A former Marine has just broken the world record for the longest amount of time spent in a sustained plank, Guinness World Records confirms.

62 year-old George Hood broke the male world record for longest time holding the plank position last week. Hood held the position for 8 hours, fifteen minutes and fifteen seconds.

Hood had previously held the world record in 2011, for a planking time of one hour and 20 minutes. He lost the title in 2012, when Mao Weidong of China absolutely blew past him and held the position for eight hours, one minute and one second. Since then, Hood says he has trained tirelessly to achieve physical perfection and reclaim his throne. At long last, he has.

“It’s 4-5 hours a day in the plank pose,” Hood shared his workout routine with CNN. “Then I do 700 pushups a day, 2,000 situps a day in sets of a hundred, 500 leg squats a day. For upper body and the arms, I do approximately 300 arm curls a day.”

“The burning will set in those elbows. The skin will break and they will bleed…When that happens, [my coach] talks me through it and I take lots of water and eventually they go numb. When the numbness sets in, I’m generally pretty good. It’s just a matter of being tired and wanting to stop.” Additionally, Hood was reported to have done approximately 674,000 sit-ups and 270,000 push-ups in preparation for this arduous challenge. Not bad for a 62-year-old man.

Hood said he was determined to break the record to raise awareness about mental health, something he had struggled with during his time as both a DEA agent and a Marine.┬áHe trained for the big day at 515 Fitness, a gym that combines working out with mental health services and professional counseling. Many members of law enforcement suffer from PTSD and other issues relating to trauma and lack a sense of emotional wellness. Working out can be a great way to exorcise (ha!) that from the body and having professional therapists on-call can help you develop healthy coping habits moving forward so you don’t end up carrying around so much psychic baggage in your day-to-day life. Although these problems are extremely common in the community, they are seldom talked about and there is still a stigma about reaching out for help when you need it.

A lot of men in professions where they are expected to embody toughness and strength don’t realize how important it can be to admit when you’re struggling; all they know is grin and bear it, keep calm and carry on, since that’s what they do at their jobs. However, as Hood rightfully points out, “When you’re in a combat situation, and even in law enforcement with the agents that I used to work with, we get involved in shootings. Some people don’t handle it well because they’re burdened with other issues that are running in the background, whether it be marital issues, kid issues or financial problems. Sometimes those things can push people over the edge and they don’t know how to flush it out, how to talk about it.”

Hood said the choice to hold the pose for an extra fifteen minutes and fifteen seconds was to honor 515 Fitness by getting the “515” in the official record.


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