A RECORD Record Day

by Al Myers

Jesse watching and judging his daughter Gabby performing a 80 pound 12" base squat at the 2012 Jobes Steel Jungle Record Day.

Jesse Jobe really put “on a show” with his first USAWA promotion – the Jobe’s Steel Jungle Record Day.  It is exciting to see a new enthusiast club like his in the USAWA.  And on top of it all – the lifters in his club are exactly the type of lifters that fit into the USAWA’s philosophy. These guys (and gals) like good ole fashioned hard training, and don’t mind trying something that might be a little “out of their comfort zone”.   Plus I can attest to their drug-free status as I’ve now had a chance to drug test most of them (with the exception of the KING APE himself, Jesse, who is next on my list!!). 

When Jesse announced in his writeup that all together they set a total of 188 new USAWA records in their record day, I was a little skeptical.  Because if this was the case, it would make their record day a RECORD record day.  Never before has this many records been set in a single day in the USAWA, and that covers 100’s of meets over the past 25 years.  You think of all the big meets put on by Howard Prechtel of Cleveland,  Frank Ciavattone in Boston,  the two iron masters in Pittsburgh, Art Montini & John McKean, Denny Habecker in Lebanon, John Vernacchio in Philly, and Bill Clark in Columbia.  You would think the honor of this would be with one of those legendary promoters, but here comes the Jobes Steel Jungle!!!  What a way to make an impression in the USAWA!!!

I finally got the “final count” done on the number of records and it came to 181 individual records and 3 team records. The reason it wasn’t the 188 that Jesse claimed was because there were several cases of the SAME GUYS breaking a record in the same weight class.  So in a sense, a USAWA record got broken TWICE in the same day!! (but it only officially counts as one record) I was amazed at the number of records individual lifters set – newcomer Tim Songster led the way with 33,  Jesse had 31, Gabby 24, Alison 21, Troy Goetsch 17, Corey Kenkel 16, Mac Capello & Bryan Benzel 9, Darren Barnhart 4, Josh Haggin 3, and poor Scott Tully only managed 1 (but 1 is all it takes to get “in the book” for the day).  I won’t go into individual highlights as there were many.  Several ALL TIME USAWA records were set, as well as many NOTABLE performances.  I’ll save those stories for some other day.  But here is a listing of the records set if you are intested: 2012 Jobes Steel Jungle RD

I did a count of current records from individual events/competitions in the Record List.  Of course, this listing is only for CURRENT RECORDS and doesn’t represent the actual records set at the time, which would have been higher.  However, I do feel that the 181 records set at the 2012 Jobes Steel Jungle Record Day  is the most EVER  performed in a single event/competition in our history.  I am going to claim this as a record of records. 


 181  2012 Jobes Steel Jungle RD  Jesse Jobe
 142  1995 IAWA Worlds  Howard Prechtel
 127  1991 IAWA Worlds  John Vernacchio
 124  2012 Dino Gym RD  Al Myers
 118  2003 USAWA Nationals  Dick Hartzell & Carl LaRosa
 112  2004 USAWA Nationals  John Vernacchio
112 2002 IAWA Worlds Denny Habecker
109 2005 USAWA Nationals  Dick Hartzell & Carl LaRosa
105 1990 USAWA Nationals  Attilo Alachio
102 1999 USAWA Nationals  Art Montini & John McKean

COMING TOMORROW – the update of the Records Race, which has been “shook up” from all of this recent record activity.  One has to wonder if all of this recent record setting might have changed the rankings? Plus I’ll give the updates of the lifters who are “on the fringe” of making the CENTURY CLUB in the USAWA.

Century Club

by Al Myers

Joe Garcia is moving up the Record List Count faster than anyone else! This past year he has went from 9th to 5th. This picture is from the 2011 Heavy Lift Nationals in York, PA where Joe added another USAWA record in the Hand and Thigh with this 1400 pound lift. Joe has more H & T records (17 total) than anyone else, everywhere from the 90 KG class to the 110 KG class.

A couple of years ago  I tagged the term “Century Club” as a way of identifying lifters who currently hold over 100 USAWA Records.  It has been a while since I have given an update on these record-setting lifters, so I think it is time I revisit this topic again.  I believe it has been a year (after last year’s National Championship) that I gave my last update on the current members in this Century Club.  I know I have highlighted the “records race” between Denny and Art a few times since, but now since Denny has stretched his lead over Art 401 USAWA records to  Art’s 378 USAWA Records, the drama with this has been  subdued and the  records race has taken a seat on the sidelines until Art starts to make ”a run” on Denny.  

The Century Club is an ever-changing list, and it changes constantly.  It is based on CURRENT records, so it is possible to be on the list and then if some of your records are broken, you may fall out of the club.  I sadly report this has been the case this past year.  John Vernacchio’s record count has fallen to 97 records,  and now he is out of the Century Club.  No one new has joined since Scott Schmidt in the fall of 2009!  Scott was sitting at the number 20 spot when he made the Century Club in December 2009, climbed to spot 17 after last year’s Nationals, and now resides at the 15 spot.  By John falling off the list, the Century Club now stands at 19 members.  Who will be the next to join??  Two Dino Gym members are “knocking at the door” of accomplishing this.  Rudy Bletscher just BARELY missed the list this time as he currently stands at 99 USAWA Records.  Chad Ullom made a big push on his USAWA records this past year and now has 97 records.  With Chad hitting the Masters Class next year that will open up the record book for him to set more records as he will then be eligible for age group records.  I got my money on both of these guys to make the Century Club this summer! 

There were some changes in the orders and number counts, but the same names hold the Century Club down.  The top four spots on the list remained the same.  The biggest dropper was Bill Clark, as he dropped from the number 5 spot to 10th with only a decrease of records from 214 to 199.  I know the reason for Bill’s decrease in records as I’ve been lifting with this guy in meets all winter and have watched him break several of Bill’s records.  I’m talking about Mike Murdock.  The biggest increaser on the list is our USAWA Records Chairman Joe Garcia.  Joe added several new records this past year and moved from the number 9 spot to 5th overall with 226 records.  Dennis Mitchell notched up one spot to number 6. Take notice of  all the USAWA Hall of Famers who are members of the CENTURY CLUB (marked with a *).

Century Club

1.  401 Denny Habecker *
2.  378 Art Montini *
3.  274 Al Myers
4.  247 John McKean *
5.  226 Joe Garcia *
6.  223 Dennis Mitchell *
7.  214 Noi Phumchaona *
8.  206  Frank Ciavattone *
9.  201 Bob Hirsh *
10. 199 Bill Clark *
11. 171 Howard Prechtel *
12. 138  Dale Friesz *
13. 134 Ed Schock
14. 132  Jim Malloy *
15. 131  Scott Schmidt *
16. 123  John Monk
17. 117  Mary McConnaughey
18. 114   Chris Waterman *
19. 106  Joshua Monk

USAWA Records from Past Nationals

by Al Myers

Denny Habecker "padded" his lead in the most USAWA Records set at the National Championships with this Zercher Lift of 231 pounds. It broke the record held by Andy Komorny from the 2003 Nationals of 230 pounds.

As promised, today I am going to highlight those USAWA Records that were set at National Championships. To me setting a record at Nationals is a much harder endeavor.  The pressure of competition is on, the judging is the best it gets, and the day of competition is long.  It is not like a record day where you can warm up as you please, and then take your time to pace yourself for a maximum effort in achieving a new record.  That is easy compared to “taking down” a record on a big stage like the National Championships.  Truthfully, there should be a separate list just for records established at the Nationals because of the difficulty it takes of getting a record at this meet. When I watch the Olympics I always notice that there are Olympic Records (which are separate from American and World Records) for the events.  I’m sure the reasons for this are the same as what we have -because it is way more difficult to set a new World or American Record at the Olympics, and there is merit to setting an Olympic Record as well.  (Maybe I can talk our Record Chairman Joe Garcia in setting up a different Record List just for records set at the National Championships???)   Irregardless, I looked over our USAWA Record List and was surprised how many records we have “on the books” from National Championships.  I counted 1843 records (out of close to a total record count of 10,000) that were established at past National Championships.  That number is approaching close to 20% of all records set.  I didn’t think it would be that high, but when I looked it over I could tell that the quality of these records was very high.   Overall, I counted 169 lifters who have possession of at least 1 USAWA Record that was set in the Championships. Now onto the lifters that own the most!


1 94 Denny Habecker
2 77 Art Montini
3 73 Dennis Mitchell
4 (tie) 63 Noi Phumchaona
4 (tie) 63 Howard Prechtel
6 57 John McKean
7 54 Frank Ciavattone
8 51 Jim Malloy
9 50 Dale Friesz
10 37 Randy Smith

Now that is a lineup of “heavy hitters” in the USAWA!  Honorable mention should go to these lifters who just missed the list: Chris Waterman (36 records), Joe Garcia (34 records), and Bob Geib (34 records).  I was surprised about some great USAWA lifters who didn’t make the list – but the reason was that these lifters didn’t compete in enough Championships to get their numbers added up.  Longevity counts for something!  The lift from Nationals that has the most records in it is the Clean and Press, heels together with a count of 90.  The next four were the Pullover and Push (86), One Arm Snatch (85), the One Arm Deadlift (82) and the Zercher Lift (79).

Records From Nationals

by Al Myers

It was great to see Bob Geib back in action at the USAWA Nationals. In this picture Bob is setting a new USAWA Record with his 320# 12 inch base deadlift.

It is always exciting to see new USAWA Records set or broken.  As our Record List gets longer and longer, getting new records becomes more difficult. The USAWA has been accumulating records for close to 25 years, and the USAWA  Record’s Director Joe Garcia has been the “man in charge” of this for nearly this entire period. That’s a lot of entering numbers!!  In fact at the Annual National Meeting, Joe announced that the USAWA Record List is approaching 10,000 records in length!  The lifters at this year’s Nationals “did their job” of adding to this list.  89 new USAWA Records were established.  I looked back at the list and believe it or not, but this year’s National Championships made the TOP TEN of ALL-TIME amongst the number of records in the Record List from National Championships! That is quite an accomplishment considering that we have now had 24 USAWA National Championships, and several Championships with more lifters and more lifts contested than this one.  That goes to show the quality of lifting that we had at this years Championship.  Of the lifts contested at this Championship, the One Arm Dumbbell Snatch provided the most records with 24 Records.  The Zercher Lift provided the fewest new records with 9.   Susan Sees and Helen Kahn tied with the most new records set in the Women’s Division with 9 records each. In the Men’s Division, Bob Geib and John O’Brien tied with 8 new records each.  I always notice when old records (those set years ago) get broken.  Dean Ross had this distinction of breaking the OLDEST RECORD with his 240# Zercher Lift in the 65+, 125+kg Class.  The previous record was held be Buck Harris at 220 pounds set at the 89 Nationals on June 25th, 1989.  Now lets take a look at the TOP TEN Nationals considering number of USAWA records:

1 119 2003 Nationals  Hartzell & LaRosa  Youngstown, OH
2 117 2004 Nationals  John Vernacchio  Lansdale, PA
3 116 2005 Nationals  Hartzell & LaRosa  Youngstown, OH
4 108 1990 Nationals  Attilio Alacchi  Akron, OH
5 107 1999 Nationals  Montini & McKean  Ambridge, PA
6 97 1997 Nationals  Clark & Garcia  Columbia, MO
7 95 1998 Nationals  Frank Ciavattone  Mansfield, MA
8 94 1989 Nationals  John Vernacchio  Plymouth Meeting, PA
9 90 1995 Nationals  Clark & Garcia  Columbia, MO
10 (tie) 89 2000 Nationals  Denny Habecker  Lebanon, PA
10 (tie) 89 2000 Nationals  Thom Van Vleck  Kirksville, MO

I would like to make the comment that this year (2011 National Championships) is the ONLY EVENT on this list where the meet contained less than 20 lifters.  That is something the lifters at this meet should be proud of! 

New USAWA records established at the 2011 USAWA National Championship – NationalsRecords

Coming tomorrow – The TOP TEN INDIVIDUALS who have records in the USAWA Record List that were set at a National Championship.

USAWA Records 2010

by Al Myers

What a year for broken records!!!  After tallying the last chance for any 2010 USAWA records  from the National Postal Meet, the USAWA ended up with a total of 609 records.  This is less than 100 from the all time best of 702 records set in 2005.  This is the third best year ever.   Maybe next year the “record for records” will go down.  Let’s hope so.  The following is a listing of the lifters who set the most USAWA records (20 or more)  in 2010.

Individual Records 2010

1.   62 – Al Myers

2.  43 – Chad Ullom

3.  35 – Kohl Hess

4.  30 – Rudy Bletscher

4.  30 – Thom Van Vleck

6.  28 – Dave Glasgow

7.  25 – Mike Murdock

7.  25 – Art Montini

9.  24 – Joe Garcia

10.  22 – John O’Brien

11.  21 – Denny Habecker

12.  20 – Darren Barnhart

It is interesting to note that only one lifter in the above list is not a Junior or Master lifter – and that is Chad Ullom.  The significance of this it that Chad is eligible to break or set only OVERALL records, not age group records.  The advantage of being able to break or set age group records is that you can “double dip” – meaning you can set TWO records with one record attempt.  All of Chad’s records were set individually – which is much more difficult!  This will change next year for him as he reaches the age in which he can FINALLY call himself a MASTER LIFTER.  This list does not include records set in the TEAM Record List, which is a different listing.  All together 18 new Team Records were set in 2010.  The following is the list of which teams set the most.

Team Records in 2010

1.   8 – Mike Murdock and Rudy Bletscher

2.  6 – Al Myers and Chad Ullom

3.  4 – Scott Tully and Mark Mitchell

Would you like your records?

by Al Myers

Joe Garcia, the OFFICIAL USAWA RECORD DIRECTOR,  has notified me that he will provide anyone’s individual records to them if they want them.  This will allow you to see what USAWA Records you actually have!  Joe has worked hard on the Record List lately and has it completely up to date.  Please contact Joe directly at jgarcia@usawa.com to request your list.

Joe also sent me a listing of the prior  USAWA events which contain OVER 100 USAWA Records.  Of course, this is the records still on the books.  Very likely more records were set or established at the time, but have been broken since.  We have no way of identifying the number of records SET at the time of these old meets.  Just like the old saying goes “records are meant to be broken” – once gone they’re gone.  But it is still very interesting in seeing which events have the most.  To date, over 100 USAWA Records are in the Record List from 9 competitions – and very fitting the number one competition is the 1995 IAWA World Championships in Eastlake, Ohio directed by Howard Prechtel!

USAWA Events with Over 100 Records

1.  151 Records – 1995 IAWA World Championships in Eastlake, Ohio

2.  139 Records – 1991 IAWA World Championships in Collegeville, Pennsylvania

3.  125 Records – 2003 USAWA National Championships in Youngstown, Ohio

4.  119 Records – 2004 USAWA National Championships in Lansdale, Pennsylvania

5.  119 Records – 2005 USAWA National Championships in Youngstown, Ohio

6.  113 Records – 2002 IAWA World Championships in Lebanon, Pennsylvania

7.  111 Records – 1999 USAWA National Championships in Ambridge, Pennsyvania

8.  109 Records – 2010 JWC Record Breakers in Kirksville, Missouri

9.  106 Records – 1990 USAWA National Championships in Akron, Ohio

A Week of Broken Records

by Al Myers

Between the time span of less than 10 days, 150 new records were established in the USAWA.  This has to be a record in itself – I never remember this many new records in such a short time span.  Pity poor Joe Garcia as the Official USAWA Record Keeper!  He will be “burning the midnight oil” updating our USAWA Record List.  It all started with Thom Van Vleck’s JWC Record Breaker on October 29th, where a goal was established of setting over 100 records.  They achieved this with ease, and then on November 6th, where two USAWA meets were contested on the same day – the Backbreaker and the Gold Cup – more records fell by the wayside.

I was hoping 2010 would be the YEAR OF RECORDS – where the most USAWA Records were established in one year.  So far – and I have been counting – we are at 561 records for 2010.  As I stated in a previous Daily News story, the most in a year is 702 (which occurred in 2005).  We are not out of time yet – so maybe there’s a chance??  All it would take is for Thom to host another record day and he could do it ALL by himself!!

But the real question is this – who’s leading in the RECORD RACE between Denny “the Prez” Habecker and Art “the Man of Steel” Montini?  Denny pulled a “fast one” on Art at the Gold Cup by breaking one of Art’s records.  Art even commented to Denny at the meet about this “trick” – by not just adding to his total, but taking away from Art’s!  I can’t stand the suspense – so here it is!!

#1. Denny Habecker – 378 USAWA Records

#2. Art Montini – 369 USAWA Records

Denny Habecker used a little brains, along with brawn, to stay ahead of Art Montini in the USAWA Records Race. At the 2010 Gold Cup, Denny broke Art's record of 143 pounds in the Arthur lift with a lift himself of 154 pounds.

On the last count, Denny was at 369 records compared to Art’s 362 records. So he’s stretched his lead.   That was a couple of month’s ago.  It is a good thing Denny is not “just taking it easy on the coach” or Art would have passed him!!  I will keep everyone informed of this ongoing saga between these two old IRON-SLINGERS who are both showing no signs of slowing down!!

RECORDS THAT HAVE FALLEN – Records in last three events

Is the Lynch Formula Fair??

by Al Myers

There has been “lots of talk” regarding the Lynch Formula recently.   Most of this centered around the fact that the Lynch Formula has just been expanded to contain factors for lifters that weigh over 138 kilograms.  Now the Lynch Chart goes to 180 kilograms.  The Lynch Formula has been the “adopted formula” of the USAWA and the IAWA since the early 90’s to calculate adjusted points in determining weight lifted to bodyweight comparisons in scoring.  The Lynch Formula creator, Ian Lynch, developed and modified his formula to apply to the lifts done in All-Round Weightlifting.  As far as I know, no other lifting organization uses the Lynch Formula.  So, you could say, that we have a Formula that tailors to our specific lifting sport – All Round Weightlifting!   I have never really heard the reasons how the Lynch Formula was derived.  Most other weightlifting formulas are derived from a data set of numbers, usually records or performances of lifters of different bodyweights.  I know this is how the Sinclair Formula was derived  in Olympic Weightlifting.  It has even been changed and modified over time when it is “re-evaluated” using new data, and new factors are created to maintain the fairest formula possible.  However, this is easier to do when you are analyzing only two lifts (the Snatch and Clean and Jerk) than when you are looking at over 200 lifts, like we have in All-Round Weightlifting. I find it hard to believe that Ian Lynch used any data involving All-Round Lifts when he developed his formula.  Afterall, what data involving All Round Lifting was available 20 years ago?

The big question always arises, is the Lynch Formula fair?  I have several larger lifters in my gym who feel that it isn’t, and that the Lynch Formula favors the lighter lifter.  But then I hear from light lifters who say it favors the heavier lifters.  And when the fact is pointed out that the  past several years  the Overall Best Lifter at the IAWA World Championships has weighed over 105 kilograms,  they have a good argument.  I always try to be as open-minded as possible, and I like to have the FACTS before I form a hard opinion on something.  This is why I performed my own self-study on this – to answer that question to myself.   In no way is this information I am presenting you a scientific study that has any statistical significance.  I am making that disclaimer LOUDLY, so my statistics friends like Tom Ryan (who is way smarter than me in matters like this)  won’t point out my deficiencies in the methods of my study.  This study is entirely just a compilation of data that must be taken on surface value.  But it is still VERY INTERESTING and should provide the best factual support  regarding the fairness of the Lynch Formula that has ever been available.

Study – Determining the Fairness of the Lynch Formula

Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate the fairness of the Lynch Formula in regards to correction factors for bodyweight adjustments.

Design: The USAWA Record List will be used as the data source of information that will be evaluated.  The USAWA record list has accumulated information on records in various lifts for over 20 years.  Twenty lifts will be selected (the Heavy Lifts will be left out).  The lifts selected will be the ones that have the most records established in them through all weight and age classes. Three weight divisions will be arbitrary selected – lightweight lifters (80 kilogram class and below), middleweight lifters  (85-100 kilogram classes), and heavyweight lifters  (105 kilogram class and above).  The best record according to Lynch Formula will be selected from each weight division.  These three divisions will then be ranked according to the best lifts according to the Lynch Points, and all points will be added up to determine which weight division has the best ranking, and thus assumed to receive the biggest advantage from the Lynch Formula.

Assumptions: Since individual bodyweights are not known from the USAWA Record List, the weight of the weight class will be used in calculating Lynch Points.  Lifters in the 125 kg plus class will be assigned the Lynch Correction for 130 kilograms bodyweight. This may be an underestimate of the actual bodyweights of superheavyweight lifters, and if so, would provide numbers that would artificially elevate the lifts of SHW  lifters in regards to Lynch Points (NOT an advantage for heavy lifters).   Also, the assumption is made that the record lifts are representative of the average lifting ability of all lifters in these bodyweight classes. By picking the 20 lifts with the most records, it is assumed that these are the 20 all-round lifts that are performed the most, thus providing the best data base of numbers available from the Record List for evaluation.


Lift Lightweight

(80 K class and below)


(85 K to 100 kg class)


(105 K class and above)

Bench Press

Feet in Air

320# – Smith


LP – 320.0 points

480# -  Succarote


LP – 406.6 points

441# – Meek


LP – 327.2 points


Right Arm

132# – Zaremba


LP – 132.0 points

160# – Bryan


LP – 148.4 points

175# – Burtzloff


129.8 points


Heels together

226# – Hirsh


LP – 217.2 points

248# – Bryan


LP – 230.0 points

300# – Meek


LP – 222.6 points

Cont Snatch 220# – Waterman


LP – 229.9 points

248# – Bryan


LP – 230.0 points

265# – Ciavattone


LP – 196.6 points


to Chest

325#- Waterman


LP – 339.7 points

380# – Anderson


LP – 431.1 points

385# – Conners


LP – 285.6 points



287# – Waterman


LP – 299.9 points

320# – Bryan


LP – 296.8 points

369# – Anderson


LP – 304.6 points

Cheat Curl 190# – Gazda


LP – 220.8 points

235# – Anderson


LP – 210.9 points

260# – DelSignore


LP – 214.7 points


2 bars

463# – McKean


LP – 445.0 points

610#- Schrock


LP – 516.7 points

600# – Myers


LP – 473.3 points


Heels together

560# – Hirsh


LP – 560.0 points

605# – Schrock


LP – 512.5 points

650# – Myers


LP – 491.5 points


Rt Arm

369# – McKean


LP – 385.6 points

402# – Ullom


LP – 340.5 points

562# – Ciavattone


LP – 416.9 points



600# – Hirsh


LP – 576.7 points

635# – Schrock


LP – 537.9 points

661# – Myers


LP – 520.9 points

Hack Lift 670# – Hirsh


LP – 644.0 points

605#- Anderson


LP – 543.0 points

620# – Schrock


LP – 511.9 points



702# – Hirsh


LP – 674.8 points

601# – Schrock


LP – 523.5 points

601# – Spayd


LP – 496.2 points


& Press

287# – Hirsh


LP – 275.9 points

275# – English


LP – 246.8 points

352# – Myers


LP – 277.4 points


& Push

331# – Crowe


LP – 318.2 points

446# – Anderson


LP – 400.3 points

474# – Burtzloff


LP – 382.0 points


Rt Arm

127# – Waterman


LP – 132.7 points

160# – Bryan


LP – 148.4 points

171# – Burtzloff


LP – 137.8 points



355# – Fleischer


LP – 341.2 points

441# – Bruner


LP – 384.1 points

495# – Meek


LP – 398.9 points

Steinborn 325# – Monk


LP – 339.7 points

375# – Schmidt


LP – 317.7 points

441# – Ullom


LP – 354.6 points

Swing DB

Rt Arm

120# – Smith


LP – 120.0 points

120# – Schrock


LP – 101.7 points

150# – Ullom


LP – 120.9 points

Zercher 504# – Hirsh


LP – 484.4 points

500# – Anderson


LP – 448.8 points

529# – Moore


LP – 408.1 points

NOTES:  LP stands for Lynch Points.

Summary: Overall points were scored on placings with 1 point given for first, 2 points for second, and 3 points for third.  These points were then “added up” to give total points for the 20 selected lifts, which would give the low overall score  as being  the best.  The lightweight division had 40 points, the middleweight division had 38 points, and the heavyweight division had 42 points.  The lightweight division had 6 “firsts”, the middleweight division had 8 “firsts”, and the heavyweight division had 6 “firsts”.  Also, the Lynch Points were added for each division to give another comparison.  The lightweight division had 7057.7 points, the middleweight division had 6885.7 points, and the heavyweight division had 6671.5 points.

What can be interpreted from all this??

The “total points” are really not that much different.  A couple of points either way could easily be said to be an “acceptable tolerance”.  All it would take is one of those records broken and it could “sway” back slightly the other way. The differences between the divisions (in regards to points)  are not enough that anyone could make an argument one way or the other.

My opinion is that Ian Lynch was pretty much “right on” in regards to fairness to all bodyweights using his formula.  Whether he did this using  scientific calculations, or merely having “luck” in picking the right correction factors doesn’t really matter.  The evidence of comparing the Lynch Formula to over 20 years of collected data in the form of USAWA records prove to me that his formula is very fair and one we should remain using.   Of course, it is easy to pick out certain lifters that obscure the data due to their very exceptional lifting within their class.  Bob Hirsh is a prime example as he greatly distanced himself from the others in the Hack Lift and Jefferson Lift.  His Jefferson Lift record outscored the next lifter by over 150 Lynch Points, the biggest variation of all the lifts recorded in this data set.  But there are other lifters in the middleweight and heavyweight classes who are  “in a class of their own” also.  Everything averages out.  I was also concerned that the weight classes on the fringe of the lightweight and heavyweight classes (the 80 K and the 105K) would be overly represented, and thus tend to discredit the ranges I picked for this study.  However, this was not the case as you can see from the results  that the lighter lifters (70K and 75K), as well as the heaviest lifters (the 125+ lifters) were often represented as having the BEST lifts within their division. Only one 60K lifter made the list (this is not a largely represented class at meets), and he ended up having the BEST Lynch corrected Cheat Curl.  Geoff Gazda’s 190# Cheat Curl in the 60K class outscored Antonio DelSignore’s 260# Cheat Curl in the 105 K Class, 220.8 points to 214.7 points.  One 125+ K class lifter had the TOP Lynch Score among all divisions.  Frank Ciavattone and his 562# One Arm Deadlift ranks above all the others.

I welcome any comments regarding this study of mine.  You can either address them on the USAWA Discussion Forum or you can email me directly.

USAWA Records Fall at Worlds

by Al Myers

82 year old Art Montini broke a USAWA Record in the Steinborn Lift with a lift of 143 pounds. This record was previously held at 105 pounds by the legendary lifter and Stongman Ed Zercher I, which was set at the 1988 Zercher Strength Classic.

Only five USAWA lifters attended the IAWA World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, but SEVERAL USAWA Records were set by this elite group.  Twenty one new USAWA Records were added to the USAWA Record List along with several new IAWA World Records.   Dennis Mitchell and Art Montini lead the way with 6 new USAWA records each.


Lift Lifter Age Wt Cls Record
Clean and Push Press Dennis Mitchell 75 75 55#
Snatch, One Arm, Left Art Montini 80 85 33#
Snatch, One Arm, Right Denny Habecker 65 85 77#
Snatch, One Arm, Right Dennis Mitchell 75 75 33#
Continental to Belt Denny Habecker 65 85 275#
Continental to Belt Art Montini 80 85 165#
Steinborn Lift Denny Habecker 65 85 244#
Steinborn Lift Dennis Mitchell 75 75 93#
Steinborn Lift Art Montini 80 85 143#
Steinborn Lift Chad Ullom ALL 110 440#
Curl, Cheat Dennis Mitchell 75 75 84#
Curl, Cheat Art, Montini 80 85 77#
Press, Dumbbell, Left Al Myers 40 115 88#
Press, Dumbbell, Left Denny Habecker 65 85 66#
Press, Dumbbell, Left Denny Habecker ALL 85 66#
Press, Dumbbell, Left Chad Ullom ALL 110 110#
Press, Dumbbell, Left Al Myers ALL 115 88#
Press, Dumbbell, Right Dennis Mitchell 75 75 27#
Press, Dumbbell, Right Art Montini 80 85 38#
Deadlift, Trap Bar Dennis Mitchell 75 75 225#
Deadlift, Trap Bar Art Montini 80 85 248#

Several record-breaking highlights occurred which deserve mentioning.  Chad Ullom established the USAWA ALL-TIME best lift in the Steinborn Lift with a lift of 440# (200 kilograms).  This also TIED the best Steinborn Lift in the IAWA Record List, which is held by our IAWA President Steve Gardner when he performed a 200 kilogram Steinborn Lift in 1998.  Art Montini broke two USAWA Records held by the legendary Missouri Strongman Ed Zercher.  Art broke Ed’s records in the Steinborn Lift and the Cheat Curl.  Ed Zercher had set these records in 1988.  It seems only fitting that one legend replaces another legend in the Record List.

The USAWA Record Race between Denny and Art is still going strong.  Denny is now at 369 USAWA Records (compared to 365 in July) while Art is still in second with 362 USAWA Records (compared to 358 in July).  Denny did help himself by breaking a record of Art’s in the Steinborn Lift by 1 Kilo in this meet!!  Art’s Birthday Bash and Record Day is coming up, but Art sets a limit of a maximum 5 records set, so if  Denny and Art both do this, Denny should maintain his lead.

Summary of USAWA Team Records

by Al Myers

Two Man Deadlift of 661 pounds by Roy Mason (on left, 76 years old and 151 pounds) and Bill Decker (on right, 76 years old and 161 pounds). This Team Deadlift record was set on January 29th, 1994 at the Texas Deadlift Classic. (photo courtesy of the Meet Director Joe McCoy)

I knew alot of USAWA Team Records were set last weekend at Team Nationals, but I didn’t realize it was the MOST EVER team records set in one day in the history of the USAWA!  A total of 16 USAWA Team Records were set.  The previous best was 12 Team Records set at the 2005 Deadliest Duo Competition, which was slightly ahead of the the 2009 Team Nationals which had 10 records set.   The Team Record List is not near the length of the Individual Record list – only 98 records are recorded for Team Lifts versus over 9000 records for Individual Lifts.  That’s a tad over 1% represented by Team Records in the Total Record List!

This review of Team Records lead to many questions I had – of which I’m going to share the answers with you.

1.  Who has the oldest record in the Team Record List?

Joe McCoy and Bill Drybread teamed up to set several Team Records at the 1989 Nationals Record Day, on June 26th, 1989.  They currently hold together 9 Team Records in these lifts: Team Deadlift, Team Snatch & Clean, Team Snatch and Clean, 1 hand, Team Snatch – One Arm, and Team Clean and Press.

2.  How many 2-Person (man and woman) records are there in the Team Record List?

Only three  2-Person Teams have any records.  In 1996, John McKean teamed with Diane Burger to set a record in the Team Clean and Press at Art’s Birthday Bash.  In 1995, Kerry Clark teamed with Dale Spry to set a 2-Person Team Record in the Deadlift, with a pull of 500 pounds, set at the ‘95 Nationals in Columbia, Missouri. In 2001 at Art’s Birthday Bash, John McKean teamed with Lynne Burnell to lift 405 pounds in the 2-Person Team Jefferson Lift.

3.  Has there ever been any 2-Women Teams set records?

At the 2000 Buckeye Record Breaker, Noi Phumchaona and Anna Holter set the first 2-Women Team Record with 309 pound Team Deadlift.  At the 2003 Buckeye Record Breaker, Carolyn Anderson and Montia Wade teamed up to pull a Team Deadlift of 220 pounds.

4.  Which Team is the Oldest in the Record List?

That honor goes to Roy Mason and Bill Decker, who teamed up for a Team Deadlift in the 75 year old age division at the 1994 Texas Deadlift Classic.

5. Which Team is the Youngest in Record List?

In 1991, the brothers Robbie and Sean McKean teamed up in the 10 year old age division and performed a 265 pound Team Deadlift.

6.  Which Team has the MOST records?

Chad and I have the most at 13 records.  Second place goes to the team of Joe McCoy and Bill Drybread with 9 records.  Third place is a tie with 8 records, with the team of Thom Van Vleck and John O’Brien and the team of Mike Murdock and Rudy Bletscher.

7.  How many different lifts have been contested as Team Lifts?

There has been 21 different lifts contested as Team Lifts.

8.  Which lift has been contested the MOST as a Team Lift?

The Team Deadlift is the most contested Team Lift.

9.  Which Team has lifted the MOST weight in any Team Lift?

That was set this year at the 2010 Team Nationals  when Chad and I lifted 1100 pounds in the 2-Man Trap Bar Deadlift, but that might not last long as I have heard the rumor that the Team Hip Lift may be contested at next year’s Team Nationals.

Time to Revisit the Records Race

by Al Myers

Denny Habecker added another USAWA record to the record list with a Clean and Press of 154 pounds at the 2010 USAWA National Championships

It was exactly 1 year ago that I instigated the USAWA Records Race.  Last year at this time it was a “nip and tuck” battle between our “Prez” Denny Habecker and the “Man of Steel” Art Montini.  Denny had the slight lead of 341 records to Art’s 337 records.  While not much has changed one year later, except the two of them have widened their margin from the rest of the pack. As of now (National records included) Denny still has the slightest of leads over Art  365 to 358.  Last December Denny had “stretched” his lead over Art by 11, but the Man of Steel at an age of 82 is relentless as he is still taking the records down at a rapid pace, as demonstrated by his 4 USAWA records he set last weekend at the National Championships.  But Denny is a born leader and not only leads our organization but the record list as well, and has added over 20 USAWA records himself this past year.

The are still 20 members in the “Century Club” – a designation I gave to those lifters that hold over 100 USAWA records. I last ran this listing last December, and no one new has been added to this list.  However, there has been some changes in how the list “sorts out”. I want to point out that this is CURRENT RECORDS held. If you haven’t been competing there is only one direction you will go, and that is down.  This past weekend’s lifting put more numbers in the Record List (which before long will top 10, 000 records).  It is interesting to note that the 20 lifters in the list below hold 40% of the records in the USAWA Records List.  At the 2010 National Championships 52 new USAWA records were set. For a complete listing of the records set at Nationals click on this – 2010NationalMeetRecords.

Current Records Ranking in the USAWA

1.   365  Denny Habecker

2.   358  Art Montini

3.   227  Al Myers

4.   226   John McKean

5.   214   Bill Clark

5.  214   Noi Phumchona

7.   213   Dennis Mitchell

8.    212   Frank Ciavattone

9.    204   Joe Garcia

10. 201   Bob Hirsh

11.  171  Howard Prechtel

12.  142  Dale Friesz

13.  137  Jim Malloy

14.  134  Ed Schock

15.  123  John Monk

16.  118  Mary McConnaughey

17.  115  Scott Schmidt

18.  114  Chris Waterman

19.  110  Joshua Monk

20.  105  John Vernacchio

USAWA Record Holders in the Reeves Deadlift

by Al Myers

Mark Mitchell, of the Dino Gym, has the ALL-TIME USAWA Record in the Reeves Deadlift with a record lift of 400#. His record matches the best performance of the legendary Steve Reeves. In this picture, Mark is setting a Dino Gym record in the Reeves Deadlift with a lift of 455#! Mark is planning on entering a record day soon to increase his USAWA record in the Reeves Deadlift.

The following are the overall USAWA records for the Reeves Deadlift per weight class.  Records are listed for women and men.

Lift                                  Sex  Wt.Cls     Record    Lifter                                 Date               Location

DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL F 70 65 McConnaughey, Amber 12/10/2005 2005 Goerner Deadlift Doz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL F 75 155 Paul, Andrea 12/14/2003 2003 Goerner Deadlift Doz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL F 80 135 Fritz, Misty 12/10/2005 2005 Goerner Deadlift Doz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL F 125+ 215 McConnaughey, Mary 12/9/2001 2001 Goerner Deadlift Dz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 90 275 Holcomb, Seth 12/9/2001 2001 Goerner Deadlift Dz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 95 275 Hart, James 12/9/2001 2001 Goerner Deadlift Dz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 100 225 Bletscher, Rudy 12/15/2002 2002 Hermann Goerner
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 105 325 Burks, Joe 12/9/2001 2001 Goerner Deadlift Dz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 110 225 Clark, Bill 12/15/2002 2002 Hermann Goerner
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 115 300 Myers, Al 12/6/2008 2008 Goerner Dino Gym
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 120 335 Myers, Al 12/6/2009 2009 Goerner Deadlift
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 125 335 Fulton, Kevin 12/9/2001 2001 Goerner Deadlift Dz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 125+ 400 Mitchell, Mark 12/15/2002 2002 Hermann Goerner

Do you want to see a BIG Reeves Deadlift in action?

Then check out this YouTube Video of Ben Edwards successfully lifting 352# in Reeves Deadlift!

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.

55 New USAWA Records Set at World Championships

by Al Myers

Kohl Hess set 7 new USAWA Records in the 14-15 year old age division, 120 kg Weight Class at the World Championships

Despite the low turnout of lifters at the 2009 IAWA World Championships, a large number of USAWA records were set.  This exemplifies the high quality of lifters present at this meet.  Along with USAWA records set – a large number of IAWA World records were set.  These records can be found on the IAWA(UK) Website, which is updated by the IAWA Records Registrar Chris Bass. In the battle for most USAWA Records of ALL-TIME, Denny Habecker has increased his total to 345 records, but Art Montini is gaining ground as he increased his record total to 343.  Will the new ALL-TIME Record leader change after the record day at Art’s Birthday Bash this past weekend?

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!!

USAWA Records in the Gardner Lifts

by Al Myers

These are the current overall weight class USAWA records for the Half Gardner and the Full Gardner. John Monk is the only USAWA lifter to have lifted his bodyweight in the Half Gardner – which he did at the 2001 Gold Cup. John has a best Half Gardner of 165 pounds and a best Full Gardner of 111 pounds. These are the top marks ever done in the USAWA.

Half Gardner

Weight Class
Lifter Pounds Lifted
60kg Mike O’Brien
65kg Izzy Mabrey
70kg John Monk
75kg John Monk
80kg John Monk
85kg John Monk
90kg Denny Habecker
95kg Ed Schock
100kg Chad Ullom
105kg Bill Spayd
110kg Jason Weigle
115kg Ralph Cirafes
120kg Kevin Fulton
125kg Frank Ciavattone
Frank Ciavattone

Full Gardner

Weight Class
Lifter Pounds Lifted
60kg Mike O’Brien
65kg Barry Pensyl
70kg John Monk
75kg John Monk
80kg Abe Smith
85kg John Monk
90kg Tim Piper
95kg James Foster
100kg Bill Spayd
105kg Ed Schock
110kg Mike McBride
115kg None
120kg None None
125kg Demetrius Davis
Bill Rogers