Interview with Frank Zane3

Sri Chinmoy: Yesterday I lifted Clarence Clemons, the “Big Man.” He was 270 pounds. Then with the lifting apparatus, it became 283 pounds.

Frank Zane: You’ll have an easy time with me! I won’t be a problem.

Sri Chinmoy: Yesterday it was my personal record. Before that, my record was 263 pounds. That was in Germany. I lifted the great German champion Peter Hensel. I believe that he was also Mr. Universe a few years ago.

Frank Zane: Peter Hensel? He was just in the Mr. Olympia.

Sri Chinmoy: When he saw my students praying while I was lifting, he got the inspiration to pray to God to make him light so that I could lift him. His heart came to the fore.

Frank Zane: That’s smart! Sri Chinmoy, it is so good to have you in Palm Springs. Would you like to do the lift now?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes, it will only take a few minutes. So far I have lifted 482 people.

Frank Zane: 482 people? That’s very uplifting!

[Sri Chinmoy does some warm-up exercises.]

Frank Zane: If we had time, I could show you some good exercises for biceps. You have a nice form.

[Frank Zane goes up to the lifting platform and the singers sing a special song which Sri Chinmoy has composed in his honour.]

Sri Chinmoy: You have been three times Mr. Olympia. So it is my wish and desire and privilege to try to lift you three times — left, right, left.

[Sri Chinmoy lifts Frank Zane three times using alternate hands. The total weight, with the lifting apparatus, is 199 pounds.]

Sri Chinmoy: Now I shall do one more because you are a genuine follower of Zen Buddhism. You have great fondness, heart’s fondness, for the Zen type of meditation. So I am bowing to the Zen Masters of the hoary past and present. You have the blessings of the Zen Masters and also the blessings of our Indian Lord Shiva. According to Indian philosophy, each individual is connected with a particular Cosmic God. I see and feel that you are connected with Lord Shiva. So I am bowing down to the Lord Shiva in you and to the Zen Masters of the hoary past and present. This lift is in honour of them.

[Sri Chinmoy lifts Frank Zane one more time and then presents him with a trophy.]

Frank Zane: I’ll put this up in my gym right now. I think we had some help from Lord Buddha and Shiva on the last lift!

[Frank Zane takes Sri Chinmoy on a tour of his personal gym and shows him some bicep exercises.]

Sri Chinmoy: (Joking) I am too old!

Frank Zane: How old is too old?

Sri Chinmoy: I am 57. Although I spend three hours per day lifting weights, my muscles are not getting any bigger!

Frank Zane: (Joking) I think I’m too old, too, Sri Chinmoy!

Sri Chinmoy: I am so grateful to you for inviting me here, so grateful.

Frank Zane: It is so good to see you. I'm glad we could do this. Do you take all this equipment when you travel?

Sri Chinmoy: Yes. Earlier this month I was in Germany. There I lifted many people, including Peter Hensel and another Mr. Universe, Tony Pearson. Soon I shall go to Seattle to lift University professors. I lift people who have inspired others on the physical plane the vital plane, the mental plane and the psychic plane — all walks of life.

Frank Zane: It is so good — it’s uniting everybody, it’s spreading the message. I like it that now you are lifting with both hands. You are doing the lift with your left and your right.

Sri Chinmoy: I have also lifted 150 pounds with both hands simultaneously.

Frank Zane: Well, stay healthy. As long as you warm up and don’t get hurt, it’s all right.

Sri Chinmoy: In the morning I take exercise for over three hours. I do lots of stretching exercises, all kinds of exercises. When I lift individuals, for ten minutes I do warm-up exercises. That is enough for me. And every morning I practise lifting 300 pounds. I do it three times with my left hand and three times with my right hand. That way I build up confidence. The day I lifted up Clarence Clemons I had inner confidence because every day I do 300 pounds.

Frank Zane: So any time you do less than 300 pounds, it is easy because you already know you can do it!

Sri Chinmoy: It is my daily practice. When I do full extension, where I extend my elbow to the fullest extent, I do 300 pounds. Otherwise, if I just have to lift the weight a few inches, I can do more.

Frank Zane: The hardest part is the initial lift. Sri Chinmoy, I am very happy that you came. I wrote to you one time that it was my dream that you would come here.

Sri Chinmoy: You have inspired thousands of people in your own country and abroad, so I am trying to be of service to you. You inspire others and I am trying to give you joy. In that way I get joy. So this is our mutual happiness. While I am offering you joy because you have done something great, I am also getting joy. This is our oneness-heart — we give and receive at the same time.

Frank Zane: You are doing a great job. Everybody knows you now, the strength community and the bodybuilding community. The word is out. It’s great!

Sri Chinmoy: Previously there were many people who doubted that I could lift such heavy weights. But when they see the human figures that I lift, they are more inclined to believe it.

Frank Zane: People can relate to the body. People know how much the human body weighs. Thank you, Sri Chinmoy.

Sri Chinmoy: Thank you. Please call on me when you come to New York.

Frank Zane: I will!

ABIS 149. On 19 October 1988, Sri Chinmoy visited three-time Mr. Olympia and three-time Mr. Universe Frank Zane at his home in Palm Springs and lifted him overhead as part of his "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart" programme. Some extracts from their conversation follow.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Aspiration-body, illumination-soul, part 3, Agni Press, 2004
Sourced from