George Hood could possibly have abs of steel after officially breaking the Guinness World Record for longest abdominal plank held.
It’s said that age is just a number, and 62-year-old George Hood definitely proves this.
On February 15, Hood set the male world record for the longest abdominal plank for an astounding 8 hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds.
But it wasn’t the first time the former US Marine has broken the record. In 2011, he held the title after holding a plank for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Unfortunately when he attempted to set a new record in 2016, he lost against Mao Weidong from China in 2016 who held a plank for 8 hours, 1 minute and 1 second.
Determined to reclaim his title, Hood trained every day for an average of 7 hours for the 18 months leading up to the final day. According to Guinness World Records, he completed approximately 2,100 hours of planking to prep for the event.
"It's 4-5 hours a day in the plank pose," Hood told 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."
“Anybody can do what I do. Everybody has to start somewhere," Hood continued.
“Every tree that’s planted has roots. Once that tree is planted and those roots start to grow, whether it be 30 seconds or a minute or five minutes or an hour [of planking], you start repeating the process and taking care of your tree, it will grow and you will improve and you will actually get better.”
Hood recalls the pain he endured planking for a prolonged period of time.
"The burning will set in those elbows. The skin will break and they will bleed," Hood 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."
But no matter how much he wanted to quit, Hood knew he needed to break that record for a bigger reason – to raise awareness for mental health. He hosted the planking event at 515 Fitness, a gym that addresses mental illness through exercise and professional help.
“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.”
He added: “Sometimes those things can push people over the edge and they don’t know how to flush it out, how to talk about it. But when they walk through the door at 515 Fitness, there’s hope because there’s licensed clinicians there and trainers that will help them get well.”
He could have stopped planking any second after Weidong’s 2016 time, but Hood was determined to plank for the complete 8 hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds to get the “515” numbers in his time to dedicate it to the gym.
After receiving his certificate, Hood assured that he’s finished defending his planking title, but did mention he may attempt to break the push-up record. He even finished off the event with 75 push-ups.
Inspirational? Without a doubt.