Tag Archives: Denny Habecker

OTSM in Australia

by Al Myers

The TOP THREE at the Australian International Old Time Strongman Challenge (left to right): Denny Habecker (3rd), John Mahon (1st), and Graham Saxton (2nd).

The TOP THREE at the Australian International Old Time Strongman Challenge (left to right): Denny Habecker (3rd), John Mahon (1st), and Graham Saxton (2nd).

When I was in Australia for the IAWA Gold Cup, meet promoter John Mahon hosted the very first International Old Time Strongman Challenge following the meet.  I was very excited to see this – as OTSM was started in the USAWA 5 years ago and now other countries in IAWA are getting interested in it.  The founding concept of OTSM is to bridge strongman with All Round Weightlifting by contesting lifts/movements that were favorites of famous Old Time Strongmen and contest them by following the basic format of a weightlifting meet instead of a strongman competition. This means having lifts that can be loaded with the weight of the lifter’s choosing, and allowing 3 attempts to accomplish a max. Also as part of these OTSM lifts rule infractions in the rulebook are a minimum and a lifter is on a 1 minute clock to perform a legal lift.

This was a truly international OTSM challenge. Lifters from Australia, England and the USA took part.  The challenge had a good variety of lifts with the Anderson Squat, the Apollon’s Lift, and the People’s Deadlift being the events contested.  The venue was outside on the lawn of the Belmont Club.  It was a beautiful sunny day for the competition which added to the enjoyment of lifting. Very rarely do you get a chance to lift outside.  It’s a special moment when that does happen.

Steve Gardner was appointed the head official and I assumed the role of timekeeper.  The Anderson Squat was the first event.  John had perfect stands for this event which allowed the plates to be rested on elevated stands.  Graham “Big Red” Saxton took control early with a big 260 KG Anderson Squat! John Mahon put up the biggest Anderson Squat with a 300 KG.  For the Apollon’s Lift, Peter Phillips had made up a beautiful set of replica Apollon’s Wheels for the event.  This made this OTSM event even more authentic! Denny Habecker “Steinborned” the axle to achieve a very fine lift of 56 KG’s. Newcomer Alex Biason performed a very solid 81 kilograms in the Apollon’s Lift.  The People’s Deadlift was very exciting.  I knew beforehand several of the lifter’s would be very close in poundage and it would be a showdown for top lift. Indeed it turned out that way.  Alex hit 215 KG followed by Graham at 225.  John and Peter finished off tied with 250 KG each.

Peter Phillips performing an Apollon's Lift on a set of replica Apollon's Wheels he had made specifically for this event.

Peter Phillips performing an Apollon’s Lift on a set of replica Apollon’s Wheels he had made specifically for this event.

When all the dust settled, John Mahon came out as the overall champion, followed by Graham Saxton in second, and the USAWA OTSM reigning champion Denny Habecker in third.  I was very pleased to see  all participating countries represented in the top three in the inaugural international Old Time Strongman Challenge.  An award was given to the lifter with the top total poundage, and that also went to John with a 656 total.

I was so impressed with this event following the Gold Cup that I plan to  host the second international OTSM Challenge following the Gold Cup next year during my promotion.


2015 International OTSM Challenge
November 29th, 2015
Belmont Sports and Recreational Club
Perth, Australia

Meet Promoter: John Mahon

Head Official: Steve Gardner

Scorekeeper: Sharni Clifford

Lifts: Anderson Squat, Apollon’s Lift, People’s Deadlift

Lifter Age BWT SQ Apo DL TOT PTS
John Mahon 32 115.8 300 106 250 656 515.1
Graham Saxton 53 121.0 260 71 225 556 486.9
Denny Habecker 73 89.9 160 56 172.5 388.5 467.4
Alex Biason 48 118.2 230 81 215 526 445.6
Peter Phillips 62 104.5 120 66 250 436 443.8


Lifter of the month – Denny Habecker

by Al Myers


Denny Habecker pulling on a People's Deadlift at the 2015 USAWA OTSM Championships.

Denny Habecker pulling on a People’s Deadlift at the 2015 USAWA OTSM Championships.

The lifter of the month for September is none other than our USAWA President Denny Habecker!  Denny won BEST OVERALL LIFTER at the USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships hosted by Eric Todd.  The OTSM Championships is one of our premier promotions held every year in the USAWA.  Winning Best Lifter at any of our Championships is a “big deal” in the USAWA!  Congratulations Denny!

OTSM Championships

by Eric Todd


Group picture from the 2015 USAWA Old Time Strongman Championship (left to right): Denny Habecker, Eric Todd, Art Montini, Lance Foster

Group picture from the 2015 USAWA Old Time Strongman Championship (left to right): Denny Habecker, Eric Todd, Art Montini, Lance Foster

September 26, ET’s House of Iron and Stone played host to the fifth annual USAWA Old Time strongman Championship. Though turnout was rather small (mostly due to poor scheduling by the promoter), the lifting was fantastic and the camaraderie was even better. President Denny Habecker and his trusty sidekick Art Montini made the trip from Pennsylvania to lift. Lance Foster came all the way from from Platte City, MO, and I came all the way across the lawn from inside my house. We started off with Thor’s Hammer, which would have the smallest amount lifted of all the disciplines. Lance and I tied for top honors here, both lifting 35.5 pounds. Denny was not far behind with at record breaking lift of 25.5. In the Saxon snatch, Lance and I tied again with lifts of 80 pounds apiece. In the Apollon’s Axle, it was all Lance. At first, it appeared that he had shot himself in the foot, as he missed his first and second attempts. However, he came back on his third and nailed 165 pounds. Denny struggled with the continental, or he would have given Lance a run for his money. The final lift of the day was the People’s Deadlift. It was a battle. Art set the bar with a lift of 300, a record lift of 320, and he was still grumbling afterwards that we had let him start too light. Denny topped him with a 365, then ground out a record 375. At this point, Lance started lifting and topped out at an impressive 460. This lift ultimately allowed Lance to sneak by Art by one point for second place. Top honors, however, went to his majesty, the President, Denny Habecker. It was a beautiful day to catch up with friends and throw around some iron.


2015 USAWA OTSM Championships
ET’s House of Iron and Stone
Turney, MO
September 26th, 2015

Meet Director: Eric Todd

Scorekeeper: Eric Todd

Officials (3 official system used): Eric Todd, Lance Foster, Denny Habecker, Art Montini

Lifts: Thor’s Hammer, Saxon Snatch, Apollon’s Lift, People’s Deadlift


 LIFTER AGE BWT Thor Sax Apoll People Total Points
Denny Habecker 72 87.3 25.5 50 120 365 560.5 680.8
Lance Foster 49 149.1 35.5 80 165 460 740.5 566.7
Art Montini 87 79.1 10 25 60 300 395 565.8
Eric Todd 40 117.3 35.5 80 110 135 360.5 284.1


Denny Habecker: Saxon Snatch 60#
Denny Habecker: People’s Deadlift 375#
Art Montini: People’s Deadlift 320#

NOTES: Age in years. BWT is bodyweight in kilograms. All lifts recorded in pounds. Total is total pounds lifted. Points are adjusted points for age and bodyweight corrections.

Presidential Cup

by Al Myers


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#

Lifter of the Month – Denny Habecker

by Al Myers

Denny Habecker performed one of his favorite lifts, the Pullover and Push, for a new IAWA World Record at the most recent Gold Cup in England.

A big CONGRATS goes to our USAWA President, Denny Habecker, for being selected as the USAWA Lifter of the Month for October.  The “big meet” in October was the IAWA Gold Cup in England, and Denny was there to represent the USA.  Denny has been a loyal lifter at Gold Cups, and can always be counted on to be there on behalf off our organization.   Denny has been a superb leader of the USAWA since taking office as President.  Denny makes a huge commitment to the USAWA and travels the country to various meets as well as being at the Worlds and Gold Cups every year.

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