Photo by: Chilli Pepper Productions

Brit sets new Burpee world record and raises €6,000 for young cancer patient

It was the “longest and most painful” 12 hours of his life, but British fitness coach Ryan Smith has set a new world record by completing a jaw-dropping Burpee challenge last weekend while also raising around €6,000 for 12-year-old cancer patient Louie Watson.

In all, Ryan, who lives in Lagos, completed 4,777 Burpees, beating the previous record of 4,545.

For those who might not know, Burpees are a full body exercise used in strength training and as an aerobic exercise. To complete a Burpee, a person squats, places the palms of their hands on the floor in front of the feet, jumps back into a push-up position, in some cases completes one push-up, returns to the squat position, and then jumps up into the air while extending their arms overhead.

Doing this for 12 hours is as massive a challenge as it sounds, and Ryan admits the days following the achievement have been painful.

“But it’s easing, and it was all worth it,” he told us.

“I went to hell and back on a few occasions but wasn’t prepared to quit at any stage no matter how much pain I was in. I knew I’d trained and conditioned my body enough the weeks leading up to the event to withstand what I was going to put it through,” Ryan added.

Nutrition played a big part in his preparation and Ryan consumed 13,500 calories the day before the challenge, which was a “huge challenge in itself”.

“The rest was a mental battle. I focused hard, zoned out and just kept getting up for the 12 hours. I almost became like a robot and a different character for 12 hours to get myself through,” he told us.

His achievement has been praised by many, even Joe Wicks, a well-known fitness celebrity from the UK who left him a video message.

“It still stands as just an attempt until all the evidence is verified by the Guinness World Record organisation but I’m more than confident every Burpee was counted for and all the rules were followed as stated,” he said.

Through a Facebook drive and cash donations, Ryan has been able to raise €6,000 for Louie Watson, a 12-year-old who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that according to MacMillan Cancer Support develops from the cells left behind from a baby’s development in the womb, in April.

Louie, who is a huge football fan, “especially Manchester United and Cristiano Ronaldo”, is being treated at IPO Lisbon as well as Portimão’s Barlavento Hospital.

Louie’s mother Julie Scadden told us before the challenge that the main goal was to raise awareness of neuroblastoma.

“It’s not really heard of like leukaemia, and generally affects young children up to five years old. Indeed, we hadn’t heard of it until he was diagnosed in April,” said Julie.

Plans are to use some of the money from Ryan’s challenge to help the children’s ward at IPO or for research into neuroblastoma.

Meantime, Ryan is resting up although he already has other challenges in mind for next year, possible one with his “fitness fanatic wife Faye”.

“We will be raising money again for neuroblastoma and we are now in the process of organising to start up a neuroblastoma charity with Louie’s mum Julie,” he told us.

The Facebook donation page is being kept open for anyone who wishes to donate to the cause.

Photos by: Chilli Pepper Productions

Photo by: Chilli Pepper Productions
Photo by: Chilli Pepper Productions