Super Cop: Amit Sinha wins a gold medal in powerlifting championship
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Vikram Sharma
At first glance, Amit Sinha’s imposing stature can appear intimidating. Standing tall at 5.10 and weighing 112 kg, his robust horseshoe moustache and clean shaven head — in sharp contrast with what many in his fraternity look like.
So, when he arrived at the All India Masters Classic Powerlifting Championship 2023 in Visakhapatnam recently, which was dominated by body builders, bouncers, and gym trainers — over 450 of them from 23 states — he could easily have passed for one of them.
Until, it became known that the 51-year-old was a senior IPS officer from Uttarakhand and an ace power lifter as well. "It’s all about body structure. Since my built suits heavy lifting, I prefer this game," smiles Amit Sinha, a 1997 batch IPS officer who stunned his fraternity and common people alike, after he won the gold medal (in the body weight category of 120 kgs) by lifting a mind boggling 435 kgs, doing 180 squats, 160 deadlifts and 95 bench presses.
"It was masters, only those aged 40 and up were permitted to compete. There was no other bureaucrat present. Among the participants was a Maharashtra ASI rank officer," informs Sinha, an Additional DG rank official, presently posted as Director, Vigilance in Uttarakhand.
The Powerlifting Association of India, which is affiliated with the International Powerlifting Federation, hosted the five-day championship at the GMR Sports Arena from July 12 to 16.
"I thought I was old until I entered the competition (in Visakhapatnam). Once there, I noticed people in their 70s lifting heavy weights. It taught me that age is only a number," says Sinha, who is being described as "Singham" post his recent achievement.
Sinha got hooked on to power lifting in his college days. "I took up the sport right after joining IIT Roorkee in 1990. The passion only kept growing," says Sinha, whose eyes light up when he says he won two gold and two silver medals in the 75 kg category at the BITS Pilani inter-university sports meet.
He studied at St Xaviers School and science college after which he did BE, Civil Engineering from IIT Roorkee.
Swears by the gym
Sinha says he trains for two hours at the gym every evening, in addition to one hour of cardio every morning. "After office hours, I go straight to the gym near my office. I chose that gym so that I could return to the office in case of an emergency," says Sinha, who has previously worked as SSP of Dehradun, Tehri, and State Task Force (STF). As DIG, he worked in Nainital and Dehradun and as IG, he worked in various capacities including heading the PAC, Police Wireless and as the Director of Forensic Lab and IT department.
His gym routine consists of total-body workouts. "Legs, chest, and back one day each, followed by minor muscle workouts and conditioning for the next three days. All exercises begin with 20 minutes of stretching, and Sunday is a rest day," he says.
A high-protein diet
"I mostly eat a high-protein diet. I get my protein from sprouts in the morning and 12 egg whites every day. I don’t use any protein supplements," says the police officer, who keeps his blood pressure under check with a medicine prescribed by his doctor.
Sinha has been selected for the World Weightlifting Championships, which will be held in Mongolia from October 8 to 15, 2023. "It’s a great opportunity and I am preparing for it. My training for this event is on going and all my colleagues in the department are very supportive," says the IPS officer, who was congratulated by Uttarakhand DGP Ashok Kumar for his recent achievement in Visakhapatnam.
Tell him that he might perhaps be the only bureaucrat who does power lifting and that too at his age, Sinha says other bureaucrats prefer games which suit their bodies. "Since powerlifting suits me, I do it."
Sinha is one of the few IPS officers in the nation with a distinctive moustache, and he takes great pride in having one. He says he grew it during the Covid period. "I used to shave every day before the Covid era. During the lockdown, I stopped shaving and started growing a moustache instead. I didn’t like it until I had grown it for 15 days," smiles Sinha, whose wife is an interior designer. The couple have two daughters.
Sinha is known as a no-nonsense officer who does his job meticulously. Last year, the Vigilance department arrested IAS officer Ram Vilas Yadav in a disproportionate assets case under his supervision. Yadav was working as an additional secretary in the Uttarakhand government at the time. When asked if policing or power lifting is more difficult, Sinha says, "Both have different challenges and there cannot be any comparison." Sinha is also recognised for his contributions to the e-office project.
When not lifting weights, the Uttarakhand cadre IPS officer loves singing and playing percussion, which again, takes a lot of patience and practice.