Monthly Archives: December 2012

Everybody’s got to have Goals!

by Thom Van Vleck

My main goal for 2013 is to look as sexy as possible. (photo and caption courtesy of the webmaster)

Just curious if anyone else is a “goal setter”.  As the new year approaches, I try to ponder the coming year.  I have often set “New Years Resolutions” as many do and as many that set them also do….I break a lot of them!  Here are some things I’ve learned about setting goals.

First, don’t box your self in.  I try and set marks to shoot for, but I’m also not too rigid about leaving open the chance for “targets of opportunity”.   In the Marine Corps we were taught that you may have an objective, but if an easy target (target of opportunity” came up, the go for it!  Maybe you start out wanting to hit a big squat, but your knee flares up.  Then you find the squats you’ve been working on have helped your deadlift.  Go for a big deadlift and forget about the squat until the knee is better and DO NOT push the knee into a serious injury by stubbornly pushing through it.   Maybe you set a goal to lose 50lbs but find 35lbs gets you were you want…..how you look and feel is more important than what the scale says.

Overall shape.  My primary training goal for 2013 is to get in the best overall shape of my life.  I have went from 310lbs to around 280….I am not dieting, just stopped eating junk.  More protein, less carbs, fat, sugar.  I want to continue this.  I have no “goal” weight but I do want to lose fat, and get leaner. I have set a bottom number of 242lbs….that’s a long story…but if I can’t get lean enough at that weight I will just have to work harder!  Too often in the past I have just wanted to be stronger….when being healthy first will ultimately create lasting strength.

Lifting.  In the past, I have set poundage goals….This year I’m trying something different.  I’m not going to worry about how much I lift, I’m going to focus on intensity.  It is my goal to enter each lifting session with more intensity and not measuring success.  Too often I’ve set up lifting routines that are many weeks of hitting the same lifts….this time I’m going to be flexible.  I want to go into the gym excited about what I’m doing and embrace changes in my routine as a positive rather than a failure to hit lifts mapped out months earlier.

Have goals, sub-goals, and a “quota” goal.  My Uncle Phil years ago managed salesmen.  I asked him if he set goals for them.  He said, “They call them goals, I call them quotas”.  His point was he would set a hard goal that was high and probably unrealistic and make it a quota….then when they fell short he would sit down with them and look at what they achieved, not that they had failed to reach their “quota”.  He felt that by reaching unrealistically high they would achieve more than had they set “too easy” goals….because he found when most hit their goals….they QUIT TRYING.  He also like to set up sub goals that were rewarded along the way.  He often rewarded his salesmen out of his own pocket when they reached sub goals.  Reward yourself as you hit goals and make yourself into “Pavlov’s Dog”!  They you will salivate at the thought of being successful.

I don’t claim to be an expert in this area, these are just some lessons I have learned over the years.  I am looking for a big year in 2013!  I want to be leaner, stronger, lift bigger weights, throw farther in the highland games….and if I end up a little “sexier” (by the way, the photo above was Al’s doing!!!!) all the better!

Lifter of the Month: Ruth Jackson

by Al Myers

Congratulations goes to Ruth Jackson for being named the USAWA Lifter of the Month for December 2012.  Ruth was the OVERALL BEST WOMENS LIFTER at the 2012 IAWA World Championships in her first All-Round competition.  She followed up that stellar performance with setting 43 records at the Gracie Judo Club Record Day on the 1st of December.

I have been keeping a listing of the PAST LIFTERS OF THE MONTH on the website.   So when a lifter wins this title – they will FOREVER be listed in the USAWA Archives.  If any of the winners would like a certificate of their accomplishment just send me an email and I’ll send you one.  And please don’t ask because you think it will cause me more work – I can make a certificate for you in less than a minute (but don’t expect anything fancy haha).  

Below is the listing of the 2012 Lifters of the Month.  I have included links beside each name that links to the story of their Lifter of the Month blog.

LIFTERS OF THE MONTH FOR 2012

MONTH LIFTER STORY
January none  
February none  
March none  
April Chad Ullom http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-chad-ullom/
May Eric Todd http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-eric-todd/
June Al Myers  
July Bryan Benzel http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-bryan-benzel/
August Dale Friesz http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-dale-friesz/
September Barry Bryan http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-barry-bryan/
October Dan Wagman http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-dan-wagman/
November Denny Habecker http://www.usawa.com/lifter-of-the-month-denny-habecker/
December Ruth Jackson  

The Infamous Weightlifter’s Weekend 1979

by Thom Van Vleck

I was looking through a 1979 edition of Bill  Clark’s “Weightlifting Newsletter”.  There was a meet report for the 1979 Weightlifter’s Weekend.  This was an annual meet that included a wide range of competitions that spanned more than lifting.  Here’s a list of what was competed in the two day event:

Judd Lift, Miller C & J, Kelly Snatch, Zercher Lift, Steinborn, Zercher (again the second day), Seated Press, one hand deadlift, one hand snatch, Hack Lift, 12lb shot, 16lb shot, College Discus, 16lb Olympic Hammer, Javelin, 100, 220, 440, 880 and 1500 runs, Standing Long Jump, Running Long Jump, Triple jump (standing and running), back jump, one and two hand chinning, one and two hand pushups, Inman Mile (won by Jerry Inman), Tennis, 10K walk, Handwalking for distance, Axe throwing, Golf, and last but not least,  Bowling (singles and doubles).

The meet was won by Jerry Inman….by virtue of competing in the most events!   Bill Clark was second for pretty much the same reason.  Wayne Smith was given the top Master Award.  Some of the top lifts included a 120lb Kelly Snatch, 400lb Steinborn, 400lb right hand deadlift by Bob Burtzloff.  Bill Davis had a 505lb Zercher and 555lbs Hack lift.  My old lifting partner Jim Noble won the shot and discus (he was only 16, but was also the state high school champ in the discus).  Wayne Smith won the chin ups with 2 for the single arm and 27 for two arms as well as edging Clark out in the bowling.  I think that it’s interesting that while Jerry Inman won the “Inman Mile”….he did NOT go anywhere near a mile!

I know they held this event every year for some time.  The idea was guys would come and lay down challenge events and you either “manned up” or passed.  For example, I know Wayne Smith suggested the Ax throw.  I remember this because I worked for him cutting trees and he was great at throwing and ax which is why he laid down the challenge.  However, he could not get the ax to stick that day and was defeated….we didn’t let him hear the last of that for some time.

What would you think of a meet like that? Plenty of “real” lifts, but lots of unusual stuff.  Would you be a gamer?  Or call it crazy?  There’s no doubt those guys back then knew how to have fun!  Maybe the “WW” should make a comeback!!!!!

A MERRY CHRISTMAS FOR A LOSER

BY DAVE GLASGOW

THIS MAY SEEM A STRANGE TITLE FOR A HOLIDAY STORY, HOWEVER, LET ME SAY THIS IS MORE A STORY OF ONE MAN’S DISCIPLINE AND MORAL FIBER THAN THE STORY OF A “LOSER”. OH, AND MIGHT I ALSO MENTION KARMA?? LET ME EXPLAIN.

I AM, BY TRAINING, A PARAMEDIC AND AN EMERGENCY NURSE. I ALSO HAVE A BACKROUND IN LAW ENFORCEMENT, BUT THAT IS ANOTHER STORY ALL TOGETHER!! A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO, I WORKED AT A LEVEL I TRAUMA CENTER IN A LARGE CITY. WE SAW ALL TYPES OF PATIENTS. SOME OF THEM WERE EVEN SICK (THAT’S AN INSIDE JOKE)!!

GENE BRODY (NAME HAS BEEN ALTERED FOR OBVIOUS REASONS) WAS A REGULAR. IT WAS NOT UNCOMMON FOR GENE TO HIT THE E.R. WITH SOME COMPLAINT OR ANOTHER, THREE OR FOUR TIMES A WEEK. HOWEVER, HE WAS JUST, GENREALLY, DRUNK AND OBNOXIOUS. EVERYONE, DOWN TO THE CUSTODIAL CREW, KNEW GENE. NOBODY WANTED TO DEAL WITH HIM.

FORTUNATELY FOR THE STAFF OF OUR HOSPITAL, WE WERE ON EXCELLENT TERMS WITH THE LOCAL COPS. THEY ENJOYED COMING BY TO COMPLETE PAPERWORK FOR THE MULTITUDE OF CASES THEY CUT PER SHIFT, AS OUR HOSPITAL WAS LOCATED IN THE NOT SO ’GOOD’ PART OF TOWN, OR JUST CHAT WITH THE CREW. THEY WERE GOOD GUYS!!

ONE OF THESE COPS WAS A STRAPPING LAD, COLLEN MURDOCK(NAME CHANGED, AS WELL), WHO HAD BEEN ON THE FORCE FOR ABOUT 5 YEARS. HE WAS KNOWN AS A REAL MOVER AND SHAKER AND IT WAS GENERALLY CONSIDERED HE WAS ON A FAST TRACK TO SERGANT AND BEYOND. AT 6’4”, AND 285 POUNDS OF CHESLED IVORY, HANDSOME AND WELL SPOKEN, HE CUT QUITE A FIGURE AND THE FEMALE STAFF FOUND IT HARD TO GET THEIR WORK DONE WHENEVER HE SHOWED UP! IT WAS QUITE OBVIOUS HE WAS A ‘LIFTER’ SO WE BECAME PRETTY GOOD FRIENDS BECAUSE OF OUR MUTUAL INTEREST.

IN OUR DISCUSSIONS, AMONG OTHER THINGS, WE TALKED ABOUT WORKING NIGHT SHIFT AND HOW HARD IT WAS TO TRAIN AND TRY TO MAINTAIN ANY FORM OF FAMILY LIFE, NOT TO MENTION A REGULAR SLEEPING SCHEDULE. HE SAID, “DAVE, IT’S ALL A MATTER OF DISCIPLINE, MENTAL TOUGHNESS AND WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO YOU!!” I SAID, “YEAH, AND I STRUGGLE WITH IT EVERYDAY!” WE LAUGHED AND ENDED OUR TALK FOR THE NIGHT.

FAST FORWARD ABOUT 6 MONTHS, AND WHO SHOULD SHOW UP IN THE E.R. WITH OUR 2XXL COP BUT GENE BRODY! ‘FOUND HIM TEARING UP A FENCE OVER ON ST. FRANCIS. HE’S GOT A PRETTY NASTY CUT ON HIS HAND FROM A NAIL AND HE MUST HAVE BUSTED HIS LIP SOMEHOW. I CAN’T TAKE HIM TO JAIL CUT AND BLOODY LIKE THAT.” THERE WERE SEVERAL OF US STANDING AROUND IN THE ROOM WITH THEM AS GENE WAS IN A PARTICULARLY SURLEY, NASTY MOOD ON THIS NIGHT. YOU NEVER KNEW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN WITH GENE.

COLLEN WAS UNCUFFING GENE AND JUST FINISHED WHEN GENE SUDDENLY WHEELED AROUND AND SPIT A WAD OF BLOOD, PHELM AND CRAP THAT I WOULD RATHER NOT THINK ABOUT RIGHT SQUARE IN COLLEN’S FACE. NOW, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, COLLEN HAD EVERY RIGHT TO THROTTLE GENE AND THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN NOT ONE PERSON IN THAT ROOM WHO WOULD HAVE SAID A WORD. WE IMMEDIATELY JUMPED ON GENE AND RESTRAINED HIM, WHILE PUTTING A PILLOW CASE OVER HIS HEAD TO KEEP THE REST OF US FROM BEING THE UNHAPPY RECIPIANTS OF GENE’S EXPECTORANTS.

COLLEN NEVER MOVED, NEVER SAID A WORD, HOWEVER, HIS FACIAL EXPRESSION CHANGED TO THAT OF ONE VERY PISSED OFF PUBLIC SERVANT. YOU COULD SEE THE ANGER IN HIS EYES AS THE SPITAL RAN DOWN HIS FACE. NONE THE LESS, HE CALMLY TURNED TO THE SINK AND WASHED HIS FACE WITH THE ANTIBIOTIC SOAP WE READILY PROVIDED. COLLEN KNEW WELL WHAT HE MAY, VERY WELL, HAVE JUST BEEN EXPOSED TO. WITH A WIFE AND NEW BABY, HIS THOUGHTS WERE OF THEM AND NOT HIMSELF.

AS HE HAD A NIGHTMARE OF PAPERWORK TO COMPLETE DUE TO THE ‘INCIDENT’, COLLEN WAS RELIEVED BY A PAIR OF JUMBO COPS THAT CAME IN NOT LONG AFTER.

LATER, ON THE HOUR COMMUTE TO MY HOME THAT MORNING, I REFLECTED ON THE AMOUNT OF DISCIPLINE AND MENTAL TOUGHNESS IT TOOK FOR COLLEN NOT TO MASH GENE INTO A WITHERING MASS OF PLASMA. THEN, I REMEMBERED OUR TALK ABOUT TRAINING AND IT’S RELATIONSHIP TO A POSITIVE MIND SET, MENTAL TOUGHNESS AND DISCIPLINE.

IT OCURRS TO ME, NOW, THAT EACH OF US BRING THIS ‘MIND SET’ TO THE TRAINING HALL EACH AND EVERY TIME WE HAVE A WORKOUT. IT ALSO WOULD MAKE SENSE THAT THIS THINKING GOES BOTH WAYS. WE DISCIPLINE OURSELVES TO PERFORM IN THE GYM AND THIS STRENGTH IS TWO FOLD; MENTAL AND PHYSICAL. YOU, REALLY, CAN’T HAVE ONE WITHOUT THE OTHER AND THEY BOTH REQUIRE MAINTAINENCE. ALSO, THE MENTAL TOUGHNESS AND DISCIPLINE WE USE IN THE GYM IS CARRIED OVER DAY TO DAY, IN ALMOST EVERYTHING WE DO!!

SO, WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH CHRISTMAS, YOU WANT TO KNOW?? HERE’S THE REST OF THE STORY…..

NOT LONG AFTER THE AFOREMENTIONED ‘INCIDENT’, A COP WAS PATROLING HIS BEAT, TWO DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS ON A VERY COLD, WINDY NIGHT WHEN HE, QUITE BY ACCIDENT, SAW SOMETHING BETWEEN TWO ABANDONED HOUSES. SOMETHING JUST DID’NT LOOK RIGHT!

EXITING THE CAR, THE COP FOUND A VERY DRUNK AND HYPOTHERMIC INDIVIDUAL HE RECOGNIZED AS GENE BRODY! NEAR UNCONSCIOUNESS, COVERED WITH DIRT, URINE, VOMIT AND EXCRETEMENT, GENE WAS VERY NEAR DEATH. THE COP IMMEDIATELY CALLED FOR AN AMBULANCE, WRAPPED THE UNFORTUNATE MR. BRODY IN HIS (THE COP’S) ‘TUFFY’ JACKET AND WENT TO HIS CAR TO GET AN EXTRA BLANKET HE ALWAYS CARRIED.

I HAPPENED TO BE ON THAT NIGHT AND IT MADE ME PROUD TO SEE HOW THE STAFF SNAPPED TO, DOING THEIR BEST FOR THIS INDIVIDUAL THAT HAD GIVEN THEM NOTHING BUT GREIF FOR SO LONG.

AS WE WERE WORKING ON HIM, I ASKED THE EMS CREW WHO FOUND HIM. THEY JUST POINTED TO THE DOORWAY WHERE COLLEN WAS STANDING, WITH A GRIN ON HIS FACE I’LL NEVER FORGET.

COLLEN COULD VERY WELL HAVE SEEN WHO IT WAS AND JUST DRIVEN OFF. NOBODY WOULD KNOW AND, REALLY, NOBODY WOULD HAVE CARED. BUT, COLLEN WOULD KNOW AND HE DID CARE. FOR GENE BRODY, WHAT GOES AROUND DID NOT COME AROUND. I LIKE TO THINK IT ALL BECAUSE OF ONE COP’S MORAL COURAGE AND DISCIPLINE, SHARPENED IN THE WEIGHT ROOM EVERY TIME HE TOOK A WORKOUT.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL!! HAPPY CHRISTMAS, GENE BRODY! WHEREVER YOU ARE!!

Top Performances of 2012 – PART 2

by Al Myers

Now it’s time to finish the  count down of the TOP PERFORMANCES of 2012! 

5.  Bryan Benzel and his 355 pound Apollons Lift.

Bryan Benzel performing the Apollons Lift at the 2012 Battle in the Barn.

Bryan “THE BIG YOUNG BULL” Benzel made his “name known” at ET’s Battle in the Barn OTSM meet last spring.  Included in the list of events was the Apollons Lift, which represents the performance done by the old time strongman Louis Uni, aka Apollon.  Apollon lifted his famous Apollon’s Wheels, which weighed 366#, overhead in his show performances.   The Bull  about  beat the mark set by the mighty Apollon!

4.  Adam Glass lifting 822 pounds in the Dinnie Lift at the Minneapolis Meet.

Adam Glass performing the Dinnie Lift at the 2012 Minneapolis Meet.

Adam Glass is, without a doubt, a WORLD CLASS grip man.  I am so glad that I was able to see this performance of his first-hand, because if not, I don’t know if I would have truly believed that he could lift so much in the Dinnie Lift.   Hopefully someday Adam will have an opportunity to attempt the actual stones – because if we are taking bets I’m going to place my bet on him that he’ll lift them!

3.  Dan Wagman’s 359 pound Steinborn Lift at Worlds.

Dan Wagman performing the Steinborn Lift in route to winning the Overall Best Lifter at the 2012 IAWA World Championships in Salina, Kansas.

I’ve known Dan “PURE POWER” Wagman for several years, and know what an outstanding lifter he is.  I had the feeling that the OVERALL CHAMPION of the 2012 Worlds was going to come down to a battle between him and my training buddy Chad.  I felt Chad’s “ace in the hole” was going to be the Steinborn Lift, and a lift that he might be able to distance himself from Dan.  However, this was not to be (even though Chad put up his All Time best Steinborn of 202.5kg) when Dan put up a huge Steinborn Lift of 359 pounds.  I was not expecting this out of Dan – and in turn quite surprised me – and that is why it made my ranking of number 3 of impressive lifts of 2012.

2.  Wilbur Miller’s 457# 12 inch base Deadlift.

Wilbur Miller (left) and Denny Habecker (right) at the Dino Gym.

It’s been years since Wilbur Miller was nicknamed the Cimarron Kid, but at an age of 79 he still lifts like a kid!  This amazing deadlift of his has to be regarded as one of the best performances of ALL-TIME in the USAWA as well.  

1.  Eric “ET” Todd and the monsterous WORLD RECORD Neck Lift of 1030 pounds!

Eric Todd performing his World Record Neck Lift at the 2012 IAWA World Championships.

This was the most impressive lift in the USAWA for 2012. I’m sure most everyone would agree with me on this.   Following the World Championships, Eric and Chad Ullom engaged each other in an “one on one” Neck Lift Challenge to determine who the best neck lifter was.  Both guys eclipsed the 1000 pound barrier in a climatic fashion, and in doing so, set the new mark for Neck Lifting.  I would like to think that both of these guys learned everything they know about Neck Lifting from me – but I know that isn’t true! (but I did make both of their neck harnesses which might have helped them a little bit…)  

HONERABLE MENTION FOR NUMBER ONE –

1.  Chad “THE CHAMP” Ullom lifting the Dinnie Stones for 25 reps! I giving this Honorable Mention Number One because this was not a competition lift – but done within the realms of an IAWA event.

Chad Ullom lifting the Dinnie Stone.

The day after the Gold Cup in Glasgow several of us made a visit to lift the Dinnie Stones. Chad was only hoping to become the FIFTH American to ever lift the stones unassisted (without straps) when he set up for his first attempt.  However, the stones came up with EASE!  It looked like he was warming up with a 135# deadlift!  After that he decided to test himself for total reps and finished with 25 unassisted reps with the Dinnie Stones, the most by anyone in a single day (done along with Mark Haydock of England).  It was a remarkable display of strength.  His performance must have shocked the stone lifting community because afterwards he endured much criticism for this performance along with a personal attack on his character (which included being called a numpkie – I had to ask an English friend what that meant!!  haha ) .  Most of this was fueled by envy and jealousy to discredit him (along with Mark) and to try to take away from their great display of  Dinnie stone lifting.  However, both of these guys showed what class they have by not publicly responding to these personal attacks and proved to me (and others) that they are honorable  individuals.   That’s all I’m going to say about that – I don’t have the time or energy  to deal with the HATERS.

I do want to point out with all this that it was me that suggested they stop at 25 reps to mark the 25th anniversary of IAWA. That was NEVER a goal of theirs going into this day.  They could have done another 25-50 reps if they really wanted to.  Chad’s hands were not the least bit damaged, and his 25th rep was as strong as his first. His grip was not slipping at all and he could have done many more reps.  He looked to me that he was just getting “warmed up”!!  However,  lunch time was upon us and I had to think of some way to get them to stop. I was getting hungry and the fish and chips at the Potarch Hotel were calling to me!!

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