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

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  …… More

Club Award to the Salvation Army Gym

by Al Myers

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,  …… More

Joe the Turk OTSM

 by Tim Piper

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

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  …… More

Jackson Stones

by Thom Van Vleck

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  …… More

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  …… More

Joe the Turk reminder

by Al Myers

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.   …… More

Scott Schmidt – New LEVEL 2 OFFICIAL

by Al Myers

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  …… More

Looking for Mr. Goodbar

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  …… More

Lifter of the Month: Molly Myers

by Al Myers

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  …… More

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  …… More

New Orleans Anvil Lifting

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,  …… More

LEDAIG – CLUB OF THE YEAR

by Al Myers

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

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  …… More

SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

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  …… More

Club Championships

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS
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  …… More

LEADERSHIP AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

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,  …… More

COURAGE AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

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  …… More

NEWCOMER AWARD WINNERS

by Al Myers

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

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  …… More

National Championships

by Al Myers

MEET REPORT
2013 USAWA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
HABECKERS PROMOTE ANOTHER FABULOUS NATIONALS

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  …… More

Gettin’ Flipped Off!

by Thom Van Vleck

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  …… More

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  …… More

Thom Van Vleck: NEW Level 2 Official

by Al Myers

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  …… More

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  …… More

Lifter of the Month: Dennis Mitchell

by Al Myers

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  …… More

Denny in the NEWS!

by Al Myers

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  …… More

Team Championships

[ August 17, 2013; 7:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

2013 USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

Every year the Dino Gym has an annual weekend celebration which we call the DINO DAYS.   It usually includes competitions of different kinds, and lots of good food and socializing!   This year will be no exception to that.  It is a gym affair, but the  …… More

Joe the Turk OTSM

[ July 27, 2013; 7:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

“Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet

Tim Piper has rescheduled his Old Time Strongman meet that was cancelled due to the unfortunate flooding that took out their gym last month.  I’m glad to see that Tim has been able to get the gym back to order, and hasn’t forgot about  …… More

Deanna Springs Meet

by Joe Garcia

DEANNA SPRINGS MEMORIAL MEET

On October 5, 1995 Deanna Springs was killed in a car accident.  Her husband Al, a long time member of the USAWA, and also her coach, created the Deanna Springs Memorial Meet in her honor.  The first event was held March 30, 1996 in Al’s garage in St. Joseph MO.  There  …… More

Moving Past the Hype of Science

by Eric Todd

It has been quite obvious that a number of you on here are very interested in the science behind weight training.  I tried to go down that road once.  I had been competing a few years, won some meets, won a strongman nationals and placed well in others, and had won my pro card in strongman.    I  …… More

The Makings of an Olympic Champion

by Al Myers

NOW that’s a book title that will grab your attention!!  I have a huge bookshelf in my office, full of all kinds of books.  Some I’ve read several times, and some I have never even opened a page of.   I love these early summer nights in Kansas this time of the year.  The temperature stays in the  …… More

Dino Days Record Day

[ August 18, 2013; 5:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT  – DINO DAYS RECORD DAY

Meet Director: Al Myers and the Dino Gym

Meet Date: Sunday, August 18th, 2013 10:00 AM-4:00PM

Location: Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas

Sanction: USAWA

Entry Form: None – just show up

Entry Fee: None

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

Maximum of 5  …… More

Heavy Lifting Objects

by Al Myers

The other day I covered a story about Frank’s big “1-TON” train wheels in his backyard, and how he uses them in his training for heavy hip and harness lifting.  These big train wheels are more than just “yard art”  to Frank – they are an important apparatus used in his all round training.  Several other all  …… More

JWC Redesigned Logo

by Thom Van Vleck

The Jackson Weightlifting Club is one of the oldest Clubs in the USAWA…and that’s saying a lot because there are some old clubs!  To me, what sets the JWC apart is it very much is a family club.  Sure, there are lots of non family members, but the core has been my family and for over  …… More

Frank’s Backyard

by Al Myers

When I was at Frank Ciavattone’s place for the Heavy Lift Championships, I was extremely impressed with his gym and his setup for the competiton.  The meet was held outside in Frank’s backyard, just outside of Frank’s Barbell Club gym.  Frank’s gym is located in the basement of his house and contains decades worth of history and  …… More

Memorial Day

by Al Myers

Today is an important day being Memorial Day.  It seems most Americans appear to have forgotten the meaning of this important day, and only think of it as a “day off” from work and a good day to go to the lake to have fun.  Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day – and got that name as  …… More

Club of the Year: LEDAIG HA

by Al Myers

Congratulations to LEDAIG HEAVY ATHLETICS for being the named the USAWA Club of the Year for 2012!!!!

Ledaig has been very active in the USAWA these past few years.  Their “rise to prominence” in the USAWA started in 2010.  The club’s founder and leader, Dave Glasgow, has been a solid force in the organization. Ledaig HA is located  …… More