5,254 burpees in 12 hours? How F45’s Dave Pound is training to break the world record

Dave Pound is going for a world record for the most burpees in a day. Body+Soul chatted to the F45 trainer about how he’s preparing, what he’s eating, and his larger purpose to raise money and awareness for mental health with Chase the Energy and Lifeline Australia. 

Dave Pound has been inside his own head a hell of a lot over the last couple of months, so much that the F45 Newtown trainer has been imagining he’s all sorts of kickass fictional characters just to get him through.

”I overcome the mental side by developing different scenarios in my head which tend to differ. For example, I could be part of the special forces on a mission in Afghanistan, the greater the risk the more I push myself,” the 31-year-old explains to Body+Soul.

“I also think about movies I’ve seen so for instance, I would picture myself as John Connor in Terminator 2 running from the bad terminator or Frodo in Lord of The Rings.”

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Before you think Dave has gone completely mad, he’s training to beat the Guinness Book of Records for the most burpees in 12 hours. Just a measly 5,254… OK, that actually proves he really has gone bonkers.

The unwavering focus and determination that he shows while he does his brutal and relentless burpee training during our classes is nothing short of impressive.

“The most challenging part of the journey has been the mental side, having to push through sessions, especially the longer six to eight-hour ones when it’s so easy to give up,” he admits.

Dave started training in May, but like so many living in the height of an unprecedented pandemic, his motivation waned after about a month.

“It wasn’t until September 8, when it had been two years since my friend Zac had taken his own life at just 23 that I decided to give it 100 percent to raise money for mental health,” he says. He’s therefore teamed up with Chase the Energy, powered by Lifeline Australia, to raise funds and awareness for mental health and suicide prevention.

His training regime started with two burpee sessions twice a week, one session of 1,500 and another of 2,000.

“My other training for the week would involve upper and lower body weight sessions, the frequency of this would depend on my body’s ability to recover,” he explains.

“I also incorporated barre into my weekly routine, as it involves a lot of flexibility and core work.”

He recalls that as his training progressed, Friday would become his dedicated burpee day.

“This session was usually a six-hour session and as I improved, would eventually end up as eight hours,” he says.

“I always work out how many I’m doing per minute, which is usually around 10.”

The most burpees that Dave has smashed out in one day is around the 4,000-mark.

“I could’ve kept going however, I didn’t feel the need to and I would always like to keep mental notes of where my body would start to fatigue first and at what time. This gave me key areas to focus on during my weight sessions,” he says.

“I always found that my body would start to fatigue first in the legs, so I would do lower body sessions – which would involve doing upwards of 2,000 squats and lunges.”

Dave’s diet has mainly consisted of a moderate amount of protein—mainly from chicken—protein powder, energy bars, GU gels, and he hydrates with coconut water and sports drinks to replenish much-needed electrolytes.

With just 10 days to go until the epic challenge on December 12, Dave is slowing things down a little (if you can call it that) with his main focus being barre, yoga and core work.

But in the last five days, Dave will completely stop training to get his body ready.

“My diet will be mainly carb-based – through oats, bread, also moderate amounts of protein and adding in good quality dietary fats, such as peanut butter,” he says. “I have definitely enjoyed eating ice cream and pizza during my preparation, which would be unconventional for most.”

The prep in the few days prior to the event will be drinking six litres of water every day and drinking nine hours a night, “which is a lot for me considering I’m used to sleeping five.”

Come 7am next Saturday, Dave will be raring to go to reach his target of 5,500 burpees in 12 hours.

“In terms of confidence, I’d say I’m 80 percent confident in breaking it,” he says, “the 20 percent doubt is if something unexpected happens and I get injured during the event.”

He can’t express enough his eternal gratitude for the ongoing support from the close-knit community at Newtown F45.

“I have always believed that this has been a team effort and can’t thank the community enough for its support and enthusiasm,” he says.

“I have always wanted to have an event which would bring the community together as one for a great cause.”

F45’s Dave Pound is aiming to break the world record for burpees for charity, with a focus on mental health awareness. You can donate to his cause through Chase The Energy and follow the action through the hashtags #F45newtown and #chasetheenergy.

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