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 “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 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.
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.
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!
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.
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!!