Saturday, February 17, 2024

2024 USAWA Grip Championships

I made my way out to Abilene, KS for the USAWA 2024 Grip Championships and had a wonderful time.  I took the platform with 9 other masters athletes.

I was immediately taken in by the Dino Gym.  Walking back towards the entranced, I passed atlas stones, various farmer's handles implements, anvils, and variety of challenge barbells that I did not even consider taking a pull at.

Randy and Laverne were there early so it gave me time for the grand tour.  The inside is filled with photos from well known and lesser known strength athletes.  The shear number of awards is awe inspiring given the relatively short 20 year history of the Dino Gym.  Most of the equipment is homemade including back lift, a couple of squat racks, reverse hyper, back extension and of course the Roman Chair.  The heavy lift platform has a ridiculous amount of weights.  Three different harness lift sizes and two widths for the hand supports.  The harness lift and neck lift harnesses are made from ag belting.  The hip lift belt seems to be a tow rope.  I measured the hip belt at 48" in length.  The straps off of the neck harness were 42" in length.

Inside also features Highland Games implements, Grip implements, shot puts, several discus and some conditioning equipment as well.  There were plenty of barbells including one that had to have a diameter of 6 inches.  I would be terrified to load that thing.

After weigh ins and conversation, we were ready to start.  Laverne made some introductory remarks and Chad went over the rules as de facto head judge.  Al was unfortunately not feeling well and unable to attend.

Dave, Ben, Chris, Laverne, Randy, Chad, Jason, Lance, Stacy and myself took on the Pinch Grip - Strict, Vertical Bar Deadlift, One-Bar, 1", Deadlift - Index Fingers, Deadlift - Fulton - Ciavattone Grip, and finally the Rim Lift.

Pinch Grip Strict.  I went 3 for 3 finishing at 100#, I missed a 110# record attempt.  Very much in line with my plan.  Top competition lift was Jason at 120.  He added a successful fourth attempt for a records a 125 pounds.

Vertical Bar Deadlift, One-Bar 1" - I went 3 for 3 finishing at 160# and adding a 170# record attempt.  Much stronger than training at home.  I had planned to go 100-120#.  Top lift was Ben at 225 pounds.  His 200 pound opener had him lifting all by himself as the next best lifter had a best competition lift of 185 pounds.

Deadlift - Fingers, Index - I again went 3 for 3 finishing at 125#.  Much stronger than my plan at home.  I ad planned to go 95-105#.  I did not even try to beat the 135# record currently held by Al Myers.  Top lift was Chad at 225.  It was Chad's turn to lift by himself as his 205 pound opener was on par with Ben's best lift and eclipsed everybody else's third attempts.

Deadlift - Fulton Bar, Ciavattone Grip - I went 3 for 3 again finishing at 243#.  I tacked on a 253# fourth lift for a record.  This was in line with my plan at home.  Top lift was Chad at 323.  The bar had a really good texture.  This was another one where Ben and Chad were by themselves opening at 263 pounds after the rest of us were done.

Rim Lift - We contested this on a custom bar with 20" spacing between the collars.  We used standard weight plates that did not have much of a lip.  I again went 3 for 3 finishing at 250#.  I did not make a record attempt.  This was inline with my plan at home.  Top lift was Chad at 290.  The competition was a little tighter which allowed Ben and Chad to get a little rest between lifts.  Aside from Stacy who preferred straddle deadlift, everybody else pulled conventionally on the rim lift.  There were no hack lifters today.

Total Weight rankings:
  1. Chad - 1123
  2. Ben - 1063
  3. Laverne - 953
  4. Randy - 908
  5. Chris - 913
  6. Jason - 888
  7. Sanjiv - 878
  8. Lance - 803
  9. David - 793
  10. Stacy - 763
Lynch Points
  1. Chad - 930
  2. Ben - 880
  3. Randy - 819
  4. Laverne - 816
  5. Sanjiv - 784
  6. Stacy - 691
  7. Chris - 687
  8. Jason - 659
  9. Lance - 656
  10. Dave - 616
Age Adjusted Lynch Points
  1. Laverne - 1143 (79 yo, 216#) 1.19 AA Lynch
  2. Randy - 1065 (69 yo, 196.5#) 1.17 AA Lynch
  3. Chad - 1051 (52 yo, 230#) 0.94 AA Lynch
  4. Ben - 960 (48, 230#) 0.90 AA Lynch
  5. Sanjiv - 887 (52, 200#) 1.01 AA Lynch
  6. Dave - 807 (70, 260.5#) 1.02 AA Lynch
  7. Jason - 785 (58, 286#)  0.88 AA Lynch
  8. Lance - 781 (58, 236#) 0.97 AA Lynch
  9. Chris - 721 (44, 278#) 0.79 AA Lynch
  10. Stacy - 705 (1.33 multiplier would put Stacy at 937 and 4th place overall)(41, 195#) 0.92 AA Lynch
I was rally pleased to take 7th in Total Weight, 5th in Age Adjusted Lynch, 1st (and only) 95kg lifter.  I also set (4) records at 50 years old and 95kg.  

100# Pinch Grip - Strict (previously OPEN)
170# V-Bar 1 bar 1 inch, left (previously OPEN)
253# Deadlift - Fulton, Ciavattone (previously OPEN)
250# Rim Lift (previously OPEN, also the all time 95kg Record)

As a bonus, I completed my 3rd practical training session and will be applying to be a USAWA Level 1 Official.

I tweaked my back on Thursday and was relieved that it held up OK on 1 Advil. 

It would have been great to do a records session, but we finished up right at 5 PM and folks were ready to hit the road.

Aside from Randy and myself, everybody else lived in Kansas within a roughly 2 hour drive.

469 miles to Abilene (349 miles to Hayes), 2 nights lodging at Fairfield Inn (~$100/night), meals on the road.  Roughly $100 in gas, $200 in lodging and $20 worth of Wendy's.

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