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Canadian Shatters Most Burpees in an Hour Record

March 8, 2022 by
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Issy Watson doesn’t know where she gets her physical drive from, all she knows is it seems to be burning like an endless fire.

  • “I’m not sure exactly where it came from, but I’ve always had this internal motivation to push myself and challenge myself,” said the 22-year-old Victoria, Canada resident. 
  • “I always wanted to do hard things and to see how far my mind and body are able to take me. Even as a kid, I would always be outside running around and setting up gym circuits in my basement. My family was also pretty involved in sports so that definitely influenced me.”

Watson, who works as a nutritionist and personal trainer, and has done CrossFit since she was 16, decided it was time to put her endless drive to the test. About a year ago she got the idea in her head that she wanted to break the Guinness World record for the most chest to ground burpees in an hour. She said given the circumstances over the past 24 months, this was the perfect challenge to take on.

  • “The last couple years I have seen a few people in the news who took on this challenge, and it just seemed very fitting that I would attempt to break it. I had done CrossFit for six years prior to this record and did local competitions. Obviously during COVID there were no running races or competitions for me to do, so I wanted something that would kind of light the fire back into me and have a goal to work towards.”

She said after a while, beating the record of 775 burpees in one hour became a thought she couldn’t shake. Finally, Watson said she applied to make an attempt and then last August, got down to business, shattering the record and pulling off 829 in 60 minutes flat. Editor’s note: the record was briefly held by Railiana Schilling Flores, who did 817, in between when Watson made her attempt and when her record was verified.

  • “The best part about being an endurance athlete is that you tend to just get into that flow state and your mind is somewhere else,” she said about the actual hour of insanely hard work. “Not going to lie though, it was very mentally challenging but I just kept telling myself, “It’s only an hour.” I also use a lot of my past failures to give me fire and motivation. But overall, it is honestly all a blur.”

Guinness finally verified her accomplishment this month, and Watson said oddly enough, the day after, her neck and toes were the most sore parts on her body. One thing she did gain from the whole experience is that if you really want something, you just have to be willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it.

  • “I still have so much time left in my fitness journey,” she added. “There are still so many goals and challenges that I want to accomplish and I have my mind set on a few ideas. I always believe that there’s no ‘right time’ in life. If I want to do something I’ll do it. Whether that be breaking more world records, an ultramarathon, or an ironman, I know that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.”
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