Tag Archives: Al Myers

Lifter on the Month – Al Myers

by Chad Ullom

Al and his award at the Gold Cup.

Al and his award at the Gold Cup.

The lifter of the month for November is our Secretary and Webmaster, Al Myers! Al competed in the Gold Cup and won the Howard Prectel trophy. Al represented the USAWA in the Belmont Heavy events in Perth and won the masters class! While in Australia, he also set a new record in the Power Row and on his second lift set a record in the Thumbless DL. Way to go Al!
Congratulations!

Belmont Heavy Events

by Al Myers

Al Myers throwing the 56# Weight over the bar in Perth, Australia.

Al Myers throwing the 56# Weight over the bar in Perth, Australia.

When I was in Australia for the IAWA Gold Cup, meet promoter John Mahon organized a couple of other competitions in the days following the Gold Cup.  This made a full weekend of competition activities for our enjoyment!  The day after the Gold Cup a Heavy Events competition was contested at the Belmont Athletics Club.  The Highland Games were a major passion of mine for 20 years.  Between the ages of 20 and 40 I competed in over 300 games all over the US and Scotland, but NEVER in Australia!  I have been “retired” from the Highland Games for the past 10 years, but when John presented me with this unique opportunity to throw the heavy weights and turn a caber in Australia I couldn’t pass it up!  I knew I would be a “little rusty” since I have barely touched a throwing weight for 10 years, but once I got started it was alot like riding a bike – the technique was ingrained into my nervous system and I felt just like the “old days”.  Now others things have left me (like my speed, power and explosion!), but  when I picked the caber I felt solid with it technique wise and was able to turn it!  I even got to compete in the Masters Class which I have never done before in the games.  I had a GREAT TIME!  I really enjoyed the friendly competition I had with the Perth Powerhouse Peter Phillips.  We spent much of the day bantering with each other, but both of us gave it all we had. Days like this one make me remember why I love the Highland Games so much! There were a couple of young throwers in the open class that have unreal ability. I hope that they “stick with it” because both of them could have a bright future as the next great Australian Highland Gamer.

Thanks John and “the crew” for hosting this event. Who knows? It might inspire me to come out of retirement and hit the Highland Games circuit next year!

Team Champs History

by Al Myers

8 time USAWA Team Champions Chad Ullom and Al Myers performing a 430 pound Heels Together Clean and Press in the first USAWA Team Championships in 2007.

8 time USAWA Team Champions Chad Ullom and Al Myers performing a 430 pound Heels Together Clean and Press in the first USAWA Team Championships in 2007.

It is my goal this year to create a historical summary of all our Championship Events, which will be always easily available to view in our historical archive page section on the website.   I plan to do this around the time of each Championships.  Since the Team Championships is already “done and gone” it is time I get this one summarized!  I have promoted and hosted all of the USAWA Team Championships at the Dino Gym, with the first year being in 2007.  Hard to believe – but next year will be our 10th year for this annual Championship event.

The USAWA Team Championships started out as a very small competition.  Only ONE TEAM showed up the first year, and that was only because I talked Chad into being my teammate. Well, the next year didn’t get much better when Chad told me he couldn’t make it so I talked Joe Garcia into being my teammate.  Again, it was just one team.  Joe commented to Bill (which was published in the Strength Journal) that “it was really cozy laying so close to Al” during the Team Pullover and Press.  I would think the enjoyment of that experience would have motivated Joe to return to the Team Championships – but I haven’t seen him at this meet since!  It was at that time that I think Bill probably thought I should have “put a fork” into this Team Championships idea and kill it off – and I was having my doubts as well – but I forged on for another year.

In 2009, the Team Championships started to pick up momentum! Participation DOUBLED with 2 teams in attendance. Thanks to the JWC Graybeards for showing up it finally made for a real competition – a ONE ON ONE DUEL. Thom and John vowed a rematch with Chad and me – but again they have not been seen at the Team Championships since.

2010 brought another increase in attendance!  For the first time there was a 70 age plus team competing (Rudy Bletscher and Mike Murdock).  This comp also marked the first time a Team Trap Bar Deadlift was done – which I made specifically for this event. 2012 was a memorable year because it was the first time a Mixed Pair (man and woman) team entered with Doug and Jera Kressly.  At this event the participation was up to 4 teams.  2013 was even better with all 3 divisions represented.  Ruth Jackson and Molly Myers entered the first ever 2-Women Team that year.  The BEST YEAR for attendance was THIS YEAR, 2015, with 6 teams entered.  There were 3 2-Man Teams and 3 Mixed Pair Teams.  This made for a great competitive event.

It has taken about 10 years – but finally I feel this is one of the best attended events in the USAWA.  I’m glad I didn’t “throw in the towel” back in 2008!

 

SUMMARY OF USAWA TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

BEST OVERALL LIFTER TEAM AWARDS

 YEAR & DATE 2-MAN 2-WOMEN MIXED PAIR
2015-August 30th

Al Myers & Chad Ullom

>60: LaVerne Myers & Dean Ross

none Jera & Doug Kressly
2014-August 24th

Al Myers & Chad Ullom

>60: Laverne Myers & Dean Ross

none none
2013-August 17th

Al Myers & Chad Ullom

>60: Denny Habecker & Art Montini

Ruth Jackson & Molly Myers Jera Kressly & Logan Kressly
2012-August 11th

Al Myers & Chad Ullom

>60: LaVerne Myers & Dean Ross

none Jera & Doug Kressly
2011-August 27th

Al Myers & Chad Ullom

>60: Mike Murdock & Rudy Bletscher

none none
2010-August 10th

Al Myers & Chad Ullom

>60: Mike Murdock & Rudy Bletscher

none none
2009-September 20th Al Myers & Chad Ullom none none
2008-September 20th Al Myers & Joe Garcia none none
2007-September 8th Al Myers & Chad Ullom none none

*This table will be maintained and updated in the History Section page on the website.

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 ………………………………….

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