Tag Archives: Grip Championships

Grip Championships

By Al Myers

2017 USAWA GRIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

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

WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AG BWT Pin DLDB MFDL HLFB TOT PTS
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

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Pin DLDB MFDL HLFB TOT PTS
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.

BEST LIFTER AWARDS

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

RECORD DAY LIFTS

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.

Grip Championships

by Al Myers

MEET ANNOUNCEMENT –
2017 USAWA GRIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

MEET DETAILS:

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

Meet Date:                 Saturday, February 11th, 2017  1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

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

Sanction:                    USAWA  – Membership required

Weigh-ins:                  12:00-1:00 PM the day of the meet

Divisions:                   Juniors, Women, Masters, and Open

Awards:                     None

Entry:                        None – But please give advance notification if attending

Lifts:

Pinch Grip

Deadlift – Fulton Dumbbell, One Arm

Deadlift – Fingers, Middle

Hack Lift – Fulton Bar

There will be time for record day lifts after meet and the following day.

Grip Championships

by Al Myers

2016 USAWA GRIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

Group picture from the 2016 USAWA Grip Championships.

Group picture from the 2016 USAWA Grip Championships.

If you would have asked me a week before the Grip Champs my prediction for the turnout – I’ll be honest here – I was worried that it might be the smallest attended Grip Champs yet.  But as it turns out this was one of the best Grip Champs the USAWA has seen yet!

Both the women’s and the men’s divisions were hotly contested.  Newcomer Emily Burchett won best lifter in her second meet in less than a month in the USAWA, over veteran lifter Mary McConnaughey. Mary still amazes me with her finger lifts. She pulled on a record attempt 200 pounds in the Middle Finger Deadlift. I remember in my first meet with Mary (close to 15 years ago!) she beat me in the Middle Finger Deadlift in total pounds – something that gave Ole Clark a good reason to kid me about.  But after watching that 200 pounds of hers go up I’m not sure if I could beat her now!  Third place went to Tressa Brooner who showed great effort after just recently having surgery on her wrists.

The Men’s division was full of great lifting all day long.  Last year’s overall USAWA Grip Champion LaVerne Myers had to lift exceptional to defend his title – which he did. He picked his lifts well and maximized his total.  Veteran USAWA grip master Ben Edwards took a solid second place overall. Ben showed us all he still has the strength in those middle fingers of his with an outstanding Middle Finger Deadlift of 315 pounds. Third place overall went to the father of the Ledaig HA club Dave Glasgow. Dave continued his streak of being the ONLY lifter that has competed in all of the USAWA Grip Championships. Dave was solid in all the lifts and put up the top Reeves Deadlift of the day at 290 pounds.

I was so glad to see all the young strong studs show up; Zach Lucas, Adam Kirchman, Vernon Cathey, and Alan English. These guys are all newcomers to the USAWA. They are loaded with lifting talent and each one left weight on the platform as they are just learning these lifts.  Each one of these guys had great attitudes and I could tell really enjoyed themselves throughout the day. Give these young bucks a little more time in the all rounds and they will be the future champions.

I was really amazed to see my ole training buddy Scott Tully show up and compete.  Scott is just coming off major surgery on his knee, that included a tendon reattachment.   I could tell Scott was lifting conservative but he still put up big marks.  He had the second best total of the day at 1130 pounds (just behind Ben’s 1160 pounds) and had the top Inch DB deadlift at 140 pounds. He tied Alan English with the top dumbbell deadlift with a lift of 325 pounds.

Lance Foster and Dean Ross added several new age group USAWA records with their lifting.  Lance took two attempts in the Wrist Curl to set a new record with a lift of 151 pounds.  He missed it the first time and then tried it again with success! Those kind of efforts are what I remember when the day is over.

I want to thank everyone who supported this competition.  I’m already excited about the Grip Championships next year!

Meet Results:

2016 Grip Championships
February 13th, 2016
Dino Gym
Abilene, Kansas

Meet Director: Al Myers

Meet Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): Al Myers

Lifts: Deadlift-Inch Dumbbell, One Arm, Curl-Wrist, Deadlift-Dumbbell, One Arm, Deadlift-Fingers, Middle, Deadlift, Reeves

WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT INCH CURL DBDL MLDL RDL TOT PTS
Emily Burchett 24 153 75R 155 (170) 190R (205) 140 (155) 170 730 767.9
Mary McConnaughey 56 308 80R 150 165R 175 (200) 175 745 625.1
Tressa Brooner 54 129 55R 80 115R (120) 85 75 410 558.4

Successful extra attempts for records in parenthesis.

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT INCH CURL DBDL MFDL RDL TOT PTS
LaVerne Myers 71 238 135R 210 240L 195 255 1035 1111.5
Ben Edwards 40 218 130R 205 (225) 255R 315 255 1160 998.4
Dave Glasgow 62 258 115R 180 280R 170 290 1035 994.0
Zach Lucas 30 241 130R 220 250R 200 280 1080 872.9
Vernon Cathey 31 207 125R 165 (195) 275R (300) 195 225 985 863.5
Alan English 32 240 120R 115 325R 205 280 1045 846.6
Adam Kirchman 31 210 115R 165 (185) 275R 185 185 925 804.3
Dean Ross 73 258 80R 120 170R (190) 155 (165) 225 750 784.7
Scott Tully 40 340 140R 175 300R (325) 230 285 1130 781.7
Lance Foster 50 337 80R 140 (151) 170R (190) 225 225 840 641.3

Successful extra attempts for records in parenthesis.

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

RECORD DAY SESSION

Al Myers – 49 years old, BWT 230#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Left Arm 320#
Deadlift – Dumbbell, Right Arm 365#
Deadlift – Reeves 330#
Pinch Grip 205#
Curl – Wrist 275#

LaVerne Myers – 71 years old, BWT 240#
Pinch Grip 172#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip 242#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Left Arm 154#
Deadlift – No Thumb, Left Arm 176#
Deadlift – No Thumb, Right Arm 176#

Dean Ross – 73 years old, BWT 260#
Back Lift 1300#
Bench Press – Feet in Air 185#
Bench Press – Hands Together 155#
Bench Press – Reverse Grip 155#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar 175#

History of Grip Championships

by Al Myers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dave Glasgow has been the only lifter who has competed in every year of the USAWA Grip Championships.

This year will be the 6th year for the USAWA Grip Championships.  It officially started in 2011.  The Grip Championships purpose is to recognize the best lifters in the USAWA for grip strength based on the official USAWA lifts. I have hosted this event every year at the Dino Gym.  It has been a continual event since it began with no missed years!  Each year it is contested on the second Saturday in February.

The USAWA has several lifts that emphasize grip strength.  One of the stipulations of any Championship event in the USAWA is that it MUST contain only official USAWA lifts. Also – the scoring for a Championship event must follow the USAWA scoring guidelines.

The focus of grip strength amongst USAWA lifters started years ago when Kevin Fulton hosted several SuperGrip Challenges at his gym. They always had good turnouts.  In 2010 I hosted my first grip competition at the Dino Gym, and it was attended so well that the Grip Championships was introduced the next year. Andrew Durniat won the Dino Gym Grip Challenge in 2010, setting several very good records in the process.

History of the Overall Best Lifters at the USAWA Grip Championships

 YEAR  MENS CHAMPION  WOMENS CHAMPION
 2015  LaVerne Myers  Mary McConnaughey
 2014  Dan Wagman  Ruth Jackson
 2013  Troy Goetsch  Ruth Jackson
 2012  Al Myers  None
 2011  Al Myers  Felecia Simms

Now for a little USAWA Grip Championships trivia:

Only 2 lifters have won Best Lifter twice in the Grip Champs – Ruth Jackson and myself.

The Grip Champs is consistently one of the better attended USAWA competitions each year.  The top year in attendance was 2013 with 16 competitors.  It has averaged 11.4 since it started.

Only one lifter has competed in every Grip Champs.  That is Dave Glasgow!  Dave has placed very high each year – 2011-3rd, 2012-4th, 2013-5th, 2014-3rd, and 2015-5th.

Six lifts have been contested twice – Vertical Bar Deadlift, 1 bar, 2″, Vertical Bar Deadlift, 2 Bars, 2″, Dumbbell Walk, Deadlift-Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip, Deadlift-Middle Finger, and the Pinch Grip.

The biggest margin of victory for best lifter was 2011 where I scored 127.1 points over Ben Edwards.

The closest margin of victory for best lifter was 2014 where Dan Wagman scored 6.2 points over LaVerne Myers.

The youngest lifter to win Best Lifter was Troy Goetsch at 27 years of age.  The oldest lifter to win Best Lifter was LaVerne Myers at 70 years of age.

There are several great lifts at the Grip Champs that I’ll always remember.  Among these include: Ben Edwards 310# Middle Finger Deadlift in 2011, Scott Tully’s 394# 2 Bar 2″ Vertical Bar Deadlift in 2012, Troy Goetsch 260# 2″ Vertical Bar Deadlift in 2013, Darren Barnhart and a 250# Pinch Grip in 2013, LaVerne Myers Dumbbell Walk of 123# in 2014, and Kyle Jones 305# Bear Hug in 2015.

Grip Championships

by Al Myers

2014 USAWA GRIP CHAMPIONSHIPS

Participants in the 2014 USAWA Grip Championships held at the Dino Gym on February 8th.

The USAWA Grip Championships turned out to be much more successful than I predicted with the bad weather and snow that preceded it.  At one point last week I was wondering if anyone would show up!  Then to my surprise – 10 lifters made it to the Dino Gym Saturday morning.

Ruth Jackson made the trip from Colorado and was the lone woman lifter in the meet, but even without any “one on one” competition she lifted outstanding. She set several USAWA records enroute to winning the Overall Best Lifter in the Womans Division.  Ruth competes in the same bodyweight class as the Hall of Famer Noi Phumchaona did – so she has some pretty good records of Noi’s to contend with. Ruth also brought me some new plates for my plate collection (which has earned her some bonus votes for the lifter of the month award!!!)

Awards given at the Grip Champs to the Overall Winners.

Where to start with the mens lifters?  That’s pretty easy – we had a newcomer entered in the meet!  Keith Thompson entered his first USAWA meet as part of the KCSTRONGMAN club.  Keith was also the youngest lifter in the meet.  Keith lifted exceptional – with his 310 pound fulton dumbbells deadlift being his highlight lift.  I’m looking forward to seeing Keith entered in more meets.  Other KCSTRONGMEN members Eric Todd and Lance Foster had solid days of lifting as well.

Dan Wagman pulled off a close overall victory over LaVerne Myers and Dave Glasgow.  It came down to the last event (the middle fingers deadlift) to determine the overall men’s champion.  These three ended up very close in points (854 pts for Dan, 848 pts for LaVerne, and 832 pts for Dave) in the final placings.  LaVerne started off with a great record-setting Dumbbell Walk of 123 pounds which was the tops of the meet.  Dave lifted a 308 pound one arm deadlift which was quite impressive, as well as a 290 pound fulton dumbbells deadlift.   However, it came down to “the fingers” (like a lot of past Goerner Meets) to decide the winner – and Dan’s big MF deadlift of 236 sealed the deal for him.

Scott Tully lifted big – and posted the top total of the meet at 1002 pounds.  That’s quite an accomplishment in a field like this.  Scott’s BIG LIFT was his record setting fulton dumbbells deadlift of 322 pounds.  This earned Scott a new USAWA record as well as setting a new DINO GYM record (breaking the record held by Ben Edwards at 320 pounds).   USAWA faithfuls Dean Ross and Mike Murdock rounded out the field.  Dean and Mike have been extremely active in the USAWA over the past few years, and always enhances the meet atmosphere when they are in attendance.

Great day for the USAWA Grip Championships!  I would say this HAS to be one of the best grip champs that the USAWA has had.  I want to thank everyone who made the competition.

MEET RESULTS:

2014 USAWA Grip Championships
Saturday, February 8th, 2014
Dino Gym, Abilene, Kansas

Meet Director: Al Myers

Official (1-official system used): Al Myers

Scorekeeper: Al Myers

Lifts: Dumbbell Walk, Deadlift-2 Fulton Dumbbells, Deadlift-One Arm, Deadlift-Middle Fingers

WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT WALK DL-FDB DL-1 DL-MF TOT PTS
Ruth Jackson 52 107 48-R 130 185-R 95 458 712.8

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORD

Ruth Jackson: Deadlift-Middle Fingers 100#

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT WALK DL-FDB DL-1 DL-MF TOT PTS
Dan Wagman OP 184 103-L 270 303-L 236 912 854.6
LaVerne Myers 69 249 123-R 280 253-L 165 821 848.4
Dave Glasgow 60 259 98-R 290 308-R 187 883 832.8
Eric Todd 39 257 93-R 250 352-R 253 948 741.8
Keith Thompson 27 229 118-R 310 203-R 242 873 724.7
Scott Tully 38 333 108-R 322 341-R 231 1002 692.9
Dean Ross 71 269 63-R 210 162-R 165 600 605.7
Lance Foster 48 330 73-R 210 203-R 181 667 504.9
Mike Murdock 73 193 48-R 130 115-R 115 408 498.3

EXTRA LIFTS FOR RECORD

Dan Wagman:  Deadlift-2 Fulton DBS 290#
Mike Murdock: Deadlift-Middle Fingers 132#

NOTES: BWT is bodyweight in pounds. AGE is age in years. All lifts recorded in pounds. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are adjusted points for age and bodyweight correction.

1 2