Part 2

Sri Chinmoy arrived at his court that morning fresh from an extensive weightlifting workout at home. His goal was to lift and support a 300-pound dumbbell with one arm. It was a goal which had so far eluded him in spite of repeated attempts. He had been practising weights for almost a year, since a severe leg injury had curtailed his running. During that time he had progressed from 40 pounds to 230 pounds with one arm, while maintaining a personal body weight of only 159 pounds. This specialised approach gave no hint of the diversity of lifts that was soon to follow.
Sri Chinmoy carefully inspected the new calf raise machine and paused for a moment before nominating a commencing weight. Then he said decisively: "400 pounds." The plates were loaded and Sri Chinmoy executed several repetitions. They felt comfortable and the lift began to interest him. The next day, June 2nd, he performed repetitions with 500 pounds and, once again, seemed to have no difficulty obtaining the full range of movement despite the amount of weight involved.

The third day of June ticked over with another 100-pound increase to 600 pounds and Sri Chinmoy repeated the pattern on June 4th with repetitions of 700 pounds. Only four training sessions had elapsed and already the heat was intense: the volcano had begun to simmer. It almost seemed as if Sri Chinmoy was deliberately holding himself back, waiting for another 24-hour period to elapse, in order to build some kind of time factor into his progress.

Where did this capacity to lift mega-weights come from? It was not something that could have been developed in such a radical overnight fashion. The calf muscle group is notoriously slow to respond to weight work and normally requires an investment of hundreds of hours to achieve significant strength and thickness.
In addition, the running injury that Sri Chinmoy had been carrying had caused the calf muscles of his right leg to atrophy to the extent that it now measured 13½ inches against 14¼ inches for the left. His Indian heritage had given him the typically slender and tapered calves of that race. As a champion sprinter in his youth and, later, as a long distance runner, Sri Chinmoy had benefited from their explosive speed but they were patently small for a bodybuilder.

The final factor to be taken into account was Sri Chinmoy's age. He was approaching his 55th birthday —an age where most men would be looking at maintenance of their physique rather than muscle development.
But all these obstacles, any one of which might have been enough to deter most men, were to Sri Chinmoy like the outer crust of the volcano. The pure fire that lay beneath it was untouched —and it would in time break through to the surface.
Sri Chinmoy was in Germany for a concert tour from June 5th to June 13th, necessitating an enforced break in his new training programme. Yet, on his return, he continued to make the same relentless progress as before. He celebrated his arrival on June 13th by lifting 800 pounds and fearlessly set his sights on the massive goal of 1,000 pounds, widely held to be the ceiling level for this kind of lift.
On the morning of June 14th, Sri Chinmoy began with 10 repetitions of 800 pounds. He then progressed to three repetitions of 900 pounds and spontaneously decided to try for 1.000 pounds the same day.

Glathering his tremendous concentrative powers during a few moments of absolute silence, Sri Chinmoy then positioned his shoulders under the lever arms of the machine and placed i lie halls of his feet on the raised foot platform. His torso was rim and his head up. Lowering his heels as far as possible, Sri Chinmoy inhaled and slowly began to raise them. As they lifted, so too did the great weight. Five times he repeated this movement and the plates glided smoothly and inexorably upwards.
The 1,000-pound barrier had been broken and the magical four-figure realm that lay beyond it now waited to be explored. From this point on, Sri Chinmoy was out on his own and the distant volcanic rumblings of his inner power and outer strength began to prepare themselves for an unprecedented eruption.



Sri Chinmoy Calf Raises