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This past Saturday, a couple of my training partners and I headed out to Big Al's Dino Gym in Holland, Kansas to compete in the first ever USAWA Old Time strongman meet. The USAWA is a drug tested federation that specializes in lifts that are not contested in Powerlifting or Olympic weightlifting. Many of the lifts were done by old time strongmen during their shows. All of the lifts done in this meet were made famous by an old time strongman.
As usual, this trip to the Dino Gym was awesome. This personal gym is far better than most commercial gyms I have been to. It has everything you would need for powerlifting, olympic lifting, all-round and strongman. It even has a full highland games field outback. There are autographed pictures of many of the all time greats hanging amongst the many awards on the walls.
The first lift of the day was a Saxon Snatch. It was a lift that was performed by Arthur Saxon in his routine. It was a regular snatch, except it was done with a 3 inch wooden plank. This event was humbling to say the least. On my final attempt, I hit a lift of 100 pounds, which was much better than I expected to do, after I warmed up. This was a tie for the second highest Saxon Snatch of the day.
The second lift was the Apollon's axle, which replicates the French strongman Louis Uni's (also known as the Amazing Apollon) challenge wheels. We were to clean the axle and put it overhead. I ended with a lift of 325 pounds lifted overhead on the axle, which was good for the highest axle of the competition.
Next up was the Cyr Dumbbell, named after the legendary Canadian strongman, Louis Cyr. It was basically a max overhead dumbbell press. I opened with the last fixed dumbbell at 150 pounds, so we had to move to the adjustable. I hit an easy 3rd lift of 190 pounds for the top dumbbell of the competition, definitely leaving some in the tank on this one.
After the dumbbell, we moved to the Dinnie stone lift. This lift was made famous when Donald Dinnie lifted and carried these stones in Scottland in 1860. We were simulating the lift with loading pins and ring handles, but from the same height as the stones must be lifted from. I ended up tying for the overall event win, with a final effort of 735 (415 in one and 320 on the other). This total weight is actually 1 pound over what the stones weigh.
Lastly, we contested the Goerner Stroll. This lift was made popular by the old German strongman, Herman Goerner. It is basically a farmers walk with barbells for one rod for 16.5'. The trick to this one is a good hook grip and being able to balance the barbells. I ended up with a stroll of 260lbs/hand, which tied for the second best in the competition.
When it was all said and done, I had the highest total of anyone at the meet. However, due to the fact that the USAWA used age and bodyweight formula corrections, I got second place overall on bodyweight, losing to a lighter lifter. I was happy with each of my lifts, though, and am now excited to go over to Scottland and try the actual Dinnie Stones. Thanks again to MTI for their continued support of my career. Training is going great, and I look forward to strength gains with the help of HMB that the new year will bring.