Tag Archives: Old Time Strongman

MY OTSM EXPERIENCE

By Ben Edwards

It was great once again to drive up to Eric Todd’s gym and get some Old Time Strongman work in. I met a few “new” people this time.  Eric mentioned in his write-up that the turnout was great, and it was.  There was not a single person there who wasn’t excited to see a fellow competitor set a record or succeed on a lift that they fought several times during a minute to get.

This is my 2nd OTSM comp.  I did the 2016 OTSM – also at Eric’s gym – and had a great time then too.

The first thing that always strikes me when I walk into the gym is the sheer size of the place. What makes that even more impressive is how much equipment is packed into the cavernous space.  I never get tired of just wandering around the area and checking out the plethora of training tools that populate the area.

When the competitors started filing in, someone greeted “Leroy” and I almost said “Nice to meet you, Leroy.” But then I caught on that the inside joke is that Eric’s brother Chris answers to “Leroy.”  Chris was very congenial and I enjoyed talking to him between events.

It was great getting to see Thom Van Vleck again. We were all glad to have him judging, but I think he should’ve been competing.  On a side note, I was floored when he told me he had done 300 pounds on the Dumbbell to Shoulder.  I BARELY got 150 pounds.  And it took me two attempts.  I am bruised and sore and really can’t imagine how Eric must feel after his 313 pound success.

Like Eric mentioned in his write-up, it was interesting to see during Thor’s Hammer attempts the styles of performance used. There was the swing style, which I prefer.  And the snatch style, which Eric uses exclusively.  The snatch style is quite a bit harder for me on the wrist.  I came into the comp at 40 pounds and that was easy.  Then 50 pounds.  Got it on the first try, but it felt pretty hard.  Then 55 pounds was very hard and I kind of pulled it out of nowhere, because it did not feel good.  It was pretty cool watching Eric smash 60 pounds up for the win.  I usually feel pretty efficient on the Thor’s Hammer, but I felt just a bit “off” at the contest.  Heather had possibly the smoothest form of anyone there in her Thor’s Hammer lifts.

Scott Tully performing a Hackenschmidt Floor Press while head official Thom Van Vleck looks on.

Scott Tully performing a Hackenschmidt Floor Press while head official Thom Van Vleck looks on.

Second event was the Hackenschmidt Floor Press. I enjoyed watching the big lifters go well north of 300 pounds on this.  I was content that my shoulder held up under 225 pounds and my 2nd attempt with 250 pounds, so I skipped my 3rd attempt.  Abe was very impressive on this event when you consider bodyweight vs. weight lifted!  I got a kick out of watching Scott do this event because his torso is so thick that the bar is pretty much just resting on his chest when he starts the lift.

I was not looking forward to the Kennedy Lift, because the three times I tried to train it my back did not agree with it. But it turns out my fears were not warranted.  I still had to baby my back, but went 120 pounds over what I was able to do in my garage during training.  There was a funny incident during my 405 pound opener.  I lifted the bar, without making sure Thom was ready to judge, and after holding it at lockout for a few seconds I realized that I hadn’t told Thom I was ready to take my attempt, so I asked if I should redo the lift and scolded myself for a beginner blunder.  2nd attempt was 500 pounds and that went right up.  Took 525 pounds for a 3rd attempt and definitely had more in me.  Didn’t ask for a 4th attempt because Al Myers has the record in the 110kg weight class with 750 pounds!  I was very impressed with Heather Tully because her final lift looked fast and like she had a lot more in her.  Chad and Greg pulling 755 pounds was a sight to see.  Super impressive!

Greg Cook performing a 755 pound Kennedy Lift.

Greg Cook performing a 755 pound Kennedy Lift.

I had not even attempted to try the Dumbbell to Shoulder event. No plans to do that in this lifetime after barely succeeding with 150 pounds.  I warmed up with a super easy 120 pounds and almost bombed out when I called for 150 pounds as my opener.  I missed it on the first attempt and then barely made it on my 2nd attempt.  Watching Eric do 313 pounds on this was one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen.  Partly because the lift just saps the breath and life out of you the longer it goes on.  John Douglas had a nice fight with 200 pounds.  I liked Dean’s method of grabbing the dumbbell by both ends and kind of power curling it to his shoulder instead of dry humping it up his body like I ended up doing.  Denny seemed to be pretty efficient too on the Dumbbell to Shoulder.  The following photo sequence is not Eric’s heaviest lift, but it is the only sequence I got on camera.

Meet promoter Eric Todd showing his technique in performing a 313# Dumbbell to Shoulder.

Meet promoter Eric Todd showing his technique in performing a 313# Dumbbell to Shoulder.

I didn’t realize it until after we finished the Dumbbell to Shoulder that we were actually going to be pulling attempts on the Lurich Lift – the exhibition lift. I did much better than I thought I would and ended up pulling 405 pounds and bailing on 455 pounds because my back felt like it was going to give me issues.  Chad schooled everyone by pulling 605 pounds!  Lance pulled 315 pounds, which is impressive considering the lift doesn’t suit him anatomically.

One other note is that I asked Eric if I could buy one of his highland games stones for my Braemar practice. He told me to pick out the one I wanted and let me have it.  So thanks again, Eric!  I put the stone in my daughter’s car seat and strapped it in like a baby for the ride home.  I threw it a few times when I got home and my one good remaining shoulder unfriended me later that night.

OTSM Championships

By Eric Todd

2017 USAWA OLD TIME STRONGMAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

Group picture from the 2017 USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships.

Group picture from the 2017 USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships.

Another installment of USAWA’s Old strongman Championships has now passed, and what an event it was. This is the 7th annual championship event in one of the most recent additions  in the USAWA.  The first three constested were at the JWC training hall in Kirksville, with the last 4 being at my facility.  In terms of competitors, this was the best turnout the organization has seen at this event with 12 competitors.  We also has a certified judge who was not also a lifter in Thom VanVleck.  We had many seasoned competitors ( I believe Denny was with the organization since around it’s inception) along with some relative newbies (John Douglas and Chris Todd are in the first year of competing in the USAWA-It is GREAT to get new blood into the organization).

The Contest started off with the Thor’s Hammer. I said it before, and I will say it again, this one is a fickle mistress.  You saw a number of times where it appeared the lifter had stuck the lift only to have it start moving before they could get the down command. When this lift was first contested a number of years back it seemed like 40-45 was about the top number to hit.  At this meet half the field was at that mark or better.  Some lifters preferred the snatch and some the swing.  In the end, just like last year it was Ben Edwards and I battling it out for the top spot, with both of us landing on about the same number we did last year.  Like I said, a fickle mistress.

The second discipline contested was the Hackenschmidt Floor Press. Abe Smith impressed me the most in this lift by hitting 345 at a bodyweight of 180.  As the lightest competor in the meet, this was the third highest mark hit on the press.  Scott Tully also hit a big mark of 360.

Once the pressing was completed, we moved the bar to the 18” boxes for the Kennedy Lift. This is the lift where one should be able to lift the most weight.  And there were a few lifters who did not disappoint!  Heather Tully kept pace with many of the fellas by hitting a big 400.  Chad Ullum hit a 725 in the meet, but then Greg Cook called for 755, which would break the all-time record, regardless of age or weight.  After a herculean effort, and the weight was locked out and still, VanVleck gave the down call for a good lift and a new record!  Chad came back to match it with a 4th attempt for record.  Dean Ross and Chris Todd also hit records on their fourth.

The last event in the contest was the Dumbell to shoulder. Because you can basically get it to your shoulder by whatever means you can, we got to witness some interesting techniques, from just cleaning it, to swinging it, to excruciating series of movements in the form of a continental.  John Douglas did kind of a combination swing/continental to result in a big 200# lift. I was pleased to surpass my old record with a 313# lift, though I am suffering for it now.

After the meet was over and we were tallying scores, lifters had the otion of trying out an exhibition lift, the Lurich Lift. It is basically a Hack Lift from 18”.  This lift was the brain child of Lance Foster, so I kind of let him take the reigns on this one.  Several lifters took part.  I took one attempt that failed at an embarrassing weight due to form issues, anatomical difficultied, or a combination thereof.  Denny hit 185, Dean Ross hit 205, and John Douglas hit 225.  Lance hit 315 on his pet lift. Ben Edwards managed a 405 lift on it, but Chad ullum amazed and insulted everyone with a massive lift of 605.  So I guess this lift is possible.  At the end, here are my thoughts on the lift is this going forward.  I did not enjoy this lift for obvious reasons.  With that being said, I see no reason why this lift would not be considered a valid OTSM lift and be presented for inclusion in our rule book.  Feel free to chime in on this in our forum.

Wow! I felt like this was the  tightest, fiercest competition this Championship has seen.  Watching the scores unfold, I could not have told you if I won or got 7th or last.  There was some big hitters at this meet, hitting big weights.  I was hard to tell how it would all fall.  In the end, it fell like this:

MEET RESULTS

Meet Promoter: Eric Todd

Head Official (1-Official System): Thom VanVleck

Loaders: All competitors

OTSM Lifts: Thor’s Hammer, Hackenschmidt Floor Press, Kennedy Lift, Dumbbell to Shoulder

Meet shirts provided by Metabolic Technologies

Hostess and Sandwich deliverer: Jenny Todd

 WOMENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Thor HFP Ken DB TOT PTS
Heather Tully 38 213 25 175 400 100 700 603.5

MENS DIVISION

LIFTER AGE BWT Tho HFP Ken DB TOT PTS
Greg Cook 60 253 40 275 755 175 1245 1187.1
Eric Todd 42 252 60 385 650 313 1408 1145.3
Chad Ullom 45 245 40 315 725 250 1330 1128.8
Abe Smith 36 180 30 345 600 200 1175 1114.5
Scott Tully 40 354 45 360 660 200 1265 858.7
Ben Edwards 42 234 55 250 525 150 980 827.6
John Douglas 54 315 40 275 500 200 1015 827.4
Denny Habecker 74 195 25 200 325 75 625 764.1
Dean Ross 74 231 25 200 335 90 650 724.5
Chris Todd 38 272 30 275 365 175 845 642.4
Lance Foster 51 326 32.5 155 400 150 737.5 576.2

Notes: BWT in pounds. All lifts recorded in pounds. TOT is total pounds lifted. PTS are overall adjusted points corrected for age and bodyweight adjustments.

Lurich Lift – Exhibition Lift

Ben Edwards 405
Dean Ross 205
Denny Habecker 185
Lance Foster 315
Chad Ullum 605
John Douglas 225

Extra Attempts for Record

Hackenschmidt Floor Press
Dean Ross 210

Kennedy Lift
Dean Ross 365
Chris Todd 405
Chad Ullum 755

Heather Tully became the third women’s champion last year, and this year becomes the first two time champion.  Greg Cook becomes the 6th Champion in seven years.  What made this the most impressive was that he did it against all but one former champs.  He bested Chad, myself, Denny and Abe, all former OTSM champs to achieve this goal.  Thank you to all who came out and helped or competed.  It was a great day to be an all-rounder!

Let’s Review: The Kennedy Lift

by Thom Van Vleck

Al Myers doing a Kennedy Lift.

Al Myers doing a Kennedy Lift.

With the Old Time Strongman Championships coming up September 9th at ET’s House of Iron and Stone I thought it might be a good time to review the lifts.  Eric Todd picked 4 lifts from the OTSM list.  Today let’s revisit one of those, the Kennedy Lift. First of all Al Myers did a great article on it’s history.  Here’s a link to it: Kennedy Lift

So the rules are as follows:

H9. Kennedy Lift

This is a partial lift using a straddle stance on the bar, where the bar height must not be over 18” from the platform (measured to the bottom of the bar). The plates or bar may be supported on stands, rack supports, or blocks to obtain this height. The lifter must have the bar between the legs, as defined by the rules of the Jefferson Lift. Lifting straps or any other gripping aid is not allowed. It is NOT an infraction to drag the bar up the legs, bounce the bar up the legs, or support the bar on the legs during the lift (hitching). A one minute time limit is allowed for the lifter to make a legal lift, during which time a lifter may make multiple tries. Once the lifter is totally upright and the bar motionless, an official will give the command to end the lift.

Al sums this lift up nicely when he said, “I envision the technique to be very similar to how most lift the Dinnie Stones, using a straddle style.”  The lift is very much a “Continental” version of a partial Jefferson (or Straddle) deadlift.  In that it can be bounced, drug, up or “hitched”

If you want to see the current records here is a list:

AGE M/F CLASS RECORD LIFTER
14 M 80 500 Kressly, Logan
45 M 110 750 Myers, Al
45 M 125+ 500 Foster, Lance
50 M 125+ 365 Foster, Lance
55 M 70 405 Freides, Steve
60 M 80 325 Santangelo, Stephen
60 M 95 675 Traub, Larry
60 M 100 315 Garcia, Joe
60 M 129 525 Glasgow, Dave
65 M 80 405 McKean, John
70 M 90 225 Habecker, Denny
70 M 125 400 Ross, Dean
80 M 80 225 Durante, Richard
80 M 105 315 Clark, Bill
ALL M 70 405 Freides, Steve
ALL M 80 500 Kressly, Logan
ALL M 90 225 Habecker, Denny
ALL M 95 675 Traub, Larry
ALL M 100 315 Garcia, Joe
ALL M 105 315 Clark, Bill
ALL M 110 750 Myers, Al
ALL M 120 525 Glasgow, Dave
ALL M 125 400 Ross, Dean
ALL M 125+ 550 Kressly, Doug

As you can see this is a great opportunity to be added to the record list.  I hope to see you there!

History of the OTSM

By Al Myers

As promised in the USAWA Discussion Forum, I have completed a historical review of the USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships. Now the past history of EVERY Championship Event is recorded.  The below summary is now included in the History Archives on the website and will be updated every year with the new information from the annual Championships.

HISTORY OF THE OLDTIME STRONGMAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
(Promoted by Eric Todd, KCSTRONGMAN Club)

DATE PROMOTER LOCATION MENS OVERALL WOMENS OVERALL #
9/10/2016 Eric Todd Turney, MO Abe Smith  Heather Gardner 10
9/26/2015 Eric Todd Turney, MO Denny Habecker  none 4
11/1/2014 Eric Todd Turney, MO Eric Todd Jenna Lucht 7
12/7/2013 Thom Van Vleck Kirksville, MO Eric Todd none 7
10/14/2012 Thom Van Vleck Kirksville, MO Chad Ullom Whitney Piper 7
10/16/2011 Thom Van Vleck Kirksville, MO Al Myers none 10

The USAWA OTSM Championships is always one of the best attended Championships in the USAWA every year.  One thing that I like about it is that it draws new competitors to the USAWA.  Several of these lifters much prefer the format of the OTSM compared to traditional All Round meets.  I want to take this time to make a pitch for this years OTSM Championships coming up on September 9th,  at ET’s House of Iron and Stone in Turney, MO.  Eric is the Chairman of the OTSM in the USAWA and has hosted the past three OTSM Championships.  ET always puts on a quality event so I HIGHLY recommend you enter.  He has picked 4 great OTSM lifts – the Hackenshmidt Floor Press, Thor’s Hammer, the Dumbbell to Shoulder, and the Kennedy Lift.  After the meet an exhibition OTSM lift will be tried out for the first time – the Lurich Lift.  If the response is good on the Lurich Lift it will be presented to the EB for new lift status.  So another good reason to attend – as you could be part of the beginning of a new USAWA lift!!

OTSM in Australia

by Al Myers

The TOP THREE at the Australian International Old Time Strongman Challenge (left to right): Denny Habecker (3rd), John Mahon (1st), and Graham Saxton (2nd).

The TOP THREE at the Australian International Old Time Strongman Challenge (left to right): Denny Habecker (3rd), John Mahon (1st), and Graham Saxton (2nd).

When I was in Australia for the IAWA Gold Cup, meet promoter John Mahon hosted the very first International Old Time Strongman Challenge following the meet.  I was very excited to see this – as OTSM was started in the USAWA 5 years ago and now other countries in IAWA are getting interested in it.  The founding concept of OTSM is to bridge strongman with All Round Weightlifting by contesting lifts/movements that were favorites of famous Old Time Strongmen and contest them by following the basic format of a weightlifting meet instead of a strongman competition. This means having lifts that can be loaded with the weight of the lifter’s choosing, and allowing 3 attempts to accomplish a max. Also as part of these OTSM lifts rule infractions in the rulebook are a minimum and a lifter is on a 1 minute clock to perform a legal lift.

This was a truly international OTSM challenge. Lifters from Australia, England and the USA took part.  The challenge had a good variety of lifts with the Anderson Squat, the Apollon’s Lift, and the People’s Deadlift being the events contested.  The venue was outside on the lawn of the Belmont Club.  It was a beautiful sunny day for the competition which added to the enjoyment of lifting. Very rarely do you get a chance to lift outside.  It’s a special moment when that does happen.

Steve Gardner was appointed the head official and I assumed the role of timekeeper.  The Anderson Squat was the first event.  John had perfect stands for this event which allowed the plates to be rested on elevated stands.  Graham “Big Red” Saxton took control early with a big 260 KG Anderson Squat! John Mahon put up the biggest Anderson Squat with a 300 KG.  For the Apollon’s Lift, Peter Phillips had made up a beautiful set of replica Apollon’s Wheels for the event.  This made this OTSM event even more authentic! Denny Habecker “Steinborned” the axle to achieve a very fine lift of 56 KG’s. Newcomer Alex Biason performed a very solid 81 kilograms in the Apollon’s Lift.  The People’s Deadlift was very exciting.  I knew beforehand several of the lifter’s would be very close in poundage and it would be a showdown for top lift. Indeed it turned out that way.  Alex hit 215 KG followed by Graham at 225.  John and Peter finished off tied with 250 KG each.

Peter Phillips performing an Apollon's Lift on a set of replica Apollon's Wheels he had made specifically for this event.

Peter Phillips performing an Apollon’s Lift on a set of replica Apollon’s Wheels he had made specifically for this event.

When all the dust settled, John Mahon came out as the overall champion, followed by Graham Saxton in second, and the USAWA OTSM reigning champion Denny Habecker in third.  I was very pleased to see  all participating countries represented in the top three in the inaugural international Old Time Strongman Challenge.  An award was given to the lifter with the top total poundage, and that also went to John with a 656 total.

I was so impressed with this event following the Gold Cup that I plan to  host the second international OTSM Challenge following the Gold Cup next year during my promotion.

MEET RESULTS

2015 International OTSM Challenge
November 29th, 2015
Belmont Sports and Recreational Club
Perth, Australia

Meet Promoter: John Mahon

Head Official: Steve Gardner

Scorekeeper: Sharni Clifford

Lifts: Anderson Squat, Apollon’s Lift, People’s Deadlift

Lifter Age BWT SQ Apo DL TOT PTS
John Mahon 32 115.8 300 106 250 656 515.1
Graham Saxton 53 121.0 260 71 225 556 486.9
Denny Habecker 73 89.9 160 56 172.5 388.5 467.4
Alex Biason 48 118.2 230 81 215 526 445.6
Peter Phillips 62 104.5 120 66 250 436 443.8

 

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