Monthly Archives: May 2013

JWC Redesigned Logo

by Thom Van Vleck

The New JWC logo.

The Jackson Weightlifting Club is one of the oldest Clubs in the USAWA…and that’s saying a lot because there are some old clubs!  To me, what sets the JWC apart is it very much is a family club.  Sure, there are lots of non family members, but the core has been my family and for over 85 years there has been a member of my family at the lead.  While I hope that continues, I just hope it’s around another 85 years regardless of who is running it!  I am pretty proud to keep the tradition going of lifting for not only strength of body, but strength of mind, spirit, and character.  That’s why on the logo below that adorns the front of the shirt it says “Strength, Faith, Honor, and Wisdom”.  I would say that lifting is more about life than winning awards for the JWC…..but awards are nice, too!

Logo that's on the front of the new JWC shirts

The anvil that is on the both sides is a silhouette of the Original “Grandpa Jackson” Anvil that sits in my gym.  Many will remember the story I’ve probably told too many times of my Great Grandfather lifting that anvil to impress his kids, then my grandfather turning to weight training to achieve that same feat….then that turning into a tradition of lifting in our family.  And yes, 1928 was the year my grandfather started lifting with his future brother in law and his friends that led to the formation of the the JWC.  While the name “Jackson Weightlifting Club” wasn’t coined until 1957, I consider 1928 as the date the idea was born…..which was more important than the name.  That idea was a man could use weights to make himself better in all ways….not just physical strength.

The "old" logo in use since the 90's.

The Logo drawn by my Uncle Phil in the late 50's that inspired all the future logos.

Here are the old logos just to let you compare.  I have tried to stay true to the original as I want to always honor those that came before me and paved the way.  I know I’ve shared the symbolism of it before, but since I’ve made an update, I wanted to share again.  I plan on having the shirts available at my Highland Games in October and the Old Time Strongman Championships this fall (looking at a December date).  So if you like them, come and compete and get one as a meet shirt!  I know a shirt won’t make my lift more (well….unless it was a bench shirt…but who likes those!)…but when I wear this shirt, I feel extra inspired to not let the tradition down!

Frank’s Backyard

by Al Myers

Part of Frank's backyard involves the storage of his heavy-duty dirt and snow moving equipment.

When I was at Frank Ciavattone’s place for the Heavy Lift Championships, I was extremely impressed with his gym and his setup for the competiton.  The meet was held outside in Frank’s backyard, just outside of Frank’s Barbell Club gym.  Frank’s gym is located in the basement of his house and contains decades worth of history and collectibles.  I love home gyms  – and Frank’s is one of the nicest I have ever seen.  Another thing about home gyms is EVERYTHING is used for training.  Even pieces of equipment that probably should be in a trophy case because of the collectible value.  I noticed several Berg Hantel plates that Frank was actively using! 

Frank's "1-TON" train wheels, and his green smaller railway wheels.

But back to the topic of the day – Frank’s backyard!  It is an All Rounders paradise playground – with numerous “challenge items” positioned throughout the yard.  My wife Leslie commented to me right away by saying, “THIS looks like our backyard!”  Yep honey, there are actually a  few  other passionate iron-heads  who don’t mind having their yard cluttered with human torture devices.   I was most impressed with Frank’s GIANT set of train wheels that he uses for hip and harness lifting.  Their weight is clearly painted on the side – 1 TON – in white lettering.  They even sit on a section of iron train tracks!  I also have a set of train wheels on a heavy bar, but mind are slightly smaller and weigh in at 1400 lbs. – so Frank has me topped when it comes to train wheels.   He told me that he has often used these train wheels for strength exhibitions that he has performed thru the years for many causes, mostly charities.

Frank's setup for doing Hand and Thigh Lifts, which permanently resides in his backyard.

Frank also has a pair of smaller train wheels on a heavy bar that he uses for Hand and Thigh lifting.  I asked him what they weighed, and he said somewhere between 600 and 700 pounds.  I took  that as he has never actually weighed them, but just knows from  the “feel of the weight”.  Frank said he has lifted those wheels hundreds of times in the Hand and Thigh lift, and mostly use them for rep work.  I say that is part of the reason for Frank’s “picture perfect” hand and thigh form.

James Fuller bent pressing the red railway wheels after the 2013 Heavy Lift Championhips. The green wheels are in the picture to the right.

Another classic challenge lift of his is his challenge red and green railway wheels.  They both are fastened tightly (so no rotation) to a 2″ diameter solid shaft that is roughly the length of a barbell.  The total weight of the green wheels is 190 pounds, and 145 pounds on the red wheels. .  I first became aware of this challenge implement several years ago when I seen a picture of Steve Angell performing a one arm jerk (two hands to shoulder)  with the green wheels  following the 2000 IAWA World Championships, which were hosted by Frank.  After the Heavies, James Fuller really enjoyed using these old railway wheels to Bent Press.  I enjoyed seeing such an old time all round lift like the Bent Press being performed with this awkward lifting implement.  It was reminiscent of an Old Time Strongman circus act.

The “ambiance” of Frank’s  back yard was complemented with the presence of his heavy work equipment, used to move dirt and snow.  The size and power of Frank’s “work machines” just leave you in awe.  But those can be the topic of another day’s story! After the meet, Frank “fired up” his fire pit and we sat around it telling stories into the night.  Great times are had in Frank’s backyard.

Memorial Day

by Al Myers

There was the platform that Frank Ciavattone set up for the Heavy Lift Championships this year. Frank is proud to show his patriotism to the United States!

Today is an important day being Memorial Day.  It seems most Americans appear to have forgotten the meaning of this important day, and only think of it as a “day off” from work and a good day to go to the lake to have fun.  Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day – and got that name as it was the day to decorate graves.  Most all Americans have been touched in some way by losing a family member (possible even in prior generations) or friend  in the armed forces.    Take this day to remember those who have died in our nations service.  Whether you go to the cemeteries, or you  just take a few moments of your day to reflect.    

My friend Dave Glasgow would be proud of me for this, as he has often called into question the proper etiquette for the  hanging of the Flag of the United States at meets.  The flag should be lowered to half-staff position till noon to honor those who have died, then raised to full-staff  at noon for the remainder of the day.

Club of the Year: LEDAIG HA

by Al Myers

Ledaig HA won the team title for the Overall best team at the 2012 IAWA World Championships. Pictured (left to right): Jera Kressly, Dave Glasgow, Doug Kressly

Congratulations to LEDAIG HEAVY ATHLETICS for being the named the USAWA Club of the Year for 2012!!!!

Ledaig has been very active in the USAWA these past few years.  Their “rise to prominence” in the USAWA started in 2010.  The club’s founder and leader, Dave Glasgow, has been a solid force in the organization. Ledaig HA is located in Rainbow Bend, Kansas – outside of Winfield, or if you are less knowledgeable about Kansas, south of Wichita a ways.  Dave refers to Rainbow Bend as “a community ” instead of a town.  I’ve been there and you better not blink when you drive thru it or you will miss it!  It’s even smaller than the town of Holland where the Dino Gym resides!

Unlike the other USAWA awards where the winners are selected by nomination and vote of the membership, the Club of the Year is earned.  It is based on a point system where each club earns points for various involvements in the USAWA throughout the year.  I think this system is very fair – and it makes it easy for me to calculate all clubs point totals. This is the guidelines for which a club earns points:

Club Awards are determined by adding up club points using this 4-Step System:

1. One point awarded to the club for EACH USAWA registered member that lists the club as their affiliated club on their membership application. This designation is also listed beside the members name on the membership roster.
2. Two points awarded to the club for EACH club member that participates in the National Championships, World Championships, and Gold Cup. Points are awarded for each competition, so if one club athlete competes in all three of these big meets it would generate 6 points for the club.
3. Three points awarded to the club for EACH USAWA sanctioned event or competition the club promotes.
4. Four bonus points awarded to the club for promotion of the National Championships, World Championships, and Gold Cup.

As you can see – having lots of club members who are heavily involved in our “big meets” really help with the yearly score.  Ledaig had 9 club members for the year 2012: Dave Glasgow, Kenny Glasgow, Amber Glasgow, Tim Harbison, Doug Kressly, Jera Kressly, Mike Murdock, Kristen Traub, and Larry Traub. The Ledaig HA won the team title at the 2012 IAWA World Championships, and was runner up at the 2012 USAWA National Championships. At both of these big meets, the Ledaig Club had members place very high overall in addition to winning Age/BWT championships.  At Nationals, Larry was 2nd overall and Dave 4th, and at Worlds Dave was 3rd overall, Doug 9th overall, and Jera was third overall in the women’s division.  That’s quite a list of accomplishments!!!

The year 2012 had a record number of 16 registered member clubs in the USAWA!  I’m only going to give the TOP FIVE placings, and just making this top 5  listing is a great accomplishment for any club!


1st.  Ledaig Heavy Athletics – 25 points
2nd.  Salvation Army Gym – 20 points
3rd.  Ambridge Barbell Club – 19 points
4th  (tie).   Clarks Gym – 13 points
4th  (tie).  Jobes Steel Jungle – 13 points
5th .  Habeckers Gym – 12 points

The Salvation Army Gym had an outstanding year in the USAWA. The clubs leader Tim Piper was very involved in the USAWA throughout the year. Tim competed in the Nationals in Vegas (6th Overall) and at the Worlds in Salina (7th Overall).  I was very impressed with them earning the RUNNER UP Club of the Year in the USAWA. These two club awards (to the Ledaig Heavy Athletics and the Salvation Army Gym) will be presented at the Awards Ceremony in conjunction with the National Championships next month. Last year’s winner of the Club of the Year, the Dino Gym, will have the HONOR of presenting these two clubs their Club Awards.

World Championships

by Al Myers

2013 IAWA World Championships

Mark and I enjoying some "beach time" on Scarborough Beach near Perth, Western Australia, while there for the 2011 IAWA World Championships.

The entry form and meet details have been released for the 2013 IAWA World Championships.  Mark Haydock, of Preston, England, will be this year’s meet director and host.  Mark runs an all round club, the Houghton Barbell Club. Mark has been very involved in IAWA and has attended many World Championships.   He was the Overall Best Lifter in the 2009 Championship in Lebanon, PA.

All it takes for a USAWA member to enter the IAWA World Championships is to be a USAWA current member.  There are NO pre-meet qualifications to enter. Just fill out the entry form completely and send it to Mark, then book your flight to England.  That’s it! The entry deadline is August 31st.

The meet is a two day meet (Saturday October 5th & Sunday October 6th).   In the Info Sheet Mark has given several suggestions for places to stay.  The lifts for the World Championships are:


Clean and Press

Continental Snatch

Pullover – Straight Arm

Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Arm, 2″, One Hand



Clean and Jerk – Dumbbell, One Arm

Deadlift – Trap Bar

ENTRY FORM (PDF) – 2013 IAWA World Championships Entry

INFO SHEET (PDF) –  2013 IAWA World Championships Info

1 2 3