Category Archives: USAWA Events

Heavy Lift Nationals

by Al Myers


Welcome USAWA to York Barbell!!!

This is an upcoming USAWA meet that you will not want to miss!  For the first time ever, the USAWA will host an All-Round Weightlifting Meet at the meca of American Weightlifting – the YORK BARBELL COMPANY!  York Barbell retail manager Mike Locondro has invited us to be part of a very special day in York on May 21st.  Mike is reviving the tradition started many, many  years ago by Bob Hoffman in sitting aside a day to invite EVERYONE who is interested in lifting weights to come together at York for a day of enjoyment.  Bob Hoffman’s annual weightlifting picnics at York were always sensational, and created memories that have withstood generations of lifters.  Mike is very familiar with the USAWA, having competed himself several times throughout the 90’s.  It was very generous of him to invite us to be part of this day. This will be a special day in more ways than one.

For the FIRST TIME, we (the USAWA) will be competing in a BIG STAGE ENVIRONMENT.   That is why I proposed to the USAWA Executive Board to have our Heavy Lift Nationals on this day.  These lifts are very crowd pleasing – lifting BIG weights in OLDTIME lifts.  Due to time and space constraints, we will have only 3 hours in the main auditorium to complete our competition so this year only 3 heavy lifts will be contested – the Neck Lift, the Hand and Thigh Lift, and the Hip Lift.  If our competitor list is over a dozen, we will run two platforms. Entries will have to be in advance in order for us to plan accordingly.  I expect there will be LOTS of spectators throughout the day so this will give us the opportunity to showcase our unique lifting skills to many people.  In the afternoon (from 2 PM to 6 PM) we will move to the York gym area and  have a record day.  However, most of our purpose will be to demonstrate the many All-Round Lifts of the USAWA and talk to people coming through the show.  This will be our chance to “show the World” what the USAWA has to offer.  Hopefully, we will be able to recruit some new lifters to our organization.

The main purpose of this day is raising money for the Wounded Warrior Project.  All proceeds from this event will go to this organization.  The Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit organization that helps injured service men and women in physical rehabilitation.   They have a Disabled Sports Project that introduces wounded service members to new sports activities that help in their physical recovery.  Truly a noble cause.  As I said, this day will be a special day in more ways than one!

There will be several other activities going on this day besides our involvement.  The highlight of the day will be the York Barbell Hall of Fame induction of Slim “The Hammer Man” Farman, which will occur during the noontime ceremony.  Other strength demonstrations will be going on – strongman demos, bending demos, a kettlebell instructional session, etc.  Plus – I heard there might be a raffle.  You need to add in a tour of the York Hall of Fame and York Museum,  and visit the retail store.  As I said earlier, this is one meet you do not want to miss!

FOR ENTRY FORM – 2011HeavyLiftNationals

Club Challenge

by Al Myers


John McKean and Art Montini of the Ambridge VFW BBC are the hosts for the 2011 USAWA Club Challenge.

After the overwhelming success of the USAWA Club Challenge last year, John McKean has announced plans to host this unique team competition again this year.  The date has been set – March 12th.  The Club Challenge will follow  along the same guidelines as last year.   This competition is a “team” competition – with each club bringing three members whose adjusted points will be added together to form a “team score”.  No awards will be given for individual performance.  The Challenge will occur at the famous Ambridge Barbell Club in Ambridge, PA.  John has set an afternoon start time to allow for lifters to fly in the morning of the meet.  This is a great opportunity for all USAWA Member Clubs to show their “team spirit” by pitting themselves against other clubs in the USAWA.  Even though I would like to see teams composed of USAWA members who list their club as their affiliated club on the membership roster, this is not required.  So if you are the only one from your club that wants to attend and you can find two other team members, that is allowed. If a club wants to bring more than one team – that is ok as well.  The Ambridge BBC is a very interesting gym, and contains equipment that you will not see anyplace else!  Plus after the meet, John knows the best places to eat in town and you will not be disappointed in the post-meet celebration!

2011 USAWA Club Challenge

Date:  Saturday, March 12th

Venue:  Ambridge BBC

Meet Director:  John McKean

Entry Fee:  None

Start Time:  2:30 PM

Sanction:  USAWA


Bentover Row

Deadlift – 2 Bars

Neck Lift

There is no entry form for this competition. If interested, contact myself (at or John.

Goerner Deadlift

by Al Myers



The Goerner Deadlift has been rescheduled!!!  Bill Clark has sent me a letter giving me permission to reschedule the Goerner Deadlift Dozen plus One at the Dino Gym sometime this month.  The problem is that the month of December is getting away from us!!  I want to keep the annual tradition of the Goerner Deadlift alive, but we are out of weekends in December.  On the weekend of the 18th, Dave is having his record day and then after that we are into the holidays.  So after mulling it over trying to find a  date for it, I have come to the conclusion that only one day is workable  – December 14th. I plan to hold the Goerner Deadlift  in conjunction with the Tuesday Night workout at the Dino Gym!!

Goerner Deadlift Dozen plus One

Time:   Tuesday Night, December 14th, 5:00 PM

Location:  Dino Gym

Entry:  No entry fee or entry form,  but you MUST notify me ahead of time if you plan to attend

National Championships

by Thom Van Vleck



Al Myers doing a 440 pound Zercher lift in the 2003 USAWA Nationals. The Zercher Lift will be part of the 2011 Nationals to honor the Oldtime Missouri Strongman Ed Zercher.

The 2011 USAWA National Championships will be hosted by the Jackson Weightlifting Club in Kirksville, Missouri!  I have a series of articles planned to keep everyone up to date on this meet so check back often.   Here is what we have decided to this point.

Date: June 25th, 2011

Location: Kirksville, Missouri (exact venue to be decided)

Cost: Entry $50  (plus up to date USAWA membership)

Banquet: $25 per couple or $15 per person (Catered by Western’s Meat Market….a local legend for great food)

Awards: Plaques for age group and open winners, medals for all participants, and a special award for the best lifter

Shirts: Shirts will be provided to all entrants (details on design to come….but it will be special).

Travel & Lodging: (866 CAPE AIR) has daily flights from St. Louis to Kirksville for $49, so you can get from anywhere in the world right to town!  There are several motels such as the Budget Host, Holiday Inn Express, Knights Inn, Comfort Inn, Super 8, and Days Inn in Kirksville and just south of town is the Depot Inn in Laplata, Missouri which is next to the Amtrak Station that connects from Chicago and Kansas City. There is another Amtrak station just an hour north that connects to Denver and Chicago and points beyond.  

Format: Morning Session and Afternoon Session.  Morning Session will begin at 10:00am.  Afternoon session will follow with a one hour break after the Morning Session is completed.  Morning and Afternoon Sessions will be determined by opening attempts.

Lifts: (performed in this order)

Snatch – Dumbbell, One Arm

Curl – Cheat

Pullover and Push

Continental to Chest – Fulton Bar

Deadlift – 12″ Base

Zercher Lift

I spent a lot of time thinking about these lifts.  I wanted to have at least one Fulton Bar lift and at least one Dumbbell lift.  I wanted to have a pure power lift (12″ Deadlift) and a pressing movement (Pullover and Push).  I wanted to have the Zercher because Ed Zercher is perhaps the best known Old time strongman from Missouri and me being a good ol’ Missouri boy and the fact that my Grandfather-in-law knew and lifted with Ed….well, that was a must!   Oh, and what about the Cheat Curl….well….I just like it!!!!

Start making plans and training now!!!


National Grip Championships

by Al Myers



Andy Durniat won the 2010 Dino Gym Grip Challenge. Will he return to defend his title and win the FIRST EVER USAWA National Grip Championships? In this picture Andy is setting the USAWA All-TIme best lift of 140 kilograms in the One Arm No Thumb Deadlift.

The Dino Gym Grip Meet was such a HUGE SUCCESS last year –  we decided to do it again this year.   The tradition of grip challenges have been around quite a while in the USAWA – thanks to Kevin Fulton’s grip meets.   However, this year the USAWA has taken  grip competitions to “a new level” as the USAWA Executive Board approved this meet as the USAWA National Grip Championships.  This is the FIRST TIME the USAWA will have a Grip Nationals – the start of a NEW tradition that I hope will continue for many years.

Considering this is a National Championships, a few things had to be done with this meet in order to fulfill our established USAWA rules of conducting a championship.  First of all, only Official USAWA Lifts can be in a Nationals – thus NO exhibition lifts.  However, we have a host of great grip lifts in our Rule Book so this was not a problem.  Second, traditional scoring will be done with age and body-weight corrections on the “total weight” lifted.  And thirdly, all individual body-weight classes and age divisions will be contested for National Championship Awards.

The lifts are:

Pinch Grip

Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 bar, 2″, One Hand

Deadlift – Middle Fingers

Deadift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

Deadlift – 3″ Bar

The 2011 National Grip Championships will be on Saturday, February 12th, 2011. Luckily this year the second weekend of February avoided Valentine’s Day!  For an ENTRY FORM (pdf) – NationalGripEntry

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