Category Archives: USAWA Daily News

Club of the Year 2016

By Al Myers

Every year the USAWA gives out several special awards to recognize outstanding performances.  One of these awards is the CLUB OF THE YEAR, which is for the overall best club in the USAWA.

Unlike the other USAWA awards where the winners are selected by nomination and vote of the membership, the Club of the Year is earned.  It is based on a point system where each club earns points for various involvements in the USAWA throughout the year.  I think this system is very fair – and it makes it easy for me to calculate all clubs point totals. This is the guidelines for which a club earns points:

Club Awards are determined by adding up club points using this 4-Step System:

1. One point awarded to the club for EACH USAWA registered member that lists the club as their affiliated club on their membership application. This designation is also listed beside the members name on the membership roster.
2. Two points awarded to the club for EACH club member that participates in the National Championships, World Championships, and Gold Cup. Points are awarded for each competition, so if one club athlete competes in all three of these big meets it would generate 6 points for the club.
3. Three points awarded to the club for EACH USAWA sanctioned event or competition the club promotes.
4. Four bonus points awarded to the club for promotion of the National Championships, World Championships, and Gold Cup.

Another standing rule is the that defending Club Champion is ineligible the following year, but has the honor of presenting the new USAWA Yearly Club Champion the award.  This was put in place so one club would not dominate winning the award year after year.  The Dino Gym won this award last year, so it’s my honor to announce this year’s winner!!!  Now for the drum roll please……

The winner of the 2016 USAWA CLUB OF THE YEAR goes to …..

FRANK’S BARBELL CLUB

Frank’s Barbell Club dominated the race this year for Club of the Year. They generated an unbelievable point total of 59 points.  I will have to do some checking but I don’t think any club has generated that many yearly points before. They accomplished this by having 15 registered club members: Lindsey Beavy, Frankie Ciavattone, Frank Ciavattone, Jeff Ciavattone, Micheal Driscoll, James Fuller, David Gago, Jessica Hopps, Kim Lydon, Cassie Morrison, James Morrison, Rocky Morrison, James Patterson, Tony Patterson, and Mark Raymond.  The club also promoted the 2016 USAWA National Championships under the direction of club leader Frank Ciavattone.

The final standings for the top 5 Clubs are as follows:

1. Frank’s Barbell Club – 59 points

2. Habecker’s Gym – 33 points

3. Ambridge Barbell Club – 12 points

4. Clark’s Championship Gym – 11 points

5. KC Strongman – 10 points

This award will be officially presented at the 2017 National Championships in conjunction with the Awards Presentation.  Congratulations to Frank’s Barbell Club!

The Reverse Grip Curl Controversy

By Al Myers

I was recently visiting with Hall of Famer Scott Schmidt.  We had a nice phone visit the other day talking about this years National Championships amongst other things.  One thing we talked about was the Reverse Grip Curl. This has always been one of Scott’s favorite USAWA lifts, and one he has done many times with many records. He mentioned to me that he had once done in strict style, 143 pounds, in the Reverse Curl but it’s not listed in the USAWA Record List.

Well, he was correct (this record is now listed though as I cross checked old meet results and verified it), and I have some explaining to do!

The Reverse Curl has always had controversy surrounding it in the USAWA.  Most of this resulted from old written rules that weren’t clear and lifters doing the lift in different fashions, under different assumed rules.  Some were doing the Reverse Curl very strict while others were doing it with some backbend. Others were doing it like the Cheat Curl with big dips and bar swings.  Results of all these variations were entered into the Record List under one lift name.  Obviously the “cheaters” had higher record numbers which wasn’t fair to the lifters doing it strict style.  However, lots of lifters really liked the “Cheat Style” and this resulted in a new lift in the USAWA, the Curl – Cheat, Reverse Grip.  It has been a popular lift and has been in several competitions (including the 2012 and 2015 National Championships).  This lift was passed as a new lift in  2010. So now there are two official Reverse Grip Curls – the Curl Cheat Reverse Grip and the Curl Reverse Grip.

The difference in rules for the Reverse Grip Curl is that the Cheat version utilizes the rules of the Cheat Curl while the strict version uses the rules of the Rectangular Fix.  This creates a big difference in the amount of weight that can be lifted!  I won’t go over the other details of these rules as you can look them up in the USAWA Rulebook.

Now back to the Record List.  When I took over as Records Chairman I noticed that this was a problem as many of the record lifts in the Curl Reverse Grip were obviously (and many I witnessed first hand) done with the Cheat technique.  Since there was no way I could break this down and determine “which was which” I grouped all of them into the Curl-Cheat, Reverse Grip and started a new listing for Curl – Reverse Grip.  I figured even if it had been done “strict style” it would conform to the rules for the Cheat Style.  However, I knew several of the older records where done with the Strict Style but just not specifically which ones.

So if anyone has done a STRICT Reverse Grip Curl in the past and it is not recorded in the Record List properly please let me know so I can get it fixed and give you the credit you deserve.  I will need meet result verification and one witness to support the record to make this change.

I have changed the name  of the Curl – Reverse Grip in the Record List to Curl – Strict, Reverse Grip and this will be done in the next Rule Book edition as well.   I hope this will help better clarify the differences between these two lifts in the future.

But I have to mention Scott again!  Scott’s big STRICT Reverse Grip Curl at Art’s Birthday Bash in 1998 is the TOPS in the USAWA Record List.  That day he lifted 65 Kilograms (143 pounds) in the 115KG class.

Financial Matters

By Al Myers

After re-reading yesterday’s blog today, it made me wonder if people are thinking the USAWA is “down and out” and needing money!  That is not the case.  The USAWA is very financially sound and has been for many years.  I have been the treasurer since 2009 and we have the same amount of money in our USAWA bank account now as we had then. So if anyone is worrying that the USAWA is going broke – DON’T WORRY.  We are fine and even have a little extra for an “emergency fund” if needed.

Every year I put together a financial report  of the income/expenses for the previous year.  As required by our USAWA bylaws, I present this report to the Executive Board for audit every year.  I think this process is essential as the financial matters of a non-profit organization should not be a secret and the treasurer should be held accountable for doing things right.   I also present a summary of this financial report at our Annual National Meeting.  The membership should know how the money is being spent!

Membership Required

By Al Myers

The biggest financial support of the USAWA comes from individual memberships in the USAWA. Membership fees are critical for our organization to survive.  All membership fees go into the USAWA bank account – there’s no money siphoned off for administrative fees.  In turn, all of the money the USAWA spends goes back to the membership in one form or another. We operate on a “bare bones” budget.  It’s so bare there’s no areas anywhere where cuts could be made without taking away services the USAWA offers to the membership.

Today I want to emphasize how important it is for meet directors to ensure that the lifters in their USAWA meets join the USAWA.  The following rule is part of the USAWA Rulebook.

VIII. The Competition

11. The Meet Director is responsible for verifying that all competitors are current USAWA members, and must submit new member applications along with the membership dues to the USAWA secretary immediately after an event. Failure to do so may result in loss of meet sanction following a competition or event.

It should be an obvious assumption that you must be a current member of the USAWA in order to receive the benefits of an USAWA sanctioned event.  And a member THE DAY OF the competition – not the next day or the next month or the next year.  Current means RIGHT NOW.  I will leave lifters off meet results if they entered a competition and are not a member of the USAWA the day of the meet.  I’ve heard a meet director complain that his lifters didn’t get listed because of a technicality.  Well, not being a current member the day of the meet is NOT A TECHNICALITY.  That’s a rule violation.  A technicality would be forgetting to sign your membership application, or forgetting to list your zip code on your membership application. I have never disqualified someone for those things. In those instances I notify the lifter in question to redo their application so it’s right (assuming the payment is good!!!).

As stated in the rules it’s the meet directors responsibility to make sure everyone is a member. Most lifters register before they enter a competition, but if not a meet director should collect membership applications and dues the day of the meet.  Now it’s super easy to confirm membership status (membership roster is always up to date on this website).  Then come Monday morning after a weekend event mail the applications and dues to me.  I know the mail can be slow at times, but by the end of the week I should have everything “in hand”.  I give a 1 week “in the mail” buffer, but after that time it’s obvious to me that it was not taken care of when it should have been.  Then it’s too late. And not my problem.

Now if a meet director wants to let someone enter a USAWA meet they’re promoting who is not a member that’s their business, but DON’T include this lifter in the meet results you send to me because then it becomes mine and the USAWA’s business.  Just leave the lifter out of the results.

Enough said.

Timo – The Man with Strong Middle Fingers

By Al Myers

Timo Lauttamus, Finland, pulling the TOP ALL TIME Middle Fingers Deadlift at the 2014 IAWA Gold Cup.

Timo Lauttamus, Finland, pulling the TOP ALL TIME Middle Fingers Deadlift at the 2014 IAWA Gold Cup.

I can’t complete my epitome on the Middle Fingers Deadlift without mentioning the BEST Middle Finger Deadlifter in IAWA history.  This man is the Finland Strongman, Timo Lauttamus. Timo has been a regular in IAWA international competitions these past few years.  Anyone who has been to recent Worlds and Gold Cups know him.  He has been putting on amazing shows at Gold Cups with the strength he has in his fingers.

Timo hold the TOP IAWA World Record in the Middle Fingers Deadlift with an astounding lift of 183 kilograms (403 pounds).  This was done in front of several witnesses and top level IAWA officials at the 2014 Gold Cup in Burton Upon Trent, England.  I was glad that I was there to see it as well! Timo at the time was 35 years old and weighed in at 98.7 kilograms.

Often when saying someone in the best at something all time it is a debatable issue.  This is not the case with Timo and his Middle Finger Deadlifting in IAWA. I can’t see anyone arguing with me on this!

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