Planking : Pain, Gain, World Records & The 4 HOUR Plank!


Yes, you read right…a 4 hour 23 minute plank to be precise. However, before I get onto this superhuman feat of endurance, conditioning, strength and mental prowess, let’s look into what a plank is and how it has become a bench mark of conditioning for millions.

The good ol’ fashioned plank

Designed to strengthen, tighten and condition the mid- section, specifically the core (transverse abdominals AKA the TVA), the plank exercise has been around for years, exactly how many is unknown, but what we do know is that the plank is an exercise that hits almost every muscle in your body in very little time…unless you happen to hold the world record that is, then you can expect to have to hold it for several hours! The exercise itself is isometric, meaning the abdominal muscles contract whilst staying the same length, this enables the exercise to hit deep. The plank is as much a mental test as it is a physical one, and expert trainers suggest that people invest their time mastering the plank BEFORE they embark on a solid resistance training plan.


How to perform the plank

In order to perform this exercise adopt the press up position (at the top), then bend your elbows 90 degrees so that your weight is resting on your forearms. Elbows remain directly beneath your shoulders whilst your body should remain straight from your head to your feet. Now the aim is to hold this position for as long as you can! As a rule of thumb, if you can hold a plank for a minute then you’re doing well, and if you can build this up to 2 or even 3 minutes then you’re on your way to developing a solid mid- section. Many of the industries fittest can get a 6- 8 min plank, and trust me, this comes with respect and takes some real strength of body AND character! So with that in mind, read on to the next paragraph and prepare to be gobsmacked…


Planking World Record

The S.W.A.T team are an elite force of Policemen to put it crudely, they are known for their efficiency and skill, but also for their fitness. Many police forces around the world have a S.W.A.T team, but an officer from the Beijing division has refined and defined his body to such a point that he was able to achieve a mind blowing 4 hour 23 min plank…and he even stopped deliberately to mimic his wife’s Birth day and month, barely breaking into a sweat! WOW! To see this incredible display of fitness, mental strength and conditioning on film check the video below:


The Independent, (2014). Video: Watch Chinese policeman smash world planking record. Retrieved 13th October, 2014, from

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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