Never Too Old to Start Lifting

by Al Myers

LaVerne Myers wins his FIRST TROPHY EVER in weightlifting, at the 2010 IAWA Gold Cup.

One of the very interesting things about weight lifting is that you are never too old to start!  This isn’t the case with a lot of other competitive sports.  Take a sport like football or basketball – not something you could start over 60.  First of all your body wouldn’t hold up to it, plus there are minimal opportunities for competition even if it could.  Weightlifting is really a sport where you only compete against yourself.  Sure you compete against other athletes, but you pick the attempts at weights that you know you can achieve.   You only pick attempts that you have a shot at.  The joys of success often come from achieving a goal that you have set for yourself.  Plus, you can improve at any age in some lift.  The human body is made to adapt to training, and if you are willing to “put in the time” your muscles will become stronger and you will lift more weight.   I have seen all-rounders set personal records at ages most “normal folk” would have thought impossible.

Recently, my father LaVerne started competing in the USAWA.  He had competed in a few of my gym records days in the past,  but just this year he has entered some USAWA competitions.  He is 66 – not the age you would assume someone would start an athletic career!  But he has had tremendous success.  Last spring he placed 5th overall at the Dino Gym Grip Challenge amongst a very strong field. He even tied for the top Weaver Stick lift of the day.  This past November he accompanied me to the 2010 IAWA Gold Cup in Walpole – and of course he competed!  He very successfully set an IAWA World Record in the One Arm Ciavattone Grip Deadlift.  He was astounded that he set a World Record – something he would never have thought possible a few years ago before he became involved with the USAWA.   He should be an example for others as to what one can achieve in the USAWA!  You DO NOT need to have a lifetime of lifting under your belt to enjoy the successes of competitive weightlifting in the USAWA.  You can start NOW!!  I welcome ANYONE of any age to give the USAWA a try – and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Since my father’s involvement of competing in the USAWA, that now makes FOUR generations of the Myers family that have competed within the USAWA.   Has this been done before??  I’m sure it has but I would like to know.  If anyone knows of another family that has done this please email me ( about them so I can share it with the readers of the USAWA Daily News.