After surviving a stroke, Topeka man looks to break the record for heaviest calf raises

TOPEKA (KSNT) — A Topeka man is trying to break a record in a category that is unexpected, lifting the heaviest weight in calf raises. It’s a tough lift he’s challenging himself through, using a past experience to get him to the record.

Antoine Collins has a lot on his plate, or you could say he has a lot of plates on the calf raising machine at Crunch Fitness in Topeka.

He’s currently trying to break a record for lifting the heaviest amount of weight for calf raises. It started not too long ago. He said people saw he was piling the weights on the machine, then someone asked if he’s ever looked up the world record.

“The record is 1,322lbs,” Collins said. “So I was like, I kind of do that already. So I just want to see how much more I can do.”

For Collins, this isn’t the hardest thing he’s had to overcome.

“I actually had a stroke in 2018,” he said.

Collins was living in California at the time. He was rushed through surgeries and different hospital rooms without anyone telling him what was wrong until a nurse came to his ICU room.

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“I was like, ‘I don’t know. They won’t tell me’. She [nurse] slapped this big ol’ pamphlet down on the little bed stand and said, ‘You had a stroke.’ And just walked away,” he said laughing as he thinks back on the situation. “She did! She walked up, she just went, you had a stroke! And just walked away.”

He laughs about it now but at the time he was full of confusion about what was happening. It was then time to head to rehab.

“They said you have to walk these stairs,” he said. “They’re just four little steps. I was through. Through! You never would have thought that a brain injury could mess you up that much.”

Collins was determined to get back on his feet, using this same motivation to break a record. He filed paperwork for the Guinness World Record book in July. Now, he waits. While also getting the chance to properly train and add more weight plates.

“Probably be up to 17, 18-hundred by the time they come strolling around,” he said.

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Many people probably aren’t lifting this much weight every day, but Collins wants his journey to be an example to everyone around him. No matter how many plates you’re dealing with in life, never give up.

“You have to push forward,” Collins said. “The worst thing you can ever do after a stroke is stop. You can’t stop. Even if it’s just one more step than you took the day before, take that step.”

One challenge he had to face while trying to break the record was finding a machine at the gym that could handle that much weight. He’s had to add an extra bar to the machine just to make sure he’s hitting exactly where he needs to be.

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