By Al Myers
Recently in the USAWA Discussion Forum there’s been talk of new lifts. That’s what inspired me to write the blog the other day on the rules involving new lift approval. We have rules into place that make sure any new lift in the USAWA is considered a “good lift”, with proper written rules in place BEFORE it is proposed. Which has not been the policy in the old days – thus why there are so many strange official rules and lifts in our Rulebook.
I’m in the mood to do a little rambling today about my opinion on all this. Of course, these are just my opinions and may not represent the viewpoints of others on the Executive Board. The USAWA has MANY more official lifts than the IAWA(UK). What’s considered official IAWA lifts is generally what is in the IAWA(UK) Rulebook. I tend to agree with this, because unlike the USAWA, the IAWA(UK) only considers “new lifts” as those passed at the AGM of the IAWA while the USAWA proposes and accepts new lifts at our USAWA meeting which only represents the USAWA. The IAWA(UK) does not accept new lifts at their IAWA(UK) annual meeting. The ARWLWA primarly uses the IAWA(UK) Rulebook as their official rulebook, but does use the USAWA Rulebook for the OTSM lifts. So to sum it up, the USAWA has official lifts that the IAWA(UK) does not.
What do I consider in voting on a new proposed lift? Simply put I look at THREE THINGS before casting my vote.
1. Is it a new, novel lift?
What’s the point of passing a new lift that is just a knockoff of a lift we already have. Here’s an example of a lift I wouldn’t be in favor of – say – the heels together Ciavattone Grip Deadlift. We already have the Ciavattone Grip Deadlift, and we already have the heels together deadlift. I just don’t see the point of combining these. After all, anytime a Ciavattone Grip is used it comes down to grip strength anyways. I don’t have a problem with a “one deviation” difference from a traditional lift, but after that it just becomes confusing and redundant. I won’t even get started venting about the Lano Lift. That’s a story in itself how that lift got passed!
2. Does it represent an old time All Round Weightlifting movement or lift?
Our mission statement has always stated that the USAWA “strives to preserve the history of the original forms of weightlifting”. I hope we never forget this, as I feel that is the purpose of our organization. If you’re interested in the “new age” strength lifts, go compete in cross fit. That’s not what we are about.
3. Is it a lift that can be performed properly by the majority of our members?
We already have enough “trick lifts” and “pet lifts” in our Rulebook. We don’t need more. I understand that the USAWA gives opportunity to express hidden strengths in obscure lifts, but enough is enough. I understand why the Van Dam Lift got approved (it was for a personal publicity stunt which we agreed to participate in, hoping it would give us some exposure), but come on, that’s a ridiculous lift to have in our Rulebook. I can think of over 50 new lifts that we could have that would be better than that one! I feel any new USAWA official lift should be one that at least over 50 percent of lifters can perform.
On the IAWA front the USAWA has always been very open to new lifts, more so than the rest of the IAWA crowd. I could state my reasons why I think that is so – but won’t publically as I know I would offend some people. I do know some think we have enough All Round lifts in “the books” now, but if a new lift is proposed that is good I am all for it. Maybe we should get rid of some official USAWA lifts? Again that is a story for another day!