Heavy Lift Nationals

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS
HEAVY LIFT NATIONALS

Group picture from the 2011 USAWA Heavy Lift Nationals. (front row left to right): Denny Habecker, Chad Ullom, James Fuller, Al Myers (back row left to right): Thom Van Vleck, Joe Garcia, Scott Schmidt, Randy Smith, Dennis Mitchell, LaVerne Myers (not pictured): Art Montini, Kohl Hess

Last weekend was a weekend I had been looking forward to for a long time!  Mike Locondro, of York Barbell,  had graciously invited us to be part of special day at York Barbell that included the York Hall of Fame induction of Slim “The Hammerman” Farman.  The days festivities included many functions, and our meet was just a small part of the things going on.  This report will only cover the Heavy Lift Nationals.  I’m sure the other activities and special events will be covered in future USAWA Daily News stories – so I’ll save those for that time.

Due to this meet being contested at the “mecca” of weightlifting York Barbell, we had the largest turnout of lifters for a Heavy Lift Nationals in a long time.  The attendees included some old veterans (Art Montini and Dennis Mitchell), some experienced Heavy Lifters (myself, Chad Ullom, Scott Schmidt, and Joe Garcia), as well as some newcomers to the Heavy Lift Nationals (James Fuller, Randy Smith  and Kohl Hess).  The judging crew was as good as it gets.  These guys took their job serious and looked the part of competent officials as they were all dressed in the new USAWA Officials Shirts with black slacks.  Our USAWA President Denny Habecker served as head judge and did an excellent job. Every lift was held for a count with a down command.  All lifts were required to “become motionless” as the rules require before the down command was given.  I don’t even recall a questionable lift being passed.  Thom Van Vleck served as one of the side judges and seemed very focused on his duties all day.  LaVerne Myers, my father and recent new USAWA Official, made his judging debut and looked the part of an old seasoned judge.  These guys didn’t just sit in the chairs half asleep, but instead, got down on the floor to make sure the weights cleared the platform.

The officials at this meet were dressed in official judging attire. I felt their professional appearance provided a positive reflection on the USAWA. (left to right): LaVerne Myers, Denny Habecker, and Thom Van Vleck

Now on to the lifting!  The first lift contested was the Neck Lift.  The expectations were high for Chad Ullom, as he just recently did a 750 pound lift at the Club Challenge in Ambridge.  Let me tell ya – he didn’t disappoint anyone!  He opened with an easy 700 pound opener, and then jumped to an ALL-TIME WORLD RECORD lift of 810 pounds.  He made it with ease.  At this point, the largest crowd of the day that were watching our meet had gathered.  For his third attempt he went for 850 pounds.  It looked as easy as his opener.  I was doing my best to get the crowd “fired up”.  It didn’t take much prodding to get Chad to take a shot at 900 pounds, which is more than 90 pounds more than anyone had ever done in history.  Chad didn’t waste any time in getting to it and made HISTORY by becoming the first man to ever Neck Lift over 900 pounds. And with this, broke the previous record THREE TIMES in one day.   This amazing lift made quite the impression on several of those in attendance, as throughout the rest of the day he was receiving congratulations on his record lift.  I’m tremendously happy for Chad and this record.  There was no question on it being a good lift (I have a picture showing the weight off the platform and evidence recorded on video).  It marked a great start of the day. 

Following the Neck Lift, we were scheduled to take a break for the Hall of Fame Inductions and other performances on the main stage.  This added to the difficulty of this meet.  We had to constantly ”warm up” again for the next lifts as we had to take breaks throughout the day.   The next lift was the Hand and Thigh. Joe Garcia showed everyone that he is still “King of the Hand and Thigh” by putting up the meet best lift of 1400 pounds.  I was next in line with a 1300 pound lift, followed by Chad’s 1250.  The last lift of the day was the Hip Lift.  By this time, Joe had pretty much sealed the victory and the battle was for second place between Chad and myself.  Chad has really progressed in the Heavy Lifts, and put up a 1800 which is a personal best. I managed a 1900 pound Hip Lift on my last lift to edge him out for second place overall.   The interesting thing is that Chad, Joe and me all tied in total poundage with 3900 pound totals.  But when the age and bodyweight corrections were made, Joe won fairly easily.  I consider Joe one of the “top 3″ heavy lifters in USAWA History,  and he proved it again at York.

There are several other lifters I would like to mention.  What more can be said about Art Montini??  He makes all of his lifts look easy and you just have to scratch your head in disbelieve at the amount of weight he lifts at his age.  He doesn’t seem to age, as his lifts are always as good as the year before.  Dennis Mitchell was solid in everything.  He does his Hip Lifts facing the bar (instead of straddling it), but uses this technique to his advantage.  James Fuller made his first USAWA appearance, and what a trooper he is!  This is not the best choice of a meet for your first outing in the USAWA, but James fit right in with the rest of us and with a little more specific training on these lifts he will be a force to be reckoned with.  Randy Smith made the trip from Michigan with Helen and has showed tremendous improvement in the Heavy Lifts.  Randy is now equipped with all the Heavy Lift Equipment, and I could tell his training had paid off. Scott Schmidt was a steady as ever.  I know he was nursing a sore knee that held him back a little, but not once during the day did I hear him complain about it.  Things like that impress me.  He was there to support the event even when he wasn’t 100 percent.  Scott has the spirit of  a Champion, and every lifter has the utmost respect for him.  After the meet was over, David “The Iron Tamer”  Whitley from Nashville, TN, came over and signed up for the USAWA.  David wanted to try for a record in the USAWA, and when I asked him what lift he wanted to do, he replied, “the bent press”.  I was somewhat surprised as this is not an easy lift to do.  But once David started his attempts it was clear to me that he had trained it before.  His technique was picture-perfect, and even Bob Hoffman himself would have given it his seal of approvement.  David went on to set the ALL-TIME best Bent Press with both arms with lifts of 137 pounds.  I hope to see him again soon in the USAWA.

This event would never have happened if it was not for York Retail Manager Mike Locondro. Mike organized the entire event and even put on his suit to serve as the Master of Ceremony!

This meet turned out better than I expected.  All lifters received beautiful awards for their Championship efforts.  The meet T-Shirts were very special.  The front of the shirts contained a picture of USAWA Heavy Lift Legend Dale Friesz performing a heavy Neck Lift.  Dale was not able to be in attendance, but he deserves a big THANK YOU from all of us for providing the intial inspiration for making this event happen. His initial contact with York Barbell is what led to our involvement on this special day.  Mike Locondro has already made his intentions known that he will be hosting this event next year,  and in the process has extended another invitation to us.  So – Heavy Lift Nationals may be held in York again next year.  Put it on your calendar now!!!

MEET RESULTS:

2011 Heavy Lift Nationals
York Barbell, York, PA
May 21st, 2011

Meet Director:  USAWA Executive Board

Lifts:  Neck Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Hip Lift

Officials:  Denny Habecker, Thom Van Vleck, LaVerne Myers

Lifter Age BWT Neck H&T Hip Total Points
Joe Garcia 57 212 600 1400 1900 3900 3981.2
Al Myers 44 252 700 1300 1900 3900 3236.7
Chad Ullom 39 244 850 1250 1800 3900 3132.9
Scott Schmidt 58 251 350 1000 1400 2750 2589.9
Randy Smith 56 194 400 850 1000 2250 2390.0
Art Montini 83 184 250 450 800 1500 2024.1
Dennis Mitchell 79 158 250 425 600 1275 1838.4
James Fuller 39 217 350 700 1000 2050 1751.7
Kohl Hess 16 297 400 0 0 400 320.9

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

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORD:

Chad Ullom – Neck Lift: 900 pounds
David Whitley – Bent Press, Left Arm: 137 pounds
David Whitley – Bent Press, Right Arm: 137 pounds
(Age 41 years, bodyweight 284 pounds)

Summary of Heavy Lift Competitions

by Dale E. Friesz

Men’s Division

Event Winner Harness Hip H&T Neck Back Total
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2009-5/16 Lebanon, PA

Al Myers

Age 42 BWT 254

NC 1845 1204 405 NC 3454
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2008-11/15 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 53 BWT 224

3000 2020 1300 355 2750 9425
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2007-11/09 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 52 BWT 224

2885 2000 1300 315 2705 9345
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2006-11/12 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 51 BWT 223

2700 2100 1200 355 2805 9160
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

2005-11/13 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 50 BWT 218

3010 1900 1300 400 2705 9315
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

2005-8/27 Walpole, MA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 50 BWT 270

2200 1900 1200 702 1800 7802
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

2004-11/14 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 49 BWT 220

3110 2105 1400 415 2615 9645
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2004-8/28 Lebanon, PA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 49 BWT 267

NC 1902 1203 653 NC 3758
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon & USAWA Heavy Lift Meet

2003-11/09 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 48 BWT 208

2900 2000 1300 405 2700 9305
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

2002-11/10 Columbia, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 47 BWT 209

3005 2050 1000 400 2600 9055
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2002-10/19 Walpole, MA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 47 BWT 263

2000 2005 1450 650 2000 8105
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2001-11/10 Columbia, MO

Dale Spry

Age 41 BWT 196

2005 1400 625 335 1000 5365
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2000-11/05 Columbia, MO

John Monk

Age 35 BWT 152

1685 1325 1005 555 1305 5875
Steve Schmidt’s Backbreaker

1999-10/31 Columbia, MO

James Foster

Age 30 BWT 204

1400 1200 1005 505 1500 5610
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

1999-9/11 Walpole, MA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 44 BWT 278

2400 1750 1400 650 NC 6200
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

1998-12/05 Walpole, MA

Frank Ciavattone

Age 43 BWT 273

2350 1800 1200 550 NC 5900
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1998-11/01 Columbia, MO

Joe Garcia

Age 45 BWT 222

1680 1475 1275 475 1670 6575
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1997-11/01 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 39 BWT 229

3405 2305 1275 400 2000 9385
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1996-10/27 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 38 BWT 226

3015 2335 1205 400 2300 9255
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1995-10/29 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 37 BWT 222

2905 2305 1105 400 2600 9315
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1994-10/30 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 36 BWT 215

2500 2525 910 400 2300 8635
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1993-10/24 Columbia, MO

John Carter

Age 35 BWT 208

2505 2310 900 400 2205 8320
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1992-10/25 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 37 BWT 209

3315 2390 1100 502 2912 10219
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1991-10/20 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 36 BWT 220

3515 2420 1013 547 2902 10377
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1990-10/21 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 35 BWT 219

2867 2350 1124 506 2800 9647
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1989-10/22 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 34 BWT 220

3505 2200 1005 505 2822 10037
Strongman Pentathlon

1988-10/16 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 33 BWT 223

3500 2200 1200 475 2850 10231
Schmidt’s Pentathlon

1987-10/11 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 32 BWT 218

3300 2400 1225 470 2805 10200
Strongman Pentathlon

1986-10/25 Sullivan, MO

Steve Schmidt

Age 31 BWT 224

3000 2135 1150 435 2610 9330

Women’s Division

Event Winner Harness Hip H&T Neck Back Total
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

2005-8/27 Walpole, MA

Cara Collins

Age 33 BWT 205

920 900 390 250 378 2788
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

2002-10/19 Walpole, MA

Cara Collins

Age 30 BWT 240

800 880 600 250 1000 3530
USAWA National Heavy Lift Championships

1998-12/05 Walpole, MA

Cara Collins

Age 26 BWT 187

1000 600 600 250 NC 2450
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1997-11/01 Columbia, MO

Amy Burks

Age 19 BWT 125

1085 885 465 175 850 3470
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1995-10/29 Columbia, MO

Emily Gordon

Age 12 BWT 77

450 300 165 85 250 1250
USAWA Heavy Lift Championships

1994-10/30 Columbia, MO

Kerry Clark

Age 30 BWT 165

1075 1055 450 345 1360 4285
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1993-10/24 Columbia, MO

Kerry Clark

Age 29 BWT 163

1305 1125 525 325 1210 4490
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1992-10/25 Sullivan, MO

Deanne Hartwig

Age 43 BWT 135

900 701 352 167 706 2826
Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon

1989-10/22 Sullivan, MO

Cindy Garcia

Age 36 BWT 152

850 700 450 185 1000 3185
Strongman Pentathlon

1988-10/16 Sullivan, MO

Ruth Thrasher

Age 24 BWT 113

860 700 280 215 750 2805

BWT – bodyweight

NC – Lift Not Contested at Meet

Lifts: Harness Lift, Hip Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Neck Lift, Back Lift

The One and Only Steve Schmidt

There is only one SUPER HEAVY LIFT LIFTER:

THE ONE and ONLY STEVE SCHMIDT

by Dale E. Friesz

Steve Schmidt set many Back Lift records using his custom-built Back Lift Apparatus.

What follows is a history of the male and female winners of what has progressed, in name only, from the STRONGMAN PENTATHLON, to the SCHMIDT’S PENTATHLON, to the SCHMIDT’S BACKBREAKER PENTATHLON, to the USAWA NATIONAL HEAVY LIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS, to the STEVE SCHMIDT’S BACKBREAKER, and to the USAWA HEAVY LIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS.  The data source is our former organization’s newsletter written by Bill Clark, the STRENGTH JOURNAL.  I believe it is safe to assume that Bill Clark was involved in the meet name changes.  The same five lifts have been contested since the first meet on 11/25-1986 – the lifts are the NECK LIFT, the HAND & THIGH, the HIP LIFT, the HARNESS LIFT, and the BACKLIFT.  It seems that Steve Schmidt, together with Bill Clark, conceived of the meet as it contains the four chain lifts and the biggest lift of all the USAWA – the BACKLIFT.  Steve has competed in 14 of these meets since the first in 1986 in his yard and barn in Sullivan, Missouri. He is UNDEFEATED!  The small table that follows shows how Steve has managed to cheat father time:

TOTAL YEAR LOCATION BWT AGE
10377 1991 Sullivan 220 36
10231 1988 Sullivan 223 33
10219 1992 Sullivan 209 37
10200 1987 Sullivan 218 32
10037 1989 Sullivan 220 34
9647 1990 Sullivan 219 35
9645 2004 Columbia 220 49
9415 2008 Columbia 224 53
9345 2007 Columbia 224 52
9330 1986 Sullivan 224 31
9315 2005 Columbia 218 50
9305 2003 Columbia 208 48
9160 2006 Columbia 223 51
9055 2002 Columbia 209 47

I have enjoyed the recent forum discussions that Steve’s apparatus and large diameter heavy bar made it possible for him to lift such “unreal” poundages. Also, as he aged he was not able to lift as much weight.  I point out that no one has been able to beat him regardless of the equipment used.  Also, that after nearly a quarter century of training he cracked the 3000 pound backlift ceiling twice in one meet, maxing at 3050 pounds.  Big Al was very much present when it was done as it took place in his gym, using his state of the art backlift equipment.