Monthly Archives: July 2013

Joe the Turk OTSM

 by Tim Piper

“Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet- Press Release

This is the group picture from the 2013 "Joe the Turk" Old Time Strongman Meet.

The Macomb Salvation Army hosted the “Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet on July 27.  “Joe the Turk” was Macomb Illinois’ original “strongman” and holds a unique and special place in the history of the Macomb Salvation Army.  At the turn of the 2o th century Joe the Turk was in Macomb for a short time helping clean up the town of crooked laymen and henchmen.  He did so by being unafraid of their tactics and standing steadfast in his belief that good would prevail.  While he only spent a short time in Macomb it seemed fitting to name the United States All-round Weightlifting Association (USAWA) sanctioned meet in his honor. 

The USAWA was formed over 25 years ago to continue the longstanding tradition of old-time weightlifters like Eugene Sandow, Louis Cyr, Apollon, Paul Anderson, and countless others.  The organization hosts meets throughout the country and is a member of the International All-round Weightlifting Association (IAWA).  The lifts contested in USAWA meets are often based upon lifts that were performed in traveling circus performance acts, side shows, and festivals. Many bear the name of the old-time strongman who made them most famous.  The lifts are quite atypical, involve often unseen variations of squats, deadlifts, and overhead movements, employing primarily simple bars and plates without the benefit of spotters.  Like the old-time strongman, the lifter is tested for maximum strength while maintaining control of the barbell at all times.  This was a small but exciting meet with all lifters setting numerous national records. 

Whitney Piper performing a Peoples Deadlift, enroute to winning the women's division.

The meet was held outside the Salvation Army gym in the warm sun.  The first lift was the Apollon’s lift which involves taking a 2 inch barbell overhead in any manner the lifter chooses.  Twelve year old, 79 pound, Whitney Piper did well setting new records for teenage and open womens divisions with a lift of 33pounds.  Traveling from Pennsylvania 85 year old, 176 pound Art Montini lifted 66 pounds, setting a new master record.  Also from Pennsylvania, 70 year old, 185 pound Denny Habecker set a new master record of 132 pounds.  Weighing in at 202 pounds, 43 year old Tim Piper set a new master record of 198 pounds.  41 year old Chad Ullom of Kansas weighed in 252 pounds and finished up the Apollon’s lift with 253 pounds. 

The next lift was the Dumbbell to shoulder which is nothing more than bringing a heavy dumbbell to shoulder height and displaying control before getting a down signal from the judge.  Whitney lifted 28 pounds for a new womens and teenage record.  Montini lifted 46 pounds, Habecker lifted 112, and Ullom lifted 244 pounds, all good for a new master records.  Piper lifted 189 pounds for a new national and master record. 

Chad Ullom won the Men's Division, and was awarded a set of 40 year old Indian Clubs for his efforts!

The next lift was the Anderson squat, named after the late Paul Anderson.  This lift consists of a partial squat with the barbell starting at 2/3 the individuals standing height.  Whitney lifted 110 pounds for new teenage and open national records.  Montini did well with 198 pounds.  Habecker set a new master record with 308 pounds.  Piper set new master and open records with a 507 pound lift.  Ullom topped the field for the day at 793 pounds, just 7 pounds off his the national record of 800 pounds.

The final lift of the day was the Peoples deadlift, named after Tennessee powerlifter Bob Peoples, and is a deadlift that starts with the barbell at 18 inches off the ground.  Whitney lifter 165 pounds for new teenage and open national records.  Montini pulled 319 pounds, Habecker lifted 374, and Piper lifted 407, all good enough to set new national records.  Chad Ullom was the strongest in this lift with 639 pounds setting new master and open records. 

This is the sign out front of the Salvation Army Gym.

The scoring for USAWA meets consists of adjustments made for age and weight to equalize for fair scoring of the best pound-for-pound lifters.  After all calculations were done Chad Ullom was determined to be the best overall lifter for the day.  All lifters received commemorative “Joe the Turk” mugs.  For his efforts the best overall lifter Chad Ullom received a set of Indian clubs similar to the sort that Joe might have recognized in his days in Macomb.  The meet was a success and plans are already starting for next years “Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman meet as well as the USAWA National meet, both to be held in Macomb Illinois.


Joe the Turk OTSM Meet
July 27th, 2013
Salvation Army Gym
Macomb, Illinois

Meet Director: Tim Piper

Announcer/Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Head Official/Timekeeper (1 official system used): Thom Van Vleck

Lifts:  Apollon Lift, Anderson Squat, Dumbbell to Shoulder, Peoples Deadlift


Lifter Age BWT Apol SQ DB DL TOT PTS
 Whitney Piper 12 79 15 50 13 75 153 381.9


Lifter Age BWT Apol SQ DB DL TOT PTS
Chad Ullom 41 252 115 360 110.5 290 876 705.5
Tim Piper 43 202 90 230 85.5 185 591 545.5
Denny Habecker 70 185 60 140 50.5 170 421 514.4
Art Montini 85 176 30 90 20.5 145 286 400.9

NOTES:  BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  All lifts recorded in kilograms.  TOT is total kilograms lifted. PTS are adjusted points corrected for age and bodyweight.

Jackson Stones

by Thom Van Vleck

My circle drive, the Jackson Stones in the foreground and my other concrete "strongman" stones behind them.

When you come to my place I have a circle drive in front of my house.  In the center is a tree planted on honor of my mother in law, Peggy Lynn Barton-Baybo, who passed away about 10 years ago.  Around the tree are four limestone fence posts that weigh around 225lbs each that came from central Kansas courtesy of Ryan Batchman.  Ryan is a great lifter (one time USAWA member) and thrower and a real friend.  They came from his farm and are fence posts carved from limestone used in the 1800’s in central Kansas when trees where scarce.  Then around that are my strongman stones.  I have several different sized  concrete stones….kind of your traditional strongman stones from 225lbs to 300lbs.  The biggest round stone sits on a concrete slab from my Great Grandpa Baugher’s well.  It has a hole in it where the pump went and a concrete ring around it.  I like it because it reminds me of a mill stone.  But I also have three natural Granite stones I dug up on my farm starting 20 years ago.

The 220lb "First" Jackson Stone

I eventually dubbed my three natural Granite stones the “Jackson Stones”.  But early on, about 20 years ago I discovered some stones that had been pushed in a draw on my farm.  Years ago the top had been row cropped and I’m sure as they came up with these glacial till stones they pushed them in the draw to get them out of the way.  They were half buried and I just wanted one to practice stone lifting so I picked the smaller one that was around 220lbs.  A good “starter” stone.  This stone was kept in my yard and from time to time I’d lift it.  It was used in my first ever strongman contest as part of a medley event.  Chad Ullom was at that event.

The second Jackson Stone, 299lbs

About 15 years ago I decided I needed a bigger stone so I went back to the draw and after much digging and work pulled this 299lber out.  It looks smaller in the photo but it’s not as round as the first one and the odd shape made it a challenge.  It was at that same time I pulled out the third stone, which weighed in at 330lbs.  This trio of stones was used in several of my strongman contests and was part of my training when I used to work on strongman events.  They also were often used in our strongman shows that USAWA member John O’Brien did with me.  We had a standard Whiskey Barrel that we would lift the stones on.

The 330lbs, the third Jackson Stone.

These stand as a challenge for anyone that comes to my place.  As far as I know, only Eric Todd, John O’Brien, Joe Costello, Brian Kerby, and myself have lifted all three in succession.  While they are rough and easier to grip, they are odd shaped and finding the center of gravity can be a real problem.  Making them challenging in their own way.  For years I just guessed the weight and I was at 225, 300, and 325.  I finally weighed them officially and found I was not too far off!  I have a plan if I can find a 440lber to make some Dinnie Style rings!   The pink granite crystals make them really beautiful in my book over the grey concrete stone.  I hope others will take the challenge.  If you want a crack, just come to my place!

Jobe’s Superman Meet

by Jesse Jobe


Superman Meet

I have always been fascinated by all forms of lifting. And years ago I remember reading about some meets called Superman meets, where a lifter performed the Olympic lifts and the Powerlifting lifts for a Superman total.  I wanted to be able to stay as close as possible to the traditional lifts so the most logical step to me was to use an axle for all the lifts except the squat.  I think with an axle being used it will definitely limit what some people can clean and snatch, and with the bar being so stiff it will make the deadlift very interesting.

Meet Details:

Meet Director: Jesse Jobe and Jobe’s Steel Jungle

Date: September 15th

Location: Jobe’s Residence 3448 ave. B Council Bluffs, IA 51501

Divisions: Juniors, Masters, Women, and Open.

Rules: USAWA rules and scoring apply to all lifts.  Drug testing rules apply.


Clean and Jerk – Fulton Bar        
Snatch – Fulton Bar
12” Base Squat
Fulton Bar Bench Press
Deadlift – Fulton Bar

Weigh in: 10:00am to 11:00 day of meet

Lifting: 11:00 am

Entry fee: 20$

Awards: Trophies for top 3 in the overall, Medals for all other top 3. If there are enough Women entered I will do a top 3 for that also. I will also be hosting a BBQ after the meet which will be included with the entry fee.

ENTRY FORM (PDF): Superman Meet Entry Form

Joe the Turk reminder

by Al Myers

Paul Anderson training a partial squat that is very close to the USAWA lift that bears his name in the USAWA - the Anderson Squat. Notice the homemade wooden rack that supports the weight just below lockout.

This will be the last reminder for the “Joe the Turk” OTSM competition tomorrow, hosted by Tim Piper and the Salvation Army Gym in Macomb, Illinois.  It is looking to be a good turnout on hand.  I’m leaving with Chad shortly, and I talked to Denny yesterday and him and Art are making the trek from PA.  Thom will be there as well, and I’m sure several of the local gym members will be competing.  There’s a great selection of Old Time Strongman lifts in this meet – Anderson Squat, Dumbbell to Shoulder, Peoples Deadlift, and the Apollon’s Lift.  That’s a meet for everyone!

Scott Schmidt – New LEVEL 2 OFFICIAL

by Al Myers

Bob Geib lifting under the watch of 3 Level 2 USAWA Officials at the 2013 USAWA National Championships: Chad Ullom (left), Scott Schmidt (center), and Joe Ciavattone (right).

It’s always exciting news when a new USAWA certified official reaches LEVEL 2 officiating status.  Congratulations goes to Scott Schmidt for becoming the most recent Level 2 official.   Scott went about reaching Level 2 status in an unorthodox manner.  Let me explain.

The typical process of becoming a USAWA official involves taking the Rule Test first.  This consists of an open book exam of 100 questions covering the rules in the USAWA Rulebook.  There is no time limit for taking the test, and to pass it you must score over 90%.  After passing the Rules Test, an aspiring official must then perform the Practical Training Sessions, which consists of attending 3 meets and judging alongside a Level 2 official. After this has been completed successfully,  a person becomes a Level 1 Test Qualified Official.  The “other” category of Level 1 officials is the Level 1 Experience Qualified.  This was created to allow those very experienced USAWA officials to be “grandfathered in” as officials when the USAWA Officials Program began in 2009.  To be eligible to become a Level 1 Experience Qualified Official, one must have officiated in over 25 prior USAWA competitions and/or events.  Once a Level 1 Test Qualified official has officiated over 25 competitions they can apply for Level 2 status.

Scott has been an official in the USAWA for over 20 years.  He has officiated 100’s of events, and often serves as the head official in big competitions.  He spent 2 days sitting in the HEAD CHAIR at this past National Championships, and is regarded as one of the best officials in the USAWA by the lifters.  He was formally listed as a Level 1 Experience Official, and now since he has passed the USAWA Rules Test, he has “officially” joined the Level 2 group of elite USAWA officials.  Since Scott grandfathered in, he went about this entire process in reverse order by taking the rules test last!  I have hoped that all of the Level 1 Experience Qualified officials would take the rules test and become Level 2 officials to show support to the USAWA Officials Program.   It is next to impossible to become a Level 2 Experience Qualified official now as the initial grant of  Certified Official status without taking the rules test is not allowed anymore.

Again, Congrats to Scott!

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