Tag Archives: Mike Murdock

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.

Mike Murdock joins the CENTURY CLUB

by Al Myers

Mike Murdock joins the USAWA Century Club, a club which recognizes lifters who currently hold over 100 USAWA records.

I predicted it in my last blog covering the CENTURY CLUB.  Mike Murdock has become the 23rd member to join this exclusive group of USAWA record setters.  Mike is very deserving of this, and all I have to say, is that it is ABOUT TIME!  I have often criticized Mike for only breaking his own records at record days and not growing his absolute count.  If he hadn’t been doing that he would have been over the “100 count” needed to be in the Century Club a long time ago.  It is also very appropriate that he did it at the Ledaig Record Breaker, the club that he lifts with.  I should have announced this before now, but since I did the last count right before Dave’s record day I sorta forgot how close Mike was to being a full-fledged CENTURY CLUB MEMBER!  

Our prez Denny Habecker still holds the lead.  Denny has now turned 70, and it has opened up a new age group for him to attack.  That’s exactly what he has been doing.  He is FIRMLY in first place now with 447 USAWA records.  His lead over Art has widened since last count.  Denny has been on the war path of competing in USAWA events.  There’s not very many he has missed since Nationals.

Since I’ve become the EXPERT PREDICTER, let me announce my prediction of who will be the next USAWA member to join the Century Club. It goes to the recent Hall of Famer Bob Geib.  Bob now has 95 USAWA records, and his presence has been plentiful at recent USAWA competitions.  In visiting with Bob at Worlds, he seems to me to have the enthusiasm of a teenager when it comes to lifting in competitions.  My money is on him (so don’t let me down Bob!!!)

CENTURY CLUB (as of October 23rd, 2012)

1  Denny Habecker  447
2  Art Montini  413
3  Al Myers  396
4  John McKean  292
5  Noi Phumchona  265
6  Frank Ciavattone  262
7  Dennis Mitchell  260
8  Joe Garcia  243
9  Bob Hirsh  229
10  Bill Clark  200
11  Chad Ullom  195
12  Howard Prechtel  175
13  Dale Friesz  162
14  Jim Malloy  153
15  Scott Schmidt  148
16  John Monk  148
17  Ed Schock  142
18  Chris Waterman  137
19  Dean Ross  132
20  Rudy Bletscher  131
21  Mary McConnaughey  117
22  John Vernacchio  105
23  Mike Murdock  104

Dino Days Record Day

by Al Myers

The first Team (2-Man) Neck Lift ever performed, by Al Myers and Chad Ullom, at the Dino Days Record Day. We lifted 1205 pounds.

Seven lifters performed record attempts at the Dino Days Record Day on August 12th.  Of these 7, three made it that didn’t compete the previous day in the Dino Gym – Tim Songster, Mike Murdock, and Molly Myers.

I’ll start the report with the youngest lifter of the day.  My daughter Molly continues to amaze me with her lifting ability. She has spent some time in her young life training, but never anything consistent.  I keep telling her that she has great ability lifting weights, but I haven’t over-pressured her to be a weight lifter.  Usually in record days, I have picked lifts for her that she could set records in easily, as I didn’t want her to feel disappointed if she couldn’t exceed a previous record.  But this time, I picked a few records that I knew she would have to get a great performance to exceed the current record on the books.  The first choice was the Fulton Bar Ciavattone Grip Deadlift.  The previous record was 148# (which I consider a very good mark) and Molly exceeded it with her last attempt at 151#.  This got her very excited and after that the records fell at a rapid pace, ending with a very fine 130# 12 inch base squat.

Mike Murdock performing one of the "first ever" Jackson Presses at the Dino Days Record Day.

Since I’m reporting in the order of age, that makes Chad at 40 the next in line!  Chad started the day off with a 135# Jackson Press.  When he finished he made the comment that he picked that lift to recognize the JWC, since none of the JWC members were in attendance.  He then started focusing on regaining his Neck Lift record, which he lost to Eric Todd at the Heavy Lift Championships.  I decided I would join him in the Neck Lift, but I knew I would only be his “pace car” as he proceeded to heavier and heavier poundages!  I dropped out at 700 but to Chad it seemed as he was still just warming up.  He finished with 915# for the new ALL TIME record in the Neck Lift. After that we decided to do some 2-Man Neck Lifts.  This was our first time trying out this new bar apparatus I had made to do this lift, and we finished with 1205#.  We could have done alot more, but we need some more training time to synchronize our efforts.  Unlike other 2-Man lifts, this one is performed “totally blind” as you are looking up and have no visual cues.  Add in the element of danger, and this lift becomes much more difficult than other 2-Man lifts.

I was glad to meet another lifter from Jobe’s Steel Jungle.  Tim Songster made his first appearance in the Dino Gym. Tim set 8 new records in various different lifts.  I could tell Tim is a true all-rounder, as he seems to really enjoy the variety of the different lifts.  If someone else was trying a different lift, he wanted to “give it a try” as well, and in the process learn how to do this new lift. Welcome to the USAWA Tim!

LaVerne made an appearance on both days at this year’s Dino Days.  The day before he teamed with Dean Ross in the Team Championships. It appeared to me that he must have still been on this “team approach” as it seemed they did all the same lifts!  LaVerne, Dean and Mike started the day off doing the Bear Hug. The Bear Hug is a lift very rarely contested in the USAWA, and it seemed like they were doing it for over an hour.  They must have tripled the weight they started with.  LaVerne ended up on tops with a lift of 206#, followed by Dean at 181#, and then Mike at 156#.  However, in the new USAWA lift, the Fulton Bar Bench Press, Dean and Mike had the best lifts (178#), followed by LaVerne at 123#. Another lift that “stuck out in my mind” was the 1250# Back Lift by Dean.  That is a huge lift!

Again, I want to thank everyone who attended this record day.  I really enjoy watching others have fun lifting weights, and afterall, that is what it should be all about.


Dino Days Record Day
Dino Gym
Abilene, Kansas
August 12th, 2012

Meet Director: Al Myers

Officials: Al Myers, Mike Murdock, Chad Ullom, Jesse Jobe, LaVerne Myers


Molly Myers – Female, Age 13, 164# BWT
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 151#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar: 201#
Deadlift – Heels Together: 182#
Bench Press – Feet in Air: 100#
Curl – Cheat: 75#
Jackson Press: 45#
Press – From Rack: 45#
Squat – 12″ Base: 130#

Chad Ullom – Age 40, 253# BWT
Jackson Press; 135#
Clean and Press – On Knees: 211#
Neck Lift: 915#
Turkish Get Up: 71#

Tim Songster Sr. – Age 45, 208# BWT
Bear Hug: 181#
Swing – 2 Dumbbells: 130#
Swing – Dumbbell, Right Arm: 85#
Turkish Get Up: 53#
Extension – Back: 110#
Swing – Dumbbell, Left Arm: 85#
Bench Press – Roman Chair: 65#
Jackson Press: 160#

Al Myers – Age 45, 248# BWT
Neck Lift: 690#
Extension – Back: 140#

LaVerne Myers – Age 68, 249# BWT
Jackson Press: 75#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 123#
Bear Hug: 206#

Dean Ross – Age 69, 275# BWT
Jackson Press: 95#
Arthur Lift: 75#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 178#
Bear Hug: 181#
Turkish Get Up: 35#
Back Lift: 1250#

Mike Murdock – Age 72, 225# BWT
Jackson Press – 115#
Bench Press – Fulton Bar: 178#
Bear Hug: 156#
Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip: 201#

Al Myers and Chad Ullom
Team Neck Lift: 1205#

NOTES:  All lifts are recorded in pounds.

Sportsmanship Award

by Al Myers

Art Montini receiving the Runner Up Sportsmanship Award (center). The award was presented by Al Myers (left) and Denny Habecker (right). The Sportsmanship Award Winner Mike Murdock was not in attendance.

The Sportsmanship Award goes to individuals who have showed exceptional sportsmanship throughout the year.  It may be for overall conduct at all events, or by a specific example of exceptional sportsmanship.  This years winners are definitely worthy of this title!  Both of these lifters exhibit great sportsmanship at every competition, and are fine examples of the way lifters should conduct themselves at competitions. The winners are:



Mike was unable to make it to Nationals this year to accept his award, but Art was present to accept his.  I want to say a few words about both of these guys because these two lifters I have the greatest respect for.  I can’t count the number of meets that Mike has sacrificed his own days lifting to “help out” to insure the meet is ran well.  At my Dino Record Days this past spring Mike spent the day officiating the new lifters instead of doing the record lifts that he wanted to do.  I couldn’t have done it without him there!  Mike is one of those lifters that gives to the organization more than he takes.  That’s true sportsmanship.  Art, at age 84, has given as much to the USAWA as anyone.  How many lifters his age would have made the trip to the IAWA World Championships in Australia by themselves??  I’ll answer it – NONE besides him.  Art is always part of any “big event” in the USAWA or the IAWA, and this has been going on for many, many years now.  Both of these guys are very worthy winners of this award.  CONGRATS!!!

Team Championships

by Al Myers


Rudy Bletscher (left) and Mike Murdock (right) perform a very difficult team lift in last years Team Championship, the Team One Arm Dumbbell Press.

Due to some other local strength event conflicts, the date for the 2012 USAWA Team Championships has been moved up a couple of weekends this year.  As usual, this meet will be part of the Dino Days Weekend held at the Dino Gym.  For several years now the Dino Gym has had one weekend a year where we celebrate our Dino Days.  It is a full weekend of fun, both lifting and socializing.  Saturday night is an open invite to anyone who wants to come share in our evening BBQ, sponsored by the Dino Gym. You do not need to be a “gym member” to take part in this fun.   I’m planning on making this years Saturday evening party a “trial run”  for the big party I’m planning after the World Championships in October at my place.  So plan on staying after the meet for this!!!  One thing those of us in central Kansas are known for – it is our BBQ.  I’m thinking of a menu now of burgers, brats, grilled chicken, brisket, and possibly even ribs.  Add in some hot baked beans and potato salad for sides, and brownies and homemade ice cream for dessert and we got a meal that ought to fill everyone up.  All washed down with beer of course!  (I shouldn’t be writing this story right before lunch!!!)

But onto the meet details (the real reason we are getting together haha).   This year I picked 4 lifts that I think anyone could team up to do.  The lifts will be: Clean and Jerk – One Arm, Deadlift – Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip, Bent Over Row, and the 12″ base Deadlift.   I am sure that the Dino Gym will field at least 3 teams for this meet.  I have been somewhat disappointed in the attendance in the past Team Championships.  So this year I’m going to be CALLING OUT some other clubs to REPRESENT.  To start with there is NO REASON clubs like the JWC, Jobes Steel Jungle, Clarks Gym, the Ledaig AC, and KCStrongman are not in attendance.  These clubs are all within easy driving distances of this major USAWA competition.  It has been my dream since I started hosting  the Team Championships several years ago that the this meet would be one of those fun meets that lifters would not want to miss.  This meet doesn’t really put any pressure on you as a lifter.  After all if you don’t do well you can always blame it on your partner!!!!


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