Part 7

Sri Chinmoy's car lift on September 21st was a continuation of the joy and inspiration he had received from another spectacular victory that same morning. For the second day running, Sri Chinmoy was attempting to lift up a 400-pound dumbbell with one arm. Throughout September he had been able to make steady gains of ten pounds at a time so that he had now reached the point where this enormous dumbbell cast its shadow over his weightlifting room. Sri Chinmoy's own body weight had not fluctuated, despite the quantity of heavy work he was doing for both arms and legs. He still weighed a scant 159 pounds.

He faced the dumbbell shortly after 7:00 a.m. and successfully lifted it on both his third and fourth attempts. Beyond 400 pounds a great uncharted hinterland now opened up. It awaited the explorer in Sri Chinmoy, as Everest had awaited Hilary and Tensing.

Meanwhile, in the realm of the standing calf raise, September had witnessed some striking progress. On September 15th Sri Chinmoy made ten attempts to lift 1,600 pounds and six of them were clear. This time, the assembled spectators had no need to adopt a worm's eye vantage point, for all the lifts were extremely high and easily detectable by the naked eye. Technically, the only requirement regarding the height of the lift was that Sri Chinmoy lift the weights a minimum distance equivalent to the thickness of a sheet of paper. Unless the paper was inserted between the plates and then removed as Sri Chinmoy lifted, however, this criterion would have been extremely difficult to apply in practice. Fortunately, Sri Chinmoy more than satisfied official requirements by virtue of the fact that his lifts were clearly visible from different perspectives and they were captured on film and video.

One further point to nole is that Sri Chinmoy's calf machine now carried twenty-one 100-pound plates and there was an intermediate step between the ground and the foot platform. The lever arms of the machine had been reinforced by the addition of another bar of corresponding length. However, this adjustment made no change to the actual leverage of the machine. The back bars were also reinforced. Because Sri Chinmoy had found that the original shoulder pads cut into his shoulders, especially as he increased the amount of weight on the machine, these pads were enlarged and curved, using foam padding and a cupped metal support that fitted snugly over the shoulder. While this modified version of the original machine was perhaps the prototype of a new type of standing calf raise machine, especially geared for heavy work, its essential components remained unchanged from the Dan Lurie model which Sri Chinmoy had purchased in May.

On September 18th, Sri Chinmoy first introduced one-legged calf raises into his workout. Towards the end of a particularly hard session, he set the pin at 400 pounds and then proceeded to do two sets of 10 reps with his left leg and one set of 8 and one of 6 reps with his weaker right leg.

Finally, the quiet and understated seated calf raise was also becoming more prominent in Sri Chinmoy's daily regimen. He had advanced from 300 to 400 pounds on August 15th, and then to 500 pounds on August 18th. Because Sri Chinmoy always included this exercise at the very end of his workouts, many people believed that his true capacity was in fact far greater than these figures reflected. Their confidence was justified and it was only a matter of weeks before Sri Chinmoy would begin working out with 600 pounds.

Sri Chinmoy's weightlifting programme still specialised in the areas of right arm and calves, but within those domains he pursued his potential to the ultimate. And, as he did so, he was to change forever the face of the sport. , .....



Sri Chinmoy Calf Raises