WHILE many of us were lying in bed nursing a hangover on Sunday morning, Melbourne mum Elizabeth Llorente was setting a new Guiness World Record for the most burpees in 60 minutes by a female.
The 37-year-old personal trainer prepared for three months in the lead up to Sunday’s attempt and wants to raise $10,000 for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Australia. Both her best friend and one of her training clients are battling the disease.
“A couple of years ago my best friend was diagnosed with MS and so I decided that while I was fit and able each year I would try to do something that would raise more money for MS,” Ms Lorente told The Project on Sunday night
Ms Llorente smashed the previous world record of 1321 burpees, completing 1490 burpees in an hour.
“I was doing them in little blocks. I did 25 at a time and had a little bit of rest and started again doing more or less 25 each minute or so,” she said.
But as anyone who has ever experienced the extreme discomfort of a burpee will notice, Ms Llorente’s burpees looked a little unusual.
She did not stand upright and jump in the air, nor did she lower her body all the way to the ground in a push up.
On her Instagram page, she described her burpees as “high plank burpees”.
Channel 7 posted to Facebook a video of Ms Llorente’s attempt, and many commenters questioned the authenticity of her burpees.
“I didn’t see her complete one burpee,” read one comment. “That’s not even a real burpee or what!” another read.
“I’m no expert but aren’t you supposed to stand completely upright as part of a burpee? Looks half asked to me,” one person wrote. “I mean she has good intentions but I don’t see any burpees,” another said.
The Project hosts Tommy Little and Hamish Macdonald questioned Ms Lorente’s burpee technique during her interview on Sunday night.
“Don’t regulation burpees require you to put your arms up in the air?” Little said. “And don’t you have to touch the ground at the bottom as well?” added Macdonald.
“It depends whose regulation you’re going by,” replied Ms Lorente, “so I went by the regulation that Guinness World Records have set. For any record attempt, you’re going to do what you need to do just to get by and there was no specific regulation about the opening up at the top.”
She added: “The start position for the burpee for Guiness World Records is actually the bottom position, so the jump just needed to be hands and feet off the ground. So that’s exactly what I did to get as many out as I could.”
According to the very reliable journalistic source Wikipedia, there are five steps to completing a burpee:
1. Begin in a standing position.
2. Move into a squat position with your hands on the ground.
3. Kick your feet back into a plank position, while keeping your arms extended.
4. Immediately return your feet into squat position.
5. Stand up from the squat position
Below is a very helpful YouTube video that explains how to do burpees — both a simple, beginner’s technique and also an advanced version.
So far, Ms Llorente has raised $4700 towards MS research.
“It’s quite staggering to think that every working day, four people are newly diagnosed with this chronic disease. It can strike anyone at any time and the symptoms vary so widely,” she wrote on her fundraising page.
“Can you imagine waking up one day unable to do the everyday things you would usually take for granted? Like not being able to see properly (or at all), you physically can’t get out of bed, can’t walk to the phone to call someone — anyone — or live a life without pain?
All of a sudden your world has changed,” she wrote.
“The funds we raise will allow people living with multiple sclerosis to access vital MS support services. Support to keep Aussies living with multiple sclerosis in the work force, and connecting people who are newly diagnosed with the information and support they need.”
MS is one of the most common causes of chronic neurological disability in adults and affects approximately one in 3000 Australians are affected by the disorder.
The disease usually starts in early adult life — between the ages of 20 and 45 — and causes progressive disability over several decades. MS is more common in women.