This personal trainer just completed 730 burpees in an hour, earning a Guinness World Record
- Alison Brown, a 38-year-old personal trainer and gym owner in Canada, completed 730 burpees in an hour, breaking the former world record by a female of 709.
- She wanted to show her son he could do anything he set his mind to, and chose the burpee because of it symbolized getting up again after being knocked down.
- Other fitness enthusiasts have gotten creative in the absence of gyms, with one man running a marathon on his balcony and another cycling the height of Mount Everest in under 7 hours.
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
For one hour in July, Alison Brown, a 38-year-old personal trainer and mom in Canada, pumped out 730 back-to-back burpees — the near universally-dreaded exercise involving springing from a pushup position where the chest touches the ground, up to a jump with arms overhead, and back down to the chest-to-ground stance.
The feat broke the former world record of 709 burpees by a female in an hour, earning her a Guinness World Record, the organization confirmed last week.
According to the Canadian news station CBC, Jones, who owns New U Personal Training Studio in Listowel, Ontario, was inspired to attempt a world record after her nine-year-old son brought home the famed Guinness Book of World Records and asked if he could try something like it.
Jones decided to show him that he could, if he put his mind to it. She set her sights on breaking the burpee record since, because it's a full-body exercise, it's one of her favorites. She also liked what the up-and-down motion symbolized, Jones told CBC.
"This has been a year of us having to get back up," said Jones, whose fitness business shut down during the pandemic. "So I really like that metaphor, you just got to keep getting back up."
Though Brown "hit a wall" around burpee number 600, she pushed through with the encouragement of an observer and gym teacher. "It's pretty cool to know that I did it," Jones said to CBC.
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Fitness reimagined, but not derailed
As fitness facilities around the world have closed for periods, if not permanently, during the pandemic, exercisers have gotten creative about staying active. In some cases, their fitness has improved.
Wendy Schultz, a mom in Sarasota, Florida, started walking a few miles a day to get out of the house and relieve stress. By consequence, but not intention, she lost 20 pounds, and cancelled her gym memberships. "Now I see that I don't need to carve out much time in my day to get in some exercise and improve my health," Schultz previously told Insider.
Mallory Bradford, tech worker in Chicago, used to take classes at a gym once or twice a week but couldn't run a mile without stopping. By June, she could run 6 miles and was considering training for a triathlon — sans gym.
Some, like Jones, have achieved more extreme stunts under lockdown. Insider's Rachel Hosie sculpted her upper body after completing 100 pushups a day for 100 days. A man in France ran a full marathon on his 7-meter balcony to show people "we have no excuses."
Sean Gardner, a 26-year-old in Virginia, broke the world record for Everesting, or cycling the elevation of Mount Everest, after riding up and down the same hill near his home in under 7 hours.
And, adventurer Emily Harrington became the first woman to free climb Yosemite's El Capitan in under 24 hours.
"We should be less afraid to be afraid," she told CNN. "It's a very valid emotion and it's something we shouldn't shy away from. In a lot of ways, we can use it as fuel and as strength."
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