Alex Goulding holds several Guinness World Records in the pushup category, but the way he sees it, there’s always room for improvement.
“Fitness is like a therapy for many people,” says Goulding, recalling how during a particularly hard time in his life, being able to consistently exercise gave him much-needed structure. Then, during lockdown, he began searching for various world record pushup challenges as something that he could train towards. “Had I not had that, god knows where I’d be right now,” he says.
Goulding was recently challenged by Guinness World Records to beat his own performance in the pushup to plank record: he previously completed 63 reps.
“I’m aiming for literally one or two more, 64 or 65,” he says in the official video. “It’s a difficult one, because you’re trying to coordinate a plank to a pushup while keeping form, obviously you’re battling against the clock, so I’m trying to do more than one a second, which is going to be difficult, but I’m determined to try and break it.”
Goulding must start in the upper end of a pushup, with his arms fully extended and locked, and he must keep his body in a strict straight line for the duration of the minute.
“I started out fast and then fatigued quick at around 40 seconds,” he says. “I’m knackered after that, but buzzing.”
The official Guinness World Records adjudicator explains that while one of Goulding’s reps must be discounted as he started before the minute officially began, he still managed to beat his own record, with a staggering 66 pushup-to-plank reps in 60 seconds.
But it’s not over: Goulding then attempts to set a new record in an even more physically challenging pushup variation: the 180 pushup, a test of physical power and explosiveness as well as strength and endurance, in which the individual pushes themselves up into the air and rotates their body 180 degrees.
Again, Goulding holds the current record with 16 reps. “Balance, power, strength, there are a number of elements that go into this one,” he says. “I love the 180 ones because they’re so touch.”
After an exhausting 60 seconds, Goulding completes 23 reps, and he hopes that this achievement will inspire others to make positive changes in their life, and use fitness as a way to support their own mental health and wellbeing: “Make that step, go outside, start that fitness journey, you will not regret it.”
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.