Chase crunches world record
Chase crunches world record

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ELLENSBURG — Clapping and cheering signified what may be another world record for Han’s Gym. Fifty-year-old Skip Chase pushed himself frantically, groaning and breathing heavily in the last few seconds of his world record attempt.

With counts of 5,950 and 5,965 Chase broke the previous Guinness Book World Record of 4,650 abdominal crunches completed in a 60 minute time period. The count will be verified with the use of video tape before being sent to Guinness.

Chase’s record breaking day started at 4:30 a.m. with a cup of oatmeal and a protein shake. He returned to bed and rose again at 7 a.m. to start warming up for the event.

An abdominal crunch, which is different from a situp, consists of lifting one’s shoulder blades from the surface while the legs are locked in a frame.

“We’re horribly excited about it,” Han’s manager Dale McPherson said. “It builds unity and excitement in the gym.”

To verify the record Chase needed two witnesses, two counters and two members of the media present. Chase’s son and one other person helped count, a friend video taped and crews from KAPP and KIMA were there. As the record breaking hour got underway fans and patrons gathered around the corner where Chase pumped out crunches.

Chase used a metro-nome, set around 100 beats per minute, to keep himself on pace. He said that his son, Travis, suggested the device after the beat from techno music proved too fast.

Sweat began to pour from Chase’s close cropped head as he pushed further into the hour, and he covered his head and face with a cloth at one point.

“Relax, relax,” Chase repeated to himself as sweat formed a puddle beneath his shoulder blades and ran off the frame to the floor in rivulets and drops.

“Don’t pay attention to the numbers, just do what you do,” Travis advised.

As Chase passed the 40 minute mark he had less than 1,000 crunches left to break the record.

Chase’s intention to continue for records at the 90 and 120 minute marks was cut short because his legs had lost circulation midway through the 60 minute attempt.

“I quit,” Chase said, standing shakily next to the abdominal crunch frame.

Ellensburg High School students, Central Washington University students, children and Han’s members of all ages cheered Chase on throughout the hour. Tammy Coulombe, Han’s patron and holder of world records in the benchpress and deadlift for the 123 lb. weight class, watched Chase’s record setting performance.

“He’s supportive, and I support him,” Coulombe said.

As he looked on, Han’s patron Steve Mathews called Chase “an inspiration to all of us.”

Andy Sandbo, who trains with Chase, called him an inspiration and a positive role model.

“No matter what, if I have a bad day I can look forward to working out with him,” Sandbo said.

Sandbo mentioned that Chase was willing to adapt his schedule to fit anyone else’s workout routine and was always ready to come to the gym and train. Sandbo and Chase had plans to workout a few hours after the event.

Although he has the abdominal crunch record beaten, Chase has no intention of slowing down. He wishes to improve on his record in the future and set records at 90 and 120 minutes. Chase also mentioned that he had considered trying to take the record for consecutive jumping jacks, which currently stands at 37,000.

“It just feels good,” Chase said, “I don’t think I’ll ever stop working out.”


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