Holy plank! 51 year-old, Danish fitness instructor Tom Hoel recently broke the world record for holding the longest plank at four hours and 28 minutes. For those of you who have tried this killer core bolstering move, you know just how tough it can be to hold out for just a couple of minutes. Imagine tacking on about four and a half hours. It’s truly an amazing accomplishment — both physically and mentally.  

Hoel, set the new record in the Denmark town of Jægerpris this past Friday, topping his previous best by about 80 minutes. “I have never pushed myself that far. I had a serious crisis for almost two hours,” Hole said after breaking the world record by 2 minutes, set last year by Mao Weidong.

One of the best bodyweight exercises for strengthening the core, the plank taxes the abs, arms, shoulders and glutes the longer the position is held. “After mentally arguing with myself, I finally asked for the time at three hours and 41 minutes. I thought that I was still under three hours and was ready to quit but when I realized I that had beat my former record and the goal was within sight, I mobilized every resource in my mind and body.

Hoel has spent the majority of the past year training for his record attempt. “I’ve had no alcohol the last four months, have eaten healthy foods and focused a lot on getting enough sleep. It’s a wonderful feeling to get the title of world champion back.”