Bethany Lodge (UK) is flippin’ good at gymnastics. She’s on a roll after breaking these two records:
- Most back somersault burpees in 30 seconds (female): 5
- Fastest 100 m forward rolls: 42.64 seconds
Beth, who works for a biotechnology firm in Oxford, has competed on TV shows such as Ninja Warrior UK.
Scientist by day; shinobi by night, Beth wants to show the world that exercise can be exciting!
Beth’s passion for fitness began when she was a child. Her parents gave her the opportunity to try lots of different sports.
"They said they needed to wear me out so I wouldn’t keep climbing the stair banisters!" she revealed.
Beth’s favourite sport was gymnastics - it was the perfect outlet for all her energy.
Although rolling and tumbling seemed intimidating at first, Beth was a quick learner and loved mastering new moves.
"When I was younger I was lucky to have a supportive coach who encouraged me to try things I didn’t think I could do."
During the coronavirus pandemic, Beth struggled to find the motivation to exercise, especially as all the gyms were closed.
Attempting these records gave her a fitness goal to work towards which required no equipment.
"[The records] are also a reminder that exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. It can be fun, or unusual!"
Even though Beth is a talented gymnast, it took some practise to get ready to break the two records.
She was used to doing back somersault burpees during gymnastics training, but Beth was out of practice due to the lockdown.
Additionally, the prospect of crash landing on grass, instead of a soft gym mat, made Beth slightly apprehensive.
Every weekend when the weather was nice, she ventured out to the park and did a couple of somersaults to remind herself of the technique needed.
"I would try to increase the number I did, starting at 1 and seeing how many I could do consecutively. The dizziness was something that took me by surprise!"
On 8 March 2021, Beth stepped on to the grass once more - this time for the real attempt. She managed 5 backflip burpees, achieving the record for most back somersault burpees in 30 seconds (female).
For the fastest 100 m forward rolls, Beth already knew that dizziness would be a big issue.
She practised rolling over 10, 20 and 50 metre distances, trying to achieve as fast a time as possible.
“I made sure to wear a nice thick jumper so I wouldn’t get too bruised. I didn’t go above 50m in my practices as I was worried it would be so dizzying that I wouldn’t want to attempt it again!”
The day of her official attempt was the first time Beth had completed the full 100 metre distance, breaking the record with a time of 42.64 seconds.
Beth’s favourite move is the backwards somersault, aka the backflip.
“It’s a move which is well known and takes strength but mostly technique to be able to do”
People are always amazed when they find out Beth can backflip. They become even more amazed when Beth teaches them how to do it too!
"Seeing the joy on someone’s face after supporting them for their first somersault is pretty unrivalled."
Beth still sees room for improvement and plans to break her own record for the most back somersault burpees in 30 seconds again.
"I was happy with my pace, but my endurance definitely struggled which limited me. So I’m hoping that with more focus on that I can improve!"
She’s also eyeing up some other fitness records to attempt next.
"I can tell this is going to quite addictive!" she admitted.
And just like that, a new record hunter was born.
"I used to get the Guinness World Records book every year and would scour through it, looking at all the incredible things people could do. To think that I will be in the book is just mind-blowing!"
Beth Lodge appears in Guinness World Records 2022. Find your copy in shops and online, and get involved with #GWR2022