Excruciating World Record: A 5-Hour-Plus Plank

Ex-Marine George Hood, 57, wanted to raise cash for wounded service members
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2015 9:58 AM CDT
Excruciating World Record: A 5-Hour-Plus Plank
George Hood in the middle of his excruciating world-record attempt.   (CBS San Diego)

George Hood has been breaking world records for 30 years, starting in 1986 when he jumped his way into Guinness by skipping rope for more than 13 hours, per NBC San Diego. Now the 57-year-old ex-Marine (and ex-DEA agent, and personal trainer, and group exercise instructor) has another athletic feat under his belt: the "People's Plank," a five-hour, 15-minute, and 15-second plank that he pulled off on Saturday in Oceanside, Calif. Hood's abdominal bridge—resting on your forearms in a push-up position for as long as you can—beat the record of four hours, 26 minutes set by a Chinese police officer in September. To put those times in context: The San Diego Union-Tribune notes that a "typical" plank is one minute; a "greater challenge" for most people would be five minutes.

Hood trained for nine months—four to six hours a day, with at least 30 hours of planking thrown in every week, NBC notes. During his record attempt, Hood asked for as many distractions as possible: He chatted with the support crew there to place ice chips under his achy elbows, concentrated on music blaring from the loudspeakers, and studied objects that spectators placed on the mat in front of him. One thing he didn't focus on was time: No one was to tell him how much longer he had until he broke the record, per the Union-Tribune. Hood's world record wasn't only meant to reassert his planking powers (he had held the record before Mao Weidong beat it last fall): He was also there to raise money for injured US service members. "The discomfort that I feel right now pales in comparison to [what] they feel," he told NBC. (Read about more unusual world records.)

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