You Play Like You Practice

By James R. Fuller

Wasn’t exactly sure how to best mark the lovely below freezing tar I’d be squatting upon for the USAWA National Postal Championships Squat-12” Base event. As my girlfriend looked around for a ruler, I spied a painter’s stir stick. Stick looked to be close to 12”. Tape measure confirmed it. Some irony there, for you  see,  at this time I paint for a living. The stick worked great in its capacity as keeper of the 12” stance. 

A Painter's Stick measures at 12" which makes it a perfect thing to use to gauge your 12" Base Squat!

The Squats went great. Actually, I was more comfortable than expected.  Yes, my left knee prevented me from doing more but, the stance was alright. I don’t think in near 30 years of training have I measured my stance. So, imagine my surprise when I took a good look at the stick after I was done. Look and you’ll see I was using a 9-10” stance.

Years of Olympic Squatting probably is to explain for my comfort level. I’m 5’11” tall so I just naturally assumed a 12” stance would be a squeeze for me. Granted if feet straight ahead was required, I would probably be VERY uncomfortable.  Even though I wanted 400lbs on this lift, 346lbs with a bum knee ain’t too shabby. It does go back to my soccer coach who during practice said, ”You play like you practice!”

Here’s me doing the Squat-12” Base:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttsQNwSe6fw

Mark Mitchell – New USAWA Official

by Al Myers

Mark Mitchell performing a 505 pound 12" Base Squat at a Record Day at Clark's Gym in 2002. This is the best 12" Base Squat of All-Time in the USAWA. Mark also has the USAWA All-Time Best lift in the Reeves Deadlift, with a record lift of 400 pounds.

Mark Mitchell, of the Dino Gym, just recently passed the USAWA Official’s Test. Mark has been lifting weights for over 25 years. He competed as a 3-lift Powerlifter for many years, but now competes mainly in Powersport Competitions. Powersports is an off-shoot of powerlifting that includes the Curl, the Bench Press and the Deadlift. These events are done without the use of supporting equipment (with the exception of a belt) and are Drug-Free competitions. Mark has been involved in officiating USAWA events in the gym for several years, and has even judged at the National Championships in 2006 and 2009. Mark has competed in several USAWA events throughout the years – mostly postal meets and record days. Mark started weight training many years ago in Columbia under the coaching of Bill Clark – so he has been exposed to All-Round lifting for a long time!! Mark has always been a tremendous squatter and holds the Dino Gym Squat Record with a lift of 810 pounds.

Welcome Mark to the recently growing crew of USAWA Officials!