Variations on the Press

by Thom Van Vleck

I have written about the Press several times before.  My Uncle Wayne Jackson loved doing the Olympic Clean and Press.  As a matter of fact, when they dropped the lift Wayne never competed again in an Olympic lifting contest.  He eventually did 370lbs out of the rack.  I also saw him strict press 330lbs out of the rack.

So wait a minute, you say.  I thought you said he pressed 370?  Well, he did.  Here’s the thing.  The way I was taught there were three variations of the Press.  This is not to be confused with the USAWA rules for pressing movements.  I am listing these to make a point regarding training, not setting a record.

1.  The Push Press.  With the weight racked on the collar bone and you would then dip with knees and hips and then extend to drive the weight overhead while finishing pressing out with only the shoulders and arms with no recovery (rebending the knees or it was then a push jerk). A very quick movement that might slow down at the finish.

2.  The Strict Press.  You held the weight racked on the collar bone and with NO knee bend or drive with anything other than the shoulders and arms you would press the weight overhead.  A very slow and methodical movement if you are using near max weights.

3.  The Olympic Press. Similar to the Push press but with no knee bend.  However, hip drive would be employed to get a “heave” off the chest after sinking with the weight once it was across the collar bone.  Of course the reason the Olympic press was dropped was it started out as a strict press then the rules were relaxed to the point it became more of a push press and impossible to judge.  My Uncle became so proficient at the sinking or “slumping” and the hip drive he actually could Olympic Press as much as he could Push Press!

Over the years I have used all three in my training.  I think most people have used the Push press and the strict press but not many have used the Olympic Press.  I would guess most would simply say that Olympic press was a cheating press or a poor push press and not see any additional value in the Olympic press.

It is my opinion that the Olympic press helps develop hip drive.  It makes you really focus on engaging the hips and I think that’s really important not only in weightlifting but in many athletic events as well.  Mastering that small range of motion can add to a power clean, to a fast baseball pitch, and maybe most importantly to throwing events such as the shot put, discus, highland games and others.

Be sure and focus on the hip drive!  When I’m done training these I can really feel the fatigue in my hips.  A “pro tip” from my Uncle Wayne was he said when he would get set to press he would focus on flexing his glutes hard.

Give it a try and see what you think.  Let me know!

Mike Archer – Rest in Peace

by Steve Gardner

Mike Archer

Mike Archer

Mike Archer sadly passed away on 27th February after losing his battle with Cancer. Following other medical problems Mike developed Cancer and was told it was terminal. He died surrounded by his family and was not in pain. A true Master of the sport, not many could lift with Mike when he was lifting at his best. A great lifter, coach, referee, IAWA (UK) Committee member and good friend to all who knew him. Mike will be well remembered for his exploits at the Sunbury and Hastings Clubs.

Please see below the reference to Mike which was part of the programme when he was inducted into the IAWA(UK) Hall of Fame in 2003:

Mike has been involved in weightlifting for more than 50 years having his first competition in 1952. A superb Champion among lifters, 70 yrs old Mike has come a long way since starting to train with weights to gain bodyweight and improve his all-round strength and fitness after having been turned down as medically unfit for compulsory National Service. A tremendous servant to IAWA (UK) as Technical Committee Officer, Mike has also won several National and World titles, listing his proudest moment as winning the ‘Overall Best Master Lifter’ title at the 1996 IAWA Worlds.

Passing of Mike Archer

by Al Myers

The late great Mike Archer, performing at the Granby Halls over 25 years ago, Mike was a formidable competitor! (photo and caption courtesy of Steve Gardner)

The late great Mike Archer, performing at the Granby Halls over 25 years ago, Mike was a formidable competitor! (photo and caption courtesy of Steve Gardner)

Word has come to me from Steve Gardner that the great English lifter Mike Archer has recently passed away after battling a long illness.  Mike was very involved with the IAWA during the early formative years of our organization.  The past 10 years his involvement has been limited due to his declining health, but his love for all round weightlifting remained.

Mike Archer was involved in all aspects of the organization – lifter, promoter, official and officer.  He was the IAWA(UK) Vice President representative for many years (1992-2012).  He attended many IAWA World Championships, having competed in the United States many times as well as Australia. Many times he placed in the top ten overall at the World Championships.  I counted 8 times, but there may have been more.  In 1999 Mike was the overall best mens lifter in the IAWA World Championships in Australia. He was inducted into the IAWA(UK) Hall of Fame in 2003.

This is just a brief summary of all the accomplishments Mike Archer has achieved in the IAWA.  He will be greatly missed!

Lifter of the Month – LaVerne Myers

by Al Myers

The USAWA Lifter of the Month for February is LaVerne Myers.  LaVerne was the overall men’s champion of the USAWA Grip Championships, which was the only USAWA competition in February.  This is the second time LaVerne has been selected as lifter of the month.  The other time was February 2014.  He had several big lifts at the Grip Championships – including a 210# Wrist Curl and a 135# Inch DB DL.

Congrats LaVerne!!

Zercher Strength Classic

By Al Myers


Zercher Strength Classic and Record Day

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Date: Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Venue: Clark’s Gym, Columbia, Missouri

Weigh-ins: 7:30 – 9 AM

Start Time: 9 AM

Entry Fee: None

Entry Form: None

Awards: None

Membership: Must be a current USAWA Member

Officials – 2 certified USAWA officials will be present

Entry Deadline: April 20th for Zercher Meet & meet day for record day. There will be no limit on record attempts or number of different lifts attempted.

Zercher Strength Classic Lifts: Leg Press, Deadlift – One Arm, Deadlift – Heels Together, Hack Lift, Continental Clean and Jerk, Clean and Press – Heels Together, Zercher Lift, Steinborn Lift, Neck Lift, Hip Lift, Harness Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, and Bench Press – Feet in Air (all lifting will be done in pounds)

Bill may be reached by phone or mail for entry or directions: phone: 573-474-4510, mail: Bill Clark, 3906 Grace Ellen Drive, Columbia, Missouri, 65202.  Bill has no email address.

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