Six Guidelines to Set A World Record
There are 7.125billion people in the world. The fact that most of these people aren’t trying to break a world record narrows down the field, but it still leaves a lot of competition, especially since records stand after death. These six steps should help you improve your odds and get you closer to your goal of being the best in the world at something. I’ll focus on physical feats since that is my wheelhouse, but some of these principles can be applied to other world records.
The most balloons inflated by the nose in 3 minutes are 23 and were achieved by Andrew Dahl (USA)
1. Pick Something the Nobody Else Cares about
This is absolutely critical. If you want to be the best in the world I cannot overemphasize the importance of picking something so obscure and unusual that nobody else in the world is actual competing with you. Use the strategy of that kid at the playground who was always trying to come up with a game that he would be best at. The naysayer may point out that this tactic sabotages the glory of holding a world record precisely because if nobody cares to attempt your event, nobody cares about your succes in it either. If it is the validation of others that you seek, I recommend thinking of something that looks cool but nobody has tried. Beware of picking an event that nobody else is doing because it is too dangerous, many have gone down this road, few have returned.
- Peruse the Guinness book of world records to get some ideas.
- Pick a few records that seem to have very little competition and write down your own world record ideas not on Guinness.
2. Pick Something That Gives You A Genetic Advantage
- Body Proportions. The best swimmers have longer arms, long torsos and short legs. The best runners have short torso’s and long legs [1,2]. Rock climbers have long arms, weight lifters have short arms. Small people are better at body weight activities, large people can create more force. There is an activity for every body shape. If you are round, consider rolling.
- Baseline Strength, Power & Endurance. People differ in their untrained abilities, some are naturally strong, others naturally quick and others rarely get winded [1,2].
- Trainability. Genetic differences effect how much you improve with training. Given the same strength training program some people gained 2.5x more strength than others [1,2,3,4].
- Measure your height, wingspan, leg length and torso length
- See what sporting events favor this body type then think of novel events or ways to modify that event to eliminate the competition
- Look back at your life experience in strength, power and endurance activities and write down what you think you are good at
- Look back at your how much you improved when training strength, power or endurance and pick the thing you improved most easily at. Don’t rule out things you haven’t trained.
Terry Burrows (UK)holds the record for fastest window cleaner.
3. Pick Something That Gives You An Experience Advantage
- Look back at your life experiences and consider dusting off some unusual skills from childhood.
4. Pick Something You Are Passionate About
- Pick the activity you find most motivating.
5. Test Yourself
That which gets measured, gets managed. Get a baseline measurement to figure out if you have a chance and to track progress.
- Test your initial performance multiple times to find your repeatable performance.
- Break down the activity to find ways to your technique or capacity.
The record for the most one arm push-ups completed in one hour is 1,868 and was set by Paddy Doyle (UK)