Monday Motivation: How a multiple fitness record holder Ron Cooper is teaching us that any dream is achievable from within our homes

By Kristen Stephenson
Monday Motivation Ron Cooper Main

As we continue to share inspiring stories as part of our Monday Motivation series – we’re taking you through the fitness journey of Ron Cooper, a dad is who currently holds 12 athletic records and has broken a grand total of 23 in his lifetime.

While Ron has been actively going after fitness Guinness World Records titles since 2012, he doesn’t have any plans to slow down any time soon.

Many might assume there is a lot of unattainable and external training that goes into these records on a day to day basis, but Ron is stressing that isn’t the case.

Although the current pandemic has adjusted the way of living for individuals worldwide – the father of two from Marblehead, Massachusetts (USA), stresses that you can in fact break challenging records, right from within the walls of your very own home.

“All I really need for my Guinness World Records training is a good pull up bar and the ground for push-ups! I do have a stationary bike, AirDyne bike, and treadmill at the house too, which I use, but I could absolutely stay fit by running and hiking outside (at a socially respectable distance from others), or if not, getting creative indoors and doing lots of burpees, step ups, mountain climbers, jump rope, etc. There are lots of ways to stay fit, even with no equipment or very little equipment.”

His weekly regiment includes: pull ups twice a week (170-200 per workout), push-ups twice a week (500-1000 per workout depending on the level of difficulty of the push-ups), lower body calisthenics and hard cardio twice a week, as well as light cardio such as stationary biking or hiking on his pull up and push-up days – all of which are doable remotely.

When choosing records, Ron typically opts for speed rather than endurance.

A majority of his record titles are the “most in a minute” format, meaning that although they are quick, they are extremely intense.

Ron Cooper Certificates

At the moment, Ron currently holds the records for:

  • Most chin ups in one minute carrying a 40 lb pack - 30
  • Most chin ups in one minute carrying a 100 lb pack - 12
  • Most switch grip pull ups in one minute (male) - 26
  • Most hand release push ups in one minute - 53
  • Most push ups (one leg raised, carrying 40 lb pack) in one minute - 53
  • Most push ups in one minute carrying a 40 lb pack (male) - 79
  • Most push ups in one minute carrying a 60 lb pack (male) - 57
  • Most push ups in one minute carrying a 100 lb pack (male) - 45
  • Most step ups in one minute with a 40 lb pack - 60
  • Most step ups in one minute with a 60 lb pack - 60
  • Most step ups in one minute with an 80 lb pack - 54
  • Most step ups in one minute with a 100 lb pack – 46

But has held several others including ones like most knuckle push-ups in one minute (male) as well as most burpee pull ups in one minute, which can be quite difficult for even some of the most disciplined athletes.

The admirable part of Ron, however, is that he does not consider himself to be an extreme fitness guru by any means.

Ron Cooper Dramatic

He simply put his mind behind a passion he felt strongly about and has managed to reach his record-breaking goals after months of hard work and dedication.

“What I like most about my journey is that I'm an everyday guy. I was never a pro athlete, I'm 42, I'm a family man. It wasn't till my mid-30s that I discovered I could even break a fitness record. I hope that people take away from my journey that greatness lies in all of us, and greatness is a personal thing. If people are inspired to be better at something positive, anything, because of me, then that is a high honour and one that I would hold close to my heart.”

Ron Cooper Kids

Ron originally got into record-breaking as a precursor to auditioning for the television show American Ninja Warrior, but ended up pursuing fitness records more than the parkour.

His persistence and perseverance in the record landscape eventually led him to many memorable opportunities, including setting a new title live on the Today Show, showcasing how to break a record at his daughters’ school, and even getting published on the pages of the annual Guinness World Records books.

“I used to love reading the Guinness World Records editions as a kid! All of the superlatives were so awesome. I couldn't believe how tall Robert Wadlow was, how massive the biggest pumpkin was, and how long the longest fingernails were. I always thought how cool it would be to be in it, but I never actually imagined I would break a Guinness World Records title, let alone 23 of them, and in the competitive strength and fitness categories. It is humbling for sure.”

With all the categories he has broken, it’s hard to imagine what others are left to aspire to.

But Ron assures us that he looks for his next ambition by combing through the Guinness World Records website and finding which records sound appealing to go after next.

Ron Cooper Team

Right now, he has three new attempts waiting to be confirmed by our Records Team, and will be chasing more after that all while maintaining his normal fitness routine.

He hopes his experiences through record breaking encourage others to go after what they feel most passionately about, and help them stick to their goals, however challenging they may be.

“I really admire people who are committed to excellence, regardless of the field or pursuit. There is something exciting to me about people who are passionate about life, work, hobbies, family, really anything. Just that passion for them to be the best at what they are doing because they love it and it is fun. I get that mindset, so I tend to get along well with those people, and I use them for inspiration so I can be better.”