Monthly Archives: December 2012

The EZ-Way Formula

by Thom Van Vleck

I like to read old weightlifting magazines….well….I like to read anything related to weightlifting!  Recently Wayne Gardner, an “old timer” in the Jackson Weightlifting Club, gave me a bunch of old magazines and books.  With this treasure trove was three issues of Dan DeWelt’s “Powerlifting News”.  Dan put this newsletter/magazine out in the 70’s for a time.  Mike Lambert who put out Powerlifting USA for 25 years was inspired by Dan.

As I was reading the February 1973 issue I found a very short article on the EZ-Way Formula to arrive at the best lifter.  It was written by Bob Shadron who seemed to be inspired to come up with something easier than the Hoffman Formula.   Shadron  said “….we can replace the Hoffman Formula for good”.  He also touts it to be accurate and fair at all bodyweights.

The formula is simple.  You divide the lifter’s bodyweight into their total or the lift.  Round that number to the nearest 100th of a percent (10.591 would become 10.59).  You end up with the the number of “times bodyweight” lifted.  You then add to this the lifter’s body weight divided by 100 (a 251lb lifter gets a factor of 2.51).  Shadron claims the second number “assures that a heavier lifter gets a little more credit….than a lighter lifter….in direct proportion to the increase in bodyweight.

So, using my examples, a lifter that lifted 10.59 of their bodyweight would add their factor of 2.51 to get a final coefficient of 13.1.

I’m not promoting this formula, just reporting it.  I know Al Myers enjoys “analyzing” these types of things (after all, he’s the “facts” guy and I’m the “fluff” guy!) so maybe Al will break this down or tear it apart!  Whichever the case may be.  I just found it interesting and thought I would share it.  Don’t worry!  I don’t plan on bringing it up to replace our current system…even it it does appear to favor the heavier lifter.

Rules for the Total Poundage

by Al Myers

This was the day that Steve Schmidt set the ALL TIME RECORD in TOTAL POUNDAGE.

Steve Gardner wrote a really nice piece last week about the origins of the unique lift – the Total Poundage.  This lift is unlike all other all-round lifts.  It is NOT a lift done for maximum weight.  It is about TOTAL POUNDAGE established over a time frame.  It is more than just a “repetition lift”, as the lifter can stop & go on repetitions (which is not allowed on lifts for repetition).  Let me get to the rules here:

USAWA Rule for Total Poundage

The accepted time limit is three hours, nine minutes.  The lifter may choose any lift and perform the lift for repetitions in any number of sets and poundages. The reps in the sets, and the poundage used in the sets may be changed or varied throughout the time period.  Each repetition must be properly completed, with the exception of the down commands in which the repetition does not need to be held motionless at completion.  The lifter is permitted to take rest periods.  The repetitions are multiplied with the pounds lifted to determine the total poundage lifted in the allotted time period.

Of course to establish a high total for poundage, the lift selected becomes very important, as some lifts more weight can be lifted in than others.  The usual choices for TOTAL POUNDAGE have been lifts like the Back Lift, Harness Lift, Travis Lift, and Hip Lift.  Another important destinction is that the repetitions done DO NOT need to be held for a down command (which is different than lifts done for reps, as each rep needs to be judged as it was a single, which includes an officials down command).    The IAWA rule for this lift is written with the same intentions, but doesn’t point out this rule stipulation.


The lifter has a time limit of three hours and nine minutes to lift as much weight as possible to create a time limit total. The lifter can choose any manner of lifts to perform, with any combination of sets or reps, but each repetition must be completed properly for the weight to count towards the time limit total. The total poundage creates the record.

Causes for Failure:
1. Failure to complete any lift or repetition in the correct fashion will exclude that particular lift / repetition from the overall total set in the time limit of three hours and nine minutes.

I was fortunate to be present the day the best record ever was established in TOTAL POUNDAGE.  On December 14th, 2002 Steve Schmidt Back Lifted 8,087,095 TOTAL POUNDS at Clarks Gym.  This broke the overall TOTAL POUNDAGE record held by Howard Prechtel  at 6,066,060 pounds set in 1982.   Back in 2009 I wrote a blog outlining the details of Steve’s performance –   To date, I believe these are the only two lifters that have exceeded Warren Lincoln Travis mark (5.5 million pounds), which should be considered the mark to beat.  WLT set the bar on this lift, so to speak.

Macomb Fall RB

by Al Myers


Meet Results:

Macomb Fall Record Breakers
Salvation Army Gym
November 10th, 2012

Meet Director:  Tim Piper

Officials (1 official system used):  Tim Piper, Thom Van Vleck

Trenton Paul – BWT 74.5 KG, AGE 18 years

Reflex Clean and Push Press:  82 kg
Reflex Clean and Jerk: 90 kg

Tim Piper – BWT 88 kg, AGE 42 years

Clean and Jerk – Left Arm: 40 kg
Reflex Clean and Jerk:  82 kg
Reflex Clean and Push Press: 80 kg
Squat – Front: 100 kg

Dave Beversdorf – BWT 308 Pounds, AGE 47 years

Bench Press – Right Arm: 80 kg
Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 190 kg

Tim Piper and Trenton Paul – 90 kg bodyweight class, Open Age Division

Team Snatch – One Arm: 60 kg
Team Clean and Push Press: 162.5 kg
Team Clean and Jerk: 185 kg

Total Poundage

by Steve Gardner

Some were asking recently about the history of the IAWA Record for Total Poundage in 3 hours and 9 minutes. It was started by the late great Warren Lincoln Travis.

Here is the story:
Warren Lincoln Travis was the first famous strongman in the United States and a world champion back and hip lifter, who performed feats of strength on Coney Island in the first quarter of the 20th century.  Travis was born in Brooklyn and turned professional at age 21. He weighed only around 200 pounds at his prime. In 1906, he was awarded the “World’s Greatest Weightlifter” by a popular strength publication and received a jewel-studded belt.
His favorite lifts were the Heavy Lifts, such as the Harness Lift and the Back Lift, and Finger Lifts.  In front of witnesses, he lifted 3,985 pounds in the Harness Lift and 4,140 pounds in the Back Lift. In 1907, he lifted 667 pounds with one finger.

Travis was a successful as a businessman and became very wealthy. For 55 years, he held the record for total poundage lifted, that is, lifts done for repetitions, where the lifter may choose any lift and rep/set scheme, to lift the most weight within a given time frame. The standard for this record was initially set by Travis in 1927, when he Back Lifted 5.5 million pounds in 3 hours, 9 minutes.  He did this by doing 5500 reps with 1000 pounds. His record was broken in 1982 by Howard Prechtel (who later became first President of IAWA) who Back Lifted 6,066,060 pounds in 3 hours, 9 minutes.

John Davis, Olympic Champion

 by Dennis Mitchell

John H. Davis

John H. Davis was born January 12, 1921 in Smithtown, Long Island.  As a youngster his favorite sports were gymnastics and track.  He lived near a park where he would play on the rings and the high bar.  He was exceptionally good at chinning, and could chin with either hand while holding a 25 pound weight in the free hand.  Weightlifter Steve Walsky saw John at the playground and invited him to work out at his home gym.  John worked out hard and long, often five days a week.   At this time, 1937, he saw a strong man weightlifting strength show where he met Bob Hoffman.  Not long after he entered his first weightlifting contest where he took a second place.  This was a start in a long and successful career.

John said that his original interest was in body building, but felt that a negro would never win the Mr. America title.  At a body weight of 180 pounds and standing 5’8.5″, he had a 17″ neck, 16″ arms,13.75″ fore arms, and  16″ calfs.  He trained very hard, and was ahead of his time as he included both squats and bench presses in his workouts.  It was believed at that time that squats would make you slow, and that bench presses would hinder overhead lifting.  John won his first world championship as a light heavy weight at the age of 17, in Vienna, Austria. He went on to win eight world, twelve national championships and two Olympics. During his long career he set sixteen world records.   He did this even though his career was interrupted for three years serving in the army during the world war.  He was also the first lifter to clean and jerk over 400 pounds (402) using a standard barbell and was the second person to total 1,000 pounds on the three lifts.

John Davis passed away July 13, 1984.

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