Ultra Endurance Fitness Pro and International World Record Holder Joins YMCA Staff as Fitness Director

YMCA of Metro Chicago
Updated 11/24/2017 9:05 AM
  • George's current record time is 9 hours, 11 minutes and 01 second.Jacklyn Rosado

    George's current record time is 9 hours, 11 minutes and 01 second.Jacklyn Rosado

George E. Hood has a "Y" story like most around the world. Hood, a former Marine Corps Officer and DEA Special Agent, grew up in Indiana, Pennsylvania where the YMCA was a key part of his growing up in a small town. He played YMCA Church League basketball, attended YMCA Day Camp and worked part time at his local hometown YMCA while going to college. Hood remarked, "I have fond memories of my "Y" experiences and can recall them as if they were only yesterday".

During his career as a Marine Officer, a Special Agent with NCIS and DEA, and a law enforcement advisor in Afghanistan, George went on to set two world records at YMCA facilities. In 1986, George set the record for a rope-skipping marathon at a fundraiser held at a local YMCA in Honolulu,Hawaii. In 2008 he set the record for stationary cycling (spinning) at the Fry YMCA in Naperville, Illinois.

George's association with the YMCA has lasted a lifetime and has been pivotal in his record setting career. SO far, George has set 10 world records. His events have all been fundraisers for charity, including the YMCA! Raising money for countless charities around the world have earned him a respected place on the world stage and in the fitness industry. George is best known as the current world record holder for the "Plank", a world record he has set 5 times in the last 6 years. His current record time is 9 hours, 11 minutes and 01 second, set in November, 2016 in San Diego, California.

After 10 world records and with a cadre of followers around the world, George's association with the YMCA came full circle in September of 2017 when he was hired as the new Fitness Director for the Indian Boundary YMCA of Metro Chicago in Downers Grove, IL. Hood remarked, "taking on this great opportunity was something I wanted to do… it is a necessary step in my journey to serve the greater good with the unique success I've had with my record setting endeavors on behalf of worthwhile causes".

Hood wrapped up a 26-year federal law enforcement career and later spent nearly six months working in Afghanistan providing law enforcement and counterterrorism investigative support to U.S. forces. Then he returned to the United States and launched his fitness career at a health and fitness facility where he was supervised and trained by Erik Knowles, who is now the Executive Director for the Indian Boundary YMCA.

As Fitness Director, Hood will directly supervise the monthly group exercise and personal training programs. Hood looks forward to being actively involved in all facets of the Fitness Department programs that ultimately benefit the Y's members. This new training program will will be progressive and will include specialized fitness training to a small, more focused and personalized group of participants. Participants will be trained by committed fitness professionals who are familiar with Hood's training objectives. A key part of the program will include Hood's signature core conditioning classes known as "Hood's Core Conditioning (HCC)", which will offer a glimpse into the training methods and techniques used by Hood to achieve the results that have made him so successful.

Hood, who turns 60 in December, said he is excited about his new role. Hood also stated, "I'm grateful for the mutual respect and warm welcome I've gotten from YMCA Metro Chicago and especially the members and staff I'm getting to know at Indian Boundary YMCA. My unique relationship with Erik Knowles and our combined passion for quality training programs will enhance an already successful program. I'm happy to be a part of his team and a staff that is committed to excellence. I couldn't ask for a better opportunity to make a sound and positive contribution to the Indian Boundary YMCA program."

Eric Knowles, Indian Boundary Y Executive Director remarked, "I've known George nearly 10 years. George is passionate about fitness and brings a great dynamic to the team here at Indian Boundary… He not only preaches health and fitness, but he clearly leads by example and he is great with people… George has a big following in this industry and it's only grown as a result of his international record setting events. He brings great structure to our team here at Indian Boundary."

Meanwhile, Hood continues to inspire the world when it comes to personal fitness.

He is also passionate about spreading his message to others which is vested in his mantra "Set Goals, Keep Score, Break Records…. anything else is just exercise". He is currently writing a book in collaboration with Danette Steever. George has appeared in countless publications around the world. His story has also been documented in the movie "Breaking and Entering".

Hood continues to train daily in order to maintain his presence on the world stage and it's a way of life for him. Hood also plans to take the plank to the next level so that everyone can benefit from the exercise that many have tried. He said, "my dream is to have the 1 hour plank challenge be the next 10K… can you hold the plank for 1 hour?" Hood plans to launch his initiative with a new fitness endurance category; an inaugural 24 hour Plank Marathon record attempt, the details of which will be announced soon. George stands alone with his accumulation of such historic and compelling world records and he is proud to say that the YMCA has been a part of his legacy.

Hood has 3 sons, Andrew, Brandon and Christopher. Both Andrew and Christopher are Marine Officers currently on active duty and Brandon is a DuPage County Sheriff's Deputy. Hood moved to San Diego, California in 2013 but now returns to Chicagoland and the good people of Indian Boundary YMCA where his story will continue to be told each and every day by his leadership as the new Fitness Director at Indian Boundary YMCA. Hood remarked in closing, "I'm humbled by the countless folks who've approached me since being here only a short time and who have said some of the kindest things." Welcome home George Hood, we're happy to have you!

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