71-year-old breaks planking record

Anissa Ford's picture

Planking actually has a purpose other than Facebook pics.

Planking is more than a Facebook photo fad. It's an exercise regimen and 71-year-old Wisconsinite Betty Lou Sweeney broke the Guinness World Record in planking.

Sweeney held the abdominal plank for 36 minutes and 58 seconds. The previous world planking record was 33 minutes and 40 seconds.

Betty Lou is a member of Anytime Fitness Club, a franchise with more than 1600 clubs worldwide. Sweeney broke the record at her gym with her trainer and her husband by her side.

Betty Lou joined the gym for reasons that more aggressive patients have for exercising and getting fit. She wanted to get off medications and lose weight.

"When I walked into Anytime Fitness, my only goal was to get off my medication and start living a healthy life," said Sweeney. "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."

Betty Lou joined her fitness center in 2009 because she was "severely overweight and nearly died from complications from an infection that went septic and shut down her kidneys. When she defied the odds and survived, she pledged to make a major life change, get off her medications and start enjoying life -- and she did just that. She joined her neighborhood Plover, Wisconsin Anytime Fitness and began working out six days a week with personal trainer Dave Candra. Today, more than 100 pounds lighter, Betty Lou is medication-free, fitter than most people, healthy and now a world-class record holder.

According to Betty Lou, joining her fitness center and having trainer Candra work with her saved her life and were critical to her success today. Plover is a small town in the heart of Wisconsin with more than 10,000 residents. Anytime Fitness, Sweeney's gym, is open 24 hours a day everyday all year round.

For younger people and Facebook addicts, planking is the lying down game where plankers photograph themselves lying down, supported by abdomen muscles. People have done planking on staircases, kitchen counters and in grassy lawns. One planker fell to his death attempting to photograph himself planking on apartment's high-rise balcony rail.

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