Strong Arm Techniques

Strong Arm Techniques

Looks can be deceptive. Shri Pandurang Naik’s soft-spoken style and his lean stature contradict the archetypal image of a body builder. Yet this veteran sports personality has been associated with the sport of bodybuilding and weightlifting since 3 decades. A former bodybuilding & weight lifting champion and now an administrator and referee of the sport, Shri Pandurang Nagesh Naik comes across as an extremely simple and unassuming person.

Judging from his modest appearance and behavior it is difficult to imagine that this resident of Mulund has won countless awards and trophies for his contribution to the world of sport. In fact, recognizing his contribution to the sports of bodybuilding, weight lifting and power lifting, the Governor of Maharashtra, H.E. Shri PC Alexander, recently awarded him the prestigious Shri Chatrapati Award for the best sports organizer/worker of the state for the year 1999/2000.

This is the first time that a resident of Mulund has won the “Shri Chatrapati Award”.

Naik’s romance with these “macho-sports” began almost 30 years back, when he was himself a bodybuilder and weight lifter. He was the Mumbai University gold medallist for two consecutive years (1963/64 and 1964/65) as the “best lifter of the University”. He also won the gold medal for the Maharashtra State Weight Lifting and Power Lifting Championship held in 1964-65. Since then, he has won several awards, both as a participant as well as an administrator for the sport. Among the other awards, Naik also received the Mulund Bhushan award for sports for the year 1999.

As an official International Referee, Naik enjoys judging the strong men & women who participate in these competitions. Commenting on the status of weightlifting as a sport, Mr. Naik says, “Weightlifting is one of the world’s most under-appreciated sports of this country.” Yet, Naik has tried to promote the sport in his own way. In the last 2 decades, he has played an extremely active role in the administration and organization of these underrated sports.

Naik is the president/vice president of various weightlifting and body building associations across the state of Maharashtra. He is the member of the Sports Selection Committee of University of Mumbai for last 25 years.

His experience as an administrator of the bodybuilding and weightlifting sport is unmatched. He has acted as a Referee and a Technical Official for more than 30 National Championships. He has successfully organized more than 20 National Championships in Body Building & Weightlifting in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra including All India Inter-Bank, Major Ports, MTNL, IIT and other Inter-University competitions.

Naik has been appointed as official Coach and Manager of Maharashtra Team several times. In December 1995, he represented India in the VII South Asian Federation Game as a Technical Official. In October 1992, he was appointed as a Chief Judge for the First India-Pakistan Body Building Contest held at Bangalore. He has also been a National Level Announcer and Commentator for Weight Lifting, Power Lifting and Best Physique competitions.

He is aware of the current bodybuilding fad among the today’s youth, which he is wary of, just as he has his reservations about the burgeoning number of gyms across the city. Says Naik; “Most of these gyms are useless, as they do not have qualified instructors to train the members. The essence of weight training and body building lies in correct technique, which only a qualified instructor can teach”. He also admits that most of the present day bodybuilders consume steroids, as it is almost impossible to win competitions without these artificial boosters.

Among Naik’s all time favorite body builders are the legendary Bill Pearl, winner of Mr. Universe (Professional) title in 1971 and our very own Premchand Dogra. He appreciates their outstanding endurance, which, he acknowledges, is vital to both bodybuilding and weightlifting.

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”, said Ralph Waldo Emerson. Pandurang Naik’s enthusiasm for the sport of bodybuilding and weightlifting makes him great in his own right.


Weightlifting is a sport in which the strongest and most powerful men and women in the world compete. Many people who are unfamiliar with the sport are surprised to learn that Weightlifters don’t necessarily have the biggest muscles in the world. In fact, some could easily be mistaken for well-conditioned athletes who compete in other sports. Weightlifters simply have the strongest and most powerful muscles in the world, developed by very specialized training that develops enormous strength without the “bulk” that bodybuilders, like Arnold Schwarzenegger, possess. Bodybuilders are dedicated athletes and many are quite strong, but they are not as strong as the best weightlifters and their muscles needn’t be strong because they compete solely on the basis of the appearance of their muscles, not their strength (muscle size and strength are not highly correlated).

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