This Guy Just Broke the World Record for Most Pushups in 1 Year

Nate Carroll, a father of three from Wisconsin, has just broken the world record for most pushups completed in a year. He officially set a new record on Sunday June 6, when he performed rep number 1,500,231 on the 50-yard line at MetLife Stadium. Carroll took on his year-long challenge as a way of raising money and awareness for Tunnels to Towers, a foundation that provides financial supporters to the families of first responders who have died in the line of duty.

“The record for most pushups in 365 days has interested me for a few years,” he tells Men’s Health. “Yet, I understood if this challenge was going to be taken on, there had to be more depth to it besides just breaking a record. I wanted this to honor those families who lost their mom or dad in service to our nation. Each day I spent time reflecting on my appreciation for the job first responders do and the fact that each pushup was earning donations to provide mortgage-free homes to these heroes and their families.”

Carroll has noticed a drastic physical change over the last 12 months, building muscle in his arms and core as he averaged more than 4,000 pushups a day. But the psychological transformation was even more impactful. “The most dramatic change was my mental strength and the understanding that the body is a phenomenal creation, and if properly cared for and conditioned, can endure significant physical stress and accomplish tremendous feats,” he says.

Maintaining the kind of discipline and resilience needed to stick to the challenge was no easy feat; Carroll says learning to overcome negative self-talk and simply power through physical discomfort were all integral to keeping him going—but that he still had to know when to allow himself sufficient time for recovery. “I had to listen to my body and rest it when it required rest,” he explains. “During these times, when my body was hurting, I had to manage my negative thoughts and doubts, keeping in perspective why I took on this challenge. Focusing solely on what I control (my effort, my technique, rest, and as much as possible my schedule) helped keep negativity from taking root within my mind. I found comfort in knowing that if I controlled these little things for each set, eventually it could add up to something special.”

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Given that he has become something of a pushup expert over the last year, Carroll shares with Men’s Health the top tips he’s learned for anybody who might be a newcomer to the exercise. “My advice for anyone is to understand your not in competition with anyone but yourself,” he says. “No one cares at the end of the day if you can knock out 5 pushups or 50. Set a goal, and get after it. Make it who you are, not something you do. That way, when it gets hard and life throws obstacles in your way and offers you convenient excuses to stop or says it’s too difficult, you find a way to endure and persevere and keep after it. Winning those mini-battles each day builds strength and shapes one’s perspective of what is possible.”

Carroll’s year of pushups doesn’t technically end until June 13, and even though he has already smashed the previous record, he fully intends to keep on cranking out his reps. “I set a number for the amount of money I wanted to raise for the foundation, and I haven’t hit that number,” he says. “There is still another week left of the ‘push through’ challenge, so I’m hopeful I can continue to inspire people to make a donation to The Tunnel to Towers Foundation and honor a contract our nation’s heroes, that if in service of our country or in our communities, they don’t make it home and leave behind a family with young children, we are going to provide your family with a mortgage-free home.”

And he already has his eye on his next possible endurance challenges, including running 50 miles while carrying a 100-pound rucksack, and swimming across Lake Winnebago in his home state of Wisconsin. “I’m 45 years old and not getting any younger,” he says, “but I have still have things I want to accomplish.”

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