Monthly Archives: May 2014

Club Championships

by Al Myers

The Club Championships has been sanctioned and scheduled!    I consider this meet as one of our “signature events” in the USAWA since it is a Championship Event, and these are the meets that really need to be contested every year. The Club Championships began in 2010 with the Ambridge Barbell Club hosting it the first couple of years. Dave Glasgow, the leader of the Ledaig Heavy Athletics, promoted it last year and has made plans to promote it this year as well!

The Club Championships is much different than other competitions. It is NOT an individual competition, but rather, a club competition. The scores of three members of a club are “added together” to form a club score. This way clubs are pitted against each other, with each member making their own contribution to their club. Awards will be given out on a “club basis” – there will be no individual recognition at this event.

The rules for the Club Championships are pretty straightforward:

1. Each Club brings  three lifters to compete. Clubs may enter with less than three members, but will be at a disadvantage when scores are added together. A club may enter more club members than three, but only the top three will be added for the “club score”.

2. Club members MUST be registered with their club of participation (as documented on the membership roster).

3. Adjusted Point scores are added together to form a club score.

4. Club with the highest Club Score is awarded the Club Champion.

The Ledaig HA’s has been a big club player in the USAWA over the past few years. Now since Dave has his new training facility built I expect even more involvement with promotions. I consider Ledaig as one of the TOP CLUBS in the USAWA. At the 2012 IAWA World Championships, their club won the team title at the Championships (combined pt scores of all members participating). That’s a big club win – winning Worlds!!!! In 2011 Ledaig won the team title at the USAWA Nationals in Kirksville. At Nationals in Las Vegas they were awarded the Runner Up Club of the Year in the USAWA.  In 2012, they won the Club of the Year Award in the USAWA.

I’m really excited about this year’s Club Championships. I truly believe the success of the USAWA lies with club involvement. Meets like this one foster that involvement. Year’s ago it was important to lifters to be “part of a club” when going to competitions. Club spirit was high – and lifters often competed in their club shirts showing their support to their club. I want to bring that feeling back, and this meet is a great way to do that. It should be an honor for a club member to get selected to represent their club at the Club Championships. Let’s make this a great meet!


2014 USAWA Club Championships
Saturday, July 19th, 2014
Ledaig Heavy Athletics Training Facility
Rainbow Bend, KS

Sanction – USAWA

Entry Fee – None

Weighins: 9:00 AM

Start time: 10:00 AM


Clean and Jerk – One Arm

Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

Trap Bar Deadlift

There will be a record breaker session after the competition if anyone is interested. Award certificates will be awarded to the winning clubs. There is no entry form, but please contact Dave prior to the event if you are entering a team at . The directions to the meet are:

GPS Coordinates are: Decimal coordinates (latitude, longitude):

Dino Gym Club of the Year

by Al Myers

Every year the USAWA gives out yearly awards honoring special achievements amongst the membership for the prior year.  This Awards Program began in 2009.  The award recipients are voted on and chosen by the membership with the exception of the Club of the Year.  This award is earned on merit -with points being accrued by participation in the USAWA by each registered club.  I just calculated the club points for all registered clubs in 2013 – and I’m excited to announce the Club of the Year for 2013 is the DINO GYM!  This is a team effort with each club member earning points.  For this I want to congratulate the Dino Gym members: Darren Barnhart, Rudy Bletscher, Scott Campbell, Chuck Cookson, Ben Edwards, Tasha Ullum, Alan English, Mark Mitchell, LaVerne Myers, Molly Myers, Dean Ross, Scott Tully, Brianna Ullum, and Chad Ullom.  Extra points were generated by club participation in the “big meets” by Molly, Bri, LaVerne, Dean, Chad and myself.

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.

Habecker’s Gym won the Runner Up spot in the Club of the Year Award.  Despite only having 3 registered gym members (Denny Habecker, Judy Habecker, and Barry Bryan), thru big meet participation and promotion of the 2013 Nationals and 2013 Gold Cup by club leader Denny, they secured a solid second place finish.

Club of the Year Final Standings (Top Five Listed)

1.  Dino Gym – 46 points
2.  Habeckers’s Gym – 28 points
3.  Frank’s Barbell Club – 20 points
4.  Ambridge BBC – 10 points
5. (tie) Clark’s Gym – 7 points
5. (tie) – Jobe’s Steel Jungle

Frank’s Barbell Club came in fourth by being “well rounded” in their point generation, and getting points in all areas. The club had 5 registered members (Frank Ciavattone, Jeff Ciavattone, Colleen Lane, Jessica Hopps, and James Delaney), had participation in the Nationals and Gold Cup by Frank and Colleen, and promoted three meets (including the Heavy Lift Championships).

Ambridge BBC came in fourth – all due to one man! Art Montini was the only one from the Ambridge Club to register membership in the USAWA for 2013, but thru Art’s devotion to the USAWA by participation in Nationals, Worlds, and the Gold Cup, plus promotion of his annual birth day bash he generated all the points himself!

You may notice that the 2012 Club of the Year Ledaig HA is not listed on the above list.  There’s a reason for that – the defending Champ is not eligible the following year.  This was put in place originally as to not allow the same club to win the club of the year award year after year.  The Ledaig HA Club will have the honors of presenting the Club of the Year awards this year at the National Championships during the awards ceremony.

All together there were 13 registered clubs in the USAWA for 2013.  All of these clubs need mentioned as they are the “backbone” of our memberships.  Over 75% of our yearly membership comes with lifters affiliated with a registered club.  The USAWA Clubs for 2013 were: Al’s Dino Gym, Ambridge VFW BBC, Clark’s Championship Gym, Frank’s Barbell Club, Habecker’s Gym, Jackson Weightlifting Club, Joe’s Gym, Jobe’s Steel Jungle, KC Strongman, Ledaig Heavy Athletics, Salvation Army Gym, Schmidt Barbell Club, and M&D Triceratops (owned and operated by the late Dale Friesz).   Making the “TOP FIVE” is a great achievement for any club, and one each USAWA club should strive for!

Decline of Western (lifting) Civilization: Part II

by Thom Van Vleck

This almost takes a mechanical engineer to figure out!

Okay, so….I have to admit….I HATE Smith Machines.  I hate them so much that I was even offered a free one years ago and I turned it down.  I didn’t even want to sell or trade it because I felt like I would be taking advantage of some poor sap who would think he’d get strong on a Smith Machine!   To be honest, it needed some work and I just passed on it as I’m too cheap to pass up much free stuff….just ask Al Myers!  haha.

At any rate, I saw this thing.  It looks like somebody tried to take a Smith Machine and make it where you could not just go up and down but back and forth as well.  If you look closely at the bottom you’ll see the horizontal “rail” while the bar is attached to the usual “Smith Machine” rail.

Now I know what some of you are thinking…..”but Thom, that actually solves some of the problems with a Smith machine….this is better than a Smith Machine…”.  I actually would agree…but I would also agree that two kettlebells are better than one.  But what are you gonna do with a kettlebell!  Again, remember these are tongue in cheek….so don’t get bent out of shape.  Okay, maybe I really do mean part of it.

I saw this and got all excited.  I thought it was a power rack!  I bet it cost a fortune and I bet you that hardly anyone will use it!  That’s my issue with it.  Kind of like how you buy a kid a fancy toy and he plays with the box and the bubble wrap more than the toy.  That’s why this is more to add to the decline of western (lifting) civilization.  Complicated means most people won’t use it.  Simple is best.

Plus…..I don’t like the bar telling me where to push it!   I can’t have a weight tellin’ me what to do!

Decline of Western (lifting) Civilization: Part I

by Thom Van Vleck

Can you guess what this does?

The title of the article is play off of some documentaries that pondered the decline of the western civilization through the various music movements such as punk rock, heavy metal and so on.  They were as much tongue in cheek as they were a serious case that these musical movements would collapse our society and that’s how this article is intended.  You may notice it has a “part I”…..I plan on doing a series of these.

Recently I was in a gym and they had a new piece of equipment.  It took me awhile to figure it out but once I did I had to admit I felt myself becoming the type of self righteous complainer that I usually hate.  But I just have to make a comment on this one.  It was an assisted chin up/dip bar machine.  If you can’t do a single dip or chin up this machine will lift your fat butt up so you can dip and chin with the best of them!  Now, before someone goes all postal on me let me tell you the real reason I see this as the decline of Western “lifting” Civilization.  I get it that there are many people who can’t do a chin or dip and need help and this machine could offer the chance for them to get to that point where they don’t need help.

What I’m mad about is what has happened to the “gym”.   They seem to be getting worse and worse about equipment that caters for those that never had a childhood that involved hard work or exercise and instead was video games and maybe passive labor that was horribly overpaid.  It seems to me that it lowers the bar and in essence it lowers the lofty standards of fitness and strength that made America great.  But hey, that’s just me.

On another note, I did 100 chin ups today….and 1000 dips.  Pretty amazing, huh!?

Time for Nominations!

by Al Myers

It’s that time of the year again to nominate deserving lifters for the yearly awards! The USAWA award program was started in 2009 to honor those individuals that displays outstanding achievements throughout the year in different categories. I have been the USAWA Award Director that entire time and was the one who started the USAWA Awards Program. Part of the USAWA budget goes to these awards, which means that part of your membership dues support this program. These awards are awarded at the Annual General Meeting of the USAWA, which occurs at the same time as the National Championships. It is important to remember when “casting your vote” that these awards are for the calendar year 2013 (which is the calendar the USAWA follows for memberships, etc.). Now for a little “overview” of the rules for nominations:

  • You must be a USAWA member to make a nomination or cast a vote
  • Nominated individuals must be a USAWA members to be eligible
  • Only one individual may be nominated per person per award
  • Two nominations for each award may be submitted, one for your choice of the Winner and one for your choice of the runner-up.
  • The awards are for the calendar year 2013
  • An individual may be nominated for more than one award

These are the different awards for which you should chose your nominations for:

Athlete of the Year This award is for the individual who has accomplished the most athletically within the last year in the USAWA. Top placings at the Nationals and World Championships should figure in high. Also, participation in other Championship Competitions such as the Heavy Lift Championships, the Grip Championships, the Club Championships, the OTSM Championships, the Team Championships, or the National Postal Championships could factor in. Participation in elite IAWA events such as the Gold Cup should make an influence on earning this award as well.

Leadership AwardThis is for an individual that has shown exceptional leadership qualities within the USAWA during the past year. Things that should be looked at are: going above the level expected of an Officer position, promoting sanctioned events with emphasis being on promoting National or World Competitions, promoting the USAWA by developing a strong club, writing articles for publications about the USAWA, or through other means.

Sportsmanship AwardThis goes to an individual who possesses and shows great sportsmanship within the USAWA. The act of sportsmanship may be by conduct at all events, or by an specific example of exceptional sportsmanship.

Courage AwardThis goes to an individual who shows the courage to overcome an obstacle in order to return to competition. This may be a comeback from an injury, or just having to deal with difficult personal issues but still shows the courage to compete in the USAWA.

Newcomer AwardThis award goes to an individual who in new to the USAWA or has become involved again. It doesn’t have to go to someone in their first year of being involved in the USAWA.

As stated earlier in the rules, I would like you to submit your choice for the WINNER and your choice for the RUNNER UP for each award. I will score it this way: for each nomination per award I will give 2 points for the nominated winner and 1 point for the nominated runner up. I will then add up all the points from all nominations with the person receiving the most points declared the winner and the one with the second most points the runner up. So you can see that the Award Winners are chosen by YOU THE MEMBERSHIP! That’s the way it should be done.

Please email me at with your nominations. The deadline for this is this Friday. I’m only giving a week because it has been my experience with this is that if a person does not make their nominations shortly after reading this announcement, it never gets done. So make it easy on yourself (and me!) and turn your nominations in today!!!!

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