Tag Archives: USAWA Rules

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!

The New Pinch Grip

By Al Myers

This is one of Steve Santangelo's favorite training exercises. But would you call it a Pinch Grip?

This is one of Steve Santangelo’s favorite training exercises. But would you call it a Pinch Grip?

At the Annual General Meeting of the USAWA one of the big lift changes that was made has been with the rules for the Pinch Grip.  Let me give a little back story here on this lift. The Pinch Grip has been an official lift of the USAWA/IAWA for a long time.  The intent of the lift is to test the grip by pinching two plates together and lifting the plates with added weight.  The original rule was pretty vague in the technical aspects of the rules – probably because it seemed like a lift that should be pretty self-explanatory. However, a few years ago many lifters starting performing the Pinch Grip with added fronthang as the rules didn’t prevent it.  Because of this the Pinch Grip rule was amended to allow fronthang and/or backhang as that was the way it was being done.  Fronthang is an obvious advantage as it allows the gripping plates to tip placing more of the gripping pressure on the fingers instead of the thumb which allows more weight to be lifted.

The Pinch Grip was a lift in this years USAWA Grip Championships. The deficiency of the Pinch Grip rules were very much exposed in this meet.  Now instead of fronthang plates being placed tight together, the added weight started to be spaced out towards the end of the bar creating even more fronthang.  It got to the point that the lifting plates were being lifted horizontal to the platform! I was the head official of this meet and there wasn’t anything I could say because the execution of these lifts were being done according to the written rule for the Pinch Grip.  I am in NO WAY saying what was being done was wrong in any way as it was being done by the rules, despite not really being in the original intent of the Pinch Grip, and definitely not how the Pinch Grip had been performed in the past.

So at the AGM (after being presented, evaluated and passed by the Executive Board) I presented the new Strict Pinch Grip  as well as a Pinch Grip Deadlift, which is pretty much the previous rule for the Pinch Grip.  Both lifts passed the membership vote by unanimous vote.  The current records in the Pinch Grip will be moved to the Pinch Grip Deadlift and a new record list will be established for the Strict Pinch Grip. This way no records will be lost. Any past competition that was done using the strict Pinch Grip Rules will be “grandfathered” into the new record list for the Strict Pinch Grip (I know of several in the past that are eligible).  And finally, I do apologize on behalf of myself and the USAWA to all lifters that were adversely affected by this at the Grip Championships. And to make up to everyone – both the Pinch Grip Deadlift AND the Strict Pinch Grip will be done at next year’s Grip Championship.

These are the new rules for the Pinch Grip Deadlift and the Pinch Grip – Strict.

Pinch Grip Deadlift

The setup for this lift requires two metal plates joined together with smooth surfaces facing outward which will be referred to as the lifting plates. Any diameter of lifting plates may be used. A vertical bar is placed between the plates to hold them together, and should be long enough to add plates to it. It is recommended that the lifting plates are secured together. Maximum length of the apparatus is 18 inches. The lifter’s fingers must not touch any added plates or the vertical bar. The width of the two lifting plates joined together must be between 2 ¼ inches and 2 ½ inches. The lifter will straddle the weight, with the weight being placed in front of the lifter standing upright with the lifting plates horizontal to the platform. Width of feet placement is optional, but the feet must be parallel and in line with the torso. Feet must not move during the lift, but the heels and toes may rise. The lifter will then grip the lifting plates with both hands. The fingers must be placed under the lifting plates with the thumb touching the lifting plates on the top. The lift begins at the lifter’s discretion. The weight must be lifted to a point where the lifter’s legs are straight and the body upright. The lifting plates may touch the lifters body during the lift but must not be braced against the body during the lift to aid in the lift. Once the weight is motionless, an official will give a command to lower the weight.

Pinch Grip Deadlift – One Hand

The rules of the Pinch Grip Deadlift apply except only one hand is used. The non-lifting hand may be braced against the legs or body during the lift, but must be free from the body upon completion of the lift.

Pinch Grip – Strict

The setup for this lift requires two metal plates joined together with smooth surfaces facing outward. A bar may be placed between the plates to hold them together, and should be long enough to add plates to it. Front hang or back hang is NOT allowed. The added weight plates must be evenly loaded with no gaps between any plates, including the lifting plates.  Collars should be used on this bar to keep added weight plates from moving. The lifter’s fingers must not touch any added plates or the lifting bar. The width of the two plates joined together must be between 2 ¼ inches and 2 ½ inches. Any diameter plates may be used as the lifting plates. The lifter will straddle the weight, with the weight being placed in front of the lifter. Width of feet placement is optional, but the feet must be parallel and in line with the torso. Feet must not move during the lift, but the heels and toes may rise.  The lifter will then grip the plates with both hands on the top of both plates. The palms of the hands must be facing the lifter. The lift begins at the lifter’s discretion. The weight must be lifted to a point where the lifter’s legs are straight and the body upright. During the lift the plates must be maintained perpendicular to the platform. Once the weight is motionless, an official will give a command to lower the weight.

Pinch Grip – Strict, One Hand

The rules of the Pinch Grip – Strict apply except only one hand is used. The non-lifting hand may be braced against the legs or body during the lift, but must be free from the body upon completion of the lift.

Membership Required

By Al Myers

The biggest financial support of the USAWA comes from individual memberships in the USAWA. Membership fees are critical for our organization to survive.  All membership fees go into the USAWA bank account – there’s no money siphoned off for administrative fees.  In turn, all of the money the USAWA spends goes back to the membership in one form or another. We operate on a “bare bones” budget.  It’s so bare there’s no areas anywhere where cuts could be made without taking away services the USAWA offers to the membership.

Today I want to emphasize how important it is for meet directors to ensure that the lifters in their USAWA meets join the USAWA.  The following rule is part of the USAWA Rulebook.

VIII. The Competition

11. The Meet Director is responsible for verifying that all competitors are current USAWA members, and must submit new member applications along with the membership dues to the USAWA secretary immediately after an event. Failure to do so may result in loss of meet sanction following a competition or event.

It should be an obvious assumption that you must be a current member of the USAWA in order to receive the benefits of an USAWA sanctioned event.  And a member THE DAY OF the competition – not the next day or the next month or the next year.  Current means RIGHT NOW.  I will leave lifters off meet results if they entered a competition and are not a member of the USAWA the day of the meet.  I’ve heard a meet director complain that his lifters didn’t get listed because of a technicality.  Well, not being a current member the day of the meet is NOT A TECHNICALITY.  That’s a rule violation.  A technicality would be forgetting to sign your membership application, or forgetting to list your zip code on your membership application. I have never disqualified someone for those things. In those instances I notify the lifter in question to redo their application so it’s right (assuming the payment is good!!!).

As stated in the rules it’s the meet directors responsibility to make sure everyone is a member. Most lifters register before they enter a competition, but if not a meet director should collect membership applications and dues the day of the meet.  Now it’s super easy to confirm membership status (membership roster is always up to date on this website).  Then come Monday morning after a weekend event mail the applications and dues to me.  I know the mail can be slow at times, but by the end of the week I should have everything “in hand”.  I give a 1 week “in the mail” buffer, but after that time it’s obvious to me that it was not taken care of when it should have been.  Then it’s too late. And not my problem.

Now if a meet director wants to let someone enter a USAWA meet they’re promoting who is not a member that’s their business, but DON’T include this lifter in the meet results you send to me because then it becomes mine and the USAWA’s business.  Just leave the lifter out of the results.

Enough said.

Deadlift – Middle Fingers

By Al Myers

Our USAWA President Denny Habecker getting getting a good stretch on his middle fingers doing the Middle Fingers Deadlift at the 2011 Grip Championships.

Our USAWA President Denny Habecker getting getting a good stretch on his middle fingers doing the Middle Fingers Deadlift at the 2011 Grip Championships.

The THIRD lift contested at the USAWA Grip Championships is the Deadlift – Middle Fingers.  This is a “love or hate” lift for most lifters. It’s one that has been contested before at the Grip Championships. A USAWA Grip Championship wouldn’t be complete without at least one finger lift in it. A lot of other grip competitions ignore the finger lifts as grip lifts, but not the USAWA!  Out of our over 200 officials lifts, 17 are done with an individual finger/fingers (I’ll give a prize to anyone that knows them all).

The USAWA Rule for the Deadlift – Middle Fingers is:

B7. Deadlift – Fingers, Middle

The rules of the Deadlift apply except only the middle fingers of both hands may be used. The middle fingers of both hands may grip the bar in an alternate manner. The thumb must not be in contact with the lifting fingers.

Pretty simple – just hook your middle fingers around the bar and pull!  The key is to block out the pain and the rest is easy.  I’ve written several past blogs on the Middle Finger Deadlift (you can search and read them on this website if you want to), and in a few of them I’ve mentioned what I like to call the USAWA Goerner Club. The great German Strongman Hermann Goerner claimed to have lifted 308.5 pounds in the MF Deadlift around 1925. I consider this mark the ultimate goal for the Middle Finger Deadlift. Only a few USAWA Lifters have accomplished this. This is the short list for the USAWA Goerner’s Club.

1. Kevin Fulton 400 pounds – 1999 SuperGrip Challenge
2. Ben Edwards 315 pounds – 2016 USAWA Grip Championships
3. Bill DiCiccio 309 pounds – 1994 IAWA Gold Cup

That’s IT – only three lifters.  Several others have been very close to making it in official USAWA competition (Joe Garcia 305#, Myself 305#, James Fuller 303#, and Chad Ullom 300#). But being close doesn’t get you in the club!  It doesn’t even get you a pat on the back. As much as I hate the Middle Fingers Deadlift, it really intriques me as I admire any lifter who wants to punish themselves for the fun of it.  I’ve looked through most all past USAWA meet results (but still may have missed something), so I’m pretty confident that the USAWA Goerner Club stands at three.

But yesterday I got to thinking about how much the pre-USAWA All Rounders loved the MF deadlift.  They also did the MF DL in official competitions so their results are not just some “gym story” of someone doing a big MF deadlift in training somewhere.  The precusor and inspiration for the All Rounds came from the early Missouri Valley Weightlifting Association, whereas Bill Clark promoted Odd Lift competitions for many years. Lets see how the modern age USAWA lifters match up against these old timers! The following is a list I developed from old record lists and meet results from the early days.  I only listed marks that have exceeded Goerners famous 308.5# lift.

1.  Ken McClain, Missouri 350 pounds – 1984
2.  Bill Broadnax, MSP 350 pounds – 1981
3.  Joe Nanney, USP 345 pounds – 1961
4.  Daryl Johnson, Arkansas 335 pounds – 1980
5.  Wilbur Miller, Kansas 320 pounds – 1983

That’s FIVE LIFTERS that I found! There were probably more.  It looks like the USAWA has some catching up to do.  Let’s make that happen at this weekend’s Grip Championships.

Pinch Grip

By Al Myers

Troy Goetsch lifting 255 pounds in the Pinch Grip at the 2013 USAWA Grip Championships. This is the top record in the USAWA Record List for the Pinch Grip. Troy went on to win Overall Best Lifter in the Grip Championships.

Troy Goetsch lifting 255 pounds in the Pinch Grip at the 2013 USAWA Grip Championships. This is the top record in the USAWA Record List for the Pinch Grip. Troy went on to win Overall Best Lifter in the Grip Championships.

The USAWA Grip Championships will be here soon! The first lift of the day will be the Pinch Grip.  I’m going to go over the basic rules for the Pinch Grip.

I15. Pinch Grip

The setup for this lift requires two metal plates joined together with smooth surfaces facing outward. A bar may be placed between the plates to hold them together, and should be long enough to add plates to it. Front hang or back hang is allowed to the loading of the center bar. Collars should be used on this bar. The lifter’s fingers must not touch any added plates. The width of the two plates joined together must be between 2 ¼ inches and 2 ½ inches. The lifter will straddle the weight, with the weight being placed in front of the lifter. Width of feet placement is optional, but the feet must be parallel and in line with the torso. Feet must not move during the lift, but the heels and toes may rise.  The lifter will then grip the plates with both hands on the top of both plates. The palms of the hands must be facing the lifter. The lift begins at the lifter’s discretion. The weight must be lifted to a point where the lifter’s legs are straight and the body upright. Once the weight is motionless, an official will givThe setup for this lift requires two metal plates joined together with smooth surfaces facing outward. A bar may be placed between the plates to hold them together, and should be long enough to add plates to it. Front hang or back hang is allowed to the loading ofthe center bar. Collars should be used on this bar. The lifter’s fingers must not touch any added plates. The width of the two plates joined together must be between 2 ¼ inches and 2 ½ inches. The lifter will straddle the weight, with the weight being placed in front of the lifter. Width of feet placement is optional,but the feet must be parallel and in line with the torso. Feet must not move during the lift, but the heels and toes may rise. The lifter will then grip the plates with both hands on the topof both plates. The palms of the hands must be facing the lifter. The lift begins at the lifter’s discretion. The weight must be lifted to a point where the lifter’s legs are straight and thebody upright. Once the weight is motionless, an official e a command to lower the weight.

One special treat for the lifters is that I have a pair of old style milled York Plates to use for the Pinch Grip.  These plates are unique in that the “backsides” have a some milling marks which slightly enhances the grip on them. The plates will be connected with a loading pin (actually a 2″ Vertical Bar).  I will also have some 25’s and 35’s if lifters are going to start under two 45 pound plates. The USAWA rules for the Pinch Grip differ from the IAWA(UK) rules.  The USAWA requires two steel plates to be used while the IAWA(UK) allows a single smooth bumper plate to be used as the gripping plate.  The USAWA rules allow front hang and/or backhang while the IAWA(UK) rules require equal loading on each side.  These are major differences in the Pinch Grip rule. However from what I’ve seen the IAWA(UK) advantage of the use of the bumper plate nearly balances the USAWA advantage of allowing fronthang in total weight lifted.

No substances other than chalk is allowed on the hands.  I will be officiating and this is one thing I will watch for! I expect some big lifts in the Pinch Grip and expect a few USAWA records to fall.

OVERALL USAWA RECORDS IN PINCH GRIP

WT CLASS LIFTER POUNDS
70 KG Colby Howard 100
75 KG Stephen Santangelo 141
80 KG Chris Jaeschke 150
85 KG Dan Wagman 226
90 KF Mike Pringle 175
95 KG Troy Goetsch 255
100 KG Ben Edwards 162
105 KG Al Myers 215
110 KG LaVerne Myers 190
115 KG LaVerne Myers 200
120 KG Matt Graham 200
125 KG Matt Graham 200
125+ KG Mark Mitchell 252

 

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