Lifter of the Month: LaVerne Myers

by Al Myers

LaVerne Myers in action with a 300# Deadlift with the Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip at the 2013 Grip Championships (I did not get any pictures at the 2014 meet because I was busy being the head official, my apologizes).

March is over so it’s time to get the lifter of the month for February announced!  I had to think “long and hard” on this decision, but I’ve made the choice of choosing my father LaVerne Myers as the 2014 USAWA February Lifter of the Month. Now before you start accusing me of “playing favorites” in my choice let me tell you why!

The only USAWA competitions held in February were the Grip Championships and the Dino Gym Record Day, which were held “back to back” on a weekend in February. They were sanctioned as separate competitions. The Grip Championships is one of our Championship events held every year so I decided the lifter of the month should come from that meet.  LaVerne placed second in a very strong men’s field (9 lifters) that included guys like Dan Wagman, Eric Todd, Lance Foster, Dave Glasgow, Keith Thompson, Scott Tully, Dean Ross, and Mike Murdock, .  It was one of the best attended Grip Championships the USAWA has had. LaVerne placed second to the “unbeatable” Dan Wagman by only 6 points in the overall.  LaVerne had a great meet – with lifts of 123# Dumbbell Walk (the top lift in the meet), 280# Fulton DB DL, 253# one arm deadlift, and 165# middle fingers deadlift.

LaVerne receiving his award at the 2014 Grip Championships (left), presented by myself (right).

Congrats to LaVerne on a being the LIFTER OF THE MONTH!!!

Grip Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT
2014 USAWA GRIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

LaVerne Myers performing a 112# Dumbbell Walk at the 2012 USAWA Grip Championships under the watch of Denny Habecker (left) and Dave Glasgow (right). The Dumbbell Walk will be in this year's Grip Championships as well.

I will be hosting the USAWA Grip Championships again this year at the Dino Gym.  Last year this meet was a great success with many entrants – and hopefully this year will be even better.  This is one of the USAWA’s Championship events, and one of the signature competitions within the USAWA each year.  It is designed to recognize the top lifters in a selection of grip events, which are official lifts of the USAWA.  The USAWA has several lifts that are “grip oriented” and since this is a Championship Competition only official lifts of the USAWA are eligible to be in this competition. 

It is always a difficult thing for me to pick the lifts for this meet.  It seems no matter what I pick – there is always someone who doesn’t like my choices!  So this year I got myself “off the hook” by letting others chose a lift a piece for the Grip Champs.  The lucky participants for this assignment were Thom, Chad, Dave, and my Dad LaVerne.  I won’t reveal what each of their choices were – but it is pretty easy to tell by looking at the selected lifts in this meet.  Three of them picked their “pet lift” while the choice of the fourth was just being sadistic.

As with keeping with the traditional date of the Grip Championships, it will be held on the second Saturday in February (Feb 8th).  Put this date on your calendar and make it to the Dino Gym for a day of fun!!! 

MEET DETAILS:

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Meet Date:  Saturday, February 8th, 2014    10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

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

Sanction: United States All-Round Weightlifting Association.  Individual USAWA membership is required of each participant. 

Weigh-ins:  9:00-10:00 AM the day of the meet.  Lifting will start at 10:00 AM

Divisions:  Juniors, Women, Masters, and Open

Awards:  Championship Certificates

Entry Fee:  None – but please notify me ahead of time if you plan to enter

Lifts:

Dumbbell Walk
Deadlift – 2 Fulton Dumbbells
Deadlift – One Arm
Deadlift – Middle Fingers

Rules: USAWA General Rules and Scoring Apply.

This will be a DRUG TESTED event.

Registration: No Entry Form, but please contact me ahead of the meet if you plan to attend at amyers@usawa.com

Presidential Cup

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS & REPORT

2013 USAWA PRESIDENTIAL CUP

Participants in the 2013 USAWA Presidential Cup (left to right): Al Myers, Denny Habecker, Art Montini, & LaVerne Myers

The second annual Presidential Cup only brought four lifters to the platform, but it was filled with some outstanding lifting performances in the host site, Habecker’s Gym.  This USAWA Championships crowns a Champion of the Record Days.   The basis of this honor is chosen by our USAWA President Denny Habecker on the Record lift that impressed him the most.  After all the dust had settled, our Prez made his decision, and the Champion of the Presidential Cup went to Art Montini with his unreal performance in the Teeth Lift.  I pretty much think all in attendance agreed to this choice!

Art Montini (right) and his Presidential Cup, awarded to him by USAWA President Denny Habecker (left).

The Teeth Lift is not a lift very many lifters would want to try a max lift in.  Art came to this meet with a new fabricated teeth bit all ready to set a new record.  He had worn his old one out!!!  Now that shows commitment to training the ole chompers.  He finished off with a lift of 107 pounds.  I should  remind everyone that Art is 85 years old, and soon to be 86!  I was going to say next that most people his age don’t even have their original teeth, but that applies to Art as well.  He did this with false teeth!  I guess that would build in a little safety margin – if you failed your teeth would just spit out with the bit!  Now that would be a sight to see.

There were also lots of other great lifting.  Denny performed a 176 lb. Hackenschmidt Floor Press and a 200 lb. Bentover Row.  LaVerne set a big record with a 232 lb. One Arm Deadlift record (breaking a mark held previously by Bill Clark), and did it using a Ciavattone Grip. He also did a 200 lb. Bentover Row and a one handed Thumbless Deadlift of 200 lbs.   I broke a couple of records held by my buddy Chad (since he wasn’t in attendance!) which included a 303 lb. Bentover Row and a 211# one arm Thumbless Grip Deadlift.  The highlight of my day was teaming up with my Dad in the Team One Arm Thumbless Grip Deadlift with a lift of 451 pounds.

LaVerne Myers pulling 232 pounds in the One Arm Deadlift, using a Ciavattone Grip.

This is a great event, and hopefully more lifters will attend next year.  Denny has agreed to keeping this as a fixture event in the USAWA.  Congratulations to all lifters who took part.

MEET RESULTS

2013 Presidential Cup
August 10th, 2013
Habeckers Gym
Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

Scorekeeper: Judy Habecker

Officials (3 official system used on all lifts): Denny Habecker, Al Myers, Art Montini, LaVerne Myers, Judy Habecker

Al Myers – 46 years old, 235 pounds

Hackenschmidt Floor Press: 331 pounds
Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm: 200 pounds
Deadlift – No Thumb, Right Arm: 211 pounds
Bentover Row: 303 pounds

LaVerne Myers – 69 years old, 250 pounds

Deadlift – Left Arm: 232 pounds
Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm: 200 pounds
Bentover Row: 200 pounds

Denny Habecker – 70 years old, 187 pounds

Hackenschmidt Floor Press: 176 pounds
Deadlift – Right Arm, Ciavattone Grip: 165 pounds
Bentover Row: 200 pounds

Art Montini – 85 years old, 177 pounds

Hack Lift: 154 pounds
Deadlift – Left Arm, Ciavattone Grip: 122 pounds
Deadlift – Right Arm, Ciavattone Grip: 122 pounds
Teeth Lift: 107 pounds

Al Myers and LaVerne Myers – 45-49 age group, 115 KG Class

Team Deadlift – No Thumb, Right Arm: 451 pounds

Denny Habecker and Art Montini – 70-74 age group, 85 KG Class

Team Deadlift: 303 pounds

Thom Van Vleck: NEW Level 2 Official

by Al Myers

Thom Van Vleck (right) is joined by fellow USAWA officials LaVerne Myers (left) and Denny Habecker (middle) at the USAWA Heavy Lift Championships in York in 2011. As you can see, these three took their judging duties very serious as they are getting "down and dirty" to get a good view of the lifting!

Thom Van Vleck has just been promoted to the highest level of officiating status in the USAWA.  He is now a Level 2 Official, and joins a very short list of the most qualified officials within the USAWA.  Since the development of the USAWA Officials Program in 2009,  officials must NOW be certified to judge any USAWA competition/event.    I would like to review a bit of this as it pertains to USAWA Rulebook:

VII. Officials

10.   There will be two levels of classification for Certified USAWA officials.

  • Level 1 Test Qualified – The official has passed the USAWA Rules Test and completed the practical training sessions.
  • Level 1 Experience Qualified – The official has the experience of officiating in 25 or more competitions or events.
  • Level 2 – The official has passed the USAWA Rules Test and has completed the practical training sessions, and has the experience of officiating in 25 or more competitions or events.  

Thom has been officiating in the USAWA for close to 10 years and has officiated at some “BIG” meets.  He has officiated numerous championships events, including the 2006, 2009, and 2011 National Championships.  He also officiated at the 2012 IAWA World Championships.  He earned the Level 2 classification for officiating in over 25 events (as well as passing the USAWA Rules Test).  He is now awarded a LIFETIME OFFICIALS CARD in the USAWA and will have the ability to approve new officials that undergo the Practical Training Sessions.  Congrats Thom!!!

Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers

2013 DINO GYM CHALLENGE
“PRESENTING AN OLD TIME STRONGMAN POWERLIFTING MEET”

Group picture of the participants in the 2013 Dino Gym Challenge.

MEET REPORT:

I was expecting maybe 10 or 12 lifters for the annual Dino Gym Challenge – but then to my amazement lifters kept showing up and showing up!!  The total number of entrants came to 21 lifters!!!!  That’s only a few off what entered the World Meet that I promoted last fall!!!  I was very excited to see this, as it shows the interest that lifters have in the “new” Old Time Strongman Competitions.  This meet was promoted as an “Old Time Strongman Powerlifting Meet” because it contained three OTSM lifts that are partial-lift deviations of the three powerlifts (Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift).  The meet included two Official OTSM lifts (the Anderson Squat and the Peoples Deadlift) as well as one exhibition lift (the Hackenschmidt Floor Press).  The Hack FP  ”went over” really real with the lifters and I hope that it will become approved as an official OTSM lift this year. 

The three officials of the Dino Gym Challenge holding their souvenir beer mugs - complete with Dino Gym logo!! These mugs were given as the awards to all participants. (left to right: Chad Ullom, Thom Van Vleck, LaVerne Myers)

One thing that I GREATLY appreciate with the Dino Gym members is how we always “come together” to support each other in our promoted events.  Putting on any competition requires lots of “behind the scenes” work, and manpower on the day of the event. Even though we had more lifters show up than expected, things ran very smoothly because there was enough “helpers” to make it happen.   Often after meets the attention is always on the lifting performances, but things wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for those facilitating the meet.  In this meet report I want to mention these guys first (they’re often the last mentioned).  The USAWA OTSM Chairman Thom Van Vleck is first on my list to thank.  Thom has been promoting the yearly OTSM Championships, and he has made a effort to be at most ALL of the OTSM meets in the USAWA, offering leadership and support.  He took on the hardest event to officiate (the Anderson Squat) for the day.  Chad Ullom, who normally doesn’t miss an opportunity to compete, sat this one out so he could be one of the needed officials of the day.  He officiated the Peoples Deadlift as well as loaded that event the entire day.  LaVerne Myers officiated the new OTSM event, the  Hackenschmidt Floor Press.  LaVerne has been a very important official in the club, and does an outstanding job.  He is very professional in his officiating and keeps things on pace.  His group finished before Chad’s and Thom’s in every rotation!!!  I also want to thank Mike Murdock and Tyler Cookson for helping spot and load throughout the day.  This help allowed me to focus on the daily details, keeping the scores updated, and taking lots of pictures.  Finally, I want to mention and thank my wife Leslie who made the lunch for everyone and puts up with me for stressing over every “little detail”. 

Dan Wagman pressing 435 pounds, which was the top Hackenschmidt Floor Press of the meet.

Now onto the lifting performances.  The IAWA World Champs Dan Wagman and Ruth Jackson made their appearance from Colorado, and added another overall victory to their USAWA resumes. Both performed outstanding in all of these OTSM events.  Dan “put up” the top Hackenschmidt Floor Press of the day with 435 pounds. Newcomer Mike McIntyre lifted 410 pounds in the FP.  Mike is a member of the JWC, and at 29 years of age, has his best lifting years still ahead of him.  KC Strongman Eric Todd also lifted 410 pounds in the FP.  That’s THREE lifters over 400 pounds!!! 

I was very interested to see the big lifts in the Anderson Squat. I was hoping to see several lifts over 800 pounds – and that I did!! Eric Todd became the first USAWA lifter to ever go over 900 pounds (with a lift of 903#).  ET has been “making his name known” in the USAWA this past year with winning the Heavy Lift Champs last spring, and setting the ALL TIME neck lift record at Worlds.  His second place finish in this stellar-packed field of lifters show that he is also a top contender in any future OTSM competition.  John O’Brien of the JWC upped his personal record in the Anderson Squat to 810 pounds. I want to mention that John did this after losing over 30 pounds of bodyweight. This bodyweight loss while maintaining his same strength helped him with the formula adjustment and aided him to get third place overall at this meet. I say this because he “just edged” out Alan English by one point!!!   Alan is a Dino Gym member who I have FINALLY got to compete in an USAWA competition. He is a gifted strength athlete who has lots of strongman victories to his name.  I hope that this meet has inspired him to compete more in the USAWA, because if he does, you will see several great things out of him in the future.  Rounding out the top five was another Dino Gym member, Scott Campbell.  Scott finished off his day with the second highest Anderson Squat, with a lift of 881 pounds.  Scott is a seasoned Highland Game Athlete who has strength that he doesn’t really know he has. 

Dino Gym member Chuck Cookson had the top Peoples Deadlift of the meet with this 800 pound lift!

I got a couple of other lifters that I want to mention.  First – Chuck Cookson.  Chuck started the meet off by putting up the top Peoples Deadlift of the day – 800 pounds!!!  However, he opened a little too high on the Anderson Squat (800 pounds!!!) and couldn’t get a lift in.  If he would have got in an Anderson Squat, he would have placed much higher in the overall.  I want to thank Art Montini and Denny Habecker for making the trip from Pennsylvania to compete.  It’s always inspiring to watch these two lift in meets.  I would like to know how many USAWA meets these two have competed in throughout the years. They seem to always be at USAWA events, and have been doing this for 25 years!!! I really doubt if there are very many other lifters in the USAWA that have competed as many times as these two.  I want to thank a couple of Jobe Steel Jungle lifters who made the trip – Tim Songster and Dan Bunch. I really appreciate it when lifters travel to my meets from out of state. This includes Dean Ross from Oklahoma.  I did a quick count and lifters from six states competed in this meet.  That’s simply amazing!!!

As always, I still have lots more to report on but I got to draw a conclusion to my meet report at some point.  Tomorrow I’ll reveal the results from the challenge between the Dino Gym and the Hoghton Barbell Club.  Also, I still have the results from the shooting competition that went on after the meet to report on. That’ll be coming later this week.  Again, I want to thank EVERYONE who competed, helped out, or just showed up to watch.  This will go down as one of the best Dino Gym Challenges of ALL TIME. 

MEET RESULTS:

Dino Gym Challenge
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Officials (1 official system used):  Thom Van Vleck, Chad Ullom, LaVerne Myers

Scorekeeper:  Al Myers

Loaders:  Tyler Cookson, Mike Murdock

Lifts:  Anderson Squat, Hackenschmidt Floor Press, Peoples Deadlift

WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT SQ FP DL TOT PTS
Ruth Jackson 51 107 286 160 319 765 1180.1
Jera Kressly 28 219 319 0 379 698 593.2

EXTRA ATTEMPTS MADE FOR RECORD:

Ruth Jackson: Anderson Squat 308#
Ruth Jackson: Hackenschmidt Floor Press 180#
Jera Kressly: Anderson Squat 352#
Jera Kressly:  Peoples Deadlift 399#

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT SQ FP DL TOT PTS
Dan Wagman 50 185 738 435 677 1850 1917.6
Eric Todd 38 262 903 410 717 2030 1573.1
John O’Brien 44 262 810 380 554 1744 1419.0
Alan English 29 231 694 320 702 1716 1418.1
Scott Campbell 38 287 881 325 654 1860  1378.8
Mark Mitchell 52 316 672 365 624 1661 1329.4
Tim Songster Sr. 45 205 501 285 554 1340 1251.8
Mike McIntyre 29 273 600 410 604 1614 1225.5
Darren Barnhart 45 302 628 340 624 1592 1221.1
Dave Glasgow 59 252 507 250 504 1261 1195.4
Doug Kressly 33  276 540 320 604 1464 1106.1
Scott Tully 37 313  600 320 604 1524 1086.2
Dan Bunch 48 360 551 275 624 1450 1055.3
Denny Habecker 70 198 331 215 349 895 1052.9
Dean Ross 70 273 402 180 379 961 955.9
Ben Edwards 37 217 440 225 449 1114 951.4
Art Montini 85 175 209 120 306 635 895.2
Chuck Cookson 43  275 0 300 800 1100  865.7
Lance Foster 47 330  402 180 554 1136 851.9

 EXTRA ATTEMPTS MADE FOR RECORD:

Denny Habecker:  Anderson Squat 352#
Denny Habecker: Hackenschmidt Floor Press 225#
Denny Habecker: Peoples Deadlift 369#
Dan Bunch: Peoples Deadlift 649#
Dan Wagman: Anderson Squat 782#
Dan Wagman:  Peoples Deadlift 707#
Dean Ross: Peoples Deadlift 399#
Lance Foster: Hackenschmidt Floor Press 190#

EXTRA LIFTS MADE FOR RECORD:

Dan Wagman: Curl – Cheat, Reverse Grip 204#
Dan Wagman: Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand 180#
Dan Wagman: Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand 217#
Dan Wagman: Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand 217#
Ruth Jackson: Bench Press – Right Arm 44#
Ruth Jackson: Bench Press – Left Arm 44#
Ruth Jackson: Bench Press – Feet in Air 110#
Ruth Jackson: Bench Press – Hands Together 93.5#
Ruth Jackson: Holdout – Raised 33#
Ruth Jackson: Holdout – Lowered 33#
Ruth Jackson: Deadlift – Right Arm 181.75#
Ruth Jackson: Deadlift – Left Arm 181.75#
Ruth Jackson: Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Right Arm 90#
Ruth Jackson: Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Left Arm 90#

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in pounds.  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  TOT is total pounds lifted.  PTS are adjusted points for bodyweight and age correction.

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

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!!

Grip Championships

by Al Myers

2012 USAWA GRIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

Group picture from the 2012 USAWA Grip Championships. (front row left to right): LaVerne Myers, Mike Murdock, Denny Habecker, Rudy Bletscher, Dean Ross (back row left to right): Chad Ullom, Al Myers, Darren Barnhart, Scott Tully, Dave Glasgow, Mark Mitchell

MEET REPORT

Saturday was a big day for the Dino Gym!  For the second straight year, it was the host site for the USAWA Grip Championships.  Eleven lifters participated, and I think every lifter had an enjoyable time.  I was expecting a few more, but there were some last minute “drop outs”.  All had good excuses (except one which was fishy) for not making their appearance.  I was hoping to “upstage” the IAWA(UK) in attendance (they had 18 in their grip champs the weekend before), but we fell a little short of this.    I’ll give them kudos this time, but NEXT YEAR will be our turn at grip glory! 

We divided up into two different groups to speed up the competition.  Since there were FIVE LIFTERS over the age of 60, they lifted together in one group while the rest of us lifted in the other group.  By doing this the competition only last 3 hours – and we even took a half hour lunch break!!!  I think we spent as much time after the meet presenting the awards and visiting than the meet itself.   The meet contained 5 grip lifts which are all official lifts of the USAWA.  I thought it was a good selection – but my old buddy Scott thought we should have had a pinch lift in the group.  Well next year Scott, I’ll just do that for ya! 

LaVerne Myers performing a 165 pound One Arm Fulton Dumbbell Deadlift. This is the top lift in the record books for any lifter over the age of 60!

I want to go over a few individual highlights of the meet.  First of all, my dad LaVerne surprised a few with his high placing overall (he was second overall).  He has been in training for this so I knew what he could do, and I wasn’t really surprised (maybe worried a little that he would beat me, but not surprised!).   He was solid in everything, but almost pulled off the biggest Dumbbell Walk of the day.  He had held the gym record in the Dumbbell Walk at 117# before this day, but Darren and I upped it to 122# in this meet.  He then tried to get his record back with a 124# effort, and came within a foot of accomplishing it.  His 165# One Arm Fulton DB Deadlift was amongst the best of the entire meet.  Scott Tully also had an exceptional day.  Scott had the top lifts of the entire meet in the One Arm Fulton DB Deadlift (192#), the One Arm No Thumb DL (225#) and the VB Deadlift (394#).  Scott tried 416# in the VB Deadlift and came very close to getting it.  We did it last and I know his grip was tired by that point which made the difference.  Scott has the top lift of ALL TIME in this lift (414#), and I know he has the ability to do more.  Scott was also the only lifter in the Senior Division (20-39) and the youngest competitor in the meet. 

Chad Ullom was solid in every lift as he always is.  Chad doesn’t really have any “weak spots” in his all round game.  His Index Fingers Deadlift of 231# tied me for the top lift of the meet in that lift.   He did it with more ease than myself, as I tore some skin at the base of my index finger afterwards which wouldn’t stop bleeding.  I guess it was worth it as I broke an overall record previously held by Kevin Fulton (225#) as I consider Kevin one of the best finger deadlifters the USAWA has ever seen.  The bleeding did affect my performance in the VB deadlift some, but “oh well”.  I don’t ever plan to attempt more than this ever again!! (we’ll see…).  Darren Barnhart had a great day.  Darren didn’t miss a single lift all day and could have done more on several of the lifts.  His Dumbbell Walk of 122# was outstanding!  Mark Mitchell is one of the best grip guys I know, and in certain grip lifts no one is even close to Mark, but these weren’t the best selection for him.  However, he still put up some great numbers and was one of five lifters who put up a total over 1000 pounds.  Wait till tomorrow’s story covering the record day and you will see what Mark can do in the Pinch Grip!

Denny Habecker made the long drive from Pennsylvania to compete again this year.  Denny pulled in a 6th place overall which is outstanding considering the depth of competition in this meet.  Denny was also the lightest lifter in the meet, and the only lifter under 200 pounds.  I’ll say this about Denny – having a light bodyweight favors a lifter in a meet when the Lynch Formula is used, but it does not favor a lifter in the after meet party (LOL – inside joke).  Mike Murdock and Rudy Bletscher had their usual battle.  You never know how things are going to turn out.  Rudy edged Mike out this time  around.  Both of these guys lifted exactly the same weight in all lifts except one (Dumbbell Walk in which Rudy did 10# more).  That’s close!!  I consider Mike one of the greatest assets the USAWA has gained – he is always there to help out with ANYTHING and you can always count on him for coming through on things. Mike is in the process of developing a computer program for the  USAWA scoring and we used it in this meet.  His program is getting at the point that all “bugs have been worked out”.   It won’t be long and Mike’s program will be available on the website for anyone to use to score their meets.

Dave Glasgow finished very strong with a fourth place overall finish.  I could tell Dave was surprised he placed this high – but he did well in all the lifts and it paid off in the end.  Dean Ross also made the trip to this meet.  There hasn’t been very many all round meets that Dean hasn’t attended this winter and fall.  He may be competing in more meets than myself!  I always enjoy having Dean at meets because I know I’ll hear a few new jokes throughout the day! 

As is the custom of Championship competitions in the USAWA, all age groups were recognized with best lifter awards.  I also was glad to give away my “special awards” to the top three BEST LIFTERS in the Senior Division, Masters 1, and Masters 2 Divisions.  Thanks to Rudy and LaVerne  for declining on of these awards everyone else took home some steel. 

BEST LIFTERS

Senior:  Scott Tully
Masters 40-44: Chad Ullom
Masters 45-49: Al Myers
Masters 50-54: Mark Mitchell
Masters 65-69: LaVerne Myers
Masters 70-74: Mike Murdock
Masters 75-79: Rudy Bletscher

BEST LIFTERS OF AGE DIVISIONS

Senior (20-39): Scott Tully
Masters 1 (40-59): Al Myers, Chad Ullom, Dave Glasgow
Masters 2 (60 plus): LaVerne Myers, Denny Habecker, Rudy Bletscher

MEET RESULTS:

USAWA Grip Championships
Dino Gym, Holland, Kansas
February 11th, 2012

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Officials (3 official system used):  Al Myers, Chad Ullom, Scott Tully, Darren Barnhart, Mike Murdock, Dave Glasgow, Denny Habecker, Mark Mitchell, LaVerne Myers

Scorekeeper:  Mike Murdock

Lifts: Dumbbell Walk, Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell One Arm, Deadlift – Fingers Index, Deadlift – No Thumb One Arm,  Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2 Bars, 2″

LIFTER AGE BWT Walk DB DL IF DL DL NT VB Total Points
Al Myers 45 247 122 185R 231 220R 334 1092 923.9
LaVerne Myers 67 249 112 159L 135 185L 259 850 864.9
Chad Ullom 40 238 102 170R 231 210R 334 1047 860.4
Dave Glasgow 58 252 92 160R 176 187R 294 889 835.8
Darren Barnhart 44 306 122 185R 200 209R 354 1070 808.0
Denny Habecker 69 187 52 125R 120 125R 224 646 779.3
Rudy Bletscher 76 217 77 105R 120 140R 224 666 779.2
Mark Mitchell 51 360 92 180R 220 204R 334 1030 770.3
Scott Tully 36 346 92 192R 187 215R 394 1080 733.9
Mike Murdock 71 233 67 105L 120 140R 224 656 712.4
Dean Ross 69 274 77 125R 140  135R  234 711 700.8

NOTES:  BWT is bodyweight recorded in pounds. R and L designate right and left. All lifts recorded in pounds. Total is total points lifted. Points are adjusted points for bodyweight and age.

EXTRA ATTEMPTS FOR RECORDS

Rudy Bletscher: Deadlift – Fulton DB, Right Arm 115#
Denny Habecker: Deadlift – No Thumb, Right Arm 135#
LaVerne Myers: Deadlift – Fulton DB, Left Arm 165#
Dave Glasgow: Deadlift – Fulton DB, Left Arm 160#
Mark Mitchell: Deadlift – No Thumb, Right Arm 210#
Darren Barnhart: Deadlift – Fulton DB, Left Arm 185#
Darren Barnhart: Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm 210#
Chad Ullom: Deadlift – Fulton DB, Left Arm 165#
Chad Ullom: Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm 198#
Scott Tully: Deadlift – No Thumb, Right Arm 225#

The JWC Monster Wrist Roller

by Thom Van Vleck

LaVerne Myers, of the Dino Gym, training on the JWC Monster Wrist Roller in preparation for next month's USAWA Grip Championships.

Recently, I made a monster wrist roller out of spacers from an old disc (farm implement that would bust up clods after plowing or aerate the ground).  These spacers look like giant spindles and are about 2″ in diameter in the grip.  I put three on a 1 1/4″ bar.  The two outside ones were for grip and the inside one was to roll up the rope which was attached to a vertical bar loaded with weight.   I was so pleased with it, I made one for Al Myers who then took it and improved up on the design.  I have to admit, Al’s is now better than mine, although I made some changes to mine based on Al’s ideas.

At any rate, I have been using it lately for my grip.  I use it just like a regular wrist roller but I set in in my squat racks  so that it take the pressure off my delts and puts all the emphasis on my forearms.  I try and get really aggressive rolling the weight up and use enough weight to really challenge me.  I pretend I’m trying to squeeze water out of a rock!!!!!

Wrist rollers are a great training tool, even if you don’t have a “Monster” one like me and Al.  If you come to either the Dino Gym or the JWC Training Hall, you will have to give them a try!  Grip has always been stubborn for me to make progress so any new toy adds new excitement to my training and for now, the Monster Wrist Roller is what’s new in my grip training!

Dino Days Record Day

by Al Myers

DINO DAYS RECORD DAY

Ben Edwards set the ALL TIME RECORD in the 2" One Arm Vertical Bar Deadlift with a lift of 251 pounds at the Dino Days Record Day.

MEET REPORT

There were not alot of records set today at the Dino Days Record Day, but the ones that were set were great!  Only five lifters showed up on this second day of the two USAWA competitions hosted by the Dino Gym this weekend; Mike Murdock, Scott Tully, Ben Edwards, LaVerne Myers and myself. Mike lead the way with setting records in 9 different lifts, followed by LaVerne with 8, and the rest of us tied at 7.  Every lifter had a record lift which I would call OUTSTANDING, and I had a hard time “choosing” just one feature picture, so I just decided I would show a picture of everyone who lifted, in which I would call their “BEST” record of the day. 

Ben Edwards showed up today to SMASH some USAWA grip records, and that he did.  Ben is the KING of the Vertical Bar, and that was the first lift he set his record breaking sights on.  I have watched Ben several times with the VB, but never have I seen him this strong with it.  He kept going up and up with the weight, finishing with an ALL TIME USAWA record of 251 pounds with his right hand.  This broke the USAWA All-Time mark held by Andrew Durniat of 250 pounds, set at the 2010 Dino Gym Grip Challenge.  I also got to see Andrew set his record, and at the time I wondered if it ever would be broken.  Well, Ben did it!  He also lifted 240 pounds in the 2″ VB with his left hand, setting the highest mark in USAWA history with the left as well.  The next “grip lift” Ben went after was the Fulton Dumbbell (of which handle is 2 inches in diameter).  He did 175 pounds with his left, and 185 pounds with his right. The “185″ is the BEST EVER that has been done in the USAWA with a one handed Fulton Dumbbell. As some of you know, the Fulton Bar lifts utilizing the 2″ handle was named after Kevin Fulton, who was one of the grip-strength pioneers in the USAWA.   It all started that day when Kevin “upset” Wilbur Miller in a competition where a 2″ handle dumbbell was deadlifted with one arm.  Bill Clark “tagged” the name of the Fulton Bar to the 2 inch handle following this incident.  Now Ben better set his goal on Kevin’s best mark from the Old Missouri Valley Record List.   Just to let you know – Kevin Fulton lifted 195 pounds in the One Arm Fulton Dumbbell in 1983.  So get to work Ben!!!

Scott Tully set the ALL TIME RECORD in the Stifflegged Deadlift with a lift of 512 pounds at the Dino Days Record Day.

Scott Tully really did some damage to the Record List today as well.  Scott doesn’t mess around with “sissy lifts” when it comes to breaking records.  He gets right to the hard stuff!  He started off with breaking the record in the Stiff Legged Deadlift with a great lift of 512 pounds.  This not only broke the 125+ KG weight class record that was previously held at 502 pounds by Matthew Doster, but the ALL -TIME USAWA record of 507 pounds held by Ed Schock and myself.  Since I knew Scott was “taking my record down” as well, and I was the head official on his lift, I made sure he kept his legs straight!  This caused Scott to attempt this lift at least 4 times until he finally got it!  And well deserving.   Next Scott went on to some other “hard” lifts like the Fulton Bar Deadlift and the Fulton Dumbbell Deadlifts, of which he got several more records.  Scott is a great grip guy, and should get more recognition for his grip strength.  His One Arm Fulton Dumbbell of 175 pounds was unbelievable, and if it wasn’t for Ben overshadowing him on this day, I would be bragging that record lift up as well.

Mike Murdock set a new age group record in the Trap Bar Deadlift with a lift of 305 pounds.

Mike “Murdo” Murdock set the most records in the most events with 9.  Mike lifted the day before in the Team Nationals and I was surprised that he was planning on doing this much today!  He did a wide range of lifts.   I felt his best record lift of the day was his 305 pound Trap Bar Deadlift.  To me a guy lifting over 300 pounds at the age of over 70 in the Trap Bar Deadlift  is like a young lifter lifting over 600 pounds.  Not too many can do it either!   Mike has had an outstanding year in the USAWA, and has lifted in as many meets as anyone.  I’m keeping an eye on Mike as it won’t be long and he will be in the CENTURY CLUB for holding over 100 USAWA records.  And when he does, I’ll pat him on the back because he will be the first to do it starting in the 70 plus age group!

LaVerne Myers "stole the show" with his 117 pound Dumbbell Walk. The reason this picture is blurry is because he was moving so fast!

My father LaVerne made his faithful appearance today at the record day.  These past couple of years he hasn’t missed an opportunity to lift in the Dino Gym Record Days.  One of his highlights was setting a personal record in the One Handed 2″ Vertical Bar Deadlift with a fine lift of 182 pounds.  I was considering doing the Vertical Bar Deadlift myself but after watching his record setting effort I decided I better not!  I was worried that I might not be able to “measure up” to the standard set by ole Dad!  haha  However, Dad “stole the show” on the last lift contested at this record day – the Dumbbell Walk.   Of course when I got out the Dumbbell Walk handle, I “threw down the challenge” to Ben and Dad so they HAD to participate.  I hadn’t done any grip stuff all day so I was hoping to use this to my advantage  (I’m a crafty one!).   I was mainly concerned about Ben being my primary challenge, and I knew Ben had totally exhausted his grip by this point when he only managed 102 pounds on the Walk. If he would have done this first thing it would have been WAY MORE!  I then played a little “psych out” game with him  and made a big jump to 132 pounds which was outside of both of our limits, but I thought it would “finish of” his grip and then I would drop back and break his 102 mark, which I did with a Dumbbell Walk of 117 pounds.  At that point I thought I had it won, and was shaking Ben’s hand when my Dad, to our surprise, picked up the 117 and made the walk!!!  What can I say???  What a great way to end a record day at the Dino Gym. 

My "highlight lift" was this 772 pound Neck Lift, which is a personal record and USAWA record in the 120 KG weight class.

MEET RESULTS

Dino Days Record Day
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
August 28th, 2011

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Officials (3-official System used):  Al Myers, Mike Murdock, Scott Tully, LaVerne Myers

Lifts:  Record Day

Scott Tully – 35 years, 346 pounds BWT
Mens Open Age Division & 125+ KG Weight Class

Deadlift – Stiff Legged: 512#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar: 503#
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat: 150#
Clean and Push Press – 2 Dumbbells: 210#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Right Arm: 175#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Left Arm: 165#
Deadlift – 2 Fulton Dumbbells: 290#

Ben Edwards – 36 years, 217 pound BWT
Mens Open Division & 100 KG Weight Class

Snatch – Kelly: 57#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand: 240#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand: 251#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Left Arm: 175#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Right Arm: 185#
Deadlift – 2 Fulton Dumbbells: 320#
Dumbbell Walk: 102#

Al Myers – 45 years, 256 pounds BWT
Mens 45-49 Age Division & 120 KG Weight Class

Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 330#
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 330#
Bench Press – Feet in Air: 330#
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat: 120#
Lateral Raise – Lying: 90#
Neck Lift: 772#
Dumbbell Walk: 117#

LaVerne Myers – 67 years, 246 pounds BWT
Mens Master 65-69 Age Group & 115 KG Weight Class

Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Right Hand: 125#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 1″, Left Hand: 125#
Two Hands Anyhow: 70#
Snatch – Kelly: 35#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand: 182#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbell, Right Arm: 135#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Left Arm: 135#
Dumbbell Walk: 117#

Mike Murdock – 71 years, 235 pounds BWT
Mens Master 70-74 Age Group & 110 KG Weight Class

Weaver Stick – Left Hand: 2.5#
Two Hands Anyhow: 100#
Deadlift – Trap Bar: 305#
Lateral Raise – Lying: 70#
Clean and Push Press – 2 Dumbbells: 100#
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat: 90#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Left Arm: 115#
Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, Right Arm: 115#
Dumbbell Walk: 62#

Ravenswood Formula

Thom Van Vleck flashes the "Red Light" at USAWA Heavy Lift Nationals as Head Judge Denny Habecker looks for the call. USAWA officials have a lot more to do than judging the lifts. There's a lot of math involved as well!

by Thom Van Vleck

I know we’ve probably overdone the talk on formulas to rate lifting performances, but here’s one more.  I got a copy of Peary Radar’s Lifting News (Sept. 1965) and notice a story on page 20 titled “A New Simplified Formula for Accurate Rating of Lifting Performances”.  This formula was being touted as an easy way to determine the best lifter.  Evidently, before calculators, the “long hand”  or “slide rule” multiplication using the “Hoffman Formula” often resulted on errors and hard feelings when the errors were revealed later.  As a result, the Ravenswood Formula was developed.

I’ll stop right here and say I’m not pushing this to be used by the USAWA nor do I know if it favors heavier lifters (which I’m not sure why anyone would think I would want that….well…maybe I would “like” that). This is just an interesting piece of lifting history from a time when formulas in lifting seemed to be quite the hot topic.

Laverne Myers and Denny Habecker have passed stringent testing to become USAWA officials

The Ravenswood Formula sought to remove the error prone difficulty of multiplication and replace it with the simplicity of adding two numbers together.  You were give two tables which are quite lengthy.  Table “A” had a bodyweight coefficient which went from 110lbs to 370lbs and Table “B” had a “Total” or lift poundage coefficient which went from 105lbs to 2550lbs.  You simply took the lifters weight and found the corresponding coefficient in Table A (a 4 digit number) and added it to the corresponding weight lifted/coefficient in table B (again, a 4 digit number).  The theory being that this formula was much more simple and less prone to a mathematical error.  You have to take the developer’s word that it’s “fair” or should I say “Accurate” as he does in the title.  The developer was Stanley Gorajczyk.  Not sure where “Ravenswood” came from….maybe easier to pronounce that “Gorajczyk”!   Stanley was an Olympic lifter who got 5th in the 1967 Senior Nationals, so he was a pretty decent lifter as well.

Al Myers looks like he's trying to talk Head Judge Denny Habecker into a good call, but really Denny is busy "doing the math" and calculating the winner using the formula!

I just found it another interesting part of lifting history and went with earlier articles on this website that discussed weightlifting formulas.   If you are interested in the tables let me know.  It might be interesting to compare the outcomes of this formula to others!

Never Too Old to Start Lifting

by Al Myers

LaVerne Myers wins his FIRST TROPHY EVER in weightlifting, at the 2010 IAWA Gold Cup.

One of the very interesting things about weight lifting is that you are never too old to start!  This isn’t the case with a lot of other competitive sports.  Take a sport like football or basketball – not something you could start over 60.  First of all your body wouldn’t hold up to it, plus there are minimal opportunities for competition even if it could.  Weightlifting is really a sport where you only compete against yourself.  Sure you compete against other athletes, but you pick the attempts at weights that you know you can achieve.   You only pick attempts that you have a shot at.  The joys of success often come from achieving a goal that you have set for yourself.  Plus, you can improve at any age in some lift.  The human body is made to adapt to training, and if you are willing to “put in the time” your muscles will become stronger and you will lift more weight.   I have seen all-rounders set personal records at ages most “normal folk” would have thought impossible.

Recently, my father LaVerne started competing in the USAWA.  He had competed in a few of my gym records days in the past,  but just this year he has entered some USAWA competitions.  He is 66 – not the age you would assume someone would start an athletic career!  But he has had tremendous success.  Last spring he placed 5th overall at the Dino Gym Grip Challenge amongst a very strong field. He even tied for the top Weaver Stick lift of the day.  This past November he accompanied me to the 2010 IAWA Gold Cup in Walpole – and of course he competed!  He very successfully set an IAWA World Record in the One Arm Ciavattone Grip Deadlift.  He was astounded that he set a World Record – something he would never have thought possible a few years ago before he became involved with the USAWA.   He should be an example for others as to what one can achieve in the USAWA!  You DO NOT need to have a lifetime of lifting under your belt to enjoy the successes of competitive weightlifting in the USAWA.  You can start NOW!!  I welcome ANYONE of any age to give the USAWA a try – and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Since my father’s involvement of competing in the USAWA, that now makes FOUR generations of the Myers family that have competed within the USAWA.   Has this been done before??  I’m sure it has but I would like to know.  If anyone knows of another family that has done this please email me (amyers@usawa.com) about them so I can share it with the readers of the USAWA Daily News.