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Grandmother of 12 beats world record for longest plank held by a woman

DonnaJean Wilde, a 58-year-old Canadian, held planks for six hours a day to prepare for the record attempt.
Grandmother of 12 beats world record for longest plank held by a woman
Posted at 3:56 PM, Apr 09, 2024

Next time your trainer asks you to hold a dreaded minute-long plank, just remember: Your grandma can do it for much longer — well, maybe not yours, but somebody's. 

DonnaJean Wilde, a grandmother of 12, recently beat the world record for the longest plank ever held by a woman, staying steady for 4 hours, 30 minutes and 11 seconds as her family watched, Guinness World Records said.

"I actually still can't believe it," she told GWR. "It feels like a dream."

To take the title, the Alberta, Canada, resident had to stay on her forearms and toes with her body kept straight and off the ground for at least 4 hours, 19 minutes and 56 seconds — one second longer than fellow Canadian Dana Glowacka, who set the record in 2019. 

Wilde told GWR she felt the first two hours were a breeze, but the second two became a bit trickier. She said she drew motivation to continue from her grandkids and the crowd of high school students who came to watch her record attempt, which took place at the school where she served as vice principal before retiring. Then in the final 30 minutes, the 58-year-old just focused on "breathing, staying calm and not shaking." 

"My elbows hurt pretty bad," Wilde told GWR after making the record. "I was so worried about losing my form, and I think that's why my quads hurt because I was just really tense."

Though the feat and/or the act of a plank itself might be a *Wilde* idea to some, the exercise and the pain often associated with it are typical for Wilde. 

She told GWR she began incorporating planks into her daily routine 12 years ago after becoming unable to run or lift weights while wearing a cast for a broken wrist. And as someone who suffers chronic pain in her hands and arms, Wilde's husband, Randy, believes the move works well for her condition, transverse myelitis, instead of against it. 

"That chronic pain and numbness that she deals with every day has helped her to be able to plank through the pain," he said. 

Each day, you can find Wilde holding her plank for up to three hours — though she increased to six hours split into two, three-hour blocks to prepare for the attempt — but you probably won't just see her staring at the floor below for all that time. 

The Canadian woman told GWR she fell in love with the exercise because she realized she could read while doing it, even completing her studies for her master's degree while in the hold. Now she'll watch a movie while doing a plank, and she advises anyone who wants to beat her record to do the same.

"Keep trying and keep practicing," Wilde told GWR. "When you have to read or work on your computer, just get on the floor and do it on the floor."

Currently, the world plank record stands at more than 9 hours and 38 minutes and is held by a man. Josef Šálek from Czechia achieved it last year, according to GWR.

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