Quiz of the Week

by Al Myers

Which 5 USAWA members have been members since the beginning of the USAWA??

The first USAWA memberships were issued in 1988.  Since that time, only FIVE have been members every year since.  This is what you call LOYAL membership!!!  These five definitely need recognized – and that is the reason for this quiz.   To get the correct answer you need to give me all 5 correct names.  I will even give you a hint if you want to guess.  These 5 are listed in the 2011 membership roster.  You see – they don’t even wait to get signed up for their yearly membership!

As with all Quiz of the Week the rules are the same:  first correct answer I receive wins, only 1 try per day, and send you answer to this email address – amyers@usawa.com.    The winner will receive a  USAWA Patch!

We have 2 WINNERS!

Last night I received TWO correct answers to this quiz!!!

Joe Garcia and Tom Ryan provided the names I was looking for.  The five USAWA members that have been members since the beginning (1988) are Bill Clark, Joe Garcia, Casey Clark, Art Montini and Dale Friesz.  During all these years, these members NEVER let their membership lapse.   I had lots of people make guesses on this quiz, and I want to thank everyone for their participation trying to answer this difficult question.

Quiz of the Week

by Al Myers

Who is this lifter and which USAWA lift is he performing?

It’s time for another Quiz of the Week!!  This one is going to be a little harder than previous ones, and it requires TWO ANSWERS.

Who is this lifter and which USAWA lift is he performing?

You must provide the answers to BOTH questions!  The rules are the same as before – only 1 answer per day, and the person with the first correct answer wins. Answer must be sent to my amyers@usawa.com email address.

Winner will receive a USAWA Patch

We have a WINNER!

Thom Van Vleck correctly identified this lifter as USAWA Hall of Famer, and the man of 1000 lifts -  John Grimek.  He is performing the Kelly Snatch (also known as the Reverse Swing)

Quiz of the Week

by Al Myers

I did not receive a correct answer for this week’s Quiz of the Week.  The USAWA lifter who currently has the most USAWA records is our one and only USAWA President Denny Habecker. Denny has been setting records since the USAWA Record List started and is still going strong!!! Denny currently has 341 records, but is followed very closely by Art Montini who has 337 records. They both lead the rest of the pack by over 100 records!!!

Denny Habecker added more records to the Record List at this year's National Championships

Top Ten ALL-TIME USAWA Record Holders

(number of current records listed first)


1.    341   Denny Habecker
2.    337   Art Montini
3.    221   John McKean
4.    217   Bill Clark
5.    214   Noi Phumchona
6.    208   Joe Garcia
7.    204   Dennis Mitchell
8.    201   Bob Hirsch
9.    199   Frank Ciavattone
10.   171   Howard Prechtel

The Entry Deadline has PASSED for this year’s IAWA World Championships hosted by Denny Habecker in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.  Any entries at this point require special permission from the Meet Director – so contact Denny and hope that space still exists!!

Rex Monahan

by Al Myers

Rex Monahan, in 2003, training his favorite lift - the one handed Deadlift - in preparation for the World Championships.

We have a WINNER to the quiz of the week – Joe Garcia of Sturgeon, Missouri, correctly identified the oldest lifter to ever win the Goerner Deadlift Dozen as the late Rex Monahan of Sterling, Colorado. Rex won the Goerner Deadlift Dozen in 1996, 1997, and 1998. In his last victory he was 74 years old. Rex died January 19th, 2009 – 6 weeks after this past year’s Goerner Meet – and one in which he had hoped to compete in. He had made plans to ride with me to the meet, and even said it would probably be his last meet. I was disappointed when his declining health prevented this from happening. Rex was a Deadlifting specialist – having Deadlifted with heels together a best of 325#, a Hack Lift of 369#, and a Jefferson Lift of 375#. All these lifts were done over 70 years of age and under 200 pounds bodyweight. His best lift was the one handed Deadlift – where he pulled 353 pounds when he was over 75 years old!!!! That record may last as long as Hermann Goerner’s One Handed Deadlift record!!! Rex was also outstanding in the Finger Deadlifts. He has done 150 pounds on the Little Fingers Deadlift!! Rex was a great supporter of the USAWA, and went to every National and World event he could and won many championships. He has over 100 USAWA records. He was inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame in 2002. As a special tribute to Rex, the Overall Best Lifter Award at this past year’s National Championships was named the Monahan Award.

Joe Garcia and the Hand & Thigh

by Al Myers

A Hall of Fame Biography is now available for Joe Garcia.  Joe is famous for his Hand and Thigh Lifting – and holds the all-time record in this lift by lifting 1910 pounds! Not only has he lifted more than anyone in the history of the USAWA, but also of All Time, even exceeding the Hand and Thigh Lifts of the old time strongmen.

Joe Garcia with the Hand and Thigh Lift

Quiz Question: Name the lifter whose all-time record was broken by Joe Garcia, and the weight of the previous record.

Rules of contest: 1 answer per day, first correct answer to webmaster wins

Winner receives a USAWA Patch!!!!

Mike McBride, of Columbia Missouri, correctly answered the quiz. The

previous Hand and Thigh Lift record holder was the New Jersey Strongman,  Jack Walsh.  He did a Hand and Thigh Lift of 1900 pounds in 1950 at Trenton, New Jersey.  This beat the previous record held by Louis Cyr of Canada, who had a Hand and Thigh Lift of 1897 pounds, set in 1896.  Will it be another 50 years before Joe Garcia’s Hand and Thigh Lift record is broken?


Quiz of the Week

by Al Myers

Name this USAWA Lift and who it is named after. Also, name the USAWA lifter that has lifted the most weight in this lift in an USAWA event.

Step 1 - Lift the bar behind the back

Step 2 - Roll the bar up the back onto the shoulders

Step 3 - Perform a behind the neck jerk

Winner receives an USAWA patch

Rules: First correct answer to webmaster wins, and only one answer may be given per day.

Congratulations to Chad Ullom of Topeka, Kansas for correctly identifying this lift as the Arthur Lift, named after the great old-time German strongman Arthur Saxon (and demonstrated by him in these photos). This lift requires great shoulder flexibility. The bar starts on the platform behind the lifter, and is raised behind the back until the bar is positioned above the hips (or above the belt). At this point, the lifter bends forward, and in a series of steps rolls the bar up the back until it is fixed across the shoulders. The hands are allowed to come free of the bar during this. The lifter then stands and performs a behind the neck jerk, at which time the lift is completed. Saxon is reported to have done 386 pounds in this lift, as it was witnessed by Warren Lincoln Travis. This lift was introduced to the USAWA by Art Montini – so in a way it is named after two Arthurs. The top weight ever lifted in the Arthur Lift in the USAWA was done by Chad Ullom, who lifted 297 pounds at the 2007 National Championships.

Chad Ullom performing the Arthur Lift at the 2007 National Championships

Quiz of the Week

by Al Myers

In the USAWA, lifts done for repetitions may be contested in competition and for records. The ultimate record for repetitions is the TOTAL POUNDAGE, where the lifter may choose any lift and rep/set scheme, to lift the most weight within a given time frame.  The standard for this record was initially set by the great Warren Lincoln Travis in 1927 when he Back Lifted 5.5 million pounds in 3 hours, 9 minutes. This was done by doing 5500 reps with 1000 pounds.

Name the TWO USAWA LIFTERS who have exceeded this, along with their TOTAL POUNDAGE.

Steve Schmidt setting the all-time record for TOTAL POUNDAGE on December 14th, 2002

Congratulations to the Winner of this week’s quiz -  Tom Ryan of Acworth, Georgia – who correctly identified the two USAWA lifters as Steve Schmidt and Howard Prechtel. Tom had an advantage in this quiz, as he was a witness and assisted in the counting of repetitions during Steve Schmidt’s record. Howard Prechtel initially broke Travis’s record in 1982 by Back Lifting 6,066,060 pounds in 3 hours, 9 minutes. It was accomplished by doing 5460 reps with 1111 pounds. This was then upped by Steve Schmidt, on December 14th, 2002 at Clark’s Gym, in which he lifted 8,087,095 pounds in 2 hours 50 minutes. Steve was 48 years old at the time and weighed only 209 pounds. He accomplished this by lifting 1,115 pounds a total of 7253 times, using the Back Lift. Bill Clark was the official judge and counter of this Herculean effort. I was fortunate to also have witnessed this event and can attest to the stamina Steve exhibited in accomplishing this feat.  He was performing 45 reps per minute, which gave him only about 30 seconds rest per minute.  He maintained this pace for two hours!!!!  Steve broke Howard’s record in 1 hour, 57 minutes.   The conditioning required for something like this must be much the same as that of a marathon runner. I was amazed how quickly Steve recovered following this endurance record, as he did not seem out of breath at all afterwards and even joined in with us on some other record lifts.  Will this TOTAL POUNDAGE record be broken in the next 100 years?   Only time will tell…..

Quiz of the Week – Who is this Strongman from the past?

by Al Myers

Congratulations to this weeks winner – Thom Van Vleck of Kirksville, Missouri.

Warren Lincoln Travis

He correctly identified this strongman from the early 1900’s as Warren Lincoln Travis. Travis was born in Brooklyn and turned professional at the age of 21. He was of modest size for a strongman of that era, weighing only around 200 pounds at his prime. In 1906, he was awarded the “World’s Greatest Weightlifter” by a popular strength publication at the time, and received a jewel-studded belt which he is wearing in this picture. Travis was also an all-round weightlifter and has had much influence on the lifts done today in the USAWA. He favorite lifts were the Heavy Lifts, such as the Harness Lift and the Back Lift, and the Finger Lifts. In front of witness’s, he has lifted 3985 pounds in the Harness Lift and 4140 pounds in the Back Lift. In 1907, he lifted with one finger 667 pounds!!!! Travis was a fantastic performer and would present himself as “The Strongest Man in the World” at his performances. Travis was very successful as a businessman, and as a result was very wealthy. When other strongmen would challenge him, he would often put up very large amounts of money as a side bet, which resulted in very few takers. Warren Lincoln Travis continued to lift heavy weights until his death. At the age of 65, Travis died during one of his performances of a heart attack at Luna Park on Coney Island. Several skeptics at the time blamed his death on his heavy lifting in his older age. I do not believe this, as I know several lifters today maintain great heath and continue to lift and compete past the age of 80!!! His lifetime of lifting and training probably added many years to his life. Warren Lincoln Travis left a Challenge to the World in his will, which was an open challenge to anyone who could duplicate or exceed his lifting accomplishments. The first person to do this would receive his prized jewel-studded belt!! Listed below is the challenge Travis claimed he could do.

Warren Lincoln Travis – Challenge to the World

1. Take a 100 pound barbell from the floor with both hands, and press it overhead 10 times while seated (must be done in 30 seconds)

2. Take a pair of 90 pound dumbbells from the side of the body to the shoulders, and press it to arms length overhead.

3. Teeth lift from the floor, hands behind neck, 350 pounds.

4. Finger Lift from the floor 350 pounds with one finger, eight times in five seconds.

5. Finger lift from the floor 560 pounds with one finger once.

6. Two hand grip lift, straddling the weight, 700 pounds twenty times in ten seconds.

7. Hand and Thigh Lift 1600 pounds once.

8. Back Lift 3660 pounds once.

9. Harness Lift 3580 pounds once.

10. Back Lift 2000 pounds, 250 times in seven minutes.

Also, his rules stated that these lifts must all be done in 30 MINUTES!! And must be done for TEN STRAIGHT YEARS!!!! Needless to say, his jewel-studded belt still resides in the York Barbell Hall of Fame.

Quiz of the Week

by Al Myers

Which lifter has participated in the most National Championships?

Winner receives a USAWA Patch!!!!!

Rules: 1st response to webmaster with correct answer wins

Only 1 answer per day

Hint: He has competed in 20 of the 21 National Championships, only missing the very first one in 1988.

We have a winner!!!! Scott Schmidt, of Cleveland Ohio, named the lifter who has participated in the most National Championships. It is Dennis Mitchell. Dennis has been very involved with the USAWA since the beginning. He has served as chairperson of the Technical Committee for many years. He also was Co-Meet Director of the 2008 National Championships. Next in line is our President, Denny Habecker, who has competed in 19 of the 21 Championships, followed by Art Montini (18 of the 21) and Dale Friesz (17 of the 21).

Dennis Mitchell, performing one of his favorite lifts, the Bent Press, at the IAWA World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Quiz of the Week – Name this Mystery Lifter

by Al Myers

Scott Schmidt, of Cleveland Ohio, correctly identified this lifter as Howard Prechtel.

Howard Prechtel performing a Clean and Jerk in his younger days.