Category Archives: USAWA Daily News

Championships in the USAWA

By Al Myers

The USAWA hosts several different Championships throughout the year, with each representing different areas of strength emphasis.  Next weekend will be the USAWA Club Championships, hosted by Dave Glasgow at the Ledaig HA facility. It is one of many Championships in the USAWA held throughout the year.

I have referred to the Championships as our “Signature Events” in the past. Several of these Championship Events have began since I became involved on the Executive Board of the USAWA.  That’s something I’m proud of.  The USAWA is truly an All Round Weightlifting organization and has many different and unique lifts – so much  virtually any lifter can find an area they can excel at.  That’s the primary purpose of these different Championships – to allow lifters who like to specialize in different lifting arenas within the USAWA to be able to showcase their lifting skills.

Another thing I am proud of with the Championship Events is that they have ALL been done EVERY year since they began.  No missed years!! Now some years it’s been a challenge making them happen, but we always do.

These are the 8 Championship Events in the USAWA.

USAWA SIGNATURE CHAMPIONSHIP  EVENTS

CHAMPIONSHIP YEARLY DATE LOCATION DIRECTOR
Grip Championships 2nd weekend of Feb. Dino Gym Al Myers
Club Championships 2nd or 3rd weekend of July Ledaig HA Dave Glasgow
Heavy Lift Championships 1st or 2nd weekend of May rotates rotates
National Championships 3rd or 4th weekend of June rotates rotates
Presidential Cup 1st or 2nd weekend of Aug Habeckers Gym Denny Habecker
Team Championships 3rd or 4th weekend of Aug Dino Gym Al Myers
Old Time Strongman Championships September KC Strongman Eric Todd
Postal Championships December Postal Denny Habecker

The MOST IMPORTANT Championship in the USAWA is the National Championships. The reason is that it recognizes the best ALL-ROUND lifters in the organization.  It contains a selection of ANY lift within the organization (out of around 200), and often contains a good balance of all types of lifting. Several years ago I had a good discussion with the late Dale Friesze, and he felt the name NATIONALS should just be used for the National Championships to identify its significance as the only true Nationals in the USAWA.  Well, I couldn’t argue with him on that so from that point on I have been referring to our yearly BIG MEET as the National Championships and the rest of these important meets as  Championship Events or just Championships. This hasn’t always been the case, and in years past meets like the Heavy Lift Championships was called the Heavy Lift Nationals. But from now on it will be called the Heavy Lift Championships.

Each of these other Championships represent unique areas within the USAWA.  The Grip Championships only includes official USAWA lifts that test the grip, the Heavy Lift Championships contain only Heavy Lifts, and the Old Time Strongman Championships only include OTSM lifts. The Club Championships is unique in that it recognizes the top performing USAWA club, as it is scored using a team score of 3 club members added together. The Presidential Cup is hosted by the USAWA President to recognize a top Record Day performer. Think of it as the Championships of Record Days.  The Team Championships is the championship that recognizes Team Lifting (2-man, 2-women, 2-person).  The Postal Championships recognizes the top performers in the postal meets.  The beauty of having these different Championships is that if you have special skills in lifting you can find an avenue in which you can compete in a specialized Championship.  It’s just one of the ways that the USAWA gives opportunities to lifters who like to specialize in the different areas of all-round strength.

As secretary, it is my job to sanction events/competitions.  Since these are our organizations most important events (ie Signature Events) I try not to allow other meets to be sanctioned on the same day as one of our Championships.  I know this hasn’t always been the case, but from now on I will try to make sure there are no other USAWA meet conflicts on the same day as one of these Championships.  Now since I have announced the “yearly dates” of these Championships, the Championships have “first dibs” on those dates for sanction.  This way no one will have any USAWA reason NOT to attend any of the USAWA Championships!

The New Pinch Grip

By Al Myers

This is one of Steve Santangelo's favorite training exercises. But would you call it a Pinch Grip?

This is one of Steve Santangelo’s favorite training exercises. But would you call it a Pinch Grip?

At the Annual General Meeting of the USAWA one of the big lift changes that was made has been with the rules for the Pinch Grip.  Let me give a little back story here on this lift. The Pinch Grip has been an official lift of the USAWA/IAWA for a long time.  The intent of the lift is to test the grip by pinching two plates together and lifting the plates with added weight.  The original rule was pretty vague in the technical aspects of the rules – probably because it seemed like a lift that should be pretty self-explanatory. However, a few years ago many lifters starting performing the Pinch Grip with added fronthang as the rules didn’t prevent it.  Because of this the Pinch Grip rule was amended to allow fronthang and/or backhang as that was the way it was being done.  Fronthang is an obvious advantage as it allows the gripping plates to tip placing more of the gripping pressure on the fingers instead of the thumb which allows more weight to be lifted.

The Pinch Grip was a lift in this years USAWA Grip Championships. The deficiency of the Pinch Grip rules were very much exposed in this meet.  Now instead of fronthang plates being placed tight together, the added weight started to be spaced out towards the end of the bar creating even more fronthang.  It got to the point that the lifting plates were being lifted horizontal to the platform! I was the head official of this meet and there wasn’t anything I could say because the execution of these lifts were being done according to the written rule for the Pinch Grip.  I am in NO WAY saying what was being done was wrong in any way as it was being done by the rules, despite not really being in the original intent of the Pinch Grip, and definitely not how the Pinch Grip had been performed in the past.

So at the AGM (after being presented, evaluated and passed by the Executive Board) I presented the new Strict Pinch Grip  as well as a Pinch Grip Deadlift, which is pretty much the previous rule for the Pinch Grip.  Both lifts passed the membership vote by unanimous vote.  The current records in the Pinch Grip will be moved to the Pinch Grip Deadlift and a new record list will be established for the Strict Pinch Grip. This way no records will be lost. Any past competition that was done using the strict Pinch Grip Rules will be “grandfathered” into the new record list for the Strict Pinch Grip (I know of several in the past that are eligible).  And finally, I do apologize on behalf of myself and the USAWA to all lifters that were adversely affected by this at the Grip Championships. And to make up to everyone – both the Pinch Grip Deadlift AND the Strict Pinch Grip will be done at next year’s Grip Championship.

These are the new rules for the Pinch Grip Deadlift and the Pinch Grip – Strict.

Pinch Grip Deadlift

The setup for this lift requires two metal plates joined together with smooth surfaces facing outward which will be referred to as the lifting plates. Any diameter of lifting plates may be used. A vertical bar is placed between the plates to hold them together, and should be long enough to add plates to it. It is recommended that the lifting plates are secured together. Maximum length of the apparatus is 18 inches. The lifter’s fingers must not touch any added plates or the vertical bar. The width of the two lifting 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 standing upright with the lifting plates horizontal to the platform. 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 lifting plates with both hands. The fingers must be placed under the lifting plates with the thumb touching the lifting plates on the top. 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. The lifting plates may touch the lifters body during the lift but must not be braced against the body during the lift to aid in the lift. Once the weight is motionless, an official will give a command to lower the weight.

Pinch Grip Deadlift – One Hand

The rules of the Pinch Grip Deadlift apply except only one hand is used. The non-lifting hand may be braced against the legs or body during the lift, but must be free from the body upon completion of the lift.

Pinch Grip – Strict

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 NOT allowed. The added weight plates must be evenly loaded with no gaps between any plates, including the lifting plates.  Collars should be used on this bar to keep added weight plates from moving. The lifter’s fingers must not touch any added plates or the lifting bar. The width of the two plates joined together must be between 2 ¼ inches and 2 ½ inches. Any diameter plates may be used as the lifting plates. 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. During the lift the plates must be maintained perpendicular to the platform. Once the weight is motionless, an official will give a command to lower the weight.

Pinch Grip – Strict, One Hand

The rules of the Pinch Grip – Strict apply except only one hand is used. The non-lifting hand may be braced against the legs or body during the lift, but must be free from the body upon completion of the lift.

Lifter of the Month – Susan Sees

By Al Myers

Susan Sees performs a Trap Bar Deadlift at the 2016 IAWA Gold Cup in Abilene, KS.

Susan Sees performs a Trap Bar Deadlift at the 2016 IAWA Gold Cup in Abilene, KS.

The USAWA Lifter of the Month for June goes to Susan Sees, for her outstanding performance at the 2017 USAWA National Championships. Susan won Overall Best Womens Lifter at the meet to mark the THIRD overall she has won at Nationals.

Congrats Susan!!!!

Lifter of the Month – Joe Ciavattone Jr.

By Al Myers

Joe Ciavattone Jr. in action with the Hand and Thigh at a past USWA Heavy Lift Champinships.

Joe Ciavattone Jr. in action with the Hand and Thigh at a past USWA Heavy Lift Champinships.

Joe Ciavattone Jr. won LIFTER OF THE MONTH for May with his outstanding performance in the 2017 USAWA Heavy Lift Championships held in Walpole, MA. Joe Jr. won Overall Best Lifter.  This was the first time Joe Jr. has won best lifter at the Heavy Lift Champs and he now has joined a long list of great Heavy Lift Champions.

Congrats Joe Jr.!!!

Lifter of the Month – Daryl Jackson

By Al Myers

The USAWA Lifter of the Month for April goes to Daryl Jackson.  Daryl competed in the 1st Quarter USAWA Postal Meet and won Overall Best Mens lifter against a very tough field of lifters.  A total of 12 men competed in this postal. This is a big accomplishment!

Congrats Daryl!

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