S'porean breaks world record by doing 44 pull-ups in a minute

To break the record for most pull-ups in a minute, Mr Yeo Kim Yeong, 25, trained four times a week, up to three hours a day, even when he was not feeling well. In the future, he plans to break more pull-up records
To break the record for most pull-ups in a minute, Mr Yeo Kim Yeong, 25, trained four times a week, up to three hours a day, even when he was not feeling well. In the future, he plans to break more pull-up records. ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

WHILE most teenage boys were dribbling on the football pitch, Mr Yeo Kim Yeong was obsessed with pull-ups. And it has paid off - the 25-year-old can do the most pull-ups in a minute in the world.

During his successful world record attempt on June 15 at Genesis Gym, which was monitored by a Guinness World Records representative, he managed 44. He beat the record of 42 set by American David Bourdon last year.

The third-year National University of Singapore history student said his interest in pull-ups began when he was 15. He said he enjoys the "rush".

He set his sights on the record last year after a series of entrepreneurial setbacks, when he decided to chase his passion.

But attempting the record required an intense regimen that was exhausting, even for Mr Yeo.

He trained four times a week, up to three hours a day. The workouts were so intense that he often "collapsed in a heap" on his bed after each session.

Mr Yeo told The Straits Times that he even forced himself to train when he was not feeling well. He had "never missed a day of training", he said proudly.

But he emphasised that what mattered most to him was not the physical journey but the personal one.

He sacrificed plenty in pursuit of the record - he took leave of absence from university and abstained from social media, movies and parties - all in a bid to cut out "all distractions".

The Guinness World Records standards are stricter than those of national service here, requiring that the body be absolutely straight during each repetition.

Mr Yeo could already do 42 pull-ups by Individual Physical Proficiency Test standards when he began training for the goal, but failed on his first try in March because of the stricter standards.

For helping him overcome these setbacks, he thanked his close friends as well as his parents for supporting him "every step of the way". He also gave credit to his trainers at Genesis Gym, who have been working with him since last December.

He had never had professional training before that.

Mr Yeo said that in future, he plans to break more pull-up records, such as those based on body weight. He also intends to write a book about his experience. But first, he said he needs to "go back to school".

ariellim@sph.com.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2015, with the headline 'S'porean breaks world record by doing 44 pull-ups in a minute'. Print Edition | Subscribe