split image of harald riise longest dead hang record holder during attempt and with certificate

Harald Riise (Norway) has added an incredible two minutes to the record for the longest duration in the dead hang position.

He set a new record-breaking time of 16 min 3 sec in Bærum, Viken, Norway. 

The previous record was 13 min 52 sec, achieved by Tazio Gavioli (Italy) in Cavezzo, Modena, Italy, on 14 April 2018.

"Setting a dead hang Guinness World Records title was for me the ultimate challenge. I wanted to show both myself and others that it was possible, and I’m thrilled that I succeeded," Harald said.

Harald discovered his love of exercise and fitness when got his own handcycle at 12 years old.

"I loved riding it and working out, not as a medical or functional necessity, but because it gave me the feeling of being strong and powerful. My workouts became an important source of self-confidence and quality of life."

Harald gradually added more and more exercises to his repertoire and increased his number of workout sessions.

Harald using hand bike to pull tyre along the ground for training

When he was able to do more than 10 hours of training a week, he decided it was time for another personal milestone and set his sights on breaking a Guinness World Records title. 

Harald has cerebral palsy and is a wheelchair user, which for him requires a great deal of upper body strength. Because of this, he felt the dead hang record was a great fit. 

"Being a wheelchair user, I am dependent on my upper body strength to cope with everyday physical challenges. My ability to dead hang for instance is, quite literally, what gets me out of bed in the morning."

Harald Riise training for dead hang record in the winter with chain and weight

To train for the longest duration in the dead hang position, Harald created a workout routine that was mix of "fixed intervals" of hanging time and one-rep max sessions, as well as some technical grip strength exercises. 

"The day I did my first wheelchair pullups I realized I had the ability to defy my disability, and that I shouldn’t allow my wheelchair to tie me down. From that day forward I have sought climbing higher, going faster or hanging longer than ever before."

Harald even studied sports psychology and techniques for improving endurance and mental focus. He believes this was every bit as important as the physical preparations.

When the time came for Harald to attempt the record, he felt both nervous and excited.

Once Harald implemented his mental training, he managed stay calm and collected so he could focus on the record attempt.

However, as with all endurance records, eventually the pain started to kick in.

Harald Riise during attempt for longest dead hang

"As I drew nearer to my goal, I felt a familiar and steadily increasing pain in my forearms. I longed for the attempt to be over."

When Harald was finally able to let go of the bar, he felt awash with relief.

His aching arms took away from the initial excitement, but when he found out that his record had officially been confirmed, he described the jubilation as "all-consuming".

"My record holder certificate now adorns my living room wall, and on any average day I can turn around, look at it, and get a feeling of joy and comfort. It's fantastic!"

As well as being a Guinness World Records title holder and fitness fanatic, Harald is a motivational speaker who goes by the name Viking Wheels.

"Through the concept of Viking Wheels, I hope to inspire people to follow their dreams, no matter what life has in store for them."

Harald has completed various impressive stunts, such as performing pull ups on top of a high-speed trailer and handcycling 60 km from Eidsvoll to Oslo (both Norway).

"Pick an attempt you are passionate about. Find a challenge which suits your particular set of skills and plan the process carefully," Harald advises those who want to break a record. 

"You are likely to meet adversity along the way, but never give up. The feeling of becoming an official Guinness World Records title holder is truly worth it!"

Harald Riise longest dead hang record holder with his Guinness World Records certificate