National University

Alumnus Sets Guinness World Record in Planking

 Alumnus George Hood (MS, Forensic Sciences, 1984) set a Guiness World Record (GWR) this past April 20 for the “Longest Time in an Abdominal Plank Position.”

By remaining rigid for three hours, seven minutes and 15 seconds, Hood, a 55-year-old group fitness director, personal trainer and ultra endurance athlete, doubled his previous GWR for the “plank” which he set at 1 hour, 20 minutes and five seconds, on December 3, 2011.Prior to Hood’s first world record, the previous record holder for abdominal planking was an Australian who had set the GWR at 50 minutes and 11 seconds.

The isometric core strength exercise, commonly practiced in pilates and yoga classes, is generally maintained for 30 seconds to a minute at a time. It is considered an excellent way to strengthen abdominal muscles and those muscles that are on each side of the spine. Hood further describes the “plank” as probably the best overall exercise for ones fitness and core strength.

Hood set his most recent “plank” record in Newport, KY, in support of an American Heart Association fundraiser.. He describes himself as a "purpose-driven individual" who is constantly pushing to challenge and improve himself, motivate those around him and contribute to his community in positive and inspirational ways.

“Those were the reasons why I attended National University,” says the former Camp Pendleton Marine Corps infantry officer whose degree from National University led to a distinguished law enforcement career as a Special Agent with the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service and with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Hood retired from DEA in December 2007 and served in Afghanistan as an independent contractor providing counter-insurgency support to U.S. forces.

In 2009, after his return from Afghanistan, Hood was certified as a personal trainer with the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) and he is currently on staff at the Five Seasons Sports Club in Burr Ridge, IL, where he is the Director of the Group Exercise program. In addition to multiple training certifications, the National University alumnus is also a certified “spin” cycling instructor through Madd Dog Athletics, and was certified last October as a Group Fitness Instructor by the American Sport and Fitness Association.

Hood is a six-time Guinness World Record holder in three different endurance categories (rope skipping, stationary “spin” cycling” and the “plank”), In fact, all of Hood’s GWR’s have been in support of worthy fundraisers on behalf of various not for profit groups and which have raised over $125,000. He has a passion for raising money for charity organizations and inspiring people of all ages to set goals, train diligently and achieve success. His inspirational events and training methods have resulted in a huge international following of supporters who support him in every endeavor dedicated to others.

His most inspirational fundraiser was his final cycling GWR in November, 2010, which he set at 222 hours, 22 minutes, 22 seconds and which was dedicated to raising memorial funds for Army Pfc. Gunnar R. Hotchkin of Naperville, Illinois, who was killed in combat in Afghanistan in June 2010.

A role model and enthusiastic advocate of continual personal growth and lifelong learning, Hood says he is in better shape today than he was ten years ago and is probably in the best shape of his life! He says there is no end in sight and the example he sets for his 3 sons inspires him to continue advocating personal fitness and health. He encourages fellow alumni to constantly develop new goals and pursue them robustly on a daily basis.

“Never give up, finish what you start and lead from the front”, Hood says. He is proud that National University has been a part of his tremendous success.

For more information regarding George Hood, visit his web site here.