Author Archives: Al Myers

Dino Challenge

By Al Myers

I always knew this would eventually happen – bad weather affecting my Dino Challenge!  And this year it did just that, with a predicted bad ice storm blowing in on meet day.  I had several lifters planning on attending but didn’t because they didn’t want to risk the travel.  I sure don’t blame them.  I’m actually surprised this hasn’t happened before in the over 10 year continuous run of the Dino Challenge in January. But the meet went on to keep the tradition alive.  My dad had only a quarter mile drive to make it, and I was able to walk to the gym!  So it was just the two of us.

Meet Results:

2017 Dino Gym Challenge
Dino Gym
Holland, KS
January 14th, 2017

Meet Director: Al Myers

Officials (1-official system used): Al Myers & LaVerne Myers

Lifts: Deadlift – 2 Inch Dumbbells, Vertical Bar Deadlift  2 bars 2″, Clean and Press 2 Dumbbells, Cheat Curl 2 Dumbbells, Reg Park Bench Press, Deadlift 2 Bars

Al Myers 50 225 260 380 100 162 200 452 1554 1445.2
LaVerne Myers 72 239 242 270 50 100 66 220 948 1023.8

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


Al Myers – Finger Lift Left Little 75#
Al Myers – Finger Lift Right Little 75#
Al Myers – Finger Lift Right Thumb 75#
Al Myers – Finger Lift Left Thumb 75#
Al Myers – Rectangular Fix Fulton Bar 70#
LaVerne Myers – Finger Lift Right Thumb 75#
LaVerne Myers – Finger Lift Left Thumb 75#
LaVerne Myers – Finger Lift Left Middle 110#
LaVerne Myers – Rectangular Fix Fulton Bar 70#
LaVerne Myers – Miller Clean and Jerk 60#

James Gardner Lifts Dinnie Stones

By Al Myers

James Gardner lifting the Dinnie Stones unassisted in front of the watcher of the Stones, David Webster.

James Gardner lifting the Dinnie Stones unassisted in front of the watcher of the Stones, David Webster.

I can’t believe I haven’t done this blog yet.  In fact – it’s BIG NEWS to me when someone lifts the Dinnie Stones unassisted (meaning bare hands only – no straps). It even means more to me when it’s someone I know, and someone who I consider a good friend as well!  James Gardner, of Barton under Needwood in England, accomplished this great feat on August 6th, 2016 at the Aboyne Highland Games in Scotland.

At the Aboyne Games they held a competition with the Dinnie Stones. Many stone lifting dignitaries were in attendance, including David Webster, Dr. Terry Todd, Bill Crawford, and others. James performed two unassisted lifts with the Dinnie Stones, and then later won the competition for hold for time with the stones, with a lengthy 13 second hold. This secured James a spot in the Dinnie Stone legacy.

The history of the Dinnie Stones was on display at the games.

The history of the Dinnie Stones was on display at the games.

I have lifted with James many times, and he has one of the best hook grips I know of.  He’s been performing big single arm deadlifts for years and through his years of competing in tug of wars has developed an unbelievable grip so I’m not surprised one bit that he was able to lift the Dinnie Stones.

Congrats to James!!!!

Where did they go?

By Eric Todd

I began training at a rather young age. Running at around 3, bodyweight exercises a little later,  and weight training/competitive wrestling at nine.  While not always the most gifted athlete, I always felt I could overcome anything through effort.  It is something that became a passion of mine.  So when I began strongman/weight lifting competitions at about twenty six, I was instantly hooked.  It was the same kind of feeling.  Work harder than the other guy and you will prevail.  Well, sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not.  But it became a way of life, and one that would be difficult to completely walk away from.

That is why it often confused me when others would walk away. Many had talent much greater than mine, and a huge upside had they reached their potential, or somewhere in that neighborhood.  After some studying and discussing it with peers, here is a few categories that I feel some of these fellas fit into.

The first guy is intimidated. He is the one that emails you about coming out to train.  Since the door is always open, you welcome him with open arms.  Often, this guy does not show up.  Sometimes with an emailed  excuse, sometimes not.  Sometimes he shows up and lays it all out there.  You have been around the block a time or two and recognize the potential.  You remember what it was like your first day training with the group.  You hope he comes back, because you recognize that someday, he may be able to push you to greater heights.  But all he sees is how he struggled so with weights that we experienced folk used easily.  So, he does not return.  (Sometimes this occurs after he belly aches about getting his motorbike dusty on country roads, and borrows your Super Squats book.  Ah, but I digress). Believe me, when I first got started, there were times I would eye the competition early and wonder to myself if anyone would notice if I just disappeared like a fart in the wind.  But my pride would not allow it.

The next guy is emotionally weak (for lack of a better term). They cannot stand to compete if they do not win every time.  I have met a few in my time, often much stronger than me.  Once, I was competing at a strongman meet.  I was in the lightweight pro division, but there was also a heavyweight amateur class.  There was a character in the heavyweights who trained with 2 very high profile, world class strength athletes.  And this guy was STOUT!  He easily won his division, and put all the lightweight professionals to shame.  At that time, I had competed against the best of the best in the Heavyweight class as well, and recognized what this guy had.  I told him he should compete in a pro/am to win his professional card.  I had no doubt he could do it.  He told me he would not compete if he was 100% sure he could win.  Glory!  If I had thought that way, I would not have competed very often. Never saw or heard of that guy again.

The last guy is the fella that it just plain comes too easy for. I have seen guys come out and win right out of the blocks.  Some even go so far as to win a nationals or win a pro card.  You have scarcely heard their name before, and there they are beating seasoned veterans.  Sometimes, I am not sure they even know who they are beating.  Then they disappear into the night, not unlike Melvin at my first strongman meet.  I could never understand that.  However, in talking to some of my confederates, it just came too easy for them.  Winning for me   was a blast, and it drove me on.  It was that rewarding due to what it cost.  The hours training.  The injuries.  The broken skin and blood.  The aching muscles, and the crawling up the stairs. The bitter, painful losses after all these dues were paid. The cost was high, but it made the reward even more sweet when it came.  So, I guess if it came that easy for me, maybe I would, too, have said “so what” and walked away.

Anyway, since in all-round since the median age is 426, I know the vast majority of you have had your ups and downs in sport. And you still keep coming back.  I cannot see myself walking away from competitive lifting either.  And though I have to be more selective with what I go all out on there are still plenty of exercised that I am setting all time bests in these days.  I always thought that if I had the skill level or genetics of some of these guys, I would have won everything and never walked away.  But I guess I was given something else that took me a ways too.  So, in conclusion, I guess not everyone is wired the same, and that is OK.  I reckon it is those few blessed souls who are given the genetics along with tenacity and a work ethic who rise to the top.  For the rest of us, I am glad I have been along for the ride.

Postal Championships

By Al Myers

The results of the final USAWA postal competition, the Postal Championships,  is wrapped up.  Our postal meet director Denny Habecker has done a great job this year promoting our postal series.  The Championships had very good participation – with 14 men lifters and 3 women lifters.  The Overall Champion in the Men’s Division was Dan Wagman, and the Overall Champion in the Women’s Division was RJ Jackson.

Meet Results:

2016 USAWA Postal Championships
December 31st, 2016

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

Lifts: Abdominal Raise, Pinch Grip, Continental to Belt

Lifters that used a certified official:
Dan Wagman – Official Jarrod Fobes
Al Myers – Official LaVerne Myers
Chad Ullom – Officials Al Myers, LaVerne Myers
LaVerne Myers – Official Al Myers
Barry Bryan – Official Denny Habecker, Art Montini
Barry Pensyl – Officials Denny Habecker, Barry Bryan, Art Montini
Mark Raymond – Officials Frank Ciavattone, Rocky Morrison
Calvin Heit – Official Chad Ullom
Rocky Morrison – Officials Frank Ciavattone, Jeff Ciavattone
Dean Ross – Officials Al Myers, LaVerne Myers, Chad Ullom
Crystal Diggs – Official RJ Jackson
Eric Todd – Official Lance Foster
Lance Foster – Official Eric Todd

Lifters using a non-certified Judge:
Denny Habecker – Judge Aidan Habecker
David Fisher – Judge Lynda Burns
RJ Jackson – Judge Dan Wagman
Lynda Burns – Judge David Fisher


RJ Jackson 55 105 33 131 155 319 518.2
Crystal Diggs 30 164 15 60 95 170 171.0
Lynda Burns 42 205 25 45 115 185 167.9


Dan Wagman 39 185 55 226 375 656 612.6
Al Myers 50 225 50 215 375 640 595.5
Chad Ullom 45 246 55 160 440 655 555.7
LaVerne Myers 72 239 15 190 220 425 460.1
Barry Bryan 58 196 33 165 220 418 449.6
Denny Habecker 74 195 17 105 242 364 445.9
Barry Pensyl 68 149 37 83 176 296 408.8
Mark Raymond 53 238 17 156 231 404 374.9
Eric Todd 41 260 15 125 349 469 372.3
Calvin Heit 14 125 25 67 155 247 359.9
Rocky Morrison 54 270 5 156 242 403 354.0
Dean Ross 74 250 15 110 198 323 346.2
Lance Foster 51 340 0 115 243 358 274.1
David Fisher 42 229 25 45 165 235 201.1

Notes: Age is recorded in years. BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts recorded in pounds. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are overall points adjusted for age and bodyweight corrections.

Stevie Shanks and the Dinnie Stones

By Al Myers

Stevie Shanks making a successful lift of the Dinnie Stones unassisted on October 3rd, 2015.

Stevie Shanks making a successful lift of the Dinnie Stones unassisted on October 3rd, 2015.

It’s about time I revisit a passion of mine – the Dinnie Stones!

Recently Stevie Shanks of Belfast, Northern Ireland, has launched a new website honoring the great Donald Dinnie and the Dinnie Stones.  Stevie is a fellow IAWA and all round lifter as well.  He lifted the Dinnie Stones unassisted in October 2015, to join his father Jack as the only father/son duo to lift the Dinnie Stones unassisted since Donald Dinnie and his dad did so 150 years prior!  Stevie’s work on this new website is to follow in the footsteps of the work the late Gordon Dinnie had done with the prior Dinnie Website.  All of the information from the previous Dinnie website is contained in the new website.

The address for the NEW Dinnie Stone website is –

This new website has a full listing of all the lifters that have lifted the Dinnie Stones unassisted and assisted, as well as those that have successfully carried the Stones unassisted and assisted. It also contains history related to Donald Dinnie and the Dinnie Stones. There’s a “news section” that gives any updates on any recent news regarding the Dinnie Stones.  The website has been developed brilliantly, and contains all the information anyone would want in regards to the Dinnie Stones.  I applaud Stevie Shanks for all the hard work he put into this project and  keeping the legacy of the Dinnie Stones alive!

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