In February 2022, Alex Goulding (UK) broke the record for fastest time to climb 10 levels by plyometric push-ups.
To win the title, he went head-to-head with Jimmy Choi (USA). Their challenge took place on the set of Lo Show Dei Record, Italy, and was broadcasted on national television.
The challenge consisted of completing 10 plyometric push-ups on 10 separate levels, using a giant structure positioned in the centre of the TV studio.
This specific type of push-up added an extra dynamic element to the classic exercise: the competitors had to jump from one level to the next.
The fastest competitor to correctly complete the 10 push-ups would break the record and win the challenge.
The exciting showdown saw Alex surpassing his opponent and finishing with an incredible time of 41.31 seconds.
The 27-year-old fitness enthusiast from Bedford broke the record by just one second, and was extremely excited to add another record to his personal list of accomplishments.
"It was extremely close," Alex said.
I loved it. It was fun, can’t wait to do it again!"
Before appearing on the TV show, Alex already held two fitness records:
- Most side jump push-ups in one minute (54 in one minute)
- Most 180 push-ups in one minute (male) (15 in one minute)
For this challenge, Alex went head-to-head against ultra marathoner and Ninja Warrior Jimmy Choi.
In 2020, Jimmy achieved the record for most chest to ground burpees in one minute – which was later beaten by Li Sifan (China) on 28 June 2021.
Meeting each other for the first time on the set of Lo Show Dei Record, the two fitness aficionados tried to snatch the title in a race against time that left the audience holding their breaths.
"Competing was mentally and physically challenging, and that’s the way it should be." – Jimmy Choi
Perhaps even more interestingly, both athletes found inspiration in the challenge, becoming friends in the meantime.
The two have a lot in common and had the occasion to speak about their training, their journeys and their approach to fitness in a long chat before the attempt.
"My favourite part of this whole experience wasn’t only to be able to come out and compete for a world record, but getting to meet Alex and his brother," Jimmy said after the attempt.
"It’s an honour to meet this man, and we have very similar mindsets,” Alex agreed.
"I’m normally the one that motivates others, so to find people who are equally motivated is great. I love it."
Alex enjoys attempting push-up-related records, and has been training for over a decade.
Fitness is something he excels at, and that he pursues with constant dedication.
"I don’t struggle with motivation," Alex said.
"Of course, I have days when I don’t feel like training, I’m a human being, at the end of the day. But I just get out there and do it – no excuses. Fitness is my life, and it comes before almost everything."
"The main word that comes to mind, as Jimmy and I have talked about, is 'sacrifice'." - Alex Goulding
Training with Parkinson's disease
Now 47-year-old, Jimmy Choi has suffered from Parkinson's since he was 27.
Initially, he refused to accept the diagnosis.
"I went through denial and anger, and I just wouldn’t believe it," he recalls.
"For the first eight years, I did absolutely nothing and let myself go. One day, I fell down the stairs with my son.
"It was in that moment, when I saw my daughter and my wife who had witnessed that fall, and the looks on their faces, that I knew something had to change. After eight years, I tried to understand Parkinson's for the first time."
So he started exercising, which is the only proven way to slow down the progression of the illness.
"There are many things you have to take into consideration when training. With Parkinson's, there is a delay between the command from my brain to my muscles. Essentially, I have to pre-program myself, and make sure that my brain is always one step ahead of my muscles and planning ahead." - Jimmy
When he is training, he’s not concerned about the strength he’s using but he focuses on the signals his body is sending to his hands.
"If I need to brace, I have to tell my brain to brace a split second before I actually have to do it. And I have to constantly remind myself."
"If I had a microphone inside my head during the attempt, all you would hear is counting. That’s how I have to train with Parkinson's instead of just going out there and doing it."
It is safe to say that both athletes finished the experience with more than just a record attempt.
"Inspiration and motivation form a two-way street, to me. There’s always a person going and a person coming your way. I’m glad that Alex is on the other side of this road, and we are inspiring and motivating each other." – Jimmy
In the future, Alex is more than ready to add a fourth Guinness World Records title to his haul.
"I enjoy the challenge, I enjoy camaraderie, I enjoy the battle. It’s fun! So who knows what will happen in the future, but I’m always up for it."