Tag Archives: Scott Schmidt

The Reverse Grip Curl Controversy

By Al Myers

I was recently visiting with Hall of Famer Scott Schmidt.  We had a nice phone visit the other day talking about this years National Championships amongst other things.  One thing we talked about was the Reverse Grip Curl. This has always been one of Scott’s favorite USAWA lifts, and one he has done many times with many records. He mentioned to me that he had once done in strict style, 143 pounds, in the Reverse Curl but it’s not listed in the USAWA Record List.

Well, he was correct (this record is now listed though as I cross checked old meet results and verified it), and I have some explaining to do!

The Reverse Curl has always had controversy surrounding it in the USAWA.  Most of this resulted from old written rules that weren’t clear and lifters doing the lift in different fashions, under different assumed rules.  Some were doing the Reverse Curl very strict while others were doing it with some backbend. Others were doing it like the Cheat Curl with big dips and bar swings.  Results of all these variations were entered into the Record List under one lift name.  Obviously the “cheaters” had higher record numbers which wasn’t fair to the lifters doing it strict style.  However, lots of lifters really liked the “Cheat Style” and this resulted in a new lift in the USAWA, the Curl – Cheat, Reverse Grip.  It has been a popular lift and has been in several competitions (including the 2012 and 2015 National Championships).  This lift was passed as a new lift in  2010. So now there are two official Reverse Grip Curls – the Curl Cheat Reverse Grip and the Curl Reverse Grip.

The difference in rules for the Reverse Grip Curl is that the Cheat version utilizes the rules of the Cheat Curl while the strict version uses the rules of the Rectangular Fix.  This creates a big difference in the amount of weight that can be lifted!  I won’t go over the other details of these rules as you can look them up in the USAWA Rulebook.

Now back to the Record List.  When I took over as Records Chairman I noticed that this was a problem as many of the record lifts in the Curl Reverse Grip were obviously (and many I witnessed first hand) done with the Cheat technique.  Since there was no way I could break this down and determine “which was which” I grouped all of them into the Curl-Cheat, Reverse Grip and started a new listing for Curl – Reverse Grip.  I figured even if it had been done “strict style” it would conform to the rules for the Cheat Style.  However, I knew several of the older records where done with the Strict Style but just not specifically which ones.

So if anyone has done a STRICT Reverse Grip Curl in the past and it is not recorded in the Record List properly please let me know so I can get it fixed and give you the credit you deserve.  I will need meet result verification and one witness to support the record to make this change.

I have changed the name  of the Curl – Reverse Grip in the Record List to Curl – Strict, Reverse Grip and this will be done in the next Rule Book edition as well.   I hope this will help better clarify the differences between these two lifts in the future.

But I have to mention Scott again!  Scott’s big STRICT Reverse Grip Curl at Art’s Birthday Bash in 1998 is the TOPS in the USAWA Record List.  That day he lifted 65 Kilograms (143 pounds) in the 115KG class.

Scott Schmidt – New LEVEL 2 OFFICIAL

by Al Myers

Bob Geib lifting under the watch of 3 Level 2 USAWA Officials at the 2013 USAWA National Championships: Chad Ullom (left), Scott Schmidt (center), and Joe Ciavattone (right).

It’s always exciting news when a new USAWA certified official reaches LEVEL 2 officiating status.  Congratulations goes to Scott Schmidt for becoming the most recent Level 2 official.   Scott went about reaching Level 2 status in an unorthodox manner.  Let me explain.

The typical process of becoming a USAWA official involves taking the Rule Test first.  This consists of an open book exam of 100 questions covering the rules in the USAWA Rulebook.  There is no time limit for taking the test, and to pass it you must score over 90%.  After passing the Rules Test, an aspiring official must then perform the Practical Training Sessions, which consists of attending 3 meets and judging alongside a Level 2 official. After this has been completed successfully,  a person becomes a Level 1 Test Qualified Official.  The “other” category of Level 1 officials is the Level 1 Experience Qualified.  This was created to allow those very experienced USAWA officials to be “grandfathered in” as officials when the USAWA Officials Program began in 2009.  To be eligible to become a Level 1 Experience Qualified Official, one must have officiated in over 25 prior USAWA competitions and/or events.  Once a Level 1 Test Qualified official has officiated over 25 competitions they can apply for Level 2 status.

Scott has been an official in the USAWA for over 20 years.  He has officiated 100’s of events, and often serves as the head official in big competitions.  He spent 2 days sitting in the HEAD CHAIR at this past National Championships, and is regarded as one of the best officials in the USAWA by the lifters.  He was formally listed as a Level 1 Experience Official, and now since he has passed the USAWA Rules Test, he has “officially” joined the Level 2 group of elite USAWA officials.  Since Scott grandfathered in, he went about this entire process in reverse order by taking the rules test last!  I have hoped that all of the Level 1 Experience Qualified officials would take the rules test and become Level 2 officials to show support to the USAWA Officials Program.   It is next to impossible to become a Level 2 Experience Qualified official now as the initial grant of  Certified Official status without taking the rules test is not allowed anymore.

Again, Congrats to Scott!

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!).

USAWA RULES FOR THE SCHUBERT LIFTS

 
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.

My Pinch Grip Training

by Scott Schmidt

Greetings, Fellow Strongmen!

Scott Schmidt shows his AMAZING Pinch Grip - with a 2 Hand Pinch Grip of 180 pounds and a 1 Hand Pinch Grip of 115 pounds.

After a recent performance at the Historic Ambridge Bar Bell Club Challenge, I was asked to submit an article describing my training techniques for the Pinch Grip Lift.

It is my pleasure to share these methods with anyone who is looking to improve their grip oriented lifting events. I will offer the recommended exercises I have used to improve my gripping strength. I have not “specialized” only in working on my grip. I do my grip exercises in between the heavy lift workouts of squats, pulls, overhead supports etc. I focus on grip movements in order to insure I do not have a weak link while doing the pulling in the Olympic Style quick lifts.

That said, among the best grip training exercises are the results you gain from doing the snatch grip dead lift. Since it is an awkward position, it forces your grip to respond. You know your limit easily when the bar doesn’t finish to the top of the thighs. You also are activating other groups of pulling muscles while doing the snatch grip dead lift. This is a bonus because to pick up modest weight for hand strength only will not enable you to progress as fast. And, since the “grip only” muscles can be used up quickly, i.e. hands, fingers, and forearms, by doing an exercise which involves other muscles, you are not as likely to over train your “grip only” muscles.

In addition to doing 3 sets of 3 reps in the snatch grip dead lift 80% of max single, which of course can produce strength gains in many areas, here are some other exercises I do to improve my results when targeting a record in a “grip only” lift:

Lift Sets Reps % of Max
2 Inch Vertical Bar Deadlift 3 3 75
2 Hand Pinch Grip 4 2 80
1 Hand Pinch Grip 6 1 90
Bent Over Row 5 5 60

In summary, these 5 exercises have been very useful to me in order to achieve grip lift record results. Another movement you can do to help you set targets for improvement is to lift something awkward with one hand at a time. For instance, I get Spring Water delivered to my front door in 5 gallon jugs. I then have to take them to my gym area. To test myself, I have used the full bottles to see how long I can hold them from the neck. Or, how long I can walk with one in each hand. Just an idea to have fun improving your grip and break up the “iron only” exercises.

Hope this article helps you get rid of any “bottle cap twist-off” issues.

Tribute to Howard

by Scott Schmidt

Greetings, All

You may have just read the sad news on our Website that one of the Icons of the USAWA, Howard Prechtel passed away November 9th, 2010. Al Myers asked that we share our experiences with Howard. This is my response.

Sincerely,

Scott Schmidt

Tribute to Howard

As a tribute to Howard Prechtel, I would like to offer a few words to describe his accomplishments, and his influence on my weightlifting career.

I knew Howard personally for over 20 years. I knew of his presence for over 30. He was a legendary Cleveland, Ohio strongman. Another fellow athlete and good friend, George Yanoscik always would speak of Howard’s’ fantastic feats in the all round type events as we trained on the Olympic style lifts. To hear some of his feats, such as 900 pound Roman Chair sit ups, or repetition Travis Lifts for multi-million pound results was incredible.

After years of hearing these great stories about Howard’s abilities, as good fortune would have it, George was finally able to introduce me in person to Howard. From that moment on, I could clearly see what a genuine hero Howard was. He gave me so much help in so many areas of training to get strong, and also how to avoid and recuperate from injury.

Howard had learned the “secrets” of the chiropractic techniques that could get you back to normal as soon as possible. Over the years, he ‘adjusted” thousands of patients, including medical doctors from the Cleveland Clinic! If that isn’t a testimony to his ability to heal folks, I don’t know what better endorsement there is!

In addition to his enormous influence on the sport of All Round Weightlifting, putting on countless meets, instituting the Gold Cup, and setting countless World Records, Howard was also a World Class Master Olympic Weightlifter. During his years of competing, he was only 1 title short of being elected into the US Masters Weightlifting Hall of Fame with 9 victories. He could have easily achieved ten and more, but his ability to travel to compete became limited primarily due to financial concerns. In my opinion, he certainly deserves the recognition.

In closing, I will share one quick demonstration of how Howard enabled me to win when I was injured. Back at the 1991 Masters Pan American Weightlifting Championships, I came prepared to compete, but an old back injury flared up upon arrival at the venue. I tried with no avail to sleep it off, but the morning of the meet, I had decided to tell the meet director, USAWA Hall of Famer John Vernacchio, I had to withdraw. But before I did, I ran into Howard and explained my problem. In a Milli-second, he said “Lie Down” . I did. And you know what? He fixed me to almost 100% in a few moments. I was able to succeed with about 90% of what I came to pick up, and was able to take home my first Pan Am Title. That story along with many others is why I want to pay tribute to the memory of a Great Hero, and I will be forever grateful to my personal friend, Howard Prechtel.

May he rest in peace.

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