat 360# – Dennis Turner (1979) 380# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Snatch – One Arm 135# – David Lloyd (1976) 160# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Continental to Chest 264# – John Haynes (1987) 353# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Jerk – From Rack 315# – Swede Salsbury (1963) 353# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Clean and Jerk – One Arm 155# – David Llyod (1976) 160# – Barry Bryan (1991) Today
Swing – One Dumbbell 110# – Ray Webb (1984) 120# – Abe Smith (2004) Today
Zercher Lift 475# – Rick Evans (1986) 504# – Bob Hirsh (1995) Today
Steinborn Lift 325# – Sid Littleton (1982) 340# – Dan Wagman (2006) Today
Cheat Curl 255# – Dave Hahn (1962) 220# – Drue Moore (1995) Yesterday
Pinch Grip 205# – Tim McClain (1981) 160# – Matt Kucera (2001) Yesterday
Crucifix 130# – Joe Southard (1963) 90# – John Monk (2002) Yesterday
Pullover – Straight Arm 90# – Dick Hamilton (1963) 110# – Bob Hirsh (1996) Today
Pullover and Push 315# – Alense Barber (1986) 364# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Clean and Press – Behind Neck 200# – Wayne Gardner (1975) 209# – Bob Hirsh (1997) Today
Clean and Press – Heels Together 195# – Chester Words (1984) 248# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Clean and Press – Dumbbells 150# – Ray Webb (1984) 200# – Abe Smith (2006) Today
Pullover and Press 225# – Carles Allen (1984) 287# – Bob Hirsh (1996) Today
Bench Press – Roman Chair 185# – Kevin Hale (1985) 135# – John Monk (2006) Yesterday
Final Score of Round 2
Today’s lifters 25 wins to Yesterday’s lifters 11 wins.

Today’s Lifters win in a landslide Victory!  It seemed for Today’s lifters that Bob Hirsh dominated (9 wins total), and in his weaker lifts Barry Bryan took over (8 wins).  Yesterday’s Lifters were lead by Sid Littleton (5 wins) – who made up about half of the wins for Yesterday’s team.  This list is an ALL-STAR lineup and everyone on it deserves recognition – after all I picked the BEST out of more than one weight class.

Now Today’s Lifters lead by a 2-0 margin over Yesterday’s lifters.  Can Yesterday’s lifters win the next two rounds in the battle of the heavyweights?  Or will Round 3 be just more evidence that Today’s lifters are stronger than Yesterdays lifters?  Round 3 brings out the 198# Class and 220# Class for the Yesterday’s Lifters versus the 90 K, 95 K, and 100 K Classes for Today’s lifters.  Tomorrow’s battles will include these famous all-rounders going head to head – Stan Frenchie vs. Ed Schock, Bob Burtzloff vs. Phil Anderson, and Steve Schmidt vs. Steve Schmidt.  This Round will be somewhat different than the previous two – as you will see a few lifters playing for both teams.  Anyone want to put out any bets???  I got a feeling this is going to be a real BATTLE!!

Round 1 – Yesterday versus Today

Yesterday’s 148# Class and Below versus Today’s 70K Class and Below
by Al Myers


Lift Yesterday Today Winner
Deadlift – One Arm
319# – Randy Joe Holden (1985)
369# – John McKean (1993)
Deadlift – Heels Together
500# – Glen Terry (1985)
452# – Bob Hirsh (2004)
Deadlift – Middle Fingers
255# – Art Tarwater (1961)
245# – Colby Howard (1999)
Deadlift – One Leg
215# – Robbie Porter (1983)
235# – Bob Hirsh (2004)
Hack Lift
550# – Glenn Terry (1986)
550# – Bob Hirsh (1991)
Jefferson Lift
540# – Edwin Stitt (1986)
634# – Bob Hirsh (1994)
Hand and Thigh Lift
850# – Glenn Terry (1986)
1108# – Roger Lynch (1991)
Neck Lift
405# – Jim Borwick (1987)
600# – John Monk (2000)
Harness Lift
1800# – Glenn Terry (1986)
1805# – John Monk (2000)
Hip Lift
1200# – Edwin Stitt (1986)
1640# – Bob Hirsh (1993)
Back Lift
800# – Larry Blatt (1986)
1305# – John Monk (2000)
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells
440# – Robbie Porter (1984)
377# – John Monk (2005)
Clean and Press
220# – Guy Gronniger (1967)
176# – Chris Waterman (1997)
Clean and Seated Press
165# – Fred Yeargood (1977)
165# – John Monk (2000)
French Press
125# – Fred Yeargood (1974)
77# – Chris Waterman (2001)
Bent Press
80# – Fred Yeargood (1985)
72# – Dennis Mitchell (1998)
Bench Press – Feet in Air
290# – Glenn Terry (1985)
270# – James Longo (1990)
Bench Press – Hands Together
155# – Robert Johnson (1984)
240# – John Monk (1999)
Front Squat
308# – Brent Pierce (1984)
315# – George James (2006)
Snatch – One Arm
150# – Gordon Strain (1931)
127# – Chris Waterman (1991)
Continental to Chest
308# – Brent Pierce (1987)
325# – Chris Waterman (1996)
Jerk – From Rack
260# – Willie Wells (1958)
281# – Chris Waterman (1997)
Clean and Jerk – One Arm
170# – Gordon Strain (1931)
132# – Pete Zaremba (1997)
Swing – One Dumbbell
135# – Gordon Strain (1927)
90# – Pete Zaremba (1996)
Zercher Lift
430# – Edwin Stitt (1986)
408# – Bob Hirsh (1993)
Steinborn Lift
250# – Glenn Terry (1985)
325# – John Monk (2002)
Cheat Curl
160# – Fred Yeargood (1974)
180# – Jason Groves (2002)
Pinch Grip
115# – Wayne Smith (1980)
100# – Colby Howard (1999)
Crucifix 70# – William Nicholson (1982)
90# – John Monk (2001)
Pullover – Straight Arm
90# – Dick Hamilton (1963)
100# – John Monk (2004)
Pullover and Push
264# – Randy Joe Holden (1987)
297# – John Monk (2006)
Clean and Press – Behind Neck
165# – Fred Yeargood (1977)
183# – Bob Hirsh (1992)
Clean and Press – Heels Together
176# – Robbie Porter (1984)
182# – Chris Waterman (1991)
Clean and Press – Dumbbells
160# – Robbie Porter (1984)
155# – John Monk (2006)
Pullover and Press
135# – Art Tarwater (1962)
265# – John Monk (2005)
Bench Press – Roman Chair
150# – Glenn Terry (1995)
135# – Kyle Achenbach (2006)

Today’s lifters win over Yesterday’s lifters!!

The final score is:  Today 20 wins, Yesterday 14 wins, 2 ties

At times it seemed close, but due to John Monk (9 wins), Bob Hirsh (4 wins) and Chris Waterman (3 wins), this trio beat the Yesterday lifters by themselves.  Today’s dominance in the Heavy Lifts appeared to be a big factor in the win.  I’m not sure why Gordon Strain’s records were in the record list (before the Mo Valley listed started), but they were so I used them in this comparison.  Gordon Strain’s lifts would be great compared to Heavyweight lifters!!

Tomorrow will be round 2 of this epic battle.  It will be Yesterdays 165# Class and 181# Class versus Today’s 75 K, 80 K, and 85 K Classes. Yesterday lifters include a lineup of big names such as  Ray Webb, Sid Littleton, and Joe Southard versus Today’s lifters of Bob Hirsh, Abe Smith, and Barry Bryan.

Will Yesterday’s lifters tie up the score?  Or will Today’s lifters win another one?  Tune in tomorrow to the USAWA Daily News to find out…..

Are Today’s Lifters Stronger than Yesterday’s Lifters?

by Al Myers

That is a question worth finding an answer to!!  But how do you “really know”?  Rule changes, drug use and today’s equipment allowances make it near impossible to answer this question using Powerlifting Records.  In today’s “geared” Powerlifting it is as important to learn how to maximize your equipment to it’s potential as to get stronger.  That is an art in itself that has nothing to do with actually getting stronger.  New advanced bars and rule changes have definitely helped Olympic Lifters today – so it is hard to use Olympic Lifting as your model.

I am going to undertake this challenge of answering this question using All-Round Weightlifting as my data source.  After all, not much has changed in All-Round Weightlifting over the last 50 years.  We have never allowed any gear besides a lifting belt, no one can say we are drug users as we test regularly and more than any other organization at meets, and our rules have not really changed any.  Sure – some may say the “judging was more strict in the old days”, but I have watched old videos and I feel not much has really changed with officiating. After all,  Bill Clark was judging THEN and is judging NOW!!

Thanks to Frank Ciavattone for providing me with the old Region IV Missouri Valley Odd Lift record List so I have something to compare today’s lifts with.  This Record List covered the States of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.  This was also the Region that Odd Lifting was most contested in – under the direction of Bill Clark.  This Record List was established in 1961 and went to 1987, at which time the USAWA was formed and the USAWA Record List started.  So we got 26 years on the Old Record List and 22 years on the New Record List.  Sounds like a good matchup to me!   There are some difficulties in setting up this comparison however – as in the “Old Days” weight classes were in pounds and today they are in Kilograms.   But I have devised a plan for comparison and it goes like this:

Group 1.  Compare best record mark in the “Old” 148# Class and below to today’s 70 K Class and  below.
Group 2.  Compare best mark in the “Old” 165# and 181# Class to today’s best record in the 75 K and 80 K Classes.
Group 3.  Compare the best record in the “Old” 198# and 220# Classes to today’s best record in the 85 K, 90 K, and 100 K classes.
Group 4.  Compare the “Old” 242# Class and HVY Class records to the best record in today’s 105 K, 110 K, 115 K, 120 K, 125 K, and 125+ K classes.

This give 4 body weight groups to compare in rounds.  I will pick lifts that were done in the “Old Days” as some of the newer lifts we have today were not done then.  All together – I have come up with 36 lifts to compare so this will be an extensive study. So come back tomorrow to the USAWA Daily News for the First Round of this Comparison!!  I’ll see if I can answer that age-old question, “Are today’s lifters stronger than yesterday’s lifters?”

History of the USAWA – What happened 5 years ago?

by Al Myers

(It is amazing how fast time goes sometimes – and 5 years does not seem like a long time.  The following is a summary of the USAWA September news that happened in 2004, as taken from the Strength Journal published by  Bill Clark. )

USAWA News from September, 2004

Joe Garcia, representing Clark's Gym, pulls a fire truck at the Mid-Mo Strongman Competition.

Ciavattone Best at Heavy Lift Meet

Frank Ciavattone was the best lifter at the USAWA Heavy Lift Championships, which was held in Lebanon, PA and directed  by Denny and Judy Habecker. This was a big event for Frank, as it marked his 25th anniversary of beating colon cancer. This meet was attended by 13 lifters!!  Frank finished the meet with a 1902# Hip Lift. John Vernacchio was on hand to officiate.

Mid- Mo Strongman Competition

Clark’s gym hosted their first-ever strongman competition. Helping Bill Clark in the promotion was Demetrius Davis, Sam Huff and Joe Garcia.  These events were selected – clean and push press,  burlap bag hold,  medley consisting of carrying an anvil,  a farmer’s walk, and a tire flip, bus/fire truck pull, and a stone load.

Steve Schmidt at the Knox Fair

Steve Schmidt made his second appearance at the Knox Fair in Knox, Indiana  to put on a teeth pulling performance. Steve pulled a Mack truck, weighing 18,700 pounds, with his teeth down a 50 foot course on the main street of Knox.  He also put on a bending performance – bending bars over his head and nose.  Steve even bent a half-inch bar, 4 feet long, over his lower teeth!!

History of the Goerner Deadlift Dozen

by Dale Friesz

Dale Friesz, who holds the unofficial title as Historian of the USAWA, provided me with this chart of the past winners of the Goerner Deadlift Dozen. It not only includes the winners each year, but also the winner’s total and adjusted point totals. As you can see from this chart, Dale has the distinction of being the winner in the very first Goerner Meet. The lifts contested in the Goerner Deadlift Dozen are as follows:

Deadlift – Heels Together
Hack Lift
Jefferson Lift
2 Bar Deadlift
Right Hand Deadlift
Left Hand Deadlift
Right Hand Deadlift – Thumbless
Left Hand Deadlift – Thumbless
Index Fingers Deadlift
Middle Fingers Deadlift
Ring Fingers Deadlift
Little Fingers Deadlift
Reeves Deadlift

1995 Dale Friesz, Virginia
53 183 2800 3028.09
1996 Rex Monahan, Colorado
72 186 2742.5 3396.58
1997 Rex Monahan, Colorado
73 198.25 2685 3229.48
1998 Rex Monahan, Colorado
74 197.25 2615 3176.52
1999 Kevin Fulton, Nebraska
39 260.5 4195 3257.42
2000 Kevin Fulton, Nebraska
40 260 4200 3301.12
2001 Seth Holcomb, Nebraska
16 192 3340 3359.51
2002 Al Myers, Kansas
36 272 4020 3058.42
2003 Bill Clark, Missouri
71 237 2765 2996.41
2004 Mike McBride, Missouri
27 225 4025 3372.15
2005 Mike McBride, Missouri
28 229 2755 2231.83
2006 Al Myers, Kansas
40 251 4020 3214.90
2007 Cancelled Due to Ice
2008 Al Myers, Kansas
42 248 4325 3547.00

POINTS – formula adjusted for age and bodyweight