There are a few workouts that are dreaded by gym-goes and non-gym-goers alike, and amongst the top contenders (burpees and bear crawls, duh), you might find planks for some. From our perspective, if you can hold a plank for anything longer that 10 minutes, that’s bloody impressive. Make that over an hour and you’re part super human. But nine hours? That, dear reader is almost unbelievable.
But that’s exactly what Daniel Scali, a chronic pain sufferer from Adelaide, Australia, just did – breaking the world record for the longest abdominal plank ever by more than one hour, setting a new historic precedent by holding the position for 9 hours, 30 minutes, and 1 second.
Last year’s record, held by 62-year-old George Hood, of Naperville, Illinois, was an amazing 8 hours 15 minutes and 15 seconds and undertaken to support 515 Fitness, a gym that provides psychological counselling alongside physical training with a mission to promote mental health services through fitness..
This year, Scali took on the world record attempt was to raise awareness for chronic pain conditions, due to his own experiences with complex regional pain syndrome: “Anything like soft touch, movement, wind, water, will cause me pain,” he explains.
Having previously achieved a time of 9 hours and 9 minutes in an unofficial attempt, Scali sets himself the goal of 9 hours 30 minutes. But it isn’t long before the fatigue begins to kick in.
“I remember at the 14-minute mark, my thighs started to burn, and I knew it was going to be a hell of a ride,” he says. “Putting constant pressure on my elbow and forearm, as well as up to my shoulder, did give me quite a bit of grief at the start. I have dealt with pain for so long, I knew how to manage it.”
Scali persevered, but pain wasn’t the only side effect that he experienced during his plank: “The sixth hour came, the seven hour mark came, my body started to turn on me a little bit,” he says. “I started to feel a bit of vibration and shaking, and that’s when I actually started to vomit on myself… It was a full head-to-toe experience of constant pain. My feet were numb, my knees were burning, my thighs were burning, my left arm felt like it was on fire.
Ultimately, though, Scali reaches his goal, lasting a total of 9 hours, 30 minutes, and 1 second in the plank position, and is thrilled that he has accomplished what he set out to do.