Tag Archives: Al Myers

Presidential Cup

by Al Myers

MEET REPORT & RESULTS
2015 PRESIDENTIAL CUP

Group picture from the 2015 Presidential Cup (left to right): Art Montini, Al Myers, Dean Ross, and Denny Habecker

Group picture from the 2015 Presidential Cup (left to right): Art Montini, Al Myers, Dean Ross, and Denny Habecker

For the fourth year annually, our USAWA President Denny Habecker has held the USAWA Presidential Cup.  This Championship Event recognizes the “best of the best” amongst record days.  It IS the championship record day in the USAWA – much like the Gold Cup is the Championship Record Day in the IAWA. Every year our Prez picks a lift and lifter for the winner of the Presidential Cup.  This is based on what impresses him the most – that is the criteria for being awarded the Presidential Cup.

This year 4 experienced USAWA members took on the challenge.  It was interesting to me that these four lifters (Denny, Art, Dean, and myself) are also TOP TEN members of the Century Club, which shows that all of us have competed in the USAWA quite some time now!  Each of us took turns with our lifts on the platform. Art continues to amaze me.  He did a 26# Abdominal Raise – which would be a very difficult lift for anyone.  I thought that could be the Presidential Cup Lift that might win.  As it turns out that was the only record lift Art did.  When we had time for additional record lifts Art couldn’t decide on another lift to do as he has ALL the records in his age/bodyweight class in the record list and Art doesn’t like to break his own records!

Dean Ross made the trip to Pennsylvania again this summer (Nationals in York was the other).  Dean picked the One Arm Zercher, which is a very difficult lift to perform. He lifted an impressive 160 pounds!  As it turns out – THAT was the lift to win him the Presidential Cup!  Well deserving I must say.

This was a great competition.  I want to thank Denny and Judy for being such great hosts.  We are very fortunate to have Denny as our President and Judy as the “first lady” in the USAWA. They work tirelessly to keep things going, and give back SO MUCH to the organization.

(Tomorrow I’ll give a report on the history of the Presidential Cup and a listing of all past winners. )

Meet Results:

Presidential Cup
Habecker’s Gym
Lebanon, PA
August 22nd, 2015

Meet Director: Denny Habecker

Official’s (3-official System Used): Denny Habecker, Al Myers, Art Montini

Al Myers – 48 years old, 228# BWT
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2″, 1 Bar, Right Hand: 193#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2″, 1 Bar, Left Hand: 193#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Right Arm: 171#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Left Arm: 171#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 303#
Deadlift – One Leg, Right: 242#

Dean Ross – 72 years old, 253# BWT
Zercher – One Arm, Left: 143#
Zercher – One Arm, Right: 160#
Ziegler Clean: 93#
Swing – One Arm, Right: 55#
Swing – One Arm, Left: 45#

Denny Habecker – 72 years old, 189# BWT
Pullover – Straight Arm: 60#

Art Montini – 87 years old, 173# BWT
Abdominal Raise: 26#

TOO SOON OLD

BY DAVE GLASGOW

IF YOU WANT QUALITY EQUIPMENT THAT CAN BE CUSTOM MADE TO YOUR NEEDS, GIVE AL MYERS A TRY. NONE BETTER. I GUARANTEE IT. GIVE HIM A TRY! WHY??? 'CAUSE I SAID SO!!!!

RECENTLY, I HAD OPPORTUNITY  TO MAKE A WONDERFUL PURCHASE OF A VERY FINE, SUPERBLY CRAFTED POWER RACK, BUILT BY OUR OWN AL MYERS. I DIDN”T REALLY NEED IT, AS I PURCHASED ONE FROM ANOTHER OUT FIT A COUPLE YEARS AGO. IT WAS VERY BASIC, BUT WELL BUILT, STURDY AND FUNCTIONAL. HOWEVER, WHEN I SAW THAT AL WAS IN BUSINESS, I JUST COULD NOT RESIST AND HAD TO HAVE ONE OF HIS CREATIONS.

CHRISTMAS CAME A COUPLE WEEKS LATE BUT THAT WAS OKAY. ALONG WITH DELIVERY CAME TWO YOUNG MEN TO ASSEMBLE THE RACK RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, SO THIS WAS A WIN/WIN SITUATION. I STILL HAD A LITTLE WORK TO DO TO ATTACH IT TO THE FLOOR BUT THAT WAS MINOR, IN RELATION TO SETTING IT UP.

WHILE I WAS WORKING PLACING THE RACK IN IT’S PERMANENT POSITION, I HAD SOME THOUGHTS THAT MADE ME CHUCKLE. THE ONE THAT KEPT COMING BACK TO ME WAS, ‘WELL, OLE MAN’, NOW YOU HAVE THIS FANCY ASS RACK AND YOU ARE TOO OLD TO PUT ANY SERIOUS WEIGHT ON IT!’ THEN IT OCURRED TO ME JUST HOW ‘LONG’ I HAD WAITED TO HAVE SOMETHING OF THIS QUALITY, WITH ALL THE ‘BELLS AND WHISTLES’ AND SUCH. IT WAS THEN THAT I STARTED A TRIP DOWN ‘MEMORY LANE’.

I GOT OUT OF COLLEGE IN THE MID-SEVENTIES; WITHOUT A DEGREE, I MIGHT ADD. I IMMEDIATLEY WENT TO WORK IN THE ‘OIL PATCH’. MONEY WAS TIGHT, THE WORK WAS HARD AND, SOMETIMES, HARD TO FIND. WHAT IS REFERRED TO, THESE DAYS, AS ‘DISPOSABLE INCOME’ WAS NON-EXSISTANT. WHY MY WIFE, GUNNER, LET ME BLOW THREE BILLS ON A YORK OLY SET IS WELL BEYOND MY COMPREHENSION. TO THINK I COULD ‘BLOW’ MONEY ON SOMETHING AS EXTRAVIGANT AS STORE BOUGHT LIFTING EQUIPMENT WAS OUT OF THE QUESTION.

SO, HAVING RUDIMENTARY WELDING SKILLS, I SET ABOUT MAKING MY OWN EQUIPMENT. THE NAME OF MY FIRST ‘GYM’ WAS ‘THE SCRAP IRON WEIGHT HOUSE’. IT DOES’NT TAKE A GENIUS OR DEEP THINKER TO FIGURE OUT WHY AND HOW IT GOT IT’S NAME. EVERYTHING I MADE WAS FROM THE ‘BONE YARD’ OF SCRAP METAL WE HAD AT THE FARM. I STILL HAVE THE BENCH I MADE AND MY FRIEND CONTINUES TO USE THE SQUAT RACKS I THREW TOGETHER (WHICH WILL BE ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT COULD POSSIBLY LIVE FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS, THAT’S HOW HEAVY AND DURABLE IT IS).

THE THING I WAS (AM) PROUDEST OF, HOWEVER, IS THE POWER RACK THAT I MADE, WITH MY DAD’S ASSISTANCE. I SCROUNGED FOUR 4 X 4s FROM AN OLD CRATE WE HAD AND DAD BORROWED A DRILL PRESS FROM A SHOP HE HAD CONNECTIONS WITH. WE HAD A ‘DOWN’ SATURDAY SO WE GOT TO WORK. DRILLING THE HOLES TOOK TWO HOURS AND WE FIGURED, WHEN WE WERE DONE, THAT WE HAD DRILLED 33’ FEET OF ‘HOLE’(COMING FROM THE ‘OIL PATCH’, THIS WAS IMPORTANT TO US!! HAHAHA). WITH SOME ANGLE IRON FOR SUPPORTS AND ‘SUCKER’ ROD FOR CROSS PIECES, I WAS IN BUSINESS!

THAT POWER RACK SERVED WELL UNTIL ABOUT 2007, WHEN I LOST THE PLACE I HAD BEEN LIFTING IN DUE TO AN ‘ECONOMIC DOWNTURN’. IT WAS A COUPLE YEARS BEFORE IT WAS PUT BACK IN USE.

ALL OF THESE THINGS WERE SWERLING OVER AND OVER IN MY HEAD AND I STOPPED AND MARVELED AT HOW FAR WE (GUNN AND I) HAD COME. I WAS SETTING UP A RACK THAT I, REALLY, DID’NT NEED AND WAS APROACHING AN AGE WHERE I COULD NOT, IN ALL SERIOUSNESS, USE TO IT’S FULL CAPABILITIES. DON’T MISUNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING. I WILL CONTINUE TO TRAIN JUST AS HARD BUT IN NO WAY WILL THIS RACK GET WORKED AS HARD AS IT IS FULLY CAPABLE OF. I KNOW I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT HAS BEEN DOWN THIS ROAD, IT’S JUST VERY HARD FOR ME TO REALIZE THAT I AM AT ‘THAT’ TIME IN MY LIFE! AT THIS POINT, I AM FIGHTING JUST TO SAVE WHAT I HAVE!!

FOR SOME REASON, I THOUGHT OF THE MOVIE, ‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’. GEORGE IS COURTING MARY AND STANDING IN FRONT OF A HOUSE WHERE AN ‘OLDER’ MAN IS SITTING ON THE PORCH, READING A PAPER. GEORGE IS STRUGGLING WITH WHAT TO DO AND THE OLE GUY HOLLARS, ‘WHY DON’T YOU GO AHEAD AND KISS HER?!’ AS GEORGE JUST STANDS THERE, MOTIONLESS, THE MAN GETS UP FROM HIS CHAIR AND STARTS WALKING TO THE DOOR TO GO INSIDE. AS HE IS WALKING, HE SAYS, IN DISGUST, ‘AWWW, YOUTH IS WASTED ON THE YOUNG!!!’

HOW TRUE, HOW TRUE! WHEN WE ARE YOUNG, WE HAVE NO COMPREHENSION OF TIME OR WHAT LIFE HAS IN STORE FOR US. AS GEORGE DID, WE MUDDLE THRU BEST WE CAN, AND, USUALLY, AS CHEAP AS WE CAN. IT IS ONLY WHEN WE REACH A CERTAIN AGE THAT WE CAN BE A BIT MORE EXTRAVIGANT AND PURCHASE SOMETHING WE REALLY WANT, NOT NECCESARILY WHAT WE NEED.

STILL, AGED OR NOT, LOWER WEIGHTS BE DAMNED, I WILL ENJOY THIS HOLLAND STRENGTH RACK AND PUT IT TO USE AS BEST AS AN ‘OLD GUY’ CAN. I WILL, WITHOUT A DOUBT, VERY MUCH APPRECIATE IT, AS IT HAS TAKEN FORTY YEARS TO ACQUIIRE.

ODD, IT SEEMS AS THOUGH IT WERE JUST YESTERDAY THAT I ………………………………….

The Dreaded “Participation” Award

by Thom Van Vleck

Every so often I have this same conversation with Al Myers and Chad Ullom.  Since Al and I are pretty conservative and Chad went to the University of Kansas (the liberal bastion of the midwest) Chad likes to make fun of the fact that Al and I give out participation awards.  The way Chad sees it is that as conservative guys we should believe in “you get what you earn” and that “only winners get awards”.   This goes all the way to how they don’t keep scores in youth sports then everyone gets a trophy at the end of the season.  “Everyone is a winner” mentality that some think is leading to the downfall of America.

Now I’m picking on Chad a bit.  He’s not really that liberal…at least for a guy that went to KU!  But I think he does see it as contradictory that Al and I would believe in the idea you get what you earn then turn around and hand out awards to everyone.  The reality is I DON’T HAND OUT AWARDS TO EVERYONE! I never will!  You do get what you earn.  I also believe in keeping score, winners AND losers, and competition is healthy in all aspects of life.

So how do I believe in all those things and hand out awards to seemingly everyone that comes to my meets?  Here’s how I look at it.  When I went to boot camp we started with over 80 in my platoon.  We ended up graduating 66.  We lost almost 20 guys!  They got booted out along the way.  Some flat out quit, some got booted for not being good enough, I know blew out his knee and was saying he might not recover enough to come back.  In the end those that completed the task won the prize:  The honor of being called a United States Marine!

We also had a “Top Marine” award.  The award went to the guy that did the best.  We had a guy Levier.  He was the “Honorman” and his award was a meritorious promotion to Lance Corporal, a plaque, and a set of dress blues.  At that time you didn’t get dress blues out of bootcamp.  You had to buy your own unless you were assigned to a position where wearing the dress blues was part of your job, like and embassy guard.  So it was a pretty nice award.

The point is you had the “Overall” winner who was number one getting the top prize.  Then you had those that passed the test.  They had worked hard and accomplished what others didn’t dare to do or were unable to do for whatever reason.  They were all awarded the title of “Marine”.  I guess that’s how I feel about those that do what others won’t.  They go to the gym, work hard, then have the guts to sign the dotted line and then show up and put it all out there for everyone to see.  I would never give an award to someone who didn’t show up (and yes, I had someone ask for an award that didn’t show…..seemed to think his entry fee entitled him).  I also only give out ONE award that says “First Place” on it.  You better earn it by beating someone.  A few years back I had only one person show up for a class.  They wanted the first place award I had already made for that group…..NO WAY.  Sorry, but you didn’t win because you didn’t beat anyone. So make fun of me if you want.  I will continue to award those that choose to succeed.

Now, I’m going to take this one step further.  I think we have become a nation so obsessed with winning and being number one being the only acceptable outcome we are becoming a nation of drop outs or “never even tried’s”. I recently talked to someone who runs the amateur and pro strongman meets in the USA.  She told me that the number of women competitors has quadrupled in the past few years and she thinks eventually there will be more women than men competing in Strongman.  What are we going to do when that happens?  Change the name to “Strongwoman”?

The reason she gave is one I think is completely true.  She said that guys come in and if they can’t win, they won’t try.  They also fear embarrassment and if there’s one event that will make them look bad they won’t try.  The women, on the other hand, are ready, willing and able to risk failure for the chance at success.  They haven’t been indoctrinated to believe that winning is the only thing in live.  Personal success is their focus.  They check their ego’s at the door.

So, there you have it.  I hand out awards to everyone that completes the task.  You win when you work hard and finish the game regardless of who else showed up and how they did that particular day.    I have a lot of admiration for the guy that sets several Personal Bests over the guy that “mails it in” and wins.  So,  the only participation awards I hand out are those that participated in being successful.

Gold Cup

by Steve Gardner

James Gardner won the overall Gold Cup Award, the Prechtel Memorial Award, with this amazing lift in the Shoulder Drop of 92.5 kilograms!

The Gold Cup took place at the Burton Powerhouse All Round Weightlifting Academy in Burton on Trent on Saturday 25th October. In short…it was a fantastic day! We had 56 lifters entered for the day, the biggest turnout in IAWA’s 28 year history for an International event, with 6 Nations represented (Unfortunately Kim and Graham Alway had to leave before the event started due to a death in the family and our deepest sympathy goes out to them) but it was still a massive event.

I was so proud to be there on the day with so many great people and to witness them performing so many outstanding lifts. Thanks to all the overseas lifters who brought the International Flare. Every lifter brought new energy to the platform and we saw about 50 different lifts performed to exceptional standard, I wish I could mention them all in this report but there are just too many.  There were several records on the day that were the ‘heaviest ever performed’ in IAWA. I know big Mark Haydock had two….one in the 2 Inch Bar Deadlift and one in the Alternate Grip Clean and Press. James Gardner also with a massive 92.5 kilos in the Shoulder Drop, and Neil Keddy too with the French Press I think. James’s lift earned him the ‘Howard Prechtel Memorial Award’ which was presented to him by last years winner  Al Myers’ and Neil Keddys exceptional 60k French Press saw him in the Runners Up spot. The lifting was just ‘Outstanding’ and Frank Ciavattone hit big numbers in the Ciavattone Deadlift. It was great for me to see my 8 year old Grandson Dominic perform a lift to earn a Gold Cup, and my heart melted when I heard he asked his Mum if the cups were real Gold. So proud to have lifted on the same platform as my Wife, and my two Sons: John and James and also my Grandson..three generations! I am so very pleased with the tremendous help from my team members at our Burton Club as they helped load all the lifts for the other loaders. Everyone helped everyone else, and that is what enabled us to get through at least 275 record attempts. The final showdown between Al Myers and his Dad Laverne brought the house down as they went head to head in the struggle for supremacy in the One Hand 2 inch Dumbbell Deadlift, Laverne winning out over Al in the finish. It was most refreshing to have 12 female competitors really leading the way for the Ladies..well done girls, and 8 Junior lifters as well, from young Dominic at 8 yrs, Elena De La Mata at 9yrs through to Matt Jones at 18yrs and Maddie Ell at 19 yrs, well done young ones you are the future of our sport. Our Masters division was really well represented too with 78 yrs old Gerry Davidson our most Senior lifter on the day.

Steve Gardner (right) was presented this new gym sign by IAWA President Al Myers (left) for all his hard work in promoting the IAWA Gold Cup on behalf of the IAWA membership.

It was just so great to have so many people from the IAWA family with me, and the evening Dinner and Presentation was also tremendous. As well as the Gold Cup presentation, I was knocked out by the super present given to me by Al Myers..the stunning Gym sign to hang in the Burton Powerhouse, thanks again big Al. And then later in the evening, well how could anyone forget Nick Swain and his mate Ben performing as ‘ The King Elvis’s..Lol! Just Priceless.Thanks again to everyone, and I mean everyone who helped me to make the day a great success…..Long Live IAWA!

MEET RESULTS:

2014 IAWA Gold Cup
Burton Powerhouse Gym
Burton, England
October 25th, 2014

Meet Promoter:  Steve Gardner

Announcer: Steve Gardner

Recorder: Judy Habecker

Record Keeper: Chris Bass

Loaders: All members from Powerhouse Gym

Officials:  Several IAWA Officials in attendance

Results (PDF) – Gold Cup 2014 Results

Frank Ciavattone – IAWA Award of Merit

by Al Myers

Frank Ciavattone (right) receiving the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit from IAWA President Al Myers.

The “second Frank” that was awarded the IAWA Presidential Award of Merit at the 2014 IAWA World Championships went to Frank Ciavattone. It was a great honor to me to be the one  that got to  make this presentation – as I’ve always looked up to Frank and have considered him a role model.  Below is my presentation speech, for those that were not there to here it firsthand.

I’m honored to be the one that gets to award the IAWA Award of Merit to Frank Ciavattone. This Presidential Award has only been given out a few times, as it represents recognition of the highest form in the IAWA. I could go on forever about Franks lifting accomplishments in the IAWA. As I was doing preparation for this presentation, I realized that Frank has won so many titles and has set so many records and has so many lifting accomplishments that this speech could get very long on me if I wasn’t careful. I’m not going to make Frank stand up here that long – so I’ll just hit a few highlights of his IAWA lifting career. I’ll try to keep this speech as short as I can here.

• Started training in 1971 under coach Joe Mills of the Central Fall Weightlifting Club
• Began involvement in the IAWA in 1988
• IAWA World Championship Meet Promoter 1993, 2000, 2014
• IAWA Gold Cup Meet Promoter 2010
• Holds MANY IAWA World Records
• First US lifter to lift the Dinnie Stones barehanded in 1995
• Won 20 IAWA World Championship titles
• Founder of Franks Barbell Club, and has mentored and coached many new lifters
• Best lifts: One Arm Hack 402.5#, One Arm Deadlift 562.2#, One Arm Ciavattone DL 331#, Neck Lift 808#,Hand and Thigh 1610#, Hip Lift 2515#
• Lifted overseas 7 times – in 6 IAWA World Championships and the Millennium Gold Cup

I’m sure I’ve left off many of Frank’s accomplishments within the IAWA in this short list – but you get the idea here – he has been a major contributor to the IAWA during the entire span of the history of the IAWA. I would like to say a few words about why Frank REALLY deserves this honor. I made this comment in Frank’s USAWA Hall of Fame writeup, and I would like to repeat it here as I think it sums up Frank Ciavattone – “Frank is the ultimate sportsman by demonstrating that a big man can be very strong without the use of drugs, showing that strength comes from within, and displays the unselfish attitude of always helping out his fellow competitors.”

When I first became involved in this great sport of all round weightlifting , I immediately took notice of Frank. We both shared being in the heavier weight classes together. But instead of becoming heated opponents, Frank encouraged me in ways I wasn’t expecting. My involvement in IAWA might not have matured like it has if not for Frank Ciavattone. He has been an inspiration to me, as well as many others, to become more involved in IAWA. Frank has always strived to “give back” to our sport more than he has taken. We would not be here this weekend if not for Frank.

Frank – I consider you a great friend. You are more than deserving of this Presidential Award of Merit and it is my privilege to be the one to get the opportunity to present this award to you. Thank you for all you’ve done for our sport.

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