Septuagenarian is Plank Champ

Published on: January 31st 2023

A 78-year-old from Bessacarr, Doncaster, has won his local gym’s plank challenge, and the fit septuagenarian already has his eye on the next squat trial.

Barry Edgecombe has been a member of Doncaster Leisure and Culture Trust’s Choose Fitness brand for ten years and uses the gym at Doncaster Dome three times a week to keep fit.

In December, Barry saw that the gym was challenging members to see who could hold the plank position for the longest amount of time and decided to give it a go.

He said: “My first attempt was five minutes, and then I saw that someone had beat this with six minutes, so I had another go. This time I managed seven minutes, and the same person beat me with 12 minutes. Spurred on by other members, I thought I’d give it one more go and I managed 14 minutes and 10 seconds and won the challenge.

“I don’t think anyone was expecting a 78-year-old to be the winner! This month’s challenge is to hold a squat against a wall. I’m up for winning this one too, so we’ll see how I do.”

Barry currently visits the gym at the Dome three times a week with a friend and focuses on repetitions of lightweight work.

“At my age, if you get injured, it takes a long time to recover, so I just do a steady workout. Visiting the gym is a great social part of the week as well as a chance to focus on keeping fit and healthy.

“There is a lovely group of people using the gym at the Dome, and the staff are really encouraging. These new challenges are a fun way to get people to try something different,” added Barry.

Focusing on fitness is nothing new for Barry; some 31 years ago, he used to play badminton and won a medal when he represented the Dome in 1991 for winning division four.

He was also an avid trekker, a hobby he started with his wife walking in Derbyshire and the Lake District and then with a friend took on a 31-day trek to Nepal doing the North and South base camps on Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, where they climbed Pang Pema peak at 6,000 meters.

“I guess the treks taught me about endurance and perseverance and set me up well for these new challenges.