Author Archives: Al Myers

Lifter of the Month – Dan Wagman

By Al Myers

Dan Wagman pulling 227 pounds on the middle finger lift in training.

Dan Wagman pulling 227 pounds on the middle finger lift in training.

The USAWA Lifter of the Month for December is Dan Wagman.  Dan has totally dominated the USAWA Postal Meets this year, winning BEST LIFTER in all of them! He finished off the quarterly postal meets by winning the USAWA Postal Championships in December.  His Postal Meet success this year earned him the overall winner in the yearly Postal Series.

Congrats Dan on being the Lifter of the Month!

My Start With Weightlifting

By Tom Ryan

(Webmasters note: The following is a post the late Tom Ryan made to the USAWA Discussion Forum a couple of years ago detailing an interesting story about his early days of lifting. I found this story very intriguing  and humorous, as we all have stories of training mishaps when we started our pursuit of weight training. Enjoy!)

Undoubtedly many weightlifters have some strange tales about their early training, including me.

Although I started training when I was 13, it wasn’t possible to train regularly when I was participating in other sports, especially when I was running my legs off on a basketball court. After the basketball season ended during my junior year in high school, Bill Shaw, Bob Dial, Don Hallman, and I started training in the basement of Bill’s house, with me supplying most of the weights. Bill, a senior, had been my basketball teammate and the other two were a year younger than me.

Even though I was very skinny at the end of the season (maybe a shade over 6-2 and 165 pounds), I had enough strength to shoulder 470 from squat stands, back out with it and do a set of quarter squats. One day Mike Boling, a 10th grader who supposedly had benched 250 weighing 150 (not too shabby in 1962!) came by to watch us train. My training partners had said my depth on the quarter squats had been less than before, and since we had somewhat of a celebrity bencher in attendance, I went down further than I had previously on my first quarter squat rep.

Well, I went down too far and kept going down. Real fast, like falling down an elevator shaft since the weight far exceeded what I could have handled in a full squat. It took only a few seconds so there wasn’t time for my life to flash before my eyes, but when Bob saw me going down, he said he thought that was going to be the end of me! The bar went flying over my head and crashed to the floor, with the force catapulting me a few feet backward and I landed on my butt.

Then Bill’s life almost flashed before his eyes when he saw the chip that had been knocked out of the floor and he thought about his father’s reaction when he came home from work. So a quick repair job was necessary!

That was performed and then we started thinking about building a power rack so as to prevent any more accidents. I would bet that power racks were few and far between in 1962. I’m not sure when York started selling theirs, but I would guess around 1959.

We made ours out of wood and it was easily transportable. I ended up with it when our training gang broke up. Over time I had to replace parts of the rack, but I believe I still had the original base in 1993. Then I moved to Australia in January, 1994, where I spent the next 2.5 years. Untreated wood cannot be taken into Australia, so I had to say goodbye to my rack, which was a bit shaky by then anyway. Upon arriving in Australia, I had a carpenter build me a rack, and that is the one that I still use today.

I haven’t seen Shaw, Dial, or Hallman in 47 years, but if I ran into one of them today, I wouldn’t be surprised if he said “Hello TR 470″ because that was the nickname they gave me after my “near death” experience.

Pinch Grip

By Al Myers

Troy Goetsch lifting 255 pounds in the Pinch Grip at the 2013 USAWA Grip Championships. This is the top record in the USAWA Record List for the Pinch Grip. Troy went on to win Overall Best Lifter in the Grip Championships.

Troy Goetsch lifting 255 pounds in the Pinch Grip at the 2013 USAWA Grip Championships. This is the top record in the USAWA Record List for the Pinch Grip. Troy went on to win Overall Best Lifter in the Grip Championships.

The USAWA Grip Championships will be here soon! The first lift of the day will be the Pinch Grip.  I’m going to go over the basic rules for the Pinch Grip.

I15. Pinch Grip

The setup for this lift requires two metal plates joined together with smooth surfaces facing outward. A bar may be placed between the plates to hold them together, and should be long enough to add plates to it. Front hang or back hang is allowed to the loading of the center bar. Collars should be used on this bar. The lifter’s fingers must not touch any added plates. The width of the two plates joined together must be between 2 ¼ inches and 2 ½ inches. The lifter will straddle the weight, with the weight being placed in front of the lifter. Width of feet placement is optional, but the feet must be parallel and in line with the torso. Feet must not move during the lift, but the heels and toes may rise.  The lifter will then grip the plates with both hands on the top of both plates. The palms of the hands must be facing the lifter. The lift begins at the lifter’s discretion. The weight must be lifted to a point where the lifter’s legs are straight and the body upright. Once the weight is motionless, an official will givThe setup for this lift requires two metal plates joined together with smooth surfaces facing outward. A bar may be placed between the plates to hold them together, and should be long enough to add plates to it. Front hang or back hang is allowed to the loading ofthe center bar. Collars should be used on this bar. The lifter’s fingers must not touch any added plates. The width of the two plates joined together must be between 2 ¼ inches and 2 ½ inches. The lifter will straddle the weight, with the weight being placed in front of the lifter. Width of feet placement is optional,but the feet must be parallel and in line with the torso. Feet must not move during the lift, but the heels and toes may rise. The lifter will then grip the plates with both hands on the topof both plates. The palms of the hands must be facing the lifter. The lift begins at the lifter’s discretion. The weight must be lifted to a point where the lifter’s legs are straight and thebody upright. Once the weight is motionless, an official e a command to lower the weight.

One special treat for the lifters is that I have a pair of old style milled York Plates to use for the Pinch Grip.  These plates are unique in that the “backsides” have a some milling marks which slightly enhances the grip on them. The plates will be connected with a loading pin (actually a 2″ Vertical Bar).  I will also have some 25’s and 35’s if lifters are going to start under two 45 pound plates. The USAWA rules for the Pinch Grip differ from the IAWA(UK) rules.  The USAWA requires two steel plates to be used while the IAWA(UK) allows a single smooth bumper plate to be used as the gripping plate.  The USAWA rules allow front hang and/or backhang while the IAWA(UK) rules require equal loading on each side.  These are major differences in the Pinch Grip rule. However from what I’ve seen the IAWA(UK) advantage of the use of the bumper plate nearly balances the USAWA advantage of allowing fronthang in total weight lifted.

No substances other than chalk is allowed on the hands.  I will be officiating and this is one thing I will watch for! I expect some big lifts in the Pinch Grip and expect a few USAWA records to fall.

OVERALL USAWA RECORDS IN PINCH GRIP

WT CLASS LIFTER POUNDS
70 KG Colby Howard 100
75 KG Stephen Santangelo 141
80 KG Chris Jaeschke 150
85 KG Dan Wagman 226
90 KF Mike Pringle 175
95 KG Troy Goetsch 255
100 KG Ben Edwards 162
105 KG Al Myers 215
110 KG LaVerne Myers 190
115 KG LaVerne Myers 200
120 KG Matt Graham 200
125 KG Matt Graham 200
125+ KG Mark Mitchell 252

 

History Archives

By Al Myers

One of the very interesting parts of this website is our History Archives. It can be found in the top header line of the website. I have spent considerable time developing this History Archives over the past several years. Of course with history, there is ALWAYS new history to be added. I try my best to keep it updated, and have just recently added the following to the section “Results of Past Worlds”.

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2016 IAWA World Championships
October 8th & 9th, 2016
Lebanon, PA, USA

Meet Promoter: Denny Habecker
Meet Announcers: Steve Gardner & Al Myers
Meet Scorekeepers: Judy Habecker & Rocky Morrison
Drug Testing Officials: Al Myers & Rocky Morrison
Meet Loaders: John Horn, Terry Barlet, Barry Bryan, Barry Pensyl, and Dean Ross
Meet Officials: George Dick, Graham Saxton, Frank Ciavattone, Scott Schmidt, LaVerne Myers, Denny Habecker, Dennis Mitchell

Lifts: DAY 1: Continental Clean, Pullover and Push, 2 Hands 2″ Vertical Bar Lift DAY 2: Alternate Grip Clean and Press, One Hand Clean and Jerk, Ciavattone Deadlift

Men Top Ten Placings
1. Pete Tryner, England
2. Timo Lauttamus, Finland
3. Al Myers, United States
4. Denny Habecker, United States
5. Peter Phillips, Australia
6. Graham Saxton, England
7. LaVerne Myers, United States
8. Dean Ross, United States
9. Scott Schmidt, United States
10. Art Montini, United States

Women Top Two Placings
1. Kim Lydon, United States
2. Karen Gardner, England

BEST LIFTER AWARDS
Junior Mens: Aidan Habecker
Female Senior: Kim Lydon
Female Master: Karen Gardner
Mens Masters 40-44: Peter Tryner
Mens Masters 50-54: Al Myers
Mens Masters 55-59: Steve Gardner
Mens Master 60-64: Peter Phillips
Mens Masters 65-69: George Dick
Mens Masters 70-74: Denny Habecker
Mens Masters 80-84: Dennis Mitchell
Mens Masters 85-89: Art Montini

2016 Year in Review

By Al Myers

I have just finished the 2016 USAWA Year in Review.  Every year since I have been secretary of the USAWA I have done this review.  I take all the information that has been put on the website (blogs, meet results, past history archives, etc) and copy it into a book, which is printed off.  I also include this book digital file on the website if someone wants to look at it that way or print it off themselves.

I do this for one reason primarily – and that is to preserve the history of the USAWA in paper form.  It always surprises me by the amount of information that this website accumulates every year. This year the Year in Review is 288 pages long and contains 65,000 words!  It would take a few evenings to get all that read.

If anyone wants a printed copy of the Year in Review please let me know.  I plan to take it to the printer’s next week.  The cost is $50, made out to the USAWA.

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