Courage Award Winners

by Al Myers

(Left Picture): Tim Piper presenting the Courage Award to Art Montini. (Right Picture): Tim Piper presenting the Courage Award to Dean Ross.

The Courage Award is described as, “This 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”.

Since the USAWA Award Program began, NO ONE has been the winner of this award besides Dale Friesz.  Dale was the definition of courage, competing up till his final days.  He set a standard for lifting courage that will be hard for anyone to duplicate.  I often think of this award now as the Dale Frieze Courage Award.

However, there’s another lifter in the USAWA who has plenty of courage as well, and after being last year’s runner up, repeated this year as runner up in the Courage Award by the others in the USAWA this year.  That man – who defies the myths of age and weightlifting – is ART MONTINI.

RUNNER UP - ART MONTINI

WINNER  - DEAN ROSS

Dean “Hot Foot” Ross was the Winner, and well deserving.  His input to the USAWA over these past few years exceeds what most can accomplish in a lifetime of participation in the USAWA.  You don’t attend a meet that Dean is at without getting to know him! Everyone knows Dean.

Congrats to Art and Dean for being the winners of the USAWA Courage Award!

Dino Gym Record Day

by Al Myers

DINO GYM RECORD DAY

Group picture from the 2013 Dino Gym Record Day: (front left to right) Dan Wagman, Ruth Jackson, Denny Habecker (back left to right) LaVerne Myers, Al Myers, Dean Ross, Mike Pringle

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 efforts that were displayed, especially considering that most all of these lifters had competed the day before. The current IAWA Womens OVERALL BEST LIFTER Ruth Jackson stole the show with her setting USAWA records in 30 different  lifts!  Just watching RJ max out in one lift after the other made me tired!  Dan Wagman had the lift that impressed me the most – doing a Pull Up with 120 pounds attached to his waist. The rules of the Pull Up call for the chin to be ABOVE the bar at completion, and the lifter must hold for a down command.  This makes doing a USAWA Pull Up MUCH harder than commonly performed pull ups by lifters in training sessions.  To properly judge this lift, it requires the official to stand on a chair to have a level view of the bar and the chin.  I made sure Dan reached the proper height.  I made a point to tell Dan that his big handlebar mustache was providing him an advantage, as it was obstructing (and distracting!)  my view of his chin! LOL.  The second most impressive lift I seen was my Dad, LaVerne, performing a PULL UP!!  I had no idea that he could do that!  However, I made him do another one with 5# so he could get a record.  Doing a lift with no weight doesn’t get you in the record list.  I bet there are VERY FEW  men over the age of 65 that weigh 250 pounds who can do a legal USAWA Pull Up. 

Dean Ross performed the Carter Lift with 433# pounds for USAWA Record.

Dean Ross picked a couple of odd lifts to do for records.  He performed a 1200# Back Lift, which is a lift that is not available to be done in most gyms. He also performed a Carter Lift, of 433#.  This lift is one of the strange, unique lifts of the USAWA.  It requires the performance of a Hip Lift and a Squat in the SAME LIFT!  Only one other lifter has a USAWA record in the Carter Lift, and that is Bob Maxey.  Dean told me the reason he wanted to do this lift was in Bob’s memory.  I remember the day that Bob did his Carter Lift and I also remember how nervous I was spotting him.  Dean had me worried as well when he started as he fell down a couple of times and I didn’t want this meet to be added to Dean’s list of head injuries that he has suffered in his life.  But eventually he got the balance right, and did a perfect executed Carter Lift.

Denny Habecker performed 10 lifts for record which will expand his lead over Art in the Records Race.  Last year at this record day Denny “took it easy” on the record book and only did a few records.  But this year he really went after it, and I don’t blame him as Art seems to be getting stronger with age.  Denny, Dean and LaVerne had a little “mini competition” in the 3″ bar deadlift.  Denny held with these two who are much bigger than him, and finished with a great lift of 280 pounds.

Afterwards, we all went out to eat together at a local Mexican restaurant in Abilene.   That has become a tradition of meets held at the Dino Gym.  I always enjoy getting to spend time with “fellow lifters” over some good food in a relaxed environment after a day of hard lifting, because that’s when I hear the BEST STORIES!

MEET RESULTS:

Dino Gym Record Day
Dino Gym
Abilene, Kansas
February 10th, 2013

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Officials (1-official system used):  Al Myers, Denny Habecker, LaVerne Myers

Loader: Mike Pringle and lifters

Lifts: Record Day

Ruth Jackson – Age 51, BWT 108#, Female

French Press: 25#
Pullover – Bent Arm: 63#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 130#
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 95#
Gardner – Full: 15#
Gardner – Half: 45#
Abdominal Raise: 25#
Allen Lift: 15#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Right Hand: 68#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Left Hand: 68#
Deadlift – 3″ Bar: 153#
Continental to Chest – Fulton Bar: 63#
Deadlift – Trap Bar: 207#
Clean and Press – Middle Fingers: 25#
Snatch – On Knees: 45#
Clean and Press – On Knees: 55#
Clean and Press – Fulton Bar: 63#
Maxey Press: 73#
Clean and Push Press – Fulton Bar: 73#
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat: 70#
Curl – Dumbbell, Cheat, Right Arm: 40#
Curl – Dumbbell, Cheat, Left Arm: 40#
Pullover – Straight Arm: 35#
Weaver Stick: 1#
Pullup: 25#
Chin Up: 25#
Snatch – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 45#
Snatch – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 45#
Saxon Snatch: 25#
Snatch – 2 Dumbbells: 50#

Al Myers – Age 46, BWT 241#

Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Right Arm: 231#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Left Arm: 198#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Right Arm: 170#
Curl – Dumbbell, Cheat, Right Arm: 85#
Curl – Dumbbell, Cheat, Left Arm: 85#

Dan Wagman – Age 50, BWT 183#

Snatch – Left Arm: 125#
Pull Up: 120#
Snatch – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 110#
Snatch – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 110#

LaVerne Myers – Age 68, BWT 247#

Bench Press – Left Arm: 50#
Bench Press – Right Arm: 50#
Deadlift – 3″ Bar: 255#
Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 45#
Press – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 45#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Right Arm: 170#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Left Arm: 170#
Deadlift – Reeves: 185#
Pull Up: 5#

Denny Habecker – Age 70, BWT 196#

Anderson Press: 175#
Clean and Jerk – Behind Neck: 143.3#
Deadlift – 3″ Bar: 280#
Clean and Jerk – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 55#
Clean and Jerk – Fulton Bar: 113#
Clean and Press: 137.8#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 125#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 125#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 55#
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 75#

Dean Ross – Age 70, BWT 269#

Deadlift – Trap Bar: 321#
Back Lift: 1200#
Deadlift – 3″ Bar: 280#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Right Arm: 148#
Deadlift – Reeves: 235#
Carter Lift: 433#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 125#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 125#
Snatch – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 55#
Snatch – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 55#

Ken Glasgow – Age 76, BWT 217#

Deadlift – Trap Bar: 302#

NOTES: All lifts and bodyweights recorded in pounds.

Team Championships

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2012 USAWA Team Championships. (front left to right): Al Myers, Chad Ullom, Mac Chapello, Jesse Jobe. (back row left to right): Jera Kressly, Doug Kressly, Darren Barnhart, LaVerne Myers, Dean Ross

What a GREAT WEEKEND!  The annual Dino Days Weekend started of with the USAWA Team Championships on Saturday and finished with the Dino Days Record Day on Sunday.   The Team Champs started out with a BANG, with 4 teams in attendance.  Chad and I lifted together again, Jobes Steel Jungle brought a team of Jesse Jobe and Mac Capello, two other Dino Gym members teamed up – Dean Ross and LaVerne Myers, and for the first time we had a Mixed Pair  (male & female) team compete.  Doug and Jera Kressly made their USAWA debut, and put up big lifts together. 

Jesse and Mac took "bragging rights" in the Team Bent Over Row, as they put up the top lift of the meet at 560 pounds.

Chad and I were able to defend our USAWA Team Title, but had some serious competition from the apes that represented Jobes Steel Jungle.  The KING APE Jesse brought a sibling primate along to team up with him, and Mac BABY CHIMP Chapello showed that he has what it takes to someday be the king of the jungle.  It was a close comp till the final event, the 12″ base deadlift, when Chad and I “pulled it out”.   We took what we needed for the win (1020#), and then took a fourth attempt which was successful with 1100#.   That now becomes the top 2-MAN deadlift of all-time in the USAWA, exceeding the effort of Bryan Benzel/Troy Goetsch (a couple other Jungle lifters) set earlier this year. 

Doug and Jera Kressly showed "perfect harmony" with each other all day long, as they won the first Mixed Pair Team Title in the history of the USAWA.

I can’t say enough how much I was impressed with Doug and Jera Kressly.  I have known both of them for many years (through the Highland Games), and I knew they would also be great All-Round lifters.  I sure hope they make it back to a USAWA competition soon.  Their Mixed Pair victory makes them the FIRST Mixed Pair team to win the USAWA Team Championships.  Hopefully next year, another Mixed Pair team will join in the fun of this competition so Doug and Jera can have some “two-on-two” competition.  I was especially impressed with their Team One Arm Clean and Jerk. 160 pounds is a HUGE lift for a 2-Man team, let alone a Mixed Pair team. 

LaVerne Myers and Dean Ross and their 380# Fulton Bar Ciavattone Grip Deadlift. These two teamed up quite nicely as they both are physically built very similar.

The Dino Gym’s OLD GEEZERS Dean Ross and LaVerne Myers showed up with one goal in mind, to beat the Mixed Pair team of Doug and Jera.  Doug and Jera was leading after the first two events, but then Dean and LaVerne used their strong callused hands  in the Fulton Bar Ciavattone Grip Deadlift to go past them.  It was a tense moment when Doug and Jera was deadlifing, after the OLD GEEZERS  had finished.  However, in the end the OLD GEEZERS edged them out (but ONLY because of the 29% age correction they received!).  So there are benefits to being a Senior Citizen Weightlifter!!

Al Myers and Chad Ullom and their record-setting team deadlift of 1100 pounds.

I want to thank everyone who attended this meet this year.  I especially want to thank Darren Barnhart for showing up just to officiate. Darren is “that guy” in the Dino Gym that I can always count on to show up to help out when he’s not competing, and I hate to think how much I owe him for the contributions he has made over the years.  

This is truly one of the “most fun” meets in the USAWA.  As I was explaining after the meet to Jesse, the reason I like this meet is because if you don’t do well in a lift – you can always blame it on your team mate.  That’s when I noticed the BABY CHIMP nodding his head in agreement…

MEET RESULTS:

USAWA Team Championships
Dino Gym
Abilene, Kansas
August 11th, 2012

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official: Darren Barnhart

Lifts: Clean and Jerk – 1 arm, Deadlift – Fulton bar, Ciavattone Grip, Bent Over Row, Deadlift – 12″ base

TEAMS:

Dino Gym – 115 KG Class, 40-44 Age Group, 2-Man
Al Myers – 45 years old, 247# BWT
Chad Ullom – 40 years old, 252# BWT

Jobes Steel Jungle – 110 KG Class, Senior Age Group, 2-Man
Jesse Jobe – 35 years old, 235# BWT
Mac Capello – 34 years old, 240# BWT

Team Kressly – 115 KG Class, Senior Age Group, Male/Female
Doug Kressly – 32 years old, 252# BWT
Jera Kressly – 27 years old, 209# BWT

The Old Geezers – 125 KG Class, 65-69 Age Group
Dean Ross – 69 years old, 274# BWT
LaVerne Myers – 68 years old, 250# BWT

Lifters C&J-1A DL-FB,CG Row DL-12″ Total Points
Myers & Ullom 260R 640 550 1020 2470 1970.8
Jobe & Capello 240R 600 560 950 2350 1903.7
Myers & Ross 85L 380 304 500 1269 1241.2
Team Kressly 160R 420 304 650 1534 1211.9

NOTES: All weights recorded in pounds. Total is total pounds lifted. Points are corrected points for age and bodyweight.

EXTRA LIFT FOR RECORD:

Myers & Ullom: Deadlift – 12″ Base 1100#

BEST LIFTER AWARDS:

Mixed Pair – Doug and Jera Kressly
Senior Age Group – Jesse Jobe and Mac Capello
Master 40+ Age Group – Al Myers and Chad Ullom
Master 60+ Age Group – LaVerne Myers and Dean Ross

Century Club Gets a New Member

by Al Myers

This may have been the record-setting lift that put Dean Ross into the Century Club at the 2012 USAWA National Championships in Las Vegas.

The BIG NEWS with the recent record-setting activity has been that the CENTURY CLUB now has a new member.  Just like I predicted in a blog a couple of months ago, Dean Ross has  joined this group of elite record breakers in the USAWA.  This is a big deal, and Dean has worked hard to accomplish this.  His lifting efforts at the 2012 USAWA National Championships “put him over the hill” in going over 100 USAWA records.  There is not a better place to accomplish something like this to make it a memorable event.  Congrats Dean – the next time I see ya in the gym I’m going to give you a big pat on the back!  Dean becomes the FOURTH Dino Gym member to make the Century Club.  

The Records List has received a “shake up” with the addition of National Records.  I thought about this for a while, should I include these new records in a lifters record count?  But it didn’t take me long to decide.   OF COURSE!  Setting a National Record is probably MORE IMPORTANT than others, and SHOULD be included.  If someone complains about this, I’ll tell them to show up at Nationals and set a few National Records for themselves, and then they’ll see that is no easy feat.   The addition of National Records got John Vernacchio back “in the club”.  John had recently “fell out” of the Century Club, but now he’s back.  With the addition of Dean and John, the Century Club now stands at 22 members. 

There weren’t  any change in the top rankers.  Denny still holds a comfortably lead over Art, 428 to 403.   I’m narrowing the gap on them very slowly, and now my count stands at 399.  Maybe I’ll make these two wily veterans of odd-lifting a little nervous so they’ll “kick up the pace”????  The addition of adding in National Records really helped Frank Ciavattone, Noi Phumchona, Bob Hirsh, myself, and Chad Ullom.  Chad “jumped past” Dale and Scott.  Now don’t you feel bad Chad for not letting Dale do another finger lift record at Nationals??? You must have known the record count and realized you were one ahead of him at the time!  Frank owns the most National Records, and it really upped his overall count, as it moved him from 8th to 6th, passing Dennis and Joe.  John McKean was holding around a 30 count lead last time sitting in fourth, but now there are several lifters “on his heels”.   John – it’s time for you to lay the fishing pole to the side and spend a little more time in the weight room getting ready for your next USAWA competition.

Who’s going to be the NEXT lifter to make the Century Club???  My guess is still on Mike Murdock.  If he gets a few this weekend at the Ledaig Record Breakers,  then he will be “set up” to make history at my record day in August.  I’m also “keeping my eye” on Dave Glasgow.  After his recent outstanding showing at the Nationals in which he broke several records, I’m putting him as an “outside  chance” of being the next to make the club. 

I also want to make a few comments about my opinion on breaking records.  If you are going to SET RECORDS – go all out doing it.  I don’t think it is very sporting just to take token efforts to set a large quantity of records at a USAWA record day. After all, anyone can find “blank spots” in the record list to fill with a record, just to add to their “record count”.   That’s chickenshit. If you do that you deserve a boot in the ***!   Be a real lifter and show the record list the respect it deserves!  Anytime I see a lifter set/break more than 10 records at a record day, I question their efforts in the records they set.  Any lifter who gives max effort on 10 lifts in a day should be spent.  Anymore than that and I start to wonder if  they are “sandbaggin” their efforts on their record attempts.  It’s not against the rules or anything, but I will tell you that I will be “talking behind your back” if I see this going on.  And words like sissy lifter, girly boy, etc will be in the conversation!!!!!

CENTURY CLUB (as of 7/14/2012)

RANK LIFTER RECORD COUNT
1 Denny Habecker 428
2 Art Montini 403
3 Al Myers 399
4 John McKean 279
5 Noi Phumchona 268
6 Frank Ciavattone 256
7 Dennis Mitchell 254
8 Joe Garcia 248
9 Bob Hirsh 229
10 Bill Clark 203
11 Howard Prechtel 175
12 Chad Ullom 160
13 Dale Friesz 159
14 Jim Malloy 149
15 John Monk 148
16 Scott Schmidt 146
17 Ed Schock 142
18 Chris Waterman 137
19 Rudy Bletscher 128
20 Mary McConnaughey 117
21 John Vernacchio 106
22 Dean Ross 105

Newcomer Award

by Al Myers

Newcomer Award runnerup winner LaVerne Myers (center), with presenters Al Myers (left) and Denny Habecker (right). Newcomer Award winner Dean Ross was not in attendance to accept his award.

One of the exciting things that is done every year at the National Championships is awarding our USAWA yearly recognition awards.  This program started in 2009, and gives recognition to those lifters that have excelled throughout the prior year.  There are several award categories, and each winning recipient is chosen by the USAWA membership by a nomination/voting process.  This makes winning one of these awards all that much more special, because you know you are picked by your peers for it. 

The Newcomer Award goes to an individual that is new to the USAWA, or someone who is making a comeback in the organization.  It doesn’t have to be someone who just started.  This years winners have been involved in the USAWA for a few years, but both of these lifters have really “amped up” their USAWA involvement this past year.  The winners are:

WINNER – DEAN ROSS

RUNNER UP – LAVERNE MYERS

Dean has been on “a roll” this year.  He has competed in numerous USAWA events this past year, including several Championship competitions (Team Championships, Grip Championships,  and the OTSM Championships).  There has not been very many local events that Dean has missed!   Runnerup went to LaVerne Myers, who made his “National Debut” at this years meet in Vegas. 

Congrats to both of these guys for winning the NEWCOMER AWARD!!

Making Your Weight Training “All-Around”

by Jarrod Fobes

Dean Ross performing an Index Fingers Deadlift at the 2012 USAWA Grip Championships. This is one of the many variations of deadlifts within the USAWA that could be done as a "warm up" prior to a heavy deadlift training session.

Let me start off by saying that I am very new to the sport of weightlifting, and in that regard my opinions on how weight training should be done don’t count for squat. But I am a long time athlete and coach, and I do know a thing or two about creating an effective training program. So I thought I would share how I have been incorporating all-around lifting into my overall strength training, and see what the athletes of USAWA think.

Initially I tried training two days a week; one day of Olympic lifting and one day training whatever all-around lifts I was most interested in at the time. This didn’t work because if I had to miss a day of lifting, I either had to sacrifice my beloved all-around lifts, or miss out on some desperately needed Olympic practice. Also, my all-around sessions tended to focus on the lifts I was good at, rather than the lifts I needed to do. I needed to find a way to make sure I got a good full body workout on either day.

The general program I settled on is nothing revolutionary or even particularly intense: one or two full-body workouts a week, three or four lifts, each one for three or four sets of heavy singles, doubles, or triples. I pyramid up each set. I realize this is a pretty inexact scheme, but between teaching four martial arts classes a week and holding a physical job, I have to be able to vary the intensity based on how rested and ready I am. What is not inexact is my record-keeping. I think it’s important to diligently record the weight lifted each workout, regardless of whether it was a PR day or not.

With such a necessarily limited workout, it’s pretty hard to train the nearly 200 lifts included in the USAWA. So I’ve started “stealing” sets from the core lifts. For instance instead of doing four sets of Clean & Jerks, I might warm up with a set of Miller C&J. While this is a tough finger lift, it’s just a warm up for the back, leg, and shoulder muscles. Afterwards, I’ll struggle through a couple sets of Clean & Jerks, going up in weight if I feel my technique has improved enough. Then I’ll do one or two sets of an all-around lift that trains muscles or movement similar to the clean & jerk. If I’m sore and tired that day, I’ll pick something I’m not very good at (like One-Arm C&J, Judd C&J, etc) and focus on technique. If I’m feeling strong, I’ll pick one of my better lifts like the Turkish-Get Up and really try to push weight. Not only do the all-around lifts function as assistance exercises to the core lift, but the strength and technique gained from the core lift helps the all-around training too!

I bet there are a ton of creative ways to get some all-around practice in during your training, and I’d love to see some follow-up stories from veterans as well as other beginners.

Goerner Deadlift

by Joe Garcia

MEET RESULTS

GOERNER DEADLIFT DOZEN PLUS ONE

Bill Clark, at 79 years young, pulling a 2-Bar Deadlift of 270 pounds at the 2011 Goerner Deadlift.

It is amazing the lengths that some people will go to in order to miss this event.  Al ran off to some little contest in Australia, dragging Chad with him,  Eric was chowing down on turkey, and from the looks of the website, Thom was writing more ‘fluff’ pieces. Everyone not here missed out on a fun day at Clark’s gym.  When I drove up in the morning, Dean Ross and Mike Murdock were already there as was Bill Clark.  Evidently, Dean and Mike had arrived in town around 3:30 AM, not wanting miss out on one of the coveted parking spots in front.  We all weighed in, including Bill, who was on the platform for the first time in over a year.  Even though his right shoulder would give him painful problems all day, he managed at least one successful in each of the thirteen lifts and sometimes a second and a third attempt.  There were no fourth attempts taken during the day.

The day started out with the Thumbless Deadlifts.  That is definitely a lift that you can go from greatness to humility in 5 lbs.  One thing we elected to do during the day was to allow the lifter to do any of the lifts that he wanted in the order he wanted with the exception that the finger lifts were contested last.  This way, the loading was kept to a minimum by the lifters-loaders-officials.  That’s right, more multi-tasking at Clark’s gym.  Next up was standard One-Hand Deadlifts, if any lift in the USAWA could be called standard.  After finishing up with the one hand stuff, attention was turned to the two hand lifts.  Dean pulled the biggest Reeves lift with a 275, could have done a bit more but took a little too big of a jump and was unsuccessful in his next attempt.  I was happy with my 225 as I don’t remember the last time I did a Reeves deadlift.  Not only did Dean do a great job of lifting, he also kept us entertained with his stories and jokes.  Problem is that I think he believes most of them.  After the Reeves, the 2 Barbell, Hack, Heels Together and Jefferson lifts followed.  Finally, the dreaded finger lifts commenced.  Everyone began with the Little Fingers Deadlift, then the Ring, Index, and Middle Finger, except for Mike, who had to go back and finish with an Index Fingers Lift.  Everyone was grateful that Mary wasn’t around to show us up.

Dean Ross had the top Reeves Deadlift of the day, with this 275 pound lift.

The organization had elected to present Bill with both a letter of appreciation and a Lifetime Achievement Award.  I was honored to read the letter to Bill and to present him with his well deserved plaque for everything he has done for the USAWA over the years.  Bill also wanted everyone to know how much he appreciated the honor.

Results of the meet are listed below.  Amazingly, I won the Goerner, a deadlift contest.  I suppose that means I will have to defend it next year.

MEET RESULTS

2011 Goerner Deadlift Dozen plus One
November 26, 2011
Clarks Gym
Columbia, Missouri

Meet Director:  Bill Clark

Lifts: Deadlift – No Thumb, One Arm (left and right), Deadlift – One Arm (left and right), Deadlift – Reeves, Deadlift -2 Bars, Hack Lift, Deadlift -Heels Together, Jefferson Lift, Deadlift – Fingers, Little, Deadlift – Fingers,Index, Deadlift – Fingers, Ring, Deadlift – Fingers, Middle

Officials: Joseph Garcia, Bill Clark, Mike Murdock

 

Lifter Age Bwt DL Heels 2 Bar Hack Jefferson
Mike Murdock 71 234 225 270 135 185
Dean Ross 69 266 315 300 185 315
Bill Clark 79 235 225 270 185 185
Joe Garcia 58 203 315 300 275 275
      1 Arm R 1 Arm L 1 Arm NT R 1 Arm NT L
Mike Murdock     135 135 115 115
Dean Ross     185 185 160 160
Bill Clark     160 160 115 115
Joe Garcia     275 275 205 205
      Index Middle Ring Little
Mike Murdock     75 135 65 55
Dean Ross     120 170 120 95
Bill Clark     135 135 105 65
Joe Garcia     185 205 135 120
      Reeves   Total Points
Mike Murdock     205   1850 2004.1
Dean Ross     275   2585 2584.9
Bill Clark     135   1990 2282.0
Joe Garcia     225   2995 3158.1

NOTES:  Bodyweights listed in pounds.  All lifting poundages listed in pounds. Total is total pounds lifted.  Points are adjusted points for bodyweight correction and age amendment.

Bars, Bars, and MORE Bars!

by Thom Van Vleck

Al doing front squats, his favorite lift! But try to ignore him, what I really want you to notice is the wide variety of bars on the Dino Gym wall!

Ok, if you lift weights regularly I’m sure you have noticed there are a lot of bars out there!   Yesterday, Al pointed out what’s “legal” in the USAWA and how that rule has changed to allow some wiggle room.  He wrote that article in response to my use of the over sized “John Ware” bar used at the OTSM Championships.  I think I inadvertently opened a can of worms for Al using that bar.  I, for one, appreciate the wiggle room. Here’s why:

Back in the day, all bars were assumed to be made for competition so they were all made to exact specifications.  I remember sitting down with my Uncle Wayne Jackson as he ordered a new York 400lb Olympic set in 1977 (I still have it!).  Back then, you had few suppliers to order from……then came the fitness craze and people started making bars for training, not competition.  What’s the one thing that can end the life of a bar?  Getting bent!  How do you make a cheap bar last longer?  Make it thicker and out of harder steel, so you end up with these bars that are thicker and of hardened steel that won’t “whip” like a high quality Oly bar.  When you walk into my gym you will see the “gun rack” of bars and at first glance, they all look alike.  But look closely and you’ll see all kinds of subtle variations.  I’ll blame China, too.  Even Eleiko, the “Cadillac” of barbells, now has their bars forged in China, then assembled in Sweden.  I had a York bar that had “York, U.S.A” on it….made in China…but assembled in the USA so I guess they get around the loophole of not mentioning “China” on the bar.  I’ll blame China because I don’t think they worry too much about “exactness”.  They don’t care if it’s “legal”, they just crank out a product and if it’s close, then it’s all good to them.

I have about 15 or so bars (I don’t know exactly how many because I have so much of my stuff out on “loan” I’ve lost count.  But let’s just say I have a wide variety of bars (but not as many as the Dino Gym) and when you look closely at these bars there are all kinds of subtle…and not so subtle differences.  There are also many variations in the type of steel used.  The best kind of steel for a bar will bend and good steel will bend and then snap back into it’s original shape.  Hardened Steel will not bend and will tend to snap if you force it to bend or it will bend and stay that way.  You can even have good and bad batches of steel that are intended to be the same.  So, two bars that are “Exactly” the same upon visual inspection, maybe even made by the same company, may have very different characteristics.  Companies today will “contract” out jobs to factories in China.  That contract may be bid out after each order and a different company will supply the bar each time resulting in all kinds of variations.

Ok, just ignore he ugly guy doing the Continental to the Shoulders and focus on the bars on the wall! More bars in Al's gym!

Finally, it’s my contention the original size of an Olympic bar was developed for the average sized man.  I am 6′3″ and my wing span is 6′9″.  It is very difficult for me to get under a “regulation” bar and not bind up.  John Ware was the same way so he had that bar we used in the 2011 OTSM Championships custom made for him.  I know there are some issues with having the weights further away from the center of gravity and that can create more “whip” and help with certain lifts…but it’s easier for the shorter guy to adapt to a longer bar than the taller guy to adapt to a shorter bar.

Again....try not to focus on the ugly guys...and notice the bars leaning against the wall in the background! The JWC has it's fair share of bars! (btw...that's Dean Ross hitting a Anderson Squat at the OTSM in the JWC Training Hall!)

So, the moral of my story?  There are a lot of variations out there on the “standard” Olympic bar.   Some will bend, some will have good whip. I have 4 made by York and there are differences in width INSIDE the collars and there should NOT BE as these are regulation bars.  We need a little play so that we can allow for more bars to be used.  Weightlifting for fitness is a growing craze, but lifting as a sport is DYING!  Today’s generation is not the sticklers for details like Baby boomers who were raised by the WWII generation where almost everyone had served in the military and picked up on that “attention to detail”.  Today’s younger guys just want to lift more weight and they don’t like rules that make no sense to them.  Rules are made to make things more fair, not the other way around.  So, thanks to the USAWA for loosening up the rules on the dimensions of the bars but keeping the spirit of fairness by having rules that keeps the lifting true and comparable from contest to contest!  I think it will be good for our sport!

Team Nationals

by Al Myers

MEET REPORT

Group picture from the 2011 USAWA Team Nationals. (front row left to right): Al Myers, Chad Ullom (back row left to right): Russ Morton, Rudy Bletscher, Mike Murdock, Dean Ross

The 2011 USAWA Team Nationals was again an outstanding success this year.  It contained a couple of  regular teams (Myers/Ullom & Murdock/Bletscher) and one new team that made their debut (Morton/Ross) in team lifting.  Team lifting is MUCH different than just individual lifting. Teamwork is essential in being successful – things like timing and coordination between partners can either help you or hurt you in a big way.  The teams this year seemed very balanced in regards to the lifters size and height.  

Dean and Russ put up the top Team One Arm Dumbbell Press with a lift of 180 pounds.

The Dino Gym brought another new lifter to the USAWA arena in this meet and he did a phenomenal job considering this was his first exposure to the crazy things we do in the USAWA, and I consider this meet an extreme meet in our yearly meet lineup. This man is Russ Morton. He is a VERY seasoned powerlifter who has MANY powerlifting meets under his belt, and it was obvious he was not intimidated in the least by the lifts that faced him.  He teamed with Dean “the Boss” Ross who in my opinion, has made his presence known in the USAWA this year.  Dean is one of the STRONGEST GUYS his age I have ever met.  He powers through any lift whether it requires technique or not, and through brute determination makes big lifts.  These two guys put up the TOP Team One Arm Dumbbell Press of the meet with a fine lift of 180 pounds. I’m sure you are wondering – how do you do a Team one arm dumbbell press??  At first it sounds next to impossible, but after “scratching our heads” awhile we came up with a way.  First of all, there is barely enough room to get two hands on a 6 inch dumbbell handle so the grip on the dumbbell is not the best.  All of us pressed the dumbbell standing to the side of each other facing opposite directions.  So it can be done.

We were entertained during a break in the lifting action when Rudy and Dave sang a harmonized duet.

The second lift was the Team Continental Snatch using the 2″ Fulton Bar.  I was concerned grip might be an issue for the lifters but it wasn’t for anyone.  The difficulty with the lift was the minimal hand spacing on the bar.  You had to use a snatch grip much narrower than the normal snatch width, which made the lift slightly more difficult.  Chad and I had the top lift here with a lift of 320 pounds.  Mike and Rudy made a solid lift of 117 pounds, and Dean and Russ finished with 177 pounds.   Chad and I used a power snatch technique while the other two teams used the hang snatch technique.

Mike and Rudy teamed up for a 175 pound Team Continental to Chest and Jerk. Not too bad for a couple of lifters over 70 years of age!

The third lift was the Team Continental to Chest and Jerk.  Chad and I had the top lift of 452 pounds, which is now the top lift done in this lift in both the USAWA and IAWA record books.  I was hoping that we could also break the mark from the old Missouri Valley Record List which record is an outstanding lift of 463 pounds set in 1983 by two legendary mid-west lifters, Bob Burtzloff and Kevin Fulton.   We simply ran out of attempts and didn’t start high enough.  Maybe next time!!! 

Chad and I had to use some tight teamwork to lift 1000 pounds in the Team 2-bar deadlift.

The last lift done was the Team 2-bar deadlift.  Each lifter gripped each bar just like in the individual 2-bar deadlift.  I actually thought this would be an easy lift for a team to do since the balance issue would be removed that presents when doing this by yourself.  I thought for sure that the lifters could lift more as a team than the sum of their individual lifts.  I was wrong!  This lift turned out to give the lifters the most failed attempts of all the lifts, because if both bars didn’t rise in unison, the weight would “shift” to the lifter on the lower end and force the lifters feet to move.   We tried it all ways – facing away from each other, facing each other, and even standing facing the same direction. I don’t think we ever decided which “lineup” was most favorable.  Mike Murdock took a nasty fall on one attempt after the weight “shifted”.  Luckily, Mike was not hurt (at least he was not bleeding!).   Chad and I had the top lift on this one with a lift of 1000 pounds.  I think we could have done a little more, but at this time we were ready to call it a day and head to town for supper!  Thanks to everyone who showed up to lift, and special thanks goes to Dave Glasgow for serving as the official the entire day.

MEET RESULTS

USAWA Team Nationals
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
August 27th, 2011

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): Dave Glasgow

Lifts:   Team Press – Dumbbell, One Arm, Team Continental Snatch – Fulton Bar, Team Continental to Chest and Jerk, Team Deadlift – 2 bars

Lifters:

OPEN AGE GROUP & 115 KG WEIGHT CLASS
Al Myers – 45 years, 253# BWT
Chad Ullom – 39 years,  244# BWT

MASTERS 50-54 AGE GROUP & 125+ KG WEIGHT CLASS
Dean Ross – 68 years, 281# BWT
Russ Morton – 50 years, 275# BWT

MASTERS 70-74 AGE GROUP & 105 KG WEIGHT CLASS
Mike Murdock – 71 years, 231# BWT
Rudy Bletscher – 75 years, 217# BWT

RESULTS

Lifters DB Press Snatch C&J DL Total Points
Myers/Ullom 175-R 320 452 1000 1947 1535.4
Ross/Morton 180-R 177 253 617 1227 1019.9
Murdock/Bletscher 90-R 117 175 440 822 896.7

Notes:  All lifts recorded in pounds.  Total is total pounds lifted.  Points are adjusted points for bodyweight correction and age correction.

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORDS:

Murdock/Bletscher: MASTERS 70-74 AGE GROUP & 105 KG WEIGHT CLASS
Team Curl – Reverse Grip: 205#

Ross/Murdock: MASTERS 65-69 AGE GROUP & 125+ KG WEIGHT CLASS
Team Curl – Reverse Grip: 205#

Dean Ross:  MASTERS 65-69 AGE GROUP & 125+ KG WEIGHT CLASS
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 70#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 70#
Swing – 2 Dumbbells: 100#