Category Archives: USAWA Daily News

Fall Classic Record Day

By Mark Raymond

*****CANCELLED********

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT

FALL CLASSIC “Record Day”

MEET DETAILS:

Presented by Mark Raymond and Franks Barbell Club
781-801-0947 – owdmr@aol.com

Saturday, October 21st, 2017  10:00am

LOCATION:

Frank’s Barbell Club
204 East Street
East Walpole, MA 02032

SANCTION:

USAWA Membership Required to participate

WEIGH-INS:

9:00am-10:00am the day of the meet

DIVISIONS:

Juniors, Women, Masters & Open

ENTRY FORM/FEE:

None but please notify Mark in advance if attending.

MY OTSM EXPERIENCE

By Ben Edwards

It was great once again to drive up to Eric Todd’s gym and get some Old Time Strongman work in. I met a few “new” people this time.  Eric mentioned in his write-up that the turnout was great, and it was.  There was not a single person there who wasn’t excited to see a fellow competitor set a record or succeed on a lift that they fought several times during a minute to get.

This is my 2nd OTSM comp.  I did the 2016 OTSM – also at Eric’s gym – and had a great time then too.

The first thing that always strikes me when I walk into the gym is the sheer size of the place. What makes that even more impressive is how much equipment is packed into the cavernous space.  I never get tired of just wandering around the area and checking out the plethora of training tools that populate the area.

When the competitors started filing in, someone greeted “Leroy” and I almost said “Nice to meet you, Leroy.” But then I caught on that the inside joke is that Eric’s brother Chris answers to “Leroy.”  Chris was very congenial and I enjoyed talking to him between events.

It was great getting to see Thom Van Vleck again. We were all glad to have him judging, but I think he should’ve been competing.  On a side note, I was floored when he told me he had done 300 pounds on the Dumbbell to Shoulder.  I BARELY got 150 pounds.  And it took me two attempts.  I am bruised and sore and really can’t imagine how Eric must feel after his 313 pound success.

Like Eric mentioned in his write-up, it was interesting to see during Thor’s Hammer attempts the styles of performance used. There was the swing style, which I prefer.  And the snatch style, which Eric uses exclusively.  The snatch style is quite a bit harder for me on the wrist.  I came into the comp at 40 pounds and that was easy.  Then 50 pounds.  Got it on the first try, but it felt pretty hard.  Then 55 pounds was very hard and I kind of pulled it out of nowhere, because it did not feel good.  It was pretty cool watching Eric smash 60 pounds up for the win.  I usually feel pretty efficient on the Thor’s Hammer, but I felt just a bit “off” at the contest.  Heather had possibly the smoothest form of anyone there in her Thor’s Hammer lifts.

Scott Tully performing a Hackenschmidt Floor Press while head official Thom Van Vleck looks on.

Scott Tully performing a Hackenschmidt Floor Press while head official Thom Van Vleck looks on.

Second event was the Hackenschmidt Floor Press. I enjoyed watching the big lifters go well north of 300 pounds on this.  I was content that my shoulder held up under 225 pounds and my 2nd attempt with 250 pounds, so I skipped my 3rd attempt.  Abe was very impressive on this event when you consider bodyweight vs. weight lifted!  I got a kick out of watching Scott do this event because his torso is so thick that the bar is pretty much just resting on his chest when he starts the lift.

I was not looking forward to the Kennedy Lift, because the three times I tried to train it my back did not agree with it. But it turns out my fears were not warranted.  I still had to baby my back, but went 120 pounds over what I was able to do in my garage during training.  There was a funny incident during my 405 pound opener.  I lifted the bar, without making sure Thom was ready to judge, and after holding it at lockout for a few seconds I realized that I hadn’t told Thom I was ready to take my attempt, so I asked if I should redo the lift and scolded myself for a beginner blunder.  2nd attempt was 500 pounds and that went right up.  Took 525 pounds for a 3rd attempt and definitely had more in me.  Didn’t ask for a 4th attempt because Al Myers has the record in the 110kg weight class with 750 pounds!  I was very impressed with Heather Tully because her final lift looked fast and like she had a lot more in her.  Chad and Greg pulling 755 pounds was a sight to see.  Super impressive!

Greg Cook performing a 755 pound Kennedy Lift.

Greg Cook performing a 755 pound Kennedy Lift.

I had not even attempted to try the Dumbbell to Shoulder event. No plans to do that in this lifetime after barely succeeding with 150 pounds.  I warmed up with a super easy 120 pounds and almost bombed out when I called for 150 pounds as my opener.  I missed it on the first attempt and then barely made it on my 2nd attempt.  Watching Eric do 313 pounds on this was one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen.  Partly because the lift just saps the breath and life out of you the longer it goes on.  John Douglas had a nice fight with 200 pounds.  I liked Dean’s method of grabbing the dumbbell by both ends and kind of power curling it to his shoulder instead of dry humping it up his body like I ended up doing.  Denny seemed to be pretty efficient too on the Dumbbell to Shoulder.  The following photo sequence is not Eric’s heaviest lift, but it is the only sequence I got on camera.

Meet promoter Eric Todd showing his technique in performing a 313# Dumbbell to Shoulder.

Meet promoter Eric Todd showing his technique in performing a 313# Dumbbell to Shoulder.

I didn’t realize it until after we finished the Dumbbell to Shoulder that we were actually going to be pulling attempts on the Lurich Lift – the exhibition lift. I did much better than I thought I would and ended up pulling 405 pounds and bailing on 455 pounds because my back felt like it was going to give me issues.  Chad schooled everyone by pulling 605 pounds!  Lance pulled 315 pounds, which is impressive considering the lift doesn’t suit him anatomically.

One other note is that I asked Eric if I could buy one of his highland games stones for my Braemar practice. He told me to pick out the one I wanted and let me have it.  So thanks again, Eric!  I put the stone in my daughter’s car seat and strapped it in like a baby for the ride home.  I threw it a few times when I got home and my one good remaining shoulder unfriended me later that night.

OTSM Championships

By Eric Todd

2017 USAWA OLD TIME STRONGMAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Group picture from the 2017 USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships.

Group picture from the 2017 USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships.

Another installment of USAWA’s Old strongman Championships has now passed, and what an event it was. This is the 7th annual championship event in one of the most recent additions  in the USAWA.  The first three constested were at the JWC training hall in Kirksville, with the last 4 being at my facility.  In terms of competitors, this was the best turnout the organization has seen at this event with 12 competitors.  We also has a certified judge who was not also a lifter in Thom VanVleck.  We had many seasoned competitors ( I believe Denny was with the organization since around it’s inception) along with some relative newbies (John Douglas and Chris Todd are in the first year of competing in the USAWA-It is GREAT to get new blood into the organization).

The Contest started off with the Thor’s Hammer. I said it before, and I will say it again, this one is a fickle mistress.  You saw a number of times where it appeared the lifter had stuck the lift only to have it start moving before they could get the down command. When this lift was first contested a number of years back it seemed like 40-45 was about the top number to hit.  At this meet half the field was at that mark or better.  Some lifters preferred the snatch and some the swing.  In the end, just like last year it was Ben Edwards and I battling it out for the top spot, with both of us landing on about the same number we did last year.  Like I said, a fickle mistress.

The second discipline contested was the Hackenschmidt Floor Press. Abe Smith impressed me the most in this lift by hitting 345 at a bodyweight of 180.  As the lightest competor in the meet, this was the third highest mark hit on the press.  Scott Tully also hit a big mark of 360.

Once the pressing was completed, we moved the bar to the 18” boxes for the Kennedy Lift. This is the lift where one should be able to lift the most weight.  And there were a few lifters who did not disappoint!  Heather Tully kept pace with many of the fellas by hitting a big 400.  Chad Ullum hit a 725 in the meet, but then Greg Cook called for 755, which would break the all-time record, regardless of age or weight.  After a herculean effort, and the weight was locked out and still, VanVleck gave the down call for a good lift and a new record!  Chad came back to match it with a 4th attempt for record.  Dean Ross and Chris Todd also hit records on their fourth.

The last event in the contest was the Dumbell to shoulder. Because you can basically get it to your shoulder by whatever means you can, we got to witness some interesting techniques, from just cleaning it, to swinging it, to excruciating series of movements in the form of a continental.  John Douglas did kind of a combination swing/continental to result in a big 200# lift. I was pleased to surpass my old record with a 313# lift, though I am suffering for it now.

After the meet was over and we were tallying scores, lifters had the otion of trying out an exhibition lift, the Lurich Lift. It is basically a Hack Lift from 18”.  This lift was the brain child of Lance Foster, so I kind of let him take the reigns on this one.  Several lifters took part.  I took one attempt that failed at an embarrassing weight due to form issues, anatomical difficultied, or a combination thereof.  Denny hit 185, Dean Ross hit 205, and John Douglas hit 225.  Lance hit 315 on his pet lift. Ben Edwards managed a 405 lift on it, but Chad ullum amazed and insulted everyone with a massive lift of 605.  So I guess this lift is possible.  At the end, here are my thoughts on the lift is this going forward.  I did not enjoy this lift for obvious reasons.  With that being said, I see no reason why this lift would not be considered a valid OTSM lift and be presented for inclusion in our rule book.  Feel free to chime in on this in our forum.

Wow! I felt like this was the  tightest, fiercest competition this Championship has seen.  Watching the scores unfold, I could not have told you if I won or got 7th or last.  There was some big hitters at this meet, hitting big weights.  I was hard to tell how it would all fall.  In the end, it fell like this:

MEET RESULTS

Meet Promoter: Eric Todd

Head Official (1-Official System): Thom VanVleck

Loaders: All competitors

OTSM Lifts: Thor’s Hammer, Hackenschmidt Floor Press, Kennedy Lift, Dumbbell to Shoulder

Meet shirts provided by Metabolic Technologies

Hostess and Sandwich deliverer: Jenny Todd

 WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Thor HFP Ken DB TOT PTS
Heather Tully 38 213 25 175 400 100 700 603.5

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Tho HFP Ken DB TOT PTS
Greg Cook 60 253 40 275 755 175 1245 1187.1
Eric Todd 42 252 60 385 650 313 1408 1145.3
Chad Ullom 45 245 40 315 725 250 1330 1128.8
Abe Smith 36 180 30 345 600 200 1175 1114.5
Scott Tully 40 354 45 360 660 200 1265 858.7
Ben Edwards 42 234 55 250 525 150 980 827.6
John Douglas 54 315 40 275 500 200 1015 827.4
Denny Habecker 74 195 25 200 325 75 625 764.1
Dean Ross 74 231 25 200 335 90 650 724.5
Chris Todd 38 272 30 275 365 175 845 642.4
Lance Foster 51 326 32.5 155 400 150 737.5 576.2

Notes: BWT in pounds. All lifts recorded in pounds. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are overall adjusted points corrected for age and bodyweight adjustments.

Lurich Lift – Exhibition Lift

Ben Edwards 405
Dean Ross 205
Denny Habecker 185
Lance Foster 315
Chad Ullum 605
John Douglas 225

Extra Attempts for Record

Hackenschmidt Floor Press
Dean Ross 210

Kennedy Lift
Dean Ross 365
Chris Todd 405
Chad Ullum 755

Heather Tully became the third women’s champion last year, and this year becomes the first two time champion.  Greg Cook becomes the 6th Champion in seven years.  What made this the most impressive was that he did it against all but one former champs.  He bested Chad, myself, Denny and Abe, all former OTSM champs to achieve this goal.  Thank you to all who came out and helped or competed.  It was a great day to be an all-rounder!

Iron Warrior Record Day

By Dan Wagman, PhD, CSCS

THE 2017 IRON WARRIOR RECORD DAY

Dan Wagman pulling 726 pounds in the Kennedy Lift!

Dan Wagman pulling 726 pounds in the Kennedy Lift!

On August 27, Denver’s Iron Warrior Gym hosted another USAWA Record Day. This gym’s perfect for all-round as it’s spacious, has several platforms, and tons of weights. Still, it’s obvious that the people training and coaching there aren’t familiar with the diversity of strength tests all-round offers. This time three lifters attempted to rewrite the record book while RJ Jackson and Jarrod Fobes judged.

Daryl Jackson, a University of Colorado student, has a varied martial arts background and is relatively new to all-round, though he was named Lifter of the Month in April, 2017. Considering how demanding his studies are, he thought it best to only contest two of his favorite lifts, the pull-up and chin-up. He started with the pull-up where he was successful with a new record of 95 pounds and missed 105. He wasn’t happy with that because he was hoping for 110 but I suspect that the super strict nature of pulling required by USAWA impacted how much he could lift; he missed his first two tries at 95 pounds on technicalities. But he kept his spirits high, supinated his grip, and gave the chin-up all he had. He missed his first attempt with 90 pounds, got it on his second, and had just enough energy left to declare, “I’m smoked. I’m done.”

RJ tasked her co-meet director Jarrod with judging her lifts. Of the five lifts she chose, the one she was most psyched about was the deadlift—index-finger. An aspect of concern to her were the types of injuries seen in this lift, “I was worried about the potential of snapping a tendon or ligament in my finger,” she explained. A few years back she set the USAWA record in that lift to establish a high standard. Then she dug deep in to training science, finger anatomy and physiology, and developed a training approach that allowed her to increase her record by 25 pounds; “I’m just amazed at how much strength I was able to gain with just those two fingers,” she told Jarrod.

Another lift RJ was excited about was the dumbbell-to-shoulder. Al Myers wrote a recent blog entry about it, unfortunately only one female—and a 13-year old at that—has met this challenge. So RJ thought it time to test herself and she smoked 75 pounds on her first attempt. To my dismay she decided to leave it at that. I really would’ve enjoyed seeing her throw around 100+ pounds. Next time, right?!

As to me, I was fortunate in being able to rotate between RJ and Jarrod for judging. Since I rely exclusively on the latest scientific developments in training and competition, I enjoy a decided advantage over those who prefer myth and conjecture. And so I seek out challenges beyond other competitors or the record book. For this Record Day I decided to see if I could devise a science-based training regimen that would allow me to break the Open deadlift—index-finger and middle-finger records in the same meet and in so doing also exceed the Open IAWA records, all while remaining injury free. I was successful on both counts with my index-finger but failed within inches of lockout to unofficially break the world record with my middle-fingers.

But that Al Myers and his darn blogs….Well into my training for the finger-deadlift-challenge I read Al’s blog entry on the Kennedy Lift. This lift I had never done and so I reasoned that it would constitute a great personal challenge to crank out some big weight with only three weeks of training left. To meet the challenge of putting resistance training research to the test I had to figure out how to most effectively manipulate all training variables so that in a short period of time I could lift a maximal amountof weight while, again, remaining injury free—this latter point has become most important to me over the 30+ years I’ve been competing in various strength sports. Principles of physiology dictate that I needed to focus primarily on having my nervous system learn the new movement; strength development had to be secondary. To do so with maximum effect I trained the Kennedy eight times in three weeks and manipulated all remaining training variables in very specific ways. Very quickly, however, I realized that I just might have challenged myself beyond what’s reasonable…

Dan almost made 331 pounds with his middle fingers! He had it close to lockout when his fingers gave way!

Dan almost made 331 pounds with his middle fingers! He had it close to lockout when his fingers gave way!

Due to the high frequency of training the Kennedy it invariably fell a few times on the same day as my finger deadlift work. Since I trained the finger deadlifts first, the result was drastically reduced grip strength for the Kennedy. But based on the many biomechanics studies focused on grip strength and training studies about maximizing gains in the type of muscle contraction unique to the vast majority of grip-strength tests, I wasn’t deterred; I knew the approach would generate supercompensation. In addition, to aid in grip strength recovery between finger deadlifts and the Kennedy I decided to throw in the press-dumbbell as an “intermission” for my main challenges.

Upon warming up for the Kennedy it became apparent that I had made tremendous gains in strength; my opener and second attempt were smoke. So I decided to give 766 a ride to break Al’s (yes, THAT Al) all-time record. But what good are strong legs, a strong back, and perfect technique if you can’t hold on to the bar? Despite the awesome gains made, grip strength remained the weak link in the Kennedy chain. Nevertheless—Hail Science!

Meet Results:

Iron Warrior Record Day
Iron Warrior Gym
Denver, Colorado
Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Meet Directors: RJ Jackson & Jarrod Fobes

Lifts: Record Day

Officials:
RJ Jackson – 1 Official Jarrod Fobes
Daryl Jackson – 1 Official RJ Jackson
Dan Wagman – 2 Officials Jarrod Fobes & RJ Jackson

RJ Jackson – F, 55 years old, 105.8 lbs. BWT
Dumbbell to Shoulder: 75 lbs.
Seated Press, from Rack: 70 lbs.
Side Press – Dumbbell, Right: 40 lbs.
Deadlift – Index Fingers: 105 lbs.
Side Press – Dumbbell, Left: 35 lbs.

Daryl Jackson – M, 27 years old, 152 lbs. BWT
Pull Up: 95 lbs.
Chin Up: 90 lbs.

Dan Wagman – M, Open Class, 182.6 lbs. BWT
Deadlift – Index Fingers: 216 lbs.
Deadlift – Middle Fingers: 316 lbs.
Press – Dumbbell, Left: 101 lbs.
Press – Dumbbell, Right: 101 lbs.
Kennedy Lift: 726 lbs.

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