As It Happens

'It wasn't always pleasant': 62-year-old sets new planking world record

George Hood set the Guinness World Record for the longest time in the abdominal plank position by holding it for eight hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds.

George Hood's record-setting plank lasted eight hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds

Former U.S. marine George Hood has set the new Guinness World planking record at eight hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds. (Josef Holic)

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It took loud music, group selfies and a whole lot of muscle, but George Hood now holds the male world record for longest plank. 

The 62-year-old former United States marine held the plank position for eight hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds — setting a new Guinness World Record.

As It Happens host Carol Off spoke to Hood about his feat. Here is part of their conversation.

Big congratulations. Have you completely recovered from being in a plank position for more than eight hours?

I'm not completely recovered. I never telegraph weakness but the recovery has been progressive. 

Hood says having his coaches nearby and playing loud rock music as he planks "chases away the demons" of self-doubt. (Josef Holic)

I mean, you would be totally justified in just being a couch potato for the next month after this, you know? You don't have to do anything.

I wouldn't say a month. You can give me three days.

So doing this for what — eight hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds — was there a point during this that you thought: I can't do this anymore?

Funny you ask. Yes. Every long plank I do in training, and obviously the main event, has at least one moment when that demon creeps into your head, jumps on your back, and starts to tell you, you know, create self-doubt and so forth.

For this particular event that happened at about hour six. I remember looking at the coach and said, "Where is hour six? Can you give me hour six?" And I wasn't there yet. And when I make that time call and I'm not where I think I should be — that can be devastating.

So that's where everybody gets in close, takes a lot of group photos just to kind of distract myself, and then I break through that wall.

I crank the music up because loud music chases away the demons. They don't like loud music. But it wasn't always pleasant.

You had a party but you stayed in plank position. But when you're going for a Guinness Record for being in a plank for this many hours, do you have to be in a plank position for the entire eight hours or do you have any breaks?

No. There's no breaks.

How did you get strong enough to do this. What was your training?

For this last ordeal, my training began almost 18 months ago. I budgeted seven hours a day to get done what I have to do.

That included about four to five hours plank time, each day, in no more than three sets. At least 700 pushups a day, 2,000 crunches. About 500 leg squats, bar squats, holding onto the bar. About 500 band curls, with the weighted band for the arms and shoulders. And my squats — about 500 toe squats a day and leg lifts.

Hood set the new Guinness World planking record at eight hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds. (Josef Holic)

So your 700 pushups a day is about 695 more than most people. Do you think people are going to see the George Hood method of how to get to be this strong and they could actually do what you've done?

Absolutely. And why not? Everybody is capable of this. I've proven that proof of concept countless times with people who never thought they could even set a world record for that matter.

As I tell my peers, 62 is just a number. There are no excuses anymore.

Why would they do it? What would motivate them?

I don't know. That's a personal journey and a commitment that people have to make. I use the plank pose on my platform to think and study myself. It's my way of dealing with demons that confront me on a daily basis.

It can be very therapeutic. And before you know it, the time clicks by.

Hood says "anybody can do what they want if they put their mind to it and commit." (Josef Holic)

We should also point out that the plank position Guinness record by a woman is a woman from Canada. Did you know that?

Yes. I know her. Dana Glowacka is a good friend of mine. I worked with her for years preparing her for what she ended up doing here last spring here in Naperville, Ill.

Huge congrats to her. She did very well and posted that 4:19:55. So she's Canada's sweetheart, no doubt.

Written by Yamri Taddese and John McGill. Interview produced by Yamri Taddese. Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.


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