A former U.S. Marine officer from Carlsbad, just north of San Diego, crushed the world record for the longest plank Saturday, raising money and awareness for wounded warriors in the process.
Former Marine officer and retired Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent George Hood, 57, spent a total of five hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds in the abdominal plank position at the Junior Seau Amphitheatre in Oceanside as he broke the Guinness World Record previously set at four hours and 26 minutes by Mao Weidong of Beijing, China, last September.
Before Weidong took the title, Hood held the planking record at four hours and one minute, which he set in June 2014.
The athlete and fitness professional’s planking feat – dubbed “The People’s Plank” – doubled as a fundraiser to benefit the Semper Fi Fund for injured U.S. service members, a charity that’s near and dear to Hood’s heart.
“There are injured Marines that come back from the fight, who have suffered life-altering injuries and the discomfort that I feel right now pales in comparison to that which they feel,” Hood told NBC San Diego while in mid-plank.
“So, we raise money to help them. We tend to forget about them sometimes. This helps raise awareness and draw attention to them – and I’m about that,” he added.
Hood said two of his sons are also Marine officers, so this event held extra special weight for him.
Hood – who is a personal trainer and group exercise instructor – said his longest plank while training for this challenge had clocked in at four hours and 33 minutes. In the end, he beat his own training time by more than 42 minutes on Saturday.
Hood spent nine months training for his record attempt all over the North County, including four to six hours of training per day and 30 hours of plank time each week. In all, he logged nearly 1,000 of plank time leading up to the record-breaking event, consistently training with 20 and 40-pound weights on his back to build up his endurance and strength.
Hood had an entire crew there to help him achieve his goal, including friends who chatted with him while he planked and brought him visual distractions.
“They chat amongst themselves. They plant ideas and themes in my head that causes me to get distracted,” he explained. “They bring little gifts up here to the table that I can stare at and draw conclusions, and just study them. All that helps pass time.”
After his record-breaking endeavor, Hood planned to grab some lunch with his support team. Hood said he would likely burn about 2,000 calories planking for that many hours.
“I will lose some weight today and I will be very, very sore. But we will achieve our mission,” Hood said.
The former Marine hoped his event would inspire others to put fitness first and, most importantly, remind people of our U.S. service members who have given so much in the fight for freedom.
“Don’t forget our countless Marines and service members who’ve fought the good fight, those who haven’t come home, and those who are injured and living with that horror every single day,” he said. “Don’t forget about them.”
In addition to the plank record, Hood first attained Guinness World Record status in 1986 when he skipped rope for more than 13 hours. From 2007 to 2010, the athlete set three additional records for the spin cycling marathon.