Tag Archives: Chad Ullom


By Al Myers

(Webmasters Note: Over the next month I will be running a series of biography blogs covering all past USAWA Hall of Fame members.  These bios will be added to the history section, under Hall of Fame.)




Chad lives in Topeka, Kansas with his wife Tasha. He has a daughter and 2 stepsons.    He has a BS in Pharmacy and is currently a Pharmacy Manager with Walgreens.  Before he became involved with the USAWA he was a multi-sport athlete in High School, where he played football, wrestled, threw the shotput and discus, and was a yell leader.  After High School he played football at Coffeyville Community College and was part of a national championship team in 1990.  After college he played semi pro football for 2 years before getting involved in the Scottish Highland Games where he competed for over 20 years.

Chad started weight lifting when he was 13 years old when he was training for other sports.   His first competition in the USAWA was in 2005.  Chad was introduced to the USAWA by Al Myers and is part of the Dino Gym Club.  Chad commented, “Al has been a great training partner over the years and I wouldn’t be nearly involved in the USAWA if it wasn’t for Al.  We have travelled to many meets together across the United States and all over the World.”

Chad has long lengthy resume of USAWA National Championships he has competed in. To date he has competed in 8 National Championships (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014).   In each one of these Championships he won the National Championships in his age/weight class.  In 2014 he won the Overall Best Lifter at the Nationals.  In all of his National Championships he has placed very high overall with two second places, three third places, one fourth, and one fifth.    He also has competed in 8 IAWA World Championships (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015).   In the 2010 IAWA World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland he won the Overall Best Lifter Award at the World Championships.   Chad is one of the very few USAWA lifters to have competed at the World Championships in all the countries that have hosted a Worlds – United States, England, Scotland, New Zealand, and Australia.

Chad has also been very involved in the organization besides just as a lifter. He has been the USAWA Vice President since 2010 and has been the Drug Enforcement Director since that time as well.   He has served as a IAWA Vice President since 2012.  He is also a certified USAWA Official and has officiated at many Championship events including at the IAWA World Championships and the IAWA Gold Cups.  In 2012 he was Co-Meet promoter of the 2012 IAWA World Championships in Salina, Kansas.

Chad has won many USAWA Awards. He was awarded the USAWA Athlete of the Year in 2010, 2012, and 2014.  He received Runner Up Awards for the Courage Award in 2015, and the Athlete of the Year in 2009.  He has been an active participant in USAWA Championship Events.  He was the overall best lifter in the 2015 USAWA Grip Championships and the 2012 Old Time Strongman Championships.  He has been the Overall Best Lifter (with teammate Al Myers) in 10 USAWA Team Championships.  He has been the USAWA Lifter of the Month 4 times – April 2012, July 2013, June 2014, and February 2017.  Chad has been very active in the USAWA Postal Series. He has won the Overall Best Lifter in the USAWA Postal Championships 2 times – 2008, and 2012.   In 2012 and 2014 he was the Overall Best Men’s Lifter in the USAWA Postal Series, and has placed in the top ten many times.  In 2012 Chad won the World’s Strongest Two Man Team Postal with teammate Al Myers. Chad owns several USAWA records and is in the top ten of all record holders with over 250 USAWA records.

Chad’s favorite All Round Lifts are the Arthur Lift, Steinborn Lift, and the Neck Lift. In the Arthur Lift he has the top ALL TIME record in the USAWA with a lift of 297 pounds, set at the 2007 USAWA National Championships. He has done a 446 pound Steinborn Lift, which is also an All TIME mark in both the USAWA and the IAWA.  This was done at the 2012 IAWA World Championships.  Chad was the first lifter to break the 900 pound barrier in the Neck Lift, done at the 2011 Heavy Lift Championships. He is currently one of only two lifters who have exceeded 1000 pounds in the Neck Lift.  Chad always has saved his best lifts for the big meets in front of the best officials and many witnesses.  No one can question the authenticity of his great lifting ability and records because of this.


Chad is a very modest Champion.   He often downplays his success and is always a great supporter of the other lifters.   He will help anyone out, and often at meets will be lifting, officiating, and loading all at the same time.  After the meet he will be the one doing the most work cleaning up.  At the banquets and social functions associated with the USAWA Chad is always the life of the party.  Anyone who knows him knows he just truly enjoys being part of the overall meet experience.   When asking him about his favorite part of competitions, he responded, “I love to compete and test myself but I really enjoy the comradery with the other lifters more.   I have some great friends that I only get to see at competitions and it’s always a great excuse to travel!”

That sums up Chad Ullom, a truly humble well-liked Champion in the USAWA.

Dinnie Stone Gathering

By Chad Ullom

Group photo of the Dinnie Stone lifters.

Group photo of the Dinnie Stone lifters.

When I first heard from Stevie Shanks that he was hoping for a gathering of anyone that had lifted the Dinnie Stones to come together at Potarch I couldn’t have been more excited!  I got my Dinnie trainers back out and started working up to the full weight.  At some point in May, I saw that there were plans to walk the stones over the bridge!  I let my ego get the best of me and sent Stevie a message that I’d like to give the walk a shot! Just as I was thinking this was a bad idea, Stevie sent me the schedule with the rules.  A carry and drop would be allowed and you can continue as long as your hands don’t let go.

My wife and I really made a great trip out of this!  We did a great tour of Scotland, spent a couple of days on the Orkney islands and really had a great trip.  Even managed to lift the Dalwhinnie Stone a few days prior.  The night we arrived in Aberdeen we met a really nice American staying at our hotel who didn’t have a car or anything to do so we invited him to the Aboyne games with us the next day.  The Aboyne games were amazing!  As we were walking into the gate, we hear “and now her Majesty the Queen will douse the new caber with Scotch to officially dedicate the newly made Aboyne games caber…”  What???!!  The Queen was here??  The crowd was huge, so we never got a chance to see her, but on the news that night saw that, sure enough, it was Queen Elizabeth.

I knew the Dinnie stones were usually at the Aboyne games, but couldn’t see them anywhere.  We met up with Travis Willingham and decided to walk around after watching some the Highland Games comp and finally went to the overseas tent.  There they were!  We had walked right past them when we arrived but the crowd was too big to see.  The butterflies started right away!  Jim Splaine, Jack and Stevie Shanks along with James Grahame from Australia were posing for a pic right when we got there!

The morning of the gathering I could hardly sleep.   Our new American friend, Roberto, was really interested so we invited him along.  This really helped Tasha, because I wasn’t in much shape for conversation for the whole day!   As soon as we were ready to make the drive, the butterflies started.  We got registered and just started talking to old friends and making new ones.   It was great to see the people that showed up for this, Stevie did an outstanding job.  Terry and Jan Todd from Texas were there, David Webster, Bruce Aitken (maybe the greatest scottish hammer thrower of all time!) and many others.

Chad setting up for the Dinnie Stone walk.

Chad setting up for the Dinnie Stone walk.

The lifting started at noon and I was scheduled to walk at 2:50! The waiting was really tough!  It was even harder because a lot of people that had lifted the stones in the past were really having a hard time.  I was starting to second guess my walk attempt and thought seriously about just jumping in  for a lift.  As I was on my way to the car, Mark Haydock talked me out of it.

After the lifting attempts were finished, they moved the stones to the bridge.  They had us all line up and we paraded up to the bridge being led by a pipe band!  That was a great moment.  Luckily, I was second up so I didn’t have to wait too long.  There were mats laid out across the bridge and the first person to attempt, Brian Irwin from Northern Ireland, made it all the way!

Finally, it’s my turn.  To make sure I had enough energy to go as far as possible after talking to some people about, I was trying to pull just enough to clear the ground and move them.  For some reason, the light stone was giving me more trouble.  At one point, I dragged it to catch up and got a warning for this from Stevie.  If it happens a 3rd time, you have to stop.  I think I made it about 10 feet and my legs just gave out on me, I wasn’t getting any more clearance at all.

Travis Willingham, Stevie Shanks, Jim Splaine, Chad Ullom, Jack Shanks, and James Grahame at the Aboyne Games.

Travis Willingham, Stevie Shanks, Jim Splaine, Chad Ullom, Jack Shanks, and James Grahame at the Aboyne Games.

After two more attempts, Mark Haydock was up last and he really put on a show!  I had been watching his training leading up to this, and the only question in my mind was if he was going to try and carry them side by side the whole way!  In the end, Mark did the straddle like everyone else.  He completed the 17 feet in 1:40! About 2/3 of the way, he smashed the small stone into his right ankle and there was concern that he had really damaged it or possibly torn his Achilles.  In the end, it turned out to be nothing serious (thankfully).

This was such a special event to be a part of, I really wish Al and James Gardner could have been there, but each had other commitments.  I was extremely honored and humbled to be a part of it.  I can’t thank Stevie Shanks enough for putting this together.  It was conceived while they were making Stoneland.  If you haven’t seen that, put that on your list immediately!  It has been viewed over 16 million times on youtube.

Lifter of the Month – Chad Ullom

Al Myers

Chad Ullom pulling 195 pounds on the Fulton Dumbbell for a new USAWA record at the 2017 USAWA Grip Championships.

Chad Ullom pulling 195 pounds on the Fulton Dumbbell for a new USAWA record at the 2017 USAWA Grip Championships.

The USAWA LIFTER OF THE MONTH for February is Chad Ullom.   Chad won the overall Mens Best Lifter in the USAWA Grip Championships in February against a very tough field of grip lifters.  He finished the meet off strong by setting a big lift in the Fulton Bar Hack Lift.

Congrats Chad!!!

Grip Championships

By Al Myers


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, Hack Lift – Fulton Bar


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


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.


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


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


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!


1 2 3 17