Most world record holders are tenacious people with superhuman abilities. Just look at Chris Ridgway, the first amputee to win a summer X Games gold medal, Tom Sietas, the guy who swam 200 meters without breathing. Crazy, huh? Well, their amazing feats aside, those people are human just like me and you. They got to where they are because they worked hard and believed in themselves.
You can, too, if you have enough talent, the right attitude, and an extraordinary work ethic. If you’re a bodybuilder, you probably already have what it takes to become a world record holder, because bodybuilders are some of the most determined people on Earth. Still, how can you set yourself to break a world record?
I’m not going to give you the most obvious answer (“Work hard; remember that the sky’s the limit; keep believing in yourself…”), but instead try to drum up some inspiration into you. Sometimes all you need is a push in the right direction. I believe that the best kind of inspiration comes from those who tried and succeeded, so let’s take a look at three of the greatest bodybuilders to have ever graced the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records.
Edith Wilma Connor – The world’s oldest female bodybuilder
At the ripe age of 65, Edith Wilma Connor decided to start pumping iron. She found it a great way to vent out her frustrations from her day job at a data entry company. Connor entered her first bodybuilding competition and won first place. She went on to become a certified personal trainer for senior citizens.
Today, Connor is 77 and going strong… literally. She does aerobic exercises and lifts heavy weights at least three times a week. Did I mention she’s seventy-seven years old? And that she tacks on an extra 25 pounds to the barbell just for kicks? Being so active at her age is quite a feat, so Connor deserves nothing less than the honor of being named the world’s oldest female bodybuilder.
Moustafa Ismail – The world’s biggest biceps
This 24-year-old Egyptian man was so dedicated to bodybuilding that he actually moved his family to America to gain access to better workout equipment. He spent the last 10 years pumping iron twice a day because he wanted to create a world record for the biggest biceps… and he did! Each bicep has a circumference of a whopping 31 inches – equivalent to an adult male’s waist – and people often Ismail was awarded the Guinness world record title earlier this year, and he couldn’t be happier. “I think my arms are now bigger than [Popeye’s],” Ismail joked.
Eamonn Keane – The most weight lifted by dumbbell rows in one hour
Not only did this Irishman lift the most weight in one hour (72,157 pounds), but he was also the first person to complete the Guinness World Record Superhuman Strength Challenge (also known as “The Big 5”) in 2010. The challenge consists of:
- 1-hour bench press
- 1-hour barbell squat
- 1-hour deadlift
- 1-hour military press
- 1-hour incline dumbbell flyes
Even though undergoing a rigorous workout for five hours straight is no easy feat, Keane managed to pass the challenge with flying colors. It’s not like he came unprepared. He’s a seasoned powerlifter who has won many Ironman Power Championships around the world. Keane spent years pumping iron and preparing himself for the challenge that earned him a permanent spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
If they can do it…
You can, too! Just find a bodybuilding world record you know you can break or set, and then put your mind to it. If you ever become discouraged, remember the following wise words uttered by some of the most accomplished men in history:
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.” – Colin Powell
“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.” – Tommy Lasorda
“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso