Top Performances of 2012 – PART 2

by Al Myers

Now it’s time to finish the  count down of the TOP PERFORMANCES of 2012! 

5.  Bryan Benzel and his 355 pound Apollons Lift.

Bryan Benzel performing the Apollons Lift at the 2012 Battle in the Barn.

Bryan “THE BIG YOUNG BULL” Benzel made his “name known” at ET’s Battle in the Barn OTSM meet last spring.  Included in the list of events was the Apollons Lift, which represents the performance done by the old time strongman Louis Uni, aka Apollon.  Apollon lifted his famous Apollon’s Wheels, which weighed 366#, overhead in his show performances.   The Bull  about  beat the mark set by the mighty Apollon!

4.  Adam Glass lifting 822 pounds in the Dinnie Lift at the Minneapolis Meet.

Adam Glass performing the Dinnie Lift at the 2012 Minneapolis Meet.

Adam Glass is, without a doubt, a WORLD CLASS grip man.  I am so glad that I was able to see this performance of his first-hand, because if not, I don’t know if I would have truly believed that he could lift so much in the Dinnie Lift.   Hopefully someday Adam will have an opportunity to attempt the actual stones – because if we are taking bets I’m going to place my bet on him that he’ll lift them!

3.  Dan Wagman’s 359 pound Steinborn Lift at Worlds.

Dan Wagman performing the Steinborn Lift in route to winning the Overall Best Lifter at the 2012 IAWA World Championships in Salina, Kansas.

I’ve known Dan “PURE POWER” Wagman for several years, and know what an outstanding lifter he is.  I had the feeling that the OVERALL CHAMPION of the 2012 Worlds was going to come down to a battle between him and my training buddy Chad.  I felt Chad’s “ace in the hole” was going to be the Steinborn Lift, and a lift that he might be able to distance himself from Dan.  However, this was not to be (even though Chad put up his All Time best Steinborn of 202.5kg) when Dan put up a huge Steinborn Lift of 359 pounds.  I was not expecting this out of Dan – and in turn quite surprised me – and that is why it made my ranking of number 3 of impressive lifts of 2012.

2.  Wilbur Miller’s 457# 12 inch base Deadlift.

Wilbur Miller (left) and Denny Habecker (right) at the Dino Gym.

It’s been years since Wilbur Miller was nicknamed the Cimarron Kid, but at an age of 79 he still lifts like a kid!  This amazing deadlift of his has to be regarded as one of the best performances of ALL-TIME in the USAWA as well.  

1.  Eric “ET” Todd and the monsterous WORLD RECORD Neck Lift of 1030 pounds!

Eric Todd performing his World Record Neck Lift at the 2012 IAWA World Championships.

This was the most impressive lift in the USAWA for 2012. I’m sure most everyone would agree with me on this.   Following the World Championships, Eric and Chad Ullom engaged each other in an “one on one” Neck Lift Challenge to determine who the best neck lifter was.  Both guys eclipsed the 1000 pound barrier in a climatic fashion, and in doing so, set the new mark for Neck Lifting.  I would like to think that both of these guys learned everything they know about Neck Lifting from me – but I know that isn’t true! (but I did make both of their neck harnesses which might have helped them a little bit…)  

HONERABLE MENTION FOR NUMBER ONE -

1.  Chad “THE CHAMP” Ullom lifting the Dinnie Stones for 25 reps! I giving this Honorable Mention Number One because this was not a competition lift – but done within the realms of an IAWA event.

Chad Ullom lifting the Dinnie Stone.

The day after the Gold Cup in Glasgow several of us made a visit to lift the Dinnie Stones. Chad was only hoping to become the FIFTH American to ever lift the stones unassisted (without straps) when he set up for his first attempt.  However, the stones came up with EASE!  It looked like he was warming up with a 135# deadlift!  After that he decided to test himself for total reps and finished with 25 unassisted reps with the Dinnie Stones, the most by anyone in a single day (done along with Mark Haydock of England).  It was a remarkable display of strength.  His performance must have shocked the stone lifting community because afterwards he endured much criticism for this performance along with a personal attack on his character (which included being called a numpkie – I had to ask an English friend what that meant!!  haha ) .  Most of this was fueled by envy and jealousy to discredit him (along with Mark) and to try to take away from their great display of  Dinnie stone lifting.  However, both of these guys showed what class they have by not publicly responding to these personal attacks and proved to me (and others) that they are honorable  individuals.   That’s all I’m going to say about that – I don’t have the time or energy  to deal with the HATERS.

I do want to point out with all this that it was me that suggested they stop at 25 reps to mark the 25th anniversary of IAWA. That was NEVER a goal of theirs going into this day.  They could have done another 25-50 reps if they really wanted to.  Chad’s hands were not the least bit damaged, and his 25th rep was as strong as his first. His grip was not slipping at all and he could have done many more reps.  He looked to me that he was just getting “warmed up”!!  However,  lunch time was upon us and I had to think of some way to get them to stop. I was getting hungry and the fish and chips at the Potarch Hotel were calling to me!!

Best Lifts in the Past Year

by Al Myers

Adam Glass made the number 2 spot on my list with this 822# Dinnie Lift at the 2012 Minneapolis Meet.

We have seen alot of great lifting in the USAWA during this past year.  It got me thinking about what lifts I would consider the BEST LIFTS of the year.  This was a very hard decision as I felt like I was leaving some lifters and their great lifts off the list, and it was a TOUGH DECISION to narrow the list down to only 10.  I was fortunate to have witnessed most of these lifts on the below list, and I can attest to the impressiveness of them.  I’m sure others would come up with a completely different list, but this is my story and my list!  Just for humor I ranked them, but that doesn’t really mean I found any more impressive than the others.  This list isn’t based on any formula or scientific calculation – just my opinion and view point.  I welcome anyone to make comments about this list in the Discussion Forum if your feelings are different.  Here it goes – from number 10 to number 1:

TOP TEN LIFTS OF PAST YEAR

10. Chris Anderson and his 300# Dumbbell to Shoulder at the 2011 OTSM Championships.

9.  David Dellanave and his 605# record setting Jefferson Lift at the Minneapolis Meet.

8.  Dale Friesz and his 122# Ring Fingers Deadlift at Art’s Birthday Bash.

7. Mark Mitchell and his 252# Pinch Grip at the 2012 Dino Gym Record Day.

6.  Bryan Benzel and his 355# Apollons Lift at the 2012 Battle in the Barn.

5. Art Montini and his 176# Zercher Lift at the 2011 World Championships, breaking the 80+  age group record held by Ed Zercher.

4.  Andrew Durniat and his 519# One Arm Deadlift at the Black Swamp Meet.

3. Chad Ullom’s 900# Neck Lift at the 2011 Heavy Lift Championships in York, PA.

2.  Adam Glass and his 822# Dinnie Lift at the the Minneapolis Meet.

1.  Wilbur Miller and his 457# 12″ base deadlift at the 2012 Dino Gym Record Day at age 79!

I do have one honorary mention lift, and that includes the 804# Team Deadlift done by myself and my daughter Emily at the 2011 Gold Cup in England.  I only mention this because I was extremely proud of her effort in being part of setting  the ALL TIME male/female deadlift in the USAWA & IAWA.  This past year has had MANY GREAT LIFTS done by the membership and I fully expect this coming year will even be better.

Adam Glass and the Inch Dumbbell

by Al Myers

Adam Glass lifting the Inch Dumbbell with cans balancing on each globe!

The weekend of the Minnesota All Round Meet I met one of the strongest GRIP GUYS I have ever met.  Possibly the strongest.  I have seen his FB pictures and YouTube Videos of some of his grip feats beforehand, and was impressed, but nothing is like seeing it firsthand.  In fact, I even kidded Adam that I didn’t really believe his UNBELIEVABLE grip lifts until now (and I was just kiddin).  Also, I am a hard one to impress with grip feats of strength because I have seen some of the best in action in the Dino Gym before - guys like Andrew Durniat, Ben Edwards, Matt Graham, to name a few. I have an IronMind Inch Dumbbell Replica in the Dino Gym that has been lifted by 5 guys (Matt Graham, John Conners, Matt Vincent, Dave Brown, and Andrew Durniat) so it’s not like I haven’t seen this done before. But the things Adam Glass did with the Inch Dumbbell are things I have NEVER seen before, and I would question if there are very many people in the World who could even replicate these feats of his.

Picking up an Inch Dumbbell in each hand and going for a walk was easy for Adam!

I’ll leave the history and description of the Thomas Inch Dumbbell for another story.  I want this story to be about the things I witnessed Adam perform with the Inch Dumbbell.  First of all, I want to tell a little bit about him before I start with “the meat” of the story.  When I got to The Movement early Saturday morning for the competition he was the only one in the gym at the time. He was tidying things up for the days meet.  Very friendly first impression.  He didn’t seem built like some of the monster ”grip guys” I have meant in the past – taller than me, but not a huge frame like guys like Mark Felix.  But I did notice his very long fingers and hands when I shook his hand.  Also, he didn’t try to “bad ass” me with his handshake (cause he could if he wanted – he has closed the #3COC gripper!).  Just a firm shake and friendly welcome.  

The first thing he did was lift the Inch with two cans balanced on top of the globes.  I didn’t think there would be a chance that the cans would stay on – but they did!  Anyone who has tried to pick up the Inch (which I have over a 100 times with no success) will know that the rotation of the db is the first thing that will get ya. It’s not that the Inch DB is that heavy (It only weighs 172#), but with the thick handle it immediately starts to roll out of your hand.  The act of balancing cans on top and STAY tells me that Adam didn’t allow ANY ROTATION.  Plus another difficulty with this feat is that you can’t tip the dumbbell to any degree (which does aid in lifting it quite a bit).  He lifted it straight up perfectly parallel to the floor, and even held it while I took a picture!!!  Lets just say I was impressed with that, but things got even better later on.

Another thing he did is carry two Inch Dumbbells at the same time.  I have seen this done before a couple of times, but not after a day of lifting and lifting the Inch numerous times beforehand.  He carried the Dumbbells over 30 feet easily – we never measured anything so that is just an estimate. But regardless, I’m sure if he did this “fresh” he could have went much farther.

The last stunt he did with the Inch DB is the one that impressed me the most. He picked up the Inch with his right hand and then let it go and CAUGHT it with his left hand while the dumbbell was in the air!!  That may be the most impressive feat I have ever heard of with the Inch DB!  I would like to know if anyone else in the World can do that.  I didn’t get a picture of that because it happened so fast, but Adam does have YouTube Videos online so you can watch him doing it.  I checked the Inch DB he was using and this is the real deal. Not like how old Thomas Inch would pull a “switch a roo” in his exhibitions by having lighter Inch Dumbbells of the same size secretly substituted in and portraying them as the heavy one!  

One last thing I want to say about Adam Glass.  He is the “total package” when it comes to grip strength.  I have seen grip guys who have specialities in which they excel, but Adam is strong at all grip stuff.  He a certified Red Nail Bender, as well as an exceptional pinch gripper and round stock lifter (I should mention that he broke Andrew Durniat’s and Ben Edward’s record in the 2″ VB lift).  He doesn’t appear to have any weak links in his grip game to me.  I am glad to see someone of his caliber become a member of the USAWA!!!