A teacher from Elora, Ont., is now the world record holder for most burpees in an hour by a female.
Belinda Cox, a gym teacher at Centre Wellington District High School, completed 775 chest-to-ground burpees on March 14. Guinness World Records made the feat official earlier this month.
“I have been a competitor my entire life,” Cox said in a post on the Upper Grand District School Board’s website. “From Olympic wrestling, rugby, CrossFit, to a local Strongman competition, I have always looked for ways to challenge myself and explore different avenues of training.”
She was looking at ways to challenge herself during the COVID-19 pandemic and her husband suggested that she try and break the burpees record.
“I told myself that I am going to embrace this opportunity and extract something good out of this COVID year,” Cox said.
She has been a teacher in Upper Grand for 14 years and is currently teaching Grade 10 phys-ed remotely.
Cox said one of her strength as a teacher has been the ability to connect with students and she is always sharing her endeavours with them. Daily discussions include topics such as fitness, training and various health topics.
“Many of my students were feeling down about the pandemic and complaining about how much they miss in-person interactions and all the activities,” she said.
“I tell my students that sometimes when we are in a situation that is beyond our control, the only thing we can do is to extract the good out of it. We must embrace it as an opportunity and focus on things that we might have otherwise never noticed. For me, it was the Guinness World Record of burpees.”
Ahead of her record-breaking performance, Cox said she added extra training to her day for four weeks and estimates she accumulated 8,500 burpees during that time while testing out various strategies.
The gym teacher argues that burpees are the most functional exercise movement.
“My students know that I always go first and lead by example,” Cox said. “To do the most burpees in one hour, this challenge was very fitting for me. I always said to the students, just focus on one minute at a time and stay consistent.”
Cox said she isn’t sure how she will challenge herself next but it will somehow incorporate her love for teaching, fitness and health.
“I am going to continue to explore and keep sharing my journey — the ups and the downs — with my students so that they can see what is possible when you set your heart and mind to something,” she said.
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