split image Daniel Scali

Australian fitness fanatic Daniel Scali, 30, has reclaimed the record for the most push ups in one hour.

Daniel managed to do 3,249 push ups, breaking the record of 3,206 achieved by fellow Aussie, Lucas Helmke, in November 2022. Daniel had previously set the record in April 2022 with 3,182 push ups.

As per Guinness World Records guidelines, one complete push up consists of the body being lowered until at least a 90-degree angle is attained at the elbow, then raised until the arms are straight (although they do not need to be locked at the elbow). Contrary to popular belief, the chest is not required to touch the floor.

Only three of Daniel’s push ups were discounted due to improper form.

What makes Daniel’s achievement even more impressive is that fact that he suffers from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), meaning his left arm is in almost constant pain.

He’s lived with this condition since he was 12, when he fell off his trampoline, causing a severe break in his left arm.

“It’s the brain sending wrong messages to my arm,” Daniel explained. “So anything like soft touch, movement, wind, water, will cause me pain.”

Daniel wears a compression band on his left arm to alleviate the worst of the pain, however, it is still a huge obstacle to overcome during his record attempts.

While attempting this push up record, his arm became noticeably more “achy” around the eight-minute mark.

“From the top of my shoulder all the way down to my hand I started to feel the burn a bit more, and you’ll actually notice me having to bend down and stretch my arm out to relieve that pain,” Daniel said.

Daniel Scali taking a breather

Daniel uses “visualisation” to help push through the pain. During the six-second breaks he took in between sets, he would visualise his body, “paint it red,” and then “change it to yellow.”

He also utilized breathing techniques during alternate sets, whereby he would inhale as much air as possible through his nose, then “blow out the pain” through his mouth.

Daniel says he didn’t do much differently in preparation for this record attempt compared to his previous attempt, although his fitness was “a lot higher.”

“The only thing different would be burpees,” he said, referencing the training he did before breaking the record of most chest to ground burpees in one hour earlier this year. Daniel’s record of 990 was later broken by Tommy Vu (USA), who did 1,002, however, Daniel reaped huge benefits from the training, which he says took him “to a new level.”

“It got my fitness up to a space it’d never been before, but not just that, it helped me to deal with my pain, considering I had to jump up and down from my left arm.”

Daniel Scali during push up attempt

Mentally, the hardest part of this challenge for Daniel was having to accept the fact that the number of push ups he performed during his official attempt could not surpass the numbers he’d previously achieved during training.

“Any time I went for it in training I used to get quite a bit more, but obviously on game day, stress comes in and there’s a little bit more tension and a bit more nerves, which takes a bit of my energy away,” he explained.

Regardless, Daniel still achieved a staggering number of push ups, performing an average of over 54 per minute.

Daniel is looking to break more fitness records this year, and he’s particularly keen on reclaiming another record he used to hold: the longest time in an abdominal plank position.

Daniel planked for an astonishing 9 hours 30 minutes in 2021, however, his record was recently broken in May 2023 by Josef Šálek (Czech Republic), who did it for 9 hours 38 minutes.

“The plank was something so farfetched I thought it was never going to be possible,” Daniel revealed.

“Who knows what’s around the corner, but I can assure you, anything is possible if you set your mind to it.”

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