Ben Edwards – Meet Director of the Dino Grip Challenge

by Al Myers

Ben Edwards, of the Dino Gym, FINALLY closes the Dino Gym's OLD #3 COC Gripper. This was one of the very early COC grippers and noticeably much harder than other #3 Grippers. Ben was certified as closing the #3 COC gripper in May of 2005, and has been working on closing this #3 gripper since. He held the handles together for several seconds. He is only the third person to ever close this gripper - and many have tried. Congratulations Ben!!

When Ben Edwards asked me several months ago if he could sanction a USAWA Grip Meet at the gym, I didn’t hesitate in answering YES.  It has been a few years since the USAWA has had a grip  competition on the schedule – with the last one  being the Supergrip Challenge hosted by Kevin Fulton 5 years ago.  The USAWA is loaded with grip events, several of which never get contested in competition.  I really feel the beauty of the USAWA is with the great diversity of lifts – and ANY lifter should be able to find a niche. Meets like this exposes new lifters to the USAWA who might not have otherwise.

Ben has picked a good lineup of lifts – from the Weaver Stick to the Inch Dumbbell Deadlift.  From what I have heard, this meet may have a GREAT turnout.  Ben is still taking entries so get your entry sent in to him!   Over the next week I will be running stories on the lifts that will be contested at the Grip Challenge.

Guinness Record Set by Steve Schmidt

by Al Myers

Last weekend at the Zercher Meet in Columbia, Missouri, Teeth Lifting Superstar Steve Schmidt found ANOTHER Teeth Lifting record to break.  This one was a Guinness World Record for repetition Teeth Lifting.  Steve did 50 reps with 100 kilograms (220 pounds) in one minute. His record performance was judged by Bill Clark.  The previous record was 24 reps, set on August 22nd, 2005 by Georges Christen of Benodet, France. Every repetition was lifted a minimum of six inches, which was confirmed by the weight touching a rope positioned at this height.

Steve holds all the best Teeth Lifting records in the USAWA – both with his hands supported on his legs and with his hands behind his back.  He uses a leather bit attached to a chain that attaches to the weights.  Steve also has pulled heavy trucks and trains with his teeth.  Bill Clark wrote a column about Steve’s amazing record yesterday in the Columbia Tribune.  Bill summarized this event way better than I can – so Click Here to read it.

Below are links to a couple of other newspaper articles covering this momentous occasion. And by the way Steve, the USAWA is very proud of you!

KOMU Article Columbia Tribune

Bill and Dolores Clark Awarded the Columbia Value Diversity Award

by Al Myers

Bill Clark

Recently, Bill and Dolores Clark were awarded by the city of Columbia the Columbia Values Diversity Award.  This is a great honor for Bill and Dolores, and a well earned award.  In a recent column in the Columbia Daily Tribune by Janese Heavin, in which she writes about this prestigious award she said, “Bill Clark doesn’t necessarily set out to promote diversity when he writes his columns for the Tribune.  No, Ol’ Clark just tells it like it is, even if that ruffles some feathers.” Her column can be read here. Mayor Darwin Hindman used Bill’s own words from his acceptance of the Peacemaker Award in 2004 to make the Values Diversity Award, “I have long followed the personal philosophy that conflict resolution must begin with communication. Once communication is achieved, only then can there be understanding. With understanding comes compromise and peaceful resolution. It works in sports officiating, in politics, in government, in business, in marriage, and in life.”

If there was a Values Diversity Award for weightlifting, Bill would be the first one to receive it. Bill broke the gender barrier when he first introduced women’s weightlifting.  This was at a time when weightlifting was a MAN’S sport and the public opinion was that women shouldn’t be lifting weights. Bill was also very integral in bringing Masters weightlifting to the forefront. He promoted some of the first Master’s Weightlifting Meets at a time when most lifters thought the old guys should just give it up, as weightlifting should only be for the young, strong lifters.  Bill Clark went against the grain, and in return, has given thousands of athletes lifting opportunities they might not have had.  Bill Clark has always been ahead of the pack as a humanitarian, and is greatly deserving of this award.

Bill’s Columbia Daily Tribune Column in recognition of this award

Date For Nationals

by Al Myers

2010 National Meet Director Denny Habecker

Our USAWA President and this year’s National Meet Director Denny Habecker has announced plans for this year’s Championships.  Denny has planned a two day National Championship, like it used to be several years ago, on June 26th and June 27th, 2010.  It will be held in Lebanon, PA  at the same venue site as this past year’s World Championship. This is an outstanding venue site that has plenty of room for lifting and warming up.   Denny continues to be the driving force in the USAWA, as this is his THIRD National Championships he has promoted since 2000.  He has picked a GREAT selection of lifts for this meet, with a little something for everyone.

Meeting Louis Cyr

by John McKean

Statue of Louis Cyr in Montreal

While attending the 1987 Master’s Pan Am weightlifting championships ( I believe I was 41 at the time and had trimmed down to 132 # -too much aerobics!), my friend & driver John Harrison and I got slightly lost in the suburb of Montreal between the meet venue and our hotel. This was the third or fourth time we had become lost in that sprawling city during that exciting weekend! Since the hotel was only about 2 miles away, we knew we couldn’t be that far off course! Another group of lifters were following us back and, of course, they didn’t know exactly where we were either. So we pulled off beside a tiny park to check the map. As we got out of the cars some one pointed over and exclaimed “Look at that!! Isn’t that Louis Cyr?!” We all eyeballed the massive, well weathered statue and couldn’t miss the inscription! We lifters were like school kids over this find! Was this the neighborhood that Cyr himself once roamed?

In case anyone is not sure, Cyr is the big one in the background and the tiny figure in the bottom right in a similar pose (I think at that bodyweight I had the advantage in shape & definition over ole Louie for this pose-off!!) is yours truly! I captioned the photo as ” Louis Cyr asking John for All-Round training advice!”

Later we asked our Canadian hosts ( who did one heck of a job in hosting this big event) about the statue and they seemed completely mystified, not knowing of its existence. Since that time, in fact, NO ONE who I’ve ever heard of has seen this really cool statue! We couldn’t even locate it again ourselves when describing it to other lifters back at the hotel. Thank goodness we took the photo! I thought it would be neat to display this since the recent article appeared in a recent Daily News below.( the pic since has inspired me to bulk up!!).

IAWA Gold Cup

Gold Cup Date is Announced

by Al Myers

2010 Gold Cup Meet Director Frank Ciavattone

The date for the 2010 Gold Cup has been announced.  It will be held on November 6th, 2010 in Walpole, Massachusetts. Longtime USAWA promoter and top All-Time All-Round Heavyweight Frank Ciavattone will be the meet director.  It is great to have Frank promote another prestigious meet.  Frank has promoted two National Championships (1996 and 1998) and knows how to put on a great meet. The USAWA membership needs to really support the Gold Cup when it is in the United States – so put this date on your calendar now!  Frank has given us more than enough notice on this so lets not let him down.



The Foot Press

by Al Myers

Dave Glasgow lifting over 1000# in the Foot Press at the Dino Gym Challenge

Recently at the Dino Gym Challenge we performed an “exhibition lift” that was a very popular Old Time Strongman performance feat. I initially termed it the “Plank Support”, but the proper name for the lift we did in the meet should be the “Foot Press”. This lift has never been contested before (in modern times at least) so I had some uncertainty in how the event would go. The difference between a Plank Support and a Foot Press is this – in the Plank Support the legs are already locked as weight is added to the feet while with the Foot Press the weight is pushed up with the legs/hip to lockout. Both of these were favorites of Arthur Saxon, and it is reported that he did 3200# in both. Saxon would lay on his back while a heavy plank was placed on his feet in which weight (often in the form of people) was loaded onto the plank. He did “a little extra” with his act in that once the weight was loaded and supported he would slightly unlock his knees and then leg press it out again. So in a sense he was doing both a Plank Support and Foot Press at the same time! Other strongman didn’t unlock their legs when doing this stunt. He also didn’t use any hand supports, thus maintaining balance with his feet only! The rules for the Foot Press as was done at the Dino Gym Challenge is as follows:

Rules for Foot Press

An apparatus is used in which weight is loaded onto the feet only while the lifter is laying on his/her back on the floor/platform with the legs vertical and perpendicular to the floor. The apparatus used must allow the weight to rise without providing any leverage to the lift, but may be guided in a tract. It is also acceptable to use a plank resting on support platforms. The lift starts at the lifter’s discretion. Hands may be placed on the legs or any part of the apparatus, but must not be used to push directly against the weight being lifted. The weight lifted must clear the supports and be held motionless, at which time an official will give a command to end the lift.

The following is a story told and written by Sig Klein, “When Arthur Saxon came to this country to fill an engagement with the Ringling Brothers Circus, weightlifters in and around New York thought here was the athlete for Warren Lincoln Travis to meet in competition. For reasons never made clear to me, this match never materialized, although Travis trained for the match that was being talked about. He told me that he could never hope to equal Saxon in the Bent Press or on the Foot Press, but he trained on these lifts nonetheless. Travis spoke to Saxon about the Foot Press and I will tell you what transpired regarding this lift. Travis asked Saxon if a contest was to be arranged and the Foot Press was one of the tests, if he, Saxon, would agree to allow Travis to do his lift with the plank resting on two trestles and iron placed on the plank. Saxon, who had his two brothers trained and a group of men who were placed on this plank in perfect order by the brothers, agreed to allow Travis to do anything that he desired. Travis said that this was the way Saxon acted about most any lift. He was very fair and would agree to most any kind of arrangements for a contest as long as Saxon could get a contest. Travis had the greatest respect for Arthur Saxon and told me that in an overhead weightlifting contest Saxon could beat him but that Travis hoped to defeat Saxon on the Back and Harness and Finger Lifts.”

I was very impressed with this lift and everyone at the meet seemed to enjoy it. It is a lift that can be done in almost any gym. All it takes is a Vertical Leg Press Machine or a Power Rack in which a plank could be placed across the supports. The Foot Press is the Heavy Lift version of the Leg Press. There are a couple of Leg Press Lifts as official USAWA lifts, but they are full range of motion lifts and nothing like the Foot Press. I am going to present this lift to the USAWA Executive Board for new lift approval so hopefully, the next time the Foot Press is done it can be “official” and records can be set in it.

USAWA Business Updates

by Al Myers

New Officers

With the new year comes a change in leadership within the USAWA.  The newly elected officers took office on January 1st. Denny Habecker will remain as our President, Chad Ullom will be the new Vice President, and I will take over the position of Secretary/Treasurer, a position that has been held by Bill Clark since the inception of the USAWA.

Membership Dues

With the coming of a new year comes the time that everyone needs to renew their USAWA membership dues. There are some changes in how this will be done.  The USAWA will no longer issue membership cards with membership. Instead, I will maintain a Membership Roster on the website of all current members.  This Membership Roster is kept in the Members Section. The Members Section is only visible for viewing if you are registered for the website and are logged in to the site. There is no cost associated with being a member of the website, and you can be a member of the website and not a USAWA member.  Also located in the Members Section is the USAWA Discussion Forum. Please send your USAWA Membership dues to me for processing.  Membership forms can be found under “Forms & Applications”.

Video Page

The USAWA Video Page is still under construction.  I am hoping later this month I will have enough videos on it to make it viewable. If anyone has videos of All-Round lifts and would like to contribute to this please contact me.  I have set up a USAWA YouTube account that videos can be directly placed on.  Contact me if you want the password for this account.

Facebook Page

Chad Ullom has put alot of work into the USAWA Facebook Page. If you have a Facebook Account, you will want to join this group.  This page contains lots of pictures of USAWA events – way more than you get to see here on the website.

Drug Testing

There will be some changes this year with drug testing.  We will continue to be very aggressive in our drug testing approach, but have to make some changes due to economic reasons.  Last year the USAWA only tested at two events – the National Championships and the World Championships. But in both of these events, several competitors were tested. At Nationals 77% of the competitors were tested and at Worlds 38% were tested. This year more competitions will be tested but fewer will be selected for testing at each meet.  Not all meets will be announced that testing will occur so be prepared to be tested at ANY event!  However, I will give you the heads up on this one – the next meet testing will happen at will be the Dino Grip Challenge, held next month.

Year in Review

I have finished a Year in Review publication of all news that has happened in the USAWA this past year (2009).  This document contains all Daily News articles, all 2009 meet results, Hall of Fame Bios, and pretty much everything else  that has been put on the website this past year. It is all in one neat document. I am going to take it to the printer soon so if anyone wants a copy please let me know. I am going to have it bound. All I ask for payment is to cover the costs of copying and binding.  However, the document is over 200 pages long and over 100,000 words.  I am not sure what this might cost – but I would predict 40$ – $50.  Or if you just want a copy of it in digital format I’ll email it to you free of charge. Let me know soon so I know how many to have printed.

Writers for the Daily News

I am always looking for people to contribute to the Daily News.  If you like to write and see your words in print, maybe writing for the Daily News is for you!! It doesn’t pay much (actually nothing) but the satisfaction you will get from contributing to our great organization will make it all worthwhile!  Again, please send any story or article to me.

National Postal Meet Winners

Today I sent out Championship medals to all class winners of the 2009 National Postal Meet, hosted by John Wilmot. The awards were sponsored by the USAWA.  Congratulations to all participants and be expecting your award for your accomplishments soon!

Welcome Back Joe’s Gym

USAWA Hall of Famer Joe Ciavattone just renewed his club, Joe’s Gym, as a Member Club in the USAWA. Joe’s Gym was a club member in 2002.   Along with paying the club dues, I received individual memberships from 4 Joe’s Gym members.  This includes Joe Ciavattone Sr., Joe Ciavattone Jr., Jonathan Ciavattone, and Mike O’Brien. Hopefully, everyone will follow the great example set by Joe’s Gym and get your memberships in early this year.

National Postal Meet

Results of the National Postal Championships

by Al Myers

Defending 2008 National Postal Champion Chad Ullom wins Best Overall Lifter in the Men's Open Division this year.

Yesterday I received the results of the USAWA National Postal Championships which was held in December, 2009. I was pleased with the participation, which matched the same number of entries as this past year’s National Championships. John Wilmot was the Meet Director for this Postal Championships for the second straight year, which culminates his postal series of four postal meets throughout the year. The Best Lifters for this years Championships are as follows:

Women Juniors – Molly Myers

Men Juniors – Joe Ciavattone Jr.

Master 40-44 Age Group – Al Myers

Master 45-49 Age Group – Orie Barnett

Master 55-59 Age Group – Dennis Vandermark

Master 60-64 Age Group – John Wilmot

Master 65-69 Age Group – Denny Habecker

Master 80-84 Age Group – Art Montini

Men Overall Open – Chad Ullom

Men Overall Master – Al Myers

Men Overall – Al Myers

Congratulations to this year’s winners!


2009 National Postal Championships
December 1st – 30th

Meet Director:  John Wilmot

Some used the three official system while others used the one official system:
Art Montini – Officials: Denny Habecker, Scott Schmidt, and John McKean
Denny Habecker – Officials: Art Montini, Scott Schmidt, and John McKean
Kohl Hess – Officials: Art Montini, Scott Schmidt, and John McKean
Molly Myers – Official: Al Myers
Al Myers – Official: Chad Ullom
Dennis Vandermark – Official: John Monk Jr.
John Monk Jr. – Official: No certified official used
Joe Ciavattone Jr. – Official: Mike O’Brien
Jonathan Ciavattone – Official: Joe Ciavattone Sr.
Joe Ciavattone Sr. – Official: Mike O’Brien
Orie Barnett – Official: No certified official used
John Wilmot – Official: No certified official used

Lifts:  Clean and Push Press, Zercher Lift, Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip



Lifter Age BWT Wt Cls
Push Press
Zercher Deadlift Total Points
Molly Myers
11 128 60 60 85 175 320 506.59


Lifter Age BWT Wt Cls
Push Press
Zercher Deadlift Total Points
Al Myers
43 257 120 264.5 407.7 462.7 1134.9 923.58
Chad Ullom
38 237 110 253.5 407.7 440.7 1101.9 898.60
Joe Ciavattone Jr.
16 207 95 200 325 365 890 858.19
Orie Barnett
48 228.6 105 188 330 415 933 845.10
John Monk Jr.
44 175 80 205 325 275 805 816.17
Joe Ciavattone Sr.
41 245 115 220 325 425 970 793.00
Denny Habecker
67 200 95 148 215 290 653 746.99
John Wilmot
62 212 100 135 205 335 675 718.25
Jonathan Ciavattone
15 207 95 145 230 300 675 680.46
Dennis Vandermark
56 206 95 95 225 285 605 621.99
Art Montini
82 181 85 80 158 200 438 592.83
Kohl Hess
15 264 120 130 215 290 635 563.75

“BWT” is bodyweight in pounds. “Wt Cls” is kilogram weight class.  “Total” is total pounds lifted.  “Points” is bodyweight and age adjusted points.

The Reeves Deadlift

by Al Myers

Steve Reeves demonstrating the lift named after him. Notice the wide-flange plates turned outwards, to help with the grip. Steve used York Deep Dish 45# plates as his gripping plates.

The USAWA Discussion Forum always stimulates new topics for me to include in the Daily News. Recently, the Reeves Deadlift has been among one of the hottest discussed threads, resulting in several forum members issuing challenges to one another. For those that are not familiar with this unusual All-Round Lift, it is named after the late great bodybuilder Steve Reeves. Steve Reeves is a former Mr. World, Mr. America, and Mr. Universe Champion. During the 50’s and 60’s he starred in several movies, and became a movie star with his movie rolls playing Hercules. Steve Reeves used this exercise as an upper back exercise, and maybe it helped him in developing his stunning lat spread. It has been reported that he was capable of 400# in this lift! I have found the limiting factor in this lift is the ability to hold the grip on the plates – so it is also a great grip exercise. It helps if you have long arms. The Reeves Deadlift is also known as the Rim Lift, and goes by that name in the IAWA(UK). The rules for the Reeves Deadlift are pretty straight forward:

USAWA Rule for the Reeves Deadlift:

“The rules of the Deadlift apply with these exceptions. The lift starts by the lifter gripping one plate on each side of the bar. The flanges of the plates may be turned outwards to provide a better gripping surface. A regulation bar of legal length must be used. There are no width specifications of the flanges of the lifting plates. Weight is added to the bar with smaller diameter plates so the lifter always has just one plate per side to grip.”

Coming tomorrow – the list of the USAWA Record Class Holders in the Reeves Deadlift.

Interview with Bob Moore – Part 3

by Al Myers

Bob Moore squatting at a fundraiser for a young girl with cancer. His efforts raised over $4000.

Al: I know you were involved in several big meet promotions. Could you tell me a little about the meets that you directed.

Bob: I had the opportunity to direct several large, successful USAWA and powerlifting meets, one being the 1992 USAWA National Championships. If I recall correctly, it was one of the first USAWA meets to secure major sponsors (Budweiser, PepsiCo, etc). The site for the meet was a great location, and the local hotel we worked with had a great nightclub for everyone’s enjoyment. Town officials even got involved and handed out the trophies during the awards ceremony. Other meets I directed involved a bench press meet at a nightclub; we had a huge turnout and a lively environment. I also co-promoted several meets with a close friend, Howie Waldron. Knowing that a strong support staff can make or break a meet, we worked with the Warrior Weightlifting Team, which consisted mainly of Coyle Cassidy High School powerlifters. One particular meet was held in a huge grand ballroom – with state of the art equipment, food and drink for the lifters, and huge trophies for the winners. The meet netted thousands of dollars, which in turn was donated to the Warrior team, which enabled them to take the trip to the Teenage National Championships.

Al: I am glad to hear that you will be making a “comeback” into All-Round Weightlifting. The USAWA needs individuals like you involved in our sport. Do you have any views on the future of the USAWA?

Bob: I believe there is tremendous growth potential, maybe more than any other sport, for the USAWA. However, the USAWA and IAWA need to make a concerted effort in bringing the sport to the public. Efforts should be made to recruit more lifters, and to make it more of a mainstream sport. Powerlifting and Olympic lifting are known by just about everyone who sets foot in a gym. When I was training for USAWA events, my training would naturally draw questions and interest from other gym members. When it came to presenting to Corporate Sponsors, I found they loved the idea and eagerly wanted to get involved. How many other sports can you find a 13 year old and an 80 year old competing side by side? A few suggestions would be to have trained persons work in a public relations role to make the equipment, lifts, etc, more widely know by a bigger audience than currently exists. There should be a “core” set of lifts that are familiar to the public; lesser known lifts can be introduced at a later time. Demonstrations prior to powerlifting meets would be both informative and entertaining. More head to head competition would also give the sport a needed boost, whether done by weight class or age. With a great set of records in the books, the USAWA and IAWA need to make sure these records, as well as new ones are challenged in dynamic and creative ways.

Strength sports in general have always been divided by drugs, big egos, and equipment. The future of all strength sports is dependent on the credibility of their respective organizations. The USAWA has major advantages over other strength sports; it does not have any splinter organizations, we have one set of record books, strict drug testing rules are in place and there is no equipment that affects lifts. It is my hope that the USAWA can take advantage of the huge opportunities that lie ahead of the organization.

Al: Bob, thank you very much for doing this interview. As a final question – What advice would you have for a new weightlifter that is interested in All-Round Weightlifting?

Bob: Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Weightlifters love to talk! They would love a new set of ears to talk to, don’t be afraid to talk to them. The key to success in any area of your life is knowledge. When I needed help with my back lift I called the king of all back lifters, Paul Anderson. Who better to ask? He turned out to be a wonderful source of information, as well as a nice, kind individual. He also became my role model later in my lifting career, and life. To this day I still donate to the Paul Anderson Youth Home (

Young lifters should surround themselves with successful, dedicated, positive, knowledgeable lifters; there is no room for doubt or negativity when you are training. Failure is not an option. As weightlifting is an art form, young lifters also need to study the mechanics of the lifts they are going to be performing. Just because someone can lift a lot of weight does not mean they are doing lifts in the most effective way. Minor changes in hand, foot, knee or shoulder position can lead to major gains. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to the All-Rounds or strength sports as everyone has different proportions, strengths and weaknesses. My 17 year old brother, Ryan, has broken several long standing teen and high school powerlifting records with techniques that are slightly different than my own. His squat and deadlifts are both well over 600, and his bench is going over 400 now at a bodyweight of 242. His body is different than mine so we made the proper adjustments in his training.

If I may say one more thing before this interview ends, all the talent in the world is of little to no value if you do not use it to help others. Use your God given talents to help others! Go out and make a difference in the world!

Bob Moore lifting a car at a fundraiser sponsored by Venture Sports on Founder's Day in Mansfield, MA. The weight of the car was 3430 pounds!

Interview with Bob Moore – Part 2

by Al Myers

Bob Moore doing a Hip Lift at a benefit fundraiser, in which money was raised to help a young boy with cancer.

Al: I had no idea that you underwent that many physical hardships before your distinguished lifting career. That must have took tremendous courage and willpower. I know Frank had to be a major influence on your All-Round Lifting. Along with Frank, who inspired you to take up weightlifting and compete in the USAWA?

Bob: As a young boy, a weightlifting or strongman competition on Wide World of Sports was a must see. I remember watching Bill Kazmier and Vasili Alexeyev dominate their respective strength sports. After watching those shows I would go outside and lift weights. I recall the time that I was outside lifting and my dear dad said “I don’t care what you want to be in life, just make sure you are the best you can be.” Those words have stuck with me ever since. My dad inspired me to be the best at what I loved, powerlifter and strongman.

Al: What was your favorite All-Round lifts? I know the Zercher Lift had to be one since you still hold the All-Time USAWA record in the Zercher Lift with a lift of 529#.

Bob: The Zercher lift was indeed my favorite. Although my highest official lift was 529, my best gym lift was 585. I had to stop doing them at the gym after dropping that 585 on the floor- the third floor of an old warehouse. I am still in shock that the floor didn’t collapse! My other favorites are the hip lift, hack lift and the straddle lift. I never had the chance to do the back lift in the USAWA but you will see me back on the platform in an attempt to break the all time record late in 2010.

Al: Please tell me about some of your accomplishments in All-Round weightlifting that you are the most proud of.

Bob: When I look back, I am most proud of the opportunities that the All-Round Weightlifting gave me to help others. My talents on the platform eventually led to the creation of my foundation, Lift For Life. While attending a fundraiser for a young boy with cancer, I observed a group of former pro athletes donating their time signing autographs to raise money for the cause. I thought to myself “Your autograph is worth less than the paper its written on, but you do have a talent in weightlifting.” A couple of weeks later there was a home show. The World’s Gym in Foxboro, MA, who was kind enough to sponsor me, had rented booth space at the show. I came up with the idea of getting people to sponsor me for each pound I was able to lift. World’s Gym did a terrific job in getting their members to sponsor me, and we raised over $6,000 for the young boy, who sadly lost his battle with the disease shortly thereafter. However, the idea caught on and I was approached by others to do events for their children. I will never forget the time that I did a 2,000+ pound hip lift to benefit a boy with cancer. The day of the event, I lifted and did several other feats of strength; afterwards, I was exhausted. While packing up for the day, unknown to me, the boy and his mother arrived (she had gone to get him from the hospital to witness the hip lift). I knew I couldn’t let him down, so I loaded the bar back up and did a 2,200+ pound lift (2 reps) for him. That was the best I had done at that time and it was also the most rewarding. Other moments of pride in strength sports include traveling to Russia and winning two gold medals for powerlifting, taking home a bundle of cash at a pro strongman competition in Canada, and of course, winning my division at the IAWA in London.

Interview will be continued tomorrow.

Interview with Bob Moore – Part 1

by Al Myers

I recently had the opportunity to interview one of the early pioneers of the USAWA, Bob Moore. Bob competed in the early 1990’s and was one of the top heavyweight USAWA lifters at the time. I have seen his name in the USAWA Record List for years (we’re about in the same class) and was always tremendously impressed with some of his records. Now after this interview I am even more impressed with him. He is a man of great character, and has used his extraordinary strength for several benefit causes. This says a lot about a weightlifter – using his God given ability to help out the less fortunate. Bob had to overcome severe physical hardships in becoming a top level weightlifter which shows the amount of determination and desire that he has in his heart. He was also involved in the USAWA as a Meet Director – thus demonstrating his leadership abilities by giving back lifting opportunities to others in the USAWA. Now lets get on to the Interview!

Bob Moore still holds the top ALL-TIME Zercher Lift in the USAWA, with a lift of 529#, set at the 1992 USAWA National Championships in Walpole, Massachusetts.

Al: Bob, please tell me about yourself and how you got started lifting weights?

Bob: I live in Norton, MA with my wife of 21 years and 2 children, Caroline, 16, and Robert Jr, 11. I am employed by a major Wall Street firm as Senior Vice President of Institutional Sales and Trading. My exposure to lifting weights started when I was about 12 years old. I purchased a plastic set of weights in response to the daily beatings I took at school. I continued to lift in high school until I suffered a serious football injury. The result was a broken back that required a spinal fusion of my L2,L3 and L4 vertebrae. After a couple of years of rehab I was back to playing sports. All that ended after I was in a serious car accident that resulted in the re-breaking of my back, broken bones and hundreds of stitches and plastic surgery to my face. This time I was told my luck had run out and my only goal should be to walk again. Fast forward a few more years and I was walking and started lifting very light weights to strengthen my back. It seemed the more weight I put on the bar the better my back felt. About a year later I entered a local powerlifting meet where I totaled 1,300.

Al: When and why did you get involved with the USAWA?

Bob: I had been enjoying a successful powerlifting career when I met Frank Ciavattone in 1991. Frank invited me over to his house to train together. Knowing his reputation and accomplishments I gladly accepted, and what I learned was a turning point in my lifting career. While I was doing squats, he was hooking up a belt and chain to a bar on the ground then hoisting up a couple of thousand pounds. I was blown away. I racked the weights and asked him if he could teach me how to do it. I was hooked! It was a perfect way to change up my powerlifting workouts. It also taught me not to fear big numbers when I was powerlifting.

Interview will be continued tomorrow.

Hall of Fame Biography – John Vernacchio class of 1996

John Vernacchio performing a Front Squat.

John Vernacchio was born in 1936 and grew up in Norristown, Pennsylvania where he still resides today. He attended Holy Savior Catholic Elementary School and graduated from Bishop High School in 1956. He attended Shippinsburg State University where he played football while attaining his degree. After graduation in 1961, he finished his education at Temple University where he earned his Masters degree in Exercise Physiology. John taught High School for several years and coached football. He has also coached football at the College and minor pro league level. At the present time, John is working as a rehabilitation therapist for a Chiropracter. John has two grown sons – John born in 1962 and Jeffrey born in 1965. John lives in Texas and has two daughters. Jeff lives in Pennsylvania with one son. Both received B.S. degrees from Westchester State University. John started training when he was 13 years old at the local YMCA and began competing in weightlifting in 1957 with friends Richard Durante and Domenic DeSanto. John Vernachio-DLFB.JPGwon his first National title in 1961 at the National Collegiate Weightlifting Championships. He continued to train under the direction of James Messer at the Holy Savior Weightlifting Club. John got his start in Olympic lifting, but eventually competed in powerlifting for many years for the Valley Forge Weightling/Powerlifting Club. John was one of the charter members of the USAWA, being involved since the beginning in 1987. He was introduced to the USAWA by Bill Clark. John has served two terms as President of the USAWA, and one term as Vice President of IAWA. He has promoted several National and International competitions throughout the years. He has promoted three National Meets – in 1988, 1989, and 2004. John has the destinction of being the Meet Director of the very first National Meet (1988). He has promoted three World meets – in 1989, 1991, and 1997. He also promoted the 2003 Gold Cup. His favorite lifts are the military press and the squat. Even though John has won numerous weightlifting, powerlifting, and all-round meets through the years, when asked what his greatest accomplishment was, he replied, “My biggest accomplishment was to see both my sons graduate from College.” John Vernacchio displays every quality a Hall of Famer should possess – excellence with the iron and excellence in life.

John Vernacchio deadlifting with a Fulton Bar.

Hall of Fame Biography – Steve Schmidt class of 1993

Steve Schmidt holds the All-Time record in the USAWA in the Back Lift, with a lift of 3050 pounds.

Steve Schmidt was born on August 22nd, 1955 in Franklin County Missouri. He still lives there and is self-employed in the fertilizer business and as a farmer. Steve is married with two grown sons and 3 grandchildren. He started lifting in 1977 as a powerlifter. He got involved with the USAWA from the very beginning. In fact, he held the very first membership card issued. Steve has spent most of his time training at home in an old building with no heat, electricity or doors, but at times trains at Clark’s Gym in Columbia Missouri and represents Clark’s Gym when he competes. Steve was the Overall Best Lifter at the first two National Meets in 1988 and 1989. He was the Open Best Lifter in 1991. He was the Overall IAWA Best Lifter at the 1989 World Championships in Plymouth Meeting Pennsylvania. He has promoted the Backbreaker Meet 7 times, which consists of the Neck Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Hip Lift, Harness Lift and the Back Lift, in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It was held at his farm. Today, Bill Clark hosts this meet at his gym every year and it is now named the Schmidt’s Backbreaker Pentathlon, after Steve. He has won the Backbreaker 14 times and the Zercher Meet 8 times. Steve’s favorite lifts are the Harness Lift, Back Lift and Teeth Lift. He holds the overall USAWA record in the Harness Lift at 3515 pounds and the overall USAWA record in the Back Lift at 3050 pounds. Steve holds nearly every repetition record in the Hip Lift, Harness Lift and the Back Lift. He holds the Total Poundage record using the Back Lift, doing 8,087,095 pounds in 2 hours and 50 minutes!! He also holds the Teeth Lift record with a lift of 390 pounds, with his hands held behind his back! Steve has also done numerous strength shows in which he pulls heavy loads with just his teeth!! He is also a World Class Bender and has performed at the AOBS Banquet where he did 10 repetitions in the Hip Lift with 1800 pounds! Steve has very calm demeanor when he lifts and often makes impossible lifts look remarkably easy. When asked why he likes all-round lifting, Steve replied, “It’s the best!!” Steve has always been a man of few words and just lets his outstanding lifting accomplishments speak for themselves.

Hall of Fame Biography – Art Montini class of 1993

Art Montini performing an One Arm Deadlift.

Art Montini was in the inaugural class of Hall of Fame inductees – and rightfully so. Art is the most decorated all-rounder in USAWA history, having won overall best lifter at four National Championships (1991, 1992, 1993, and 1995). He was born October 11th, 1927 in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. After graduating from High School, Art joined the Navy in 1945 and served our country in WWII aboard a naval ship. After his military service, he went to work in a steel mill in which he continued until retirement. Art’s early sport activities included playing “sandlot” baseball, and even some semi-pro football. Art started lifting weights when he was 20 years old. At first, he competed in Oylmpic lifting. But once he got started competing in all-round weightlifting that was his focus from then on. Art’s favorite lifts are the Steinborn and all of the chain lifts. However, he trains all of the all-round lifts at different times in his workouts. Art is one of only two lifters that has over 300 USAWA records!! Art is a member of the Ambridge V.F.W. Barbell Club and does all of his training there. He has competed in over 100 all-round weightlifting meets!!!! You can always count on Art being at the National Championships. He has even been involved in the promotion of the National Championships, being the Co-Meet Director of the Nationals in 1991 and 1999 in Ambridge. Art is an outstanding official as well, both at the National level and at the World level.

Art is a master of the Heavy Lifts. In this picture he is performing a Hip Lift.

When asked what he enjoys about the USAWA, he replied, “I really enjoy competing with other lifters. I’ve made many great friends at all of the meets.” In 1988, Art was selected to the Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame. Today, Art lives in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania and still competes in all-round weightlifting meets even though he is over 80 years of age!! He even celebrates his birthday every year by hosting Art’s Birthday Bash, an all-round weightlifting meet, on his birthday.

Hall of Fame Biography – Jim Malloy class of 1996

Jim Malloy performing a Clean and Press.

Jim Malloy was born July 7th, 1941 and currently lives in Cleveland, Ohio. Following High School graduation, Jim went to work in a steel mill where he has worked for over 47 years. He has been married to his wife, Sandy, for over 45 years. They have one daughter, Tracey, who now lives in Texas. Jim started out with Olympic Weightlifting in 1968, and then got involved with the USAWA in April of 1990 after being introduced to all-round weightlifting by Bob Karhan. Jim spends most of his training time lifting in his garage. When asked if there were any lifters that inspired him in all-round weightlifting, Jim named two great lifters – Howard Prechtel and Art Montini. Jim worked out with Howard quite often, and often helped Howard in the promotion of several competitions, which included a National Championship, a World Championship and several Gold Cups. Jim is a true all-rounder with his lifting and has set USAWA records in many lifts that are very different from each other. Jim has done a 400# Front squat, a 400# one handed Deadlift, a Continental to Chest and Jerk of 300#, and a 420# Zercher Lift. I should also mention that these were all done after the age of 50!!!! Jim has set over 100 USAWA records and has lifted in close to 100 competitions. Among his greatest accomplishments in the USAWA was winning overall Best Lifter at the National Championships in 1997. He was the Master’s Best Lifter in 1994 and 1997 at the National Championships. He has also won many Championships in his age and weight class. Another thing that is very impressive is Jim has placed in the Top Ten Overall in 12 National Championships!!!! He has also placed in the top six in 4 IAWA World Championships, with his best placing being 3rd Overall in 1995. When asked what he likes about the USAWA, Jim replied, ” I have lifted in several other weightlifting organizations, but nothing compares to the people I have met in the USAWA.” Jim is a great Champion and role model in the sport of All-Round Weightlifting.

Jim Malloy performing a Jefferson Lift.

Hall of Fame Biography – Frank Ciavattone class of 1996

Frank Ciavattone performing a One Arm Hack Lift at the 2005 USAWA National Championships. Frank has the top USAWA lift of All-Time in this lift at 402 pounds.

Frank Ciavattone lives in Walpole, Massachusetts. He is a self-employed Excavator Contractor two-thirds of the season and a Heavy Snow Remover the remaining time. He started to lift weights after he received a 75lb. weight set for Christmas in 1966. Frank’s uncle Ralph was a bodybuilder in the early 1950’s who placed 5th in the 1951 Mr. Boston Contest. Frank’s dad was a Marine during the Korean War and was a Power Shovel operator (steam shovel). These two men were Frank’s early inspiration to take up weight training.

Frank trained for many years (1971 to 1988) with his coach Joe Mills of The Central Falls Weightlifting Club in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Frank started out doing some Olympic lifting but soon found out that he had tremendous potential with All-Round Weightlifting. It was at this time that he got help from Bill Clark, John Vernacchio, and Howard Prechtel – all of which were very accomplished and experienced All-Round Weightlifters. Frank was a charter member of the USAWA, and competed in the organization from the start. Frank is a very sincere and honest person who always gives thanks to those who help him. He commented, ” John & Howard gave me endless phone time on educating me how to do a lot of the lifts before upcoming contests. I can not leave without mentioning Frank Gancarz and Ed Jubinville (both deceased) who played a big part in making me feel Allround lifting was just as important as life itself! To these MEN I truly admire and respect and I thank them from the bottom of my HEART! ”

Frank Ciavattone was the first American to ever lift the Dinnie stones unassisted. He performed this amazing feat in 1995.

Frank was also involved in meet promotions. He was the Meet Director for several National Championships (1996 and 1998) and World Championships (1993 and 2000) in both All-Round Weightlifting and The Heavy Lifts. His most memorable All-Round meet was definitely the 1st one in 1993, in his home town of Norwood/Walpole, Massachusetts. Frank had his family, friends, the towns people, and lifters from other countries all together in one meet. Frank said, “With that combination it was a week of comradeship, competitiveness, and support. The rest was a true celebration of what this sport is by bringing a half dozen countries together as human beings. This is a time I will always cherish in my heart.” One of his most cherish meet wins was winning the Outstanding Lifter Title at the 2005 World Heavy Lift Championships in front of his home town Norwood/Walpole. Regarding this, Frank said, “I was in the 275lb. class. I gave the award to my daughter Domenique. That was a Hallmark moment for me.”

Frank has lifted overseas in 6 World Championships and 1 Millennium Gold Cup for a total of 7 trips. When in Scotland at the 1995 IAWA World Championships Frank achieved something no other American had ever done previously. This story is best told in his own words, “The Dinnie Stones story got started by Willie Wright and his team wanting me to go north and give them a try! They offered to take time off from work and take me. For this I said yes and would give it my best shot. Well after lifting in 2 day competition with 10 lifts at the 1996 World Championships, and the 9th lift being a 507lb. right hand- 1 arm deadlift, I was beat. After the meet we all got ready for the banquet, which anyone who’s ever lifted in Scotland know their banquets are right up there with the best of them. Well around midnight Willie informed me that the mini-bus was leaving at 5 a.m. sharp, tomorrow morning with about a 4 or 5 hour drive. The next day everything goes on schedule and we arrive there with a full mini-bus. I never saw the stones in person before but have to say I was overwhelmed at them. They were both chained to the wall, and it was drizzling out. Everything had a film of water over it, and the marble size piece of chalk I brought was disintegrated. So I found an area not so wet and dug my hands through the dirt to dry them up and it helped. At this point I picked up the little stone right and left, then I did the same to the big stone. Well now I thought I did it. They all yelled NO – do the 2 stones together. Since they were chained to the wall I decided to keep my 2 feet together since the stones were close to the wall. It was hard for me to straddle them and definitely too tight to have one on each side. So finally on my 1st. attempt I reached down and slowly stood up, and stood there while Willie Wright gave his down signal. I was in another world as I felt like I could not put them down. I got an IAWA World record certificate and the honors of being the 1st. US citizen to lift up the stones without straps or other assistance. Also to be one of few to lift them feet together. I am not sure who the others are. The truth to all this is I lifted them fatigued, never seen them before, and never trained to lift them. No excuses – just got of the bus and within 5 minutes lifted both of the ground. I did it my way!!!!!!”

Frank Ciavattone and his All-Time Record in the One Arm Deadlift, with a lift of 562 pounds.

Franks favorite lifts are the three Ciavattone lifts, the One Arm Deadlift and the Neck Lift. He also excelled at these lift and set many USAWA records in them. His records are One Arm Hack Lift -right hand 402 1/5 pounds, One Arm Deadlift – right hand 562 1/5 pounds, One Arm Ciavattone Lift – right hand 331 pounds, Neck Lift 808 pounds, Hand and Thigh 1610 pounds, and a Hip Lift of 2515 pounds. Frank has won 15 IAWA World Championships, 14 USAWA National Championships, 3 Heavy Lift World Championships, and 5 USAWA Heavy Lift National Championships. Frank was the Overall Best Master lifter at the 1998 National Championships. He has placed in the top 10 Overall at 9 National Championships.

There is more to Frank than just being one of the best All-Round Weightlifters of All-Time. He is a man of integrity and outstanding character. He always is willing to help those who need it, and is the perfect role model for the young generation of lifters. When asked what advice he would have for a new lifer, this is what Frank said, “Stay away from any artificial way of getting ahead. Hard, hard, hard work is what got me to do the best I could without jeopardizing my number one thing in my life, FAMILY. Keep your priorities in the right order. This formula keeps everyone happy and supportive.” I would say this sums up Frank Ciavattone.

Frank is a true Pioneer in the Sport of All-Round Weightlifting. He is the ultimate sportsman by demonstrating that a big man can be very strong without the use of drugs, showing that strength comes from within, and displays the unselfish attitude of always helping out his fellow competitors.

Frank has done 808 pounds in the Neck Lift!

Hall of Fame Biography – Deanna Springs class of 1997

Deanna Springs and Al Springs performing a Team Cheat Curl

Deanna Springs was born in Gallatin, Missouri, daughter of Ray and Gertrude Cook. Deanna was introduced to All-Round Weightlifting by her husband, Al Springs, in 1990. Having no prior sports experience, she quickly developed a love for weightlifting, and trained with Al at their gym. Together, they also promoted several local competitions. Someone else who inspired her to take up weightlifting was Bill Clark. Deanna and Al would often compete in the All-Round Weighlifting competitions that Bill hosted at his gym. Her best National placing was placing 3rd overall at the 1994 USAWA National Championships in East Lake, Ohio. Deanna’s favorite lifts were the Zercher Lift and the Hand and Thigh. Her best Hand and Thigh was 620 pounds. That is how the Deanna Lift, which was named in her honor, came to be – by combining the movements of the Hand and Thigh and the Zercher Lift. Deanna died in 1995. Every year Bill Clark hosts the Deanna Springs Memorial, a meet which features the Deanna Lift.

A USAWA Christmas Carol

by Thom Van Vleck

My father in law, Bob Baybo, came up for a visit from St. Louis today. He is 70 this year and still in great shape. He lifts, bike rides, scuba dives, he has lots of interests that keep him active. Back in the 60’s and 70’s he was a bodybuilder. He entered a couple of small contests, but 4 kids to take care of meant it was more of a sideline than his goal in life.

Before that, he played a lot of baseball, even ending up with a tryout with the St. Louis Cardinals. He retold that story today for my kids, his eyes still twinkled at what he called his best day ever on the field. He said his glove was like a vacuum, he hit everything that was thrown at him, and didn’t miss a throw, but alas, it was not to be and he went about the business of the rest of his life after a few more tries at the big time.

He ended his story with “no regrets”. Maybe some dashed dreams, but he felt like he did his best, he played his hardest, he did the best that he could but time and circumstance weren’t in his favor. Then he talked about a trip he has planned for 2010. It will involve a grueling hike and physical challenges that a man half his age would probably cringe at.

I try to live that way. I lift as hard as I can, when I can. I don’t shy away from a chance to display my skills, and I try to go after my dreams while I can because life will soon enough take the opprotunities away. We all seem to reflect on our past at the end of the year. I think that is good. We should count our blessings, share stories, love and laugh.

We should share in the present. Tell stories, share a few laughs, maybe a tear or two. Be there for one another, show support, let others know you are there for them.

And soon, the New Year comes. The future. New goals to chase, new dreams are born, and new stories to be made.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the members of the USAWA! Now is the time to reflect on your past, share your present, and plan for the future!

Round 2 – Yesterday versus Today

Yesterday’s 165# & 181# Classes versus Today’s 75K, 80K, and 85 K Classes
by Al Myers


Lift Yesterday Today Winner
Deadlift – One Arm 317# – Ray Esquibel (1987) 441# – Bob Hirsh (1995) Today
Deadlift – Heels Together 570# – Sid Littleton (1986) 560# – Bob Hirsh (1995) Yesterday
Deadlift – Middle Fingers 350#- Bill Broadnax (1981) 235# – Dale Friesz (1995) Yesterday
Deadlift – One Leg 160# – Ray Esquibel (1987) 260# – Abe Smith (2001) Today
Hack Lift 600# – Sid Littleton (1985) 670# – Bob Hirsh (1997) Today
Jefferson Lift 580# – Sid Littleton (1986) 702# – Bob Hirsh (1996) Today
Hand and Thigh Lift 1000# – Kevin Hale (1986) 1350# – Bill DiCiccio, Jr. (1994) Today
Neck Lift 450# – Ed Zercher III (1987) 605# – Dale Friesz (1995) Today
Harness Lift 2300# – Rick Evans (1986) 2060# – Abe Smith (2005) Yesterday
Hip Lift 1900# – Sid Littleton (1987) 2030# – Bill DiCiccio, Sr. (1997) Today
Back Lift 1265# – Ed Zercher III (1987) 2200# – Tim Pinkerton (2005) Today
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells 410# – Sid Littleton (1985) 515# – Bob Hirsh (1995) Today
Clean and Press 285# – Robert Burnett (1967) 220# – Abe Smith (2004) Yesterday
Clean and Seated Press 210# – Dave Hahn (1962) 220# – Bob Hirsh (1996) Today
French Press 190# – Jim Charlton (1981) 121# – Bob Hirsh (2001) Yesterday
Bent Press 115# – David Lloyd (1975) 90# – Dennis Mitchell (1990) Yesterday
Bench Press – Feet in Air 352# – Ronnie Kinnamon (1984) 364# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Bench Press – Hands Together 275# – Ronnie Kinnamon (1984) 250# – Lon Beffort (2005) Yesterday
Front Squat 360# – Dennis Turner (1979) 380# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Snatch – One Arm 135# – David Lloyd (1976) 160# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Continental to Chest 264# – John Haynes (1987) 353# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Jerk – From Rack 315# – Swede Salsbury (1963) 353# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Clean and Jerk – One Arm 155# – David Llyod (1976) 160# – Barry Bryan (1991) Today
Swing – One Dumbbell 110# – Ray Webb (1984) 120# – Abe Smith (2004) Today
Zercher Lift 475# – Rick Evans (1986) 504# – Bob Hirsh (1995) Today
Steinborn Lift 325# – Sid Littleton (1982) 340# – Dan Wagman (2006) Today
Cheat Curl 255# – Dave Hahn (1962) 220# – Drue Moore (1995) Yesterday
Pinch Grip 205# – Tim McClain (1981) 160# – Matt Kucera (2001) Yesterday
Crucifix 130# – Joe Southard (1963) 90# – John Monk (2002) Yesterday
Pullover – Straight Arm 90# – Dick Hamilton (1963) 110# – Bob Hirsh (1996) Today
Pullover and Push 315# – Alense Barber (1986) 364# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Clean and Press – Behind Neck 200# – Wayne Gardner (1975) 209# – Bob Hirsh (1997) Today
Clean and Press – Heels Together 195# – Chester Words (1984) 248# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Clean and Press – Dumbbells 150# – Ray Webb (1984) 200# – Abe Smith (2006) Today
Pullover and Press 225# – Carles Allen (1984) 287# – Bob Hirsh (1996) Today
Bench Press – Roman Chair 185# – Kevin Hale (1985) 135# – John Monk (2006) Yesterday
Final Score of Round 2
Today’s lifters 25 wins to Yesterday’s lifters 11 wins.

Today’s Lifters win in a landslide Victory!  It seemed for Today’s lifters that Bob Hirsh dominated (9 wins total), and in his weaker lifts Barry Bryan took over (8 wins).  Yesterday’s Lifters were lead by Sid Littleton (5 wins) – who made up about half of the wins for Yesterday’s team.  This list is an ALL-STAR lineup and everyone on it deserves recognition – after all I picked the BEST out of more than one weight class.

Now Today’s Lifters lead by a 2-0 margin over Yesterday’s lifters.  Can Yesterday’s lifters win the next two rounds in the battle of the heavyweights?  Or will Round 3 be just more evidence that Today’s lifters are stronger than Yesterdays lifters?  Round 3 brings out the 198# Class and 220# Class for the Yesterday’s Lifters versus the 90 K, 95 K, and 100 K Classes for Today’s lifters.  Tomorrow’s battles will include these famous all-rounders going head to head – Stan Frenchie vs. Ed Schock, Bob Burtzloff vs. Phil Anderson, and Steve Schmidt vs. Steve Schmidt.  This Round will be somewhat different than the previous two – as you will see a few lifters playing for both teams.  Anyone want to put out any bets???  I got a feeling this is going to be a real BATTLE!!

Round 1 – Yesterday versus Today

Yesterday’s 148# Class and Below versus Today’s 70K Class and Below
by Al Myers


Lift Yesterday Today Winner
Deadlift – One Arm
319# – Randy Joe Holden (1985)
369# – John McKean (1993)
Deadlift – Heels Together
500# – Glen Terry (1985)
452# – Bob Hirsh (2004)
Deadlift – Middle Fingers
255# – Art Tarwater (1961)
245# – Colby Howard (1999)
Deadlift – One Leg
215# – Robbie Porter (1983)
235# – Bob Hirsh (2004)
Hack Lift
550# – Glenn Terry (1986)
550# – Bob Hirsh (1991)
Jefferson Lift
540# – Edwin Stitt (1986)
634# – Bob Hirsh (1994)
Hand and Thigh Lift
850# – Glenn Terry (1986)
1108# – Roger Lynch (1991)
Neck Lift
405# – Jim Borwick (1987)
600# – John Monk (2000)
Harness Lift
1800# – Glenn Terry (1986)
1805# – John Monk (2000)
Hip Lift
1200# – Edwin Stitt (1986)
1640# – Bob Hirsh (1993)
Back Lift
800# – Larry Blatt (1986)
1305# – John Monk (2000)
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells
440# – Robbie Porter (1984)
377# – John Monk (2005)
Clean and Press
220# – Guy Gronniger (1967)
176# – Chris Waterman (1997)
Clean and Seated Press
165# – Fred Yeargood (1977)
165# – John Monk (2000)
French Press
125# – Fred Yeargood (1974)
77# – Chris Waterman (2001)
Bent Press
80# – Fred Yeargood (1985)
72# – Dennis Mitchell (1998)
Bench Press – Feet in Air
290# – Glenn Terry (1985)
270# – James Longo (1990)
Bench Press – Hands Together
155# – Robert Johnson (1984)
240# – John Monk (1999)
Front Squat
308# – Brent Pierce (1984)
315# – George James (2006)
Snatch – One Arm
150# – Gordon Strain (1931)
127# – Chris Waterman (1991)
Continental to Chest
308# – Brent Pierce (1987)
325# – Chris Waterman (1996)
Jerk – From Rack
260# – Willie Wells (1958)
281# – Chris Waterman (1997)
Clean and Jerk – One Arm
170# – Gordon Strain (1931)
132# – Pete Zaremba (1997)
Swing – One Dumbbell
135# – Gordon Strain (1927)
90# – Pete Zaremba (1996)
Zercher Lift
430# – Edwin Stitt (1986)
408# – Bob Hirsh (1993)
Steinborn Lift
250# – Glenn Terry (1985)
325# – John Monk (2002)
Cheat Curl
160# – Fred Yeargood (1974)
180# – Jason Groves (2002)
Pinch Grip
115# – Wayne Smith (1980)
100# – Colby Howard (1999)
Crucifix 70# – William Nicholson (1982)
90# – John Monk (2001)
Pullover – Straight Arm
90# – Dick Hamilton (1963)
100# – John Monk (2004)
Pullover and Push
264# – Randy Joe Holden (1987)
297# – John Monk (2006)
Clean and Press – Behind Neck
165# – Fred Yeargood (1977)
183# – Bob Hirsh (1992)
Clean and Press – Heels Together
176# – Robbie Porter (1984)
182# – Chris Waterman (1991)
Clean and Press – Dumbbells
160# – Robbie Porter (1984)
155# – John Monk (2006)
Pullover and Press
135# – Art Tarwater (1962)
265# – John Monk (2005)
Bench Press – Roman Chair
150# – Glenn Terry (1995)
135# – Kyle Achenbach (2006)

Today’s lifters win over Yesterday’s lifters!!

The final score is:  Today 20 wins, Yesterday 14 wins, 2 ties

At times it seemed close, but due to John Monk (9 wins), Bob Hirsh (4 wins) and Chris Waterman (3 wins), this trio beat the Yesterday lifters by themselves.  Today’s dominance in the Heavy Lifts appeared to be a big factor in the win.  I’m not sure why Gordon Strain’s records were in the record list (before the Mo Valley listed started), but they were so I used them in this comparison.  Gordon Strain’s lifts would be great compared to Heavyweight lifters!!

Tomorrow will be round 2 of this epic battle.  It will be Yesterdays 165# Class and 181# Class versus Today’s 75 K, 80 K, and 85 K Classes. Yesterday lifters include a lineup of big names such as  Ray Webb, Sid Littleton, and Joe Southard versus Today’s lifters of Bob Hirsh, Abe Smith, and Barry Bryan.

Will Yesterday’s lifters tie up the score?  Or will Today’s lifters win another one?  Tune in tomorrow to the USAWA Daily News to find out…..

Are Today’s Lifters Stronger than Yesterday’s Lifters?

by Al Myers

That is a question worth finding an answer to!!  But how do you “really know”?  Rule changes, drug use and today’s equipment allowances make it near impossible to answer this question using Powerlifting Records.  In today’s “geared” Powerlifting it is as important to learn how to maximize your equipment to it’s potential as to get stronger.  That is an art in itself that has nothing to do with actually getting stronger.  New advanced bars and rule changes have definitely helped Olympic Lifters today – so it is hard to use Olympic Lifting as your model.

I am going to undertake this challenge of answering this question using All-Round Weightlifting as my data source.  After all, not much has changed in All-Round Weightlifting over the last 50 years.  We have never allowed any gear besides a lifting belt, no one can say we are drug users as we test regularly and more than any other organization at meets, and our rules have not really changed any.  Sure – some may say the “judging was more strict in the old days”, but I have watched old videos and I feel not much has really changed with officiating. After all,  Bill Clark was judging THEN and is judging NOW!!

Thanks to Frank Ciavattone for providing me with the old Region IV Missouri Valley Odd Lift record List so I have something to compare today’s lifts with.  This Record List covered the States of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.  This was also the Region that Odd Lifting was most contested in – under the direction of Bill Clark.  This Record List was established in 1961 and went to 1987, at which time the USAWA was formed and the USAWA Record List started.  So we got 26 years on the Old Record List and 22 years on the New Record List.  Sounds like a good matchup to me!   There are some difficulties in setting up this comparison however – as in the “Old Days” weight classes were in pounds and today they are in Kilograms.   But I have devised a plan for comparison and it goes like this:

Group 1.  Compare best record mark in the “Old” 148# Class and below to today’s 70 K Class and  below.
Group 2.  Compare best mark in the “Old” 165# and 181# Class to today’s best record in the 75 K and 80 K Classes.
Group 3.  Compare the best record in the “Old” 198# and 220# Classes to today’s best record in the 85 K, 90 K, and 100 K classes.
Group 4.  Compare the “Old” 242# Class and HVY Class records to the best record in today’s 105 K, 110 K, 115 K, 120 K, 125 K, and 125+ K classes.

This give 4 body weight groups to compare in rounds.  I will pick lifts that were done in the “Old Days” as some of the newer lifts we have today were not done then.  All together – I have come up with 36 lifts to compare so this will be an extensive study. So come back tomorrow to the USAWA Daily News for the First Round of this Comparison!!  I’ll see if I can answer that age-old question, “Are today’s lifters stronger than yesterday’s lifters?”

Matt Graham – The USAWA’s Grip Sensation

by Al Myers

Matt Graham pinch gripping Two York 45's in one hand and lifting the Inch Dumbbell with the other.

Roger Davis inquired last week on the USAWA Discussion Forum about the Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip.  There has been some differences in “the name” of this lift between the USAWA and the IAWA(UK).  This has lead to some records that have been put in the IAWA Record List that probably shouldn’t be there. I am not going to go into detail here regarding that discussion (check out the USAWA Discussion Forum if you are interested in this).  But the discussion lead to the phenomenal lifting of Matt Graham, of Liberal, Kansas, and his great 540# Deadlift on the Fulton Bar, done with a overhand grip at the 2001 SuperGrip Challenge, hosted by Kevin Fulton.  This is a remarkable lift, and possibly could be the highest of All-Time done in this fashion.  Matt hasn’t competed recently in any USAWA meet, but I would like to take today to highlight some of his amazing grip feats.  Several of his grip lifts done in the USAWA are the tops in the USAWA Record List.  I had the opportunity to train with Matt a few times, and he competed in my Dino Gym Challenge several times.  Matt is trained by an USAWA lifting legend, and a great grip master himself, Bob Burtzloff.  I have witnessed Matt doing several grip feats that just left me shaking my head in disbelief!!  I have seen him “snatch” the 50# Blob with one hand, close the #3 COC gripper three times in a row, and pinch grip two 45# plates and lift them high enough to place them on top of a tall barrel.

Matt is built to be a great grip lifter.  He is 6′7″ and weighed around 325# at one time (now he’s a little lighter).   He has very long fingers, and an even larger thumb in proportion. His fingers are long enough that he can Hook Grip a 2″ bar!  Not many people can do that!  Several of his grip feats are well-documented.  He competed several years at Kevin Fulton’s SuperGrip Challenge in Litchfield, Nebraska and won many of them – and he was judged by a couple of very qualified officials – Kevin Fulton and Bill Clark.  Matt is indeed the “real deal” when it comes to grip power!!

Matt Graham’s USAWA Grip Records

600# – Deadlift – 3″ Bar
455# – Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip
540# – Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Overhand Grip (with Hook)
225# – Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm
344# – Deadlift – Two “Inch” Dumbbells
200# – Pinch Grip

Still not convinced that Matt is the USAWA’s Grip Sensation?
Then check out this video evidence.

YouTube Video – Matt doing a 600# Deadlift with 3″ bar.

YouTube Video – Matt doing a 540# Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Overhand Grip using a Hook Grip.

YouTube Video – Matt deadlifting two Inch Dumbbells at the same time.

YouTube Video – Matt taking the Inch Dumbbell overhead with only one hand using a knee kick, outside on a windy day.

YouTube Video – Matt doing a 192#  One Arm Clean and Jerk with the Fulton Bar.

Maybe I can convince Matt to make a “comeback” at this year’s USAWA’s Grip Challenge, hosted by Ben Edwards in February?

Goerner Deadlift Meet

by Al Myers

Group Picture at the 2009 Goerner Deadlift Dozen Plus One Left to Right: Chad Ullom, Al Myers, and Rudy Bletscher

Only three lifters attended the Goerner Deadlift this year – and all were representatives of the Dino Gym.  However, despite this small turnout, the competition was fierce for the overall.  I was able to pull the win out over my good friend and training partner Chad Ullom.  This was my 4th Goerner win – which is the most by any individual in the history of the Goerner Deadlift.  It has taken me several years but finally my finger deadlifts don’t let me down at the end of this meet! They still have a long ways to go though, but they are not near the embarrassment they used to be for me (like the time Mary Mac beat me in poundage on ALL the finger deadlifts at this meet!).  Chad had an outstanding performance – by far his best ever in this meet. I looked back at the results of past Goerner meets and Chad posted the second highest adjusted points of All-Time, with my adjusted points this year being the highest. So any other year Chad would have won – and this says a lot since many great lifters have lifted in the Goerner Meet throughout the years. Outstanding deadlifters such as Rex Monahan, Kevin Fulton, and Mike McBride have all lifted at the Goerner in the past. Chad’s One Arm Deadlift has been really improving lately (he got 410# with his right at a record day a few weeks ago) and he was hoping to go over 400# again, but had balance issues on his last pull, causing him to miss it.  He then tried for a record 445# One Arm Deadlift and had it up high enough – but just couldn’t hold it long enough to satisfy Bill’s two second count.  Give Chad some more time with this lift and I think you will see him pull over 500#!!  Rudy again turned in a solid meet.  At 74 years old, Rudy is very muscular for his age – and he doesn’t even spend much time training with weights. Most of his training involves doing bodyweight exercises – like pushups, deep knee bends, and situps.  He can still quickly drop to the floor and pound out the pushups!   He does the work around his farm the “hard way” and in return, reaps strength the old-fashioned way. I’m talking about such things as carrying buckets by hand, cutting down trees with a hand saw, and hand loading bags of feed – tasks that most farmers use mechanical assistance for. But it has paid off for Rudy – and I only hope when I’m his age I can be in the shape he is now.  I enjoyed getting to meet James Hockemeyer, of Fulton Missouri,  who came to watch this meet and to see Bill. James is an old Olympic Lifter/Powerlifter and has been a supporter of the Strength Journal for years, but has never tested himself in the All-Rounds. I was glad to see Tom Powell there.  Tom always shows up to load at Clark’s meets.  This time, he brought his step-son along to help also.  Loaders often don’t get thanked enough – so I brought along a Dino Gym T-Shirt for Tom as a token payment for all his efforts!  Thanks again Tom!!

I could go on and on about this meet, but I’m going to cut it short.  This has always been one of my favorite meets for a lot of reasons – and many thanks goes to Bill Clark for hosting it.  When the meet was over, I told Bill that I will always make sure the Goerner Deadlift continues, and when the day comes that he is ready to pass it along to someone else, I will be ready take it.


Goerner Deadlift Dozen plus One
Clark’s Gym
Columbia, Missouri
December 5th, 2009

Meet Director:  Bill Clark

Official: (One Official System) Bill Clark

Loader:  Tom Powell

Lifts:  Deadlift – Heels Together, Jefferson Lift, Hack Lift, Deadlift – 2 Bars, Deadlift – No Thumb, One Arm (right and left), Deadlift – One Arm (Right and Left), Deadlift – Reeves, Deadlift – Index Fingers, Deadlift – Middle Fingers, Deadlift – Ring Fingers, Deadlift – Little Fingers


Lifter Age BWT DL-HT Jeff Hack 2 Bar
DL -NT, Right
DL – NT, Left
DL – Right
Al Myers
43 254 550 550 500 590 250 250 365
Chad Ullom
37 230 495 500 475 500 225 185 365
Rudy Bletscher
74 219 275 225 225 270 155 155 175

Lifter DL -Left
Reeves DL-MF
DL-RF DL-LF Total Pts ADJ Pts
Al Myers
365 335 305 225 225 155 4665 3672.29 3819.18
Chad Ullom
385 305 300 225 225 100 4285 3550.12 3550.12
Rudy Bletscher
175 185 135 135 115 65 2290 1947.19 2628.71

All lifts and bodyweights were recorded in pounds.
No records were set on extra attempts.
BWT – Bodyweight     Pts – Lynch Points    ADJ Pts – Age adjusted Lynch Points

In Memory of Bob Cox

by Al Myers

Bob Cox, a longtime USAWA lifter from Cleveland, passed away last May.  Bob was very involved with All-Round Weightlifting in Ohio and participated in several All-Round Meets throughout the years.  He will be missed by everyone.  Dennis Mitchell sent me his obituary, which I would like to share here.

Robert P. Cox, age 84, passed away May 8, 2009.  Beloved husband of Shirley (nee Peterman), loving father of John (Sherry), Joyce Acord (Dennis Riggleman), and the late Dale, dear grandfather of Heather Cox (deceased), James Cox, Jessica Acord, Shayna Cox, Steven Acord, great-grandfather of four, dear brother of Marilyn, Doris, the late Barbara and Marjorie.  Memorial contributions may be forwarded to Lakewood Presbyterian Church, 14502 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 44107. Inurnment Thursday, May 14 at 12:30 p.m. at Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery. A memorial Service will be held at Lakewood Presbyterian Church, Friday, May 15 at 11 a.m.  Friends may call at the Busch Funeral Home.

Bob Cox currently holds 63 USAWA Records – with most of them set when he was over the age of 70!

Here are a couple of videos of Bob Cox from the 2000 IAWA World Championships – which was held in Mansfield, Massachusetts:

YouTube Video – Bob Cox performing a Continental Snatch
YouTube Video – Bob Cox performing a One Arm Deadlift

Odds and Ends

by Al Myers

Membership Renewals

As of now, all individual memberships and club memberships need to be sent to me and not to Bill Clark.  Memberships run for the calendar year (first of January to end of December) and are required to participate in any USAWA event or competition. Make sure to fill out, sign, and send in the Drug Waiver with your membership application.  I will be keeping a current membership roster on the website.  This membership roster will replace membership cards.

Rule Books for Sale

The USAWA has Rule Books available for sale. Contact me if you want one.  A Rule Book costs $30 which includes postage.  Make checks payable to the USAWA. The Rule Book is available for free on the website – but by the time you print one out and use up half a color printer cartridge and get it bound you will have about this much money in one.  The USAWA is selling these Rule Books AT COST!!

USAWA National Postal Competition

Don’t forget the month of December is the month to do the National Postal Competition.  John Wilmot is hosting this postal event again and lets make it a big success for him. I have heard that awards will be sent to the winners this year for it!! What a good deal – no charge to enter and possibly win an award!! Entry forms are available in the event calendar.

Ullom gets “dropped” by the Shoulder Drop

Last weekend at the JWC Record Day, Chad Ullom apparently misunderstood the rules for the Shoulder Drop.  He thought not only the bar must drop – but the lifter as well!!   Check it out in this video – YouTube Video

USAWA Daily News

I want the USAWA Daily News to be for EVERYBODY!  If you have an interesting story, training article, or just want your voice to be heard please write something up and send it to me. I’ll include your story in the Daily News and even give you the credit!

Bill Clark’s Column in the Columbia Daily Tribune

As most of you know, Bill Clark writes several weekly columns for the Columbia Daily Tribune.  Recently, he wrote a column about his involvement with weightlifting during the last 50 years in Columbia, Missouri. Very interesting!  To read it – Click Here

The USAWA on Facebook

Chad Ullom has created an USAWA Facebook page for the purpose of everyone contributing their pictures from various competitions to it.  This will allow everyone to “share” pictures. There are already over 100 pictures on this Facebook Page.  To see this Facebook page – Click Here

USAWA Video Page

I am currently working on developing a website page that will contain videos of various All-Round lifts.  I plan on making it available when I reach 25 videos – and I’m not there yet.  I need help!!  Please send me any videos or links to a videos so I can put them on this page.  The videos must be of official USAWA lifts that are done according to USAWA rules.

Website Registration

Please take the time to register for the USAWA Website. You do not need to be an USAWA member to be registered for the site.  This is my “e-mailing list” for direct emails concerning the USAWA.  You also need be be registered with the website to have access to the Membership Roster and the USAWA Discussion Forum.

The Fulton Dumbbell Deadlift

by Al Myers

Al Myers performing a One Arm Fulton Dumbbell Deadlift with 170 pounds at Clark's Record Day.

One of the lifts I did last weekend at Clark’s Record Day was the Fulton Dumbbell Deadlift.  I wanted to do this lift to point out a mistake that was made in the new Rule Book and found by Dale Friesz.  Despite the extensive review process of the new Rule Book, I knew mistakes were still possible and here is one.  Thanks Dale for finding it!

The Rule for the Deadlift – 2 Fulton Dumbbells should be this:

The rules of the Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells apply except the dumbbells used must have handles of 2″ in diameter.  No knurling is allowed on the handles.  The maximum diameter of the plates used is 18 inches.

Previously, due to a typo, it stated that only 11 inch diameter plates could be used.  This typo happened  because the Inch Dumbbell Deadlift does require a maximum diameter of 11 inch plates, and the rule for this lift is close to the Fulton Dumbbell Deadlift in the Rule Book.  Once again, copy and pasting created a problem for me!!  The reason for the Inch Dumbbell Deadlift requiring maximum 11″ plates is because the original Inch Dumbbell was a globe dumbbell, and the rule was written to best simulate the original Inch Dumbbells size using a plate loaded dumbbell handle.  This mistake will be corrected in next years updated Rule Book.

Now for the story on how the Fulton Dumbbell got its name….

Back in the early 80’s at a odd lifting meet in Liberal, Kansas, meet director Bob Burtzloff included a thick-handled dumbbell deadlift in the contest.  This dumbbell had a smooth 2 inch diameter handle.  Wilbur Miller, the “Cimarron Kid” and Kansas lifting legend,  was the hands on favorite to win this event.  Wilbur has huge hands with long fingers and was very rarely beaten in any lifting event that involved grip strength.  But this day was one of those rare days – when a young farm boy from Nebraska by the name of Kevin Fulton pulled off the upset! Upon Fulton’s winning – Bill Clark announced that this lift would be forever named the Fulton Lift.  This eventually lead to the naming of the 2″ bar as the Fulton Bar along with the Fulton Dumbbell.  As for Wilbur – upon the finish of the event he went back to the warm-up area and proceeded to pull more on this lift than he did in competition.  He went home knowing that he may not have won the event on this day,  but with the satisfaction of knowing he would next time!

JWC Record Day

JWC Record Day puts the “Record” in Record Day

by Thom Van Vleck

JWC Record Day Group Picture. Left to Right: Tedd Van Vleck, Josh Hettinger, Al Myers, Thom Van Vleck, and Chad Ullom

On November 21, 2009 we had a fun day of lifting at the Jackson Weightlifting Club training hall. This was the first USAWA contest at the newest USAWA member club. JWC members Josh Hettinger and myself, Thom Van Vleck, took on Dino Gym Members Al Myers and Chad Ullom.

My two oldest children, Morgan and Dalton also got in the action. Morgan is a USA Weightlifting member who just entered her first Olympic lifting contest just weeks prior and is now ranked in the top ten in her age and weight group in the US Weightlifting rankings for 2009. JWC members Tedd Van Vleck and Wayne Jackson were also on hand to cheer and coach.

Thom Van Vleck performing a 300# Reeves Deadlift

There were 90 total records broken with some amazing lifts along the way. Chad only had a short time to lift and was primed for a big day so we let him loose on the weights. He did not disappoint. I’m not sure if I was more impressed with his 475lbs Continental to the belt or his One hand Deadlift with the right hand with 410lbs! He did 375lbs with the left hand along with a Hack lift of 510lbs and a Steinborn of 410lbs beating the record of the legendary Bob Burtzloff. He also hit a Hack lift – Right Arm of 285lbs and even threw in a PIPER SQUAT with 125lbs for good measure.

Al broke 21 total records with 10 open records and 11 master records. Josh Hettinger got in the action and was game to try 16 different lifts eventually, setting Open records in 9 of them. Josh also hoisted the “Circus Dumbbell” loaded to 170lbs to top the best Dino Gym record of 165lbs in that event continuing the friendly rivalry between the JWC and the Dino Gym. This is a special Dumbbell that is loaded on the inside and has a 3” handle. You can two hand clean it, but then must press it, any way you wish, to arms length overhead.

Chad Ullom performing a 510# Hack Lift

Dalton and Morgan Van Vleck had a friendly sibling rivalry in the Deadlift with a 12” base. Morgan showed she can still lift more than her little brother with a 140lbs effort to Dalton’s 130lbs. Dalton sure gave that 140lbs a try!

I started out the day only competing in my second USAWA meet ever. I had lifted in an “odd-lift meet” back in 1979 held by Bill Clark and while I had attended a few over the years had failed to join the fun. I recently took the judges test and while I passed it nothing beats experience in learning the fundamentals of a proper lift. So, I wanted to use this opportunity to try as many lifts as possible. My enthusiasm got the best of me and I ended up with 46 records by the end of the day! It was just so much fun, I couldn’t stop. Al finally convinced me to stop as his stomach was well past empty and he wanted to enjoy the big steaks I had promised him. About an hour later, when the adrenaline of the meet wore off, I FELT like I’d broken 46 bones, not records!

Many jokes were told, stories told and retold, and I ended the day convinced I had to host another meet again. My first love is still the Scottish Highland Games, but I could see really enjoying the cross training advantages of the All-Round lifting. Thanks to all who came and get-well wishes to my training partner and friend, Brian Kerby who was supposed to be at the meet but was in the hospital ill. He is now at home recuperating and should be 100% again soon.

Grandpa Jackson's Anvil - The Centerpiece of the Jackson Weightlifting Club


JWC 1st Annual All-Round Challenge
November 21st, 2009
JWC Training Hall, Kirksville, Missouri

Meet Director:  Thom Van Vleck

USAWA Officials: Chad Ullom, Al Myers, Thom Van Vleck
(Chad Ullom used the 3 Official System and all others used the 1 Official System)

Loader:   Tedd Van Vleck


Al Myers Age 43     40-44 Age Group

120kg Weight Class (Actual weight 260.5lbs)

Bench Press – Left  Arm = 95lbs

Bench Press – Right Arm = 115lbs

Abdominal Raise = 45lbs

Pullover – Bent Arm = 145lbs

Clean & Jerk – Dumbell, Right Arm = 130lbs

Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm = 130lbs

Side Press – Dumbbell,  Left Arm = 80lbs

Side Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm = 80lbs

Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm = 100lbs

Snatch – Dumbbell, Right Arm = 120lbs

Press – From Rack = 205lbs

Chad Ullom Age 37 Open Age Class

110kg Class (Actual weight 237.0lbs)

Deadlift – Left Arm = 375lbs

Deadlift – Right Arm = 410lbs

Continental to Belt = 475lbs

Hack Lift = 510lbs

Steinborn Lift = 410lbs

Hack Lift – Right Arm = 285lbs

Snatch – Left Arm = 125lbs

Piper Squat = 125lbs

Morgan Van Vleck Age 12 Female

45kg Class (Actual weight 94.0lbs)

Snatch – From Hang = 41.5lbs

Continental Snatch = 41.5lbs

Deadlift – 12” Base = 140lbs

Dalton Van Vleck Age 10

35kg Class (Actual Weight 75.5lbs)

Deadlift – 12” Base = 130lb

Josh Hettinger Age 29 Open Age Class

125+ Class (Actual Weight 336lbs)

Shoulder Drop = 100lbs

Lano Lift = 45lbs

Curl – Reverse Grip = 185lbs

Pullover -Bent Arm = 165lbs

Clean & Jerk – Dumbbell, Right Arm = 130lbs

Clean & Jerk – Dumbbell,  Left Arm  = 130lbs

Side Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm = 110lbs

Side Press – Dumbbell, Left Arm = 110 lbs

Finger Lift – Right, Middle = 125lbs

Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Right Arm = 225lbs

Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Left Arm = 225lbs

Snatch – Right Arm = 135lbs

Snatch – Left Arm = 125lbs

Bench Press – Right Arm = 95lbs

Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm = 100lbs

Circus DB (3” handle, two hand clean, one hand press) = 170lbs

Thom Van Vleck Age 45  45-49 Age Group

125+ Class (Actual Weight 288lbs)

Finger Lift – Left Thumb = 30lbs

Finger Lift – Right Thumb = 30lbs

Finger Lift – Left Middle = 111lbs

Snatch – On Knees = 100lbs

French Press =  65lbs

Curl – Reverse Grip = 135lbs

Curl – Cheat = 185lbs

Continental Snatch = 185lbs

Continental to Chest = 245lbs

Continental to Belt = 360lbs

Deadlift – Stiff legged = 225lbs

Pull Over – Bent Arm = 95lbs

Deadlift – Reeves = 300lbs

Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Left Arm = 135lbs

Deadlift – Left Arm = 135lbs

Deadlift – One Leg, Left = 135lbs

Deadlift – One Leg, Right = 135lbs

Side Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm = 80lbs

Side Press – Dumbbell, Left Arm = 80lbs

Press – Dumbbell, Right Arm = 80lbs

Press – Dumbbell, Left Arm = 80lbs

Snatch – Dumbbell, Left Arm = 100lbs

Snatch – Dumbbell, Right Arm = 100lbs

Curl – Dumbbell, Cheat, Left Arm = 80lbs

Curl – Dumbbell, Cheat, Right Arm = 80lbs

Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm = 80lbs

Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm = 80lbs

Clean & Press – On Knees = 135lbs

Press – From Rack, Behind Neck = 135lbs

Jerk – From Rack, Behind Neck = 225lbs

Push Press – From Rack = 225lbs

Miller Clean & Jerk = 95lbs

Getting Kids involved in Strength

by Thom Van Vleck

Ethan Van Vleck Supports the Weight of the Moon on his Back

It is so important to give kids positive outlets for their energy or they will find the negative things on their own.  We all train for different reasons and often for many reasons.  Fame, health, competition, pleasure are just a few reasons to choose from.  But I think the most important is to be a good role model and make an effort to teach a new generation about the importance of strength and what it can do for you.
I tell my kids bedtime stories, just like many fathers do.  But my stories often are about famous strength legends, like Milo, Hercules, Samson, and Atlas as well as contemporary legends like Saxon, Sandwina, and many others.  I want to instill my kids the idea that weight training and achieving strength is important for many reasons.  If they can stick to it, they will learn to stick with many challenges that will come in life.
Recently I had the honor of inducting Al Myers into the RMSA Hall of Fame and my family went along for the trip. For me, this included doing two strongman exhibitions and competing in a full Scottish Highland Games with my family present.  It was a real family affair with Al and his family there along with us.
During our trip to McPherson, we traveled as a family to the Kansas Cosmosphere.  If you are a fan of space travel, this is a great place to go.  While there, we walked by a replica of the moon and before we knew it, my youngest son, Ethan, scrambled underneath and pretended to groan as if lifting a heavy, heavy weight.  This drew the attention of many people there and some laughter followed as Ethan refused to move until a picture was taken!  He came over to me afterwards and I gave him a “high five” and he said, “I lifted it just like Atlas lifted the world”!

As our generation ages, we need to instill the same love for the iron game into our children that we have.  It won’t just “happen”, like our own developed abilities, it takes “workouts” and effort.  We need to bring kids along with us to our meets and explain to them what is going on and make it fun so they will want to do it!  I work every day to keep and maintain my children’s respect.  Ethan insists he will someday be as strong as me and you know what, I believe he will be stronger!

Habecker Returns from Gold Cup

by Al Myers

(Denny Habecker, the USAWA President, just returned from the Gold Cup in Scotland. He was the only lifter from the United States who competed this year. Congratulations to Denny for his fine lifting and representing the USAWA at this prestigious event. The following is Denny’s report of the 2009 Gold Cup)

Denny Habecker doing a Clean and Seated Press at the 2009 Gold Cup

I just returned home from Scotland, where I lifted in the 2009 IAWA Gold Cup.

I felt the meet was a great success! David McFadzean and the Castlemilk Gym Club always put on a quality meet. It was great seeing some people I haven’t seen in quite a while. Steve Angell, Andy Tomlin, Frank Allen, are a few of my good friends that have come back from injuries or surgeries It was also good to see so many new people, that I hadn’t met before, on the platform. The lifting was of a very high quality as might be expected of a Gold Cup. Some of the lifts that impressed me the most were Mark Haydock’s 323.5 Kg. Trap Bar Deadlift, Steve Angell’s 300 Kg. Trap Bar Deadlift, Andy Tomlin’s 140 Kg. Middle Fingers Deadlift, and James Gardner’s 147 Kg. Dumbell Deadlift. James very nearly succeeded with 167 Kg. . He just couldn’t get it quite high enough on his second and third attempts. There were a lot of impressive lifts done at this meet. I was just glad to be there and share the platform with so many outstanding lifters.

I hope next years meet at Frank Ciavattone’s brings out as many lifters as this one did.

Denny Habecker

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

ADIOS to the Strength Journal

by Al Myers

“Adios” was the lead story headline for the latest Strength Journal, which I received yesterday. And with this – I mean the last Strength Journal. Bill Clark has published the Strength Journal for over 20 years covering news from the USAWA, but over 50 years including other strength news. I read this last Journal with great sadness, as I’m sure most others did as well. But as Bill said in this last Journal, “All things must have a finish. That’s this letter.” I owe Bill Clark a great deal of gratitude for getting me started in the All-Rounds. I clearly remember my first time meeting him several years ago. I was winding down my powerlifting career and just wanted to see “what this all-round lifting was all about”. So myself and several of my training partners headed to Clark’s Gym in Columbia on a cold December day to try out a record day on Saturday, followed by the Goerner Deadlift Dozen on Sunday. Bill knew we were coming and greeted us at the door (he also knew we were Powerlifters) and one of the first things he said was for us to look at the sign by the door. It had the Gym Rules which spelled out NO WRAPS and NO DRUGS ALLOWED. Bill is one to get right to the point. I knew right away that this was my type of gym and that I was welcome!! Immediately I found out what all-round weightlifting was all about – and I was very intrigued. Steve Schmidt was there that day and was going for a repetition Back Lift record. I had no idea at the time the importance of the record he was breaking. I do now – it was the greatest Back Lift repetition record of All-Time. I also met Tom Ryan that weekend. Tom helped us tremendously – and showed us the proper way to do these strange new lifts that we were trying for the first time.

Bill immediately put us to work breaking USAWA records. Of course we were just focusing on bench press type lifts at first, until Bill said, “I have never seen that much bench pressing in Clark’s Gym before.” I soon found out that All-Round Weightlifting was much more – when Bill brought out the ring and challenged us to Finger Lifting. I thought later that this must have been his way to test us – to see if we really had what it takes to become All-Round Weightlifters. We maxed on every finger of each hand and Bill made us go all out. After all – He WAS!!! I left that weekend with several sore fingers but knowing that this sport was for me – thanks to Bill Clark. I would like to know how many lifters Bill has introduced to All-Round Weightlifting – I’m sure it is more than I could count.

The Strength Journal has been the backbone of the USAWA since the start. It will not be the same not receiving any more of them in the future. In the past when I found a Strength Journal in the mail – I would open it up right away – even before looking at any of my other mail. I would like to think that I could maybe talk Bill into writing a few stories for the USAWA Daily News in the future. But I know Bill has said in the past that he would never put anything on the internet – and Bill is a man of conviction so I believe I probably won’t be successful in this endeavor. But I will keep trying to change his mind on this so hopefully we can read the words of Bill Clark again.

Bill, I know you probably will never see this, but THANK YOU for everything you have done for the USAWA. THANKS for the many years of publishing the Strength Journal. THANKS for the leadership you have given to our organization. And most importantly – THANKS for getting me started in this great sport of All-Round Weightlifting.

WHERE’S THE BEEF? At Future USAWA meets!

by John McKean

John McKean and Ernie "Beef" Beath

His online handle is “Beef” and at 6′2″ and 390 pounds, big Ernie Beath sure fits the billing! The polite and pleasant 28-year-old strongman from Cambridge, Maryland, and I started e-mailing sometime back, and I was simply astounded over his reported training poundages. It was only natural that the pressing variations he favors be verified for the world by doing them in sanctioned USAWA events, and he was most anxious to acquire official verification. So Ernie traveled over to Ambridge for Art’s annual Birthday Bash Record Day, and wasted no time doing a perfect world record rack push press with 381 pounds. It was so easy that we talked him into a 401 pound attempt, which was almost locked out, perhaps simply a victim of first meet jitters! But he’ll try over 400 at our December 6 meet (We’d like a big turnout guys!!! Come on over!) and will take a shot at a huge JERK from the rack, where’s his gym best is over 450!!

Ernie is a home trainee, and has developed his training concepts almost entirely on his own. He found out early on that he could make best strength gains with heavy singles, so goes almost to top limits on a variety of lifts (2 or 3 per session, 4 times per week on average) every workout. He really enjoys pushing big weights overhead, doing things like the above mentioned presses & jerks from the rack, clean & press behind the neck, and even strict presses while seated flat on the floor. However, he’s not too keen on flat benches or lying down to lift, ever since a training accident with 700 pounds in the partial close grip bench press cost him an eye (after the hospitalization, he bounced right back to the heavy lifting that means so much to him!).

Ernie Beath and a 381 pound Push Press from Rack

A true all-rounder, Ernie has always done “variations” from standard lifts, even without knowing about us in the USAWA, such as Zerchers, squats with the bar held overhead in snatch position, various close stance deadlift forms, and high pulls/continental types. An unusual move that both Ernie and I are trying to get established as an official IAWA lift is the bent over row in both strict and “power” forms. The Beefster hauls in over 500 pounds in this back strengthening, total body movement. Again he relegates this typical bodybuilding exercise away from its normal roots by pulling exclusively with heavy singles!

Another unique aspect of Ernie’s training is his use of heavy chains over the barbell. Quite often, for jerks, presses, and front squats he’ll place a 60 pound chain over each end of the bar. And on “good” days he has a pair of 100# chains! Of course the lifts start with lesser weight, with much of the chain linkage on the ground, but by lift’s end, ALL that unwieldy weight comes together! Ernie claims a regular 400# jerk with a barbell, for example, seems so easy and balanced in comparison to one with his heavy, awkward chains!!

We are fortunate to be witnessing just the beginning from this youthful behemoth ! A most welcome newcomer to our USAWA fraternity, I’m sure Ernie’s name will soon be all over the record book!

USAWA Business

by Al Myers

USAWA on Facebook

Chad Ullom, the new USAWA Vice President to be, has developed a group Facebook page for the USAWA.  Chad already has several pictures from various all-round weightlifting meets on it. It is set up in a way that anyone may put pictures from competitions on it so everyone can enjoy them. Thanks Chad for getting this started.

Heartland Armwrestling

Mary McConnaughey has recently registered her club, Heartland Armwrestling, as a club member in the USAWA. Mary has competed in several All-Round meets in the past and always brings several young competitors to the meets.  I always enjoy it when Mary is at a meet I’m at because she encourages all the lifters non-stop.  Just don’t challenge her in the Finger Lifts or she’ll beat you!!  Welcome Mary and Heartland Armwrestling

Rule Books Available

I have several Rule Books printed up and available for sale. They are $30 each (including shipping) and contain color pictures.

Hot Water Bottle Video

A few weeks ago I covered a story in which Thom Van Vleck, of the Jackson Weightlifting Club, blew up a Hot Water Bottle. Now I have a video of him doing it – which was taken at the McPherson Highland Games on September 26th.  To see the video – Click Here

JWC All-Round Challenge

Thom Van Vleck and the JWC are hosting their first ever All-Round Weightlifting competition on Saturday, November 21st, 2009.  It will be a record day. For those who have not been to the JWC Training Hall, make a point to attend this event. The JWC is a club filled with history, much of which is prominently displayed on the walls of the gym.  You will also be intrigued by the collection of Old Time Weightlifting equipment – such as old Jackson and York plates.

Correction on Team Postal Results

When the scoresheet for the IAWA World Team Postal Competition was double checked, an error was found in the scoring. This mistake resulted in a big change – making the Hastings Warriors of England the Overall Team Champions. The team of the Hastings Warriors included Nick Swain, Phillipe Crisp, and Sam Hills.  This was the only mistake – all the other results are the same. Congratulations to the Hastings Warriors.

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?

Art’s Birthday Bash is Tomorrow!!!

by Al Myers

Art Montini doing a Clean and Press - Behind Neck at the 2009 IAWA World Championships

Art Montini, who is turning 82 this weekend, always celebrates his birthday by hosting a weightlifting meet. This is the 19th year for Art’s Birthday Bash! What a great birthday present Art gives himself – he gets to lift weights and set a few records in the process.  The meet is tomorrow  so it’s still not too late to make it.  This meet is a record day – which means you pick the lifts and records you want to break!!  It’s YOU against the USAWA Record List!!! Art puts a maximum limit of 5 records per lifter.

Art’s Birthday Bash is held at the Ambridge VFW Barbell Club.

World Championships

by Al Myers

Overall IAWA World Champion Mark Haydock 230 Kilogram Zercher Lift

“What we lacked in quantity we made up for in quality”, said IAWA President Steve Gardner at the World Council Meeting Saturday night. This quote really summed up this year’s World Championships. There may not have been alot of lifters present – but the competition was intense. Mark “Haystack” Haydock captured the 2009 Championship’s Overall Best Lifter on his last successful lift of the competition, by doing a monstrous 230 kilogram Zercher Lift!! This puts him in a small group of lifters who have exceeded over 500 pounds in the Zercher Lift throughout the history of the IAWA. The top four places were really close and decided by under 30 adjusted points. This competition had lifters of all age groups – from 15 year old Kohl Hess to 81 year old Art Montini. Denny and Judy Habecker did an outstanding job of making this event a special occasion for everyone. They even invited the lifters to their house Saturday and Sunday nights after the competition for food and refreshments. We were entertained by George “the Magician” Dick with his many card tricks. I am still scratching my head on the one where the card passed through Chad and ended up stuck on the glass on the shelf behind him. Denny and Judy know how to run a smooth meet. Everything went according to plan and both days finished in good time. The banquet was fantastic with a wide selection of food. Everyone left on a full stomach!! Steve Gardner worked the microphone and score table, and like always, kept the meet running efficiently. John Horn spent 2 full days loading and spotting and definitely deserves a big pat on the back. It takes people like John, who do the work behind the scenes, to make a meet successful.

Frank Ciavattone pulling a Ciavattone Grip Deadlift

It was a real pleasure getting to see Frank Ciavattone again. Frank has just recently had a hip replacement and wasn’t fully ready to compete in a meet yet. But Frank is a great Champion and made it to this meet to show support to the IAWA!! When he pulled his last Ciavattone Grip Deadlift, a lift named after Frank because of his amazing gripping power, he dedicated it to Karen Gardner in her battle in overcoming cancer – it was an emotional moving moment. Karen is the “First Lady” of All-Round Weightlifting and everyone has the utmost respect for her. It has now been 30 years since Frank has been cancer free himself.

Howard Prechtel and Bob Geib

Another great surprise this weekend was the return of Howard Prechtel. The meet about stopped when in walks Howard and Bob Geib!!! Howard spent many years as the IAWA President and has done as much through the years for the USAWA as anyone. Howard seemed to really enjoy himself at the meet, and even picked up a loaded barbell a couple of times. A person may forget a lot of things in life – but you never forget how to lift weights!!! Welcome back Howard!! Also – thanks to Bob for bringing Howard to this meet.

Group Photo of the IAWA World Championships

I had a great time – got to see alot of old friends, and even made a couple of lifts that I had to push myself on. Thanks again to Denny and Judy for hosting this Championship and I’m already looking forward to Scotland in 2010!!

Top Three Individuals at the 2009 IAWA World Championships Left to Right: Chad Ullom, Mark Haydock, Al Myers


2009 IAWA World Championships
Lebanon, Pennsylvania
October 3rd & 4th, 2009

Meet Directors:   Denny and Judy Habecker

Lifts on Day 1: Hack Lift – One Arm, Clean and Press Behind Neck, Straight Arm Pullover, Deadlift                         -Ciavattone Grip
Lifts on Day 2: Snatch – One Arm, Pullover and Press, Zercher Lift

Officials (3 official system used):  Karen Gardner, Frank Ciavattone, Al Myers, Dennis Mitchell, George Dick, Art Montini

Loader: John Horn plus others

Scorekeeper:  Steve Gardner and Judy Habecker

Emcee:  Steve Gardner


Name BWT Class Age Division Hack C&P Pullover Deadlift Snatch
P&P Zercher Points
Mark Haydock ENG
122.9 125 34 Open 145 R
105 57.5 227.5 80 R
157.5 230 764.3
Al Myers USA
114.7 115 43 M40+ 150 R
90 60 210 70 R
160 190 763.1
Chad Ullom USA
104.3 105 37 Open 140 R
90 55 205 70 R
145 200 749.7
Roger Davis ENG
81.6 85 39 Open 117.5 R
80 45 185 60 R
120 170 738.4
Denny Habecker USA
86.1 90 67 M65+ 90 R
65 32.5 140 35 R
95 95 661.1
John Monk USA
79.8 80 43 M40+ 100 R
75 47.5 122.5 50 R
125 137.5 658.2
Bill Spayd USA
107.9 110 35 Open 110 R
90 55 200 60 R
120 170 655.2
Scott Schmidt USA
119.7 120 56 M55+ 100 R
92.5 40 182.5 40 L
92.5 115 598.5
Art Montini USA
78.2 80 81 M80+ 60 R
32.5 27.5 105 20 R
60 77.5 588.9
Josh Haydock ENG
66.9 70 19 J18/19 72.5 R
55 25 132.5 37.5 R
70 137.5 582.1
John Kavanagh ENG
94.3 95 21 Open 80 R
82.5 30 170 52.5 R
105 140 577.1
George Dick SCT
127.4 125+ 60 M60+ 102.5 R
60 30 175 40 R
90 120 559.7
Dennis Mitchell USA
72.1 75 77 M75+ 50 L
20 20 90 15 L
35 85 484.4
Dennis Vandermark USA
92.5 95 56 M55+ 75 L
30 130 22.5 R
60 110 442.0
Kohl Hess USA
118.8 120 15 J14/15 82.5 R
42.5 27.5 120 30 R
60 80 394.4
Frank Ciavattone USA
127.0 125+ 54 M50+ 90 R
20 15 182.5 20 R
25 20 321.3

BWT are bodyweights on day 1. All lifts are in kilograms. Points are age and bodyweight adjusted.
All lifters except Bill Spayd weighed in the second day for records. All lifters were in the same bodyweight class as Day 1.

Extra Attempts for Records:
Dennis Mitchell -  Hack – One Arm 50 R, Straight Arm Pullover 22.5, Deadlift Ciavattone Grip 98
John Monk – Snatch – One Arm 55 R, Straight Arm Pullover 50
Kohl Hess – Clean & Press Behind Neck 45, Straight Arm Pullover 28.5, Zercher Lift 92.5
Denny Habecker – Pullover and Press 98
Mark Haydock – Straight Arm Pullover 61

Best Lifter Awards:

Josh Haydock – Junior 18/19 70 kg Champion and Best Junior 18/19
Kohl Hess – Junior 14/15 120 kg Champion and Best Junior 14/15
Dennis Mitchell – Masters 75+ 75 kg Champion and Best Master 75+
Art Montini – Masters 80+  80 kg Champion and Best Master 80+
John Monk – Masters 40+ 80 kg Champion
Roger Davis – Open 85 kg Champion
Denny Habecker – Masters 65+ 90 kg Champion and Best Master 65+
Dennis Vandermark – Masters 55+ 95 kg Champion
John Kavanagh – Open 95 kg Champion
Chad Ullom – Open 105 kg Champion
Bill Spayd – Open 110 kg Champion
Al Myers – Masters 40+ 115 kg Champion and Best Master 40+
Scott Schmidt – Masters 55+ and Open 120 kg Champion and Best Master 55+
Mark Haydock – Open 125 kg Champion
Frank Ciavattone – Masters 50+ and Open 125+ kg Champion and Best Master 50+
George Dick – Masters 60+ 125 kg Champion and Best Master 60+

Is The IAWA Age Adjustment Fair??

by Al Myers

A topic that will be discussed at this year’s World Meeting at the World Championship will be the age adjustment. This was brought up last year and an IAWA committee was formed to investigate it and present a recommendation to the meeting this year.  The membership will be called on to vote on this, whether to make a change or keep things as they are.

This subject is very interesting to me as I hear arguments from both sides. Young lifters think the older lifters get too much adjustment, while the older lifters don’t feel like they get enough.  Formulas are always hard to develop and make completely fair as there are so many variables to consider.

I did a study of my own on three lifts.  I want to emphasize THIS IS NOT THE IAWA STUDY. It is merely a study which I did to satisfy my own curiosity on this subject. I think it is important that I have this information in hand in order to make an informative vote. I just collected some numbers and did a few calculations.  I am not doing this to try to “sway votes” one way or the other.  I just wanted to see what “the numbers” really show in regard to decreased lifting performance with age.

Study of the Age Adjustment

Objective:  To collect information from age group USAWA records, make USAWA and IAWA(UK) age corrections for comparison, and determine what correction for age group records are needed in order for the age group records to be the same as the overall records.

Design: I collected information from age group USAWA records in three lifts – Bench Press Feet in Air, Hack Lift, and the Zercher Lift. I picked these three lifts for these reasons: they  evaluate all areas of overall strength -pressing, pulling and squatting, and the data base for these records was full in regard to records in all weight classes and age divisions. I calculated an average of all weight class records within an age group so bodyweight adjustments would not be a factor in this study.  I utilized this formula to determine what correction is needed in order to adjust to the average of the Overall Record.

Correction Needed = (Overall Record – Age group Record) / Age Group Record

Assumptions: I used the USAWA and IAWA(UK) age correction for the top age of each division despite the record may have been set a younger age within the division. The record list does not provide that data.

All Records listed in pounds.

Bench Press Feet in Air

Age Group
Overall Record
USAWA Correction
IAWA(UK) Correction
Correction Needed
Overall 353 353 353 0%
40-44 280 294 305 26.1%
45-49 268 295 306 31.7%
50-54 246 283 293 43.5%
55-59 228 274 274 54.8%
60-64 209 261 270 68.9%
65-69 194 252 268 82.0%
70-74 167 225 247 111.4%
75-79 141 197 223 150.4%
80-84 116 168 195 204.3%

Hack Lift

Age Group
Overall Record
USAWA Correction
IAWA(UK) Correction
Correction Needed
Overall 538 538 538 0%
40-44 465 488 507 15.7%
45-49 401 441 457 34.2%
50-54 382 439 455 40.8%
55-59 330 396 409 63.0%
60-64 320 400 413 68.1%
65-69 321 417 443 67.6%
70-74 304 410 450 77.0%
75-79 242 339 382 122.3%
80-84 168 244 282 220.2%

Zercher Lift

Age Group
Overall Record
USAWA Correction
IAWA(UK) Correction
Correction Needed
Overall 452 452 452 0%
40-44 372 391 405 21.5%
45-49 352 387 401 28.4%
50-54 339 390 403 33.3%
55-59 331 397 410 36.6%
60-64 296 370 382 52.7%
65-69 280 364 386 61.4%
70-74 246 332 364 83.7%
75-79 204 286 322 121.6%
80-84 180 261 302 151.1%


Age Group
USAWA Correction
IAWA(UK) Correction
Data Range
Data Average
Overall 0% 0% 0% 0%
40-44 5% 9% 15.7% – 26.1% 21.1%
45-49 10% 14% 28.4% – 34.2%
50-54 15% 19% 33.3% – 43.5%
55-59 20% 24% 36.6% – 63.0%
60-64 25% 29% 52.7% – 68.9%
65-69 30% 38% 61.4% – 82.0%
35% 48% 77.0% – 111.4%
75-79 40% 58% 121.6% – 150.4%
80-84 45% 68% 151.1% – 220.2%

As you can clearly see, the USAWA and the IAWA(UK) age corrections do not keep up with the performance decrease with increased age for these three lifts that where selected from the USAWA Record List.  No calculations were done to determine the statistical significance of this study.

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.