National Championships

By Al Myers



The plans have been made!  The Nationals has been sanctioned and scheduled for June 24th and 25th at Vermillion, Ohio.   Bob Geib will be the meet director for this event, which is the highlight competition each year for the USAWA.  The lifts have been chosen:

DAY 1 – June 24th

Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, One Hand
Clean and Push Press
Bent Over Row
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells

DAY 2 – June 25th

Clean and Jerk – One Arm
Pullover and Push
Jefferson Lift (Straddle Deadlift)

This is a great selection of lifts for our National Championships.  As per the rules of the USAWA, all lifts chosen for the Nationals must be approved by the USAWA Executive Board.  The EB looks for these things in approving the lifts – a good variety of different movements, lifts that can be performed by the vast majority of lifters, lifts that are easily loadable and officiated, and lifts that represent the USAWA in a good manner.   I like to see a combination of Olympic Lift, Power style lifts, a grip lift, and something that utilizes a specialized lifting skill.  This selection definitely represents those things!

An important date to remember is the closing date for entries.  This date is May 26th, 2017.  This means that your entry form and ENTRY FEE must be sent in by that time.

Nationals information sheet (PDF) – InfoSheetNationals2017

Nationals Entry Form (PDF) – EntryformNationals2017

Iceberg Open Record Day

By Rocky Morrison

Frank’s Barbell Club in Walpole, MA held the Iceberg Open Record Day on March 4th, 2017. The weather outside was a little chilly, which was very fitting for the Iceberg Open. But inside there was some heat generated by the strong lifts. The event contained some new lifters in addition to some of our veteran lifters.



March 4th, 2017
Frank’s Barbell Club
East Walpole, MA

Meet Director: Frank Ciavattone

Host: Mark Raymond

Meet Officials: (3-official system used) Frank Ciavattone and Rocky Morrison


Name Gender Age Weight (In Pounds)
Dave Brien Male 49 197
Robert Santos Male 49 208
Mark Raymond Male 54 240
Tony Patterson Male 55 176
Dave Gago Male 59 176


Lifter Dave Brien
Age Category 45+
Weight Category 90 KG
Lift Weight (In Pounds) Weight (In Kilograms)
(RH) Ciavattone Deadlift 202.8 92
(LH) Ciavattone Deadlift 202.8 92
(2H) Thumbless Deadlift 310.8 141
Barbell Curl – Strict 125 56.7
Barbell Curl – Reverse 156.5 71


Lifter Robert Santos
Age Category 45+
Weight Category 95 KG
Lift Weight (In Pounds) Weight (In Kilograms)
Bench Press – feet in air 315 142.9
Bench Press, Fulton Bar 340 154.3
Barbell Curl – Strict 127.5 57.8
Barbell Curl – Reverse 125 56.7


Lifter Mark Raymond
Age Category 54+
Weight Category 110 KG
Lift Weight (In Pounds) Weight (In Kilograms)
Trap Bar Deadlift 357 162
Deadlift, No Thumbs, Overhand Grip 304 138
Bench Press, Fulton Bar 180 81.7
(LH) Fulton Dumbell Deadlift 132 60
(RH) Fulton Dumbell Deadlift 182 82.6


Lifter Tony Patterson
Age Category 55+
Weight Category 80 KG
Lift Weight (In Pounds) Weight (In Kilograms)
(2H) Thumbless Deadlift 334 151.5
(2H) Ciavattone Deadlift 352 160
Barbell Curl – Reverse 140 63.5
(RH) Fulton Dumbell Deadlift 200 90.7
(RH) Vertical Bar Lift (2″ bar) 210 95.3


Lifter Dave Gago
Age Category 55+
Weight Category 80 KG
Lift Weight (In Pounds) Weight (In Kilograms)
(2H) Thumbless Deadlift 288 130.7
(RH) Fulton Dumbell Deadlift 162 73.5
(RH) Vertical Bar Lift (2″ bar) 104 47.2

It was an outstanding job by all particpants. We also had great support from the fans in attendance.

Club of the Year 2016

By Al Myers

Every year the USAWA gives out several special awards to recognize outstanding performances.  One of these awards is the CLUB OF THE YEAR, which is for the overall best club in the USAWA.

Unlike the other USAWA awards where the winners are selected by nomination and vote of the membership, the Club of the Year is earned.  It is based on a point system where each club earns points for various involvements in the USAWA throughout the year.  I think this system is very fair – and it makes it easy for me to calculate all clubs point totals. This is the guidelines for which a club earns points:

Club Awards are determined by adding up club points using this 4-Step System:

1. One point awarded to the club for EACH USAWA registered member that lists the club as their affiliated club on their membership application. This designation is also listed beside the members name on the membership roster.
2. Two points awarded to the club for EACH club member that participates in the National Championships, World Championships, and Gold Cup. Points are awarded for each competition, so if one club athlete competes in all three of these big meets it would generate 6 points for the club.
3. Three points awarded to the club for EACH USAWA sanctioned event or competition the club promotes.
4. Four bonus points awarded to the club for promotion of the National Championships, World Championships, and Gold Cup.

Another standing rule is the that defending Club Champion is ineligible the following year, but has the honor of presenting the new USAWA Yearly Club Champion the award.  This was put in place so one club would not dominate winning the award year after year.  The Dino Gym won this award last year, so it’s my honor to announce this year’s winner!!!  Now for the drum roll please……

The winner of the 2016 USAWA CLUB OF THE YEAR goes to …..


Frank’s Barbell Club dominated the race this year for Club of the Year. They generated an unbelievable point total of 59 points.  I will have to do some checking but I don’t think any club has generated that many yearly points before. They accomplished this by having 15 registered club members: Lindsey Beavy, Frankie Ciavattone, Frank Ciavattone, Jeff Ciavattone, Micheal Driscoll, James Fuller, David Gago, Jessica Hopps, Kim Lydon, Cassie Morrison, James Morrison, Rocky Morrison, James Patterson, Tony Patterson, and Mark Raymond.  The club also promoted the 2016 USAWA National Championships under the direction of club leader Frank Ciavattone.

The final standings for the top 5 Clubs are as follows:

1. Frank’s Barbell Club – 59 points

2. Habecker’s Gym – 33 points

3. Ambridge Barbell Club – 12 points

4. Clark’s Championship Gym – 11 points

5. KC Strongman – 10 points

This award will be officially presented at the 2017 National Championships in conjunction with the Awards Presentation.  Congratulations to Frank’s Barbell Club!

The Reverse Grip Curl Controversy

By Al Myers

I was recently visiting with Hall of Famer Scott Schmidt.  We had a nice phone visit the other day talking about this years National Championships amongst other things.  One thing we talked about was the Reverse Grip Curl. This has always been one of Scott’s favorite USAWA lifts, and one he has done many times with many records. He mentioned to me that he had once done in strict style, 143 pounds, in the Reverse Curl but it’s not listed in the USAWA Record List.

Well, he was correct (this record is now listed though as I cross checked old meet results and verified it), and I have some explaining to do!

The Reverse Curl has always had controversy surrounding it in the USAWA.  Most of this resulted from old written rules that weren’t clear and lifters doing the lift in different fashions, under different assumed rules.  Some were doing the Reverse Curl very strict while others were doing it with some backbend. Others were doing it like the Cheat Curl with big dips and bar swings.  Results of all these variations were entered into the Record List under one lift name.  Obviously the “cheaters” had higher record numbers which wasn’t fair to the lifters doing it strict style.  However, lots of lifters really liked the “Cheat Style” and this resulted in a new lift in the USAWA, the Curl – Cheat, Reverse Grip.  It has been a popular lift and has been in several competitions (including the 2012 and 2015 National Championships).  This lift was passed as a new lift in  2010. So now there are two official Reverse Grip Curls – the Curl Cheat Reverse Grip and the Curl Reverse Grip.

The difference in rules for the Reverse Grip Curl is that the Cheat version utilizes the rules of the Cheat Curl while the strict version uses the rules of the Rectangular Fix.  This creates a big difference in the amount of weight that can be lifted!  I won’t go over the other details of these rules as you can look them up in the USAWA Rulebook.

Now back to the Record List.  When I took over as Records Chairman I noticed that this was a problem as many of the record lifts in the Curl Reverse Grip were obviously (and many I witnessed first hand) done with the Cheat technique.  Since there was no way I could break this down and determine “which was which” I grouped all of them into the Curl-Cheat, Reverse Grip and started a new listing for Curl – Reverse Grip.  I figured even if it had been done “strict style” it would conform to the rules for the Cheat Style.  However, I knew several of the older records where done with the Strict Style but just not specifically which ones.

So if anyone has done a STRICT Reverse Grip Curl in the past and it is not recorded in the Record List properly please let me know so I can get it fixed and give you the credit you deserve.  I will need meet result verification and one witness to support the record to make this change.

I have changed the name  of the Curl – Reverse Grip in the Record List to Curl – Strict, Reverse Grip and this will be done in the next Rule Book edition as well.   I hope this will help better clarify the differences between these two lifts in the future.

But I have to mention Scott again!  Scott’s big STRICT Reverse Grip Curl at Art’s Birthday Bash in 1998 is the TOPS in the USAWA Record List.  That day he lifted 65 Kilograms (143 pounds) in the 115KG class.

Financial Matters

By Al Myers

After re-reading yesterday’s blog today, it made me wonder if people are thinking the USAWA is “down and out” and needing money!  That is not the case.  The USAWA is very financially sound and has been for many years.  I have been the treasurer since 2009 and we have the same amount of money in our USAWA bank account now as we had then. So if anyone is worrying that the USAWA is going broke – DON’T WORRY.  We are fine and even have a little extra for an “emergency fund” if needed.

Every year I put together a financial report  of the income/expenses for the previous year.  As required by our USAWA bylaws, I present this report to the Executive Board for audit every year.  I think this process is essential as the financial matters of a non-profit organization should not be a secret and the treasurer should be held accountable for doing things right.   I also present a summary of this financial report at our Annual National Meeting.  The membership should know how the money is being spent!

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