Tag Archives: Dino Gym Challenge

Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers

The Mike “Murdo” Murdock Memorial Meet

Group picture from the 2016 Dino Gym Challenge.

Group picture from the 2016 Dino Gym Challenge.

The weather was great, the day was great, and the lifting was great!  That sums up this year’s Dino Gym Challenge.  I was SO impressed with the lifters that showed for this year’s Dino Gym Challenge.  Mary and Tressa made the trip from Nebraska, Lance and ET from Missouri, Dean from Oklahoma, and Denny and Art from Pennsylvania. Add in Dave, Chad, and Emily from Kansas and we had FIVE STATES represented!  Quite impressive for a gym meet in Holland, Kansas.

Emily Burchett made her lifting debut in the USAWA.  Emily is an excellent highland game thrower and has been throwing for many years.  I remember her start in the games over 10 years ago.  I think she started competing when she was 12 or 13.  Her lifting was superb – and she seemed to get stronger on the lifts as she learned them with further attempts. Her explosive strength that she has developed from the HG showed – as demonstrated by her 80 pound dumbbell swing!

It is always a pleasure having Mary and Tressa at meets.  They are full of energy and bring everyone’s lifting “up a notch”. I want to thank Dean for purposing that we do the Dino Gym Challenge this year in honor of the memory of Mike Murdock.  Dean and I picked 5 of Mike’s favorite lifts for this meet.  Several stories were shared about Mike throughout the day.  We will never forget Murdo and the influence he has had on us and the USAWA.

I can’t say enough about Denny and Art.  These two made the long trip from PA in a car.  Very few would drive 2 days to a meet, lift for 2 days, and then drive 2 days home.  Add on that they will do this again within the month when they come back for the Grip Championships!

Great lifts that I will remember: Emily’s 80# DB Swing, Mary’s 165# Bent Over Row, ET’s 130# Crucifix, Dave’s 105# Rectangular Fix (should I mention that this was the top fix of the meet?), and Chad’s “near miss” at a 600# Trap Bar Deadlift.

I want to thank my dad LaVerne for judging the event and my wife Leslie for providing the lunch.  Another great Dino Gym Challenge has been put “in the books”!


Dino Gym Challenge
Dino Gym
Abilene, Kansas
January 16th & 17th, 2016

Meet Promoter: Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): LaVerne Myers

Lifts: Crucifix, One Arm DB Swing, Rectangular Fix, Bent Over Row, Trap Bar Deadlift


Emily Burchett 24 152 50 75R 55 105 198 483 510.0
Tressa Brooner 54 130 40 35R 35 90 176 376 509.5
Mary McConnaughey 56 312 60 55R 55 155 220 545 455.0

Emily Burchett DB Swing 80#R
Emily Burchett Rectangular Fix 60#
Emily Burchett Bent over Row 160#
Tressa Brooner DB Swing 40#R
Mary McConnaughey Bent Over Row 165#


Al Myers 49 230 70 105R 85 275 529 1064 969.2
Chad Ullom 44 255 40 125L 90 275 562 1092 900.7
Dave Glasgow 62 260 50 95L 105 225 429 904 864.9
Denny Habecker 73 196 60 70R 70 185 308 693 838.8
Dean Ross 73 258 60 55L 70 185 341 711 743.9
Art Montini 88 172 40 30L 35 80 203 388 563.8
Lance Foster 50 340 40 60R 80 245 308 733 557.3
Eric Todd 41 258 120 65R 95 175 220 675 537.6

Eric Todd Crucifix 130#
Denny Habecker Bent Over Row 195#
Dean Ross Crucifix 70#
Dean Ross Bent Over Row 195#

NOTES : BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All lifts recorded in pounds. R and L designate right and left arms. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are overall adjusted points for bodyweight and age correction.


Officials (3-official system used): Al Myers, Chad Ullom, Denny Habecker, LaVerne Myers, Art Montini

Chad Ullom – Age 44 years, BWT 258#
Weaver Stick  4#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Left Hand 142#
Press – Dumbbell, Left Arm 100#
Abdominal Raise – Roman Chair 70#
Deadlift – Stiff Leg 375#

Al Myers – Age 49 years, BWT 230#
Deadlift – Inch DB, Left Hand 140#
Deadlift – Inch DB, Right Hand 140#
Deadlift – 2 Inch DB’s 250#
Abdominal Raise – Roman Chair 70#
Bench Press – Roman Chair 170#

LaVerne Myers – Age 71 years, BWT 243#
Deadlift – Fulton DB, Left Hand 165#
Weaver Stick 5#
Deadlift – Inch DB, Left Hand 140#
Deadlift – Inch DB, Right Hand 140#
Vertical Bar Deadlift – 1 Bar, 2″, Right Hand 177#

Denny Habecker – Age 73 years, BWT 197#
Deadlift – Fulton DB, Left Hand 100#
Deadlift – Fulton DB, Right Hand 100#
Weaver Stick 2#
Deadlift – Inch DB, Left Hand 50#
Deadlift – Inch DB, Right Hand 85#

Art Montini – Age 88 years, BWT 171#
Deadlift – Fulton DB, Right Hand 60#
Deadlift – Fulton DB, Left Hand 60#
Deadlift – 2 Fulton DB’s 120#
Deadleft – Inch DB, Left Hand 50#
Deadlift – Inch DB, Right Hand 50#

Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers


Mike “Murdo” Murdock Memorial Meet

A year ago the USAWA lost a very close friend in Mike Murdock. Murdo was a mainstay at most all the events I’ve held at the Dino Gym over the past 10 years.  He would do it all at meets – lift, officiate, load, and coach.  He never let me down when he would say he would be here to do something.  He was that “type of guy”.

Last summer fellow Dino Gym member Dean Ross and I were visiting at Dave’s Club Championship about Murdo – and Dean suggested that we dedicate the Dino Challenge to Murdo this year.  And part of the event would be that we would do several of Mike’s favorite lifts as a tribute to him.  Of course, I thought this was an OUTSTANDING IDEA!

I have many, many good stories that I could tell about Murdo. But as anyone who knew him knew that he was a very private person, so out of respect I will keep those stories for private conversations and not “broadcast” them on the website.  That’s the way Murdo would have preferred it.

Please put the Dino Challenge and the Murdo Memorial on your lifting calendar this January.


Meet Director:            Al Myers and the Dino Gym 785-479-2264

Meet Date:                 Saturday, January 16th, 2016  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Location:                    Dino Gym, 1126 Eden Road, Abilene, KS 67410

Sanction:                    U.S.A.W.A Memberships cards can be purchased on meet day

Weigh-ins:                  9:00-10:00 AM the day of the meet

Divisions:                   Juniors, Women, Masters, and Open

Awards:                      None

Entry:                         None – but please notify me in advance if you plan to attend



Swing – Dumbbell, One Arm

Rectangular Fix

Bent Over Row

Trap Bar Deadlift

After the meet and the next day there will be time for record day lifts.

Dino Gym Challenge

by Thom Van Vleck


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.


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

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.

Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers


“Herman Goerner Deadlift Medley”

Every year I like to change up the theme of the Dino Gym Challenge to give it variety.   I have honored several of my favorite Old Time Strongmen in the past by hosting meets in their memory, ie Arthur Saxon and Warren Lincoln Travis.   This year the meet will honor the great German lifter and strongman – Herman Goerner.   He was an outstanding deadlifter in many pulling disciplines, so this meet will feature an entire meet of various deadlift movements.  It ought to provide for a very challenging meet.

I encourage prior meet registration, or at least let me know if you plan to attend ahead of time so I can prepare accordingly.  The meet will be held in the Dino Gym on the main platform.


Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip

Deadlift – One Arm

Deadlift – No Thumbs, Overhand Grip

Deadlift – Ciavattone Grip

Deadlift – Heels Together

ENTRY FORM (PDF) – 2015 Dino Challenge Entry Form

Dino Gym Challenge

by Al Myers

Group picture from the 2014 Dino Gym Challenge.

I was quite surprised by the turnout at this year’s Dino Gym Challenge.  On Saturday 8 brave lifters showed up to take on some of the favorite lifts of the famous old time strongman Warren Lincoln Travis.  I decided to have this meet in tribute to WLT – as he has always been one of my favorite old time strongmen.

The teeth lift was the first lift up – and as to the best of my knowledge has never been contested before in a USAWA competition (all USAWA records have been set at record days).  All of us had really no idea of what our capabilities were in this – but ET and myself ended up with the best lifts at 175 pounds.  I felt “maxed out” but ET has much more in him.  Doug Kressly took his third attempt at 95 pounds, and then a fourth record attempt at 155 pounds which he got! Dean Ross about lost a tooth. Larry Traub had the mouthpiece in backwards and cut up his chin with the connecting bolts.  Lance Foster was the smartest by saying “no can do”.

We then moved onto the finger lift with the middle finger using a ring.  It wasn’t really anyone’s favorite – but the lifting surprised me. Eric Todd had the best lift at 200 pounds, and Doug Kressly had a solid 180.   Several pulled skin off the favorite finger – with Dave Glasgow shedding the most blood. I thought I was going to have to get my hot iron to cauterize his wound for a while.

The Kennedy Lift was next on the agenda.  This is an exhibition lift (not an official USAWA lift) which follows the rules of the Peoples Deadlift except includes a straddle stance on the bar.  It was very well received.  I had the top lift at 750 pounds, followed by Larry’s 675. Young Logan Kressly was extremely impressive with his record attempt at 500 pounds. Everyone seemed to enjoy this lift, and by the positive response I got I’m going to propose it as a new OTSM lift.

Doug Kressly Harness lifting as Lance Foster waits his turn.

Now time for the BIG STUFF.  The Harness Lift and Back Lift were a couple of Travis’s favorites.  We started with the Harness.  It took a while to get everyone to figure out how to get the harness’s on, but once they did the lifting was outstanding!  I had the top harness at 2400.  Other impressive harness lifts were Doug’s at 1800, Larry at 1750, and Dave at 1200.  Lance gave an exceptional effort at 1605 to break a 20 year plus record held the one and only Tom Ryan who had held the record at 1600 from the 91 Zercher.  I told Lance I would make sure to tell Mr. Ryan that his harness lift record was no more.

The back lift very rarely gets the chance to be in meets (mainly because it requires a specialized machine!).  I had the top at 2200, followed by Doug at 2000.  However, the youngster Logan really impressed us the most with his 1600.  I told him he may be the best junior in the USAWA right now – and I expect him to be at Nationals to prove it! Dean Ross came into the day sporting a new pair of fire resistant lifting shoes  – and used them to good use to go over 1000 pounds in both the Harness and Back.  I don’t know of anyone else who has fire resistant lifting shoes, but then again, Ross the Boss tends to burn up the platform when he lifts!

I got to thank my dad LaVerne for “sitting in the chair” as head official all day.  He did a marvelous job and no one really gave him any crap.  He judged everyone very fairly, and didn’t give me any breaks either because I’m his sonny boy.  I was very impressed by the help the lifters provided in loading and putting stuff away afterwards.  We had a nice awards ceremony with each lifter getting a Dino Gym Tshirt and a hand made award by me featuring a metal cut-out of Warren Lincoln Travis.  It will be an award that will stand out in everyone’s trophy case (or should I say stand up?).  I know I had lots of fun at this meet – and like I commented on Facebook – “Days like today make me realize how much I like my USAWA family!”


Dino Gym Challenge
Dino Gym
Holland, Kansas
January 18th, 2014

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): LaVerne Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Lifts: Teeth Lift, Finger Lift – Middle, Kennedy Lift, Harness Lift, Back Lift


LIFTER AGE BWT Teeth Fing Kenn Harn Back TOT PTS
Al Myers 47 234 175 155 750 2400 2200 5680 5034.5
Larry Traub 60 206 95 170 675 1750 1300 3990 4242.3
Logan Kressly 15 166 95 95 450 1200 1500 3340 3831.4
Doug Kressly 34 286 95 180 550 1800 2000 4625 3433.6
Dave Glasgow 60 260 105 160 525 1200 950 2940 2763.7
Dean Ross 71 267 75 125 400 1010 1050 2660 2695.2
Lance Foster 48 330 0 155 500 1605 850 3110 2353.9
Eric Todd 39 260 175 200 500 1010 1050 2935 2282.8


Logan Kressly: Teeth Lift 115#
Logan Kressly: Middle Finger Lift 105#
Logan Kressly: Kennedy Lift 500#
Logan Kressly: Harness Lift 1300#
Logan Kressly: Back Lift 1600#
Doug Kressly: Teeth Lift 155#
Lance Foster: Middle Finger Lift 170#

NOTES:  All lifts recorded in pounds. BWT is bodyweight in pounds. All Middle Finger Lifts done with right hand. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are overall adjusted points for age and bodyweight correction.

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