Monthly Archives: April 2014

Heavy Champ Update

by Al Myers

I’m busy getting the final plans made for this weekend.  The good news is that the weather forecast is looking positive for a very nice sunny day!  There will be a lot of activity going on at the Dino Gym on Saturday.  In addition to the USAWA Heavy Lift Championships in the morning we will be hosting the Kansas Strongest Man in the afternoon.  Scott and I have planned the competitions in such a way that a person can compete in both if they want!  I have made some very nice custom awards for both of the competitions which I think everyone will really like.

The Heavy Champs will be conducted in the Dino Gym on the heavy lift platform.  I will have loaner neck harness’s and hip belts available.  The KSM will be contested on the athletic field behind the gym.   I have made some new equipment for the competition (including new yokes and farmers implements).  There is a shelter house for those just wanting to watch and stay out of the sun.

Afterwards I will be having a deck BBQ for anyone who wants to stay for it.  There’s nothing better after a long day of competing than sitting back, eating,  and relaxing with friends!  I’m looking forward to the weekend!!! See everyone soon!

Joe the Turk OTSM

by Tim Piper


“Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet 2014

The Macomb Salvation Army hosted the “Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman Meet on April 19th. “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 20th 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; involving often rarely seen 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.

The meet was held outside the Salvation Army gym in the warm sun. The first lift was the Cyr Press which involves taking a standard dumbbell to the shoulder and then pressing it overhead one handed. 34 year old January Rowland of Independence Iowa did well setting a new womens national record of with a lift of 25 kilos or 55 pounds. Twenty-eight year old, 250 pound Jared Abry from Good Hope Illinois set a new personal best of 127 pounds.

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. Jan Rowland lifted 225 pounds for a new womens national record. Jared Abry set a new personal best with a squat of 540 pounds.

The next lift was the Hackenschmidt Floor Press which consists of a barbell press performed on the floor with the barbell starting at a height of not more than 15 inches of the ground. Rowland lifted 121.25 pounds for a new national record. Abry also set a new national record with a press of 275 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. Rowland lifted 275 pounds for new personal and national record. Abry lifted a new personal best of 518 pounds.
All lifters received commemorative “Joe the Turk” mugs. For his efforts the best overall lifter Jared Abry received a set of Indian clubs similar to the sort that Joe might have recognized in his days in Macomb. While small, the meet was a lot of fun for me and I think Jared and Jan had a good time. Plans are already starting for next years “Joe the Turk” Old Time Strongman meet.


Joe the Turk OTSM
Salvation Army Gym
Macomb, Illinois
March 19th, 2014

Meet Director: Tim Piper

Official (1 Official System): Tim Piper

Lifts: Cyr Press, Anderson Squat, Hackenschmidt Floor Press, Peoples Deadlift

January Rowland (F) 34 319 55 226 121 275 677
Jared Abry (M) 28 250 127 540 275 518 1460

Notes: BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts recorded in pounds.  TOT is total pounds lifted.

The 10,000 hour rule

by Thom Van Vleck

I just got done reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell.  He has had several best sellers, this one is “Outliers”.   The 10,000 hour rule is just one of many great chapters in the book and I could not agree more with his conclusion.

First, it takes 10,000 hours to master anything….even for the so-called “natural”.  He cites numerous examples, but one of my own examples is the actor Eddie Cantor.  He said, “It takes 20 years to make an overnight success”.  Too often we look at successes and we don’t realize how much work went into that effort.  Sure, some have more aptitude than others but you aren’t them.  If you want to be the best at whatever it is you want to be good at you MUST put in the hours to be successful.

Second, and this plays right out of the first, is there is no such thing as “natural talent”.  In studies done on the the greats in any given field, lifting, throwing, music, etc…..there is a DIRECT STATISTICAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HOURS OF PRACTICE AND ACHIEVEMENT.   There is no short cut!

Third, the elites tend to love what they do so they want to spend the time doing it.  That is the secret to getting in the hours.  Finding the intrinsic value in what you do when you do it.  If you are looking at what you are doing (lifting for example) as a chore and only at the eventual outcome then you are not likely to achieve your highest level of success.  Find the value in each and every workout or practice session.  I often think of the Marines when we would do our group exercises.  We would chant over and over, “We love it!  Good for me!  Good for you!”.  Find that joy in what you are doing or eventually you subconscious will begin to sabotage your efforts and you will not master your talents.

I have spent too much of my life admiring the “natural talents” of others when that energy could be better spent on my own “10,000” hours.  So, embrace the work, learn to love it, and know that hard work equals success more than any other equation!

Lifter of the Month: Joe Garcia

by Al Myers

Joe Garcia lifting a up a big Hip Lift!

The Zercher Strength Classic, a long held traditional meet held at Clark’s Gym, was the featured meet of the month of March.  So it comes as no surprise that the winner of this prestigious meet is crowned as the USAWA LIFTER OF THE MONTH for MARCH.  Joe Garcia defended a tough class of 4 hard-nosed competitors to take the overall win, and because of this, earned the lifter of the month.  Way to go Joe!!!!

I’m guessing that Joe has competed in more Zercher’s than any other lifter thru it’s 25 year plus history.  There is no harder meet than the Zercher – having to do 13 different all-round lifts in one day, and amongst the lifts several heavy lifts.  It’s the same as several meets packed into one!

Congrats to Joe Garcia for being awarded USAWA Lifter of the Month for March, 2014.

1st Quarter Postal

by Al Myers


The results are in!  Two women and six men tackled the 1st Quarter USAWA postal meet with great results.  Ruth Jackson won the overall womens division, with Crystal Diggs second.  Chad Ullom took the overall in the mens division, with Barry Bryan a close runner up.  Congrats to all who competed!

I would like to take “a minute” and make a few comments on these postal meets and the submission of results.  A certified official makes sure you complete the lifts in appropriate manner, but there is no one to supervise the filling out of the result sheet. This is left up to the individual lifter.   I noticed in this meet that there are several instances where a lifter didn’t designate an arm in the result sheet for the one arm lifts.  Not that that is a problem for figuring up your total, but it takes you out of consideration for potential records as they are kept per hand.  Also, make sure the official/officials sign your entry form and it is completed entirely and neatly.

Also – I have no problem with lifters completing the lifts and sending them into Denny if  not a current USAWA member. Enjoy the free meet!  But don’t expect to see your results in the final meet results here on the website if you are not a current USAWA member.  Not sure if you are???? It’s easy to tell – check the membership roster – it’s always up to date.   I WILL NOT notify anyone if this occurs, so please don’t expect that out of me.  I have no interest in being a collection agent for the USAWA.  I got a simple rule – NO PAY, NO PLAY.  Make sure you membership registration is up to date BEFORE you enter if you want to be part of the official tally.

I’m glad to see the USAWA Postal Series Meets continuing in the USAWA.  Thanks again to Denny for taking on the role of Postal Meet Director.  I think this will be another great year for these competitions!


1st Quarter Postal Meet
March 1st-31st, 2014

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

Lifts: Swing – Dumbbell, One Arm, Deadlift – No Thumb, One Arm, and Deadlift – 2 bars

Lifters using a Certified Official:

Ruth Jackson – Certified Official Jarrod Fobes
Crystal Diggs – Certified Official Ruth Jackson
ChadUllom – Certified Official Al Myers
Eric Todd – Certified Official Lance Foster
Barry Bryan – Certified Official Denny Habecker
Denny Habecker – Certified Official Barry Bryan
Lance Foster – Certified Official Eric Todd
Keith Thompson – Certified Official Eric Todd


Ruth Jackson 52 108 55-R 97-R 210 362 539.4
Crystal Diggs 27 134 30-R 60-R 150 240 276.6


Chad Ullom 42 258 135-R 209-R 562 906 729.0
Barry Bryan 56 196 80-R 187.3-R 330.7 598 632.4
Denny Habecker 71 196 60-R 143.3-R 319.7 523 624.0
Eric Todd 39 256 125 210-R 450 785 615.6
Lance Foster 48 334 55 155 310 520 439.9
Keith Thompson 27 228 105 230 —— 335 278.6

NOTES: BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts in pounds. R and L designate arm used. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are adjusted points for age and bodyweight correction.

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