Tag Archives: Clark’s Gym

Clark’s Spring RD

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS – CLARK’S GYM SPRING RECORD DAY

Clark’s Championship Gym was an active day for 2 lifters – Joe Garcia and David Emslie – and 1 busy official Bill Clark. When the Deanna Springs Meet was cancelled due to lack of interest,  Bill turned the day meet sanction into a full fledged record day. Bill stated in his summary letter that Al Springs intended to compete in the Deanna but injured his wrist and could not participate. Let’s all hope Al gets his wrist healed up and back in competition soon.  After entering these 2 guys long list of new USAWA records in this meet results,  I have to wonder if any time in the day was left for the Golden Corral! It is interesting the broad array of different lifts that they set their records in. The USAWA is full of lifting challenges, and Joe and David did their part in taking this challenge on!

Meet Results:

Clark’s Gym Spring Record Day
Clark’s Gym
Columbia, MO
March 28th, 2015

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Officials: Bill Clark and Joe Garcia
(Lifter David Emslie used 2 officials, Joe Garcia used 1 official)

Lifts: Record Day

Joe Garcia – Age 61, Bodyweight 206#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 220#
Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 185#
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 155#
Bench Press – Right Arm: 85#
Bench Press – Left Arm: 75#
Clean and Jerk – Right Arm: 75#
Clean and Press – 2 Dumbbells: 120#
Cyr Press: 80#
Reeves Deadlift: 241#
Deadlift – Left Leg: 135#
Bench Dip: 150#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Left Hand: 128#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Right Hand: 128#
Deadlift – 2 Inch Dumbbells: 236#
Pinch Grip: 130#
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 85#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 70#
Swing – 2 Dumbbells: 120#
Abdominal Raise: 22#

David Emslie – Age 74, Bodyweight 174.75#
Bench Press – Alternate Grip: 130#
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 125#
Bench Press – Right Arm: 45#
Bench Press – Left Arm: 45#
Bench Press – Roman Chair: 75#
Roman Chair Situp: 90#
Abdominal Raise – Roman Chair: 32#
Clean and Press – Behind Neck: 80#
Clean and Press – Alternate Grip: 95#
Clean and Press – Reverse Grip: 100#
French Press: 65#
Clean and Seated Press: 90#
Clean and Seated Press – Behind Neck: 75#
Clean and Press – On Knees: 100#
Snatch – On Knees: 100#
Curl – Reverse Grip: 85#
Curl – Cheat, Reverse Grip: 90#
Rectangular Fix: 85#
Miller Clean and Jerk: 75#
Clean and Press – Middle Fingers: 75#
Good Morning: 100#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 150#
Bear Hug: 210#
Reeves Deadlift: 226#
Bench Dip: 100#
Abdominal Raise: 22#
Clean and Press – Fulton Bar: 100#
Deadlift – 3″ Bar: 235#
Pinch Grip: 120#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Right Hand: 103#
Deadlift – Inch Dumbbell, Left Hand: 103#
Deadlift – 2 Inch Dumbbells: 196#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2″, Right Hand: 125#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 2″, Left Hand: 125#
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 50#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 50#
Pullover and Press: 135#
Pullover and Push: 150#

Clarks RD

by Al Myers

MEET RESULTS

CLARK’S RECORD DAY

Bill just sent me the results from his meet last weekend.  It looks like it was a busy affair!  I’ll start with the bad news before the good.  Bill had sanctioned the Backbreaker along with a record day on this day, but he had no entries in the Backbreaker.  The Backbreaker is a traditional meet in Clark’s Gym that consists of the Hip Lift, Hand and Thigh Lift, Harness Lift, Neck Lift, and the Back Lift.  Truly a grueling ordeal. I’ve done it before and can attest to the extreme soreness afterwards.  Can’t really blame the guys for passing on it!

But the GOOD NEWS is that all round lifting is still alive and flourishing in Clark’s Gym.  Six lifters took part in the record day event.  The day was highlighted by the appearance of Steve Schmidt as he attacked another Guinness World Record.  Steve was successful in adding his name to the Guinness Record Book once again.  Steve, at age 59 and 215 pounds BWT, pulled five nails from wood with his teeth in 7.44 seconds! He then set a second record for most nails pulled from wood in one minute – with an astonishing count of 27!  I will try hard to get a follow-up story on this.

Veteran gym member Joe Garcia set the pace for adding more records to the USAWA record list.  It practically fills up a full page.  I guess now since Joe has passed on keeping the record list up to date to me – he doesn’t mind making a lot of work for me!  I don’t remember him EVER doing that many record attempts in a day when he was keeping up the list!  Great job Joe – and I really don’t mind adding your name many more times! David Emslie continues to be a presence at Clark’s meets, and added many records himself. He set records in ALL combinations with the vertical bars which is quite the accomplishment. Bill Clark, at age 82, still has record setting performances in him.  I was really impressed to see the list of new records he set.  He set a new USAWA record in the Hip Lift with a fine lift of 907 pounds, but in his letter he told me that he hopes to get another 1000# Hip Lift before long.  I should remind everyone that this is done with a plethora of artificial joints, too many to count on your fingers using both hands.

MEET RESULTS:

Clark’s Record Day
November 8th, 2014
Clark’s Gym
Columbia, Missouri

Meet Director: Bill Clark

Officials  (1 Official System Used): Bill Clark, Joe Garcia

Results (PDF): ClarksRD-page1 ClarksRD-page2

Nice Rack! Part II

by Thom Van Vleck

My "Babies!

Some time ago I wrote a USAWA story called “Nice Rack” and it was about a rack of York “Globe Style” Dumbbells that Bill Clark has at Clark’s Championship Gym in Columbia, Missouri.  I jealously admired those Dumbbells and wished I had a set of my own.

As luck would have it, I came across a set for sale through my USAWA friends, namely Larry Traub.  Larry had these and made me an extremely generous offer on them that I couldn’t refuse.  Soon enough, I had them in my possession (after a detour from South Carolina thru Indiana and back to Missouri….a small price to pay!).

The "Crown Jewels" of my collection, the legendary 100lb Globes.

I took off a layer of rust, then laid down a few coats of paint and white lettered the raised “York” and poundage numbers.

I am not a collector, these will be used in my training and by anyone who trains at the JWC!  But if you use them and drop them, you might end up with an Olympic bar as a necktie!   If you break them….notify next of kin!  So, next time you come by the JWC Training Hall…CHECK’em out!  Oh, and once again….Thanks Larry, you made me very happy and they will take these when they pry my cold dead hands from around them!

Clark’s Gym Rules

by Al Myers

The Gym Rules of Clark's Gym. This is posted by the front door and is the first thing you see when you enter the gym.

Every gym has their own rules, but I have found that Club Gyms have completely different types of rules than commercial gyms.  Clark’s Gym Rules pretty much “sum up” how club’s operate different than big commercial gyms. Let’s spend a little time going over Bill’s rules of the gym (while I make a few comments):

Rule # 1: No Drugs or Steroids

This is a big one in most drug-free clubs!! Bill makes it very clear that this behavior will not be tolerated in his gym. I have no doubt that Bill would pursue this to the point of criminal prosecution if someone was “dealing” in the gym premises.  I feel the exact same way in the Dino Gym.  Steroid users are a “rotten apple” in a gym full of drug free lifters.  They must be thrown out with the garbage.  We (the Dino Gym) make our DRUG FREE STANCE well-known and have not had this problem yet.  I do think I would have a “weightlifters intervention” with a fellow friend and gym member before throwing them out. I would enlist help from the gym’s enforcer Scott Tully, who would “slap them upside the head” and tell them “what the **** you doing!!! Quit that **** or your gone!!”  If that intervention didn’t work – then they would be kicked out.

The ironic thing about the whole “steroid scene” is that most commercial gyms don’t really care if gym members “juice”.  It looks good for business if other gym members see guys who are “buff from the roids” and gives them the false illusion if they keep paying their gym dues they will look the same someday. Now if these “roid heads” start grunting to much when lifting or sweat on the equipment – that’s another issue – and will soon be shown the door. Hard training is NOT TOLERATED in most commercial gyms!

Rule #2: No spitting. No profanity. No spitting. No Resin. No Food/Drink.

I put all these in the same rule because they all mean the same thing.  And that is – SHOW SOME RESPECT!  It’s Bill’s gym and he’s the one who has to clean up the mess you made! He doesn’t have a cleaning crew come in at night like a commercial gym has.  I know Bill doesn’t take these rules “to the extreme”  because I have seen some of the above rule number 2’s  “violated” before in Clark’s Gym and Bill didn’t seem to mind much – as long as you didn’t leave a cluttered mess behind!  I face these same issues in the Dino Gym.  If you have to spit – use the trash can, go outside,  or use a “spittoon”.  I don’t mind your water bottles if you take them with you after working out, throw the emptys in the trash, and not leave them on the floor.  Resin or chalk is not a problem – I expect some mess, but don’t crush an entire block on the floor.  I would say “treat the gym as you would your home”, but that might not be a true assessment as some guys are just born slobs.  Treat the gym BETTER than your home.

Now for profanity – that’s hard to prevent totally.  A few choice words after missing your last rep on a set of squats that you should have  made probably deserves a few choice words. But not from you – but from your training partners TO YOU for not putting out enough effort to get the lift!!

Rule #3: Safety first. Unload all weights when finished. Use Spotters. Tighten Collars on all overhead lifts.

This one just makes sense. The collars in the gym are there for a reason – so you can PUT THEM ON THE BAR!  The gym isn’t the beach where a lifeguard is watching to save your carcass when you go out too far and can’t swim back!  There’s no one to save you when you do something STUPID in the gym.  You put spotters at risk as well when you don’t use collars.  I have seen multiple injuries  occur because of collars not being on the bar and plates sliding off.  And PLEASE put the weights back where you found them!  There’s a reason I have plate racks in the gym, and it’s not because I need space to be taken up. Leaving stuff laying around creates hazards that others may stumble over. 

Rule #4: Park only in designated lot

OK – this rule of Bill’s confused me a little. There’s only one parking lot, and it’s right in front of the gym. His gym is the only business within a block.  Often it’s only partially filled because there’s more parking spots than gym members. Where does Bill think I’m going to park? Down the street half a mile at the gas station???  Most weightlifters I know try to MINIMIZE physical activity like walking so I doubt if this rule is very often violated. 

But it’s HIS GYM and he can make whatever rules he wants!!

Awards as Motivation

by Al Myers

This is part of the collection of awards present in Clark's Gym.

I have been in numerous club gyms, and one thing that sets them apart from commercial “chrome and fern” gyms is that there is always an abundance of old trophies, medals, plaques and award certificates hanging around.  Some of these places have awards that are over 30 years old!  Yet, they still bask in their glory of being visible for all gym members to see, as the day they were shiny new.  I always marvel at these old awards, and take the time to check all of them out.  I wonder, “who won this one?, and “what competition did this one come from?”.  This is a sight full of mystery, but at the same time gives you the burning desire of motivation. Anyone who has won an award knows the satisfaction that it brings, and not because of the hardware itself, but the hard work that goes into earning it.  The time in the gym pushing those extra sets, and the commitment and sacrifice training time takes away from the rest of your life.  If it was just the trophy that gave you this fulfillment – go out and buy yourself a big trophy and put wording on it proclaiming yourself the greatest weightlifter of all time!!  I assure you – that award would not mean near as much as the tiny certificate that you won the day you had a personal record lift.

In the Dino Gym I have a large collection of old weightlifting, strongman, and Highland games awards placed on a mantel overlooking the gym.  This mantel runs the entire width of the gym – 40 feet.  Most awards are “double stacked” on this shelf.  I haven’t counted them but it has to be well over 100 trophies. The funny thing is that I have at least that many in boxes in the attic!  When the mantel was full, I had to call it good.  When I first put up this trophy mantel, my wife referred to it as “my shrine” to myself.  I tried to let it slide, but her comment really hurt my feelings (even to this day and that has been a dozen years ago!).  That was not my intention.  I wanted to have a gym that any lifter would take serious when they enter the doors. I wanted us to not just “talk the talk, but walk the walk”.   Displaying hard-earned awards shows a gym newcomer that we are serious about what we do – and that we have the proof to back up what our training is all about. 

The trophy case in the Ambridge Barbell Club.

Most all of the other USAWA Clubs have a “trophy wall” as well.  Last November at the Gold Cup, Frank Ciavattone took me down into his basement which holds Franks Barbell Club.  I was overwhelmed by his collection of trophies and such.  Just a quick glance at this, and ANYONE would know  that Frank was a Champion.  As we browsed through things, Frank had a story on each award.  To him – these trophies were mementos that held a collection of memories from the competitions he has been in.  I have been to the historic Ambridge BBC a few times now, and each time I spend a little time looking over their collection.  Their collection is a lesson in weightlifting history – some awards date back 40-50 years.  The JWC Training Hall has many very unique awards.  Thom has on display some awards that were won by previous JWC members.  Truly a compliment to those that had a significant part of  the JWC history.  Clark’s Gym is another gym that has a great display of awards that is rich in history.  As you look over Clark’s Gym extensive collection of awards, it is a true inspiration.   I could go on with several other examples like these.

The point I want to leave you with is that it is not egotistical to display awards if done for the right reasons.  If it motivates one young kid to change their life by forming a commitment to training and physical fitness that keeps them out of trouble, it is worthwhile!   But now I gotta go – it’s time to polish my shrine!!!  (haha – THAT’S A JOKE!!)

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