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Elora high school teacher is now a world record holder

Belinda Cox is now a Guinness World Record holder for most burpees in an hour by a woman, something she did to inspire students

ELORA – A Centre Wellington District High School teacher is going into the record books after setting a new women’s fitness record.

Elora resident Belinda Cox, a 41-year-old mother of two, now has the Guinness World Record for most chest-to-ground burpees in one hour by a female. 

Cox completed 775 reps in an hour, which works out to nearly 13 a minute, or one rep every five seconds.

The previous record was held by Alison Brown of Listowel who did 730 burpees in an hour back in December 2020. 

Cox’s husband read about Brown’s record on social media and suggested she should try it herself.

Soon enough, an application was filled out and she was given approval for the attempt from Guinness World Records.

As a teacher, Cox noticed students were feeling down during the pandemic about missing in-person activities.

She said she encourages them to extract the good out of a situation beyond their control and embrace opportunities that might have been missed.

Setting a world record is putting her money where her mouth is and leading by example for her students. 

“We tell students to set goals, put yourself out there and put in the effort and do this,” Cox said. “It’s one thing to tell and it’s another thing to lead and just do it.”

Setting a record means extra training, Cox said she accumulated more than 8,500 burpees during practice in just over a month's time.

Cox has been a competitor all her life whether it be wrestling, cross fit, rugby or local strength competitions, she’s always challenging herself.

She said she is drawn to competition because it is a chance to show the benefits and outcome of putting in a strong effort. 

In her teaching career, which previously had been mostly physical education, she said it’s a lot about how to apply the resiliency and consistency learned through physical activity to other areas of your life such as mental health.

“All the skills that we do in our physical training, how does that transfer to our everyday life?” Cox said.

“When everything seems so out of control right now in this pandemic and we didn’t have a lot of answers. For me, it was turning to what I know best, I know I enjoy doing burpees.”

To keep herself going in training and during the record, Cox said it’s about approaching it one minute at a time. 

“It’s a tough exercise, I just put my head down and think about the next minute and next rep,” Cox said. 

Like she was inspired by Brown’s record, Cox said she may inspire someone else to take on the challenge she did. 

“Records are meant to be broken,” Cox said.