Tag Archives: Chad Ullom

Grip Championships

By Al Myers

2017 USAWA GRIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

Chad "Grizzly" Ullom won Overall Best Men's Lifter at the 2017 USAWA Grip Championships.

Chad “Grizzly” Ullom won Overall Best Men’s Lifter at the 2017 USAWA Grip Championships.

The USAWA Grip Championships last weekend at the Dino Gym was a huge success! A total of 17 lifters (5 women and 12 men) turned up to make this one of the biggest attended USAWA competitions in the past year. There was lots of great lifting – so much I will not be able to cover it all here.

The Womens Division was packed with 5 great lifters. RJ made the trip from Colorado, Mary Mac, Tressa and newcomer Saria came from Omaha, along with last years defending best lifter champion Emily Burchett. The Mens Division had a house full of seasoned grippers –  defending champ LaVerne Myers, 2012 World Champ Dan Wagman, grip sensation Ben Edwards, and Chad Ullom.  I knew that this years titles were up for grabs.

The Pinch Grip was the first lift of the day.  Most of the lifters had no idea what their max was in this lift, so as you can tell from the results listed below, alot of the lifters did a 4th attempt for record. The best lifts were by Dan Wagman, Chad Ullom, and Jason Payne, who all finished with a superb lift of 226 pounds.

The second lift was the Fulton DB one arm deadlift. The Fulton DB has a handle with diameter of 2″ so this makes the gripping a real challenge. Mary Mac had the top womens mark with 95 pounds, while Chad had the top men’s mark with 195 pounds! This new record by Chad is the best overall record lift ever in this lift by either hand, and matches the historic record set many years ago by Kevin Fulton. I was very impressed. LaVerne Myers had the second best lift with 185 pounds.

The third lift was the Middle Fingers Deadlift. Again, Mary had the top womens lift here with 195 pounds.  Very, very impressive.  Mary has always been great at this lift (she holds the top womens lift in the record list at 230 pounds), and on this day showed she still has it! The top mens lift went to Chad with a lift of 285 pounds.  Both Dan and Ben had been training hard for this lift in training and had suffered finger injuries that prevented them from taking all out maxes in the meet.  However, after Ben’s conservative 225# opener he made a big jump to 320# to try for a new PR.  He had the weight locked out but just a millisecond before he was to get the down command the bar popped out of his fingers, taking a chunk of flesh with it! O so close!

The meet finished with the Fulton Bar Hack Lift. Two women made a 200 pound lift (Emily and Saria) and four men were over 300 pounds (Chad 450, Zach and Ben 325, and Dan 305).  Chad really stole the show here with his huge 450. Plus I should mention that up through 3 events LaVerne was in the lead in total points, but after Chad’s and Dan’s big hacks he got passed by them and dropped to third overall. Ben provided a little humor in this event as he lifted his opener facing backwards! The funniest part of it all was that he didn’t do it on purpose and was a little embarrassed afterwards.

In the end RJ won overall best lifter in the Women’s Division over the best class of women’s lifters EVER in the Grip Championships.  RJ was very prepared for this meet and picked her attempts perfectly. She is now a 3X winner of the Overall Best Womens Lifter at the Grip Championships.  Saria shows alot of potential in the All Rounds.  In the mens division we had a newcomer to the USAWA – John Douglas.  I always like to see new lifters involved in our organization, especially great guys like John.  John ended up getting BEST LIFTER in the 50-54 age group in a hotly tested and competitive age group with Lance and Jason being part of. I was tremendously impressed with the two Junior Men lifters – Christian and Calvin.  Both these guys showed grit all day and it came down to a very close finish for best Mens Junior lifter with Christian edging Calvin 799 points to 793 points. I also want to mention Jason Payne.  Jason has lifted in meets at the Dino Gym before, but its been a few years.  Jason has a huge grip (he still holds the Dino Gym record with the hub lift) and if it wasn’t for the Hack Lift which gave him problems he would have placed much higher overall.  Got to mention our USAWA Prez Denny Habecker.  Denny just had surgury on a finger a couple of months ago but STILL lifted in the meet and did quite well.  That takes courage (or stupidity! haha).  The “effort award” has to go to Dan with his Fulton Bar Hack Lift.  Dan has plenty of strength in the Hack but had problems getting the bar past his hammys, and had to go to his third attempt to get it!  He never gives up.

I want to thank everyone for attending this meet, and lets make it another epic Grip Championships next year!

Meet Results:

2017 Grip Championships
February 11th, 2017
Dino Gym
Holland, Kansas

Meet Director: Al Myers

Scorekeeper & Announcer: Al Myers

Official (1 official system used): Al Myers

Lifts: Pinch Grip, Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, One Arm, Deadlift – Middle Fingers, Deadlift – Fulton Bar

WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AG BWT Pin DLDB MFDL DLFB TOT PTS
RJ Jackson 55 106 156 (161) 80R 155 190 581 936.7
Emily Burchett 25 149 166 (201) 90R 160 (175) 180 (200) 596 638.0
Tressa Brooner 55 128 97 (107) 75R (80R) 115 (120) 130 (140) 417 576.5
Saria De La Vega 17 163 107 (112) 75R 150 185 (200) 517 547.5
Mary McConnaughey 57 304 161 (171) 95R 195 —- 451 383.9

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Pin DLDB MFDL DLFB TOT PTS
Chad Ullom 45 246 226 180R (195R) 285 450 1141 967.6
Dan Wagman OP 185 226 150L 255 305 936 874.0
LaVerne Myers 72 238 205 185R 185 190 765 827.8
Christian Schimpf 18 154 171 (201) 120R 200 250 741 799.1
Calvin Heit 15 141 151 (166) 100R 135 235(245) 621 793.6
Ben Edwards 41 228 205 150R 225 325 905 767.8
Zach Lucas 31 262 161 175R 225 325 886 686.6
Denny Habecker 74 196 161 (176) 105R 150 110 526 641.4
John Douglas 53 318 166 155R 215 185 721 580.5
Dean Ross 74 246 107 (112) 115L 160 150 532 574.6
Jason Payne 51 333 205 (226) 150R 225 110 690 534.4
Lance Foster 51 340 191 115R 215 130 651  499.4

NOTES: Age is listed in years. BWT is bodyweight in pounds.  All lifts recorded in pounds. R and L designate right and left hands. TOT is total pounds lifts. PTS are overall points adjusted for age and bodyweight. Extra lifts for records are recorded with parenthesis.

BEST LIFTER AWARDS

RJ Jackson – Best Women’s Master and Overall Best Lifter
Emily Burchett – Best Women’s Senior
Saria De La Vega – Best Women’s Junior
Chad Ullom – Best Men’s Master 45-49 and Overall Best Lifter
Dan Wagman – Best Mens Open
LaVerne Myers – Best Mens Master 70-74
Christian Schimpf – Best Mens Junior
Ben Edwards – Best Men’s 40-44
John Douglas – Best Men’s 50-54

RECORD DAY LIFTS

RJ Jackson  – 55 years old, 106 lbs.
Deadlift – Inch DB, Right: 61 lbs.
Deadlift – Inch DB, Left: 58.5 lbs.
Finger Lift – Little, Right: 36.5 lbs.
Saxon Snatch: 35 lbs.
Teeth Lift: 54 lbs.

Dan Wagman – Open age group, 184 lbs.
Curl – Cheat, 2 Dumbbells: 190 lbs.
Saxon Snatch: 110 lbs.
Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm: 187 lbs.
Deadlift – No Thumb, Right Arm: 187 lbs.
Vertical Bar Lift – 1″, 1 Bar, Right Hand: 261 lbs.

Denny Habecker – 74 years old, 197 lbs.
Lateral Raise – Standing: 50 lbs.
Vertical Bar Lift – 1″, 1 Bar, Left Hand: 91 lbs.
Vertical Bar Lift – 1″, 1 Bar, Right Hand: 106 lbs.
Vertical Bar Lift – 1″, 2 Bars: 182 lbs.
Press – Behind Neck, From Racks: 110 lbs.

Calvin Heit – 15 years old, 142 lbs.
Deadlift – Heels Together: 220 lbs.
Curl – Cheat, Dumbbell, Right Arm: 60 lbs.
Curl – Cheat, Dumbbell, Left Arm: 65 lbs.

Chad Ullom – 45 years old, 246 lbs.
Squat – Front: 396 lbs.
Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip: 440 lbs.
Curl – Cheat, Dumbbell, Right Arm: 115 lbs.

Dean Ross – 74 years old, 244 lbs.
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1″, 1 Bar, Left Hand: 106 lbs.
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1″, 1 Bar, Right Hand: 106 lbs.
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1″, 2 Bars: 212 lbs.

LaVerne Myers – 72 years old, 241 lbs.
Deadlift – Fulton DB, Left Arm: 180 lbs.
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Left Arm: 170 lbs.
Deadlift – 3″ Bar: 235 lbs.
Vertical Bar Lift – 2″, 1 Bar, Left Hand: 165 lbs.
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 125 lbs.

Al Myers – 50 years old, 227 lbs.
Bench Press – Roman Chair: 180 lbs.
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Right Arm: 180 lbs.
Deadlift – Fulton DB, Right Arm: 180 lbs.
Back Extension: 180 lbs.
Curl – Cheat, Reverse Grip: 180 lbs.

Gold Cup 2016: My Take

by Thom Van Vleck

gold-cup

Thom Van Vleck inducts Chad Ullom and Al Myers into the Hall of Fame at the awards banquet for the 2016 Gold Cup.

I was recently honored to be asked to help out at the the 2016 Gold Cup.  To be honest the main reason for me to be there was to induct my friends Al Myers and Chad Ullom into the Hall of Fame. An honor they both deserved and I hope I did them justice with their induction speech.  They are very deserving.

I helped out with the set up, take down, and other logistics of running the meet. It was held in the old Union Pacific train depot in downtown Abilene, Kansas.  A very historic city and a great place to hold a meet.  The location was perfect, the meet was well run, and I don’t think you could ask for a better set up for some great lifting.  Al Myers was the Meet Director and he did a great job and had lots of help.  Steve Gardner announced and he is very smooth on the microphone and his knowledge of the lifts makes him the right man for the job.

I also had the privilege of judging most of the meet.  I am a level 2 judge and I have judged at some big meets over the years for the USAWA and IAWA.  I take it very seriously.  Judging also gives me a front seat to all the action (plus I don’t have to load….I’ve done my fair share of that,too!).

All in all, another great meet.  While Al did a great job this was like every other USAWA meet I’ve ever been a part of.  Everyone chips in to make it happen!  Great job to all!

 

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.

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.

Dino Gym Challenge

by Thom Van Vleck

2015 DINO GYM CHALLENGE

Group picture from the 2015 Dino Gym Challenge - (front left to right): Kyle Jones, Chad Ullom, Eric Todd, Lance Foster, (back left to right): LaVerne Myers, Dave Glasgow, Dean Ross, Thom Van Vleck

The Dino Gym Challenge was held at the Dino Gym near Abilene, Kansas on January 17, 2015. Meet director Al Myers has held this meet the 3rd weekend in January for some time and I believe I’ve attended most of them. Every year Al comes up with a new challenge and this year his focus was the deadlift. There were five lifts contested and six lifters showed to test themselves against the iron.

The first lift was the Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip with the Fulton Bar. This lift can be very humbling as the Ciavattone grip is a double overhand grip with no hooking allowed. The deciding factor is the grip and having a Fulton bar that is 2 inches in diameter just adds to the difficulty. Two time Highland Games Masters World Champion Dean Ross was the oldest competitor present. He pulled in 203 pounds. He was matched by Lance Foster. Eric Todd made a 256lb pull. Eric just turned 40 so he’s now in the master’s class. Newcomer Kyle Jones, who has been training with Al Myers recently, pulled 276lbs. Kyle is 27 years old and recently out of the Army. He was matched by Dave Glasgow who was more than twice Kyle’s age. Both pulled 276lbs. Chad Ullom was the only lifter to get more than 300lbs. He finished a nice pull of 323lbs.

The next lift was the one hand deadlift. Everyone went right handed on this lift. Dean Ross got things started with a 164lb effort. Lance and Kyle tied with 242lbs. Dave Glasgow pushed the bar over 300lbs with a nice 314lb effort. Eric Todd pulled 363lbs. Normally this would wind most meets but Chad Ullom really excels at this event and he when over the 400lb barrier with a 418lb pull. Chad one one more pull left and he chose to go to a record 453lbs! Everyone was pretty excited to see this feat and it got pretty loud as Chad pulled the bar to the finish position. He basically had the lift completed, then disaster struck. Chad said later he thought the bar was slipping out. It wasn’t the bar slipping….it was Chad’s skin tearing away from his hand! As the bar popped out and dropped back to earth a flap of skin shot across the platform. It was pretty ugly, but Chad taped it up and the meet continued. I think everyone there took a photo of his hand and it was soon all over social media. Everyone likes a good train wreck!

The Third lift was the Deadlift, no thumbs, overhand grip. Dave Glasgow ended up missing his opener. Dean was next out at 253lbs and Lance Foster ended with 303lbs. Eric Todd was next at 325lbs and Kyle made 369lbs. Chad Ullom was the only lifter to make it to 400 with a nice 402lber. Considering his right hand was taped and the damage done, I was impressed he could pull anything at all.

The fourth lift was the Deadlift, Ciavattone Grip. This time Lance was the first out with a 297lb pull. He was followed by Dean Ross at 314lbs. Eric Todd had 347lbs while Dave Glasgow matched the youngster Kyle Jones at 374lbs. Chad Ullom waited everyone out before even starting his pulls and eventually hit the meet best at 467lbs.

Chad Ullom pulling a new USAWA record in the Heels Together Deadlift at 551 pounds.

The last lift was the Deadlift, heels together. This lift was sure to produce the heaviest poundage lifted for the day. It also, in my opinion, produced a couple of the best efforts of the day. Dean got us started with a 242lb lift with Lance pulling 352lbs. Eric Todd pulled 402lbs. Then Dave Glasgow called for 418lbs. He missed it and called for it on his third attempt. He had such a tough miss I think most of us thought this would be a really tough lift. It was as tough lift, but Dave pulled it through nicely! Kyle Jones finished his first every USAWA meet with a 452lb pull. Hopefully we’ll see more of him. I know he had much more in the tank but he had never even seen some of the lifts, let alone practiced them. Oh…wait, I almost forgot! Chad Ullom called for 551lbs for his final attempt. He pulled it so cleanly that he honestly made it look easy…..making it one of the best efforts of the day along with Dave’s comeback third attempt.

Once the points were tabulated the top three included Eric Todd (3rd), Kyle Jones (2nd) and Chad Ullom (1st). Dave Glasgow might have given Chad a run for his money had he not bombed on one of the lifts. I know he certainly would have been 2nd. Dave looked as strong as I’ve seen him in years! Overall, we had a great day for lifting and it seemed to me that everyone had fun. Other than Chad’s skin tear there were no injuries.

Al Myers was the meet director, I was the scorekeeper and announcer, while Laverne Myers was the judge (single judge system). The lifters all took turns helping load. After the meet we all hung around telling some stories. That is one of my favorite things, the “after meet glow”. It looks like we have several meets coming up but this was a nice start to the new year.

MEET RESULTS:

Dino Gym Challenge
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas
Saturday, January 17th, 2014

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official (1-Official System Used): LaVerne Myers

Scorekeeper: Thom Van Vleck

Lifts: Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip, Deadlift – One Arm, Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip, Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip, Deadlift – Heels Together

LIFTER AGE BWT DL-FBCG DL-1 DL-NTOH DL-CG DL-HT TOT PTS
Chad Ullom 43 255 323 418-R 402 467 551 2161 1765
Kyle Jones 27 244 276 242-R 369 374 452 1713 1376
Eric Todd 40 263 256 363-R 325 347 402 1693 1322
Dave Glasgow 61 261 276 314-R 0 374 418 1382 1309
Dean Ross 72 260 203 164-R 253 314 242 1176 1216
Lance Foster 49 323 203 242-R 303 297 352 1397 1077

NOTES: All lifts recorded in pounds. AGE is age in years. BWT is bodyweight in pounds. TOT is total pounds lifted.  PTS are adjusted points corrected for age and bodyweight.

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