Team Nationals

by Al Myers

MEET REPORT

Group picture from the 2011 USAWA Team Nationals. (front row left to right): Al Myers, Chad Ullom (back row left to right): Russ Morton, Rudy Bletscher, Mike Murdock, Dean Ross

The 2011 USAWA Team Nationals was again an outstanding success this year.  It contained a couple of  regular teams (Myers/Ullom & Murdock/Bletscher) and one new team that made their debut (Morton/Ross) in team lifting.  Team lifting is MUCH different than just individual lifting. Teamwork is essential in being successful – things like timing and coordination between partners can either help you or hurt you in a big way.  The teams this year seemed very balanced in regards to the lifters size and height.  

Dean and Russ put up the top Team One Arm Dumbbell Press with a lift of 180 pounds.

The Dino Gym brought another new lifter to the USAWA arena in this meet and he did a phenomenal job considering this was his first exposure to the crazy things we do in the USAWA, and I consider this meet an extreme meet in our yearly meet lineup. This man is Russ Morton. He is a VERY seasoned powerlifter who has MANY powerlifting meets under his belt, and it was obvious he was not intimidated in the least by the lifts that faced him.  He teamed with Dean “the Boss” Ross who in my opinion, has made his presence known in the USAWA this year.  Dean is one of the STRONGEST GUYS his age I have ever met.  He powers through any lift whether it requires technique or not, and through brute determination makes big lifts.  These two guys put up the TOP Team One Arm Dumbbell Press of the meet with a fine lift of 180 pounds. I’m sure you are wondering – how do you do a Team one arm dumbbell press??  At first it sounds next to impossible, but after “scratching our heads” awhile we came up with a way.  First of all, there is barely enough room to get two hands on a 6 inch dumbbell handle so the grip on the dumbbell is not the best.  All of us pressed the dumbbell standing to the side of each other facing opposite directions.  So it can be done.

We were entertained during a break in the lifting action when Rudy and Dave sang a harmonized duet.

The second lift was the Team Continental Snatch using the 2″ Fulton Bar.  I was concerned grip might be an issue for the lifters but it wasn’t for anyone.  The difficulty with the lift was the minimal hand spacing on the bar.  You had to use a snatch grip much narrower than the normal snatch width, which made the lift slightly more difficult.  Chad and I had the top lift here with a lift of 320 pounds.  Mike and Rudy made a solid lift of 117 pounds, and Dean and Russ finished with 177 pounds.   Chad and I used a power snatch technique while the other two teams used the hang snatch technique.

Mike and Rudy teamed up for a 175 pound Team Continental to Chest and Jerk. Not too bad for a couple of lifters over 70 years of age!

The third lift was the Team Continental to Chest and Jerk.  Chad and I had the top lift of 452 pounds, which is now the top lift done in this lift in both the USAWA and IAWA record books.  I was hoping that we could also break the mark from the old Missouri Valley Record List which record is an outstanding lift of 463 pounds set in 1983 by two legendary mid-west lifters, Bob Burtzloff and Kevin Fulton.   We simply ran out of attempts and didn’t start high enough.  Maybe next time!!! 

Chad and I had to use some tight teamwork to lift 1000 pounds in the Team 2-bar deadlift.

The last lift done was the Team 2-bar deadlift.  Each lifter gripped each bar just like in the individual 2-bar deadlift.  I actually thought this would be an easy lift for a team to do since the balance issue would be removed that presents when doing this by yourself.  I thought for sure that the lifters could lift more as a team than the sum of their individual lifts.  I was wrong!  This lift turned out to give the lifters the most failed attempts of all the lifts, because if both bars didn’t rise in unison, the weight would “shift” to the lifter on the lower end and force the lifters feet to move.   We tried it all ways – facing away from each other, facing each other, and even standing facing the same direction. I don’t think we ever decided which “lineup” was most favorable.  Mike Murdock took a nasty fall on one attempt after the weight “shifted”.  Luckily, Mike was not hurt (at least he was not bleeding!).   Chad and I had the top lift on this one with a lift of 1000 pounds.  I think we could have done a little more, but at this time we were ready to call it a day and head to town for supper!  Thanks to everyone who showed up to lift, and special thanks goes to Dave Glasgow for serving as the official the entire day.

MEET RESULTS

USAWA Team Nationals
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
August 27th, 2011

Meet Director:  Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): Dave Glasgow

Lifts:   Team Press – Dumbbell, One Arm, Team Continental Snatch – Fulton Bar, Team Continental to Chest and Jerk, Team Deadlift – 2 bars

Lifters:

OPEN AGE GROUP & 115 KG WEIGHT CLASS
Al Myers – 45 years, 253# BWT
Chad Ullom – 39 years,  244# BWT

MASTERS 50-54 AGE GROUP & 125+ KG WEIGHT CLASS
Dean Ross – 68 years, 281# BWT
Russ Morton – 50 years, 275# BWT

MASTERS 70-74 AGE GROUP & 105 KG WEIGHT CLASS
Mike Murdock – 71 years, 231# BWT
Rudy Bletscher – 75 years, 217# BWT

RESULTS

Lifters DB Press Snatch C&J DL Total Points
Myers/Ullom 175-R 320 452 1000 1947 1535.4
Ross/Morton 180-R 177 253 617 1227 1019.9
Murdock/Bletscher 90-R 117 175 440 822 896.7

Notes:  All lifts recorded in pounds.  Total is total pounds lifted.  Points are adjusted points for bodyweight correction and age correction.

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORDS:

Murdock/Bletscher: MASTERS 70-74 AGE GROUP & 105 KG WEIGHT CLASS
Team Curl – Reverse Grip: 205#

Ross/Murdock: MASTERS 65-69 AGE GROUP & 125+ KG WEIGHT CLASS
Team Curl – Reverse Grip: 205#

Dean Ross:  MASTERS 65-69 AGE GROUP & 125+ KG WEIGHT CLASS
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 70#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 70#
Swing – 2 Dumbbells: 100#

Team Nationals

2010 USAWA TEAM NATIONALS

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2010 USAWA Team Nationals. Front row left to right: Rudy Bletscher, and Mike Murdock. Back row left to right: Mark Mitchell, Scott Tully, Al Myers, and Chad Ullom.

Chad and I were able to successfully defend our title of  USAWA Team National Champions, but not without serious competition this year.  This, without a doubt, has to be the most successful Team Nationals to date in terms of competitors and quality of competition.  I haven’t counted the records set yet, but I am willing to bet that more USAWA Team Records were set in this meet compared to any other meet in USAWA history.  Fellow Dino Gym members Mark Mitchell and Scott Tully formed a team, along with a pair of very strong 70 plus year olds, Mike Murdock and Rudy Bletscher.  It is interesting to note that all the teams had team members that were very comparable in size and strength to each other.  Having  team partners that are compatible in strength, lifting style, and body size is essential in order for a team to perform optimally.

Mark Mitchell and Scott Tully with their 450 pound Team Maxey Press.

The first lift of the day was the Maxey Press, done in honor and remembrance of Bob Maxey, who was a founding member of the Dino Gym and who this lift is named after.  The Maxey Press is a strict press from the rack using the Fulton Bar. Mark and Scott stole the show here as they got an easy 450#, and then called for 500#.  Truly a huge team press!  They missed it by inches at lockout.  Both of these guys are 250-300# strict pressers, but just had their timing off a little lifting together.  The next lift was the Hands Together Bench Press.  This lift is tricky when performing it alone, but as a Team Lift  really provides a challenge.  Mark and Scott ended with 570#, but had more in them.  They just ran out of attempts.  The next lift was the Team Rectangular Fix.  Mike and Rudy showed true grit in this one, as they did a lift of 160 pounds.  When tabulating the points, I realized that these two scored the most points in this lift of all the teams.  They had adjusted points in the Rectangular Fix of 173 points, compared to 157 points for Chad and me, and 152 points for Mark and Scott.  That is something they should be proud of!

Rudy Bletscher and Mike Murdock - A pair of very strong lifters over the age of 70 years.

The last lift of the day was the Team Trap Bar Deadlift.  I had made a custom-designed Trap Bar for this occasion to accommodate this lift.  I told the guys whoever lifted the most would probably have a World Record since I doubt this lift has ever been contested before, anywhere.  The comp was very close at this point, with Mark and Scott leading Chad and me by only 10 points.  So this Team Nationals came down to the LAST EVENT to be decided!  Chad and I opened with 915 pounds while Mark and Scott decided to break the 1000 pound barrier on their opener with 1005 pounds.  This put them in the drivers seat over us.  Chad and I then matched them with a 1005 pound pull.  They decided to call for 1100 pounds to really put the pressure on us, so Chad and I were forced to do the same.  They missed it ever so close, and then  Chad and I pulled it for the win. A dramatic finish!

This was a great day for the USAWA.  I want to thank Darren Barnhart for officiating, and for my Dad LaVerne and old-time Olympic Weightlifting champ Dave Hahn for showing up to watch this ordeal.  Team Nationals is a very unique competition that I am surprised not more lifters want to take part in.   It challenges you in different ways than typical solo lifting competitions.  Even though next year’s Team Nationals is a year away, I invite everyone now  to take part in this event next year.

Al Myers and Chad Ullom with a 1100 pound Team Trap Bar Deadlift.

RESULTS:

Teams:

1. Al Myers (253# & 44 years old) and Chad Ullom (245# & 38 years old)  – 115 kg Class & Open Division

2. Mark Mitchell (357# & 49 years old) and Scott Tully (344# & 34 years old) – 125+ kg Class & Open Division

3. Mike Murdock (230# & 70 years old) and Rudy Bletscher (216# & 74 years old) – 105 kg Class & 70-74 Age Division

Official (one official system used):  Darren Barnhart

Team Lifts:  Maxey Press, Bench Press – Hands Together, Rectangular Fix, and Trap Bar Deadlift

Lifters Maxey Bench Rec Fix Trap DL Total Points
Al Myers

Chad Ullom

400 500 200 1100 2200 1734.92
Mark Mitchell

Scott Tully

450 570 215 1005 2240 1592.42
Mike Murdock

Rudy Bletscher

200 210 160 585 1155 1252.96

Notes: All lifts recorded in pounds.  Total is total weight in pounds lifted.   Points are adjusted points for bodyweight and age correction.

Dino Days Are Coming Up!

MEET REMINDER

by Al Myers

2009 USAWA Team National Champions, Al Myers and Chad Ullom, with a 2-Man Jefferson Lift of 1000 pounds. Team JWC, Thom Van Vleck and John O'Brien (in the background) were second overall.

This upcoming weekend is the Dino Gym’s annual Dino Days Weekend.  Two competitions will be held – a Highlander Games on Saturday (Sanctioned by the North American Highlander Association)  and the USAWA Team Nationals on Sunday.  Scott Tully is the meet director for the Dino Gym Highlander and I’m the meet director for the Team Nationals.  Entry forms and meet information for the Highlander Games can be found here – Dino Gym Highlander Entry Form .  Team Nationals entry forms and meet information  are available on this website, under “Future Events”.  It is NOT too late to enter either one of these competitions!

Make sure to plan to hang around Saturday night for the evening festivities. There will be lots of good BBQ, as much fluids that you would like to consume, and great camaraderie.   Even if you don’t compete,  I invite you to just show up and be part of the fun times!

Team Nationals

Meet Announcement -

the 2010 USAWA Team Nationals

by Al Myers

Defending 2009 USAWA Team Champs Al Myers and Chad Ullom.

I  will be hosting the 2010 USAWA Team Nationals again this year on Sunday, September 19th.   This will be the fourth year the USAWA has had Team Nationals.  I am hoping for more participation this year – and I have picked a selection of lifts that should be accommodating to everyone.

This year’s lifts are:

Maxey Press

Bench Press – Hands Together

Rectangular Fix

Trap Bar Deadlift

Different divisions will be contested – the 2-Man, 2-Woman, and the 2-Person.  The 2-Person division consists of a man and woman team.  USAWA scoring will be used as required by our rules for all National Competitions. A record day for Team Lifts ONLY will held after the meet.

This coming  fall of 2010  marks the 5 year date that the Dino Gym lost a great friend and training partner in Bob Maxey.  There is not a training session that Bob is not remembered by all of us. His weightlifting belt still resides untouched on the mantle, and its presence still gives us motivation to train, much like Bob did when he was  in the gym pushing us to lift harder with his boisterous words of encouragement.   So, in remembrance of Bob, I have included the USAWA lift named after him – the Maxey Press. The Maxey Press is a strict press out of the rack with a Fulton Bar.  This was one of Bob’s favorite lifts.  This will be the first time it will be held in a competition as a Team lift.

Another unique lift that will be contested will be the Team Trap Bar Deadlift.  I just recently built a specialty bar for this purpose.  As far as I know, the Team Trap Bar Deadlift has NEVER been contested before so any records set will be the first ever.  I know everyone will enjoy this lift.

The Team Nationals will be held in conjunction with our gym’s annual Dino Days Weekend.  On Saturday, we will be hosting a Highlander Games, sanctioned by NAHA.  After the games on Saturday, we will be having a big backyard BBQ that evening. So, this is just another reason to put this date on your calendar!

Entry Form for Team Nationals – TeamNationals2010

The JWC Perspective on Team Nationals

by Thom Van Vleck

John O'Brien (of the JWC) loading the last stone at the NAHA Nationals to secure his first place finish!!

John O’Brien and I have trained together for about 6 years now. John is one of my partners on our Strongman Evangelism team and since we are similar height and strength, we figured this would be a good event for us.

Believe it or not, I last competed in an “odd lift” meet nearly 30 years ago. I have helped with USAWA meets and even helped coach John in his USAWA efforts over the years, but I was so focused on my Highland Games career I just hadn’t had the right time to do a meet. Well, having just finished the NAHA Highlander meet the previous day, I had no excuses so John and I joined in. I soon realized what I was missing out on!

Team lifting puts a premium on team work. You have to match your partner’s efforts while applying your own maximum effort into the lift. Timing is everything. A lesson learned on the first lift of the day, the Two man one arm Snatch. John and I can both power snatch around 225lbs…..but it ’s a whole new ball game when you have to do it together. We managed 215lbs. On the other lifts, the Straddle or Jefferson Lift, the thick bar Ciavattone grip deadlift, and the Bench Press Feet in Air did not require split second timing, but still you had to lock out together.

I don’t think at any point John and I felt we were a threat to Chad and Al…..they had been training for this event while John and I had not. We just might have to put some more effort into it for next year and see if we can catch Al and Chad napping. We did manage to beat them on one lift, the BP with Feet in Air with our age handicap, but to be honest, their last attempt looked easier than ours.

It is a lot of fun to walk up to a bar loaded to 850lbs and think that you are going to lift it. Even if it’s a two man lift, seeing all those plates rise up is a real adrenaline rush. I know we were too tentative on this lift and next year I see 1000lb as a real possibility.

I think the best part of All around lifting is the fun of trying new things and having so many ways you can set a record. You get sore in ways that regular training will never make you sore. You also learn how to “lift on the fly”. What I mean by that is that many guys train a limited number of lifts and their strength gets very specific. In other words, a powerlifter will get very strong on the Bench, Dead, and Squat, but they ever find themselves in need of tapping into that strength outside their usual training range of motion, they’ll find themselves coming up short. All around does just that, it trains you to be all around strong.

At any rate, it was a blast. I look forward to the Dino Gym/JWC rematch next year. I plan on bringing more than one team of lifters to take out the Dino Gym crew once and for all! Anybody going to stop us! It was great fun, how lifting should be.