Round 2 – Yesterday versus Today

Yesterday’s 165# & 181# Classes versus Today’s 75K, 80K, and 85 K Classes
by Al Myers


Lift Yesterday Today Winner
Deadlift – One Arm 317# – Ray Esquibel (1987) 441# – Bob Hirsh (1995) Today
Deadlift – Heels Together 570# – Sid Littleton (1986) 560# – Bob Hirsh (1995) Yesterday
Deadlift – Middle Fingers 350#- Bill Broadnax (1981) 235# – Dale Friesz (1995) Yesterday
Deadlift – One Leg 160# – Ray Esquibel (1987) 260# – Abe Smith (2001) Today
Hack Lift 600# – Sid Littleton (1985) 670# – Bob Hirsh (1997) Today
Jefferson Lift 580# – Sid Littleton (1986) 702# – Bob Hirsh (1996) Today
Hand and Thigh Lift 1000# – Kevin Hale (1986) 1350# – Bill DiCiccio, Jr. (1994) Today
Neck Lift 450# – Ed Zercher III (1987) 605# – Dale Friesz (1995) Today
Harness Lift 2300# – Rick Evans (1986) 2060# – Abe Smith (2005) Yesterday
Hip Lift 1900# – Sid Littleton (1987) 2030# – Bill DiCiccio, Sr. (1997) Today
Back Lift 1265# – Ed Zercher III (1987) 2200# – Tim Pinkerton (2005) Today
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells 410# – Sid Littleton (1985) 515# – Bob Hirsh (1995) Today
Clean and Press 285# – Robert Burnett (1967) 220# – Abe Smith (2004) Yesterday
Clean and Seated Press 210# – Dave Hahn (1962) 220# – Bob Hirsh (1996) Today
French Press 190# – Jim Charlton (1981) 121# – Bob Hirsh (2001) Yesterday
Bent Press 115# – David Lloyd (1975) 90# – Dennis Mitchell (1990) Yesterday
Bench Press – Feet in Air 352# – Ronnie Kinnamon (1984) 364# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Bench Press – Hands Together 275# – Ronnie Kinnamon (1984) 250# – Lon Beffort (2005) Yesterday
Front Squat 360# – Dennis Turner (1979) 380# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Snatch – One Arm 135# – David Lloyd (1976) 160# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Continental to Chest 264# – John Haynes (1987) 353# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Jerk – From Rack 315# – Swede Salsbury (1963) 353# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Clean and Jerk – One Arm 155# – David Llyod (1976) 160# – Barry Bryan (1991) Today
Swing – One Dumbbell 110# – Ray Webb (1984) 120# – Abe Smith (2004) Today
Zercher Lift 475# – Rick Evans (1986) 504# – Bob Hirsh (1995) Today
Steinborn Lift 325# – Sid Littleton (1982) 340# – Dan Wagman (2006) Today
Cheat Curl 255# – Dave Hahn (1962) 220# – Drue Moore (1995) Yesterday
Pinch Grip 205# – Tim McClain (1981) 160# – Matt Kucera (2001) Yesterday
Crucifix 130# – Joe Southard (1963) 90# – John Monk (2002) Yesterday
Pullover – Straight Arm 90# – Dick Hamilton (1963) 110# – Bob Hirsh (1996) Today
Pullover and Push 315# – Alense Barber (1986) 364# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Clean and Press – Behind Neck 200# – Wayne Gardner (1975) 209# – Bob Hirsh (1997) Today
Clean and Press – Heels Together 195# – Chester Words (1984) 248# – Barry Bryan (1990) Today
Clean and Press – Dumbbells 150# – Ray Webb (1984) 200# – Abe Smith (2006) Today
Pullover and Press 225# – Carles Allen (1984) 287# – Bob Hirsh (1996) Today
Bench Press – Roman Chair 185# – Kevin Hale (1985) 135# – John Monk (2006) Yesterday
Final Score of Round 2
Today’s lifters 25 wins to Yesterday’s lifters 11 wins.

Today’s Lifters win in a landslide Victory!  It seemed for Today’s lifters that Bob Hirsh dominated (9 wins total), and in his weaker lifts Barry Bryan took over (8 wins).  Yesterday’s Lifters were lead by Sid Littleton (5 wins) – who made up about half of the wins for Yesterday’s team.  This list is an ALL-STAR lineup and everyone on it deserves recognition – after all I picked the BEST out of more than one weight class.

Now Today’s Lifters lead by a 2-0 margin over Yesterday’s lifters.  Can Yesterday’s lifters win the next two rounds in the battle of the heavyweights?  Or will Round 3 be just more evidence that Today’s lifters are stronger than Yesterdays lifters?  Round 3 brings out the 198# Class and 220# Class for the Yesterday’s Lifters versus the 90 K, 95 K, and 100 K Classes for Today’s lifters.  Tomorrow’s battles will include these famous all-rounders going head to head – Stan Frenchie vs. Ed Schock, Bob Burtzloff vs. Phil Anderson, and Steve Schmidt vs. Steve Schmidt.  This Round will be somewhat different than the previous two – as you will see a few lifters playing for both teams.  Anyone want to put out any bets???  I got a feeling this is going to be a real BATTLE!!

Round 1 – Yesterday versus Today

Yesterday’s 148# Class and Below versus Today’s 70K Class and Below
by Al Myers


Lift Yesterday Today Winner
Deadlift – One Arm
319# – Randy Joe Holden (1985)
369# – John McKean (1993)
Deadlift – Heels Together
500# – Glen Terry (1985)
452# – Bob Hirsh (2004)
Deadlift – Middle Fingers
255# – Art Tarwater (1961)
245# – Colby Howard (1999)
Deadlift – One Leg
215# – Robbie Porter (1983)
235# – Bob Hirsh (2004)
Hack Lift
550# – Glenn Terry (1986)
550# – Bob Hirsh (1991)
Jefferson Lift
540# – Edwin Stitt (1986)
634# – Bob Hirsh (1994)
Hand and Thigh Lift
850# – Glenn Terry (1986)
1108# – Roger Lynch (1991)
Neck Lift
405# – Jim Borwick (1987)
600# – John Monk (2000)
Harness Lift
1800# – Glenn Terry (1986)
1805# – John Monk (2000)
Hip Lift
1200# – Edwin Stitt (1986)
1640# – Bob Hirsh (1993)
Back Lift
800# – Larry Blatt (1986)
1305# – John Monk (2000)
Deadlift – 2 Dumbbells
440# – Robbie Porter (1984)
377# – John Monk (2005)
Clean and Press
220# – Guy Gronniger (1967)
176# – Chris Waterman (1997)
Clean and Seated Press
165# – Fred Yeargood (1977)
165# – John Monk (2000)
French Press
125# – Fred Yeargood (1974)
77# – Chris Waterman (2001)
Bent Press
80# – Fred Yeargood (1985)
72# – Dennis Mitchell (1998)
Bench Press – Feet in Air
290# – Glenn Terry (1985)
270# – James Longo (1990)
Bench Press – Hands Together
155# – Robert Johnson (1984)
240# – John Monk (1999)
Front Squat
308# – Brent Pierce (1984)
315# – George James (2006)
Snatch – One Arm
150# – Gordon Strain (1931)
127# – Chris Waterman (1991)
Continental to Chest
308# – Brent Pierce (1987)
325# – Chris Waterman (1996)
Jerk – From Rack
260# – Willie Wells (1958)
281# – Chris Waterman (1997)
Clean and Jerk – One Arm
170# – Gordon Strain (1931)
132# – Pete Zaremba (1997)
Swing – One Dumbbell
135# – Gordon Strain (1927)
90# – Pete Zaremba (1996)
Zercher Lift
430# – Edwin Stitt (1986)
408# – Bob Hirsh (1993)
Steinborn Lift
250# – Glenn Terry (1985)
325# – John Monk (2002)
Cheat Curl
160# – Fred Yeargood (1974)
180# – Jason Groves (2002)
Pinch Grip
115# – Wayne Smith (1980)
100# – Colby Howard (1999)
Crucifix 70# – William Nicholson (1982)
90# – John Monk (2001)
Pullover – Straight Arm
90# – Dick Hamilton (1963)
100# – John Monk (2004)
Pullover and Push
264# – Randy Joe Holden (1987)
297# – John Monk (2006)
Clean and Press – Behind Neck
165# – Fred Yeargood (1977)
183# – Bob Hirsh (1992)
Clean and Press – Heels Together
176# – Robbie Porter (1984)
182# – Chris Waterman (1991)
Clean and Press – Dumbbells
160# – Robbie Porter (1984)
155# – John Monk (2006)
Pullover and Press
135# – Art Tarwater (1962)
265# – John Monk (2005)
Bench Press – Roman Chair
150# – Glenn Terry (1995)
135# – Kyle Achenbach (2006)

Today’s lifters win over Yesterday’s lifters!!

The final score is:  Today 20 wins, Yesterday 14 wins, 2 ties

At times it seemed close, but due to John Monk (9 wins), Bob Hirsh (4 wins) and Chris Waterman (3 wins), this trio beat the Yesterday lifters by themselves.  Today’s dominance in the Heavy Lifts appeared to be a big factor in the win.  I’m not sure why Gordon Strain’s records were in the record list (before the Mo Valley listed started), but they were so I used them in this comparison.  Gordon Strain’s lifts would be great compared to Heavyweight lifters!!

Tomorrow will be round 2 of this epic battle.  It will be Yesterdays 165# Class and 181# Class versus Today’s 75 K, 80 K, and 85 K Classes. Yesterday lifters include a lineup of big names such as  Ray Webb, Sid Littleton, and Joe Southard versus Today’s lifters of Bob Hirsh, Abe Smith, and Barry Bryan.

Will Yesterday’s lifters tie up the score?  Or will Today’s lifters win another one?  Tune in tomorrow to the USAWA Daily News to find out…..

Are Today’s Lifters Stronger than Yesterday’s Lifters?

by Al Myers

That is a question worth finding an answer to!!  But how do you “really know”?  Rule changes, drug use and today’s equipment allowances make it near impossible to answer this question using Powerlifting Records.  In today’s “geared” Powerlifting it is as important to learn how to maximize your equipment to it’s potential as to get stronger.  That is an art in itself that has nothing to do with actually getting stronger.  New advanced bars and rule changes have definitely helped Olympic Lifters today – so it is hard to use Olympic Lifting as your model.

I am going to undertake this challenge of answering this question using All-Round Weightlifting as my data source.  After all, not much has changed in All-Round Weightlifting over the last 50 years.  We have never allowed any gear besides a lifting belt, no one can say we are drug users as we test regularly and more than any other organization at meets, and our rules have not really changed any.  Sure – some may say the “judging was more strict in the old days”, but I have watched old videos and I feel not much has really changed with officiating. After all,  Bill Clark was judging THEN and is judging NOW!!

Thanks to Frank Ciavattone for providing me with the old Region IV Missouri Valley Odd Lift record List so I have something to compare today’s lifts with.  This Record List covered the States of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri.  This was also the Region that Odd Lifting was most contested in – under the direction of Bill Clark.  This Record List was established in 1961 and went to 1987, at which time the USAWA was formed and the USAWA Record List started.  So we got 26 years on the Old Record List and 22 years on the New Record List.  Sounds like a good matchup to me!   There are some difficulties in setting up this comparison however – as in the “Old Days” weight classes were in pounds and today they are in Kilograms.   But I have devised a plan for comparison and it goes like this:

Group 1.  Compare best record mark in the “Old” 148# Class and below to today’s 70 K Class and  below.
Group 2.  Compare best mark in the “Old” 165# and 181# Class to today’s best record in the 75 K and 80 K Classes.
Group 3.  Compare the best record in the “Old” 198# and 220# Classes to today’s best record in the 85 K, 90 K, and 100 K classes.
Group 4.  Compare the “Old” 242# Class and HVY Class records to the best record in today’s 105 K, 110 K, 115 K, 120 K, 125 K, and 125+ K classes.

This give 4 body weight groups to compare in rounds.  I will pick lifts that were done in the “Old Days” as some of the newer lifts we have today were not done then.  All together – I have come up with 36 lifts to compare so this will be an extensive study. So come back tomorrow to the USAWA Daily News for the First Round of this Comparison!!  I’ll see if I can answer that age-old question, “Are today’s lifters stronger than yesterday’s lifters?”

Dale Harder’s Strength & Speed Newsletter

by Al Myers

Dale Harder's Strength & Speed Newsletter

Are you like me and get NOTHING out of reading today’s muscle mags?  Most of the information in them I don’t believe anyhow – usually an article about one of TODAY’S top bodybuilders and his “secret program”. Somehow I doubt this bodybuilder would actually tell his competition his “secret program” in a magazine thus giving his competition an edge over him. I also get tired of the rampant commercialism in these magazines about all the special supplements that a lifter should be taking. How healthy is taking handfuls of pills everyday if they are not medically needed?  If you got rid of all the BS in these pump-up mags, they would be reduced to one page of useful information.

However, there are still some GREAT newsletters and magazines available for the hard core strength athlete.  One of these is Dale Harder’s Strength and Speed Newsletter.  This is a MUST READ for any lifter.  Dale is an amazing strength historian and writer, and produces an information-packed Newsletter every two months.  In it you find every page is interesting, and it contains no ads trying to sell you the latest nutritional gimmick. Dale has covered numerous All-Round Weightlifting Events and All-Round Lifters in the past in his Newsletter.  Also, in his Newsletter you will find coverage of Olympic Lifting, Powerlifting, Strongman Competitions, Highland Games and even interesting strength trivia.  Dale loves statistics and it shows in his Newsletter.  You often get rankings and comparisons of different strength feats. Plus, Dale has written several strength books that are a MUST BUY.  I have always considered The Super Athletes by David Willoughby as the book that contains the  greatest accumulation of strength history (which was published in 1970). Well, Dale Harder is the modern day David Willoughby and if you put all of his writings together in one publication it would surpass Willoughby’s book.

Take the time today to give yourself a Christmas Present and subscribe to Dale’s Strength and Speed Newsletter. Better yet – buy a couple of his books at the same time.  I guarantee that you will not be disappointed!

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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