Lifestyle

An ab-solute legend

AMAZING FEAT: Doug Fenwick, 81, shows his record-breaking planking form to his wife Chris.
AMAZING FEAT: Doug Fenwick, 81, shows his record-breaking planking form to his wife Chris. David Nielsen

AT THE ripe old age of 81, you would think Doug Fenwick would be starting to slow down, especially when it comes to hitting the gym and tackling the steep hills near his Karana Downs home.

But it seems there is no stopping this former country vet, who credits years of tackling stubborn steers and moody mares with giving him the gut muscles required to hold the ab hover for more than half an hour.

The ab hover, otherwise known as the bridge or the plank, is a core-strengthening exercise in which a person holds their stomach about 30cm off the ground, leaning on their forearms and their toes.

For even the relatively fit, this exercise becomes unbearably painful after about two minutes, yet somehow this octogenarian can hold it for much longer.

Dr Fenwick appeared in the QT two years ago after smashing his own Brassall gym record by holding the ab hover for an astonishing 14 minutes and five seconds. On October 13, Dr Fenwick held the position for 34 minutes, not only obliterating his own personal best, but possibly setting an Australian record.

Either way, it is exceptional for an asthmatic, arthritic, diabetic, hypertensive geriatric with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and anaemia and two fake knees.

"I think my stocky build helps me a lot," Dr Fenwick said.

"I hadn't really done the ab hover much since the last record, but we had the gym olympics coming up and I just decided to start training for it again.

"I did eight minutes the first time, then a week later I lasted 12 minutes - it just occurred to me to keep training to see where my brick wall was."

Healthworks Brassall trainer Ty Maroski was the timekeeper and key motivator for the effort.

"Ty was the one who urged me to keep going," Dr Fenwick said.

An American who is almost 30 years Dr Fenwick's junior, George Hood, holds the Guinness world record for the ab hover, at one hour and 20 minutes.




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Rate rise gives residents a real bang for their buck

MY BUDGET ROCKS: Paul Pisasale explains why his 2016/17 budget makes a slight rate rise well worth it.

Pisasale hails new budget as "an agent for change"

Grantham flood fraudster loses appeal

AFTERMATH: Emergency services in Grantham after the deadly 2011 floods. A new inquiry will investigate if man-made features contributed to flooding.

As Grantham was on its knees Blackmore ripped off the system

Self-monitoring dust 'invites corruption'

Self-monitoring dust ‘invites corruption’

Latest deals and offers

Driveway delivery

Toby Hill was born on June 22 on his grandparents driveway in Riverhills. Pictured is big brother Bradley Hill, dad Matt Hill, mum Hannah Hill, grandmother Donna Eagle and grandfather Nick Eagle.

Toby Hill was born on June 22 on his grandparents driveway in Riverhills.

Rosewood Amber Alert

No Caption

Audio of Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Williams of the Ipswich Child Protection...

Ernie Els dunks for eagle

Smooth swing, great shot.

Ernie Els lives up to his reputation for one of the best swings in golf.

Arts and culture get a boost in council budget

HAPPY CAMPER: Council’s culture boss Cr Charlie Pisasale will be delighted $400,000 has been allocated for a business case investigation for IPAC.

IPAC at the forefront of councillor's agenda

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward