Danish plank champ vows to reclaim record

51-year-old fitness instructor Tom Hoel has his work cut out for him if he wants to regain the world record for the longest plank, but he tells The Local he has accepted the challenge.

Danish plank champ vows to reclaim record
Almost a year to the day after sitting his world record, Tom Hoel will give it another go. Photo: Submitted
They say that records are made to be broken. Danish fitness instructor Tom Hoel was reminded of that old saw this week when his world record for planking was smashed by China’s Mao Weidong.
Mao held the plank position for four hours and 26 minutes, topping 51-year-old Hoel’s previous record by over an hour. 
But rather than lie down flat and admit defeat, Hoel is preparing to rise to his feet (and elbows) to reclaim the title. 
“I’m training for a new attempt on June 12th, 2015. This time, the planning will need to take longer to get my whole body ready for the challenge,” Hoel told The Local. 
Despite Mao’s impressive feat, Hoel said he’s up for giving it another go. 
“I’m positive about it as long as we’re under five hours. I will reconsider my attempt if anyone pushes the limit beyond that,” he told us. 
“Nothing is impossible. I’m still in shape with room for improvement. I just did a two-hour plank yesterday!” he added. 
Hoel, whose plank time of three hours and eight minutes held the world record for over three months, is a fitness instructor and personal trainer in Frederikssund. His attempt to set a world record for the largest collective plank earlier this month fell short, but true to form Hoel didn’t let that get him down either. 
“For me, it’s really not about world records – it’s about getting people involved. This is my new motivation and purpose. I’m very good at inspiring other people to do things,” he told The Local in August. 

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Dane sets new world record for longest plank

A Danish fitness instructor held his body's weight on his forearms, elbows, and toes for four and a half hours, smashing his previous record and bringing planking glory back to Denmark.

Dane sets new world record for longest plank
How long can you do that? Photo: Jørgen Bohn Christoffersen
Denmark is once again home to the world record holder in planking, the core strength exercise of holding a difficult position for long periods. 
51-year-old fitness instructor Tom Hoel reclaimed his title – as he confidently told The Local he would back in October – after holding the plank position for four hours and 28 minutes over the weekend. 
With that feat, performed during a cultural event in the Zealand town of Jægerpris on Friday night, Hoel topped his own previous world record by a full 80 minutes. 
“It’s a wonderful feeling to get the title of world champion back. The best feeling is actually not the title but meeting the hopes and expectations of all my friends and club members, who were there to share both my pain and happiness,” Hoel told The Local. 
“I have never pushed myself that far. I had a serious crisis for almost two hours. After mentally arguing with myself, I finally asked for the time at three hours and 41 minutes. I thought that I was still under three hours and was ready to quit but when I realized I that had beat my former record and the goal was within sight, I mobilized every resource in my mind and body,” he said. 
Hoel said he was able to knock China’s Mao Weidong off his perch as the global master of the abdominal core exercise thanks to a strict training regimen.
“The new record time is a result of nine months of structured training. My first record was made after four months with little or no planning. I’ve had no alcohol the last four months, have eaten healthy foods and focused a lot on getting enough sleep. Sleep timing was a challenge for me, basically because it’s easier to find time for long planks when my family is asleep,” Hoel said. 
Hoel’s family was there in Jægerpris to cheer him on and the fitness instructor told us he couldn’t have done it without the support of his wife Kirsten and sons Frederik and Kaj. 
How long Hoel will be able to hold his crown is unknown, as the Dane said that he wouldn’t be surprised if Weidong answers the call. 
When he’s not setting world records, Hoel is a personal trainer in the Frederikssund area. 
Hoel celebrates the world record with wife Kirsten and sons Frederik (15) and Kaj (9). Photo: Jørgen Bohn Christoffersen
Hoel celebrates the world record with wife Kirsten and sons Frederik (15) and Kaj (9). Photo: Jørgen Bohn Christoffersen