Author Archives: Al Myers

Membership Renewal Time!

By Al Myers

Jim Malloy performing a clean and press with heels together.

Jim Malloy performing a clean and press with heels together.

It’s that time of the year – time to renew your USAWA membership!  I want to remind everyone that membership in the USAWA is for the calendar year (meaning Jan 1st to Dec 31st).  So there’s no reason to wait to join as you might as well enjoy a full years worth of membership versus less if you join at a later time in the year.  This is how it has always been in the USAWA, and for good reason. I have heard complaints from lifters joining late in the fall that feel like they’ve been shorted.  Well, this is my opinion on this.  Why if you are doing your one and only meet in December every year while the other guy is doing his one and only meet in Jan should you not have to buy a full year membership like the other guy?

I always like it when lifters register BEFORE the first of January.  I just recieved the FIRST membership of 2018.  It came from JIM MALLOY, the great lifter from Cleveland who has been a long time supporter of the USAWA.  Jim is always one of the first to get me his check. Plus Jim does every year what very few do – he sends a little extra to the organization in addition to his membership dues.  Now please don’t think I’m begging for extra funds as the USAWA is very financially sound – but it is sure appreciated!!!

Membership applications are located in “Forms and Applications”.

Lifter of the Month – Al Myers

By Chad Ullom

Al at Worlds

Al at Worlds

The lifter of the month for October is our Secretary and Webmaster, Al Myers! Al competed in the World Championships in Australia and was runner up for best lifter. Al represented the USAWA when there. While in Australia, he also set a new record in the 1 hand hack lift. Way to go Al!

Lifter of the Month – Greg Cook

By Al Myers

Greg Cook in action at the 2017 OTSM Championships.

Greg Cook in action at the 2017 OTSM Championships.

The USAWA LIFTER OF THE MONTH for September is Greg Cook.  Greg won the overall BEST LIFTER in the Men’s Division at the 2017 Old Time Strongman Championships.  This championship event was hosted by Eric Todd, and had an outstanding field of 11 lifters in the Men’s Division.  Greg is a club member of the KCStrongman Club.

Congrats Greg!


By Al Myers

(Webmasters Note: Over the next month I will be running a series of biography blogs covering all past USAWA Hall of Fame members.  These bios will be added to the history section, under Hall of Fame.)





Denny was born and raised in Lebanon, Pennsylvania and has lived there all but 3 years of his life. His father was always involved in sports when Denny was growing up, and Denny has continued that tradition. He graduated from Lebanon High School in 1960 and got a job at Bayer Corporation in 1964 and worked there until his retirement in August, 2008. He got married in 1964 to Judy Gensemer. Judy is now a retired R.N. and they have one son who is an elementary school principal. His son and daughter-in-law have given them 3 grandsons that they are very proud of.

Denny started lifting in the spring of 1957 to build himself up for high school football. He entered a couple of bodybuilding contests in 1961 and 1962 before deciding weightlifting competitions were more fun. He competed in Olympic lifting competitions, with a few powerlifting competitions thrown in, from 1962 until 1975. Then with family commitments and other sports (volleyball, basketball) taking up his time, he didn’t compete again in weightlifting until 1984. He saw the results of the 1983 National Masters Olympic Lifting Championships and decided to start competing again. Denny entered John Vernacchio’s Eastern Masters and Tri-States Masters competitions every year and became a member of John’s Valley Forge Lifting Team. In 1989 John told him about an all-round weightlifting competition he was having. John talked him into entering it and Denny soon became hooked on all-round weightlifting.


Denny has been in every National All-rounds since 1990, 22 World All-rounds since 1991, and 20 Gold Cups since 1994, competing in Scotland, England, Australia, and New Zealand. In Olympic lifting, he has competed in 24 straight Keystone Games, 21 National Masters, 5 Pan-American Masters, 2 American Masters and 2 World Masters Championships since 1984. He also lifted in the 1992 WPA World Masters Powerlifting Championships. Denny still played volleyball, basketball, and softball in an over 40 league most of those years. He had to give up the other sports two years ago because of an arthritic hip.

Denny now trains at the New York Fitness Club in Lebanon and in his basement gym, Habecker’s Gym. He has been on the IAWA technical committee since 2000 and President of the USAWA since 2007. He has promoted the 2000 & 2007 USAWA Nationals, 2002, 2005 & 2009 IAWA World’s, 2006 & 2008 Gold Cup, and the 2004 & 2009 National Heavylift Championships. Denny was inducted into the Lebanon Valley Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, the Central Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, and in 2009 was given the Kelly Cup Award for his Keystone Games accomplishments. He was the overall best lifter of the 1999 USAWA National Championships and 10 times best lifter in his age group. He has placed in the top 10 in 14 USAWA National Championships and 8 IAWA World Championships. His favorite lifts are the Arthur lift and the Pullover and Push. His 87.5 kilogram Clean and Press with Heels Together, which was done in his first All-round Meet in 1989, is still a record.

Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers


“Tom Ryan Memorial Meet”

A year ago we lost a very good friend and longtime supporter in the USAWA with the passing of Tom Ryan. I had known Tom for over 15 years and often communicated with him via emails weekly. He would help me with any historical question involving weightlifting as he seemed to remember everything from his time in the iron game. I often invited him to the Dino Gym for one of my competitions but his health prevented it in his later years. He told me many times that “if he could” he would make the trip to my place from his home near Atlanta.

So I’ve decided this year we will honor Tom in dedicating the Dino Gym Challenge to him.  I was initially going to have this years meet as a tribute to John Grimek.  I had even decided on lifts – picking some of Grimek’s pet lifts for the meet. But the other day working out I got to thinking about Tom and his passion for the All Rounds, and this lead to me making the change for this year.   John Grimek was one of Tom Ryan’s heros in the sport.  I knew Tom well enough that I know this would have amused him greatly in my chosing him over the great John Grimek!

I picked five of Tom’s favorite lifts for the meet, and ones he still holds USAWA records in. I’ve been fortunate to have witnessed many of them myself as years ago he would travel to Clark’s Gym for meets and record days that I was at.   Tom still holds close to 25 USAWA records.  He has outstanding records in the Weaver Stick (7 pounds), the One handed thumbless deadlift (254 pounds), and the Rectangular Fix (95 pounds done over the age of 60).  It will take some great lifting at the Dino Challenge to see any of these marks of Tom’s exceeded.


Meet Director:            Al Myers and the Dino Gym 785-479-2264

Meet Date:                 Saturday, January 27th, 2018  1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Location:                    Dino Gym, 1126 Eden Road, Abilene, KS 67410

Sanction:                    U.S.A.W.A Memberships cards can be purchased on meet day

Weigh-ins:                  12:00 -1:00 PM the day of the meet

Divisions:                   Juniors, Women, Masters, and Open

Awards:                      None

Entry:                         None – but please notify me in advance if you plan to attend


Weaver Stick

Rectangular Fix

Deadlift – No Thumb, One Hand

Reeves Deadlift

Hip Lift

The lifts will be done is this order. After the meet there will be time for record day lifts.

1 2 3 266