Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
DINO GYM CHALLENGE PRESENTS THE -

“Herman Goerner Deadlift Medley”

Every year I like to change up the theme of the Dino Gym Challenge to give it variety.   I have honored several of my favorite Old Time Strongmen in the past by hosting meets in their memory, ie Arthur Saxon and Warren Lincoln Travis.   This year the meet will honor the great German lifter and strongman – Herman Goerner.   He was an outstanding deadlifter in many pulling disciplines, so this meet will feature an entire meet of various deadlift movements.  It ought to provide for a very challenging meet.

I encourage prior meet registration, or at least let me know if you plan to attend ahead of time so I can prepare accordingly.  The meet will be held in the Dino Gym on the main platform.

LIFTS:

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

Deadlift – One Arm

Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip

Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip

Deadlift – Heels Together

ENTRY FORM (PDF) – 2015 Dino Challenge Entry Form

Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2014 Dino Gym Challenge.

I was quite surprised by the turnout at this year’s Dino Gym Challenge.  On Saturday 8 brave lifters showed up to take on some of the favorite lifts of the famous old time strongman Warren Lincoln Travis.  I decided to have this meet in tribute to WLT – as he has always been one of my favorite old time strongmen.

The teeth lift was the first lift up – and as to the best of my knowledge has never been contested before in a USAWA competition (all USAWA records have been set at record days).  All of us had really no idea of what our capabilities were in this – but ET and myself ended up with the best lifts at 175 pounds.  I felt “maxed out” but ET has much more in him.  Doug Kressly took his third attempt at 95 pounds, and then a fourth record attempt at 155 pounds which he got! Dean Ross about lost a tooth. Larry Traub had the mouthpiece in backwards and cut up his chin with the connecting bolts.  Lance Foster was the smartest by saying “no can do”.

We then moved onto the finger lift with the middle finger using a ring.  It wasn’t really anyone’s favorite – but the lifting surprised me. Eric Todd had the best lift at 200 pounds, and Doug Kressly had a solid 180.   Several pulled skin off the favorite finger – with Dave Glasgow shedding the most blood. I thought I was going to have to get my hot iron to cauterize his wound for a while.

The Kennedy Lift was next on the agenda.  This is an exhibition lift (not an official USAWA lift) which follows the rules of the Peoples Deadlift except includes a straddle stance on the bar.  It was very well received.  I had the top lift at 750 pounds, followed by Larry’s 675. Young Logan Kressly was extremely impressive with his record attempt at 500 pounds. Everyone seemed to enjoy this lift, and by the positive response I got I’m going to propose it as a new OTSM lift.

Doug Kressly Harness lifting as Lance Foster waits his turn.

Now time for the BIG STUFF.  The Harness Lift and Back Lift were a couple of Travis’s favorites.  We started with the Harness.  It took a while to get everyone to figure out how to get the harness’s on, but once they did the lifting was outstanding!  I had the top harness at 2400.  Other impressive harness lifts were Doug’s at 1800, Larry at 1750, and Dave at 1200.  Lance gave an exceptional effort at 1605 to break a 20 year plus record held the one and only Tom Ryan who had held the record at 1600 from the 91 Zercher.  I told Lance I would make sure to tell Mr. Ryan that his harness lift record was no more.

The back lift very rarely gets the chance to be in meets (mainly because it requires a specialized machine!).  I had the top at 2200, followed by Doug at 2000.  However, the youngster Logan really impressed us the most with his 1600.  I told him he may be the best junior in the USAWA right now – and I expect him to be at Nationals to prove it! Dean Ross came into the day sporting a new pair of fire resistant lifting shoes  - and used them to good use to go over 1000 pounds in both the Harness and Back.  I don’t know of anyone else who has fire resistant lifting shoes, but then again, Ross the Boss tends to burn up the platform when he lifts!

I got to thank my dad LaVerne for “sitting in the chair” as head official all day.  He did a marvelous job and no one really gave him any crap.  He judged everyone very fairly, and didn’t give me any breaks either because I’m his sonny boy.  I was very impressed by the help the lifters provided in loading and putting stuff away afterwards.  We had a nice awards ceremony with each lifter getting a Dino Gym Tshirt and a hand made award by me featuring a metal cut-out of Warren Lincoln Travis.  It will be an award that will stand out in everyone’s trophy case (or should I say stand up?).  I know I had lots of fun at this meet – and like I commented on Facebook – “Days like today make me realize how much I like my USAWA family!”

MEET RESULTS:

Dino Gym Challenge
Dino Gym
Holland, Kansas
January 18th, 2014

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): LaVerne Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Lifts: Teeth Lift, Finger Lift – Middle, Kennedy Lift, Harness Lift, Back Lift

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Teeth Fing Kenn Harn Back TOT PTS
Al Myers 47 234 175 155 750 2400 2200 5680 5034.5
Larry Traub 60 206 95 170 675 1750 1300 3990 4242.3
Logan Kressly 15 166 95 95 450 1200 1500 3340 3831.4
Doug Kressly 34 286 95 180 550 1800 2000 4625 3433.6
Dave Glasgow 60 260 105 160 525 1200 950 2940 2763.7
Dean Ross 71 267 75 125 400 1010 1050 2660 2695.2
Lance Foster 48 330 0 155 500 1605 850 3110 2353.9
Eric Todd 39 260 175 200 500 1010 1050 2935 2282.8

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORD:

Logan Kressly: Teeth Lift 115#
Logan Kressly: Middle Finger Lift 105#
Logan Kressly: Kennedy Lift 500#
Logan Kressly: Harness Lift 1300#
Logan Kressly: Back Lift 1600#
Doug Kressly: Teeth Lift 155#
Lance Foster: Middle Finger Lift 170#

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in pounds. BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All Middle Finger Lifts done with right hand. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are overall adjusted points for age and bodyweight correction.

Kennedy Lift

by Al Myers

Here's an Old Time Strongman performing a variation of the Kennedy Lift by utilizing a Hand and Thigh Bar attached to a regular bar.

I’ve received  a few questions regarding the nature of the “Kennedy Lift” following my announcement of the Dino Gym Challenge, which includes a lift by this name.  It was one of the lifts that Warren Lincoln Travis included in his “Challenge to the World”, in which he challenges 20 repetitions at 700 pounds in 10 seconds.  In his Challenge WLT  calls it instead the Two Hand Grip Lift, but it is the same lift.  Other sources  originally called it  the Hands Alone Lift.  I’m sure the reason for this name was to different it from the Hand and Thigh Lift – meaning no parts of the implement should be touching the body besides the hands (thus Hands Alone), as illustrated in the picture with this story.

The Kennedy Lift is nothing more than a partial Jefferson Lift (or straddle deadlift).   I’ve  heard lifters in the past refer to the Jefferson Lift AS the Kennedy Lift , but this is only partially true (pun intended).  The Kennedy Lift is done by straddling the weight with the lift being close to lockout.  The range of movement is reported to be several inches to just clearing the floor, depending on sources.  The Kennedy is not an official lift of the USAWA, but is one worthy of it.  It will be performed in the Dino Gym Challenge as an exhibition lift that will count in the meet scoring (allowed under the rules of the USAWA). If it is well received by those in attendance, I may submit it for lift approval in the USAWA.  It has the “history” to be an official All Round   lift for sure. 

I had to do some “digging” in my files to find a good reference to the origins of the Kennedy Lift. Some of the information on the internet is not entirely true, so I had to make some decisions as to what I thought were the facts.   The following piece was written by Warren Lincoln Travis, titled “My 40 years with the World’s Strongest Men”, in which he talks about how the Kennedy Lift came to be.  I tend to believe what WLT says in his writings, and here it is:

About forty years ago, at the height of the new wave of strong man popularity, the late Richard K. Fox, then publisher of the Police Gazette, the leading sporting journal of America, had a 1000 pound dumb-bell cast, but it was not in the shape of the dumbbells today.  It was more like a massive block of iron.  He offered a very valuable gold medal and title to the first man to lift this 1000 pound weight.  At that time there was a man known as James Walter Kennedy who was athletically inclined and developed.  He was an oarsman and general athlete, leaning, however, more toward the strong man. He was about 6 feet tall and weighed around 190 pounds, had jet black curly hair and moustache and at a time was a special officer at the Globe Museum at 298-300 Bowery, New York City.  Kennedy took a notion that he could lift this 1000 pound dumbbell with his hands and he began to train with a big whiskey cask, not using whiskey in it, but water, sand and rock as he gained strength.  In other words, he used the Milo Bar Bell system of gradually increasing weight as he improved in his strength.  The first time he tried lifting the 1000 pound weight he failed but some time later he succeeded.  His style was to straddle the weight and have one hand in front of his body grasping the weight and the other hand grasping it in the rear of his body, this position being known as the Hands Alone Lift.  His body was erect with the exception that the knees were bent about 2 or 3 inches. – by Warren Lincoln Travis

I envision the technique to be very similar to how most lift the Dinnie Stones, using the straddle style.  I think it very fitting that the origins of this lift was described by Warren Lincoln Travis, and must have been one he appreciated, as he included it in his “Challenge to the World”.  James Walter Kennedy was 29 years old when he accomplished winning this challenge set forth by Richard K. Fox. He came from Quincy, Illinois. The date of this strongman debut of the Kennedy Lift was January 25th, 1890.  The “1000 pound dumbbell” was actually a 1030 pound solid iron block with handles affixed to the top 24 inches from the ground.

At the Dino Challenge we will be using a bar set up on blocks so weight can be added to that of  a lifters’ preference and the rules of the USAWA can be followed in adding weight over three attempts.  It will be done according to the rules of the Jefferson Lift, except the bar will be at a higher position than the floor. The bar height will be a set height (yet to be determined) so that it will NOT  just be a “lockout lift” like the Heavy Lifts are.

Dino Gym Challenge REMINDER

by Al Myers

The Dino Gym has been issued a challenge from the Hoghton Barbell Club. Pictured left to right in front of the Dinnie Stones: Josh Haydock, Mark Haydock, Alex Rigbye

The Annual Dino Gym Challenge is now only ONE WEEK away.  I have received several commitments from lifters that plan to compete.  It is looking to be a well-attended meet.  I’m hoping for 15-20 lifters – and I think I might get that many.  The entry form is available on the website, and I’m still taking entries so it is NOT too late to attend!

A new twist has been recently added to this year’s Dino Gym Challenge.  Mark Haydock, of the Hoghton Barbell Club in Preston, England has issued the Dino Gym a “head-to-head” Challenge.  Of course I accepted!!!  We even put up “stakes” for the challenge.  The loser will have to “pay up” gym shirts to the winner.    His club has three members who are going to participate – Mark, Josh Haydock, and Alex Rigbye.   They plan to do the same lifts as us on the same day so the results will be known that same day.  This means that the “top three” placing Dino Gym members of the day will be entered in this challenge against our English counterparts.  All adjusted scores will be added together from the three participants from each club to form a final total team score.  So I’m expecting BIG THINGS out of the Dino Gym members on this one – so come ready to put up BIG LIFTS!!  Mark Haydock is promoting the IAWA World Championships next fall and I don’t want to have to be showing up with my “tail between my legs” paying up the losing bet!!!

If weather permits there may be a shooting contest immediately following the meet for anyone who is interested. I’m thinking of having four different competition categories.

1. 25 target trap shoot
2. 10 shot small bore (.223 and below)- 100 and 200 yards
3. 10 shot large bore (above .233)- 100 and 200 yards
4. 10 shot handgun 10 yards & 25 yards

You can enter one, a couple, or all of these categories depending on what gun/guns you bring. Let me know if anyone is interested in this. This way the Dino Challenge will cover two of my favorite interests – shooting and lifting!!!   I’ll provide the targets but you provide the gun/ammo for which category you plan to enter.   Handguns will be shot free hand, while rifles will be shot from a shooting bench.  Bipods will be allowed.

I am in the process of having some really special awards made for this year’s meet.  I really hope that they will be done in time.  How many times have you went to a meet with NO ENTRY FEE and received an award?   Not many I would guess – but this is the yearly Club Meet that I promote and I like to give back to our club’s membership, so I think it is only the right thing to do. I should also mention that this is a “functioning award” that I know many will like, especially guys like Dan Wagman.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone next Saturday!!!

Dino Challenge Award Winners

by Al Myers

In the picture on the left, Al Myers (right) is presenting Chad Ullom (left) the Ambidextrous Award. In the picture on the right, Mike Murdock (left) is presenting Al Myers (right) the KLUTZ AWARD.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s meet report on the Dino Gym Challenge, a couple of BEST LIFTER AWARDS were presented.  The unusual thing about these two awards were that they had no bearing on overall performance as most best lifters awards do, but rather to honor (or make fun of!) the two lifters that were the most balanced, and most unbalanced,  between both arms in their lifts.  As I said, I was very intrigued just to see how the lifters would do in pounds lifted between each arm in the same lift.  Most of the time in All-Round meets when an one arm lift is contested, the lifter gets to chose which arm to use in competition, and often the other arm never gets any “meet action”. 

The Best Lifter Award for the most balanced lifter was titled the Ambidextrous Award.  It was based on a percentage of the weaker arm to the stronger arm in pounds lifted with both.  Surprisingly, four of the five lifters in this meet went over 90%.  The WINNER was also the winner of the Dino Gym Challenge, Chad Ullom. Chad had a rating of 96.2%.  Only competition lifts were used in this calculation (not extra attempts for record).  Even with this high percentage, Chad still had better lifts with his right arm in all five lifts, but his left was very close behind in each one.

Lifter  Left Arm Right Arm Percent
Chad Ullom 880 914 96.2%
Dave Glasgow 650 615 94.6%
Rudy Bletscher 315 335 94.0%
Dean Ross 345 380 90.8%
Al Myers 740 920 80.4%

Now for the WINNER of the most unbalanced lifter, the Ambisinistrous Award……. it went to ME!  And from the table above, no one else was even close to challenging me for this degrading award.  I have to say I was slightly embarrassed when Mike finished his calculations and I seen that it was me who had won it!  Before the meet I made this award up with someone else in mind - NOT ME!  Most don’t know that recently ”Super Dave” Glasgow has had surgery on his right elbow to repair a nerve issue.  Dave’s not one to complain about ANYTHING, and most of the time doesn’t even mention to his family and  friends when he is having major surgery.  I was  a little surprised he even entered this meet because his surgery hasn’t been that long ago and his right arm is far from recovered.  So to say I thought he had the Ambisinistrous Award locked up beforehand was an “understatement”!  Well, that like joke sure backfired on me!  I even nicknamed the award beforehand “THE KLUTZ AWARD”, and had that stated on the certificate as well.  I’m sure to never live this one down!

Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2012 Dino Gym Challenge. (front row left to right): Chad Ullom, Al Myers (back row left to right): Dave Glasgow, Dean Ross, Rudy Bletscher

MEET REPORT:

I didn’t think the “single arm challenge” would be this demanding, but as I sit writing this meet report today I’m feeling sore all over!  First of all, I want to thank everyone who showed up to compete or help yesterday.  Five brave lifters showed up to take on this decathlon of single arm lifts: Chad Ullom, Dave Glasgow, Rudy Bletscher, Dean Ross and myself.  The unique feature of this meet was that BOTH arms had to be contested in each single arm lift.  There was no way to hide any weaknesses!  I picked lifts that would test every body part – overhead stuff both quick lifts and pressing, benching, and deadlifting.  I was very curious to see the strength differences each lifter would have between arms.  I even played this up before the meet by having two certificates made up for BEST LIFTERS AWARDS.  One was the Ambidextrous Award, for the lifter that had the highest percentage of weight lifted between his weak arm and his strong arm.  The other award was for the opposite of this, or the Ambisinistrous Award, which was for the lifter that had the lowest percentage of weight lifted between his weak arm and his strong arm.  I nicknamed this award the “KLUTZ AWARD” just to add more insult to this prize which recognizes poor lifting ability. 

Dave Glasgow and his 315# USAWA record in the right arm Deadlift. Dave broke the record held by USAWA Hall of Famer Scott Schmidt in this lift.

It was a hard fought fight to the finish, but my training partner and good friend Chad edged me out in the last event, the one arm deadlift. I had the lead on him up till this last event.  It was interesting that we both weighed in the same at 251 pounds, but now something was different as Chad has just turned 40 and is now a masters lifter.  Not only did he beat me in the competition in the one arm deadlift, but he took both of my one arm deadlift records in the 40/115K class!   Chad finished the meet off with a personal record one arm deadlift of 451 pounds! It was a stellar lift and broke the overall record in the 115K class, previously held by Frank Ciavattone and his 426# effort.  There were many USAWA records broke at this meet, but this had to be one of the “highlight records” of the day.  Another record I would like to mention was Dave Glasgow’s right arm deadlift of 315 pounds.  That is the most I have seen Super Dave lift in the one arm deadlift, and it was quite impressive.  My best performance of the day was in the one arm snatch, where I lifted a personal best and ALL-TIME USAWA BEST  with a lift of 172 pounds. I have done over 170 pounds a few times in training, but this was the first time I have done it in competition.   I can’t say enough about Rudy and Dean and their lifting.  They both battled it out all day long, with Rudy edging Dean out in the end.  Dean is a real powerhouse, but this meet was more about finesse with all these one arm lifts, and it favored Rudy.  Mike Murdock sat this one out in order to help with judging and scorekeeping, but when the three of them compete with each other it makes for a very exciting competition.  I’m sure there will be many more square-offs between these seasoned (see – I didn’t say old!) guys in the future.

This is my 172# one arm Snatch. This is the top one arm Snatch that has been done in the history of the USAWA, beating the mark of 171# held by my brother-in-law Bob Burtzloff!

After the results were tallied and the awards handed out, we were treated to heaping bowls of homemade chili that was prepared by my wife Leslie.  Often when a meet is over, the lifters are ready to “hit the road” to make the long journey back home. But as Dean reminded  me when we were filling our gullets with tasty chili, it was when I mentioned it was HOMEMADE CHILI that EVERYONE decided to stay and eat before heading home.  We watched football, drank a few beers,  and told several stories about our friends who weren’t it attendance.  What a good way to end a great day!

Check back tomorrow to see who won the Best Lifter Awards.  That’s a news story in itself!

MEET RESULTS:

Dino Gym Challenge
The Single Arm Challenge
Dino Gym, Holland, Kansas
January 14th, 2012

Meet Director: Al Myers and the Dino Gym

Officials (1 official system used): Mike Murdock, Scott Tully, Mark Mitchell, Darren Barnhart

Scorekeeper: Mike Murdock

Loaders: Alan English, Chuck Cookson, Matt Cookson

Lifts: Snatch – Left Arm, Snatch – Right Arm, Clean and Jerk – Left Arm, Clean and Jerk – Right Arm, Side Press – Left Arm, Side Press – Right Arm, Bench Press – Left Arm, Bench Press – Right Arm, Deadlift – Left Arm, Deadlift – Right Arm

Lift             Chad Ullom Al Myers Dave Glasgow Rudy Bletscher Dean Ross
BWT  113.9  113.9  114.6  96.2  125.0
AGE  40  45  58  76  69
Snat-LF  150  120  105  45  55
Snat-RT  155  150  100  50  70
C&J-LF  120  120  90  40  35
C&J-RT  130  150  80  40  40
Side-LF  95  80  75  30  35
Side-RT  100  110  55  40  40
BP-LF  115  100  80  35  40
BP-RT  120  130  65  40  60
DL-LF  400  320  300  165  180
DL-RT  410  380  315  165  170
TOTAL  1795  1660  1265  650  725
POINTS  1435.5  1393.3  1188.2  770.4  712.6

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

EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORDS:

Al Myers: Snatch – Right Arm 172#
Al Myers: Deadlift – Right Arm 410#
Chad Ullom: Deadlift – Right Arm 451#

History of the Dino Challenge

by Al Myers

Chad Ullom performing the Judd Clean and Jerk (a one leg C & J) in the 2009 Dino Gym Challenge. Chad has won the Dino Gym Challenge three times (2008, 2009, 2010), which is the most times it has been won by the same lifter.

The Dino Gym Challenge is approaching FAST!  It is this coming Saturday, with the event being hosted in the Dino Gym.  I’m still taking entries, so last minute entries will be accepted.  I do appreciate those letting me know ahead of time of their intent to enter, but if you want to just show up on meet day to compete that will be ok for this one.  The Dino Gym Challenge has been going on for 8 years now, with this being the ninth.   Only three CURRENT USAWA events have a longer running history in the same location  - the Zercher and the Deanna Meets hosted by Bill Clark, and Art’s Birthday Bash hosted by Art Montini.  Two other long standing meets have had “breaks” in their run:   Bad weather interrupted the Goerner one year and it was cancelled, and the Backbreaker was cancelled a couple of times due to lack of entries. 

Early on I named this meet the Dino Gym Challenge for this reason – every year there would be a different meet challenge to take on.  No two meets would be the same.  Each year a different “theme” is contested.  This makes this meet very interesting, and allows different lifters to have advantages because of the different lifts that are contested each year.  This year it is the battle of the one arm lifts: 5 lifts with each one contested with both arms.  I am going to give a “run-down” of the preceding Dino Gym Challenges and how they turned out.

2011 – Dino Gym Old Time Strongman Challenge

The Dino Gym presented the VERY FIRST Old Time Strongman competition that year.  Five new and exciting OTSM events were contested: Saxon Snatch, Cyr Press, Dinnie Lift, Apollons Lift, and the Goerner Stroll. This meet will forever be known as the first promotion of OTSM within the USAWA, and what a great inauguration this meet was!   A great turnout of 18 lifters took part.  The class winners were: Women – Felecia Simms, Mens Junior – Cody Lokken, Mens 40+ – Al Myers, Mens 60+ – Dean Ross, and Open – Sam Cox.  The top three placings of the day went to: 1. Sam Cox, 2. Eric Todd, and 3. Chad Ullom.

2010 – The Arthur Saxon Pentathlon

This meet was done  to honor the great German Strongman Arthur Saxon.  Five lifts were chosen which were some of Saxon’s favorites: the Dumbbell Swing, the Bent Press, the 2-Hands Anyhow, the Arthur Lift, and the Foot Press.  The Foot Press was done as an exhibition lift (not an official USAWA lift at that time, but it is now) and was a big hit of the meet.  It mimicked the stage act where Arthur would support a big plank loaded with people as natural weight.  5 lifters took part, with Chad Ullom being the overall meet winner.  A celebrity was in attendance – Wilbur Miller.  Wilbur is a legend in All Round Weightlifting and his presence at this meet enhanced the meet atmosphere.  Afterwards, several of us toasted Arthur Saxon with Arthur’s favorite workout beverage, the Saxon Health Drink.

2009 – The meet named after others

The 2009 Dino Gym Challenge was very unusual in that all 5 of the lifts contested were “named” after other lifters.  These lifts were contested: the Kelly Snatch, the Ziegler Clean, the Judd Clean and Jerk, the James Lift, and the Allen Lift.  All of these lifts required LOTS of flexibility that made them very hard to do.  Chad Ullom prevailed as the overall winner of the four lifters in attendance: Chad, Al Myers, Scott Campbell, and Rudy Bletscher.   However, despite all of these lifts being done with “light” weights, one of the biggest lifts in USAWA history was done on this day.  Steve Schmidt showed up to be officially judged in the Back Lift.  He finished with 3050 pounds (after doing 3000 pounds as well) to set an ALL-TIME USAWA record in the Back Lift.

2008 – The Roger Davis Selection

The 2008 Dino Gym Challenge saw lifts selected by Roger Davis.  Roger had just finished a compilation of the top All Round lifters of ALL-TIME in history using these lifts as the criteria: the one arm snatch, the one arm clean and jerk, the continental to chest and jerk, two dumbbells clean and push press, and the 12″ base deadlift.  His report was published in MILO and gave me the notion to have a meet using these lifts.   This meet must have scared off the competition because only two lifters showed up to compete: Chad Ullom and Scott Campbell.  I was going to compete as well, but I was the only one there to officiate so I judged instead.  Chad ended up the victor over Scott.  Wilbur Miller showed up as well and did some record-setting after the meet.  He first did a 350 pound Ciavattone Grip Deadlift, followed by a 400 pound heels together deadlift, and finishing with a 450 pound 12″ base deadlift.  Wilbur did these lifts at 75 years of age and 230 pounds!

2007 – The All Round Powerlifting Meet

The theme of 2007 was that of an All Round Powerlifting Meet.  These lifts were contested: Steinborn, Pullover and Push, and the heels together Deadlift. 11 lifters took part.  Al Myers was the overall best mens lifter and Kristen Barry was the top overall womens lifter.  A team award was given which was won by the Dino Gym.  A full record day was contested afterwards.  Some great lifts were done during the day: Chad Ullom 430# Steinborn, Kristen Barry 310# heels together deadlift, Bill Cookson 227# Index Fingers Deadlift, and myself teaming with Chad to hit a 407# Team Cheat Curl.  Afterwards, we all reconvened at a restaurant in town to celebrate the annual HASA banquet.  The big news of the banquet was the induction of Thom Van Vleck into the HASA Hall of Fame.

2006 – The Travis Lift Showdown

This meet had a record setting turnout of lifters – 23 LIFTERS!   Five lifts were contested: Fulton Bar Clean, Maxey Press, Front Squat, Jefferson Lift and the Travis Lift. The main event of this meet was the Travis Lift. This was the first time the Travis Lift had been held in competition.  Previously the only lifter in the USAWA who had ever done the Travis Lift was Howard Prechtel, and he did it only in record days.  At the time Howard held the ALL-TIME record with a lift of 1815 pounds.  Joe Garcia broke Howard’s record with a lift of 2000 pounds.  The class winners were:  Women Junior – Kirsti Griffis, Women Masters – Mary McConnaughey, Mens Junior – Kent Longbine, Mens Lightweight – Tim Pinkerton, Mens Middleweight – Eric Todd, Mens Heavyweight – John O’Brien, Mens Master – Joe Garcia.  The Mens Overall Best Lifter went to Eric Todd.

2005 -  The Back Lift Rematch

A big group of lifters turned out this year for the Dino Gym Challenge – 19 lifters.  Several difficult lifts were contested: the Fulton Bar Snatch, the Inch Dumbbell Deadlift, the Alternate Grip Bench Press, the Steinborn, and the Back Lift.  Steve Schmidt reclaimed his ALL-TIME Back Lift record with a lift of 2920 pounds at this meet.  Class winners were as follows: Junior Women – Misty Fritz,  Open Women – Mary McConnaughey, Junior Men – Ian Reel, Mens Lightweight – Tim Pinkerton, Mens Middleweight – Eric Todd, Mens Heavyweight – Chad Ullom, Mens Superheavyweight – Matt Graham, and Mens Masters – Joe Garcia.  Eric Todd was the overall Best Lifter of the meet.  Matt Graham put on a grip-lifting show after the meet by picking up two INCH REPLICAS at the same time! 

2004 – The First Ever Dino Challenge

A full field of 17 lifters took part in the first ever Dino Gym Challenge.  These lifts were contested: Fulton Bar Clean and Press, Pullover and Push, One Arm Clean and Jerk, Steinborn, and the Back Lift. Several records fell during this meet.  Al Myers broke Steve Schmidts All-Time record in the back lift with a lift of 2915 pounds.  Class winners were as follows: Women – Jessica Todd, Men Lightweight – Tim Pinkerton, Men Middleweight – Al Myers, Mens Heavyweight – Eric Todd, Mens Masters – Joe Garcia. The overall Best Lifter of the meet was Al Myers.

*** CHAD ULLOM IS THE ONLY LIFTER WHO HAS COMPETED IN EVERY DINO GYM CHALLENGE TO DATE***

Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT – THE DINO GYM CHALLENGE

English lifter Steve Andrews set a WORLD RECORD in the Dumbbell Clean and Jerk with a fine lift of 52.5 KG at the 2011 IAWA Gold Cup. Steve is the reigning British Single Arm Champion.

This is a meet that the Dino Gym has promoted for several years now (since 2004).  Unlike a lot of other meets in the USAWA where the same meet (with the same lifts) is done year after year, our meet is different every year with a different theme and different lifts.  Last year we promoted the VERY FIRST Old Time Strongman meet in the USAWA with great success.  We had 18 lifters take part which is the largest attended meet in the USAWA this year to date (tied with the National Championships which also drew 18 lifters).  Hopefully, this year will be just as big.  I have picked a different “theme” for this year – the SINGLE ARM CHALLENGE.   Several of our all round lifts are performed using only one arm, but never have we had just a meet made up with single arm lifts.  This will be a first in the USAWA.  Single Arm lifting is very popular in the IAWA(UK), and every year they promote the British Single Arm Championships.  This past year this meet was promoted by Frank Allen in his home town of Leicester, England (which also happens to be the site of the very first IAWA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS).  The lifts contested in this meet were the one arm snatch, the one arm clean & jerk, and the one arm deadlift.  Veteran English lifter Steve Andrews won this years competition.

I have always thought this was an interesting concept for  a meet.   I have decided to add a little more to the English version, and add a couple of other all round one arm lifts.  On top of this, I thought it would make for a REALLY interesting competition if the lifter would be required to do a lift with EACH ARM.  This way the most balanced one armed lifter would win, as a lifter couldn’t just rely on their strong arm for all the lifts.  So, all together 5 lifts, but 10 events.  It will be interesting to see the poundage differences lifted between each arm for each lifter.

THE DINO GYM PRESENTS – “the single arm challenge”

 Meet Director: Al Myers and the Dino Gym,  785-479-2264

Meet Date:  Saturday, January 14th, 2012,  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Location:  Dino Gym, 1126 Eden Road, Abilene, KS 67410

Sanction:  U.S.A.W.A    Memberships may be purchased on meet day.

Weigh-ins:  9:00-10:00 AM the day of the meet

Divisions:  Juniors, Women, Masters, and Open

Awards:  None

Entry: None & no entry deadline

Lifts:

Side Press – One Arm
Bench Press – One Arm
Snatch – One Arm
Clean and Jerk – One Arm
Deadlift – One Arm

(BOTH ARMS WILL BE CONTESTED IN EACH LIFT)

Registration:   Send entry to Al Myers, 1126 Eden Road, Abilene, Kansas 67410

For pdf entry form click here – DinoChallenge12

Dino Challenge Fundraiser

(Webmaster’s Note:  A silent auction will be conducted at the Dino Challenge Oldtime Strongman Contest in January, with all proceeds going to the Friends of the Salina Animal Shelter.  This groups efforts are very noble, and by having this auction we may be able to help them just a little.  Lots of GREAT THINGS will be in the auction – from some of the Dino Gym’s unique pieces of equipment to donated items from the Dino Strength product line.  There is no entry fee for the Challenge, but plan on bringing some money for the auction.  Fellow Dino Gym member and training partner Mark Mitchell has shared information with us regarding the compassionate vision of the Friends of the Salina Animal Shelter. – by Al Myers)

by Mark Mitchell

The Friends of the Salina Animal Shelter was formed in February 2007 by Molly Reusser. Her initial intent was to spearhead a group of animal lovers who wanted to pet some dogs but was she in for a big surprise-she had not met Laura Mitchell,Julie Coble,Shannon Kingsley and Trish Hayden yet!! Laura and I have been going to an animal rescue ranch in Kanab Utah called Best Friends for several years to volunteer taking care of some 5000 plus rescued dogs,cats,horses,donkeys etc… combined and we knew how a first rate shelter should be operated. Now,we had a chance to do some of the same things with animals in our own back yard!  Of course,my wife and friends never do anything with half effort and we immediately jumped in to socialize the dogs and cats in the Salina Shelter and pushed hard to get them adopted locally.

Then, we started looking at the figures regarding euthanized former pets and we were astounded. What could we do to change those numbers?  Group member Julie Coble went out on a mission to help solve this. What she found has become a big lifesaver for some 500 dogs just this past year. It is called the Rescue Waggin and it is operated through Petsmart charities. Now,one would have thought our local animal shelter staff would have fallen all over themselves, thanking Julie for this wonderful idea and jumped right on our band wagon(our volunteer group,though working hand in hand with the animal shelter staff,is a separate entity). Alas,no. We were met with big resistance. Did this deter us? No,it did not. A few of us decided to pool our own money together,adopt several dogs we selected,drive a rented cargo van to Denver or Boulder Colorado to Dumb Friends and the Boulder Humane Society and pay transfer fees there because we had heard dogs get adopted in huge numbers from these facilities(Rescue Waggin now takes our dogs to Boulder). We spent thousands of dollars each for quite some time.

Finally,the powers that be saw that we were not a threat and that our intentions were good. It also did not hurt that we,as volunteers,agreed to do all of the work regarding bringing the Rescue Waggin to Salina(we are the only shelter in the nation that uses volunteers to coordinate the Rescue Waggin operation). And what a work load it has been!!  From getting volunteers trained and certified to be behavior specialsts,contracting with local vets to do the health checks to coordinating all of these efforts with the Rescue Waggin personnel(that would be my dear wife Laura’s role!!)  But it has been worth all of the hassles!!  Think of it.  Five hundred great lives and wonderful pets spared and matched with loving families in Colorado just this past year!

Our volunteers put in long hours. We are not just about the Rescue Waggin. We still provide love and care to the dogs and cats who do not qualify for transport. We are involved in fund raisers,special adoption months,hay bale giveaways for all of our outdoor furry friends. The list goes on and on. Our group is amazed and gracious that the Dino Gym has selected us for charitable contributions at the Dino Gym Old Time Barbell Challenge in January !

Cyr Press

by Al Myers

Sam Cox, of the Dino Gym, takes a 150 pound dumbbell overhead one handed. What makes this even more amazing is that Sam only weighs 200 pounds!

One of the very popular strength feats done by the Canadian Strongman Louie Cyr was pressing his famous dumbbell one handed.  We are going to honor Cyr and this strength feat by including it in the Old-Time Strongman Competition at the  Dino Gym Challenge.  As with the other strongman lifts in this competition, there are minimal rule restrictions.

The Rule for the Cyr Press:

Any dumbbell with a handle diameter between 1 inch and 1.5 inches is allowed.  The dumbbell may be brought to the shoulder in any manner, but must come to the shoulder before going overhead.  This includes using two hands. Once at the shoulder,  the dumbbell is taken overhead with only one hand anyhow.  The other arm/hand is not allowed to touch the lifting arm during the overhead portion. The feet are allowed to move. If the lifter misses with one arm, the dumbbell may be switched to the other arm during the attempt, but the arm used must be selected at the shoulder.  A time limit of 1 minute is allowed for the attempt.  The dumbbell may be set down or dropped during the attempt.  If the overhead portion of the lift is missed, it may be restarted at the shoulder. Once the dumbbell is overhead motionless with arm straight, the legs straight and feet in line with the torso, an official will give a command to end the lift.

The only role of the official is to be awake at the end of the lift to give the down command!!

Dino Gym Challenge

The Arthur Saxon Pentathlon

by Al Myers

Chad Ullom demonstrates how to do a 258# Arthur Lift. (And YES - That's the bar going UP the back)

Chad Ullom captured his third straight overall best lifter title this past weekend at the Dino Gym Challenge, by winning this year’s Arthur Saxon Pentathlon. Chad showed complete dominance in all of Arthur’s lifts, demonstrating flexibility that most lifters lack. He put up big marks in the One Arm Dumbbell Swing (150 pounds) and the Arthur Lift (258 pounds). An exhibition lift, which I called the Plank Lift, was the last lift of the meet and despite Chad’s dominance in the previous four lifts when meets include a lift like this, in which a large amount of weight can be lifted compared to the other lifts, things are never “in the bag” until the meet is over. I had the disadvantage of being before Chad “in the order of call” so he used good strategy in matching my attempts in the Plank Lift. I tried to “put the pressure on him” by calling for 2050# for my last attempt, but it is only good strategy if you get the lift! That was just a little over my strength abilities, but making a small jump wasn’t going to overtake him. Congratulations Chad on the win!! Dave Glasgow made his USAWA debut in this meet, and looked and lifted like a veteran. Dave has been around the iron game a long time, and has been one of the top Highland Games throwers in the country in his age class for several years. Dave is very athletic and had no problems with the lifts in this difficult meet. I was very impressed with his Two Hands Anyhow, when he went “old school” and did the lift with two KETTLEBELLS. My father-in-law Rudy Bletscher came in fourth. Rudy really enjoys competing against guys much younger than him, and constantly surprises me when he puts up a great mark in a lift he never tried before. Most guys his age could not even come close to doing a Bent Press, but he managed to post a successful lift in this extremely difficult lift. We held to the TRUE RULES of the Bent Press and did not allow any side press. That is the reason our Bent Press poundages are not as high as you would expect. When you are not very proficient at the Bent Press it is very easy to CHEAT and try to side press the weight – but we held TRUE and performed the Bent Press the proper way. Arthur Saxon would have been proud of us (but probably amused by all of our obvious lack of ability in this lift compared to him!). Darren Barnhart was a surprise entry for me. Darren is a “regular” at the Dino Gym and just showed up to the gym to help judge and load, but I persuaded him into competing. Darren is a real trooper and gave all the lifts a try despite his lack of training them or even seeing them done before! This is the main ingredient in what it takes to be an All-Rounder – no fear of any lift. I was extremely impressed by Darren and his effort he put forth in this meet – he “almost” had a record in the Arthur Lift at 203#, and after struggling to get the bar to his shoulders which required much exertion he “double pumped” his Jerk, causing him to get red lighted. These are the red lights that are the hardest to give – but as an official you have to “call it like it is”. I hope Darren will come to my record day in February and get that record – he is more than capable of it.

Dave Glasgow and his 150# Two Hands Anyhow using a pair of heavy Kettlebells.

I was very happy that I had five participants in this meet. I knew that the lifts I selected were probably not anyone’s favorites, and was prepared for a low turnout. But part of the excitement of All-Round Weightlifting is trying new things, and learning how to do some of the lifts that the Old-Time Weightlifters performed. I want to thank everyone who showed up to participate. I also want to thank Wilbur Miller for AGAIN coming to my meet to help out and give encouragement. Wilbur is a true inspiration and lifting hero to us at the Dino Gym! Wilbur was entering All-Round Weightlifting Meets as far back as the early 1960’s, when hardly anyone competed in the All-Rounds and there was no USAWA. Lifters like him are the reason we have All-Round Weightlifting today – so we need to give credit where credit is due. Thanks Wilbur for everything you have done for our sport!

Afterwards, my wife Leslie prepared a huge German Feast for everyone. I figured since we were celebrating the lifting of Arthur Saxon – this would only seem appropriate. Lots of Brats, Kraut and German Potato Salad was consumed!!! A few of us even celebrated with some German Dark Beer (Warsteiners) afterwards!! A day like this doesn’t happen every day so we made the most of it. When we finished eating, I “challenged” the group to consuming an Arthur Saxon Health Drink, which Arthur would drink every morning to start the day. It consists of one Dark Beer, 2 shots Gin, one raw egg, and 2 big spoons of sugar. Of course, Chad “jumped” right on this challenge with Dave not far behind! We again “toasted” to Arthur and the great fun that was had by all.

Toasting to Arthur Saxon with a Saxon Health Drink

2010 Dino Challenge Group Picture Front Row (left to right): Chad Ullom, Al Myers Back Row (left to Right): Darren Barnhart, Wilbur Miller, Dave Glasgow, Rudy Bletscher

FULL MEET RESULTS:

Dino Gym Challenge
Arthur Saxon Pentathlon
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
January 16th, 2010

Meet Director: Al Myers

Officials (1 official system used): Al Myers, Chad Ullom, and Darren Barnhart

Lifts:  Swing – Dumbbell, One Arm, Bent Press – With Bar, Two Hands Anyhow, Arthur Lift, and Plank Support (Foot Press)

Results:

Lifter Age
BWT Swing Bent Anyhow Arthur Foot Total Points
Chad Ullom
38 236 150 R
85 R
220 258 1450 2163 1767.39
Al Myers
43 257 140 R
75 R
180 132 1450 1977 1608.88
Dave Glasgow
56 257 95 R
85 L
150 132 1050 1512 1384.27
Rudy Bletscher
74 219 60 R
30 R
90 45 850 1075 1233.42
Darren Barnhart
42 296 110 R
75 R
160 132 1050 1527 1148.78


All lifts recorded in pounds. BWT is bodyweight in pounds. Total is total pounds lifted.  Points are bodyweight and age adjusted.