Goerner Club

by Al Myers

Ben Edwards is now part of the "Goerner Club" with his 310 pound Middle Finger Deadlift at the 2011 USAWA National Grip Championships.

It’s not everyday that a lifter can break a mark done by the famous German Strongman Hermann Goerner.  This past weekend at the USAWA National Grip Championships Ben Edwards joined, as I’ve termed, the “Goerner Club” for exceeding Hermann’s best reported lift in the Middle Fingers Deadlift.  Ben lifted 310 pounds.   David Willoughby in his book The Super Athletes listed Goerner as having done a MF deadlift of 140 kilograms (308.5 pounds) around 1925.  I have always considered this the mark to beat to be outstanding in the middle fingers deadlift.  Now, compared to what Hermann has reported in his other finger lifts, this lift of his seems to be a sub-maximal effort.  None the less, it is a very good lift (and is actually believable compared to some of his other claims).   However, this 308.5# middle finger deadlift is not listed in Hermann’s autobiography by Edgar Mueller’s Goerner the Mighty.  I have read this book several times, and I don’t ever remember seeing this lift listed.  Mueller does talk in one chapter about the wide deviations of grips that Hermann uses for his deadlifts, and mentions a middle finger overhand grip  deadlift (of which he lists Goerner as having worked up to 220 pounds), but nothing about using an alternate grip as we allow in the USAWA for the Finger Deadlifts.

Just how many USAWA members are part of this “Goerner Club” for the Middle Finger Deadlift??

The list is quite small.  Only TWO other USAWA members (besides Ben)  have ever exceeded 309 pounds.  The KING OF the MIDDLE FINGER is none other than Kevin Fulton.  Kevin has the best middle finger deadlift of ALL-TIME in the USAWA with a lift of 400 pounds.  This lift was no fluke, as Kevin has exceeded 309 pounds in the MF deadlift several other times as well in official competition.  He set this HUGE MF deadlift at his own 1999 SuperGrip Challenge (which was the first year this meet was held).   The other lifter that is a member of the “Goerner Club” is USAWA Hall of Famer Bill DiCiccio.  In 1994 at the Gold Cup, Bill matched Hermann’s effort with a 309 pound lift.  Now that’s it!!!  I have spent a few hours looking back at past meet results over the past 20 years and I couldn’t find anyone else!!   Congratulations Ben – you are now part of a very small club in the USAWA.  Hermann would have been proud of you.

Check out the YouTube Video of Ben performing the Middle Fingers Deadlift (located on the upper right side of this website).