Scott Schmidt – New LEVEL 2 OFFICIAL

by Al Myers

Bob Geib lifting under the watch of 3 Level 2 USAWA Officials at the 2013 USAWA National Championships: Chad Ullom (left), Scott Schmidt (center), and Joe Ciavattone (right).

It’s always exciting news when a new USAWA certified official reaches LEVEL 2 officiating status.  Congratulations goes to Scott Schmidt for becoming the most recent Level 2 official.   Scott went about reaching Level 2 status in an unorthodox manner.  Let me explain.

The typical process of becoming a USAWA official involves taking the Rule Test first.  This consists of an open book exam of 100 questions covering the rules in the USAWA Rulebook.  There is no time limit for taking the test, and to pass it you must score over 90%.  After passing the Rules Test, an aspiring official must then perform the Practical Training Sessions, which consists of attending 3 meets and judging alongside a Level 2 official. After this has been completed successfully,  a person becomes a Level 1 Test Qualified Official.  The “other” category of Level 1 officials is the Level 1 Experience Qualified.  This was created to allow those very experienced USAWA officials to be “grandfathered in” as officials when the USAWA Officials Program began in 2009.  To be eligible to become a Level 1 Experience Qualified Official, one must have officiated in over 25 prior USAWA competitions and/or events.  Once a Level 1 Test Qualified official has officiated over 25 competitions they can apply for Level 2 status.

Scott has been an official in the USAWA for over 20 years.  He has officiated 100’s of events, and often serves as the head official in big competitions.  He spent 2 days sitting in the HEAD CHAIR at this past National Championships, and is regarded as one of the best officials in the USAWA by the lifters.  He was formally listed as a Level 1 Experience Official, and now since he has passed the USAWA Rules Test, he has “officially” joined the Level 2 group of elite USAWA officials.  Since Scott grandfathered in, he went about this entire process in reverse order by taking the rules test last!  I have hoped that all of the Level 1 Experience Qualified officials would take the rules test and become Level 2 officials to show support to the USAWA Officials Program.   It is next to impossible to become a Level 2 Experience Qualified official now as the initial grant of  Certified Official status without taking the rules test is not allowed anymore.

Again, Congrats to Scott!

The Schubert Lifts

by Al Myers

John Schubert's bio from the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.

I never had the opportunity to meet John Schubert.  I wish that I had.  Since his passing, I have heard many stories from those that knew him about his positive influence on their weightlifting careers.   John was a true all rounder – he not only competed in All-Round Weightlifting meets, but also was a long time Olympic Weightlifter as well as competing in numerous “physique” (old term for today’s bodybuilding competitions) contests.   You hardly ever see that cross-over competing amongst weightlifters and bodybuilders today, but in John’s era it was not uncommon.  These guys trained to “be strong” as well as “look strong”.   John still has a couple of records in our USAWA Record List.  In the 65-69 age group, 90 KG weight class, he has the record in the Feet in the Air Bench Press with a lift of 175 pounds, and the record in the Heels Together Clean and Press with a lift of 132 pounds.

John did leave a legacy in the USAWA with two official USAWA lifts named after him.  In 2000, John presented these two lifts, the Schubert Clean and Jerk, and the Schubert Clean and Push  Press, to IAWA for official acceptance.  They were accepted by the IAWA that year, and became known as the Schubert Lifts in the USAWA in the beginning.   However, in 2009 when the USAWA Rulebook was majorly overhauled, these lifts were renamed the Reflex Clean and Jerk and the Reflex Clean and Push Press, in order to match the lift names given to these two lifts in the IAWA Rulebook.   I didn’t want the Schubert distinction to be lost, so I made special note in the first line of each rule in the USAWA Rulebook that the reflex lifts are “also known as the Schubert Lifts”.  John Schubert’s name will  be tied to the these two lifts in the USAWA forever! (actually this would be a good rule test question in the future!).

USAWA RULES FOR THE SCHUBERT LIFTS

 
Scott Schmidt performing a Reflex Clean and Push Press (aka a Schubert Clean and Push Press) at the 2010 USAWA Club Challenge. John Schubert had an influence on Scott’s lifting career.

A38.  Reflex Clean and Jerk

This lift is also known as the Schubert Clean and Jerk. The rules of the Clean and Jerk apply with these exceptions.  Once the clean has been made, the lifter must perform a jerk immediately from this position, whether the legs are bent or erect.  There is no pause between the clean and the jerk.

A39.  Reflex Clean and Push Press

This lift is also known as the Schubert Clean and Push Press. The rules of the Clean and Push Press apply with these exceptions. Once the clean has been made, the lifter must perform a push press immediately from this position, whether the legs are bent or erect.  There is no pause between the clean and the push press.

My Pinch Grip Training

by Scott Schmidt

Greetings, Fellow Strongmen!

Scott Schmidt shows his AMAZING Pinch Grip - with a 2 Hand Pinch Grip of 180 pounds and a 1 Hand Pinch Grip of 115 pounds.

After a recent performance at the Historic Ambridge Bar Bell Club Challenge, I was asked to submit an article describing my training techniques for the Pinch Grip Lift.

It is my pleasure to share these methods with anyone who is looking to improve their grip oriented lifting events. I will offer the recommended exercises I have used to improve my gripping strength. I have not “specialized” only in working on my grip. I do my grip exercises in between the heavy lift workouts of squats, pulls, overhead supports etc. I focus on grip movements in order to insure I do not have a weak link while doing the pulling in the Olympic Style quick lifts.

That said, among the best grip training exercises are the results you gain from doing the snatch grip dead lift. Since it is an awkward position, it forces your grip to respond. You know your limit easily when the bar doesn’t finish to the top of the thighs. You also are activating other groups of pulling muscles while doing the snatch grip dead lift. This is a bonus because to pick up modest weight for hand strength only will not enable you to progress as fast. And, since the “grip only” muscles can be used up quickly, i.e. hands, fingers, and forearms, by doing an exercise which involves other muscles, you are not as likely to over train your “grip only” muscles.

In addition to doing 3 sets of 3 reps in the snatch grip dead lift 80% of max single, which of course can produce strength gains in many areas, here are some other exercises I do to improve my results when targeting a record in a “grip only” lift:

Lift Sets Reps % of Max
2 Inch Vertical Bar Deadlift 3 3 75
2 Hand Pinch Grip 4 2 80
1 Hand Pinch Grip 6 1 90
Bent Over Row 5 5 60

In summary, these 5 exercises have been very useful to me in order to achieve grip lift record results. Another movement you can do to help you set targets for improvement is to lift something awkward with one hand at a time. For instance, I get Spring Water delivered to my front door in 5 gallon jugs. I then have to take them to my gym area. To test myself, I have used the full bottles to see how long I can hold them from the neck. Or, how long I can walk with one in each hand. Just an idea to have fun improving your grip and break up the “iron only” exercises.

Hope this article helps you get rid of any “bottle cap twist-off” issues.

Tribute to Howard

by Scott Schmidt

Greetings, All

You may have just read the sad news on our Website that one of the Icons of the USAWA, Howard Prechtel passed away November 9th, 2010. Al Myers asked that we share our experiences with Howard. This is my response.

Sincerely,

Scott Schmidt

Tribute to Howard

As a tribute to Howard Prechtel, I would like to offer a few words to describe his accomplishments, and his influence on my weightlifting career.

I knew Howard personally for over 20 years. I knew of his presence for over 30. He was a legendary Cleveland, Ohio strongman. Another fellow athlete and good friend, George Yanoscik always would speak of Howard’s’ fantastic feats in the all round type events as we trained on the Olympic style lifts. To hear some of his feats, such as 900 pound Roman Chair sit ups, or repetition Travis Lifts for multi-million pound results was incredible.

After years of hearing these great stories about Howard’s abilities, as good fortune would have it, George was finally able to introduce me in person to Howard. From that moment on, I could clearly see what a genuine hero Howard was. He gave me so much help in so many areas of training to get strong, and also how to avoid and recuperate from injury.

Howard had learned the “secrets” of the chiropractic techniques that could get you back to normal as soon as possible. Over the years, he ‘adjusted” thousands of patients, including medical doctors from the Cleveland Clinic! If that isn’t a testimony to his ability to heal folks, I don’t know what better endorsement there is!

In addition to his enormous influence on the sport of All Round Weightlifting, putting on countless meets, instituting the Gold Cup, and setting countless World Records, Howard was also a World Class Master Olympic Weightlifter. During his years of competing, he was only 1 title short of being elected into the US Masters Weightlifting Hall of Fame with 9 victories. He could have easily achieved ten and more, but his ability to travel to compete became limited primarily due to financial concerns. In my opinion, he certainly deserves the recognition.

In closing, I will share one quick demonstration of how Howard enabled me to win when I was injured. Back at the 1991 Masters Pan American Weightlifting Championships, I came prepared to compete, but an old back injury flared up upon arrival at the venue. I tried with no avail to sleep it off, but the morning of the meet, I had decided to tell the meet director, USAWA Hall of Famer John Vernacchio, I had to withdraw. But before I did, I ran into Howard and explained my problem. In a Milli-second, he said “Lie Down” . I did. And you know what? He fixed me to almost 100% in a few moments. I was able to succeed with about 90% of what I came to pick up, and was able to take home my first Pan Am Title. That story along with many others is why I want to pay tribute to the memory of a Great Hero, and I will be forever grateful to my personal friend, Howard Prechtel.

May he rest in peace.

Scott Schmidt’s Hall of Fame Induction

by Al Myers

One of the historic events that occurred at the 2010 Gold Cup in regards to the USAWA was the Official Ceremony in which Scott Schmidt was inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame.  The USAWA Hall of Fame Award is the highest honor in the USAWA.   It recognizes outstanding achievement as a lifter, and leadership qualities that are exhibited within the USAWA.  Scott is the PERFECT EXAMPLE of a Hall of Famer – and it was my honor to be able to give his induction speech at the banquet.  I am going to include it here so those who were not in attendance will know WHY Scott was the latest member of the USAWA Hall of Fame.

Scott Schmidt (left) receiving the USAWA Hall of Fame Award from USAWA Awards Director Al Myers (right).

Hall of Fame Induction Speech for Scott Schmidt – by Al Myers

It is my honor to be able to give this speech in recognizing Scott Schmidt as the most recent member of the USAWA Hall of Fame. I first met Scott at the 2005 USAWA National Championships in Youngstown, Ohio, and I could tell right away that he was someone who took his weightlifting serious. I have to admit – I was somewhat intimidated by him at first. He was all decked out in his official warm-ups, and carried himself like someone who came to the meet to do business. This was just the start of our friendship. Since then, I have had the opportunity to compete with Scott at several meets. I have developed great respect for Scott and his enthusiasm he has for All-Round Weightlifting. He always has his “game face” on during competition but at the same time he is always giving encouragement and support to the other lifters.

Truthfully, I have to say it is about time Scott is inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame. Our Hall of Fame program has been dormant for the past several years. We should have honored Scott with this award before now. He now becomes the 22nd member of this very prestigious fraternity in the USAWA which represents the highest award the USAWA has to offer.

It’s time I tell you a little about Scott and why he is so deserving of this award. Scott was born on November 15th, 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio. He has lived in the Greater Cleveland area his entire life. He has been married to his wife Kathy for almost 33 years, and they have two children, Alan and Heather, and one grandson Joel. He has spent his entire working career in business, and currently he is selling Natural Gas and Electric service to commercial accounts. Scott also does a lot of volunteer work for his church, Unity Lutheran of Cleveland. He has been President of the Church Council for 12 years. His other athletic pursuit is golf, which he does at least once per week. Believe it or not, Scott is a pretty good golfer as well as weightlifter, and often scores in the low 80’s. Last year he received a plaque for his first Hole in One!

Scott started lifting when he was 14 years old. His first competition was in 1967. Scott started his competitive lifting career as an Olympic Lifter and has compiled a very impressive resume of achievements. He has won the Ohio Open State Championships 10 times, the Ohio Master’s State Championships 18 times, American Open four times, 2 National Master’s Championships, and 4 American Open Masters Championships, along with 4 Pan American Masters Championships. He has placed in the top 5 in all four of the World Championships he has been in. In 1993, he missed winning first place in the World Championships due to one missed snatch! Scott has set over 50 Open and Masters Ohio State Records through his Olympic lifting career. On top of ALL THIS, his club, the Schmidt’s Barbell Club, has won 25 team titles!

Scott was first introduced to the USAWA by Bob Karhan, a past USAWA Champion. Scott’s first USAWA competition was in 1992 at the USAWA Winter Fest, a winter all-round meet which was held at the Ambridge Barbell Club. Since then, Scott has been a regular at USAWA meets and always a top competitor at our National Championships. His specialties are overhead pressing and jerks, gripping events, and the heavy lifts – notably the Hand and Thigh and the Hip Lift. Back in 1996, he was the first man in the USAWA to Clean and Push Press over 300 pounds. He is member of the “century club” – a designation I have given to USAWA lifters who hold over 100 USAWA records. There are ONLY 20 lifters in this club, which is another accomplishment that warrants Scott’s outstanding involvement with the USAWA. In All-Round Lifting, Scott has won 10 National Championships and 8 World Championships. He has participated in the Gold Cup 6 times. He has placed in the top TEN among all competitors 4 times at the USAWA National Championships, with his best finish being 2nd overall at the 2008 Championships.

Scott – you are the perfect example of the type of person and lifter all others should strive to be like. You have been a leader in the USAWA. You support your fellow competitors. You demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship. You have supported local competitions as well as being involved in the major competitions. It is my honor at this time to officially present you the award that you have spent 20 years working towards. You have more than earned it.

Appreciation Response – by Scott Schmidt

First of all, let me say it is an honor to be here at the Gold Cup Banquet with the privilege of being inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame. After many years of effort, it was truly a warm feeling of accomplishment when I was chosen this summer to be recognized by our members to join the Hall of Fame. When I consider what the folks who are in the Hall have done, I am indeed humbled by this award. In addition to all the feats of strength they have preformed, one incredible common bond is the camaraderie they all share. I believe all our top performers enjoy helping assist others succeed as much as they enjoy winning themselves. That quality is what makes me extremely grateful to join the Hall.

I also feel this is a great aura to have in our organization to in-cent new members to join the USAWA as well.

In summary, I wish to sincerely thank all of you responsible for allowing this ceremony to take place. All of our voting members. All of our USAWA executives. All of our Hall of Famers. My entire family for their years of support. And most of all, I thank God for enabling me to share all these wonderful strength experiences with such an outstanding group of competitive athletes, and good hearted human beings. Especially Al Myers, who organized the Hall of Fame election process, and Frank Ciavattone and his family, who volunteered to put a ton of effort into holding this fantastic Gold Cup event and banquet.

Hall of Fame Biography – Scott Schmidt, class of 2010

Scott Schmidt performing a Snatch in an Olympic Lifting Competition.

Scott Schmidt was born on November 15th, 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio. He has lived in the Greater Cleveland area his entire life. He has been married to his wife Kathy for almost 33 years, and they have two children, Alan and Heather, and one grandson Joel. He has spent his entire working career in business, and currently he is selling Natural Gas and Electric service to commercial accounts. Scott also does a lot of volunteer work for his church, Unity Lutheran of Cleveland. He has been President of the Church Council for 12 years. His other athletic pursuit is golf, which he does at least once per week. Believe it or not, Scott is a pretty good golfer as well as weightlifter, and often scores in the low 80’s. Last year he received a plaque for his first Hole in One!

One of Scott's favorite All-Round Lifts is the Hip Lift.

Scott started lifting when he was 14 years old. His first competition was in 1967. Scott started his competitive lifting career as an Olympic Lifter and has compiled a very impressive resume of achievements. He has won the Ohio Open State Championships 10 times, the Ohio Master’s State Championships 18 times, American Open four times, 2 National Master’s Championships, and 4 American Open Masters Championships, along with 4 Pan American Masters Championships. He has placed in the top 5 in all four of the World Championships he has been in. In 1993, he missed winning first place in the World Championships due to one missed snatch! Scott has set over 50 Open and Masters Ohio State Records through his Olympic lifting career. On top of ALL THIS, his club, the Schmidt’s Barbell Club, has won 25 team titles!

Scott was first introduced to the USAWA by Bob Karhan, a past USAWA Champion. Scott’s first USAWA competition was in 1992 at the USAWA Winter Fest, a winter all-round meet which was held at the Ambridge Barbell Club. Since then, Scott has been a regular at USAWA meets and always a top competitor at our National Championships. His specialties are overhead pressing and jerks, gripping events, and the heavy lifts – notably the Hand and Thigh and the Hip Lift. Back in 1996, he was the first man in the USAWA to Clean and Push Press over 300 pounds. He is member of the “century club” – a designation given to USAWA lifters who hold over 100 USAWA records. There are ONLY 20 lifters in this club, which is another accomplishment that warrants Scott’s outstanding involvement with the USAWA. In All-Round Lifting, Scott has won 10 National Championships and 8 World Championships. He has participated in the Gold Cup 6 times. He has placed in the top TEN among all competitors 4 times at the USAWA National Championships, with his best finish being 2nd overall at the 2008 Championships.

Scott Schmidt is the perfect example of the type of person and lifter all others should strive to be like.  He has been a leader in the USAWA. He supports his fellow competitors. He demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship. He has supported local competitions as well as being involved in the major competitions.  Scott has more than earned this USAWA Hall of Fame Award.

Scott Schmidt is Inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame

by Al Myers

Scott Schmidt "relaxing" prior to the 2010 USAWA National Championships.

A highlight this past weekend at the National Championships occurred Saturday after the meet, when the membership was sitting down to the Annual National Meeting.  This highlight was that Scott Schmidt was inducted into the USAWA Hall of Fame.  I feel Scott’s induction was a big step forward for the USAWA, not only because Scott is more than deserving of the most prestigious award the USAWA has to offer, but because Scott’s induction marks the rebirth of the USAWA Hall of Fame program, which has been inactive since 2003. As I have said already, Scott is more than deserving of this Award and HAS  BEEN  for several years. He put in the work and effort to be in the Hall, and it is about time the USAWA gives him the credit he deserves (and earned!).  Scott has won numerous National Championships and quite a few World Championships in his journey to joining the elite club of the USAWA.  He is a holder of over 100 USAWA Records. He has participated in Gold Cups. He has always supported local meets. He is a club founder. He helps out fellow competitors.  Scott epitomizes a Hall of Famer – and is the type of athlete and individual all others should strive to be like. The USAWA will ceremonially induct Scott into the USAWA Hall of Fame at the Gold Cup in November. Congratulations Scott – the USAWA is very proud of you!

Scott Schmidt performing the Hang Snatch at the 2010 USAWA National Championships.

The words below are Scott’s words of appreciation:

Greetings, All

I wanted to send this note of appreciation out to express my sincere thanks to all those in our administration and voting members who granted me the privilege of entry into our USAWA Hall of Fame.

I have been competing in our favorite strength sport of weightlifting for many years. I know when our organization set the standards for Hall of Fame eligibility, it was a target I embraced and aspired to achieve. So, I set out on a mission to build my credibility, one contest at a time. Although we all know the work is hard, the satisfaction over rules the pain involved. Slowly but surely, I stayed on course to produce results. Winning results. Record results. The achievements necessary to get to the top. What a journey! When I came to this years National Championships, I was well trained to hit my numbers I set out to do in each lift. But as we all sat down to have our annual meeting, I was totally unprepared when Al Myers announced I have been elected into our Hall of Fame. At that moment in time, I really did get choked up. Big Ol’ Scotty Boy. Speechless. Now there’s a first! After the news sunk in, I felt a great sense of internal pride. Joining the class of great champions, who I compete with and against. What a feeling! As a motivational summary to those of you who enjoy competing, take my advice:

Set your goals high, and good things will happen. It may take a little time, but when you hit your target, the feeling is fantastic!

Stay Strong,

Scott A. Schmidt

Interview with Scott Schmidt – Part 4

by Al Myers

Scott's best official lift in the Hip Lift is 2000 pounds.

Al: I was glad to see you recently register your club with the USAWA and help with the growth of the USAWA Club Program.  Could you tell me the history of your club?

Scott: My club, The Schmidt Bar Bell Club, was founded in March, 1967. I was 14 years old at the time, lifting with my friends in my parents garage. We registered with the AAU later to be eligible to compete with the other clubs in the Cleveland, Ohio area. Our goal was to win team trophies, and that’s what we got good at! Our toughest competitor during our early years was the famous Olympic Health Club. Old Scotty Boy had to get some good talent to beat those guys! Ultimately, our winning strategy was boiled down to prepping our guys to be in the right weight class at the right time to have the best shot at winning. With weight control knowledge learned from High School Wrestling, our young guys in the light classes often scored more team points then their big guys. And if we were good enough to win the head to head battles, we often walked away with the title. As we got older and gained weight, by now we could still put up a good fight, because we had gained experience. One of our greatest accomplishments was winning the Ohio State Teen Age Weightlifting Championships. Believe it or not, when we won in 1971, it was the last year they held that specific tournament in our State. So, 39 years later, we are still the defending Champs!!

We stayed active as a club until the early 80’s. Since The Schmidt Bar Bell Club was not competing actively as a team, I personally have represented The Westpark YMCA for Olympic Weightlifting and The Prechtel AC  for All Round events since then.

But after a conversation with Al Myers, who is doing everything he can to grow our organization, I decided to resurrect the old club name for competing again in team competition. I love to train other folks to help them reach their potential. I have coached my family members and friends to World Titles and Records over the years, and my new goal is to repeat that process under the Schmidt Bar Bell Club banner!

Scott is doing a Zercher Lift at the 2009 IAWA World Championships. At this meet Scott was the Open 120 kg Champion and the Best Master 55+.

Al: What do you think the future of the USAWA will be?  What does the organization need to do in order to grow?

Scott: The future for the USAWA looks promising. I think it’s all about telling others of our activity, and engaging them to have fun with us.

I think we are on an outstanding track of communication methods to have the best shot at growth. As in most endeavors, the best way to grow is by word of mouth. If we can all encourage others face to face in addition to our event postings, I feel we have a great chance to attract more members.

I thought of this idea the other day: As you know, the fitness industry is booming with participants. Moving weights is no longer looked down at, like when weight training was in it’s infancy. So to appeal to that audience, with the intent of drawing them into a few of our “exercises” , here’s my thought. What if we touted the prestige of becoming a “World Record Holder” to those folks who haven’t jumped on board yet?

In other words, stress the honor a new comer could achieve by setting a record in one of our over 200 events.  I’m sure there are a lot of folks out there who are good at some of the events we have. And to encourage them to try to obtain a “World Record” may just be the spark to get them to try our All Round Lifting.  The details of how, when and where we post this type of “advertising” would need to be figured out.  But it might spur some interest, in someone who trains hard at a fitness place and finally wants to test themselves against the record books.

Al: I agree!!  We have a great sport and all it takes is getting the word out. Thanks Scott for doing this interview.

Interview with Scott Schmidt – Part 3

by Al Myers

Scott Schmidt performing a 100 kg Continental Snatch at the Ambridge BBC. Notice Art Montini as the head judge and Howard Prechtel watching on the left.

Al: How do you mix your training for Olympic lifting and All-Round Lifting?

Scott: I prioritize my schedule based on what competition lies ahead. I have clearly determined training for the sometimes awkward All-Round lifts actually improves overall performance for Olympic style events. How? First I work on the basics of getting used to moving heavy weights to increase power. Then as I focus in on speed and technique as the Olympic competition approaches, the movements have an easier feel. This encourages me to push up bigger Olympic lifts, and better results are obtained. One important fact to remember.

Do not over train! I find I get my best results when I am not nursing an injury. If I can’t move the warm up weights I need on the way to my goal, I just back away and do a fitness type workout.

Al: How do you train?  Where do you train?

Scott: I usually train 3 days a week, about an hour and a half per session. As a meet approaches, I add 1 extra day per week two months ahead of the competition. My objective for my style of training is to work programs in a cycle method. A blend of fitness exercise and moving heavy weights works best for me. When an All-Round meet is announced, I target my weakness on any given lift, and work to improve that area. Quick example: For Olympic Style training, I just work on clean style deadlifts. To maintain good form, the weight I use is much lighter than a regular reverse grip deadlift. However, when an Al-Round meet has a form of deadlifting, I try and pick up as much as I possibly can. And you know what? In the end, it improves my overall power, which enables me to pick up more in the Olympic movements! This is one of the many benefits of blending my training, so I can improve at both sports, instead of being too stubborn to try new movements.

For training locations, I have 3 primary locations. On Sunday’s I train at Jim Malloy’s Gym. On Friday’s, I train at the Westpark YMCA in Cleveland, Ohio. The rest of the week, I train at my own custom built facility attached to my house. In order to show support for the USAWA, I recently resurrected my original club name, The Schmidt Bar Bell Club, founded in1967, and submitted my club membership.


Interview will be continued tomorrow.

Interview with Scott Schmidt – Part 2

by Al Myers

Scott Schmidt performing a 157.5 KG Clean and Jerk at the Ohio State Championships.

Al: When did you get started in All-Round Weightlifting?  Was there anyone responsible for introducing you to All-Round Weightlifting?

Scott: My first competition was the USAWA Winter Fest 2-15-92. Later that year, on 10-17-92, I was in the US Inlands meet. These were both held in the historic Ambridge Barbell Club.

I was first introduced to the sport in 1990 by Bob Karhan, past USAWA Champion and record holder, from Cleveland, Ohio. We both trained at the Westpark YMCA at t

he time. Since I was already in shape to move heavy iron, Bob encouraged me to try my strength on some new events. The Nationals wereheld in Akron, Ohio that year, but due to my Olympic style training schedule, I did not compete.

I did attend the meet, however and was able to coach Hall of Famer Jim Malloy with his lifts at his first All-Round competition.

Al: I know you have competed several times at the USAWA Nationals.  What have been some of your favorite meets?

Scott: I have fond memories of every one of them. They have all provided me with the opportunity to “bring out the beast in me”. I love to prepare for an event, then gain the satisfaction of putting up a goal breaking performance. Here’s a quick funny story. Good news? At the 2008 Nationals, I was mentally and physically ready to try my first 2000 pound hip lift. Bad news? They didn’t bring enough iron to accommodate me! They were able to locate 1800 pounds, and it did go up, at least!

Al: What are your favorite All-Round lifts and why?

Scott: My favorite All-Round lifts are: Overhead pressing and jerking events, gripping lifts, and hip and hand and thigh lifts. I haven’t posted a number yet, but I would love to try a back lift on the famous Al machine! The reason I consider these my favorites, is due to years of Olympic style training, I was able to make fast progress with these events. I strive to set the class record at what I am good at. Back in 1996, I was the first man in the USAWA to clean and push press 300 pounds. Made me happy!

Interview will be continued tomorrow.

Interview with Scott Schmidt – Part 1

by Al Myers

Scott Schmidt performing a 107.5 KG Snatch at 228 pounds bodyweight at the National Masters Championships.

Al: Scott, please tell me a little about yourself.

Scott: Baby Boomer Scott Alan Schmidt was born 11-15-1952 in Cleveland, Ohio. I have lived in the Greater Cleveland Ohio area all my life. I was raised in a very competitive athletic environment, with 2 older and 1 younger brothers. Through out my Career in business, I have been employed as a Salesman. Most of my time has been in telecommunications sales. In addition to putting my efforts into providing for my wife, son, daughter, and now helping when I can with my  grandson, I also serve my church as council president.

Al: When did you start lifting weights?  Was there anyone who got you started? Who was an inspiration to you?

Scott: I was hooked on training with weights when I was 14 years old. A new neighbor moved in next door, and he had a York Olympic Set. He offered advice and old magazines for instruction, and I just loved working out to record my improvements! My neighbor, Al Steele, worked at a  Cleveland Steel Mill with Chuck Vinci,  2 time Olympic weightlifting Gold Medalist.They were good friends. Occasionally, Chuck would visit Al’s gym when I was there, and he would encourage this skinny 148 pounder to do good. 40 plus years later, Chuck happens to do his banking where my wife Kathy works. So we still stay in touch.Small world, huh?

Al: I know your lifting background is with Olympic Lifting. What are some of the awards you have won in Olympic Lifting?

Scott: I have been in many competitions since my first one in 1967. In my home State, Ohio, I have won the Open State Championship 10 times.  I have won the Masters State Championship 16 times. I have won 2 National Master’s Championships, 4 American Open Masters Championships, and 3 Pan American Masters Championships.  During the course of these events, I set Meet and National records at the competitions also.  I have also competed 4 times in the World Masters Weightlifting Championships.  My best result was a Third place finish in 1993.

Interview will be continued tomorrow.

38 New USAWA Records at Club Challenge

by Al Myers

Kohl "the Young Samson" Hess set the most USAWA Records at the Club Challenge with seven.

An amazing 38 new USAWA Records were broken or set at the most recent Club Challenge in Ambridge.  The Kohl “Young Samson” Hess lead the way with 7 records.  Kohl has made great strength gains since I last seen him lift at Worlds in October, undoubtedly the result of hard work and good coaching from Denny Habecker. Kohl is only 15 – but weighing a solid 272 pounds he is built like a grown man.

A few more meets like this and this will be a RECORD YEAR for records. Records that impressed me the most were these:  Kohl Hess and his 407# Jefferson Lift with the Fulton Bar, John McKean and his 353# Jefferson Lift with the Fulton Bar (more than he did over 20 years ago at the 1988 Nationals with a regular bar), Ernie Beath and his HUGE 201 pound French Press (he had no problem touching his neck since Big Ernie’s neck goes to his ears), Chad Ullom doing 265# in the Reflex Clean and Push Press, Art “the Man of Steel” Montini benching 135# in the Andy Goddard Postal (and he INSISTED on keeping his feet up even though that is not required for this meet), and Scott Schmidt doing 358# on the 2″ 2 Bar Vertical Bar Deadlift (the TOPS of the meet and the bars were VERY slick!).

The RECORDS RACE between Art and Denny is heating up, with Art taking advantage of Denny’s absence at this meet due to illness. Art has increase his TOTAL NUMBER of USAWA records to 353, which is one more than Denny had after Worlds, but Denny still has the lead with 361 TOTAL RECORDS.

An interesting lift we did at this meet was the Reflex Clean and Push Press.  This lift was introduced many years ago by John Schubert (and is also known unofficially as the Schubert Clean and Push Press).  It is like a normal Clean and Push Press but the bar must not come to a stop after the clean, and must be immediately put over head with a push press.  This adds great difficulty to the lift as the lifter can not “collect himself” after the clean to prepare for the Push Press.  Also, since you can’t move your feet during a push press you must have your feet in good position after the clean. Scott Schmidt is a very experienced Olympic Lifter and great presser so this lift came very natural for him.  Scott had just competed at the Arnold in the Master’s Olympic Meet and didn’t even prepare for this lift, but still put up a big lift.  Check out this YouTube Video of Scott showing how to properly do the Reflex Clean and Push Press.

Records Race

by Al Myers


After the recent activity of several record days and meets, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the USAWA Records Race between Denny “Prez” Habecker and Art “Man of Steel” Montini.  After Worlds, Denny was holding a slight lead over Art for most current records held in the USAWA (4 records).  It is still very close, but Denny has increased his lead over Art.  These two are WAY AHEAD of the rest of the field, and I have a feeling the battle between the two of them will continue for quite some time.  I have expanded the list from the TOP TEN to the lifters who hold over 100 USAWA current records. I’m going to call it the CENTURY CLUB, which seems appropriate since most lifters in it are approaching that age!  To date, there are 20 lifters who hold over 100  USAWA records. Special recognition goes to Scott Schmidt – the most recent addition to this elite group of lifters.

Century Club


1.   361  Denny Habecker
2.   350  Art Montini
3.   225  John McKean
4.   216  Bill Clark
5.   214  Noi Phumchona
6.   207  Dennis Mitchell
6.   207  Frank Ciavattone
8.   204  Joe Garcia
9.   201  Bob Hirsh
10.  195  Al Myers
11.  171  Howard Prechtel
12.  138  Dale Friesz
13.  137  Jim Malloy
14.  134  Ed Schock
15.  123  John Monk
16.  118  Mary McConnaughey
17.  114  Chris Waterman
18.  110  Joshua Monk
19.  106  John Vernacchio
20.  106  Scott Schmidt

Congratulations to JIM MALLOY – who just recently passed the USAWA Rules Test. Jim has now joined the ranks of a LEVEL 2 Official – which includes passing the Rules Test and having the experience of officiating in over 25 USAWA/IAWA competitions.  I want to point out that all certified officials (both level 1 and level 2) have the same authority as officials. “Level 2″ just distinguishes those who have completed both avenues in becoming an USAWA official.  I know there probably are individuals who have met the “experience requirement” to be on the list (as a Level 1 Official) and are not listed there. I have no way of knowing who these are if I am not told, especially if these individual’s involvement happened many years ago, before I got involved in the USAWA. Most old result sheets didn’t list who the Officials were even.  If this is YOU , and you have officiated in over 25 USAWA All-Round Competitions in the past,  and want to get involved again in the USAWA as an Official – PLEASE let me know and I’ll gladly put you on the list. The USAWA would LOVE to get you back into the fold!!  The “experience” route was developed in the Rule Book as a “Grandfather Clause” so those very qualified and experienced officials would not have to “start over” in getting certified as an USAWA Official. After all, these individuals have already “earned” their official status the hard way – by sitting in the judges chair for many, many hours.  The purpose of the Rules Test is about certifying NEW officials.

A Big Thank You to Bill Clark

by Scott Schmidt

I spoke to Bill Clark in early September to confirm his receipt of my membership check. At the end of our conversation, when I said “See you in Lebanon” and he replied “No you won’t, I’m done”, I felt the air go out of the balloon, because one of the Icons of the Strength Sports was stepping down. I’m certain Bill will receive many tributes and accolades for all the effort he has put in to keeping the games strong people play alive. But I wanted to send my own recognition, so the folks out there who have relied on Bill to keep things going, will realize, it’s time to step up, and bring their leadership qualities to the table, so our whole organization can continue to thrive and prosper.

Bill Clark had a vision to promote the competitions of Olympic Weightlifting and All Around Weightlifting for many years. If it wasn’t for Bill Clark introducing the Masters program to Olympic Weightlifting back in the 70’s, and bringing the All Around’s in by the late 80’s, I’m certain many of us would have missed a lot of fun memories and achievements in our lives.Being able to succeed at the tough sport of moving iron brings a lot of good qualities to your life style. When you consider all the people who have been influenced by the good things Bill has promoted, I think the man deserves a whole lot of credit for his efforts.

So, in summary, thanks a ton, Bill