“[In traditional Indian physical culture], nals are roughly equivalent to Western free weights and are lifted to develop arm, shoulder and back strength. Nals are large, cylindrically-carved stones which are hollowed out. A shaft of stone is left in the center of the nal’s hollow core and used as a handle. Nals usually weigh about thirty kilograms but come in all sizes and weights. There does not appear to be any set way in which nals are lifted but the general idea is to usually lift the weight with one or both hands from the ground to above the head in one smooth motion.”
~ The Wrestler’s Body: by Joseph Alter
This rare photograph dates to the late 1800’s and the nal lifted here in what might be called a shoulder bridge is listed to have weighed over 900 lbs..