George Hood, a 62-year-old former Marine, has broken the world record after lasting over eight grueling hours in the abdominal plank position — a position most healthy people can only hold for a few minutes.
On Feb. 15, Hood planked for exactly 8 hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds, which Guinness World Records certified to be the new world record.
Hood, a former Marine and Drug Enforcement Administration supervisory special agent, has held the world record for planking before. He first set the record in 2011 by planking for 1 hour and 20 minutes. But in 2016, Hood lost in a head-to-head with Mao Weidong from China, who lasted for 8 hours and 1 minute.
According to ABC News, Hood wanted to win the title back for his children and to raise awareness about mental health.
“I’m the father of three sons and part of me did this for them,” Hood said after performing the plank at a gym in Illinois, 515 Fitness, that seeks to treat mental health through physical exercise.
“I’m not a paid athlete. I do this thing because I can and I can also help raise awareness,” Hood told ABC News. “I’ve seen enough folks in the military and my law enforcement comrades who haven’t fared so well. We want to break that stigma of seeking [mental health] help.”
It took impressive mental fortitude to do what Hood did last week — and a whole lot of training. According to the Guinness news release, Hood went through several training camps and fitness regiments that included doing 674,000 sit-ups, 270,000 push-ups, and of course, thousands of hours in the plank position.
“It’s 4-5 hours a day in the plank pose,” Hood told CNN, breaking down what his daily routine looks like. “Then I do 700 push-ups a day, 2,000 sit-ups 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.”
In a conversation after the event, Hood also told CNN that when things got tough up on the platform he would think of his three sons and turn the rock music up loud. He compared it to the walls one hits when running a marathon.
“The burning will set in those elbows. The skin will break and they will bleed,” he said. “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.”
After Hood reclaimed the world title, he did a quick set of 75 push-ups to celebrate.