Nine hours, 30 minutes and 1 second.
That’s how long Daniel Scali held an abdominal plank position, shattering the men’s world record.
When the 28-year-old Australian man broke the record last month, the tough feat was made even more difficult by complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS, which causes almost constant pain in his left arm.
“If you had decided to tell me five years ago that I would have … gone for a record of attempting to go for a plank, there’s no way I would have believed it,” Scali told CNN. He has been dealing with chronic pain since the age of 12 when he fell off a trampoline and broke his arm.
“The pain is still there,” he continued. “The pains aren’t changing but my attitude towards the pain changes.”
On August 6 in Adelaide, Australia, Scali beat the previous record by over an hour, Guinness World Records confirmed. This was his second attempt as he was disqualified after his first try, during which he held a plank for 9 hours and 9 minutes. Officials took issue with the position of his hips, he said.
Scali attempted the plank pose for the first time less than a year ago.
“My first plank was in November 2020 and that was for two minutes,” he said. “And the two minutes felt like an absolute lifetime.”
It wasn’t until January that Scali began to look into how to apply for the Guinness World Records and got help from a coach. He also had the help of his compression band that he wears everyday on his left arm to ease the pain and to him, “it’s like underwear,” he said.
But despite the compression band, there were times during his planks where he wouldn’t be able to move his arm, Scali said.
“But I would know someone else is out there watching me, you know. I would know that someone else is fighting a more severe disease than what I’ve got. There’s always someone out there worse than yourself.”
“I wanted to show people that no matter what pain you deal with, no matter what issues you have, if you want to do it and you believe you can do it, then go for it,” Scali continued.
Since he broke the record, Scali said he is often asked which record he wants to break next. But he is now focused on continuing to raise awareness for CRPS. He uses his attempts at holding the plank poses for long periods of time as fundraisers and has raised 19,223 Australian dollars (about $14,147) for Painaustralia, an advocacy organization for those dealing with chronic pain.
“But that’s not to say that there’s not going to be another record to break in the near future,” Scali said.
The previous record was set last year by a 62-year-old American man, who is a former US Marine and retired Drug Enforcement Administration supervisory special agent. He held the plank for 8 hours, 15 minutes and 15 seconds.