April Calderon recently cranked out 61 pushups in one minute while balancing precariously on three medicine balls at Chicago's Millennium Park. The key is “great balance, mental toughness and lots and lots of practice,” said Calderone, a general manager for three Anytime Fitness Clubs in Central Florida.
Pushups, which recruit muscles in the arms, chest, abdomen, hips and legs, are often considered the ultimate measure of fitness. The average 40-year-old woman should be able to do between 8 and 19 pushups. An average man in his 40s should be able to do between 20 and 29.
The folks at Anytime Fitness tell me Calderon's mark of 61 broke the women’s “world record” according to the Book of Alternative Records. The current record holder is Alicia "The machine" Weber, who managed 55 medicine ball pushups in 60 seconds, said Ralf Laue, an editor at the Book of Alternative Records. Calderon is submitting her record, along with video confirmation, but it hasn't yet been confirmed.
The supremely fit 24-year-old, who was in town for her company's annual meeting, talked with me the night before performing the pushups in front of an estimated 200 supporters. (Here's the video.)
Q: You have one hand each on a ball and both feet on a third ball. How hard is it to do a pushup like his?
A: It took me at least three weeks just to get on the balls. I’d fall off immediately. Just watch videos of guys trying to do it. They think it’s the easiest thing in the world and they all end up falling off.
Q: What happened the first time you did one pushup while balancing on the balls?
A: I fell off because I was so excited. I didn’t try to do anymore.
Q: How did you train?
A: My chest workout was all pushups. I just learned two weeks ago I was going for the record. So for the past two weeks, it has been all pushups and ab workouts, five days a week.
Q: No cardio?
A: I hate cardio. I get bored.
Q: What was a daily workout like?
A: I’d do as many pushups as I could in one minute while on the three balls. From there, I’d do six sets of 10 push-ups with a fifteen second break in between. Then I’d drop down and do six sets of 10 pushups on the floor, with a five second break. After a minute break, I’d burn out as many pushups as I could.
Q: How many would you get?
A: Close to 120.
Q: Wow. Is this painful?
A: I get in a zone and I don’t even pay attention (to the number) until my trainer tells me the minute is up. But by about 45 (pushups,) my elbow and wrist start hurting. I don’t start shaking but pain sets in below the wrists. (To avoid wrist pain, do pushups with your hands on dumbbells.)
Q: How many normal pushups can you do?
A: I’ve never really tried. I’m pretty sure I could do close to 70 or 80 in a minute.
Q: Why are you doing this?
A: It’s the 10-year Anniversary for Anytime Fitness. And I wanted to get the record back (from Alicia Weber.)Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun