From Mike Janela in New York, USA
To those familiar with the movie "Groundhog Day," the plot is second nature by now: man wakes up to relive the same day over and over again.
To those familiar with Bob Natoli of Oswego, New York, USA, the plot is also second nature by now: man breaks Guinness World Records over and over again.
For the sixth time in six years and third time in the last nine months, Natoli has broken another Guinness World Records fitness feat, this time on Groundhog Day 2012. His latest feat conquered the most weight lifted by barbell upright row in one hour. Total weight lifted: 51,640 lb (23,423.51 kg).
Having adjudicated all three of Bob's most recent attempts, what strikes me most is his ability to master a number of different exercises. This, of course, comes from not only a well-rounded overall fitness routine (he works out six days a week), but also rigorous and designed training cycles for each record.
His three most recent attempts have been for most weight arm curled in one hour, most weight lifted by front dumbbell raises in one hour, and now the upright row record which he broke by nearly 11,000 lb.
"It's euphoric," Natoli said after his latest triumph. "It just feels great. All the hard work pays off and, like I tell anyone … if you see yourself doing it and you go through the vision steps, you can achieve just about anything."
Unlike the stereotypical strongman record breaker - who you might picture as detached from those around him while lifting, focused solely on the task at hand - Natoli is actually very amicable during his attempts. In front of a crowd of 25 friends, family, and media, he would request song changes on the radio, crack jokes with his timekeeper, and even offer a "God bless you" in the middle of a repetition when a woman in the crowd sneezed.
The only regret Natoli may have is waking up with a bruised chin the morning after breaking his latest record. To ensure he met the official guideline that the bar must be raised to at least neck/chin level, Natoli decided to take no chances. So, with the middle of the bar taped up for padding, he made sure to tap the bar to his chin on each repetition: all 1,291 of them.
In the film "Groundhog Day," Phil Connors played by Bill Murray eventually wakes up and the cycle is broken. But seeing Natoli power through yet another world record feat gives you the notion he's not breaking this routine any time soon.