Setting the Bar High (VIDEO)
Ron Cooper, of Marblehead, set two world records at the YMCA Sunday morning.
The following is a Q & A with Ron Cooper, who set two world records at the Lynch/van Otterloo YMCA Sunday morning.
Cooper, 33, of Marblehead, successfully completed 63 push-ups in a minute with a 40-pound pack on his back - and cranked out 36 pull-ups over the same span.
Check out this feature we published about Ron last month.
Which was the tougher task, the pull-ups or the push-ups?
The push-ups was tougher. The pull-ups I beat in practice on a weekly basis, so I was confident that would be beaten unless I got hurt or had a really off day. I had never actually beaten the push-up mark, so I was pleased to do so. When I squeezed out reps 62 and 63 (the previous record was 61 by Paddy Doyle of the UK), I was more shocked than probably anyone watching was.
Were you confident going into the attempts? Nervous?
I was both confident and a little nervous. But truthfully, I was in kind of a calm bliss that I can only compare to the morning of a big test, where I studied all I could and would do the best I could. I guess, basically, that I knew I had given it all in training, and that I was as prepared as I was going to be.
How did you feel afterward? How did your kids and wife react?
It felt awesome afterward. Being a Guinness World Record holder is a lifetime achievement that I think anyone would be proud of. I was a little surprised that I got both of them, of course pending Guinness final approval, but definitely joyous. My wife and kids were very pumped for me. They have been so supportive. My wife is an unbelievable athlete, so she understands about hard training. I promised I'd let my oldest kid, Emily, climb on my back and do push-ups after the record attempt if I broke the record. So we did, and she grabbed one of her friends. I think I did the most push-ups in 10 seconds with two kids clinging to my back.
Who was the first to congratulate you?
I don't remember who was first to congratulate me, I was so caught up in the moment. But my daughter, Emily, was if not the first certainly right there running up and giving me hugs. It was very touching.
What happens next as far as verifying for Guinness and getting into the book — and when will you be in the book. Will it include a pic?
Next I have to send in some signed statements by me, two witness statements, a video of each attempt, and photos of each attempt. Then Guinness will take 2-8 weeks to give the thumbs up or thumbs down. Hopefully they will be up! If approved, I will be in the online database. And if they like at least one of the pics, I might make it into the actual book!
When will you work out next?
I worked out right after the record attempts.
Any more records on the horizon?
Possibly. I signed up with Guinness to try "most push-ups with a 60lb pack in a minute" also. I was tempted to try that one after my 40lb pack excursion, but thought it might be best not to press my luck. I may give that one a shot soon. I'm also trying to get on the TV show "American Ninja Warrior", which is a sports show where athletes across the US try to conquer the world's most difficult obstacle course. The show will actually be airing in the next month or so. I'm in the process of putting together an audition video. Hopefully this will help the producers pick me as one of the athletes.
To what extent did you step up your training since you postponed the first attempt due to illness?
I used the the extra few weeks from the illness to really step up the training, especially on the push-ups. It's a balancing act, because for pull-ups you want to be light in terms of body-weight so you're pulling up less weight, but in push-ups, you need size in addition to stamina to push the 40lbs. They're kind of opposite records, which is pretty cool.
What's the name, again, of your financial advising company?
Eagle Strategies, LLC, which is a subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company. My office is located in Waltham, MA.
Do you know of any other financial advisors who are into strength training?
Definitely. There have been studies that some of the most successful financial advisers or business people in general are very into some type of intense fitness related activity. For me it just happens to be strength training.