Betty Lou Sweeney, a 71-year old Wisconsin native, broke the Guinness World Record for holding the abdominal plank with a time of 36 minutes and 58 seconds. The previous world record was 33 minutes and 40 seconds.
Betty Lou was joined by her trainer, Dave Candra from Anytime Fitness, and cheered on by her husband Tom as she took on the challenge.
For Betty Lou, the accomplishment capped off an amazing two-year journey. She was severely overweight in 2009 and almost died from complications from an infection that went septic and shut down her kidneys. After defying the odds and surviving, she pledged to make a major life change and start enjoying life.
Working out six days a week with a personal trainer, Betty Lou is now medication-free, 100 pounds lighter and a world record holder.
Betty Lou, in doing the once-impossible for her situation, said:
“I had never imagined being able to work out every day, let alone break a world record for planking — I did not even know what planking was. I can’t imagine now what my life would be like had I not walked in the door at Anytime Fitness and made a commitment to get healthy.”
Do not mistake her feat for the planking that we are accustomed now. What she did was abdominal planking. What we are to used to seeing now is simply called planking or lying face down. By the way, is there a world record for that one?