Author Archives: Al Myers

Sir Lance-A Lot’s RD

by Eric Todd

Sir Lance-A lot’s Golden Birthday Gala Record Day

This event will be a record day to celebrate Lance Foster turning half a century old. No entry form. No awards. It will probably be cool, but we will have the stoves going. Email me at if you plan on lifting. You are welcome to try anything we have the equipment for, which would be most of the lifts in the book.

Date: November 21, 2015

Where: ET’s House of Iron and Stone

Weigh ins: 9:00 to 10:00

Lifting starts: 10:00

Lifter of the Month – Barry Bryan

by Al Myers

Barry Bryan - Lifter of the Month for July.

Barry Bryan – Lifter of the Month for July.

A big congrats goes to Barry Bryan for being the USAWA Lifter of the Month for July.   Barry has had a great summer lifting in the USAWA.  He won BEST LIFTER in the 2nd Quarter Postal Meet shortly after his great performance at the USAWA Nationals in York, PA.


Welcome LaVerne to the Century Club!

by Al Myers

LaVerne Myers lifting 200 pounds in the Bear Hug at the 2015 USAWA Grip Championships to establish himself another USAWA record!

It’s always BIG NEWS when a USAWA lifter joins the Century Club.  This is not for lifters who are over 100 years old – but for lifters who have over 100 USAWA records.  It has been awhile since I have gave an update on this, but with the new addition of LaVerne Myers to the club it is time to give the updated counts. LaVerne has been lifting in the USAWA for a number of years now and has been very active this past year.  He attended such prestigious competitions such as the Presidential Cup and the Gold Cup in England this year.  He won the USAWA Grip Championships in February against a very stacked field of lifters.   Plus LaVerne has really earned his records by just getting a few in each comp – not “cherry picking” 20 plus records in a record day. On the last Century Club report legendary USAWA lifter John Vernacchio dropped off the listing leaving the Club at 24 members.  With the addition of LaVerne it is now back to 25 members.

Denny Habecker still leads the Men’s listing with 520 records – distancing himself from Art Montini.  At one time a few years ago these two were “nip and tuck” in their record counts.  Denny is the only USAWA lifter who has ever held over 500 USAWA records.  Ruth Jackson is moving up the list in the Women’s listing, and I expect her to soon pass Noi (who has held the number one spot forever).

There are several USAWA lifters who are on the fringe of making the Century Club.  Our current USAWA champ Randy Smith is within 10 of the list (and he has most ALL of his USAWA records from National Championships!!!!!).  Our current women’s National Champ Susan Sees is very close as well.  Plus it won’t be long before Joe Jr. and Joe Sr. Ciavattone join the club – they could be there in a couple of meets!

Thanks to a suggestion by Tim Songster – the CENTURY CLUB will now be part of the Record List Page.  This will allow it to readily available for viewing (and not buried under many blogs) which will give lifters added motivation to compete in the USAWA!


(as of August 8th, 2015)

1 Noi Phumchona 260 261 -1
2 Ruth Jackson 236 213 +23
3 Mary McConnaughey 130 117 +13

(as of August 8th, 2015)

1 Denny Habecker 520 501 +19
2 Art Montini 458 445 +13
3 Al Myers 436 421 +15
4 John McKean 305 290 +15
5 Joe Garcia 294 247 +47
6 Dennis Mitchell 281 278 +3
7 Frank Ciavattone 273 268 +5
8 Chad Ullom 232 210 +22
9 Bob Hirsh 229 229 0
10 Dean Ross 226 188 +38
11 Bill Clark 214 207 +7
12 Howard Prechtel 172 174 -2
13 Dale Friesz 157 159 -2
14 Jim Malloy 154 156 -2
15 Scott Schmidt 152 150 +2
16 John Monk 147 148 -1
17 Ed Schock 138 138 0
18 Chris Waterman 137 137 0
19 Rudy Bletscher 125 126 -1
20 Bob Geib 112 101 +11
21 Mike Murdock 106 113 -7
22 LaVerne Myers 102 —– —-


Crucifix Primer

by Eric Todd

Eric Todd and his USAWA record performance in the Crucifix, with a lift of 140 pounds.

Eric Todd and his USAWA record performance in the Crucifix, with a lift of 140 pounds. (photo and caption courtesy of Al Myers)

I first found the USAWA around my second year of strongman competitions. I was gung ho to compete, and there was a hiatus between strongman meets within driving distance for me. So I stumbled upon the old USAWA website where I found the “Deanna Springs Memorial” meet held at Clark’s Gym in Columbia, MO. The meet featured the crucifix lift, which I knew was contested in some strongman meets. So I went and competed. I found out soon that there were some differences in the way the lift is contested in the USAWA from how it looks in strongman competitions. In strongman meets, you get implements of a certain weight to the crucifix position, and then you hold them there for time. Your time stops when a judge determines your position no longer meets the criteria for crucifix (i.e. Arms drop, elbows bend, etc.) In the USAWA, you pick the weight. The rules read as follows:

Two evenly loaded dumbbells or kettlebells are used for this lift. The lift begins at the lifter’s discretion. The dumbbells are taken to arms’ length overhead with the palms of the hands facing each other and dumbbells touching. The lifter must bring the feet together so the heels are together and touching. The body must be upright at the start of the lift. Once in this position, an official will give the command to start the lift. The lifter will then lower the dumbbells to the side with arms’ straight and palms up. Elbows must be fully locked. The lifter may lean back to any extent when lowering the dumbbells. The wrists do not need to be held straight. The legs must remain straight and knees locked throughout the lift. The heels must remain together and the heels and toes must not rise during the lift. Once the arms are parallel to the platform, and the dumbbells motionless, an official will give a command to end the lift. (Myers, A. (Ed.). (2014). USAWA Official Rulebook (8th ed., p. E8). Holland, Kansas: Al Myers)

Well, as it turns out, I wound up being decent at both versions. I hold several records in the discipline in the USAWA, and held the amateur national record in strongman. So, I thought I would write a brief primer on the finer details of completing the lift.

Clean the dumbbells to your shoulders. As I press them overhead, I like to turn them so that the palms are facing when they reach arm’s length.   At this point, I bring my heels together. Hook one slightly behind the other to ensure they do not come apart. When the official gives the command to begin the start of the lift, begin the decent of the dumbbells SLOWLY. As you lower the dumbbells, look up and lay back as far as you can. This will keep the dumbbells parallel with the floor. Squeeze your glutes in order to give you stability whilst laying back. Try to take the strain across your pecs as best as you can to give you the most strength possible.   It is up to you to: A) Know when you have reached parallel or B) Have someone tell you. This is not the job of the judge. When you near this point, slow down, and when you reach it, stop. You will only have to hold it still briefly, but it will feel like an eternity. Wait for the official’s down call. Once you hear that, you have the lift. Congrats!

As the crucifix has been both on the record book, and now as our official insignia (though I question whose likeness they used) it is a staple of all-round lifting, thus one to take pride in doing right.

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