Tag Archives: James Fuller

NE Record Breakers

By James Fuller

James Fuller doing a 504 pound dumbbell deadlift at the New England Record Breakers.

2013 in East Walpole Mass at Frank’s Barbell Club gravity got told to, “Go take a hike!” Two brothers, Frank and Joe Ciavattone graciously gave of their time and resources so seven of us could show our dominance over the iron. Faces familiar and new pulled, pushed and squeezed to fight for a place in the record books. So much lifting defiance, it seemed like a revolt!

First up in our war on the weights were new lifters Jessica Hopps, 29,  and James Delaney, also 29 and new protégé of Frank Ciavattone.  Jess did some fine lifting with a smile. Her most impressive lift is her 100lb Bent Row. Jess must have some strong back muscles to be able to hold this in position until the down command. Also worth mentioning: she did a Left Arm Ciavattone Deadlift with 110lb!! I’m curious to see what she does next!!

Other new lifter(and Jessica’s fiancée) James Delaney had a superb day!! He was dying to bury a record!! James wasted no time and put a 150lb One Legged Deadlift on the books! After a short tutorial, James then went after a 37lb Turkish Get Up for a good lift. James is just getting his feet wet in the iron pool and with Frank Ciavattone the man himself in his training corner, how can James go wrong? Watch for James to put up some substantial numbers soon. It was great to have a new ‘lifting couple’ here today. I hope everyone gets a chance to meet them!

Third new lifter(isn’t that great….THREE!) is Steve Freides 58 and ready to lift anything not nailed down!!! Previews of Steve’s intent were shown on the USAWA Facebook page. Someone was actually going to do a Van Dam Lift?!?! No, not the Volvo truck commercial with Jean Claude Van Damme . Steve was going to be crazier than that; Let’s do a split between two benches AND then pick up some weight! And pick up some weight he did. Steve got over HALF BODYWEIGHT with 81lb. His lifting dominance on this lift was so contagious I had to give it a try. Yes folks, we had TWO lifters do the Van Dam Lift!! Steve went animal on eight other lifts. I was afraid we were going to have to make up some new lifts for him to try for a record. Folks, think about it, how do you challenge a guy who has done the Van Dam Lift?

Jessica Hopps doing a 110 pound Ciavattone One Arm Deadlift at the New England Record Breakers.

Next up was Colleen Lane. She was phenomenal today! This was the best lifting I’d seen from her. Inside story, this morning she said to Frank,”I don’t know if I can lift today…my back hurts.” How badly did her back hurt? Well, she only got 200lbs on the Ciavattone Deadlift!?! I teased her,”Hey Colleen, I wish MY back hurt that much!!” I think she was doing the ‘work my aching back ‘til it feels better’ therapy. She followed up with a 100lb Bent Row AND One Arm Ciavattone Deadlifts that kept going up. Each time I turned around, she was attempting more weight. She kept going until she felt like the iron had been punished enough. Colleen wound up with a Left and Right Hand lift of 110lbs….WOW! How could she NOT feel better ?!?!

Long time USAWA member and judge Joe Ciavattone 45 got out of the judge’s chair and showed us what a Deadlift that bears the family name looks like done with One Arm!! 225lbs with the Right and 235lbs with the Left. He has such a smooth setup. He doesn’t waste a bit of energy on these lifts. Almost seems like he finds a bar path that we do NOT!!

Speaking of great One Arm Deadlifts with the Ciavattone name attached, Frank Ciavattone 58 also took off time from coaching, directing, and judging to put up some ridiculously easy lifts of Right 285lb and Left 255lb. Frank’s grip is only limited by his mind. If he believes he can grip it, its as good as done!!

Ready for more Ciavattone greatness?? Joe Jr. stepped up to the bar and Bent Over Rowed 186lb…225lb..305lb and finally 325lb!! For me this was the ‘lift of the meet’ plain and simple. Seeing him row 325lb and hold it still for the down command blew my mind. Maybe it’s the training he and his dad do for football…I don’t know. Folks, go to a bar loaded with weight, row it to your gut and hold it there for a down command. IT IS HARD!!

James Fuller 42 decided that Steve Freides shouldn’t have all the fun on the Van Dam Lift. Having never done this before, it took a couple of lifts before he found his groove. He eventually lifted 150lb. James did a 2 Dumbbell Deadlift with 501lb last winter in his driveway. No longer wanting to be a driveway hero, James decided to make it official. He did the Art Montini ,”My first attempt IS my warmup” with a 424lb lift followed by 504lb for a record.

Colleen quit lifting early to make sure we were fed after the meet. We were fed well. Its amazing how well she always takes care of us before(muffins), during(bottled water) and after(pizzas AND home made food) the meet THANK YOU COLLEEN!!

Without the Ciavattone brothers, All-Round Lifting in New England would be dead. Three new lifters this time around. If this keeps up, we’re going to have to move the meet to somewhere bigger!! Thank you Joe and thank you Frank for this meet!

Why you wished you were at this meet: Two lifters doing the Van Dam Lift, Joe Jr. hitting 325lb on the Bent Over Row, Joe Jr., James Fuller and Steve Friedes taking turns doing Dumbbell Bent Presses, Chance to see Colleen’s ‘oh my aching back’ record breaking routine. The New England Record Breakers is a necessary meet to help grow All-Round Lifting in New England. Once Joe Jr and James Fuller pass their judge’s test, All-Round Lifting will have more two more judges to help run more meets in New England.


New England Record Breakers
Frank’s Barbell Club
Walpole, Massachusetts
November 30th, 2013

Meet Director:  Frank Ciavattone

Officials (1 official system used): Frank Ciavattone, Joe Ciavattone

Lifts: Record Day Lifts

Jessica Hopps 29, 197lb

Bench Press-Reverse Grip 70lb
Bent Over Row 100lb
Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip, One Arm L 110lb
Pinch Clean & Press L 10lb R 10lb

Colleen Lane 57, 210lb

Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip 200lb
Bench Press-Reverse Grip 65lb
Bent Over Row 100lb
Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip, One Arm L 110lb R 110lb
Pinch Clean & Press L 20lb R 20lb

Joe Ciavattone Jr. 20, 222lb

Bent Over Row 325lb
Bent Press-Dumbbell R 100lb
Pinch Grip Clean& Press L 50lb R 50lb

James Delaney 29, 178.75lb

Deadlift-One Leg 150lb
Turkish Get-Up 37lb
Pinch Clean & Press L 31lb R 31 lb

James Fuller 42, 235.25lb

Van Dam Lift 150lb
Bent Press-Dumbbell L 120lb R 120lb
Deadlift-2 Dumbbells 504lb
Pinch Clean & Press L 50lb R 50lb

Joe Ciavattone Sr. 45, 222.5lb

Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip, One Arm L 235lb R 225lb
Pinch Clean & Press L 44lb R 44lb

Steve Freides 58, 152.25lb

Van dam Lift 81lb
Deadlift-Fingers, Middle 155lb
Turkish Get –Up 42lb
Gardner-Full 45lb
Bent Press-Dumbbell L 56lb R 56lb
Curl-Strict 65lb
Pinch Clean & Press L 20lb R 20lb

Frank Ciavattone 58, 294lb

Deadlift-Ciavattone Grip,One Arm 255lb R 285lb

Gold Cup

by Steve Gardner

Al Myers of the USA is presented with the Howard Prechtel Memorial Trophy at the 2013 IAWA Gold Cup, only the 2nd time the cup has been presented, Al won with an outstanding Power Row of 145 kilos.

What an outstanding event the 2013 Gold Cup turned out to be! despite losing a few entrants at the last minute we still had 16 IAWA Gold Cup Winners with their records broken on the day with a further 14 World Records to follow. Once again the event was put on in great style by meet directors Denny and Judy Habecker, and it was great to see everyone getting in there to help with setting up and tearing down afterwards. The loaders were just great as always, the referees worked well throughout and I was pleased to have my assistant Judy keeping check alongside me too!  The lifting was just great, where to start??

James Fuller of the USA was the Runner Up for the Howard Prechtel Memorial Trophy at the 2013 IAWA Gold Cup - seen here with an impressive lift ' The Bent Press' (Anyhow to Shoulders) with 60 kilos.

Denny Habecker showed he was still King of the Press, Barry Bryan was a knockout on the Bench Press lifts and Laverne Myers wowed everyone with his lifts especially the One Hand Fulton! Karen Gardner lifted light as she was still recovering from her latest Breast Cancer operation saga and Toni Saxton was competing for her first time ever, husband Graham must have been impressed as we all were with her Vertical Bar Strength. Art Montini was outstanding on the 2” bar and Al Myers was exceptional in the Power Row and Thumbless Deadlift. Jim Malloy showed real grit with his lifts, as did Dennis Mitchell, also recently recovered from surgery. James Fuller performed a wonderful Bent Press and followed with a big 2” Bar Straddle, whilst Graham Saxton pulled a great Middle fingers Straddle and then did a Hand and Thigh lift for his first time ever. Scott Schmidt was excellent with his Clean and Press Behind the Neck, and Dean Ross had fun with the Trap Bar and the Hip Lift for new records too! Chad Ullom was on great form with a great Clean and Jerk followed by IAWA’s heaviest ever Front Squat, and big Frankie Ciavattone brought proceedings to an end with a One Hand Ciavattone Deadlift and a big Hip Lift to follow.

The English Contingent at the 2013 Gold Cup World Record Breakers Event - 2nd November 2013. Steve and Karen Gardner - Toni and Graham Saxton (Toni was making her debut on a weightlifting platform - Well Done Toni)

The whole day was a real positive advertisement for all round weightlifting, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Howard Prechtel (the founder of the event) was remembered on the day by the presenting of the Trophy bearing his name. James Fuller was a great runner up with his tremendous Bent Press lift, but Al Myers took the trophy for his exceptional Power Row.  For those that were able to stay, the banquet that followed was excellent, and all who attended knew they had witnessed something special that day – the 23rd Annual IAWA GOLD CUP!                            

Best Wishes to all and heres to the next time – Steve Gardner

2013 Gold Cup RESULTS – IAWA 2013 GOLD CUP


by Al Myers

James Fuller (left) receiving the Runner Up Newcomer Award following the 2013 USAWA National Championships. The award was presented by USAWA President Denny Habecker (right).

I always enjoy the USAWA Annual Awards presentation.  This program to recognize outstanding accomplishments was started in 2010.  The program is funded by the USAWA bank account, and all award winners are chosen by the membership.  This means if you win one of these awards – it is because your peers deemed you worthy.  That means much more than one individual making the choices, or a selection committee deciding. 

The first award given out was the Newcomer Award.  This award is defined as, “This award goes to an individual who is new to the USAWA or has become involved again in the organization.  It recognizes a lifter who has shown great involvement or outstanding performance throughout the past year.  it doesn’t have to be someone in their first year involved in the USAWA. “

This year Award Winners are:



James was on hand at Nationals to receive his award.  I know Ruth has made plans to attend the Team Championships in August at the Dino Gym, so I plan to present her award to her then.  Congrats to both of these lifters!!!!

Frank’s Backyard

by Al Myers

Part of Frank's backyard involves the storage of his heavy-duty dirt and snow moving equipment.

When I was at Frank Ciavattone’s place for the Heavy Lift Championships, I was extremely impressed with his gym and his setup for the competiton.  The meet was held outside in Frank’s backyard, just outside of Frank’s Barbell Club gym.  Frank’s gym is located in the basement of his house and contains decades worth of history and collectibles.  I love home gyms  – and Frank’s is one of the nicest I have ever seen.  Another thing about home gyms is EVERYTHING is used for training.  Even pieces of equipment that probably should be in a trophy case because of the collectible value.  I noticed several Berg Hantel plates that Frank was actively using! 

Frank's "1-TON" train wheels, and his green smaller railway wheels.

But back to the topic of the day – Frank’s backyard!  It is an All Rounders paradise playground – with numerous “challenge items” positioned throughout the yard.  My wife Leslie commented to me right away by saying, “THIS looks like our backyard!”  Yep honey, there are actually a  few  other passionate iron-heads  who don’t mind having their yard cluttered with human torture devices.   I was most impressed with Frank’s GIANT set of train wheels that he uses for hip and harness lifting.  Their weight is clearly painted on the side – 1 TON – in white lettering.  They even sit on a section of iron train tracks!  I also have a set of train wheels on a heavy bar, but mind are slightly smaller and weigh in at 1400 lbs. – so Frank has me topped when it comes to train wheels.   He told me that he has often used these train wheels for strength exhibitions that he has performed thru the years for many causes, mostly charities.

Frank's setup for doing Hand and Thigh Lifts, which permanently resides in his backyard.

Frank also has a pair of smaller train wheels on a heavy bar that he uses for Hand and Thigh lifting.  I asked him what they weighed, and he said somewhere between 600 and 700 pounds.  I took  that as he has never actually weighed them, but just knows from  the “feel of the weight”.  Frank said he has lifted those wheels hundreds of times in the Hand and Thigh lift, and mostly use them for rep work.  I say that is part of the reason for Frank’s “picture perfect” hand and thigh form.

James Fuller bent pressing the red railway wheels after the 2013 Heavy Lift Championhips. The green wheels are in the picture to the right.

Another classic challenge lift of his is his challenge red and green railway wheels.  They both are fastened tightly (so no rotation) to a 2″ diameter solid shaft that is roughly the length of a barbell.  The total weight of the green wheels is 190 pounds, and 145 pounds on the red wheels. .  I first became aware of this challenge implement several years ago when I seen a picture of Steve Angell performing a one arm jerk (two hands to shoulder)  with the green wheels  following the 2000 IAWA World Championships, which were hosted by Frank.  After the Heavies, James Fuller really enjoyed using these old railway wheels to Bent Press.  I enjoyed seeing such an old time all round lift like the Bent Press being performed with this awkward lifting implement.  It was reminiscent of an Old Time Strongman circus act.

The “ambiance” of Frank’s  back yard was complemented with the presence of his heavy work equipment, used to move dirt and snow.  The size and power of Frank’s “work machines” just leave you in awe.  But those can be the topic of another day’s story! After the meet, Frank “fired up” his fire pit and we sat around it telling stories into the night.  Great times are had in Frank’s backyard.

Lifter of the Month: James Fuller

by Al Myers

James Fuller performing a double hub lift with a pair of BEN Olympic plates at Frank's Barbell Club on May 4th, 2013. Take notice of Frank's very old Deep Dish York 45 on the ground with the very wide hub.

The lifter of the month for the month of March goes to James Fuller!

The only USAWA competition that was held in March was Frank’s Barbell Club Record Breaker, held on March 16th.  James resides in Hallowell, Maine.  To my knowledge, he is the only USAWA registered member from the state of Maine.  James has been actively involved in the USAWA for 3 years, and has competed in several USAWA competitions, including two Heavy Lift Championships.   Just last weekend James lifted in the Heavy Lift Champs in Walpole, Massachusetts, and in the process was crowned AGE/BWT Heavy Lift Champion and placed 5th overall in a very tough field of competitors.

After the competition, James put on a hub lifting demo in which he cleaned and pressed Frank’s very old Deep Dish York 45 (which has a very wide 4-3/4″ hub), double hub lifted a pair of wide-flanged BEN Olympic plates, snatched a BEN plate by the hub, and did a partial holdout with a BEN plated by the hub.  All this hub lifting was done in quick fashion with very little rest time!   I should mention that a large crowd was present to witness this extraordinary lifting besides just myself.  

But the lifts that won James the LIFTER OF THE MONTH was not his hub lifting.  It was because of  a couple of very difficult record day lifts which he completed at Franks.  The first being a Kelly Snatch of 108 pounds, and the second being a Kneeling Snatch of 108 pounds. His record in the Kelly Snatch is an ALL TIME record across all weight classes! 

Congrats James for being the March LIFTER OF THE MONTH!

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