Dane breaks plank record before saying timber

Fitness instructor performs abdominal exercise for 4 hours 28 minutes

On Friday last week, Tom Hoel, a 52-year-old fitness instructor from Jægerspris in northern Zealand, shattered the world record for holding the isometric exercise commonly known in gyms and fitness centres as the plank.

Such is the interest in the exercise, a favourite among crossfitters, it made headlines across the world.

Hoel held the position for four hours and 28 minutes, beating a record set by Chinese policeman Mao Weidong by two minutes.

Won’t defend again
It wasn’t the first time Hoel had broken this particular record – he did so last year with a time of three hours and eight minutes. He told Ekstra Bladet the campaign to regain his crown was a concentrated effort.

“Last year I was doing it mostly as a kind of gimmick,” he said.

“This year I’ve been a lot more structured. I’ve kept myself on a tight leash and I’ve not touched a single drop of alcohol.”

Judging by the international media attention, it might not be long before another contender steps up to become the plank king, but if his record is broken, Hoel won’t be attempting to win it again.

“I could feel that I reached my absolute limit,” he said.

“If maximum is 100 percent, then I was 0.1 percent from maximum.”