Category Archives: USAWA Daily News

Updated Record List

By Al Myers

The USAWA Record List has just been updated on the website.  Everything is current in the list at this point. I’ve added the Excel File as well, available for download.  This will allow sort features for those who prefer to use Excel.  From now on I will include both the PDF and Excel file of the Record List on the website.

Peter Phillips – The Australian Superman

By Al Myers

Peter Phillips lifting the 1500 pound challenge train wheels at the Dino Gym.

Peter Phillips lifting the 1500 pound challenge train wheels at the Dino Gym.

I have known Peter Phillips from Australia for many years.  We have competed with each other many times in IAWA world competitions, with the first being at the 2007 IAWA World Championships in Christchurch, New Zealand. At that World Championships we had an epic battle on the platform.  Peter lifted unbelievable, winning the overall best lifter award.  I was behind him in second place in the overall standings which I felt great about, as he lifted like superman.

Peter has been a major leader, contributer,  and competitor in the ARWLWA, centered out of the Belmont Club in Perth, Australia. Peter has been involved with all round weightlifting for many years, both with the “old group” and the new generation of all rounders in Perth.  He’s currently serving as President of the ARWLWA. He’s also a major leader in IAWA – serving as a past meet promoter, IAWA Vice President representing Australia, and serving on the IAWA Technical Committee. He’s competed in many IAWA Championship events through the years, with overseas trips to England, Scotland, New Zealand, and the USA.

Peter and myself a few years back!

Peter and myself a few years back!

However, on his trip to the USA to take part in the 2016 World Championships, Art’s Birthday Bash, and the Gold Cup, I got to know him much better than ever before.  At Lebanon we both stayed at the same hotel and we went out to eat several times together (along with having a few beers!), and at the Gold Cup Peter stayed at my house.  We really got to know each other “off the platform” during this hectic month of IAWA competitions.  In getting equipment ready for the Gold Cup I don’t know what I would have done without his assistance. He helped me get everything ready, loaded on the trailer, set up at the meet, and even unloading everything once I got it back to the gym! Plus his insight as a meet promoter helped me identify things that was needed for the meet.  While he was here I introduced him to a few country past-times of mine  – fishing, shooting trap, riding 4-wheelers, and a relaxing afternoon drive in one of our native grass pastures enjoying the peace and quiet of nature.

We even took time to relax and go fishing!

We even took time to relax and go fishing!

After the Gold Cup we had time to catch a few workouts in together at the Dino Gym.  Our training styles  and training philosophies are very similiar. We spent alot of time discussing training, specifically how it applies to all round weightlifting.  Peter is a great training partner – but the logistics of living 10,500 miles apart will hinder our training together!  I introduced him to the Neck Lift, as well as doing some harness lifting.  Peter’s a natural at this type of lifting.  I have a challenge lift at the Dino Gym which consists of a two huge train wheels connected with a heavy bar.  The preset loaded weight of this challenge is 1500 pounds (actually a few pounds more, I rounded down).  These train wheels sit by the front door of the Dino Gym and most people just look at them as they come into the gym.  Only a few have actually lifted them throughout the years.  After getting done with a harness lifting session I challenged Peter to take them on.  Of course Peter is not one to back down from a challenge!  Now I want to mention that these Train Wheels are very tippy, and it’s more difficult than lifting on a regular heavy bar. Peter lifted them with ease.  I even had him do it a second time so I could get a good picture!

We had such a good time I hated to see him leave. I know we will be lifelong friends.

LIfter of the Month -Abe Smith

By Al Myers

The lifter of the month for September goes to Abe Smith. Abe made his return to the USAWA in a big way, winning best lifter in the USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships. The OTSM Championship was hosted and promoted by Eric Todd.  A very strong field of 10 competitors entered this Championship event in the USAWA this year.  Abe has been involved with the USAWA for many years, since he was a teenager.  In his early years he was very involved with meets held in Clark’s Gym.

Congrats Abe on being the USAWA Lifter of the Month!

Dino Gym Challenge

By Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT –

Dino Gym Challenge -“The Triple Deuce”

The Dino Gym Challenge has been a yearly event in the USAWA for many years now.  Each year I try to have a different theme with different lifts. No two Dino Gym Challenges have been the same.  This year it is going to be the “triple deuce”.  Three different groupings of 2 lifts, with each lift using either 2 bars, 2 dumbbells, or 2 pieces of equipment. It will be a truly all round event with pressing, deadlifting, curling, and grip strength involved.

MEET DETAILS:

Meet Director:            Al Myers and the Dino Gym 785-479-2264

Meet Date:                 Saturday, January 14th, 2017  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Location:                    Dino Gym, 1126 Eden Road, Abilene, KS 67410

Sanction:                    U.S.A.W.A Membership required to participate.

Weigh-ins:                  9:00-10:00 AM the day of the meet

Divisions:                   Juniors, Women, Masters, and Open

Awards:                      None

Entry Form/Fee:        None – but please notify me in advance if attending

Lifts:

Special Equipment Lifts:

Deadlift – 2 Inch Dumbbells
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2 Bars, 2″

Dumbbell Lifts:

Clean and Press – 2 Dumbbells
Curl – 2 Dumbbells, Cheat

Bar Lifts:

Reg Park Bench Press
Deadlift – 2 Bars

After the meet and the next day there will be time for record day lifts.

The “Dreaded Red X”

by Thom Van Vleck

Nobody was immune to getting the dreaded Red X from Bill. Even Al got one!

Nobody was immune to getting the dreaded Red X from Bill. Even Al got one!

My roots in the USAWA go way back.  My first meet was a 1979 “Odd Lift” meet put on by the founder of the USAWA, Bill Clark.  But before that my Uncles and their friends often lifted in Clark’s meets going back to the fifties. Clark founded the USAWA but he actually didn’t start the “Odd Lifts”.  That goes back to Ed Zercher, Sr who was a great lifter in the 30’s and after.  But even before Ed was in his first contest he had a buddy in his old neighborhood in St. Louis named John Wille. In the 1920’s they hung out in the same neighborhood and they did acrobatics, lifting whatever was available, and made make shift weights out of scrap metal.

Today we look to the internet.  The USAWA has a great website.  Al Myers does a lot of work to keep this thing going and having regular updates.  But for 50 years it was “Ol’ Clark”.  Bill was old school in an old school way that made a lot of old school stuff seem new!  He never touched a computer.  For 50 years he put out old fashioned newsletters.  For you young guys, that means he typed up the newsletter on a typewriter, then he copied the news letter (on a Mimeograph and later a copy machine), and he would put them in envelopes, actually lick the stamps (because they didn’t just stick on like they do now) and mail them to your actual mailbox (not the “mailbox” that your e-mail comes to).

I remember looking through all the old newsletters my Uncles had.  Reading about the lifts, the lifters, the meets and random thoughts (and sometimes rants) that Clark would have about steroids, improper judging, or whatever he thought was undermining the integrity of the sport.  If you sent him a letter, be careful, he’d put it in the newsletter!

He operated all this on a shoe string budget and his own sweat. He probably spent a lot of his own money.  But he did ask donations.  You could get the newsletter if you sent him even just a few bucks to pay for the stamps!  He would also include in almost every newsletter a little rant about “bucking up” and make jokes about not being a deadbeat.

He would have a list of people that gave money.  He would even put how much they gave.  I think to give credit to those who gave more than their fair share because they loved the sport.  Those that gave often really valued the information and back then there was no internet and finding out much of anything about weightlifting was about impossible).  He also would “Red X” the guys who hadn’t “paid up” for some time.  He would put what he called the “Dreaded Red X” on the front of your newsletter.  It kind of reminded me how teachers would mark up your papers with red ink when you got something wrong.  The funny part was he would often keep sending guys newsletters for a long time.  Especially so if he knew someone was on hard times.  Like my Uncle Wayne.  Clark could be really nice that way.

In some ways I think Ol’ Clark got vilified a bit for his “Red X” and other things he did when he would call out guys for not following established rules. He sometimes had a way of making a remark about it the next time you would see him to let you know his displeasure….one might even call it a snide remark.

But you know what.  Now that I’m older.  Now that I’ve been in the position of running organizations that get by on shoe string budgets and I’ve put in long hours to run highland games, strongman contests, lifting meets as well as three different weightlifting clubs (Jackson Weightlifting Club, Truman State Irondogs, and the A.T. Still University Osteoblasters) as well as other Church and community organizations that ONLY happen because the people involved reach in their pockets and pull out some cash that includes more than a few drops of sweat…..I get it.

That bring me to present day.  When Ol’ Clark ran that newsletter you saw the stamp.  You knew it cost money.  You knew the paper, the ink, the copies, and all that went into it cost money so I think it was easier to see how much all of it cost.  Well, now Al Myers stepped in and took it over some 8 years ago.  He created a website, then got a better one, and did a lot of work to keep it going and at what cost.  I bet a lot more than the stamps Ol’ Clark used.  At the least, I would say both men work (worked) equally hard.

So what can you do?  Send him a few hundred bucks!  Well, that would be nice but I think the best thing we could do as an organization is support the guys that make it happen.  Not just Al, but our officers, judges, etc.  We do this by following the rules, getting meet results to Al in a timely manner, make sure our meets are as legit as we can, write a good story for the meet results for the website, maybe send Al a good story or anecdote for the website (like how people would send Clark a letter) and he’d put in on the website.  Buy Al a beer, slap him on the back….heck, I bet a thanks would go a long way.

Otherwise, people like Bill and Al get burned out.  They love a sport and after awhile they feel unappreciated and frustrated and next thing you know…..well, let’s just try and do our part and keep the USAWA great.  It’s only as great as the people who run it and the people who are a part of it AND appreciate it!

1 2 3 4 5 6 309