Tag Archives: OTSM

OTSM Championships

By Eric Todd


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 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


Heather Tully 38 213 25 175 400 100 700 603.5


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!

Dumbbell to Shoulder

by Thom Van Vleck

A great photo of Al doing the DB to the Shoulder

A great photo of Al doing the DB to the Shoulder


As we get ready for the OTSM Championships to be held by Eric Todd (see the upcoming events section) I thought it might be good to go over the events as a review.  Today I’m looking at the Dumbbell to Shoulder lift.  A bit of history on this event was the Dumbbell to the shoulder was a lift from the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis.  This was really a one handed dumbbell clean and really didn’t fit the criteria for an OTSM lift.  So it was switched up to be a two hands “anyhow” type of lift.  I think it’s a really unique lift and one my favorites in the OTSM line up (and not just because I came up with it!).

Dumbbell to Shoulder – A Dumbbell will be taken from the floor to the shoulder using any method the lifter wants to employ. The dumbbell may be lifted with two hands, continental style, may be rested on the belt during the lift, by any part of the dumbbell. Hands may grip the plates, bar, collars or any part of the dumbbell. Any size plate may be loaded onto the dumbbell.The lift is completed when the lifter is standing upright, with the dumbbell resting on the shoulder, and the lifter demonstrating control. Both hands may remain on the dumbbell to complete the lift, or with one hand or both hands off the dumbbell. Time limit of 1 minute is given to complete the lift. An official will give a command to end the lift.

Come out the the OTSM meet and check it out.  Check the record book as I think this lift is pretty wide open in many categories for a record!  See you then.

OTSM Championships

By Eric Todd


2016 Old Time Strongman Championships

Another chapter of USAWA’s Old Time Strongman Championship is in the books. This is one of the newer championships in the USAWA.  It was started by Thom VanVleck several years ago, and has been hosted by me for the past 3 years.  This year’s event proved to be our best turnout since it has been contested in the big tin-can with ten competitors.  The weather could not have been more cooperative.  It was a great day to be an all-rounder.

The day started off with a bang. My 3 month old black lab/redbone hound mix Archibald was on hand to support us all day.  Before the meet he was causing a commotion over behind some equipment by the wall.  When we looked to see what was going on, it appeared he was doing battle with a critter, which turned out to be a woodchuck.  Before long, it became obvious that Archie would be the victor, and he proudly made a victory lap around the barn with the critter hanging from his mouth.

Anyhow, after the excitement, it was time for the lifting to begin. We had a wide array of competitors with different lifting experience.  Abe Smith made his way back into the USAWA.  Abe saw lots of success competing for Clarks gym a number of years ago.  At a lighter bodyweight with huge poundages lifted, Abe has always been tough to beat in all-round.  President Denny Habecker came from Pennsylvania.  Denny is a seasoned all-rounder and Olympic weightlifter.  His travel partner was one of the senior members of the USAWA, Art Montini.  Dean Ross from Oklahoma was there.  Dean has been a highland games thrower for many years, and now is a stalwart in the USAWA.  My good friend and training partner Lance Foster was there.  Lance has competed in strongman, powerlifting, Highland Games, and all-round.  Scott Tully and Heather Gardner came from Salina, KS to compete.  Scott, who was a huge presence in Strongman for many years, also competed in powerlifting and highland games.  Heather trains at Scott’s gym, Driven Fitness, and has primarily competed in powerlifting.  Greg Cook made his return to all-round.  Greg is an old school powerlifter who I competed with in strongman for a number of years.  Ben Edwards also came to us from Kansas.  Ben has competed in all-round and highland games, but is probably best known for being one of the most successful grip competitors in our area.

We started off with the Dinnie lift. There were some great lifts here, with four lifters going over 600 pounds.  Abe Smith’s 650 without the aid of a hook grip was maybe the most impressive, along with Heather’s 480 record attempt.

The next discipline was the Thor’s hammer. I had heard that in training, Ben had been hitting record poundages, so I knew I would have my work cut out for me to keep pace.  Well, we both hit our stride in this one.  We both hit the all-time record on the Thor’s hammer in competition of 55 pounds.  In a record attempt, I also hit a 60 pound lift, to again beat the all-time record.

In the third lift of the meet, we contested the Saxon Snatch. Though not Art’s favorite lift, he did comment to me that he would be making the implement when he got home.  Scott’s best in the competition was 100 pounds.  But in a record attempt, he nailed 110 for the all-time record in an attempt that looked effortless.

In the last lift of the day, we did the Hackenschmidt Floor Press. Scott opened very conservatively, but ended with a top lift of 355.  Abe wowed everyone again with a 335 lift at 183 pound body weight.  Heather challenged the guys with her 175 lift.

In the end, Abe’s incredible strength per body weight was insurmountable. Particularly impressive as he had not trained for these specific disciplines.   Heather was the women’s champion.  Results are as follows.

Meet Results:

2016 OTSM Championships
September 10, 2016
ET’s House of Stone
Turney, MO

Meet Director: Eric Todd

Officials: Eric Todd, Lance Foster, Denny Habecker

Lifts: Thor’s Hammer, Hackenschmidt Floor Press, Saxon Snatch, Dinnie Lift

Lifter Weight Age Dinnie Thor’s Saxon Hacken Total Ajd Age Adj Place
Eric Todd 259 41 700 55 105 400 1260 983.808 1003.484 2
Dean Ross 253.5 73 400 30 65 215 710 558.912 748.942 5
Denny Habecker 196.5 73 350 25 55 215 645 581.468 779.166 4
Art Montini 176 88 230 12.5 30 100 372.5 358.047 533.49 9
Lance Foster 340 50 480 32.5 60 175 747.5 511.664 567.947 8
Ben Edwards 231 41 500 55 80 245 880 726.528 741.059 7
Greg Cook 254 59 600 40 70 225 935 735.097 882.116 3
Scott Tully 356.5 40 600 40 100 355 1095 733.76 741.2 6
Abe Smith 183 37 650 30 80 335 1095 1028.315 1028.315 1
Heather Gardner 215 35 400 25 65 175 665 570.437 570.431 1
Extra attempts for record Lifter Weight
Hackenschmidt Floor press Dean Ross 225
Dinnie Lift Heather Graham 480
Thor’s Hammer Eric Todd 60
Saxon Snatch Scott Tully 110

All weights recorded in pounds.

Update on the OTSM Championships

by Al Myers


It has recently been decided that this year’s USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships will be held in conjunction with Eric Todd’s “Battle in the Barn.” Eric has promoted several OTSM competitions over the past few years, and his facility will make the perfect venue for our OTSM Championships.

If you haven’t decided to attend ET’s meet yet – NOW IS THE TIME!  Let’s make  a great turnout this year for the USAWA Old Time Strongman Championships!

OTSM Wrap Up for 2013

by Thom Van Vleck

Mike McIntyre, of the Jackson Weightlifting Club, lifts 315 pounds in the Anderson Press at the 2013 USAWA Old Time Strong Man Championships.

2013 was a great year for Old Time Strong Man (OTSM) in the USAWA.  We saw four meets and 38 total lifters.  Here are some highlights:

Eric Todd won two of the meets while Chad Ullom and Dan Wagman won one apiece.

Two of the meets included women lifters with Ruth Jackson and Whitney Piper being crowned as Champs.

As we look to grow in 2013 I hope that we can expand on the lifts we have.  It’s not as easy as you might think to come up with a lift for the OTSM.  First, it must be a lift or variation of a lift done by a great lifter of the past.  Second, it must not duplicate a lift already in the USAWA.  Finally, it must be a “loadable weight” event (you must be able to increase or decrease the weight so that attempts can be increased).  So, do some research and submit a lift to me or Al Myers and maybe you can lay claim to adding an event to OTSM someday.

Please consider hosting, competing in or attending an event.  If you like lifting, and like Strongman….then OTSM combines the best of both worlds.  The rules are flexible, making events easier to judge and easier for spectators to follow.  It is also easier for newcomers to catch on to the events and not find themselves losing a lift to a technicality.