Sri Chinmoy in 2005 training with an 80-pound dumbbell, ten reps at a time.

In June 1985, at the age of 54, Sri Chinmoy began his weightlifting career with a single-arm lift of just 40 pounds. A little over one year later he had lifted 320½ pounds (double his own body weight).

The chronicle of Sri Chinmoy’s rapid progress reveals a fascinating story of the possibilities of human achievement.

Sri Chinmoy was not a professional weightlifter, and he was certainly not built for the task. At 5 feet 8 inches high and weighing only 160 pounds, he was far from the imposing muscle-bound figure one would expect. And given his age, he was a most unlikely person to be attempting to lift such massive weights. He was, however, a great spiritual master, a man of adamantine will who had absolute reliance upon God’s Grace.

The efforts of this slightly-built, self-effacing man of peace astounded the best weightlifters in the world. He was breaking new ground and many traditional weightlifters, at first, looked sceptically upon Sri Chinmoy’s new technique – until they saw the results:

On January 30, 1987, just 19 months after he first began training, Sri Chinmoy lifted a weight of 7,063¾ pounds using only his right arm. It was an achievement that challenged the limits of human possibility and it shook the world of weightlifting.

(An excerpt from Sri Chinmoy Reflections.)

“I have learned from Sri Chinmoy that the size of the arm does not make the man; the size of the heart makes the man. Nobody on earth has done what Sri Chinmoy has done.” — Bill Pearl (Five-time Mr. Universe and Best-Built Man of the 20th Century)

“Sri Chinmoy is a very spiritual man. I feel the reason Sri Chinmoy lifted this weight is because of his love of God and belief that through God all things are possible. This man has done the impossible because of faith, wisdom and love of God.” — Muhammad Ali (The Greatest; Three-time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion)

“Sri Chinmoy is a pioneer far, far ahead of his time. In centuries to come people will look at his lifts and begin to fathom how great his achievements are.” — Jim Smith (British Amateur Weightlifters Association)

“Sri Chinmoy’s love is able to touch all human hearts. There is no boundary to the millions of people he reaches around the world.” — Carl Lewis (Winner of 10 Olympic medals; voted ‘Sportsman of the Century’ by the IOC)

“Sri Chinmoy and I have been friends for over 30 years. He was a man of great strength and character… Even as a world record-holder myself, I was constantly amazed by the strength of Sri Chinmoy… Over the years, I always was astounded at his accomplishments.” — Dan Lurie (Three-time winner of America’s Most Muscular Man)

Sri Chinmoy speaks about his weightlifting.