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It wasn't all bad

Former Marine breaks world record for planking while raising mental health awareness

February 24, 2020

After holding an abdominal plank for 8 hours and 1 minute, George Hood surpassed the world record and could have stopped, but he had a reason to keep going.

Hood, a 62-year-old former Marine and retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent from Naperville, Illinois, broke the record on Feb. 15 at 515 Fitness, a gym that aims to end the stigma of mental illness. Hood wanted to raise awareness of how exercise can help improve mental health and dedicate his feat to the gym, so he held his plank for 8 hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds in order to get "515" in the time.

A father of three, Hood first set the male world record for longest plank in 2011, CNN reports. For 18 months, he trained on average seven hours a day — he would practice his plank pose for four to five hours, and then do 700 pushups, 2,000 sit ups, 500 squats, and 300 arm curls. To get through the pain, he listened to his favorite music at maximum volume.

"When it gets tough, you know what I do?" he told CNN. "I turn that music up so loud, you'd think you're at a rock concert. I always had a fantasy of being a rock star back in the '80s. And at least for those 8 hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds, I was a rock star." Catherine Garcia