Phumchaona Lift

by Al Myers

Noi Phumchaona performing a Clean and Press at the 1999 IAWA World Championships in Australia.

The USAWA is full of odd and weird all round lifts.  Some have been performed rarely – and some NEVER!  Well, at my Dino Days Record Days one of these lifts was performed for USAWA Record for the first time.  It took someone as odd as the lift itself to finally make this happen in the USAWA (and that is supposed to be a compliment!). Anyone with normal sense would have passed on attempting this lift for record.

Jesse Jobe, of the Jobe’s Steel Jungle, performed a Phumchaona Lift of 840 pounds.  This is the FIRST and ONLY record lift established in the Phumchaona Lift. I appreciate lifters like Jesse bringing recognition to the “less popular” lifts in the USAWA by performing them in record days.  If you look hard in the Rule Book and compare it to the Record List you will find there are a few other USAWA lifts that have never been performed for record.  I know which ones they are – but I’ll leave it up to you to figure out the ones!

The Phumchaona Lift was named after Noi Phumchaona, the most celebrated female USAWA lifter in history.  Noi was the OVERALL BEST LIFTER at the USAWA Nationals four times (2002, 1999, 1998, & 1997).  She was married to the legendary Hall of Famer Howard Prechtel.  Together they made a dynamic husband/wife duo, and their presence was at most every major competition during the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Together they have more USAWA/IAWA Championships than any other husband/wife combo in the history of our organization. The Phumchaona Lift is an official lift of the USAWA only (not an IAWA lift).

The rules for the Phumchaona Lift are as follows:

I14. Phumchaona Lift

This lift combines a Hip Lift and a Clean and Press with two dumbbells. The rules of the Hip Lift and Clean and Press – 2 Dumbbells apply with these exceptions. The lifter gets in position for a Hip Lift holding two dumbbells at arms’ length by the sides. The dumbbells may be cleaned and pressed before, during, or after the Hip Lift. Any combination of movements is allowed. The only command from an official during this lift will be a command to end the lift when both the Hip Lift and the Clean and Press with two dumbbells are completed.

As you can see, this is a extremely difficult lift which combines a heavy lift and a dumbbell lift.  It is definitely a “one of a kind” lift.  The interesting thing is that there is not a documented case of Noi actually performing this lift.  I have done some research on when this lift originated – and I am at a dead end. I even went to the effort of contacting several of the “long in the tooth” USAWA members to give me input for this story,  and I’ve only received one email response back in which he didn’t have anything to add.  So this makes the Phumchaona Lift an all-round mystery for now.

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

A RECORD Record Day

by Al Myers

Jesse watching and judging his daughter Gabby performing a 80 pound 12" base squat at the 2012 Jobes Steel Jungle Record Day.

Jesse Jobe really put “on a show” with his first USAWA promotion – the Jobe’s Steel Jungle Record Day.  It is exciting to see a new enthusiast club like his in the USAWA.  And on top of it all – the lifters in his club are exactly the type of lifters that fit into the USAWA’s philosophy. These guys (and gals) like good ole fashioned hard training, and don’t mind trying something that might be a little “out of their comfort zone”.   Plus I can attest to their drug-free status as I’ve now had a chance to drug test most of them (with the exception of the KING APE himself, Jesse, who is next on my list!!). 

When Jesse announced in his writeup that all together they set a total of 188 new USAWA records in their record day, I was a little skeptical.  Because if this was the case, it would make their record day a RECORD record day.  Never before has this many records been set in a single day in the USAWA, and that covers 100’s of meets over the past 25 years.  You think of all the big meets put on by Howard Prechtel of Cleveland,  Frank Ciavattone in Boston,  the two iron masters in Pittsburgh, Art Montini & John McKean, Denny Habecker in Lebanon, John Vernacchio in Philly, and Bill Clark in Columbia.  You would think the honor of this would be with one of those legendary promoters, but here comes the Jobes Steel Jungle!!!  What a way to make an impression in the USAWA!!!

I finally got the “final count” done on the number of records and it came to 181 individual records and 3 team records. The reason it wasn’t the 188 that Jesse claimed was because there were several cases of the SAME GUYS breaking a record in the same weight class.  So in a sense, a USAWA record got broken TWICE in the same day!! (but it only officially counts as one record) I was amazed at the number of records individual lifters set – newcomer Tim Songster led the way with 33,  Jesse had 31, Gabby 24, Alison 21, Troy Goetsch 17, Corey Kenkel 16, Mac Capello & Bryan Benzel 9, Darren Barnhart 4, Josh Haggin 3, and poor Scott Tully only managed 1 (but 1 is all it takes to get “in the book” for the day).  I won’t go into individual highlights as there were many.  Several ALL TIME USAWA records were set, as well as many NOTABLE performances.  I’ll save those stories for some other day.  But here is a listing of the records set if you are intested: 2012 Jobes Steel Jungle RD

I did a count of current records from individual events/competitions in the Record List.  Of course, this listing is only for CURRENT RECORDS and doesn’t represent the actual records set at the time, which would have been higher.  However, I do feel that the 181 records set at the 2012 Jobes Steel Jungle Record Day  is the most EVER  performed in a single event/competition in our history.  I am going to claim this as a record of records. 

TOP TEN LISTING OF RECORD PERFORMANCES

RECORDS EVENT PROMOTER
 181  2012 Jobes Steel Jungle RD  Jesse Jobe
 142  1995 IAWA Worlds  Howard Prechtel
 127  1991 IAWA Worlds  John Vernacchio
 124  2012 Dino Gym RD  Al Myers
 118  2003 USAWA Nationals  Dick Hartzell & Carl LaRosa
 112  2004 USAWA Nationals  John Vernacchio
112 2002 IAWA Worlds Denny Habecker
109 2005 USAWA Nationals  Dick Hartzell & Carl LaRosa
105 1990 USAWA Nationals  Attilo Alachio
102 1999 USAWA Nationals  Art Montini & John McKean

COMING TOMORROW – the update of the Records Race, which has been “shook up” from all of this recent record activity.  One has to wonder if all of this recent record setting might have changed the rankings? Plus I’ll give the updates of the lifters who are “on the fringe” of making the CENTURY CLUB in the USAWA.