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John "Matt" McCormick '65 broke a world record!


On January 28, 2012, Matt McCormick broke the world record for one-arm push-ups!  At the halftime of the Men's Wright State basketball game, he was able to surpass the World Record for one arm pushups in 60 seconds.  The old record was 135.  He was able to do 140.  Congratulations to Matt! 

Click here for the You-Tube video.

By Mike Thompson '65

DAYTON, OH, June 4 – Matt McCormick, Carroll High School Class of '65, had his world record attempt for one-arm push-ups come undone on Saturday evening, June 4, 2011, and not for lack of trying. The 64 year-old martial arts professor at Wright State University and Sinclair College was stymied, it appeared, by elements beyond his control.

The temperature on this clear and cloudless day hovered near 97 degrees as Matt prepared to begin his assualt on the world record currently held by Jeremiah Gold who was twenty-nine years old when he did 143 one-arm pushups in one minute on August 26, 2009. The heat was clearly a factor in Matt's failed attempt on the record.

Besides the heat, there was also an issue with the platform Matt was using for his push-ups. Instead of making the attempt on a smooth, cool surface, Matt found himself balanced somewhat precariously on a small stage consisting of two side-by-side (but unconnected) surfaces about the size of a standard table.

Matt attempted to begin using pads placed over the double surface but it quickly became clear that the pads were wrinkling and balling. Matt eventually threw the pads to the side and began warming up on the bare surfaces of the two table-tops. Most in the sizable crowd that had gathered at The Greene shopping mall to watch the record attempt knew quickly that there would be problems. The two table-tops moved independently of each other and flexed up and down at different rates and in different ways. To add to Matt's problems, one of the two table-tops was coated with a slick, black surface while the other seemed to have more grip. One arm push-ups require an uncomfortable straddle position and it's essential that the person attempting such a push-up be able to anchor his or her feet. In Matt's case that was impossible.

Matt began his attempt right-handed and the crowd couldn't help but notice his foot losing its grip. Sweat poured off Matt in rivers and with a bit more than 11 seconds to go he ended the attempt. He'd done 120 one-arm push-ups, on the necessary pace to reach the record.

Matt stepped back and took a deep breath while studying the table-top stage he'd used, then he took the microphone and announced that he would make another attempt using his left hand.

With precious little rest and a slug of water, Matt once again attempted to position himself on the tables. With the crowd watching nervously, Matt started the push-ups. The tables flexed, Matt's foot slipped continuously, and once again sweat poured from his face. And, sadly, Matt again had to call off his attempt with about 10 seconds remaining and 100 reps completed.

Matt told the crowd that he wouldn't be able to break the world record that day and thanked everyone for coming out to support his effort.

After Matt had a few minutes to catch his breath he was asked if he would make another attempt later. He said that making another attempt was possible but that it was a little like going out on a serious bender; you don't particularly object to doing it again, but not anytime soon.

Our hats are off to Matt McCormick for his game attempt at something that most of his Carroll classmates could only attempt in their dreams.


DAYTON, OH, May 16 – Matt McCormick, a 64 year-old martial arts professor at Wright State University and Sinclair College, will attempt to break the world’s one-arm pushup record at The Greene shopping mall on June 4, 2011 at 6:00 PM.

The world’s reigning one-arm pushup champ, Jeremiah Gould, was twenty-nine years old when he did 143 one-arm pushups in one minute on August 26, 2009. “My goal,” McCormick said, “is not only to beat Gould’s world record, but also to dispel the myth that aging athletes like me are less physically fit than younger athletes.”

Physical education experts agree that pushups, more so than any other physical exercise, are the best method for assessing a person’s overall physical fitness. Steven Estes, Missouri Western State’s dean of professional studies, recently stated in a New York Times article; “If you are going to demonstrate any kind of physical strength and power, that [the pushup] is the easiest, simplest, fastest way to do it.”

McCormick’s June 4th world record breaking pushup attempt will be judged by Jack Giambrone, Sinclair Community College’s athletic director, and by Kathleen Querner, one of Sinclair’s most respected physical education professors.

Useful Information Links:
1) The New York Times; Article: An Enduring Measure of Fitness: The Simple Push-Up

2); Article: How To Do a Perfect Push Up

Jim Pflaum