Category Archives: USAWA Videos

Ernie Beath – The Patriotic Highlander

by Al Myers

Ernie Beath and his 201# record in the French Press at the 2010 USAWA Club Challenge at the Ambridge VFW BBC. This lift was performed in front of several seasoned officials, one of which is John McKean located to the right in the picture.

I really enjoy watching YouTube Videos of weightlifting.  Some are quite entertaining, some clearly show how you shouldn’t lift weights, but occasionally you will find one that demonstrates a strong lifter that KNOWS how to lift weights. I especially like to follow YouTube Videos of lifter’s I know – and one of my favorites  is by USAWA member Ernie Beath.  Ernie is ALWAYS putting up big weights in some kind of lift.  Last spring I got to witness first hand at the USAWA Club Challenge Big Ernie setting the best French Press of All-Time in the USAWA with a lift of 201 pounds.  Well, in one of his latest videos he is hitting a French Press with 230 pounds!  His YouTube Account is called the PatrioticHighlander – or just check out his amazing videos by clicking here:  PatrioticHighlander

Shoulder Drop

I am planning a team postal meet with details coming soon and one of the lifts we will be doing is the Shoulder Drop.  Here is a good video of JWC member Josh Hettinger setting a record in the Shoulder Drop:

and here is what the USAWA Rule Book says on this lift:

D25. Shoulder Drop

The bar is first cleaned and placed at the base of the neck to start this lift. Feet placement is optional. Once the lifter is upright, and the bar motionless, an official will give a command to start the lift. The lifter will then release the grip on the bar, allowing the bar to drop from the shoulders behind the back. The lifter must catch the bar in the hands at arms’ length behind the back. The legs must remain straight throughout the lift. The lift ends on command by an official when the bar is controlled in the hands by the lifter.

There is actually a reason that I picked this lift as one I wanted to do (and it has nothing to do with Chad Ullom’s Shoulder Drop performance, even if it was pretty funny)

When I was a kid, my grandpa Dalton Jackson (Granddaddy of all the JWC!) used to do all kinds of lifts.  Some I’m pretty sure he made up himself, but many he said he read about or saw in old magazines.  The thing is that my grandpa often saw still photos or read descriptions and I’m not sure he always got them right.  One he did was a lift he claimed Arthur Saxon did.  It was a multipart lift where you would Clean and press the weight, then lower the weight behind the neck, do a Shoulder Drop with it, then set it down.  But the way he did it was he would catch the weight with bent legs whereas the USAWA rules state you must use straight legs.  Since the Shoulder drop was the most difficult of the lift….I decided to use it in honor of “Pop” (what I always called my Grandpa).

38 New USAWA Records at Club Challenge

by Al Myers

Kohl "the Young Samson" Hess set the most USAWA Records at the Club Challenge with seven.

An amazing 38 new USAWA Records were broken or set at the most recent Club Challenge in Ambridge.  The Kohl “Young Samson” Hess lead the way with 7 records.  Kohl has made great strength gains since I last seen him lift at Worlds in October, undoubtedly the result of hard work and good coaching from Denny Habecker. Kohl is only 15 – but weighing a solid 272 pounds he is built like a grown man.

A few more meets like this and this will be a RECORD YEAR for records. Records that impressed me the most were these:  Kohl Hess and his 407# Jefferson Lift with the Fulton Bar, John McKean and his 353# Jefferson Lift with the Fulton Bar (more than he did over 20 years ago at the 1988 Nationals with a regular bar), Ernie Beath and his HUGE 201 pound French Press (he had no problem touching his neck since Big Ernie’s neck goes to his ears), Chad Ullom doing 265# in the Reflex Clean and Push Press, Art “the Man of Steel” Montini benching 135# in the Andy Goddard Postal (and he INSISTED on keeping his feet up even though that is not required for this meet), and Scott Schmidt doing 358# on the 2″ 2 Bar Vertical Bar Deadlift (the TOPS of the meet and the bars were VERY slick!).

The RECORDS RACE between Art and Denny is heating up, with Art taking advantage of Denny’s absence at this meet due to illness. Art has increase his TOTAL NUMBER of USAWA records to 353, which is one more than Denny had after Worlds, but Denny still has the lead with 361 TOTAL RECORDS.

An interesting lift we did at this meet was the Reflex Clean and Push Press.  This lift was introduced many years ago by John Schubert (and is also known unofficially as the Schubert Clean and Push Press).  It is like a normal Clean and Push Press but the bar must not come to a stop after the clean, and must be immediately put over head with a push press.  This adds great difficulty to the lift as the lifter can not “collect himself” after the clean to prepare for the Push Press.  Also, since you can’t move your feet during a push press you must have your feet in good position after the clean. Scott Schmidt is a very experienced Olympic Lifter and great presser so this lift came very natural for him.  Scott had just competed at the Arnold in the Master’s Olympic Meet and didn’t even prepare for this lift, but still put up a big lift.  Check out this YouTube Video of Scott showing how to properly do the Reflex Clean and Push Press.

USAWA Record Holders in the Reeves Deadlift

by Al Myers

Mark Mitchell, of the Dino Gym, has the ALL-TIME USAWA Record in the Reeves Deadlift with a record lift of 400#. His record matches the best performance of the legendary Steve Reeves. In this picture, Mark is setting a Dino Gym record in the Reeves Deadlift with a lift of 455#! Mark is planning on entering a record day soon to increase his USAWA record in the Reeves Deadlift.

The following are the overall USAWA records for the Reeves Deadlift per weight class.  Records are listed for women and men.

Lift                                  Sex  Wt.Cls     Record    Lifter                                 Date               Location

DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL F 70 65 McConnaughey, Amber 12/10/2005 2005 Goerner Deadlift Doz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL F 75 155 Paul, Andrea 12/14/2003 2003 Goerner Deadlift Doz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL F 80 135 Fritz, Misty 12/10/2005 2005 Goerner Deadlift Doz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL F 125+ 215 McConnaughey, Mary 12/9/2001 2001 Goerner Deadlift Dz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 90 275 Holcomb, Seth 12/9/2001 2001 Goerner Deadlift Dz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 95 275 Hart, James 12/9/2001 2001 Goerner Deadlift Dz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 100 225 Bletscher, Rudy 12/15/2002 2002 Hermann Goerner
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 105 325 Burks, Joe 12/9/2001 2001 Goerner Deadlift Dz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 110 225 Clark, Bill 12/15/2002 2002 Hermann Goerner
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 115 300 Myers, Al 12/6/2008 2008 Goerner Dino Gym
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 120 335 Myers, Al 12/6/2009 2009 Goerner Deadlift
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 125 335 Fulton, Kevin 12/9/2001 2001 Goerner Deadlift Dz
DEADLIFT, REEVES ALL M 125+ 400 Mitchell, Mark 12/15/2002 2002 Hermann Goerner

Do you want to see a BIG Reeves Deadlift in action?

Then check out this YouTube Video of Ben Edwards successfully lifting 352# in Reeves Deadlift!

Matt Graham – The USAWA’s Grip Sensation

by Al Myers

Matt Graham pinch gripping Two York 45's in one hand and lifting the Inch Dumbbell with the other.

Roger Davis inquired last week on the USAWA Discussion Forum about the Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip.  There has been some differences in “the name” of this lift between the USAWA and the IAWA(UK).  This has lead to some records that have been put in the IAWA Record List that probably shouldn’t be there. I am not going to go into detail here regarding that discussion (check out the USAWA Discussion Forum if you are interested in this).  But the discussion lead to the phenomenal lifting of Matt Graham, of Liberal, Kansas, and his great 540# Deadlift on the Fulton Bar, done with a overhand grip at the 2001 SuperGrip Challenge, hosted by Kevin Fulton.  This is a remarkable lift, and possibly could be the highest of All-Time done in this fashion.  Matt hasn’t competed recently in any USAWA meet, but I would like to take today to highlight some of his amazing grip feats.  Several of his grip lifts done in the USAWA are the tops in the USAWA Record List.  I had the opportunity to train with Matt a few times, and he competed in my Dino Gym Challenge several times.  Matt is trained by an USAWA lifting legend, and a great grip master himself, Bob Burtzloff.  I have witnessed Matt doing several grip feats that just left me shaking my head in disbelief!!  I have seen him “snatch” the 50# Blob with one hand, close the #3 COC gripper three times in a row, and pinch grip two 45# plates and lift them high enough to place them on top of a tall barrel.

Matt is built to be a great grip lifter.  He is 6’7″ and weighed around 325# at one time (now he’s a little lighter).   He has very long fingers, and an even larger thumb in proportion. His fingers are long enough that he can Hook Grip a 2″ bar!  Not many people can do that!  Several of his grip feats are well-documented.  He competed several years at Kevin Fulton’s SuperGrip Challenge in Litchfield, Nebraska and won many of them – and he was judged by a couple of very qualified officials – Kevin Fulton and Bill Clark.  Matt is indeed the “real deal” when it comes to grip power!!

Matt Graham’s USAWA Grip Records

600# – Deadlift – 3″ Bar
455# – Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip
540# – Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Overhand Grip (with Hook)
225# – Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm
344# – Deadlift – Two “Inch” Dumbbells
200# – Pinch Grip

Still not convinced that Matt is the USAWA’s Grip Sensation?
Then check out this video evidence.

YouTube Video – Matt doing a 600# Deadlift with 3″ bar.

YouTube Video – Matt doing a 540# Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Overhand Grip using a Hook Grip.

YouTube Video – Matt deadlifting two Inch Dumbbells at the same time.

YouTube Video – Matt taking the Inch Dumbbell overhead with only one hand using a knee kick, outside on a windy day.

YouTube Video – Matt doing a 192#  One Arm Clean and Jerk with the Fulton Bar.

Maybe I can convince Matt to make a “comeback” at this year’s USAWA’s Grip Challenge, hosted by Ben Edwards in February?

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