Tag Archives: Dan Wagman

Iron Warrior Record Day

By Dan Wagman, PhD, CSCS

THE 2017 IRON WARRIOR RECORD DAY

Dan Wagman pulling 726 pounds in the Kennedy Lift!

Dan Wagman pulling 726 pounds in the Kennedy Lift!

On August 27, Denver’s Iron Warrior Gym hosted another USAWA Record Day. This gym’s perfect for all-round as it’s spacious, has several platforms, and tons of weights. Still, it’s obvious that the people training and coaching there aren’t familiar with the diversity of strength tests all-round offers. This time three lifters attempted to rewrite the record book while RJ Jackson and Jarrod Fobes judged.

Daryl Jackson, a University of Colorado student, has a varied martial arts background and is relatively new to all-round, though he was named Lifter of the Month in April, 2017. Considering how demanding his studies are, he thought it best to only contest two of his favorite lifts, the pull-up and chin-up. He started with the pull-up where he was successful with a new record of 95 pounds and missed 105. He wasn’t happy with that because he was hoping for 110 but I suspect that the super strict nature of pulling required by USAWA impacted how much he could lift; he missed his first two tries at 95 pounds on technicalities. But he kept his spirits high, supinated his grip, and gave the chin-up all he had. He missed his first attempt with 90 pounds, got it on his second, and had just enough energy left to declare, “I’m smoked. I’m done.”

RJ tasked her co-meet director Jarrod with judging her lifts. Of the five lifts she chose, the one she was most psyched about was the deadlift—index-finger. An aspect of concern to her were the types of injuries seen in this lift, “I was worried about the potential of snapping a tendon or ligament in my finger,” she explained. A few years back she set the USAWA record in that lift to establish a high standard. Then she dug deep in to training science, finger anatomy and physiology, and developed a training approach that allowed her to increase her record by 25 pounds; “I’m just amazed at how much strength I was able to gain with just those two fingers,” she told Jarrod.

Another lift RJ was excited about was the dumbbell-to-shoulder. Al Myers wrote a recent blog entry about it, unfortunately only one female—and a 13-year old at that—has met this challenge. So RJ thought it time to test herself and she smoked 75 pounds on her first attempt. To my dismay she decided to leave it at that. I really would’ve enjoyed seeing her throw around 100+ pounds. Next time, right?!

As to me, I was fortunate in being able to rotate between RJ and Jarrod for judging. Since I rely exclusively on the latest scientific developments in training and competition, I enjoy a decided advantage over those who prefer myth and conjecture. And so I seek out challenges beyond other competitors or the record book. For this Record Day I decided to see if I could devise a science-based training regimen that would allow me to break the Open deadlift—index-finger and middle-finger records in the same meet and in so doing also exceed the Open IAWA records, all while remaining injury free. I was successful on both counts with my index-finger but failed within inches of lockout to unofficially break the world record with my middle-fingers.

But that Al Myers and his darn blogs….Well into my training for the finger-deadlift-challenge I read Al’s blog entry on the Kennedy Lift. This lift I had never done and so I reasoned that it would constitute a great personal challenge to crank out some big weight with only three weeks of training left. To meet the challenge of putting resistance training research to the test I had to figure out how to most effectively manipulate all training variables so that in a short period of time I could lift a maximal amountof weight while, again, remaining injury free—this latter point has become most important to me over the 30+ years I’ve been competing in various strength sports. Principles of physiology dictate that I needed to focus primarily on having my nervous system learn the new movement; strength development had to be secondary. To do so with maximum effect I trained the Kennedy eight times in three weeks and manipulated all remaining training variables in very specific ways. Very quickly, however, I realized that I just might have challenged myself beyond what’s reasonable…

Dan almost made 331 pounds with his middle fingers! He had it close to lockout when his fingers gave way!

Dan almost made 331 pounds with his middle fingers! He had it close to lockout when his fingers gave way!

Due to the high frequency of training the Kennedy it invariably fell a few times on the same day as my finger deadlift work. Since I trained the finger deadlifts first, the result was drastically reduced grip strength for the Kennedy. But based on the many biomechanics studies focused on grip strength and training studies about maximizing gains in the type of muscle contraction unique to the vast majority of grip-strength tests, I wasn’t deterred; I knew the approach would generate supercompensation. In addition, to aid in grip strength recovery between finger deadlifts and the Kennedy I decided to throw in the press-dumbbell as an “intermission” for my main challenges.

Upon warming up for the Kennedy it became apparent that I had made tremendous gains in strength; my opener and second attempt were smoke. So I decided to give 766 a ride to break Al’s (yes, THAT Al) all-time record. But what good are strong legs, a strong back, and perfect technique if you can’t hold on to the bar? Despite the awesome gains made, grip strength remained the weak link in the Kennedy chain. Nevertheless—Hail Science!

Meet Results:

Iron Warrior Record Day
Iron Warrior Gym
Denver, Colorado
Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Meet Directors: RJ Jackson & Jarrod Fobes

Lifts: Record Day

Officials:
RJ Jackson – 1 Official Jarrod Fobes
Daryl Jackson – 1 Official RJ Jackson
Dan Wagman – 2 Officials Jarrod Fobes & RJ Jackson

RJ Jackson – F, 55 years old, 105.8 lbs. BWT
Dumbbell to Shoulder: 75 lbs.
Seated Press, from Rack: 70 lbs.
Side Press – Dumbbell, Right: 40 lbs.
Deadlift – Index Fingers: 105 lbs.
Side Press – Dumbbell, Left: 35 lbs.

Daryl Jackson – M, 27 years old, 152 lbs. BWT
Pull Up: 95 lbs.
Chin Up: 90 lbs.

Dan Wagman – M, Open Class, 182.6 lbs. BWT
Deadlift – Index Fingers: 216 lbs.
Deadlift – Middle Fingers: 316 lbs.
Press – Dumbbell, Left: 101 lbs.
Press – Dumbbell, Right: 101 lbs.
Kennedy Lift: 726 lbs.

Lifter of the Month – Dan Wagman

By Al Myers

Dan Wagman pulling 227 pounds on the middle finger lift in training.

Dan Wagman pulling 227 pounds on the middle finger lift in training.

The USAWA Lifter of the Month for December is Dan Wagman.  Dan has totally dominated the USAWA Postal Meets this year, winning BEST LIFTER in all of them! He finished off the quarterly postal meets by winning the USAWA Postal Championships in December.  His Postal Meet success this year earned him the overall winner in the yearly Postal Series.

Congrats Dan on being the Lifter of the Month!

Iron Warrior RD

by RJ Jackson

Meet Report And Results
IRON WARRIOR RECORD DAY

Dan Wagman pulls  a big Middle Finger Lift at the meet!

Dan Wagman pulls a big Middle Finger Lift at the meet!

This year we were hoping for more lifters but instead had our lowest turn out. Jarrod Fobes trained for the Record Breakers and had a good heavy training day two Saturdays before the meet. Unfortunately he ended up hurting his upper back thus crushing any hope of competing. Fortunate for us, this meant he gave his full attention to setting up, judging, time-keeping, scoring, loading, and whatever else we needed.

Stephen Santangelo was hoping to fly in from Florida. Unfortunately he aggravated a previously torn leg muscle. So he was knocked out of attending, too.

Notwithstanding, Dan’s first lift, a 380 lbs. BP-feet in air (FIA) not only beat the USAWA record but unofficially exceeded the IAWA record of 364 lbs. Though Dan was not able to pull though his second attempts for both the FIA and Bench Press-reverse grip, both were near misses. However, he did not let this affect his other lifts. His wrist curl, Jefferson Fulton bar lift, and finger lifts, were all solid except when he ripped the skin off of his right index finger. Seeing Dan nail the 503 lbs. Jefferson Fulton bar after getting it somewhat stuck on his hamstring was probably the most suspenseful to watch.

As for me, I am most proud of my dumbbell walk that took 2 years of training to unofficially beat the IAWA record.

I would like to thank Jarrod for running the meet and the owners of Iron Warrior Gym for the use of their facility. It is difficult to compete in a gym that is not set up for serious strength athletes, especially during maximal effort attempts. However the Iron Warrior gym definitely gave us full support. There were ample calibrated and fractional plates, numerous bars, chalk, plenty of space, free choice of music, and in general a supportive lifting atmosphere. Basically we were able to lift and do our thing and as a result I have not felt so good from lifting in a long time. It was a very good day.

MEET RESULTS

Iron Warrior Record Day
1610 West Evans Ave
Denver, CO 80010
December 27, 2015

Officials: Jarrod Fobes and RJ Jackson

Lifters:

Dan Wagman: open division, 85 kg weight class
Bench press, feet in air:  380 lbs.
Bench press, reverse grip: 355 lbs.
Bent-over row:  335 lbs.
Finger lifts, index, LH:  137 lbs.
Finger lifts, index, RH:  132 lbs.
Finger lifts, middle, LH:  201 lbs.
Finger lifts, middle, RH:  201 lbs.
Jefferson lift, Fulton bar:  503.5 lbs.
Wrist curl:  300 lbs.

RJ Jackson: 54 years old, 50 kg weight class
Abdominal raise:  30 lbs.
Bearhug:  102.5 lbs.
Swing, 2 dumbbells: 60 lbs.
Clean & Press, middle fingers: 40 lbs.
Clean & Press, reverse grip: 65 lbs.
Dumbbell walk: 52.5 lbs.
Deadlift, Fulton dumbbell, left: 67 lbs.
Deadlift, Fulton dumbbell, right: 77 lbs.
Deadlift, fingers, ring: 80 lbs.
Deadlift, fingers, index: 80 lbs.
Deadlift, one leg, right: 105 lbs.
Deadlift, one leg, left: 95 lbs.
Finger lifts, index, left: 70 lbs.
Finger lifts, index, right: 77 lbs.
Kelly snatch: 40 lbs.

Colorado RB

Dan Wagman is back in action, performing a USAWA record lift in the Wrist Curl! (photo courtesy Dan Wagman)

By Dan Wagman, PhD, CSCS

MEET REPORT:  2014 Colorado Record Breaker

On December 27, 2014 four lifters got together at Denver Martial Arts (DMA) for record-breaking attempts in varied types of all-round lifts. Jarrod Fobes, our meet director, trains and teaches martial arts at DMA and they have a weight room in the basement that’s equipped with the essentials, so I had to bring some of my all-round toys. Prior to commencing the Record Breaker, Ruth Jackson and I “warmed up” via maximal efforts in the Postal National lifts. Although the results of all lifters across the country competing in this Postal event will be posted soon, I’m happy to report that Ruth’s pullover and push broke the USAWA record by a large margin, as did my deadlift-dumbbell-one arm-left.

I suppose I was the one to start the Record Breaker festivities because immediately after pulling the deadlift-dumbbell-one arm-left for the Postal I pulled the same weight with my right arm, thus registering the first Record Breaker lift of the day. After Ruth completed her Postal lifts she transitioned smoothly into her Record Breaker attempts while meet director Jarrod Fobes and new USAWA member Marcus Lucero were going through the record book in an effort to determine which lifts to choose for record attempts.

Ruth seems to have never-ending passion for lifting weights and putting scientific training to the test on the platform. Besides the three Postal lifts, she broke records in 17 additional lifts. Although women-specific research into an athlete’s muscles does account for why a woman could do so many maximal attempts more easily than a man, I’m amazed that she has the psychological wherewithal to do so. After the meet Ruth explained that she was most proud of her finger and grip lifts. She recalled that it was exactly two years ago that she first met Jarrod when he put on a Record Breaker. At the current event she was able to increase her strength in the little finger lift by nearly 20 pounds, in the ring finger lift by 12 pounds, and in the middle finger lift by 34 pounds. She was also stoked about taking her dealift-no thumbs-overhand from 155 pounds to 175 pounds.

Ruth is a perfect example of how shedding old training fiction from one’s programming and replacing it with new science-based information can result in unparalleled and continuous gains, but there can also be a dark side to doing so. You see, I had employed one of the latest science-based training methods referred to as Intra-Set Rest or simply ISR.* In addition, since there was no need to travel the day prior to the meet I was able to train most of my competitive lifts heavily the day prior. As a result I ended up severely underestimating my strength in most of my lifts. To illustrate, my deadlift-dumbbell-one arm ended up being 35 pounds over what I had thought I could do. In the deadlift-middle finger I had projected a training gain of about 10 to 15 pounds over the record I set a year ago but ended up turning an almost 40-pound increase into repping weight and running out of attempts. The situation was similar with almost all other lifts. Bear in mind that in general terms, these training approaches take the knowledge exercise scientists have acquired about neuromuscular physiology to provide you with something akin to a rubber band effect in which your gains slingshot ahead (in science lingo referred to as supercompensation, a term often misapplied and misunderstood when training for it). The dark side of this, however, is that it’s difficult to know exactly by how many pounds your performance will slingshot ahead on competition day. That, however, is a downside I can live with. Heil science!

Jarrod’s passion for martial arts is undeniable and it has resulted in a world championship win. But he’s one of those guys who understands to what extent lifting weights can enhance his performance on the mat. And when he approaches the weights, he does so as if all Norse warrior gods are behind him. Sadly, a back injury has prevented him from training to the extent that he’s used to and thus he tried to keep his record attempts to only four lifts. Despite his lack of training, his Turkish get up with a barbell was smooth and solid and it seemed as though he derived the most pleasure out of quickly getting a feel for Thor’s hammer, a lift he’s never done before. His 40.5-pound attempt shows that with more practice he’s going to turn that lift into “Jarrod’s Mjölnir.”**

Showing up out of the blue was Marcus Lucero. Initially, as Ruth and I started with our Postal lifts, I got the impression that he was one of the martial arts guys who just got done training upstairs and wanted to see what all the yelling, grunting, and groaning—mainly by Ruth—was all about. Turns out, however, that he’s been an avid reader of old-time strongmen and one book/article made reference to USAWA, he learned about the Colorado Record Breaker, and decided to head down to Denver from northern Colorado to see what all-round is all about. Jarrod was very welcoming and gave Marcus a quick primer on the basics, then they both started to sift through the record and rule books. Marcus was, in my estimation, a bit overwhelmed by all of the possibilities in all-round. As he seemed to contemplate his approach he was helpful in loading the bars for us and decided that the dumbbell side press would be his first lift. Unfortunately he got out of the grove in his first attempt at 84 pounds. Yet after some rest he came back and smoked it. His dumbbell Turkish get up was so smooth, you’d think that’s the way he gets out of bed every morning. He revealed to us that he’s had some practice through wrestling in a similar movement. He then decided to join Jarrod in tossing Thor’s hammer, but although he was able to register a USAWA record, the requisite coordination and balancing strength in his wrist proved a real challenge. Although he’s a much quieter and reserved lifter than Jarrod and I, he seemed to have enjoyed the challenge and I hope to see him in many more USAWA meets.

I’d like to thank the owners of DMA for allowing us to lift in clouds of chalk and Jarrod for putting on another Record Breaker. And the fact that Ruth and Jarrod also judged is much appreciated. Till next time…

*Disclaimer: Implementing ISR is a complicated process in which you need to manipulate all training variables based on physiological adaptation patterns specific to your goals. Without doing so you’ll end up like the guy who wants a faster truck, throws in a 600 hp engine, and wonders why he keeps snapping axles and his driveline, and why his stock tranni ends up on the asphalt behind him. Thus, simply “doing ISR” will prove ineffective on one end of the spectrum and injurious on the other.

** Mjölnir is the name Thor gave his hammer.

MEET RESULTS:

Colorado Record Breaker
Denver, Colorado
December 27th, 2014

Meet Director:  Jarrod Fobes

Officials (1 official system used); Jarrod Fobes, Ruth Jackson

Lifts: Record Day Session

Ruth Jackson – 53 years old, 106 KG BWT
Bench Press – Reverse Grip: 100#
Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip: 175#
Curl – Wrist: 115#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Hand: 170#
Press – Dumbbell, Left Hand: 40#
Clean and Press – Fulton Bar: 73#
Clean and Push Press – Fulton Bar: 83#
Thor’s Hammer: 20.5#
Finger Lift – Little, Left: 28.8#
Finger Lift – Little, Right: 33.8#
Finger Lift – Ring, Left: 48.8#
Finger Lift – Ring, Right: 48.8#
Finger Lift – Middle, Left: 68.8#
Finger Lift – Middle, Right: 78.8#
Pinch Grip – Left Hand: 50.4#
Pinch Grip – Right Hand: 55.4#
Teeth Lift: 52.8#

Jarrod Fobes – 37 years old, 197# BWT
Bench Press – Left Arm: 95#
Turkish Get Up: 96#
Abdominal Raise: 45#
Thor’s Hammer: 40.5#

Dan Wagman – Open Age Class, 185# BWT
Deadlift – Middle Fingers: 275#
Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip: 345#
Bentover Row: 320#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 350#
Curl – Wrist: 275#

Markus Lucero – 23 years old, 170# BWT
Side Press – Right: 84#
Thor’s Hammer: 35.5#
Turkish Get Up: 119#

Postal Series 2013

by Al Myers

Dan Wagman performing a 350 pound Reverse Grip Bench Press at the recent Dino Gym Record Day.

As the first quarterly postal meet of 2014 is less than 30 days from being completed, I finally got the results from the 2013 Postal Series tabulated.  The USAWA has 4 postal meets per year (March, June, September, and December), with the last one being designated as the Postal Championships.  All these together make up the Postal Meet Series.  Each postal meet a lifter competes in generates points for him/her, that total up for the final Postal Series Ranking.

The way the points are generated is pretty simple.  I take the overall placings of the meet and then reverse “the count” for the points earned for each lifter.  I.E – if three lifters compete lifter number 1 gets 3 points, lifter number 2 gets 2 points, and lifter number three gets 1 point.  The Postal Championships is worth “double points”. Obviously then, as more lifters enter more points can be earned for winning the meet, and ALL lifters earn points regardless where they place overall.  Just entering will earn points toward the Postal Series Ranking.

Overall there was good participation in the USAWA Postal Meets last year.  A total of 18 lifters competed in the various postal meets.  The first Postal Meet had 17 lifters, the second had 9 lifters, the third had 9 lifters, and the Postal Championship drew 11 lifters.   Several lifters competed in ALL of the postal meets last year and they deserve to be recognized.  These lifters are Ruth Jackson, Dan Wagman, Sam Rogers, Orie Barnett, Denny Habecker, and John Wilmot.

Now for the overall rankings for the 2013 USAWA Postal Series!

WOMENS DIVISION – TOP TWO

PLACING LIFTER MEETS ENTERED POINTS
1 Ruth Jackson 4 6
2 Gabby Jobe 1 1

MENS DIVISION – TOP TEN

PLACING LIFTER MEETS ENTERED POINTS
1 Dan Wagman 4 51
2 Orie Barnett 4 35
3 Al Myers 2 32
4 Sam Rogers 4 30
5 Barry Bryan 2 29
6 Chad Ullom 2 26
7 Eric Todd 3 22
8 Denny Habecker 4 18
9 John Wilmot 4 15
10 Les Cramer 2 15

Congrats to Ruth Jackson and Dan Wagman for being the OVERALL WINNERS of the 2013 USAWA Postal Series.  On top of winning the series both of these lifters won EACH and EVERY Postal Meet of 2013!  That has never been done before in the history of the USAWA Postal Series.

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