Over the past few years, Alex Goulding (UK) has pushed the art of push ups to new limits, breaking record after record.
He currently holds six Guinness World Records titles and recently attempted to break two of them during a visit to our HQ in London.
The records he attempted were:
- Most push ups to planks in one minute, with a total of 63 to beat.
- Most 180 push ups in one minute, with a total of 16 to beat.
Both push up variations are very physically demanding, although Alex finds the push ups to planks slightly easier, so he attempted that record first.
Most fitness records are highly competitive, so the margin for improvement is usually very small. Alex knew it would be a tough task to beat his previous total.
“I’m aiming for literally one or two more,” he said.
“It’s a difficult one because you’re trying to coordinate a plank to a push up whilst keeping the form. Obviously, you’re battling against the clock, so I’m trying to do more than one a second, which is gonna be difficult.”
For this record, the challenger is required to start in a high plank position with the arms fully extended, then lower themselves down onto their right forearm, followed by their left, continuing in this fashion until the timer stops.
After ensuring his earphones were secure, Alex began at a blistering pace.
Although his speed slightly dropped off as he approached the halfway mark, Alex was able to maintain a solid rhythm.
“In my head it was like 67 or 68; way better than I thought,” he said after the 60 seconds concluded.
“I’ve never done that much. I think I started off fast then fatigued quick. I’m knackered after that, but buzzing.”
One of Alex’s reps was discounted because he began slightly early, however, he still managed to break the record with a total of 66 reps.
The second record attempt presented an even bigger challenge for Alex.
“Without a doubt, of all of my Guinness World Records titles, this is the one which is the most physically demanding on the body,” he said.
“Balance, power, strength – there’s a number of elements that go into this.”
To successfully achieve this record, a full 180-degree rotation is required to be made during each rep, or it is not counted towards the final total.
As with all push up records, the elbow must bend at a 90-degree angle when lowering the body.
Alex’s tactic was to do five reps, take a short breather, then do five more, and so on. He largely managed to stick to this plan, although he slowed down towards the end as his muscles fatigued.
“They’re so tough,” Alex said afterwards as he caught his breath. “I feel great now.”
With a total of 23 reps, Alex smashed his previous total by a margin of seven!
For Alex, fitness is a form of therapy.
“I had a stage in my life where I really hit rock bottom for a number of reasons, and the one thing that saved me was exercise,” he revealed.
In fact, that was where Alex’s passion for push ups began. After searching for “push up variations” on YouTube, Alex came across a Guinness World Records video.
“I remember thinking, ‘Man, some of these records are actually mental.’”
And now, a few years on, Alex has achieved his very own mental records!
According to Alex, one of his “best” GWR titles is the most side jump push ups with claps in one minute (54). “It’s one that I’m most confident will stay for a long time,” he said.
Currently, Alex works in mental health services for the UK’s NHS, providing support to medium- and high-risk suicide patients.
“I see them change their lives around, and a big part of that is exercise,” he shared.
His message to anyone struggling with mental health issues – and equally to those who aren’t – is: “Make that step. Go outside. Start that fitness journey - you will not regret it.”
Want more? Follow us across our social media channels to stay up-to-date with all things Guinness World Records! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Snapchat Discover– including our new Guinness World Records Extreme channel.
Don’t forget, we’re also on YouTube!
Still not had enough? Follow the link here to buy our latest book, filled to the brim with stories about our amazing record breakers.