The Wagman Log – Not So Pristine

By Dan Wagman, PhD, CSCS

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

Consultant: Body Intellect Sports Performance Enhancement Consortium

Dan Wagman's homemade wooden log.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Club Award to the Salvation Army Gym

by Al Myers

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

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

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

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

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

Joe the Turk OTSM

 by Tim Piper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEET RESULTS:

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

Meet Director: Tim Piper

Announcer/Scorekeeper: Al Myers

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

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

WOMENS DIVISION

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

MENS DIVISION

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

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

Jackson Stones

by Thom Van Vleck

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

World Championships

[ October 5, 2013; 9:00 am; ]

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2013 IAWA World Championships

The entry form and meet details have been released for the 2013 IAWA World Championships.  Mark Haydock, of Preston, England, will be this year’s meet director and host.  Mark runs an all round club, the Houghton Barbell Club. Mark has been very involved in IAWA and has attended  …… More

Club Championships

[ July 14, 2013; 9:00 am; ]

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2013 USAWA CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS

The Club Championships has been rescheduled!   After the cancellation last March in Ambridge due to bad weather,  the Club Championships was looking “not to happen” this year.  However, I consider this meet as one of our “signature events” in the USAWA since it is a Championship Event, and  …… More

HUBanero Training or Setting Your Grip On Fire

by James Fuller

Driving home from the 2013 Heavy Lift Championships, I realized I had a puzzle to solve.  How to continue improving my Hub lifting ability without the aid of Frank Ciavattone’s large hub Yorks? Remember, Frank’s hubs are the SAME 4  3/4″ across as on my 100 lbers!! Lifting by the hub is NOT at all like lifting  …… More