Beijing China— George Hood of Carlsbad, CA, an Ultra Endurance Athlete and 9 time world record holder, represented the USA at the 2nd International World Cup Plank Challenge in Beijing, China. The event was held at the luxurious Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing. The event was sanctioned by Guinness World Records and sponsored by Men’s Health China.
Hood took 2nd Place in the competition with a new “personal best” plank of 7 hours, 40 minutes and 4 seconds. His previous best was 5:35:35 in April 2016 in preparation for the China attempt. According to Tony Nicholson, an accomplished fitness pro in China, “this event by Hood and his crew was one of the most emotional events I have ever been witness to…..he has clearly won the hearts and minds of countless Chinese who respected his raw power and courage to go so long”.
Two of Hood’s crew members, Dana Bach Glowacka from Montreal, Canada and Karen L. Coffee also participated in the challenge. Dana Glowacka won the women’s division of the plank challenge with a plank of 2 hours, 5 minutes. Over the course of his attempt, Hood burned nearly 4100 calories and had a sustained Average Heart Rate of 115 beats pear minute. He went thru nearly a gallon of liquids during his effort. Hood remarked “there is no shame in what happened here….I took the silver medal and served the greater good for finishing as I did”. Hood, a former U.S. Marine and retired DEA Agent gave special thanks to hundreds of fans from China who came to support the event. In addition to Dana Glowacka and Karen Coffee, Hood also was grateful for the remainder of his team including coach Craig Thompson , Mary Shanley and Chris Epstein, all who travelled from San Diego.
Hood’s rival in the event, Mao Weidong went to 8 hours, 1 minute and was awarded the Guinness World Record for the longest plank, a record Hood has set 4 times since 2011 including Hood’s appearance at the 1st Annual World Cup Plank Challenge in June, 2014. Hood and his crew of 5 were the main attraction during his stay in Beijing and participated in appearances around the city which clearly reflected Hood’s popularity among the Chinese people. “Weidong was up against the best and I have the most absolute respect for his finish”. Both Hood and Weidong are career law enforcement professionals so they had a bond with regard to their backgrounds. After Hood’s effort and in such pain, he was carried to Weidong’s plank platform by Tony Nicholson so he could witness and help Weidong to get to the 8 hour mark. According to Mary M. Shanley,, Hood’s Operations Manager, “that gesture alone by Hood spoke volumes about the character of Hood’s effort and the greater good served by Team Hood”.
Hood’s exceptional strength and mental conditioning necessary to sustain such endurance feats has raised awareness to the overall benefits of the plank, a static pose vested in yoga culture and often referred to as an active position of rest. Hood continues to be a leader in the fitness industry with regard to core training and plank fitness. Hood said “I’m proud to have set this new personal best which sends a clear message around the world that I’m passionate about this particular exercise and very honored to be a part of China’s effort to showcase it to the world”.
Hood presently resides in Carlsbad, CA, where he trains approximately 7 hours a day in preparation for perhaps another record setting event. In September 2015, Hood set an inaugural record for the 40lb Weighted Plank in Indiana PA with a time of 2:35:35. Hood is a personal trainer and Group Exercise instructor as well as the founder of Oceanside Paddleboard in Oceanside, CA. He continues to inspire the world!