Author Archives: Al Myers

Website Upgrade

by Al Myers

The USAWA website will be undergoing an upgrade over the next 2-3 weeks.  During this time there will be no new material added to the website (blogs, meet announcements, roster updates, etc)  until the new upgrade is complete.  All information on the current site will be transferred to the upgraded site.  There may also be time periods where the website is “down” during this process – just please be patient because before long we will have a new and improved USAWA website!!!!

Parallel Lift Training

by John McKean

Hermann Goerner

Gomers hate Goernor! Yep, those Grumpy Old Men (GOMers) who these days have little to do other than take delight from obnoxious blogging and crabbing on certain weightlifting websites, just detest the many huge poundage lifts that the legendary all-round strongman established during his prime.Though few living were around during the 1920s, our iron game gomers will loudly proclaim that Hermann’s lifts were done improperly,plates or globe bells were hollow, bars were bent for better leverages, etc., etc.. Being this is Superbowl week as I write, I submit that our highly critical WL goms use the same “absolute evidence” to INVALIDATE a lift ( that perhaps hundreds witnessed or was judged good by highly respected officials of that time) as is used by the instant replays in pro football. OK, no exacting vids for proof during Goernor’s heyday, but can ANYTHING,even an old bar, globe,or dumbbell that was used,be produced to reduce stature of one of our historic all time greats? (by the way, Goms, opinions,speculation, and rumors count for nothing!).

I mention the above ,not only to glorify Goernor’s 430 pound Two Hand Anyhow overhead (with kettlebells!), 330 pound right arm cheat curl (you’ll have to read his book for the exact, bizarre technique), and his mind-blowing 727 1/2 pound right hand deadlift, but,rather, to discuss Hermann’s inventive training system. Many have heard of his “chain” warmup where he would move up a dumbbell or kettlebell rack, starting at the lightest weight and progressing to the heaviest ‘bell in the gym. Ole Herm would perform a swing ,then a press, down to a curl, then a final press-all one arm for a single on each event. He often changed the sequence or even the exercises, yet always did a bunch with the individual weights.Yet most all-rounders of today may have missed the fact that “Mr. Mighty” also did “chains” of sorts with his main, heavier lifts!

One passage in “Goernor The Mighty” shows this hard working man doing a combination of various curls, presses, and holdouts for 2 reps each, then increasing the barbell or db weight, going through the same sequence, then usually going through a third rotation. Indications are that Hermann also did this with various types of deadlifts and presses/jerks.

We modern all-rounders could also “chain” certain similar lifts to intensify our efforts by condensing work within a relatively short time frame. For instance, we can put together a routine of rows, hacks, straddles, and, say, one arm deadlifts , starting at maybe 135# for the first round, then progressing up in weight for a single at each of the four events. When a limit is reached on any of the lifts,we merely drop it from the upcoming sequence, until we reach perhaps just a final single by itself on our particular specialty. Not much fuss overall devoted to time wasting, constantly changing weights up and down during a workout ! I’m sure most of our guys can dream up endless amounts of similar poundage, “PARALLEL” all-round combos to sneak in more lifts than formerly possible within one workout!

Most will discover that this “new,yet old” parallel system of simultaneously working several events will supply just the stimulation needed for exciting training during 2015. Heck, ole Al needs to get a bit busier, constantly adding records to the books! And,gees, 50 years from now, we WANT the old Gomers of that day angry over OUR lifts!!

Zercher Strength Classic

by Bill Clark

The only entry was Joe Garcia, age 61, bodyweight 214.  He was injured in the Steinborn lift and could not finish. His lifts for USAWA record – leg press 325, military press feet together 155, two-hand C&J 155, RH deadlift 285, hack 235, zercher 235, heels together deadlift 285, bench feet in air 235, neck 425, Steinborn – failed with 145.   Did not harness, hip, or hand and thigh. His neck, bench and zercher exceeded the records in the current record book.

MEET RESULTS:

Zercher Strength Classic
Clarks Gym
January 24th, 2015

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Officials: Bill Clark, Joe Garcia, Steve Schmidt

Bill Clark – Age 82, bodyweight 230.5#
Hip Lift: 771#
Harness Lift: 1078#

David Emslie – Age 74, bodyweight 175.5#
Harness Lift: 1233#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip: 290#
Deadlift – Middle Fingers: 170#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Right Hand: 170#
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Left Hand: 165#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Left Hand: 110#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Right Hand: 110#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Right Hand: 96#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Left Hand: 101#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell with 2 Hands: 172#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 165#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 165#
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells: 270#
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 45#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 45#
Swing – 2 Dumbbells: 70#
Curl, Cheat – 2 Dumbbells: 90#
Weaver Stick: 3.75#

 

Deanna Springs Meet

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

Deanna Springs Memorial Meet

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Date: Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Venue: Clark’s Gym, Columbia, Missouri

Weigh-ins: 8 AM

Entry Fee: None

Entry Form: None

Awards: None

Membership: Must be a current USAWA Member

Lifts: Crucifix, Cheat Curl, Deanna Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, and Hip Lift

A record day session will follow the meet.

To enter, a confirmation must be sent to Bill Clark by the Tuesday preceding the meet. Bill can be reached by phone: 573-474-4510, Fax: 573-474-1449, or mail: Bill Clark, 3906 Grace Ellen Drive, Columbia, Missouri, 65202.

TOO SOON OLD

BY DAVE GLASGOW

IF YOU WANT QUALITY EQUIPMENT THAT CAN BE CUSTOM MADE TO YOUR NEEDS, GIVE AL MYERS A TRY. NONE BETTER. I GUARANTEE IT. GIVE HIM A TRY! WHY??? 'CAUSE I SAID SO!!!!

RECENTLY, I HAD OPPORTUNITY  TO MAKE A WONDERFUL PURCHASE OF A VERY FINE, SUPERBLY CRAFTED POWER RACK, BUILT BY OUR OWN AL MYERS. I DIDN”T REALLY NEED IT, AS I PURCHASED ONE FROM ANOTHER OUT FIT A COUPLE YEARS AGO. IT WAS VERY BASIC, BUT WELL BUILT, STURDY AND FUNCTIONAL. HOWEVER, WHEN I SAW THAT AL WAS IN BUSINESS, I JUST COULD NOT RESIST AND HAD TO HAVE ONE OF HIS CREATIONS.

CHRISTMAS CAME A COUPLE WEEKS LATE BUT THAT WAS OKAY. ALONG WITH DELIVERY CAME TWO YOUNG MEN TO ASSEMBLE THE RACK RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, SO THIS WAS A WIN/WIN SITUATION. I STILL HAD A LITTLE WORK TO DO TO ATTACH IT TO THE FLOOR BUT THAT WAS MINOR, IN RELATION TO SETTING IT UP.

WHILE I WAS WORKING PLACING THE RACK IN IT’S PERMANENT POSITION, I HAD SOME THOUGHTS THAT MADE ME CHUCKLE. THE ONE THAT KEPT COMING BACK TO ME WAS, ‘WELL, OLE MAN’, NOW YOU HAVE THIS FANCY ASS RACK AND YOU ARE TOO OLD TO PUT ANY SERIOUS WEIGHT ON IT!’ THEN IT OCURRED TO ME JUST HOW ‘LONG’ I HAD WAITED TO HAVE SOMETHING OF THIS QUALITY, WITH ALL THE ‘BELLS AND WHISTLES’ AND SUCH. IT WAS THEN THAT I STARTED A TRIP DOWN ‘MEMORY LANE’.

I GOT OUT OF COLLEGE IN THE MID-SEVENTIES; WITHOUT A DEGREE, I MIGHT ADD. I IMMEDIATLEY WENT TO WORK IN THE ‘OIL PATCH’. MONEY WAS TIGHT, THE WORK WAS HARD AND, SOMETIMES, HARD TO FIND. WHAT IS REFERRED TO, THESE DAYS, AS ‘DISPOSABLE INCOME’ WAS NON-EXSISTANT. WHY MY WIFE, GUNNER, LET ME BLOW THREE BILLS ON A YORK OLY SET IS WELL BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION. TO THINK I COULD ‘BLOW’ MONEY ON SOMETHING AS EXTRAVIGANT AS STORE BOUGHT LIFTING EQUIPMENT WAS OUT OF THE QUESTION.

SO, HAVING RUDIMENTARY WELDING SKILLS, I SET ABOUT MAKING MY OWN EQUIPMENT. THE NAME OF MY FIRST ‘GYM’ WAS ‘THE SCRAP IRON WEIGHT HOUSE’. IT DOES’NT TAKE A GENIUS OR DEEP THINKER TO FIGURE OUT WHY AND HOW IT GOT IT’S NAME. EVERYTHING I MADE WAS FROM THE ‘BONE YARD’ OF SCRAP METAL WE HAD AT THE FARM. I STILL HAVE THE BENCH I MADE AND MY FRIEND CONTINUES TO USE THE SQUAT RACKS I THREW TOGETHER (WHICH WILL BE ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT COULD POSSIBLY LIVE FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, THAT’S HOW HEAVY AND DURABLE IT IS).

THE THING I WAS (AM) PROUDEST OF, HOWEVER, IS THE POWER RACK THAT I MADE, WITH MY DAD’S ASSISTANCE. I SCROUNGED FOUR 4 X 4s FROM AN OLD CRATE WE HAD AND DAD BORROWED A DRILL PRESS FROM A SHOP HE HAD CONNECTIONS WITH. WE HAD A ‘DOWN’ SATURDAY SO WE GOT TO WORK. DRILLING THE HOLES TOOK TWO HOURS AND WE FIGURED, WHEN WE WERE DONE, THAT WE HAD DRILLED 33’ FEET OF ‘HOLE’(COMING FROM THE ‘OIL PATCH’, THIS WAS IMPORTANT TO US!! HAHAHA). WITH SOME ANGLE IRON FOR SUPPORTS AND ‘SUCKER’ ROD FOR CROSS PIECES, I WAS IN BUSINESS!

THAT POWER RACK SERVED WELL UNTIL ABOUT 2007, WHEN I LOST THE PLACE I HAD BEEN LIFTING IN DUE TO AN ‘ECONOMIC DOWNTURN’. IT WAS A COUPLE YEARS BEFORE IT WAS PUT BACK IN USE.

ALL OF THESE THINGS WERE SWERLING OVER AND OVER IN MY HEAD AND I STOPPED AND MARVELED AT HOW FAR WE (GUNN AND I) HAD COME. I WAS SETTING UP A RACK THAT I, REALLY, DID’NT NEED AND WAS APROACHING AN AGE WHERE I COULD NOT, IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, USE TO IT’S FULL CAPABILITIES. DON’T MISUNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING. I WILL CONTINUE TO TRAIN JUST AS HARD BUT IN NO WAY WILL THIS RACK GET WORKED AS HARD AS IT IS FULLY CAPABLE OF. I KNOW I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT HAS BEEN DOWN THIS ROAD, IT’S JUST VERY HARD FOR ME TO REALIZE THAT I AM AT ‘THAT’ TIME IN MY LIFE! AT THIS POINT, I AM FIGHTING JUST TO SAVE WHAT I HAVE!!

FOR SOME REASON, I THOUGHT OF THE MOVIE, ‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’. GEORGE IS COURTING MARY AND STANDING IN FRONT OF A HOUSE WHERE AN ‘OLDER’ MAN IS SITTING ON THE PORCH, READING A PAPER. GEORGE IS STRUGGLING WITH WHAT TO DO AND THE OLE GUY HOLLARS, ‘WHY DON’T YOU GO AHEAD AND KISS HER?!’ AS GEORGE JUST STANDS THERE, MOTIONLESS, THE MAN GETS UP FROM HIS CHAIR AND STARTS WALKING TO THE DOOR TO GO INSIDE. AS HE IS WALKING, HE SAYS, IN DISGUST, ‘AWWW, YOUTH IS WASTED ON THE YOUNG!!!’

HOW TRUE, HOW TRUE! WHEN WE ARE YOUNG, WE HAVE NO COMPREHENSION OF TIME OR WHAT LIFE HAS IN STORE FOR US. AS GEORGE DID, WE MUDDLE THRU BEST WE CAN, AND, USUALLY, AS CHEAP AS WE CAN. IT IS ONLY WHEN WE REACH A CERTAIN AGE THAT WE CAN BE A BIT MORE EXTRAVIGANT AND PURCHASE SOMETHING WE REALLY WANT, NOT NECCESARILY WHAT WE NEED.

STILL, AGED OR NOT, LOWER WEIGHTS BE DAMNED, I WILL ENJOY THIS HOLLAND STRENGTH RACK AND PUT IT TO USE AS BEST AS AN ‘OLD GUY’ CAN. I WILL, WITHOUT A DOUBT, VERY MUCH APPRECIATE IT, AS IT HAS TAKEN FORTY YEARS TO ACQUIIRE.

ODD, IT SEEMS AS THOUGH IT WERE JUST YESTERDAY THAT I ………………………………….

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