Tag Archives: John Schubert

The Schubert Lifts

by Al Myers

John Schubert's bio from the Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame.

I never had the opportunity to meet John Schubert.  I wish that I had.  Since his passing, I have heard many stories from those that knew him about his positive influence on their weightlifting careers.   John was a true all rounder – he not only competed in All-Round Weightlifting meets, but also was a long time Olympic Weightlifter as well as competing in numerous “physique” (old term for today’s bodybuilding competitions) contests.   You hardly ever see that cross-over competing amongst weightlifters and bodybuilders today, but in John’s era it was not uncommon.  These guys trained to “be strong” as well as “look strong”.   John still has a couple of records in our USAWA Record List.  In the 65-69 age group, 90 KG weight class, he has the record in the Feet in the Air Bench Press with a lift of 175 pounds, and the record in the Heels Together Clean and Press with a lift of 132 pounds.

John did leave a legacy in the USAWA with two official USAWA lifts named after him.  In 2000, John presented these two lifts, the Schubert Clean and Jerk, and the Schubert Clean and Push  Press, to IAWA for official acceptance.  They were accepted by the IAWA that year, and became known as the Schubert Lifts in the USAWA in the beginning.   However, in 2009 when the USAWA Rulebook was majorly overhauled, these lifts were renamed the Reflex Clean and Jerk and the Reflex Clean and Push Press, in order to match the lift names given to these two lifts in the IAWA Rulebook.   I didn’t want the Schubert distinction to be lost, so I made special note in the first line of each rule in the USAWA Rulebook that the reflex lifts are “also known as the Schubert Lifts”.  John Schubert’s name will  be tied to the these two lifts in the USAWA forever! (actually this would be a good rule test question in the future!).


Scott Schmidt performing a Reflex Clean and Push Press (aka a Schubert Clean and Push Press) at the 2010 USAWA Club Challenge. John Schubert had an influence on Scott’s lifting career.

A38.  Reflex Clean and Jerk

This lift is also known as the Schubert Clean and Jerk. The rules of the Clean and Jerk apply with these exceptions.  Once the clean has been made, the lifter must perform a jerk immediately from this position, whether the legs are bent or erect.  There is no pause between the clean and the jerk.

A39.  Reflex Clean and Push Press

This lift is also known as the Schubert Clean and Push Press. The rules of the Clean and Push Press apply with these exceptions. Once the clean has been made, the lifter must perform a push press immediately from this position, whether the legs are bent or erect.  There is no pause between the clean and the push press.

John W. Schubert

by Scott Schmidt

Recently, one of the Icons of our Strength Sports, John W. Schubert passed away. He was approaching his 90Th birthday. As a tribute to all his involvement with perpetuating weightlifting in my hometown, Cleveland, Ohio, I thought it would be appropriate to let our USAWA organization know some of the history of all of John’s success.One of John’s closest ties to All Round Weightlifting was our past President, Howard Prechtel. The fellow Marines trained together, and both loved to conduct competitions in Olympic weightlifting and All Round weightlifting.

John started his weightlifting career in 1940.  By the 1950’s, he won several physique contests. In 1957, he won the Junior National title in Olympic weightlifting. He also started his very well known and extremely successful Olympic Health Club. For years, he coached hundreds of athletes. In addition to his training many National Olympic Weightlifting Champions, John also had a good deal of influence on the success of 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist Chuck Vinci. Based on his coaching and individual success, John has achieved Sports Hall of Fame status at both the Local and National level.

Besides John’s passion to help others reach the very best of their ability, he also had a strong desire to compete himself. Even before the Masters program was introduced, when John was in his 40’s then 50’s, he was often in a medal winning position in his weight class in the Open Division. He stayed very competitive for years. Once he was able to compete in the Masters, not only did he win many titles, he set a tremendous amount of National records. While Olympic weightlifting was his primary sport, John was also highly successful in All Round weightlifting. Again, winning titles and setting records.

Regarding any event involving strength and fitness, John would gladly assist with his connections and organizational ability so the competitions would draw great attendance.

 A true strength sport legend and innovator that helped positively influence and shape the character of hundreds of successful individuals.

May John Rest in Peace. And our thoughts and prayers go out to John’s family.