Bob People’s Deadlift

by Thom Van Vleck

Bob Peoples doing some rack work showing the inspiration for the OTSM "Peoples Lift" (photo from www.zacheven-esh.com)

The Bob Peoples’ Deadlift was recently approved at the USAWA National meeting as an OTSM “official” lift.  You can take a crack at setting a record in this lift at the OTSM Championships to be held by the JWC in Kirksville, Missouri on Oct. 14 and entry can be found on the upcoming meets section on the USAWA homepage.  It is basically a Deadlift from 18″ off the ground instead of the standard Deadlift.  Here are the Official Rules:

Peoples Deadlift – This is a partial deadlift, where the bar height must not be over 18″ from the platform (measured from the top of the bar). The plates or bar may be supported on stands, rack supports, or blocks to obtain this height. The lifter must have the bar in front of the legs, as in a normal deadlift. The hands must be on the outside of the legs (NO SUMO STANCE) during the entire lift. Lifting straps or any other gripping aid is not allowed. It is NOT an infraction to drag the bar up the legs, bounce the bar up the legs, or support the bar on the legs during the lift (hitching). A one minute time limit is allowed for the lifter to make a legal lift, during which time a lifter may make multiple tries. Once the lifter is totally upright and the bar motionless, an official will give the command to end the lift.

Now, a little history.  I’m not gonna try an do a comprehensive history on Bob Peoples.  But if you know your lifting history you would know that Bob was one of the greatest Deadlifters in history.  Bob was pretty strong all the way around, but his best lift was the deadlift and he came with many new and innovative ways to do the lift.  One of these things was to utilize the power rack, which formed the basis of the Peoples lift.  He also utilized heavy negatives using a hydraulic lift on a tractor to reset the weight and he also used a ring while on a platform that allowed him to drop well below what you would with a regular deadlift.  It honestly looks like the forerunner of the Trap Bar!

Try your hand at the Peoples Deadlift!  Sign up for the OTSM today!!!!

New Official OTSM Lifts

by Al Myers

Paul Anderson training the squat with his iron wheels in Toccoa, Georgia. Paul's name has been "tied" to two new USAWA OTSM lifts.

I’ve already covered one of the new lifts approved at the USAWA Annual Meeting (The Curl – Reverse Grip).  However, the big news in “lift approval” is the addition of several new Old Time Strongman lifts.  The following OTSM lifts are NOW official lifts in the USAWA:   People’s Deadlift, Anderson Press, Anderson Squat, and the Dumbbell to Shoulder.  These 4 OTSM lifts have all been performed in USAWA competition over this past year as exhibition lifts, but now they are official lifts.  Included in the motion at the meeting to accept these as new lifts was retroactively making any lift “record eligible” in these lifts that have been done over this past year.  The Peoples Deadlift was part of the “Battle of the Barn” OTSM competition held be Eric Todd this past March, with the Anderson Squat, Anderson Press, and the Dumbbell to Shoulder being part of the 2011 USAWA OTSM Championships held by Thom Van Vleck last fall in Kirksville.  In each circumstance, the lift was done according to the new accepted rules, so it seems only right to me that these past efforts  be recognized by potential records.

One thing that I like to see with new lifts is that they have been done a few times as exhibition lifts in USAWA competitions before they become official.  This way any “wrinkles” can be worked out in the rules, and only lifts will be presented for new lift status that have been “tried and tested”.  The days are long gone where a lifter can just present a new lift at the National Meeting to be accepted without any prior written rules in hand or Executive Board approval.  Now there is a SET POLICY in place (check the rulebook) so only lifts are presented that have been well reviewed.  Most of our rule problems, as well as stupid lifts (and I’ll name them if you want me to),  in the past have been caused by the hap-hazard way lifts used to be approved.  

The Rules for these 4 new OTSM lifts are below.  Soon they will be added to the Rulebook.

Peoples DeadliftThis is a partial deadlift, where the bar height must not be over 18″ from the platform (measured from the top of the bar). The plates or bar may be supported on stands, rack supports, or blocks to obtain this height. The lifter must have the bar in front of the legs, as in a normal deadlift. The hands must be on the outside of the legs (NO SUMO STANCE) during the entire lift. Lifting straps or any other gripping aid is not allowed. It is NOT an infraction to drag the bar up the legs, bounce the bar up the legs, or support the bar on the legs during the lift (hitching). A one minute time limit is allowed for the lifter to make a legal lift, during which time a lifter may make multiple tries. Once the lifter is totally upright and the bar motionless, an official will give the command to end the lift.

Anderson PressPress (with a standard Olympic bar) will be done from a dead stop position in the power rack from a height no greater than the height of the lifter when standing erect. Lifter may “bow” back to press the weight but must keep knees locked. The lift ends when the lifter is upright, arms locked, and demonstrates control of the weight. The lifter may press in an uneven manner and unlock unevenly. It is not a disqualification if the bar is lowered during the press, and afterwards the press resumes. The feet are not allowed to move. However, the lifter may raise the heels or toes during the press. Time limit of 1 minute is given for each attempt meaning the lifter may reset as many times as necessary to complete the lift. An official will give a command to end the lift.

Anderson SquatA squat (with a standard Olympic bar) done from a dead stop from a height not over two thirds the height of the lifter. Squat is completed when the knees are locked and the lifter is standing erect. Time limit of 1 minute is given for each attempt meaning the lifter may reset as many times as necessary to complete the lift. Knee wraps or knee sleeves will be allowed. An official will give a command to end the lift.

Dumbbell to ShoulderA Dumbbell will be taken from the floor to the shoulder using any method the lifter wants to employ. The dumbbell may be lifted with two hands, continental style, may be rested on the belt during the lift, by any part of the dumbbell. Hands may grip the plates, bar, collars or any part of the dumbbell. Any size plate may be loaded onto the dumbbell.The lift is completed when the lifter is standing upright, with the dumbbell resting on the shoulder, and the lifter demonstrating control. Both hands may remain on the dumbbell to complete the lift, or with one hand or both hands off the dumbbell. Time limit of 1 minute is given to complete the lift. An official will give a command to end the lift.

Peoples Deadlift

by Al Myers

Bob Peoples demonstrating a high-pick deadlift in his homemade power rack.

Coming up soon will be the first USAWA Old Time Strongman Meet of the year, the “BATTLE IN THE BARN”, hosted by Eric Todd on March 25th.  His meet will include a couple of  approved OTSM lifts (Apollons Lift & Goerner Stroll), one traditional All Round Lift (Crucifix) and a new exhibition OTSM Lift – the Peoples Deadlift.   This lift has already been submitted to be considered and voted on as a new OTSM Official Lift.  It is also on the lift agenda for the OTSM Championships held next fall.  So this lift looks to be well-represented this year in the OTSM series!

Most lifters will recognize right away who this OTSM lift is named after. It is after the great deadlifter Bob Peoples.  He was way ahead of his time in regards to new training techniques for the deadlift.  Peoples is often credited for pioneering the Power Rack.  Of course, his results speak for themselves. The training ideas he used gave him a deadlift of 728 pounds at a bodyweight of 178 pounds back in the 40s.  I think it is only appropriate that a deadlift utilizing the power rack should be named after him. Most of his training ideas are outlined in a book he wrote titled, “Developing Physical Strength”.  This book is a must-read for any lifter.

Two of Peoples training ideas for the deadlift involved, 1. use of the power rack to pull from higher points, and 2. use of negatives in the deadlift.  When Thom Van Vleck proposed the Peoples Deadlift we discussed which of these ideas should be emphasized in naming a lift after him. One idea we about went with involved a deadlift where the bar started at the top position and then lowered to the floor till it touched, and then brought back to lockout. Bob commonly trained in this manner, as it involved a negative followed by a deadlift which often included being bounced from the floor. I want to relate a story about this by Bob Peoples friend and great lifter himself  Bob Hise, “Some of Bob’s training methods were unique. He built a bouncing platform of two oak 2×12″ boards, 8″ long, nailed barbell width apart on 4×4 timbers underneath at each end. By using the lift on his tractor (extending a lowering/raising mechanism which he could operate by placing his head against the actuator) 800 pounds, would be lifted to an upright extended position, and he would lower this, with a bounce, and attempt to get the bar to his knees. This would build great starting strength.”

However, Thom and I decided that the high-pick deadlift out of the power rack would be a better lift named after Bob Peoples for a couple of reasons. First it represented the use of a power rack in a lift (since Peoples pioneered the power rack), and we felt it was a safer lift. Second, the high pick deadlift (18″ deadlift) is a common height trained by strongman now a days (often called the Silver Dollar Deadlift in Strongman competitions).  This would lead itself to an OTSM lift that more lifters and strongmen would understand and relate to.

RULES FOR THE PEOPLES DEADLIFT

Peoples DeadliftThis is a partial deadlift, where the bar height must not be over 18″ from the platform (measured from the bottom of the bar). The plates or bar may be supported on stands, rack supports,  or blocks to obtain this height. The lifter must have the bar in front of the legs, as in a normal deadlift. Lifting straps or any other gripping aid is not allowed. It is NOT an infraction to drag the bar up the legs, bounce the bar up the legs, or support the bar on the legs during the lift (hitching). A one minute time limit is allowed for the lifter to make a legal lift, during which time a lifter may make multiple tries. Once the lifter is totally upright and the bar motionless, an official will give the command to end the lift.