On 18 July 2014, Nelson Mandela Day, Liesl set out to lift 67 tons in 67 minutes. Someone in the crowd called her an over achiever to which she laughed and said, “well, in that case, I need to see how much I can lift and not stop at 67 tons, let me at least live up to that label you just gave me.” She continued to lift a total of 87 100 kg – 192 023 lbs doing calf presses. She did this in just over 30 minutes.
Why? Liesl had a vision of helping a gym to get kids off the streets, off drugs and out of gangs into gym. A place they can train and be guided to possibly becoming the best athletes in sports. Through Guts 2 Glory she got hold of Bongi, a young man who does exactly that. He started a gym in a township outside Cape Town and draws kids into the gym off the streets. He named the gym Big Bones Gym.
Liesl did the world first event at Virgin Active and they promised to donate gym equipment to Big Bones Gym if she makes the challenge a success. Well, she did more than that.
The program for the lifts were carefully worked out by Liesl and consisted of an original 8 sets. Each set had 30 reps. The weight varied from 270 kg – 330 kg and down again to 240 kg. A few trainers attempted a 330 kg set but only managed 12 and 8 reps of the 1 set. This was the point where the crowd realised just how heavy the weights were which Liesl pushed to 30 reps at a time.
Besides Big Bones Gym getting equipment sponsored through Liesl’s attempt, Liesl also tried to show people we are stronger than our circumstances and hoped to challenge people to do an act of kindness for someone, what Madiba day 67 minutes is all about.
Special Thanks to Virgin Active for making this happen!