Building a Training Hall

by Roger LaPointe

The Ambridge Barbell Club can be classified as an "Old School" Training Hall!

Training halls are not built over night. What do you think of when you hear about a training hall? My guess is that a different image is conjured up from when you hear “fitness facility”. Am I right?

The old gyms and YMCAs, where many greats in the iron game trained, tended to be dingy after thoughts, as far as facilities would go. The great old training halls that I think of had beautiful woodwork. They may have had lines of old globe type barbells and Indian clubs lining the walls. There would always be a heavy duty, slightly raised wooden lifting platform in the center of the room. There was always some boxing equipment, or even and full ring.

These were the genuine “man caves” of a bygone era. You didn’t see pastel colors or ferns. There might be a mirror on one wall, but the art work would typically be nicely framed instructional courses, anatomical charts or promo photographs of strongmen from the past. There would be a bulletin board with the information on the next weightlifting contests or wrestling matches. Guys like Sig Klein would be your instructor, not a “personal trainer”. They were genuine record holders who had actually competed and set records. Respect was implicit and you asked them questions. You would never question them. You want to see training halls? Is it time that your place started morphing into a training hall, instead of just “weights in the basement”?

All the best, Roger LaPointe
“Today is a good day to lift.”

How to Evaluate a Lifting Bar

by Al Myers

COURSE 101: BAR BENDING. Any thoughts on whether this bar returned to its original straightness?

Most that know me know that I have an passion with lifting bars.  I have over 50 bars in the Dino Gym – some excellent high quality bars, some just good bars, and others that are just “run of the mill” bars.  I don’t consider myself a collector either, as I use most of these bars in training from time to time.

Most lifters don’t take notice of the bar they are lifting on.  It’s just a piece of equipment that is necessary to lift the plates that are on it.  There’s nothing wrong with that thinking.  After all, the purpose of training is to get stronger and that can be done using anything – including a bad bar.  Having HIGH QUALITY BARS for training is not a big determining factor in getting stronger.  The bar is just a means to an end result.  I’m saying this because I want to make the point that having TOP TIER bars for training are not necessary, they are more just a luxury.

Now how does one evaluate what constitutes a quality bar?  There are “hundreds” of bars on the market – with each one having a “sales pitch” behind it. Bars are generally broken into 2 categories:

1. Economy Bars (or Junk Bars)

Economy bars are bars made with cheaper steel, poorer sleeve designs,  ”looser” quality controls, and are sold at a lower price.  I refer to these as “junk bars”.  I have several of them by the way.  They usually don’t last long though in the Dino Gym, and get bent.  But they serve the purpose they are used for, namely exercises that put a bar at “high risk” for damage.  Like rack pulls, quick lifts in the rack, one arm lifts, etc.  I don’t want to jeopardize a good bar for these exercises as they are not designed for it.  I think of “junk bars” as disposable – use them till they bend, then throw them away. 

2.  Commercial Bars (or High Quality Bars)

This category should be named HIGH QUALITY bars instead, because it is very common for commercial gyms to have economy bars that are “passed off” as a commercial bar. Just put a shiny coat of chrome on a bar and it becomes a “good bar” in most gym-goers eyes.   There are many manufacturers of junk bars, but only a few make the top end bars.   Don’t always rely on this though, as most manufacturers of high quality bars also have a economy line as well.  There are probably over 20 junk bars to every 1 high quality bar sold. If you want to know the difference – just look at the price tag! Cheap bars are “cheap” and high quality bars cost more. You get what you pay for. 

High quality bars are made from higher tensile strength steel, sleeves are secured with roll pins or snap rings and contain either bearings or quality bushings, and have better knurling.  They are less apt to permanently bend when used. Often high quality bars are often made with a purpose in mind – Olympic weightlifting,  general powerlifting, deadlifting, squatting, etc.  They are designed for the exercise in question.  They often have a good  finish – having been zinc plated or a black oxide finish. They are not chrome plated!  Factors which influence steel properties are many – combination of alloys, heat treatment procedures, carbon content,  etc – I don’t want to get into that in this story as there’s too many other things to talk about.   I will keep it simple here and say high quality bars are made with better steel (and it’s not from China!!!).

From now on I’m just going to talk about high quality bars, as junk bars really don’t need evaluated.  Terming them “junk bars’ is evaluation enough. I like to break down the evaluation of a high quality bar into these 6 attributes:

1. Strength Rating
2.  Dimensions – bar diameter & lengths
3.  Sleeve Design
4. Knurling
5.  Finish
6.  Feel

1.  Strength Rating

This is often the NUMBER ONE thing that lifters look at when picking out a bar, and is really just a small factor in the total picture of a high quality bar. Years ago bar manufacturers would promote their product by giving  out a Static Rating, a number which was intended to mean the weight the bar could hold before it would bend permanently.  The first bar I bought was sold as a 700 lb. test bar.  I thought that sounded good – as I wasn’t squatting or deadlifting 700 pounds yet. Well, I bent it with doing explosive squats with 405 shortly after I bought it.  Something wasn’t adding up!  I then bought another cheap 700 lb. test bar and bent it as well.  It was at this time I was studying engineering at Kansas State University and was taking an engineering course, statics and dynamics, that I realized my errors in my thinking.  The Static Test in determining this POUND RATING was done entirely different than what I was doing with the bar in the squat rack.  In a Static Test the weight is loaded slowly on a bar as its supported, which allows the steel to “conform” to the bend, not under a sudden load as I was putting it under as I was ascending with my squats.  Its a Static Rating – not a Dynamic Rating.  Add in differences of where the bar is being supported during these Static Tests, and you can see this is a very poor rating system for evaluating bar strengths.  You would assume that the bar would be supported in the middle – but I question if that has always been the case in giving out test strength ratings. Moving the supports outwards would increase the Rating.   It wasn’t long before most bars went to a 1000 lb. rating, then onto 1500 lbs. and above.  After all, a higher Static Rating equated to a better bar and more sales (a marketing  fallacy that lifters have ”fell for” for years in my opinion).

Now most high quality bars are sold with a PSI Rating of Tensile Strength  instead of a Static Rating (even though often you will see both disclosed on a bar).  PSI stands for pounds per square inch.   This rating is intended to tell you how much force can be applied to a bar before it breaks.  This means more to me than a Static Rating because at least you know the force was applied at a set point, ie the middle.  The testing involves putting a bar in a press and applying pressure to higher levels, until it snaps.    The limitation is still that it is a static force measurement, not a dynamic one as the “real world” bar would be experiencing.  But it is a better testing method for determining a bars strength rating than the Static Test.  But what lifter really wants to know what PSI it would take break a bar? No one wants to push a bar to THAT LIMIT!  I’m more interested in how much force (in PSI) a bar can take and still return to straightness.  That is termed Yield Strength – and a measurement that bar manufactures rarely reveal for “who knows why”.  Probably because it is a much lower number than Tensile Strength PSI and marketing doesn’t  want lifters to mistakenly compare “apples to oranges”, because they don’t know the difference. 

2.  Dimensions

A bar’s dimensions are very important in evaluating a bar, and these measurements vary significantly from bar to bar.  Like I said earlier, most high quality bars are designed with a specific lifting purpose in mind.  For example, Olympic weightlifting bars have very different dimensions than a deadlifting bar.  Even among Olympic WL bars, these measurements are different.  One WL bar may have a diameter of 28mm, and another one may be 29mm.  The length between collars may be slightly different as well.  The high quality deadlifting bars have a diameter of 27mm, while the high quality squat bars may be 32mm.  The marker lines on bars are different as well.  Powerlifting bars should have the 32 inch marker line for hand placement, which is NOT the handspacing  for Oly lifting.  WL bars should have the weightlifting marker lines instead. The standard length for most bars is 7 feet, but some bars are longer (i.e. deadlifting and squat bars).   Pay attention to these  dimensions when  picking out a high quality bar.  You want the bar  to serve the purpose you intended for it.

3.  Sleeve Design

Sleeve designs are different for every bar, but are very important in making  a bar a high quality bar.  For weightlifting, the sleeves should rotate very smoothly to accommodate snatching and clean and jerks.  I have taken apart many bars, and I always marvel at the insides of bar sleeves.  This is the part of the bar no one ever sees. I enjoy taking sleeves apart, and I think of it as doing an autopsy on a bar (which it usually is as the bar was previously ”killed off” and bent, thus the reason  I was disassembling it).   There are many ways sleeves are designed to enhance rotation.  This is what I have seen, from worse to best:  1. metal on metal, 2. plastic bushings, 3.  nylon bushings/brass bushings, 4. ball bearings, & 5. needle bearings.  That pretty much sums it up.  Needle bearings have long been considered the “gold standard” – but I can tell you there are differences there as well.  I’ve taken apart several junk bars that I’m  surprised they rotate at all, as all they contain is a couple of worn cheap plastic bushings – yet are marketed as having bushings.  These type of bushings shouldn’t even be called bushings as they are so inferior to the quality bushings (like nylon and brass)  high quality bars have.  The diameter of the sleeves should always be checked.  Most high quality bars have sleeves that are very close to 2″ (sometimes as much as 1-31/32″).  If your plates are high quality as well (and in turn have close tolerances for the bar hole), the bar may not fit well in some plates.  The reason for this is that at the “top end” the bar is made for the plate being used, and BY THE SAME MANUFACTURER.  The Manufacturer makes the bar and plates as a set to “go together” with close tolerances, so the plates won’t be “sloppy” on the bar.  The way the sleeve is held onto the bar also tells alot about the quality.  You can quickly spot a low quality bar if the sleeve is held on by a bolt in the end.  This is the cheapest and easiest way to hold the sleeve on, but this bolt never seems to stay tight and requires constant attention so the sleeve doesn’t fall off!  This design allows lateral sleeve movement on the bar, which is undesirable.  It gets worse with wear. The “high end” bars use snap rings or roll pins.  A few use both.  The best design is using snap rings, as they are concealed and very rarely fail (yet I have seen it happen, but only when the bar was used in an unconventional matter). 

4.  Knurling

Every bar has its own unique knurling.  I think of knurling as the “fingerprint” of a bar.  It defines the bar and makes it different from other bars. Most people think knurling is cut into a bar, but that is false, as knurling is actually done by a pressing process.  There are many different “setups” for knurling, with each one giving a unique knurl.  Some are deeper, some wider, different patterns,etc.  The purpose of having knurling is to enhance your grip on the bar, without causing damage to your hand.  Different lifters have different preferences on the “aggressiveness” of the knurl.  The spacing of the knurling is different as well.  Some bars have center knurling, while others don’t . 

5.  Finish

The top choices for a bar finish are these:  1. none or blued, 2.  Chrome plated, 3. Zinc plated, and  4. Black oxide. If you are fortunate to have a stainless steel bar you have a bar that DOES NOT need a finish.  The stainless steel stays looking good always!  I have one Stainless Steel Bar, that I have had for over 5 years, and it has NO rust or corrosion on it.  It looks as good now as when I bought it.  However, stainless steel is very expensive (3 to 5 times that of other steel), and is difficult to machine which makes these bars prohibitively expensive.  That’s why you don’t see them much.  Chrome plating is the standard of economy bars because it’s the lowest cost way of keeping a bar shiny.  That’s what you see on bars in commercial gyms, as they can be wiped clean after usage and remain with a glossy finish.  I actually hate chrome plated bars – they are harder to grip, the chrome often starts to flake off after heavy use, and the chrome doesn’t hold chalk well.  Zinc plating has become more common recently.  At first glance you might think a Zinc plated bar was chromed, but you can tell the difference if you see both of them side by side.  Black oxide is also a very common bar finish. I really like this finish as these bars hold chalk well and the knurling is not coated with chrome or zinc and has a better feel.  Now there are also a few high quality bars that have no finish (or maybe just a bluing).  You can spot these in the gym because they are rusted and look like crap.  But that doesn’t bother me getting a little rust on my hands if the bar is a great bar otherwise!  I have one of these in the gym (I won’t name it!) that is one of my favorite bars.  You have to remember that a finish is put on a bar for only one reason – to make it look better.  It provides no benefit to the functionality or performance of the bar, and I’ve talked to several lifters that prefer the feel of the “natural steel” over that of a bar with a finish.  

6.  Feel

Now this is the intrinsic category.  No measurements or processing procedures here to make an evaluation.  It comes down to answering this question,”how does the bar feel in your hands when you lift on it?”.  Do you like it?  Or does it just don’t feel right?  A bar may look like the “bar of your dreams”, but when you load it up to a heavy weight and perform a lift, does it feel as good as it looks?  I’ve been disappointed before with a new bar.  There are several factors that make bars feel different.  The biggest one is “bar deflection”.  This is the bend that occurs when the bar is moved or accelerated during a lift.  It is purely a result of the steel properties of the bar, and is different for every bar.  Some bars deflect more, while others are stiffer when lifting on.  The bar diameter and ratings may tell you a little on this, but it comes down to the steel used.  I say this because I have bars that have the same diameters and ratings, yet deflect (or bend) differently when lifted on.  As well, each lifter has their own preference.  The same goes for “bar oscillation”.  This is sometimes referred to as whip.  It occurs when the bar is deflected during acceleration of a lift, and then the movement of the bar is ceased. The oscillation will continue upwards.  Some bars will deflect, then return to position quicker than others and have less oscillation.  Others will tend to oscillate, which can be viewed as favorable or not, depending on the lifter and how they can adjust to it.  Sometimes it can be used to the lifters advantage, as often seen in the clean when rebounding from the catch to the squat.  Sometimes “the feel” is purely psychological with a bar.   I have a couple of bars that are my “go to” bars when I want to get a big lift in for the workout.  I’ve had success with them in the past – and this confidence is propagated into future success.  The question is answered - the bar just feels good in my hands when I lift on it!

I hope all this helps in understanding how to evaluate a lifting bar.  I apologize for getting so long with all this – which I guess goes to show that I may be beyond passionate on this subject and bordering on obsessive/compulsive.  I’m going to cover a few of the bars in the Dino Gym over the next couple of months in USAWA Daily News stories.  Several of the Dino Gym bars have interesting stories that go with them. and I want to share this with you.

And to answer the question in BAR BENDING:101 – that poor bar was never straight again!

Flaming Indian Clubs

by Roger LaPointe

Flaming Indian Clubs!!!

I called Larry, an old friend, this morning. Just when I thought I had heard it all, Larry had another awesome story with visual impact to spare. Larry doesn’t even use “weights” for his weightlifting anymore. In fact, he gave away all of his barbell and dumbbell plates. Of course, resistance training is still part of his life and that means I have to ask him what he is doing now.

ROUTINE? Anything but…

Indian Clubs by Atomic Athletic.

Indian clubs are an integral part of Larry’s current training routine. We talked about some of the endless variations of club swinging. One key is how some practitioners get lazy and try to go too heavy with their clubs. Now, there is heavy and then there is heavy. Larry was talking about EGO heavy, where you start seeing the clubs flop around, or even sit on the shoulders. While being dangerous, it’s also not very helpful.

“So Larry, how do you recommend dealing with ego laziness? Are you a spiked club kinda guy?” Spiking clubs is something that you will occasionally see in the Kushti Wrestling schools in India, where there can be a hundred or more nails sticking out of the club. It provides incentive not to let the club get too close, but I don’t think insurance companies cover that sort of tool.

“No, of course not, Roger. That could lead to sliced up shoulders and blood. Nope. My Dad used to light his on fire.” “Really?” I replied. “Oh yeah,” he said, “he used wood ones that he coated with some kind of fuel. Then he would train at night in our back yard. It was one heck of a display. It really lit things up. Of course, I don’t recommend that. But he always said that it ensured perfect form. I like to think about that when I use clubs today. My form always improves.”

Next time you are training with your clubs, imagine they are on fire. Your form will get a little more precise as well.

All the best, Roger LaPointe
“Today is a good day to lift.”



(WEBMASTER NOTE: Recently I issued a writing contest, in which I challenged lifters to write about an unusual training implement/device that they use in their training. The stories were submitted and judged, and I’m going to initially publish the top three stories in the USAWA Daily News as they were the contest award winners. Thank you to  …… More


 By Dan Wagman, PhD, CSCS

Publisher, Journal of Pure Power

Consultant, Body Intellect

(WEBMASTER NOTE: Recently I issued a writing contest, in which I challenged lifters to write about an unusual training implement/device that they use in their training. The stories were submitted and judged, and I’m going to initially publish the top three stories in  …… More

Me and my walking stick

by Thom Van Vleck

(WEBMASTER NOTE: Recently I issued a writing contest, in which I challenged lifters to write about an unusual training implement/device that they use in their training. The stories were submitted and judged, and I’m going to initially publish the top three stories in the USAWA Daily News as they were the contest award winners. Thank you to everyone  …… More

World Record List

by Al Myers

Chris Bass of Grimsby, England is the Official IAWA World Record List Registrar.  Chris has held this position for several years now, having taking it over from Frank Allen. Chris operates an All Round Weightlifting Club, the Haven Gymnasium, and is an active member of IAWA.  Chris does an EXCELLENT JOB of maintaining this World Record  List, which is an overwhelming  …… More

Club Champs REMINDER

by Al Myers

It will not be long now and the USAWA CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS will be taking place.  This meet is hosted by one of the oldest clubs in the USAWA (the Ambridge BBC) and directed by a couple of the oldest guys in the USAWA (Art Montini & John McKean).  The equipment in the club has been around at  …… More

Avoid Cracking your Skull!

by Roger LaPointe

You know that great explosive pop you get when you do your Power Jerk correctly?

You know what I am talking about. It’s when the bar goes overhead into the lock out position so easily it seems nothing. Well, you can also do that with stones. Pardon the pun, but it’s tons of fun.

TIP: Avoid Cracking  …… More

Grip Postal – USAWA vs. IAWA(UK)

by Al Myers

I’m sure everyone is wondering how the Grip Postal Challenge turned out between the USAWA versus the IAWA(UK).  Well, the results have been tabulated and the USAWA won over the IAWA(UK) 258.2 points to 231.2 points.  This was based on the average adjusted point scores of all the lifters entered.  The USAWA points were adjusted to kilogram  …… More

Postal Meets Announcement

by Al Myers

The USAWA Postal Meet schedule has been released for 2013!  The USAWA Official Postal Meet Director John Wilmot  has planned a challenging set of postal meets for the USAWA for the coming year. The USAWA quarterly postal series has been gaining in popularity, with this past year being the most participated series to date. John deserves a  …… More

Dino Gym Record Day

by Al Myers


The Dino Gym had a very good Record Day the day following the Grip Championships.  6 lifters took part – Ruth Jackson, Dan Wagman, Dean Ross, Denny Habecker, LaVerne Myers,  and myself.  Ken Glasgow performed a record lift the day before which I added to these results.  I was surprised by the  …… More

Grip Championships

by Al Myers


Since the first OFFICIAL USAWA Grip Championships in 2011, this meet has seen more lifters entered each year.  2011 had 8 lifters, 2012 had 11 lifters, and this year we had 16 lifters! If the Grip Championships continually experiences this type of growth it will not be long and this will  …… More

Joe the Turk OTSM

[ April 27, 2013; 9:00 am; ]

by Tim Piper


“Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet

“Joe the Turk” was the first “strongman” in Macomb Illinois. He came to town as a part of the Salvation Army, ran the crooked mayor and his henchmen out of town, and some accounts claim he actually took over the ousted mayors duties for  …… More

Hey…Get a Grip

by Roger LaPointe

Check out this photo from the April 1941 Strength & Health Magzine. What you see is Tarzan Lunt, the weightlifting coach of the Harrisburg YMCA, curling a York 45 pound Olympic plate, by the HUB. Pretty cool.

Now, you want a good grip? Sure, the guy with a crushing hand shake is a jerk. Yet, wouldn’t it  …… More

Fulton Bar Debate Continued

by Al Myers

I said I had more to say on this subject – so here it is. As most know, the USAWA has different  names than the IAWA(UK) for several of the same All Round Lifts.  There are also MANY rule differences between the USAWA Rulebook and the IAWA(UK) Rulebook.  The Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone  …… More

Deanna Springs Memorial

[ March 23, 2013; 6:00 pm; ]


Deanna Springs Memorial Meet

Meet Director: Bill Clark & Joe Garcia

Date: Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Venue: Clark’s Gym, Columbia, Missouri

Weigh-ins: 8 AM

Entry Fee: None

Entry Form: None

Awards: None

Membership: Must be a current USAWA Member

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

To enter, a confirmation must be  …… More

The Fulton Bar Debate

by Al Myers

I always enjoy a good discussion/debate on anything All-Round in nature.  Well, these past couple of weeks there has been a very interesting discussion in the USAWA Discussion Forum regarding the Fulton Bar.  If you have missed it – before you read today’s story it might be worthwhile to check it out so you will be “up  …… More

USAWA Signature Events

by Al Myers

One of the terms that Bill Clark often used in his Strength Journals was the expression “Signature Events”.  What exactly is meant by this?  I always took it to mean events/competitions that were the most important ones in the USAWA.  Obviously, this changes with time.  In the past few years the USAWA has began to offer yearly  …… More

Heavy Lift Championships

[ May 4, 2013; 7:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers


I am very glad to announce that the Heavy Lift Championships will be returning to Walpole, Massachusetts for this year.  Frank Ciavattone will be hosting this years Championships.  As most of you know, Frank has been one of the most active MAJOR meet promoters  …… More

Rules for the Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

by Al Myers

This will be the third and final lift in the USAWA Grip Championships.  It is a lift that has been contested often in the USAWA, and has been part of past Grip Championships.  This lift was also a lift in the 2011 IAWA World Championships in Australia.  The USAWA Rules for the Deadlift –  …… More

Lifter of the Month: Art Montini

by Al Myers

The Lifter of the Month for the first month of 2013 goes to ART MONTINI!

In the January, only one USAWA event was contested – The Dino Gym Challenge.  This meet featured a selection of Old Time Strongman lifts (Anderson Squat, Hackenschmidt Floor Press, and the Peoples Deadlift).  It was definitely a heavy-weight challenging competition of events.   …… More

2012 Postal Meet Series

by Al Myers

For the second year now, the USAWA has recognized the “overall” winners from the USAWA Postal Series, which consists of the 4 quarterly postal meets offered throughout the year. I will give a review of how this is scored.  For each meet entered a participant receives points depending on their placing which then “adds up” to a  …… More

Cancer Benefit by Powerhouse Gym

(WEBMASTER:  The Powerhouse Gym in Burton, England recently did a weightlifting fundraiser for Breast Cancer and Cancer Research.  The following writeup was done by Steve on the IAWA(UK) Facebook page, but I feel it is noteworthy to on the USAWA website as well.  Well done to Powerhouse Gym!!!)

by Steve Gardner

Powerhouse Gym Charity Weightlifting Record Attempt

At 6pm  …… More

Rules for the Pinch Grip

by Al Myers

The first lift conducted in the USAWA Grip Championships will be the Pinch Grip.  This lift is in the rulebook under “Special Equipment Lifts”.  The reason for this is that the “special equipment” is the plates themselves – as that is what is used to pinch to make the lift.  The USAWA rules for the Pinch Grip are  …… More

Rules for the VB DL – 1 bar, 2″, One Hand

by Al Myers

This is a lift that has been contested before in the USAWA Grip Championships.  It is a very popular grip lift, and I know the favorite of several.  For those of you that may have performed Vertical Bar Lifts in other organizations, pay attention to the USAWA rules for it.  They are quite different and may affect  …… More

Past IAWA Officers

by Al Myers

These past few months I have been working on a project.  I have been trying to develop a historical archive of the past IAWA Officers.  This has not been an easy task – as this information has not been located in a single source, but rather, multiple sources.  After searching through many past USAWA Strength Journals, IAWA(UK) Strength  …… More

An Atmosphere of Strength

by Roger LaPointe

Creating an atmosphere of strength is hard to do, in today’s world.

More people are lifting weights than ever before, but strong people are still called “dinosaurs” and lifting heavy weights is called “old school”. It’s no wonder that desk jockeys are flocking to obstacle course races and other events that are considered tough.

Humans need a  …… More

Postal Championships

[ December 31, 2013; 12:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers

USAWA National Postal Championships

Dates: Between December 1st and December 31st, 2013

Entry form must be postmarked by January 5th, 2014

Must be a current USAWA member to be eligible for competition

Entry Fee: None

Official USAWA rules apply as outlined in the Rule Book  …… More

Delaware Valley Postal

[ September 30, 2013; 12:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers

USAWA Delaware Valley Open Postal Meet

Dates: Between September 1st and September 30th, 2013

Entry form must be postmarked by October 5th, 2013

Must be a current USAWA member to be eligible for competition

Entry Fee: None

Official USAWA rules apply as outlined in the  …… More

Middle Atlantic Postal

[ June 30, 2013; 12:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers

USAWA Middle Atlantic Open Postal Meet

Dates: Between June 1st and June 30th, 2013

Entry form must be postmarked by July 5th, 2013

Must be a current USAWA member to be eligible for competition

Entry Fee: None

Official USAWA rules apply as outlined in the  …… More

Eastern Open Postal

[ March 31, 2013; 12:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers

USAWA Eastern Open Postal Meet

Dates: Between March 1st and March 31st, 2013

Entry form must be postmarked by April 5th, 2013

Must be a current USAWA member to be eligible for competition

Entry Fee: None

Official USAWA rules apply as outlined in the Rule  …… More

My Training Adventure in Graduate School

by Mike McIntyre

I am a graduate student at A.T. Still University, an Osteopathic medical school in Kirksville, Missouri. I have had the pleasure of meeting many great people while working on my master’s degree. I have also found the time and motivation to re-discover my passion for weightlifting. This is something I had been away from for many years  …… More

Improved Forms and Applications

by Al Myers

Thanks to Dan Wagman, there has been an improvement in the USAWA Forms and Applications.  NOW we had PDF’s that have the ability to be edited! No longer will you even have to “hand write” anything when sending in your USAWA applications.  I’m hoping this will help me out as well – because some of you have  …… More

Cloud Hands of an Angell

By John McKean

“THUMP!!” Ohhh, seein’ stars and feelin’ pain! This new training equipment is gonna kill me yet!

Strangely enough, I’d not yet started my morning workout; rather, good wife Marilyn was busily twirling her arms in our kitchen, intent on swinging the very well sculpted, long chunks of wood known as “Indian Clubs.”  She CLAIMED that her eyes  …… More

2012 USAWA Year In Review

by Al Myers

For the fourth year now, I have done a 2012 USAWA Year In Review.  This book contains all of the information that has been placed on the USAWA website throughout the prior year.  If a blog was written – it is included in this review book.  All together, this review book is 476 pages and contains 164,701  …… More

Bob’s Bombs

by Al Myers

I’ll start this writing contest off by writing about a piece of equipment in the Dino Gym that is very “dear to my heart”.   I’m talking about Bob’s Bombs.  Yes, that’s right – these are actually bombs!!!  Years ago we lost a very special friend and training partner Bob Maxey.  Bob was the type of training partner  …… More

Hey, Old Guy Lifters!

by Roger LaPointe

Old guy lifters are finally getting a little respect.

The world sure is changing. I re-posted a cool photo within Facebook that Facebook “Friends” seem to be loving. It’s an old black & white photo of this old guy lifting a home made barbell with two of his buddies hanging off the ends. I would re-post it  …… More

Franks BBC Record Day

[ March 16, 2013; 6:00 pm; ]

by Al Myers


Frank Ciavattone, owner and Club President of Frank’s Barbell Club, has sanctioned a record day at his gym on March 16th, 2013.   Most  lifts can be contested for USAWA/IAWA records, but to be sure I recommend you contact Frank beforehand.  Below is the contact information for Frank:  …… More

A Day in the Life of Eric Todd

by Ben Edwards

Give this video 5 minutes of your day if you have ever wondered what a high level strongman’s normal day looks like. I’ve had the pleasure of competing in a few of the same USAWA contests as Eric. He is a very nice guy who has encouraging words and motivational wisdom for everyone around him. He’s also  …… More